The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) operates the Research Data Center (RDC) to allow researchers access to restricted-use data. The RDC is responsible for protecting the confidentiality of survey respondents, study subjects, or institutions while providing access to the restricted-use data for statistical purposes. For access to the restricted-use data, researchers must submit a research proposal outlining the need for restricted-use data. The proposal provides a framework for NCHS to identify potential disclosure risks and how the data will be used. The data research results (analysis) will be reviewed by the RDC staff. Upon approval, the researchers can leave with their analysis but the data stays in RDC.
Why do you want to use restricted data instead of using public use data?
Below is the summary steps of requesting the RDA data. Please consult Accessing Restricted Data for detailed information.
Step 1: Discuss your approval, merge, and fees with your RDC Analyst. Create a public-use/non-NCHS data file and email to your RDC Analyst.
Step 2: Review the Disclosure Review Manual and disclosure review procedures. Submit the Confidentiality Orientation Certificate and Designated Agent Forms. Link to the Confidentiality and Disclosure information.
Step 3: Your RDC analyst will create your analytic data file once we have received your public-use/non-NCHS file and payment.
Step 4: Review the rules for your access mode.
Step 5: Conduct analysis and submit output for review.
Step 6: Update proposal for amendment or project extension.
Step 7: Send your manuscript to your RDC Analyst for review before submitting for publication. Finally, send your publication for the RDC user publications.
A researcher can visit the RDC sites or access by the remote system called ANDRE.
If you are planning to use restricted data, you will be benefited from reviewing how other researchers used the similar data for secondary analysis. Check out the RDC User Publications page to quickly view the publications. Here are some examples:
From National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
From National Health Interview Survey
From State adn Local Area Integrated Telephone Survey
From NCHS Data Linkage