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Data Sharing

The LHA is committed to the core principles of the MRC with regard to data sharing. The LHA actively encourages the sharing of NSHD data with bona fide scientists for high quality research projects, to ensure that the scientific potential of the NSHD is maximised. Data sharing must be within the bounds of consent given previously by study members and meet rigorous MRC data security standards.

All proposals to use NSHD data must support and adhere to the core principles of data sharing with the MRC, namely:

  • Ethical: The privacy of individuals and the dignity of communities must be protected, while simultaneously respecting the imperative to improve public health through the most productive use of data.
  • Equitable: All proposals should recognise and balance the needs of researchers who generate and use data, other analysts who may want to reuse those data, and communities and funders who expect health benefits to arise from research.
  • Efficient: Approaches should be proportionate and build on existing practice and reduce unnecessary duplication and competition.

The meta-data repository holds electronic versions of all the NSHD questionnaires and topic level guides to the information collec ted. The repository is accessible to bone fide researchers who may wish to use the NSHD for research purposes. Potential and exist ing users can use the repository to explore the NSHD meta-data (descriptions of the data) to enable them to formulate proposals fo r using variables from the NSHD.

Researchers wishing to access the meta-data repository or undertake a research project using NSHD data should find most of the information they need on this website and the associated tool Skylark. If you require more information you can contact us at

Data sharing is dependent on the project being approved by the NSHD Data Sharing Committee, a data sharing agreement being in place between UCL and the academic institution that employs the researcher, and LHA resources being available to meet the requests for data sharing.