On site at a Census RDC
The Census Bureau and the National Center for Health Statistics have agreed to make most NCHS restricted data available to approved researchers through the Census Research Data Center network. Researchers interested in accessing NCHS data through a Census RDC must submit their proposals directly to NCHS following the RDC Proposal Process and additional procedures if approved. You will not have to submit a separate proposal to the Census Bureau RDC, but in addition to all NCHS requirements you will also be required to follow all requirements that the Census Bureau imposes to protect the security and confidentiality of the data. NHANES genetic data cannot be accessed at a Census RDC.
During the process, you will interact with your assigned NCHS RDC Analyst as well as the Census RDC Administrator.
The US Census Bureau manages over a dozen sites throughout the United States:
- Submit proposal to NCHS (review takes 6-8 weeks)
- If approved, begin the Census security requirements (this process takes 4-6 weeks)
- Simultaneously, begin the next steps associated with approved NCHS projects
- When you receive your Census badge and ADRF, inform your RDC Analyst
- If all the next steps are completed, the RDC Analyst will upload your data to Census and you can begin working
- Output review can take up to 3 weeks
It is important to remember the NCHS RDC Analyst and Census RDC Administrators are counter parts. Each one has their own roles and responsibilities.
- Facilitates review of your proposal
- Creates your analytic data set
- Accepts the set up fee payment
- Accepts your NCHS Confidentiality requirements
- Transfers your dataset to Census
- Reviews your output for disclosure risk
- At any time, if you have questions, please contact your NCHS RDC Analyst.
- Answer logistical questions about the Census RDC
- Ensure you have completed all the Census Bureau Security requirements
- Transfers your output to NCHS
Several steps need to occur before you can begin your work:
- To work in a Census RDC you must become an NCHS Designated Agent and have Special Sworn Status (SSS) from Census. Contact your Census RDC Administrator for information about obtaining Special Sworn Status.
- Your merged data set needs to be transferred to Census. Once your SSS is approved and your Census account is created, your RDC Analyst will transfer your data. It is important to keep your RDC Analyst aware of where you are in the process.
- Please contact your Census RDC Administrator to schedule your time in the lab. You are only authorized to use the lab when a Census RDC Administrator or Designee is present.
While working at a Census RDC you are subject to all the same rules and restrictions as NCHS on site users in addition to following rules:
- If you have approval for multiple research projects, you are only allowed to work on one at a time. Do not attempt to access multiple projects or data from multiple projects at the same time.
- Before requesting that your output be reviewed, you must first have reviewed it yourself for potential disclosure concerns and unnecessary information.
- You must send your RDC Analyst an email requesting output review. With your request, please provide a description about the output you submitted and its purpose in you research. Please allow three weeks to receive your approved output.
- 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.