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On Site at an NCHS RDC

Statistical Software

Before Your Visit

When You Arrive

Rules While On Site

The National Center for Health Statistics manages several RDC sites:

  • Hyattsville, MD (DC-metropolitan area) at NCHS headquarters
  • Atlanta, GA at the Century Center Campus at CDC
  • Washington, DC at the Department of Health and Human Services headquarters

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Statistical Software

The NCHS RDC workstations are equipped with:

  • SAS
  • Stata
  • Sudaan

If you would like to use a different software product, consult with your RDC analyst.

Before Your Visit

  1. Schedule your appointment: Researchers must work under the supervision of an RDC Analyst during normal business hours. The further in advance you schedule your appointment, the more likely we will be able to accommodate your request. A maximum of three collaborating researchers can sit at a computer workstation at the same time.
  2. Confirm with your RDC Analyst that you will be able to access the building. Non-U.S. citizen researchers must complete additional paperwork. Please contact your RDC Analyst for details. Make sure you have directions, information on parking, and any other logistical information you may need.
  3. Email your statistical programming code and reference documentation (codebooks, statistical reference materials, etc.) to your RDC Analyst before your visit to the NCHS RDC. The RDC Analyst will review the documents and upload them to the workstation.
  4. It is important to keep in mind that the RDC computers do not have access to the Internet, so you will need to bring all resources with you. Also, there is no wireless network anywhere in the RDC or in the government buildings where the NCHS RDCs are located. Please plan ahead to email your programs/documentation to your RDC staff member in advance of your visit. Email is the only method of transfer: we do not allow flash drives in the RDC.

When You Arrive

Hyattsville, MD

  • You will need to show a picture ID to the guards to enter the building. You will walk through a metal detector, and send anything you are carrying through an x-ray detector.
  • Next, you need to sign in at the guard's desk, and receive a temporary ID pass.
  • The guard will phone your RDC Analyst, who will come down to escort you to the RDC.

Atlanta, GA

  • Ring the doorbell for access to the Building 2500
  • Show ID and sign in with the guard to receive a visitor pass
  • The guard will contact the RDC from the front desk
  • Visits exceeding 5 days in a 90-day period may require additional paperwork. Please let your RDC Analyst know if this is a possibility

Washington, DC

  • Federal government employees only.
  • You will need to show a government ID to the guards to enter the building. You will not be able to access this building if you do not have a government issued badge.
  • Lab hours: Wednesdays 9-5, all other days are by appointment only.

Rules While On Site

When you come on site to one of the NCHS RDCs, you will need to follow the rules that have been developed to decrease the likelihood of a disclosure.

  1. RDC Analysts will merge the approved confidential variables to the public-use data and other data sources (if applicable).
  2. If you have approval for multiple research projects, you are only allowed to work on one at a time. The RDC lab computers are designed for one project to be worked on at a time. Do not attempt to access multiple projects or data from multiple projects at the same time.
  3. Absolutely NO individual level data will leave the RDC facilities
  4. The RDC reserves the right to search all materials brought into the facility and all those leaving the facility.
  5. Cell phones, pagers, laptops, or other communication devices are not permitted in the RDC.
  6. RDC computers do not provide access to the local network, the mainframe, or the Internet.
  7. You may derive variables from the data set provided to create new variables, but you cannot introduce new data using their statistical code. Do NOT attempt to put any content in your code that would facilitate re-identification of a subject/establishment. This is considered a disclosure violation and will result in the cessation of the project and possible legal actions.
  8. You are not allowed to bring items into the RDC that may enable you to identify individuals and/or establishments (e.g. a national hospital directory, information from voter registration).
  9. All output and all notes written in the RDC are subject to disclosure review by RDC Analysts before removal from the RDC.
  10. If you would like your updated code after your visit, please ask your RDC Analyst to review the code. If approved, the RDC Analyst will email the programs to you.
  11. Before requesting that your output be reviewed, you must first have reviewed it yourself for potential disclosure concerns and unnecessary information.
  12. Submit your output in a human-readable plain text file (i.e., .lst files from SAS, files that can be opened and that are readable in notepad such as tab delimited text .txt files or comma-separated values .csv files). Release of additional formats for output is at the discretion of the RDC Analyst. We strongly encourage you to populate the actual tables that will appear in your publication and submit those for review.

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