Report analyses research use of UK administrative data

Categories: Reports, Impact, ADR England

17 September 2020

This analysis maps scientific publications that make use of UK administrative data, to provide insight into the types of people using this data for research, and their motivations for doing so.

The aim of this analysis

This analysis sets out to better understand the use of administrative data within academic research and the community of researchers who use it. This was achieved using bibliometric analysis, or a statistical evaluation of published scientific articles, books, or the chapters of a book.

Key findings

  • A large body of researchers have used administrative data in their work, and the resulting publications are well-received by other researchers.
  • Collaboration in research which uses administrative data is widespread, but rather focused
  • The network of co-authorship created by publications which use the UK’s administrative data is extensive and well-connected
  • Health research is a dominant focus for users of the UK’s administrative data, with far less focused on other areas of research


This report found that administrative data of the kind enabled by ADR UK is being used both nationally and across the globe to support research into a range of issues. This is mostly related to health, with a significant gap in the use of administrative data for research relating to other areas of society.

Use of UK administrative data has been observed to be very much “a team sport”, as it is typically utilised by groups of authors, bringing together expertise from various organisations.

Read the full report for more information about the methodology used for this research, identification of limitations, and elaboration of key findings.

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