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LIfBi visits CLOSER in London: introduction and exchange about possibilities of future cooperation

On July 14, 2015, Prof. Dr. Hans-Günther Roßbach, Dr. Jutta von Maurice, and Dr. Daniel Fuß met representatives of the program “Cohort and Longitudinal Studies Enhancement Resources” (CLOSER) in London in order to exchange views regarding shared objectives and the possibilities of future cooperation.
CLOSER is a consortium combining leading longitudinal studies in Great Britain, for example, the British Cohort Study (BCS70), the Life Study (The new birth cohort), the Millennium Cohort Study (Child of the New Century; MCS) and Understanding Society. Like NEPS, all these studies are based on a cohort approach that includes different age groups. CLOSER was founded in October 2012 to promote the access and the influence of these studies across Great Britain and abroad. To achieve this, training courses and workshops for scientists are organized, selected data of different studies harmonized, connections to data from other sources made and a shared search engine for metadata is being developed, among other things. Additionally, interdisciplinary research projects are meant to be initiated between the most important longitudinal studies.

During the meeting at the Institute of Education, Prof. Alison Park (Director) and Rosie French (Project Manager) initially summarized the main features of project CLOSER. Later on, the numerous parallels and mutual interests of CLOSER and LIfBi were emphasized, and possibilities and requirements of cross-national comparative analyses were discussed, taking into account NEPS Starting Cohort 1–Early Childhood. In a second round of talks, Jon Johnson (Database Manager) and Gemma Seabrook (Data Manager) introduced the approaches toward data harmonization and data documentation adopted by CLOSER.

For the future, both parties agreed to intensify communication. Therefore, the LIfBi team was invited to present NEPS Starting Cohort 1 at the CLOSER conference "The importance of early years, childhood and adolescence: Evidence from longitudinal studies" in November 2015. Furthermore, the possibility of a NEPS data workshop in Great Britain organized by the CLOSER network is being considered, and joint activities at the 2016 SLLS-conference in Bamberg are intended.

Further information on CLOSER.