Discovery: a new tool for accessing longitudinal cohort studies

Are you interested in longitudinal data? For example, The Hertfordshire Cohort Study (following 3000 men and women since they were born in the 1930s), or the British Cohort Study (17,000 people born in a single week in 1970). If so, you will be aware of the problems such as: knowing what data is available, what questions were asked, and where is the data stored. Discovery is a new tool (still in a relatively early stage of development) from CLOSER, that makes eight longitudinal studies more accessible. Please try it Where are the variables I am interested in? Perhaps the best way to understand the usefulness and power of Discovery is an example based on finding variables of interest. The image below shows the home page of Discovery, and it shows that the eight studies include over 55,000 variables [note, if you click on the images they should enlarge]. With so many variables, nobody wants to scroll through them all to find items that are useful to their project or query. By clicking on Variables we can filter the list by Study, Life Stage and Topic, as in the image below. In this example, let’s assume we are interested in alcohol consumption. […]