History charting Children of the 90s available to researchers for first time
Press release issued: 10 April 2018
For the first time, the history charting the world-renowned Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), also known as Children of the 90s, back to its beginnings has been made accessible.
The work, made possible thanks to a Wellcome grant and a dedicated team of archivists from the University’s Special Collections, will mean that researchers can now access the cohort’s historical records archive which documents the study from its planning stages until circa 2005.
Data amassed by ALSPAC comprises 14,000 children born from pregnancies with due dates between April 1991 and December 1992 and now includes three generations of families. ALSPAC provides a rich resource for the study of the environmental and genetic factors that affect health and development to the international medical and scientific community.
Former director of the study Professor Jean Golding OBE, said: "I am delighted that the archive detailing the history of the study will be available to researchers; not only those with an interest in epidemiological studies but also researchers who are interested in the history of bioethics, interactions with participants, and scientists will be able to gain insights into what are the key questions and how they should be measured."
Professor Nic Timpson, the current principal investigator of ALSPAC, added: "Having access to the documentation charting the rise of such an exceptional resource will facilitate future research centred not only on the ethnography of the ALSPAC study, but concerning the initiation of new policies and resources in the future. This is a great example of the ability of cohort studies to provide material and opportunities for impactful science through judicious and transparent sharing of information with the research community and wider audiences."
Use of the archive is subject to approval from ALSPAC and access restrictions apply to records containing sensitive and personal data. All identifiable participant information has been withdrawn from the archive in line with ALSPAC’s strict confidentiality policy. More detail about the archive and access arrangements are available on the University of Bristol Library Special Collections website.