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Restricted use data: Obtaining the data
1.How does the geographic information in the public release files differ from the restricted files? 
The public release files, which can be downloaded directly from the PSID website, contain geographic information of a more generalized nature such as region and state of residence. A collapsed version of the Beale rural-urban code is available for some years in the data center, as well as in the supplemental files located here:


These data will meet the needs of most users. Users in need of more specialized geographic information may want to request use of the restricted PSID Geocode Match files. These files include the identification codes necessary to link data from the PSID annual family files to Census data. This linkage allows the addition of information regarding the characteristics of the geographic area in which individuals and families lived (e.g., the neighborhood and/ or the labor market area) to the PSID individual- or family-level data. This should in turn allow investigation of the effects of non-family "context" variables on family and individual outcomes.

In the past, we provided selected variables from the Census in aggregated forms (i.e., Census Extract Files); however, we no longer support these files. In recent years, there has been a rapid growth of external sources that provide an increasing variety of measures of the neighborhood environment.

2.Who may obtain restricted data? 
Individuals who conduct scientific research and hold a full-time, permanent, doctoral-level faculty appointment and obtains the approval of their research and data protection plan through a human subjects institutional review board may request use of restricted data.

3.What application materials need to be submitted to obtain restricted data? 
The following materials must be submitted:

1. Curriculum vitae
2. Research plan
3. Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval
4. Data request form
5. MiCDA acceptable use policy (AUP)
6. VDI-Data security plan
7. Institute for Social Research Confidentiality pledge Confidentiality pledge
8. After approval, a $750 non-refundable administration fee will be collected.

4.How long does the process take to obtain restricted data? 
Once all application materials have been submitted, review by the PSID restricted data committee usually occurs within two weeks. Once the application is approved, the contracts must be signed and submitted along with the non-refundable administrative fee. After these steps have been completed, the data are provided via secure remote access through a Virtual Data Enclave. The average processing time is between one to two months and on rare occasions as long as six months. The vast majority of delays occur as a result of contract language change requests by the requesting institution.

5.May more than one type of restricted data set be requested? 
Yes, more than one type of restricted data may be requested; however, the researcher must document in their research plan the need and purpose for use of more than one type of data set.

6.May the restricted data be used for more than one research project? 
No. Each contract is project specific and is validated through the research plan.

7.May more than one person use the restricted data for their own specific project? 
Multiple investigators may use the restricted data if they are all involved in the same research project and named on the research plan and on the IRB. All investigators must provide a CV, an AUP, DSP and Pledge of Confidentiality and sign the restricted data contract.

8.Can other researchers who are not members of my institution work on my restricted use research project? 
Yes. A PI may include investigators from other institutions who are collaborating on the research project by describing their roles and qualifications in the research plan, and naming them in the IRB. All investigators must provide a CV, an AUP, DSP and Pledge of Confidentiality and sign the restricted data contract.

9.I am a graduate student. May I obtain the PSID restricted data files? 
Graduate students must work with the restricted data under the supervision of a full-time, permanent, doctoral level faculty person at their institution. The faculty advisor is named as the Investigator on the contract and is responsible for ensuring that all confidentiality and security measures are upheld. Should a faculty advisor leave the receiving institution, they are responsible for notifying the PSID of this change. Graduate students must then obtain a new faculty advisor who will be named on the contract until their research project is completed.

10.My research project is quite complex and may take some time to complete. Is there a time limit on a contract? 
Contracts are limited to three years with possible three year extension. IRB update paperwork due annually, as requested by the PSID contract administrator.

11.My role will be an acting faculty advisor to a graduate student. What are my responsibilities as faculty advisor? 
The faculty adviser is named as the Investigator on the contract, and assumes responsibility for everyone on the project accessing the PSID restricted data. They are also responsible for ensuring the contract paperwork is kept current. This includes returning a complete Request for Extension form to the PSID every 180 days while the contract remains active. The faculty adviser must also be responsible for ensuring that security measures are kept in force for all restricted data work, and for seeing that the contract closure occurs once the dissertation has been published.

12.As a faculty advisor, am I able to use my student's restricted data through their contract? 
Multiple contracts for a number of research projects are permissible as long as an individual contract is submitted for each research project. A contract will be processed and established for each research project requested. Each contract has its own paperwork, contract and fee.

13.My institution does not have an IRB. How may we meet this application requirement? 
Your institution may have a Board that approves, monitors, and reviews research in order to protect human subjects from risk and harm. These boards may be known by various names including an Independent Ethics Committee (IEC), Ethical Review Board (ERB),or Research Ethics Board (REB).

If your institution does not have any such group, please contact the help desk for further assistance at psidhelp@umich.edu, as an alternative must be established.

14.Our IRB only responds via email when approval has been obtained. How can we provide the PSID with this information? 
Researchers may forward the email approval to the PSID.

15.Our IRB only grants approval for one year. Since contracts are for three years, how can we fulfill this requirement? 
The researcher is responsible for maintaining active IRB approval during the entire course of the contract and must submit updates or renewals to the PSID.

16.One application requirement is the Curriculum Vita [CV]. Whose CV should be submitted with the application materials? 
Everyone involved in the research project should submit a CV. Graduate students should submit their CV as well as the most recent CV for their faculty advisor.