Open data on adolescent health in 41 countries released by University of Bergen HSBC Project

Press Release 10 Feb 2016 (received by email)

A WHO-project on health in the adolescent population is now giving researchers access to data collected in 41 countries worldwide.

The data gives insight on matters concerning health, well-being, social environment and health related behaviour of 11, 13 and 15 year old boys and girls.

The ”Health Behaviour in School-aged Children. A WHO collaborative Cross-national study”, HBSC, is a key deliverer of national and international policy level data for adolescent health. Currently 44 countries are involved in the study. Every four years nationally representative data from 11, 13 and 15 year olds are collected in an ever increasing number of countries.

Following each survey results from these data are presented in an international report co-published with the World Health Organization. The next international report is scheduled to be released on 15 March 2016. More than 500 international and numerous national papers have been published to date based on the data.

The HBSC project is now providing open access to its 2006 dataset for external researchers, educators and policy makers to increase the impact of adolescent health research. Although some years old, this data set is still relevant and important for understanding how gender, age and socio-economic status impact on health behaviours and how relations within the family, among peers and at school influence adolescents’ health perceptions, health complaints and life satisfaction. There is much more potential for additional papers and theses to be explored from these data, over and above that already published.

At the end of June 2016, HBSC data from 2002 and 2010 will also be made available through open access.

Please, access the data at

For further information, please contact
Professor Oddrun Samdal, HBSC Data Manager

Hi Rufus, I had seen this reference on the open data subreddit and got a bit confused by the terms. This is what I see before registering to access the data:

The HBSC Data Bank is made available for you under the following Terms and Conditions. By accepting these Terms and Conditions you understand and agree that:

  • access to use the HBSC data is given only to researchers, teachers and students, to international organizations, and to public sector researchers working in relevant fields,
  • the use of the HBSC Data Bank is restricted to not-for-profit purposes only. Any commercial use is strictly prohibited,
  • I will promptly notify the HBSC Data Manager of any breach of the Data Bank or misuse of the data of which I become aware of,
  • by accepting these terms I get access to the HBSC data, but no intellectual property is transferred to me,
  • I will use the correct methods of “citation and acknowledgments”,
  • I will maintain the integrity of the data
  • any breach of these terms may result in immediate termination of the access to the data,
  • I will abide by the terms of “the License Agreement”: under which the HBSC Data Bank is made available and any further conditions that are notified to me.

The full license agreement is along the same lines too: no for-profit use, no re-distribution, restricted audience.

How can this be considered “open”? Even with the loosest interpretations of the open definition, the terms are very restrictive. Maybe I’m not aware of differing guidelines around the “open access” definition?

Aha! That is indeed a concern and would make this non-open - i had not checked the terms when I posted this.

One thought is for you to email them and raise this and report back on what they say. What do you think?

Definitely – will try contacting them to understand their position.

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