New Sources of Data for Social Science Research

Tuesday 20th June 2017
11:45- 16:30 BST
Sir Alwyn Williams Building (Level 5), University of Glasgow, G12 8QN

This free event provides an opportunity to catch up with new sources of data for social science research. 

The data sources are: 

  • Administrative data 
  • Biomarker data
  • Urban big data 

For each of these sources of data we will give an overview and consider how they can be used to extend your options for exploring social science research questions. 

There are no pre-requisites for attending. This event is likely to be most relevant to researchers who are interested in updating their knowledge about social science research using these new forms of data. 

This event is hosted by the Urban Big Data Centre and SASNet and is organised collaboratively by the Administrative Data Research Network, BLG, CALLS-Hub, Centre for Longitudinal Studies, CDRC, CLOSER, NCRM, UBDC, UK Data Service and Understanding Society.


  • 11:45-12:00 - Coffee and registration
  • 12:00-12:10 - Introduction
  • 12:10-13:10 - Session 1: Administrative data: new research opportunties
    • Dr Lee Williamson, Longitudinal Studies Centre - Scotland (LSCS), University of Edinburgh and Dr Elaine Mackey, Administrative Data Research Network (ADRN), University of Manchester
      • How to access administrative data. An overview of the Administrative Data Research Network 
      • Using administrative data to answer new research questions: case studies
      • The importance of transparency and public engagement in using administrative data 
  • 13:10-14:00 - Lunch
  • 14:00-15:00 - Session 2: Why do social surveys have biomarker data?
    • Professor Meena Kumari, Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex
      • Overview of biomarker data available from secondary data resources
      • The use of biomarker data in social science research including examples demonstrating country-specific effects within the UK
  • 15:00-15:20 - Coffee
  • 15:20-16:20 - Session 3: Urban Big Data – What are they and how can we use them?
    • Dr Katarzyna Sila-Nowicka, Urban Big Data Centre (UBDC), University of Glasgow
      • Urban Big Data and their characteristics: e.g. GPS movement data and Twitter data
      • Uses cases
      • Indoor and outdoor mobility using Big Movement Data. 
      • What can social scientists do with Twitter data?
      • In the era of Big Data, is there any privacy left?
  • 16:20-16:30 - Q&A
  • 16:30 - Close