Enhanced SMS47 Cohort

In this project we aim to create a standing research resource based around the Scottish Mental Survey 1947 (SMS1947) along with associated linked datasets.

What are we trying to do:

The overall aim is to create, via data creation, linkage and coding, an Enhanced SMS47 Cohort. We will create a standing resource, with the Scottish Mental Survey 1947 (SMS1947) dataset at its core, which can be utilised by the majority of researchers via one application process. This will constitute a linked database, similar to the data holdings process of the Scottish Longitudinal Study, including 1936 births records from the Scottish Historic Population Database (SHPD), the 1939 National Register (1939NR) and historic NHS Central Registry (NHSCR) geographical data.

The SMS1947 is a dataset of test scores that the whole population of Scotland sat in schools in 1947 aged 11 and it is one of the largest tests of childhood cognitive ability ever conducted.

We aim to understand and establish:

  • Governance requirements and permissions for the different datasets
  • How the linkage would be completed and how/where linkage keys would be held 
  • Retention policy for the different datasets
  • Addition of future data and refreshing requirements
  • Data access Research Board and Steering Committee

The main Enhanced SMS47 Cohort data creation tasks are:

  • Transcription of the 1939NR by NHSCR
  • QA and indexing of the 1939NR to the NRS Population Spine by the NRS Indexing team
  • Transcription of 1935-1937 births records for the research cohort (SHPD)
  • Auto-coding of text from the 1939NR and 1935-1937 births records to classification schemes to make the data research ready
  • Geocoding work of the 1939NR
  • Linkage of all the datasets, including the geographical datasets
  • Creation of meta data and data dictionary catalogues for each of the datasets

Data sources:

Scottish Mental Survey 1947 (SMS1947), Scottish Historic Population Database (SHPD), the 1939 National Register (1939NR) and NHS Central Registry (NHSCR) data.

What this will enable researchers to do:

Creating the Enhanced SMS47 Cohort standing research dataset will allow researchers timely data access to carry out research using by applying to one research board (which includes all data controllers) and then research extracts created to work on within a Safe Haven. The SMS1947 tested around 94% (well over 70,000) of the Scottish-born population aged 11 attending Scottish schools 1947. This cohort born mainly 1936 has a great research potential including how early impact factors have an effect in later lives, social position (upward or downward mobility of socio-economic status) compared with parents and for those who died the complete-life histories allows an investigation into causes of death.

Research team

Project leads: Professor Chris Dibben, Lee Williamson, Amy Tilbrook and colleagues from National Records Scotland and Scottish Government.

Publications and outputs

This project is at formation stage.

When publications or outputs are available, they will be shared here. For more information about this project, please contact us.

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