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This is the first edition of a new electronic newsletter from SFI. We plan to publish four editions every year. Our plan is to make our research – publications as well as new projects and new datasets – more visible to researchers around the world. I’ll explain why in a minute, but first:

Who is SFI?

SFI is the Danish National Centre for Social Research – an independent government research organisation established in 1958. We have a research staff of around 70 including research assistants and PhD students, the majority being either economists or sociologists, but also some political scientists, anthropologists and psychologists. In addition to research we also carry out commissioned studies for government departments and we have our own survey department, both for our own projects and for other researchers and organizations. Read more at: www.sfi.dk 

Why is SFI launching a new newsletter?

In short the answer is: we want to develop more collaboration with you. Our business is applied policy-oriented social research and in recent years it has become increasingly evident that the same issues become relevant for applied research in different countries and regions at more or less the same time. So we simply think that researchers studying similar issues would benefit from closer cooperation. Of course, our individual researchers are already active in various networks, but as the world of research becomes more massive and diverse, we want to extend dissemination of our work beyond the level of individual contacts and networks.

Extraordinarily rich data

This first edition contains three articles about current or upcoming projects. The subjects differ, ranging from a longitudinal survey of children, to homelessness and to soldiers after a war zone deployment, but I think you will see that they share extraordinarily rich data sets. Denmark has very extensive administrative registers with a lot of information about income, employment, health, family etc. for all Danish residents. In our research we often combine such data and survey information from a sample of individuals.

So far our data have not been of much interest unless you master the Danish language. Right now a new initiative is being implemented to enhance international research collaboration on projects using Danish data, by providing a detailed description of all the variables in English. More about this in the next issues of our newsletter, where you will also find more information about the possibilities of entering a closer collaboration with SFI by becoming an SFI Research Fellow. We are currently in the process of describing a new research fellow scheme.

What works

One of our current priorities is research dealing with ‘what works’; that is projects measuring effects of policies and interventions in different policy areas. As part of our efforts in this area of contributing to evidence-based policy and practice, SFI is part of the international Campbell Collaboration, making meta analyses of existing impact studies. There is more about this elsewhere in the newsletter and at www.sfi-campbell.dk. We expect to see the launch of a number of random controlled experiments in the near future involving SFI staff members who will assess the impact of these interventions.

Feed back, please!

I hope you will find our newsletter of interest and I would be extremely grateful for any feedback you may have. Send an e-mail to the editor, Head of Communication Ulla Haahr uha@sfi.dk or to me js@sfi.dk. I am looking forward to your response.

See you in the next issue of Danish Social Research.

Jørgen Søndergaard

Managing Director of SFI.

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