While the Secure Data Facility provides a space that meets many of the security requirements for accessing restricted-use data, it is the researcher's responsibility to complete their own applications and agree to licensing terms for using restricted data. This will typically involve having an IRB-approved research project with a data management plan that addresses security and confidentiality issues.
The Data Librarian, Ryan Womack, can assist researchers on the data security plan portion of applications for restricted-use data, and will work with approved researchers to store and load data onto the Secure Data Facility PC. The Data Librarian and other Computing Staff of the Libraries will also co-sign any agreements necessary for the handling and loading of restricted data.
It is the researcher's responsibility to monitor the output from their research to ensure that no human subjects are identifiable. The Libraries will not engage in this monitoring or scrubbing of output from personally identifable information.
Restricted-use data is an increasingly common feature of the research data environment. In order to answer more complex research questions, researchers must avail themselves of more fine-grained and complete data sets. Fine-grained and complete data about individuals, however, is often equivalent to personally identifiable and confidential information. In order for researchers to work with this kind of data without violating the privacy of human subjects, special procedures and facilities are necessary.
The Secure Data Facility in Alexander Library allows researchers to access this kind of sensitive data, and saves individual researchers the duplicated effort of attempting to build their own secure data enclaves from scratch for each research project. This facility can also be used to deliver data that may not necessarily be confidential, but is administered under restrictive licensing terms. For example, a dataset that requires each user to sign and submit a license agreement could be hosted in the Secure Data Facility.
The capacity of the Secure Data Facility is limited to four active projects at a time. You must be approved by the Data Librarian to use the Facility. Typically, secure data projects will require Rutgers IRB approval in addition to the process for obtaining data from the granting agency.
One, non-networked PC in a locked room in Alexander Library is equipped with statistical software, including SAS, SPSS, and Stata, along with common office applications. Access to the room is restricted to authorized users who have completed all procedures necessary to use the restricted data resources which will be loaded onto the PC in response to researcher requests. Access is limited to previously reserved times.
This PC meets the computer security standards for access to restricted-use data collections such as those from the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES), and the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health).
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