by | Nov 4, 2019

Welcome fellow Early Career Researchers Using Scottish Administrative Data- now known as eCRUSADers! For this first post, I thought I would briefly introduce myself before telling you more about what this blog is all about. My name is Elizabeth Lemmon, I am a Research Fellow working at the University of Edinburgh. I’ve set up the eCRUSADers blog on the back of numerous conversations I have had over the years with fellow researchers and colleagues which have all pointed to the need for a sharing of information and discussion about working with Scottish administrative data. I manage the eCRUSADers blog, alongside Matthew Iveson, Senior Data Scientist at the Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology, also within the University of Edinburgh. 

Is this blog going to be of interest to me? 

Answer the following questions: 

  • Do you work with or want to work with administrative data (Scottish or otherwise)?
  • Do you want to hear about interesting research that is going on (in Scotland and further afield) which uses administrative data?
  • Are you interested in possible training opportunities for working with sensitive and complicated administrative data sets?

If you’ve said yes to any of those, keep on reading!

Why is there a need for the eCRUSADers blog?

Currently, Scotland is in a unique position to produce population level research due to the way it routinely collects information about Scots across a number of key domains – health, education, social care etc. Additionally, these data sets can be linked together, creating an invaluable source of information to carry out social research, which could ultimately have a positive impact on the lives of people living in Scotland and further afield. However, navigating the administrative data landscape is complex, working with administrative data is tricky, and the resources with which to carry out these tasks are scarce. These issues are particularly challenging for Early Career Researchers (ECRs) who have limited time and often knowledge about how to traverse this landscape. The eCRUSADers blog will provide somewhere for them to start.

The purpose of the eCRUSADers blog?

The purpose of the eCRUSADers blog is three-fold:

  • To provide a platform for the sharing of information and experiences
  • To enhance our understanding of what is working and where there is room for improvement
  • To encourage discussion around what can be done to keep Scotland on the trajectory of becoming a world leader in research using administrative data

Blog posts will consist of researcher experience posts; discussions of academic articles of interest (from Scotland and beyond); discussions of relevant training/resources; round ups; contributions from non-ECRs working with or with an interest in Scotland’s administrative records; and anything else of eCRUSADers interest that crops up. 

Overall, the blog will provide a place for ECRs to go if they are thinking about working with Scottish administrative records and want to learn from the experiences of others. At the same time, you don’t even have to be an ECR! The eCRUSADers content is of relevance to anyone apply to or working with administrative data in Scotland. What is more, the lessons learned in Scotland should also translate over to other jurisdictions, meaning that even if you aren’t working specifically with Scottish data, you can most likely still benefit from the eCRUSADers content! 

As with any newly established blog, we plan to allow the blog to grow organically depending on changes occurring on the administrative data front and on the type of content ECR’s provide and want to see.

Who can I contact to find out more? 

If you want to find out more or contribute to the blog we would be very happy to hear from you. Please get in touch by sending an email to ecrusad@ed.ac.uk or get in touch with Elizabeth at elizabeth.lemmon@ed.ac.uk.

You can also sign up to receive notifications of new eCRUSADers content by hitting subscribe at the bottom of this page!