Data Products » Restricted Data » Narrative

Overview. Although some HRS datasets are unrestricted, other HRS datasets are restricted, and are available only under specific contractual conditions. This sub-section of the HRS Public Web site is designed to serve researchers who wish to gain access to such restricted datasets.

Preliminary Steps. Having reviewed the What's Available (Restricted) page and selected a dataset of interest (see the Order Form), a researcher who meets eligibility requirements should begin the application process by reviewing the application materials and procedures. If the researcher decides to go forward, s/he should submit an preliminary application package containing a short (1-3 page) research proposal and a data protection plan which must include the Data Protection Plan Checklist. Note: Be sure to submit the Restricted Data Products Order Form and CMS Order Form (if applicable) with your application so that we know what files you are asking for.

When the application is received by HRS, it is logged and scheduled for review by the Case Review Group (CRG). An HRS Project Number is assigned for use in tracking the application as it moves through the approval process. If problems are found with the application, the CRG will contact the researcher and work with him/her to resolve them. Once the application is complete, the CRG will notify the researcher that s/he may submit the application to his/her local Institutional Review Board and/or Contracting Authority for review. Once the researcher obtains approval from the local IRB s/he should submit the signed originals of the institutional approval documents to the HRS.

Final Review. At this point the application is complete and it is forwarded to the full Data Confidentiality Committee (DCC) for review and approval. If approval is granted by the DCC, the Principal Investigator of the HRS will sign the restricted data agreement, and the restricted data product(s) will be sent to the researcher. Once the researcher acknowledges receipt of the product(s), access codes will be forwarded by HRS staff and work can commence.

Post-application Activities. If the institutional or physical circumstances of the Researcher change, (e.g., new persons added to the project, hardware/software changes, or office moves) s/he should contact the HRS in order to modify the underlying agreement. In addition, researchers should be aware that a yearly recertification of the restricted data agreement is required. Also, researchers who wish to continue with analysis of the data after the expiration of the initial agreement will need to submit a renewal request. Finally, all users of HRS restricted data should be aware that they will be periodically audited by a representative of the HRS in order to ensure that all conditions of the Restricted Data Agreement are being met.

Termination. Once the date specified in your contractual agreement for access to HRS restricted data has passed, you are required to return or destroy the original restricted data and all derived data files. If you choose to destroy the data, you must provide a counter-signed statement confirming the destruction of the restricted files.