There is a long tradition in the Nordic countries of maintaining well-established systems for health and other parts of the welfare state. Population-based registers for administrative purposes exist since decades. As data are already available, important research can be done in a cost- and time-effective manner, while maintaining personal privacy.
By using registers covering the entire populations or large parts of them, a unique and powerful resource for answering a multitude of research questions is provided. Data are combined by using the personal identification number, but this linkage is normally done by the authorities. The registers constitute a unique resource for research in order to provide better public health and welfare.
The Swedish Interdisciplinary Graduate School in register-based research (SINGS) is intended to develop knowledge, skills, and scientific and ethical approaches regarding how different sources of data and registers can and should be utilised in research, in preparation for a career within academia or elsewhere.
This is a short illustrative film on the topic.