Recent trends in the use of linked data in Australia

Angela Young, Felicity Flack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Objective. The aim of this study was to quantify the use of linked data for health and human services research in Australia since the establishment of the Population Health Research Network (PHRN) in 2009. Methods. A systematic literature search was performed using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) 2009 checklist to search for all publications involving the use of Australian linked data between 2009-10 and 2016-17. Publications were categorised by subject, data linked and data linkage unit involved. Results. In all, 7153 articles were identified from the initial search, and 1208 were included in the final analysis. An increase in the number of publications involving linked data was observed from 2009-10 through to 2015-16. Most articles (82%) featured data linked by at least one PHRN-funded data linkage unit. The research areas of 86% of publications were able to be classified according to the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems 10th Revision Australian Modification (ICD-10-AM). The number of publications involving crosssectoral linked data also increased. Conclusions. Investment in Australian data linkage infrastructure has seen an increase in the number of research publications involving the use of linked health and human services data. This study identified areas where linked data is commonly used and those where use could be improved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)584-590
Number of pages7
JournalAustralian Health Review
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


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