About the International Population Data Linkage Network


What is data linkage?

Secondary use of linked administrative data is often referred to as ‘data linkage,’ ‘record linkage,’ or ‘linked data.’ This is typically population based longitudinal data that has originally been collected for another purpose. Linkage may take place across data sets in a single domain (i.e. health) or across domains (i.e. health, education, environment, early childhood, etc.). 

Why is it important?

Data linkage is an invaluable tool for research across and between many different disciplines. It provides an inclusive and detailed picture of the population, is cost-effective relative to other data collection mechanisms, and enables studies to be done that could not otherwise be performed.

What is the Network's role?

The International Population Data Linkage Network (IPDLN) facilitates communication between centres that specialise in data linkage and users of the linked data. The Network provides a space for discussion, exchange of ideas, and learning within the common interest of data linkage for the betterment of population data linkage research.

Over 30 participants from Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand attended the 2008 inaugural meeting of the IPDLN (then known as the IHDLN), held in London, UK and hosted by the Research and Development Directorate of the National Health Service. Since then, the IPDLN has grown to over 1,700 members from all over the world.

Every two years, directorship of the Network moves sites. Co-Directors from Northwestern University, Georgetown University and University of Pennsylvania have taken over leadership of the IPDLN for 2023-24. The Network is Co-Directed by Amy O'Hara, Georgetown University; Abel Kho, Northwestern University; and Dennis Culhane, University of Pennsylvania.

Executive Committee for the 2023-24 IPDLN Conference


Learn about the Terms of Reference