Record linkages

The term ‘record linkage’ refers to techniques used to link records from different sources, by finding entries that refer to the same entity (e.g. person) in two or more files. These entries can be combined to form individual micro records.

Synonymous terms include "merge/purge processing", list washing", "data matching", the "object identity problem", “entity resolution", "entity disambiguation", "duplicate detection", "record matching", "instance identification", "deduplication", "coreference resolution", "reference reconciliation" and "database hardening".

Linking records in this way is a particularly important tool for historians, who match individuals’ records from sources such as censuses and parish records, based on their names and other attributes. This process is known as nominal record linkage.

Related methods include: Data modelling.

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