Getting started

Below are some questions to consider before starting a record linkage project at Statistics Canada.

  1. Do you have a clear research question?
  2. Can you clearly demonstrate how the public interest is served by your project and why a record linkage is the best means to achieve this public benefit?
  3. Are you sure that the data you expect from linkage are not otherwise available?
  4. Do you have an ethics approval?
  5. Have you examined the available source data file documentation to ensure that the variables of interest will serve your needs and that the sample (if applicable) is adequate for your study?
  6. If applicable, does your microdata file have personal identifiers that would enable record linkage?
  7. If applicable, do you have the authority to share your microdata file with Statistics Canada?
  8. Have you thought about the structure of your final linked analysis file? Are derived variables needed? Will you need to person-orient records? How will different reference periods be treated? Will you be using longitudinal data?
  9. What are your plans to identify and address the data quality issues associated with record linkage and with the specific sources that you have in mind?
  10. How do you intend to access the linked microdata? Have you considered access through the Research Data Centres (RDC) Program?