FAQs

There is no variable label on the annotated questionnaire. What does this mean?

Within the NSHD meta-data repository, annotated questionnaires are available. For the majority of the questions, a variable name is located next to the question indicating that these questions have been coded. These variables will have been coded either directly from the questionnaire or to a coding frame if open-ended responses were recorded. However some questions don't have a variable name. One reason is that the question is open-ended and has not been coded. The other exception occurs in the early questionnaires, when a number of questions were incorporated together to produce a single derived variable. As these were never coded separately, no variable label has ever been produced.

For example, the breastfeeding questions on the Maternity Surveys have no variable labels but have been used with a couple of other questions to produce derived variables about breastfeeding [BRE] and weaning [WEA]. Looking at the topic summaries of the data collected will give you a good idea of the variables available for analysis.



I have made my final selection of variables. What do I need to consider before submitting the request?

When building a data basket using the topic guides or a personalised basket from Skylark it is recommended that users spend time ensuring their basket contains

  • a) the most appropriate variables, and
  • b) a complete set of the variables required for the current stage of their research project

When identifying and selecting variables suitable for your research, please use the metadata repository, topic guides, Skylark instructions and variable information within carefully - they contain everything you need to finalise your basket. Researchers are responsible for ensuring the completeness and suitability of their basket.

Once a basket has been built and you have emailed us the details, the list of variables will form part of your data sharing application. Revisions may be made to the basket at this stage. Once the basket has been finalised it will be converted into a 'scrambled' dataset, encrypted, password protected and sent to you via a secure method.

If you realise, once you have received your dataset, that you require additional variables, the above process will need to be repeated. Requesting additional variables is a time-consuming process, for you and for us, and may delay your project. Prior to submitting your data request and basket details, please think carefully about which variables you require and be sure to choose everything you need.



I found a variable on a questionnaire but I can't find it on Skylark. Why is this?

Not every variable that has been collected is available on Skylark. Sensitive or potentially disclosive variables are unavailable for external use and have been removed from Skylark. In rare cases, the metadata for older variables cannot be found or confirmed, so these variables have also been removed.



Some of the variables in my submitted basket are missing from my dataset. Where have they gone?

The variables found on Skylark are constantly checked and refined for accuracy and content, however any sensitive or potentially disclosive variables that are mistakenly still showing on Skylark are unavailable for external use, to protect the integrity of the NSHD and the privacy of its participants. Such variables will be removed from Skylark, and deleted from any baskets they have been added to.

LHA staff reserve the right to edit the contents of any basket prior to approval and delivery. If you are unhappy with any changes made to your basket, please email us in the first instance.