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Secure Remote Access to Statistical Microdata

Presenter 1
Tim Mulcahy

A great deal of attention has recently been paid to promoting researcher access to statistical microdata. In this paper, we describe the NORC Data Enclave which offers a secure mechanism for data custodians (e.g., Federal statistical agencies, foundations, etc.) to provide approved researchers access to sensitive business microdata. The enclave offers two modes of access: remote and onsite. We will highlight several innovative features of the enclave. First, the Data Enclave uses a portfolio approach to provide access, whereby physical and logical security technologies are combined with statistical, educational, legal and organizational features to protect confidentiality. Second, the Data Enclave provides a platform for collaboration for geographically dispersed researchers working on an approved research project. Third, data custodians can become directly engaged with researchers in producing and providing DDI compliant metadata documentation by means of blogs and wikis during the research process. The environment extends to providing access to Stata and SAS code to promote replication of research. Finally, researchers can work with data custodians and other researchers to add new data through linkages and addition of new datasets to further build a rich, community-based database infrastructure.

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