Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Understanding the linking possibilities in Scottish Records and an algorithmic approach to full linkage

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Open Access permissions



Alan Dearle, Graham Njal Cameron Kirby, Williamson Lee, Chris Dibben

School/Research organisations


In this paper we systematically analyse all of the linkage possibilities that may be formed using Scottish birth, death and marriage records. We distinguish entity linkage, in which a single individual is identified as appearing in two records, and relationship linkage in which relationships between the individuals appearing on records are established. We identify a subset of the linkages that are possible which we call strong linkage opportunities in which links are established using many fields. Using multiple strong linkage opportunities and the relationships between different actors on the records we show how linkage confidence may be increased. Finally we demonstrate how these links may be combined to perform full linkage over the Scottish records being digitised in the Digitising Scotland project.


Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 2018
EventInternational Conference for Administrative Data Research - Belfast, United Kingdom
Duration: 21 Jun 201822 Jun 2018


ConferenceInternational Conference for Administrative Data Research
Abbreviated titleADR
CountryUnited Kingdom
Internet address

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Linking Scottish vital event records using family groups

    Akgün, Ö., Dearle, A., Kirby, G. N. C., Garrett, E., Dalton, T. S., Christen, P., Dibben, C. J. L. & Williamson, L. E. P., 25 Mar 2019, In : Historical Methods: a Journal of Quantitative and Interdisciplinary History. Latest articles, 17 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Using metric space indexing for complete and efficient record linkage

    Akgün, Ö., Dearle, A., Kirby, G. N. C. & Christen, P., 2018, Advances in Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining: 22nd Pacific-Asia Conference, PAKDD 2018, Melbourne, VIC, Australia, June 3-6, 2018, Proceedings, Part III. Phung, D., Tseng, V. S., Webb, G., Ho, B., Ganji, M. & Rashidi, L. (eds.). Cham: Springer, p. 89-101 12 p. (Lecture Notes in Computer Science (Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence); vol. 10939).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

  3. Learning From Past Links: Understanding the Limits of Linkage Quality

    Akgun, O., Dearle, A., Garrett, E. & Kirby, G. N. C., 6 Sep 2017.

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

  4. Probabilistic linkage of vital event records in Scotland using familial groups

    Akgun, O., Dalton, T. S., Dearle, A., Garrett, E. & Kirby, G. N. C., 11 May 2017.

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

ID: 255068625