Watch this space for more information on IPDLN 2020

The 2020 IPDLN Conference will be held in Adelaide, Australia at the Adelaide Convention Centre from October 26-29, 2020. Australia’s Population Health Research Network (PHRN) will take on the directorship of the IPDLN for 2019 and 2020. Dr. Merran Smith, chief executive of the PHRN, will be the IPDLN director for the 2019/2020 term. PHRN will work with South Australia Northern Territory DataLink (SA NT DataLink) to host the 2020 IPDLN Conference. Keep an eye on this space for updates and developments on the upcoming conference.

2019-2020 IPDLN Executive Committee election results

Thank you for your recent attention to the IPDLN 2019-2020 Executive Committee election, which is now complete. We are pleased to announce that the following five network members have been elected to serve on the committee: Dennis Culhane, Ruth Gilbert, Kerina Jones, Rachel Moorin and Rainer Schnell (read bios PDF). They will join the new Director of the IPDLN, Merran Smith, and serve on the Executive Committee for two years, along with both of us as immediate past co-Directors.

We would also like to thank IPDLN members Hye Chung Kum and Natasa Gisev for having put their names forward as candidates for election to the Executive Committee. We are grateful that so many IPDLN members were willing to offer their leadership and commitment to the network.

Our network’s scientific community is steadily growing and thriving in an era of heightened interest around all things ‘data’, and the guidance provided by the new Director and newly elected Executive Committee will continue to be a strong contributor to that success.

It has been a privilege to lead the IPDLN for the past two years, and we want to take this opportunity to also thank IPDLN Interim Executive Committee members David Ford and Kim McGrail whose terms end at year end. Both have made enormous contributions to the IPDLN over many years and deserve our network’s gratitude.

We wish all IPDLN members a safe and relaxing holiday season.


Michael Schull and William Ghali

IPDLN co-Directors 2018-2019

A look back at the 2018 Conference

The 2018 IPDLN Conference which was held in Banff, Alberta, Canada from September 12 to 14, 2018 was a wonderful success. You can see the proceedings from the conference now published in the International Journal of Population Data Science. Abstracts, which include a broad range of topics from public engagement to artificial intelligence, from 520 delegates worldwide are presented.

About the Network

Every two years, directorship of the Network moves sites. Australia’s Population Health Research Network (PHRN) will take on the directorship of the IPDLN for 2019-2020 and will work with South Australia Northern Territory DataLink (SA NT DataLink) to host the 2020 IPDLN Conference.

Read the Executive Committee bios (PDF)

Executive Committee 2019-20

  • Merran Smith – IPDLN Director (Australia), Committee Chair
  • Dennis Culhane – Member (USA)
  • William A. Ghali – immediate past co-Director (Canada)
  • Ruth Gilbert – Member (UK)
  • Kerina Jones – Member (UK)
  • Rachel Moorin – Member (Australia)
  • Rainer Schnell – Member (Germany)
  • Michael Schull – immediate past co-Director (Canada)

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 population health research. It provides a completely unbiased picture of the entire population, is cost-effective relative to other data collection mechanisms, and enables studies to be done that could not otherwise be performed.

The Network role

The International Population Data Linkage Network (IPDLN) facilitates communication between centres that specialize in data linkage and users of the linked data. The producers and users alike are committed to the systematic application of data linkage to produce community benefit in the population and health-related domains.

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. The IPDLN now boasts over 400 members.