Workshop on sharing experiences in register based research

2015/03/02 @ 12:30 – 17:00
Wallenberg Konferens (GU)
Gothenburg University
Medicinaregatan 20, 413 90 Göteborg

Sharing data or sharing knowledge?

Have you ever needed advice on how to prepare your data for research? Have you ever asked an experienced programmer/researcher about known errors and problems with a specific register? Or worse, did you discover the data errors after you ran your analysis and wrote your paper? Have you been delayed by the long and tedious process of first obtaining all the permissions, then getting the data from the data holder, then putting down months in preparing the data for analysis? How do you check that the right data has been delivered? How do you clean for erroneous values in variables? How do you merge data to construct a dataset for analysis? Are “employed” and/or “date of diagnosis” defined differently in different registers? Is the coding of “sex” the same in different registers? How do you construct new variables adapted to special types of research problems?

We have heard that preparing data for research may take several years. We have heard that updating data requires repeating all the data management steps from the start. We have heard that much of the funding resources goes into unnecessary work that somebody else already did somewhere else.

The SIMSAM groups have a commission to do something about these problems. A part of the SIMSAM goal is about creating an environment such that researchers can become more productive and can avoid inventing the wheel again when your colleagues already did the same job before you.  Data management is not just getting access to government registers. It is also about sharing data, programming code, and experiences with other researchers.

A previous survey (Reilly 2012) showed that SIMSAM researchers are willing to contribute and eager to learn from each other when it comes to data management. The current workshop will discuss how this willingness can be transformed into a working nationwide environment for sharing. A system which will benefit register research workers inside and outside the SIMSAM community.

The workshop is organized as a pre-conference to The GOCART meeting “Social Stratification and Health” which is held on March 3 in Gothenburg.


The workshop, organized by SIMSAM INFRA in collaboration with the Swedish National Data Service (SND), is open to researchers within and outside SIMSAM who are using Swedish registers. It is free of charge, includes lunch and has a limited number of participants.

Register at the latest by February 20 by sending an email to


Magnus Stenbeck, KI                                               Elisabeth Strandhagen, GU

SIMSAM INFRA                                                        Swedish National Data Service, SND