Search this site

Data - NSHD Data Archive


The MRC National Survey of Health and development (NSHD) has a data archive with over 20,000 variables collected over the lifetime of the study.  The archive preserves data and meta-data (descriptions of the data) in electronic, paper, fiche, and, increasingly, image form, and includes biological samples.

The NSHD data sharing platform is called Skylark, which is composed of two companion systems:

A wiki:

The wiki provides users with a detailed description of the study including all data collections across its 70+ years.  The wiki includes:

  • background information about the NSHD
  • all annotated questionnaires and other paper instruments
  • a description of the major topics, including information on repeated measures and standard variables
  • information about the variable search facility and guides on how to locate variables
  • NSHD information governance
  • a complete description of the NSHD data sharing process, including all the forms necessary to set up a data sharing agreement and submit a data access request

A variable search facility:

The variable search facility provides a platform to locate metadata covering more than 25,000 NSHD variables. Users will need to register, before they can log in to search for variables of interest, which can then be added to personal shopping baskets and saved. Following a successful data sharing application, these baskets will then be processed by NSHD staff and the data sent out.

Citing NSHD data using DOIs

The NSHD now has a set of persistent identifiers (DataCite DOIs, or just DOIs) that allow the tracking of research datasets as well as publications.  It is important that all authors cite these DOIs in publications based on NSHD data.