How to contribute to the wiki

The wiki relies on the goodwill of the end-user community for its maintenance and update. Any member of the public is able to read the wiki and leave a comment on the discussion page. If you feel able to contribute to a page on the wiki then apply to join the wiki. You will need to wait for permission to be given before you start editing but this should not take more than a few hours.

What types of contribution can be made?

There are many different ways you can contribute to this wiki:
  • You can post to the discussion board without registering on this particular wiki. You might want to do this to make some general suggestions about this wiki, or alternatively to ask a question about a specific variable that you hope someone might be able to answer within the wiki.
  • If you spot errors of fact on the wiki you can apply to join the wiki so that you can correct it. It always helps if you are able to reference the correction you make to a peer reviewed article or an official document. However, this is not essential and we would definitely prefer pages to be correct, even if you are not able to provide a source.
  • You are welcome to add entirely new sentences, paragraphs and sections. Please do not feel that you need to maintain the existing structure of sub-headings if you do not feel they fit the variable adequately.
  • You are welcome to create entirely new pages, especially if you feel a particular page is so large that it needs to be split.
  • We aspire to make the wiki referenced to peer reviewed articles and official documentation as far as possible. If you are able to help do this then please do add references using standard Harvard referencing.

Formatting a wiki page

The menu-based WYSIWYG formatting bar in wikispaces is not always reliable and so you may find it difficult to ensure that your text is in the correct style and font. Do not worry about resolving this since an administrator can easily clean up your text. However, if you wish to improve how the text looks then you can access a Wikitext editor to view and edit the underlying formatting code. This is accessed through a drop-down menu by the word 'Save' when the standard WYSIWYG editor is open.

Wikitext is particularly useful to create the grey boxes around snippets of Stata and SPSS coding. This is done by typing a line with code both before and after the coding from within the Wikitext editor.

Biographies of contributors

If you have contributed to the maintenance of this wiki and are happy for your name to be made public, please leave a short paragraph about yourself here. Do include details of your experience in using NPD so that other users with shared research interests can contact you if they wish.

Rebecca Allen is a Senior Lecturer in Economics of Education at the Institute of Education, University of London. She has used NPD for almost every research paper she has written since 2004! One of her main interests has been understanding secondary school admissions, so the availability of the pupil postcode to investigate the spatial relationship between home and school has been central to her work. She has also used NPD to measure levels of school and residential segregation and to estimate models of secondary school effectiveness. She has used the linked NPD-LSYPE and NPD-ALSPAC datasets. Rebecca has taught introductory courses on NPD at IOE for several years.

Simon Burgess is a Professor of Economics at the University of Bristol. He is Director of the Centre for Market and Public Organisation (CMPO) and also Director of the Centre for Understanding Behaviour Change (CUBeC). He has two main interests with regard to the NPD: market-based reforms in education and the role of ethnicity in education. He was one of the first academic users of NPD and has a great deal of experience in its use. He has particular expertise in the spatial aspects of the data, and in the descriptors of ethnicity. Simon set up the PLASC/NPD Users Group (PLUG) with Harvey Goldstein to help disseminate and support the use of this dataset.

Judith Watson is Senior Research Fellow in Geography at the University of Brighton. She has experience of the post-16 datasets, especially the Individual Learner Record in further education. She has also worked with linked school and college data.