The heuristic potential of retrospective (backward-looking) and prospective (forward-looking) cohorts lies on the identification of risk and protective factors related to health outcomes as well as the assessment of intra-individual change.

Currently, there are many cohort studies worldwide, which have been and are being established with multiple objectives. The need to integrate this methodological diversity triggered the development of CENSOR.

CENSOR aims to improve the use of epidemiological data by building on existing community-based cohorts and promote knowledge-sharing among researchers at the international level. Specific objectives of CENSOR are to:

  • Map general community-based cohorts and provide relevant information about them
  • Assist standardized reporting on health determinants and outcomes
  • Facilitate cohort networking and collaborative research
  • Promote knowledge exchange and dissemination of results
  • Identify best practices for the establishment and maintenance of efficient and cost-effective cohort studies
  • Contribute to set up an international strategy to improve future health-related data collection