We held a 3-day research meeting in St Andrews as part of our Data Linkage research project. I was the local organiser of this meeting.

The following is a rough summary of the participants of the meeting and topics of discussion.

  • Title: Computer Scientists and Historians - Working Together on Record Linkage
  • Dates: 2,3,4 November 2016
  • Location: St Andrews

The aim of the meeting is to bring together Historians with domain specific knowledge on historical genealogy linkage and computer scientists who are interested in automated genealogy linkage. The participants were

  • Ozgur Akgun, Tom Dalton, Al Dearle, and Graham Kirby from the University of St Andrews,
  • Alasdair Gray and Ahmad Al Sadeeqi from Heriot-Watt University,
  • Chris Dibben from Edinburgh University,
  • Eilidh Garret from University of Essex,
  • Peter Christen from Australian National University. In addition, Eslpeth Graham from University of St Andrews attended the meeting on Wednesday to tell us about their experiences related to linkage.

The meeting was organised in a small room, where participants focused on a topic at a time. Each topic was given 1 or 2 hours, but we were flexible about the length of the discussion depending on progress. The discussion topics for the three days were as follows.


  • Automatic coding of multiple causes of death
  • The Digitising Scotland Identifier Scheme
  • Elspeth Graham’s talk regarding their historical linkage work.


  • Ahmad’s data corruptor
  • Tom’s population generator
  • Automatic Data Quality and Linkage Quality methods by Özgür
  • A general discussion about different linkage approaches


  • Focusing on the Kilmarnock dataset by Eilidh
  • Hands on linkage experimentation
  • Planning future research directions

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