Federal Statistical Research Data Centers are partnerships between federal statistical agencies and leading research institutions. They are secure facilities providing authorized access to restricted-use microdata for statistical purposes only. The Yale Federal Statistical Research Data Center (YFSRDC) is a branch of the New York Research Data Center. Opened June 2015, it is generously funded by the Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics at Yale University, the Department of Economics, and the School of Management. It is located in the heart of the Yale campus, within the Economics Department on Hillhouse Avenue. Yale faculty and graduate students are currently involved in a wide range of research products that make use of Census data.
The RDCs house data from many federal and state agencies and are available to researchers for approved projects. Statistical agencies collaborate with the Census Bureau to provide microdata in the secure RDC environment including:
Individuals wishing to conduct research at the Yale Research Data Center (YRDC) must submit a research proposal to the Center for Economic Studies (CES) at the U.S. Census Bureau. CES accepts proposals for review at any time during the year. Both Census Bureau and external experts on subject matter, datasets and disclosure risk review all proposals. Reviews of each proposal are based on ﬁve major criteria:
Beneﬁt to Census Bureau programs
Clear need for nonpublic data
If all standards are met, a proposal must also pass a review by the Census Bureau’s Oﬀice of Analysis and Executive Support. If approved by the Census Bureau, the proposal may also require approval by the federal agency sponsoring the survey or supplying the administrative data.
Access to the YRDC is restricted to Census Bureau employees or researchers who have Special Sworn Status (SSS) with the Census Bureau. Each researcher must obtain security clearance by undergoing a background check to become a Special Sworn Status employee of the Census Bureau, and must sign and make a sworn statement about preserving the conﬁdentiality of the data. Researchers are not permitted to remove any data or any analysis results from the RDC unless it passes a disclosure avoidance review.
U.S. Census Bureau RDCs
Federal Statistical Research Data Centers (FSRDCs) oﬀer qualiﬁed researchers restricted access to economic and demographic data not otherwise made available publicly by the Census Bureau from its surveys and censuses. The FSRDCs are established through partnerships between the Census Bureau’s Center for Economic Studies and academic and nonproﬁt research organizations.
The data available at FSRDCs are unique in that they will allow examination of research questions not answerable by public microdata or aggregate statistics. They are secure facilities providing authorized access to restricted-use microdata for statistical purposes only.