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Wallace Hall Princeton University   nis@opr.princeton.edu      

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NIS Restricted Data Access Policy

Identification of respondents is a major concern for NIS and other surveys that collect detailed individual data. No direct identifiers, such as respondent names and addresses, will ever be released. However, through indirect identification procedures, also known as re-identification or deductive disclosure, it may be possible to determine a respondent’s identity by using combinations of individual characteristics, geographic location, and visa information. The problem is particularly acute in NIS because its sampling frame consists of known electronic administrative records compiled for immigrants by the U.S. government. The NIS data access policy is designed to minimize the likelihood of indirect identification of respondents while making the maximum amount of data available to the research community.

Access to the Versions 1 and 2 of the NIS Restricted Data Files Round 1 and 2 is limited to researchers who can substantiate a need for additional variables that are not in the Public Use Data and who agree to the terms and conditions contained in the Restricted Data Use License. Only faculty and research personnel at institutions which have an Institutional Review Board or Human Subjects Review Committee are eligible to receive Restricted Data Files. The Institution’s IRB must be registered with the U.S. Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) or the National Institute of Health (NIH). NIS Restricted data should not be used, under any circumstances, for the purpose of archiving or distribution to others.

University students may gain access to the Restricted Data for dissertation research only if a faculty advisor serves as the Investigator and completes the application process. The faculty advisor must be a PI of a federally-funded grant or must work within a federally-funded research center where the student is currently enrolled, in which the Center Director agrees to take responsibility for data protection. The faculty advisor and institution bear full responsibility for ensuring that all conditions of the license are met by the student. The student must also sign the Supplemental Agreement with Research Staff form.

There are two versions of the NIS Restricted Data that differ in the amount and detail of confidential information they include. A summary description of these two versions and the Public Use Data is provided in the following table:

Procedural Requirements for Versions of NIS Data
Procedural Requirements
Public Use Data
Restricted Data V.1
Restricted Data V.2
On-line User Agreement
Yes
-
-
Abstract and Justification
-
Yes
Yes
Institutional Review Board Approval
-
Yes
Yes
Data Protection Plan
-
Yes
Yes
Processing Fee
-
Yes
Yes
Licensing Agreements
-
Yes
Yes
Supplemental Research Agreement
-
Yes
Yes
Curriculum Vitae
-
Yes
Yes
Human Participants Protection Education for Research Teams Certificate
-
Yes
Yes
Secure Date Enclave
-
-
Yes
Federally Funded Grant or Center
-
-
Yes

 

Requirements for NIS Restricted Data Version 1 and Version 2

To be given access to the Restricted Data Files, users must submit TWO copies of the following items to NIS:

  1. An Extended Abstract describing the proposed project and what it seeks to accomplish, along with a one-paragraph justification for why access to the Restricted Data File is needed rather than Public Use Data.

  2. A Restricted Data Protection Plan, detailing how files will be protected while they are being used, being stored on computer, and after findings are published.

  3. Written assurance by the researcher that his/her institution has an Institutional Review Board (IRB) for Human Subjects which has a Multiple Project Assurance (MPA) or Federal-wide Assurance (FWA) from NIH. The MPA or FWA number must be submitted with the application.

  4. Proof of IRB Approval. The applicant’s institutional review board must approve both the final research plan (extended abstract) and the final data protection plan.

  5. An application fee of $50 for Version 1 and $500 for Version 2 (payable by check, purchase order or money order to Princeton University). Please note that the fee is non-refundable under any circumstances after Restricted Data Files have been received.

  6. A signed Restricted Data Agreement by the Principal Investigator.

  7. A signed Restricted Data Agreement by a senior university official who binds the university/institution. This refers to an individual who has the authority to represent your organization in agreements of this sort, such as a Vice President, Dean, Provost, Center Director, or similar official.

  8. A signed Supplemental Research agreement with Research Staff for each person who will have access to the data.

  9. A curriculum vitae for each person who will be accessing the information.

  10. A copy of the Human Participants Protection Education for Research Teams completion certificate from NIH for all research staff who will access the contract data. The online certification can be completed at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/hs/training.htm Proof of equivalent training is also acceptable.

    Please note: If co-investigators are from different institutions, you will need separate Contract Data Use Licenses for each institution.


Additional Requirements for NIS Restricted Data Version 2

Researchers who submit TWO copies of the above items and are Principal Investigators (PIs) of a federally-funded research project, or researchers working in a federally-funded research center may apply to receive Restricted Data Version 2. If researchers work in a federally-funded research center but are not PIs, the Director of the center must agree to take responsibility for data protection and must co-sign the Restricted Data Use Agreement. Both of them, Data Investigator and Center Director are responsible for compliance with the agreement.

NIS Restricted Data Version 2 must be used in a secure data enclave. This secure data enclave will be a physical enclave set (physical location of the enclave). The Secure Data Enclave must implement a complete set of physical and computer security measures. Researchers should propose to set up a physical enclave, with a dedicated computer (and printer, if needed) that is not connected to any type of network (LAN or otherwise) and that is kept in a locked room with limited access.

References for developing acceptable data protection plans in a secure data enclave are contained in the Description of Parameters for Data Protection Plan, page 23 in the NIS Restricted Data Agreement.


Please see the Restricted Data Agreement for instructions and necessary paperwork.

If you have any questions about this process, you can email nisopr@princeton.edu.


 
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