Restricted-Use Data

Restricted-Use data are licensed datasets containing information typically held to higher information security standards to prevent unauthorized disclosure. Some common minimum security requirements for Restricted-Use data include its use and storage only at a licensed project office; restricted access to the secure project office for approved license users only; limited data access to users with an affidavit for the data provider or organization on file; and the use of data only on a stand-alone, non-networked desktop computer.

NCES/IES Restricted-Use Data

When Institute of Education Sciences (IES) through its National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) conducts surveys, the data collected sometimes includes individually identifiable information or High Risk Confidential Information (HRCI), which is protected by law. Restricted-Use data is the term for survey data that contains individually identifiable information/HRCI, and only Restricted-Use data are Licensed (public-use data are not Licensed). NCES/IES offers these data Licenses as a mechanism for making more detailed data available to qualified researchers. The various data sets available can be found here.

NCES/IES Restricted-Use data Licenses impose significant restrictions on who can have a License, who can access the data, and where and how the data can be housed. Those researchers looking to utilize Restricted-Use datasets from NCES/IES are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the pre-approved, shared NCES/IES Restricted-Use Secure Data Room (SDR) located in Room 307 of Gutman Library, dedicated exclusively for NCES/IES Restricted-Use research.

While those researchers looking to apply for or use NCES/IES Restricted-Use data are not required to use the SDR as their designated secure data room, please be aware that substantial prior preparation is key to being approved for a new NCES/IES Restricted-Use data License at HGSE, as space and technology require planning. It is important to note that all information security requirements (secure data room, stand-alone desktop computer, signed affidavits, etc.) must be in place before NCES/IES will consider granting a researcher a NCES/IES Restricted-Use data License.

A few examples of restrictions to consider:

1.) NCES/IES Restricted-Use data can only be stored and used on a stand-alone, non-networked, password-protected, desktop computer.

2.) The stand-alone desktop computer must be housed in a locked, secure data room. Please be aware that this secure data space would need to be suggested by the researcher and reviewed/approved as feasible and secure by HGSE's Director of Security Operations (DSO) and HGSE's Operations Department (timeframe averages anywhere between 1-4 months). While some HGSE faculty members may have a preferred office space available they'd like converted into a secure data room exclusively for their/their students' use, often, no availability exists.

3.) Access to the secure data room and data is limited to those who have submitted a signed, notarized affidavit of nondisclosure.

4.) Only seven individuals with signed affidavits are allowed access to the data on a single NCES/IES Restricted-Use data license at any given time.

Researchers looking for more information on applying for or amending an NCES/IES Restricted-Use data License should review information contained here: https://its.gse.harvard.edu/information-security/research/secure-data-rooms/sdr.

Other Restricted-Use Data

Coming soon!