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About Us

The Administrative Data Liaison Service (ADLS) is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to support administrative data based research in the UK. Administrative data in the UK is extensive but remains a relatively undiscovered and underused tool for research. It has enormous potential to inform social scientific research, either directly through analysis of such data or through linkage to other datasets.

The service is managed by the University of St Andrews, in conjunction with the Universities of Oxford and Manchester. Together, the ADLS team provides expertise in the research uses of administrative data, legal and ethical research, data security, disclosure risks and data linkage.

The ADLS team

Dr Chris Dibben – ADLS Director and Lecturer in Geography based at the University of St Andrews.  Chris has overall responsibility for the service.

Darren Lightfoot
– ADLS Service Manager based at the University of St Andrews.  Darren is responsible for the day to day management of the service.

Dr Heather Gowans – Researcher in Law based at the HeLEX Centre at the University of Oxford.  Heather is an expert in legal research.

Dr Mark Elliot - Senior Lecturer in Social Statistics and PGR Director at the Cathie Marsh Centre for Census and Survey Research based at the University of Manchester.  He is an expert in the field of statistical disclosure and data security.

Dr Helen Barnes – Research Fellow at the Social Disadvantage Research Centre based at the University of Oxford. Helen is responsible for liaising with administrative data holding organisations and researching administrative data.

The service is also supported by Dr Jane Kaye (HeLEX Centre, University of Oxford), Professor Michael Noble (Social Disadvantage Research Centre, University of Oxford) and David McLennan (Social Disadvantage Research Centre, University of Oxford).

Our objectives

  • To ensure that access, use and quality of administrative datasets are improved over time.
  • To raise awareness of administrative data amongst the academic community.
  • To promote academic research using administrative data with data-holding organisations and other key stakeholders.
  • That researchers understand and comply with stringent legal, ethical and security frameworks needed to apply for, access and link with administrative data resources.

An ADLS advisory board meets twice a year to help steer the service and improve the potential of administrative data research and development. The board consists of key members from Government Departments and Universities.

The service is currently funded until October 2012.  If you would like further information on any aspect of the service or administrative data then please contact us.

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