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Frequently asked questions

Your questions about TEDS answered. If you have any questions about the study, please get in touch with us, either by email, or on our Have your say page.

Why are you using paper forms to collect GCSE and A-level results, when other activities are online?

We know that 16 and 18 year olds take a wide range of types of exams, including various vocational qualifications in addition to GCSEs and A-levels. Using paper forms will allow the teenagers to record all types of exam results. This would be more difficult with an on line form, where we would probably have to concentrate just on the most common qualification types.

For many other activities, we have been moving towards on line data collection for several years. This has several advantages, including a reduction in our costs, less impact on the environment through reduced use of paper, and improvements in data accuracy and security.

What will happen to the results of TEDS research studies?

The findings will be published in scientific journals, and also made available on our web site after the completion of the study. As always, information provided by your family will be kept strictly confidential and anonymous.

How secure is the information that we provide?

When you log in to complete on line activities, your details are encrypted so they are securely transmitted over the internet. All the data that you submit are stored safely in a database on a secure server, which is located in the TEDS office. Only authorized TEDS research staff have access to the data.

All the data provided by your family are strictly confidential; your twins are identified only by a number in the study datasets. The data will be kept for a minimum of 10 years after completion of the TEDS study, as recommended by our funding body the Medical Research Council (MRC). The TEDS data are sometimes shared with other researchers, but only after removing identifying information about the participants. We will not pass your family’s information on to any other organisations. You are free to opt out of the study at any stage without giving a reason; data already collected will be stored anonymously, but no further data will be collected.

Do we have to take part?

It is up to you as a family to decide whether or not to take part. If you do take part you are free to withdraw at any time, without giving a reason. Your decision not to take part in this study will not affect your involvement with TEDS in the future.