An Identifier Scheme for the Digitising Scotland Project

Özgür Akgün, Ahmad Alsadeeqi, Peter Christen, Tom Dalton, Alan Dearle, Chris Dibben, Eilidh Garrett, Alasdair J. G. Gray, Graham Kirby, Alice Reid

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

18 Downloads (Pure)


The Digitising Scotland project is having the vital records of Scotland transcribed from images of the original handwritten civil registers . Linking the resulting dataset of 24 million vital records covering the lives of 18 million people is a major challenge requiring improved record linkage techniques. Discussions within the multidisciplinary, widely distributed Digitising Scotland project team have been hampered by the teams in each of the institutions using their own identification scheme.
To enable fruitful discussions within the Digitising Scotland team, we required a mechanism for uniquely identifying each individual represented on the certificates. From the identifier it should be possible to determine the type of certificate and the role each person played. We have devised a protocol to generate for any individual on the certificate a unique identifier, without using a computer, by exploiting the National Records of Scotland’s registration districts. Importantly, the approach does not rely on the handwritten content of the certificates which reduces the risk of the content being misread resulting in an incorrect identifier. The resulting identifier scheme has improved the internal discussions within the project. This paper discusses the rationale behind the chosen identifier scheme, and presents the format of the different identifiers.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2017
EventThe UK Administrative Data Research Network Annual Research Conference 2017 - Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 1 Jun 20172 Jun 2017


ConferenceThe UK Administrative Data Research Network Annual Research Conference 2017
Abbreviated titleADRN 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


Dive into the research topics of 'An Identifier Scheme for the Digitising Scotland Project'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this