National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

NRS Indexing Team

NRS Indexing Team

The NRS Indexing Team provides the trusted third party indexing service enabling data to be de-identified for data linkage in Scotland in collaboration with our delivery partners PHS (eDRIS) and EPCC.

For research projects that require data linkage, indexing is the process of matching available personal identifiers from a dataset to a population spine and replacing them with an pseudonymised unique person identifier specific to the project.  More information on this process is illustrated in this diagram.

NRS indexing service diagram

NRS is committed to protecting the data it receives and processes, and robust information governance and security measures are in place to ensure this.

NRS are working with Research Data Scotland and ADR Scotland, a partnership between Scottish Government and the Scottish Centre for Administrative Data Research, to enhance administrative data access, linkage and innovation in Scotland and enable policy-relevant research for the public good. 

Digital Economy Act Accreditation

NRS is a Digital Economy Act (DEA) Accredited Processing Environment. Information about processing metrics in the environment are available in the NRS Indexing Performance metrics website.


For more information about the NRS Indexing Service, please contact [email protected] 

If you need more information about accessing and linking data for research, please fill in an Initial Enquiry Form in the Research Data Scotland website.


ADR Scotland
Electronic Data Research and Innovation Service (eDRIS)
Research Data Scotland 
Guiding Principles for Data Linkage
Scottish Centre for Administrative Data Research