Understanding survey data available for researchers working in ageing: the CEPAR Metadata Database on Ageing
Background For researchers working in gerontology or the demography of ageing, knowledge of and access to population-based data, which includes mature age respondents, is critical. The collection of metadata (information describing data) supports researchers in their search for relevant data.
Aims This proof-of-concept project seeks to develop a metadata database including metadata on Australian sample surveys relevant to ageing over the period 2010–2018.
Data and methods We used a five-stage approach to create the Centre for Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR) metadata database on ageing: 1) identification of in-scope survey datasets; 2) indexing the in-scope surveys; 3) scraping metadata from publicly available sources; 4) appending metadata to a master database; and 5) creation of a webtool to enable users to search and export metadata and obtain contact details for the relevant data custodian.
Results The CEPAR Metadata Database webtool is available from: https://mspgh.unimelb.edu.au/centres-institutes/centre-for-health-policy/research-group/metadata-database.
Conclusions Metadata database collections can assist researchers to identify what data has been collected (for their specific research interest in ageing), how it was collected and how to gain access to the data.