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Restricted Data

L.A.FANS has created four versions of Restricted Data, which are increasing in the number or variables and their detail, as well as in the level of data security that is required.

Only researchers employed by an organization with a current Federal Wide Assurance (FWA) Certificate can apply to use the Restricted Data.

The application process for L.A.FANS Restricted Data covers both Wave 1 and Wave 2. Users who have an existing L.A.FANS-1 Restricted Data contract must submit a request to add the L.A.FANS-2 Restricted Data to their existing contract (see instructions below).

The current L.A.FANS-2 Restricted Data does not contain blood- and saliva-based biomeasures or spirometry measures. The release of those data will be delayed until 2012.

The process for all applications is the same regardless of version and involves the following steps:

  1. The applicant submits a preliminary application to lafansapplications@rand.org.
  2. When L.A.FANS approves the data safeguarding plan and other parts of the preliminary application, the applicant then submits the application package to their home IRB for a full-committee review.
  3. When the home institution IRB reviews and approves the RAND-approved data safeguarding, the Data User Agreement is then signed and submitted to RAND where it is counter-signed. The Restricted Data are then provided to the applicant.

IRB Review Requirements

L.A.FANS and RAND require that applicants submit their application, including the RAND-reviewed and approved data safeguarding plan, to their home institution for a full-committee review regardless of version requested. An expedited or exempt IRB review is not acceptable.

The only exception is if the researcher’s IRB has previously reviewed and approved the exact same data safeguarding plan in the past. For example, if a new application proposes to use a secure enclave that has already been reviewed and approved then a full review is not required and an expedited review will suffice. In this case, however, the applicant must cite in their application the specific application title and the Restricted Data Investigator that provide the precedent on which their request for an expedited IRB review is based.

All applicants are required to have their IRB complete the following form (PDF).

L.A.FANS Restricted Data Version 1

L.A.FANS Restricted Data Version 1 is the lowest level of restricted data. It includes all individual characteristics reported in the household interviews. It also includes variables describing distance between geographic locations (e.g., home and work) and a pseudo tract identification number that links households in the same tract (a randomly-assigned number from 1 to 65 that is not related to the actual census tract number). Users are thus able to estimate multilevel statistical models but cannot link additional community-level data.

Access to these data requires a contract and a processing fee of $150.

L.A.FANS Restricted Data Version 2

L.A.FANS Restricted Data Version 2 is the middle level of restricted data that adds actual census tract number and the ability to link neighborhood characteristics to individual and household data in L.A.FANS. It includes the 1990 census tract numbers which provide an easy link to the data from the decennial censuses and other sources.

Access to these data requires a contract and a processing fee of $650.

L.A.FANS Restricted Data Version 2.5

L.A.FANS Restricted Data Version 2.5 is the mid-high level of restricted data that adds census block number to the individual records, which allows researchers to link neighborhood characteristics at a finer geographic level than census tract. This version also includes the name and identifying code for the schools attended by each child in the sample.

Access to these data requires a contract and a processing fee of $650. Also required are additional data protection steps over and above those required for Version 2.

L.A.FANS Restricted Data Version 3

L.A.FANS Restricted Data Version 3 is the highest level of restricted data that adds geographic coordinates to individual records. It includes the geographic coordinates (latitude and longitude) of addresses for several important locations from respondents' daily lives (e.g., location of home, work, place of worship). It also includes the day of birth for birthdates collected in the survey. Access to these data requires the use of a secure data enclave, a contract, and a processing fee of $650.

Adding Wave 2 Restricted Data to an Existing Contract

Users who have an active Wave 1 Restricted Data Use Agreement can apply to receive the Wave 2 Restricted Data. An amended application will need to be submitted that includes:

  1. A brief justification for the use of the Wave 2 data that is consistent with the approved research plan for the Wave 1 restricted data.
  2. An updated Data Protection Plan (or written assurance that the approved plan remains unchanged).
  3. An updated list of all supplemental data users, with a signed Supplemental User Agreement for any new users.
  4. A list and electronic copies of all publications and documents (e.g., journal articles, manuscripts, reports, book chapters, dissertations, and working papers) and all presentations (e.g., slides or posters) based on the L.A.FANS restricted data (since the beginning of the project or since the previous submission of these materials, if applicable).
  5. Documentation of current full IRB approval (expedited review is acceptable in only limited circumstances—contact the L.A.FANS project by e-mail at lafansapplications@rand.org for details).
  6. An update about the current status of federal funding for the project or center that supports research using Version 3 Restricted Data (federal funding is only a requirement for Version 3 of the L.A.FANS restricted data, not for Versions 1, 2, or 2.5).
  7. Payment of a $250 application fee.

An Addendum (PDF) to the existing Data Use Agreement will be required for all users with a current agreement who would like to obtain the Wave 2 Restricted Data. The addendum will include:

  1. The possibility of unannounced site visits to verify that data users are complying with their data safeguarding plan and the Data Use Agreement.
  2. A requirement for users to submit electronic copies of all publications and documents (e.g., journal articles, manuscripts, reports, book chapters, dissertations, and working papers) and all presentations (e.g., slides or posters) based on the L.A.FANS restricted data as part of their annual review.

The end-date of the user's contract will remain unchanged. However, users who are in their original contract period (i.e., those who have not received an extension or renewal) can apply for a one-time contract extension (for up to one year) or a one-time contract renewal (for up to three years) at the same time as requesting the Wave 2 data. To obtain an extension or renewal, the user must submit a written justification for the extension or renewal along with the other required items described above. Users requesting an extension should submit a completed and signed Extension Request Form (PDF).

If there is a change in the research plan, an entirely new restricted application is required.

L.A.FANS Restricted Data Users Annual Report

An Annual Report is due on the anniversary of your restricted data user agreement. It is submitted electronically to lafansapplications@rand.org and must include the following items:

  1. An updated Research Plan and Data Protection Plan, if there have been changes to either of these plans, or a note stating that there have been no changes;
  2. The most recent annual approval notice from your Institutional Review Board;
  3. An updated list of all project team members that shows individuals who have joined the project as well as those who have left;
  4. A list and electronic copies of all publications and documents using the restricted data including slides or posters from presentations, working papers, dissertations, theses, manuscripts, reports, book chapters, and published or forthcoming journal articles prepared since the beginning of the project or since the previous submission of these materials; and
  5. FOR VERSION 3 RESTRICTED DATA ONLY: An update of the status and details of federal funding to ensure that federal funding is in place for the entire period covered by the agreement.

Continuing or Ending your Restricted Use Agreeement

Researchers and project team members may use the data only for the time period specified on the Restricted Use Data Agreement, or, if no dates are specified, for two years from the effective date of the contract.

Restricted Data Users may extend or renew their agreements to use the data.

Extensions

Restricted Data Users who are up-to-date with their Annual Reports may request an extension of their use of the data for up to one year.

To request an extension, please submit the following items:

  • A written request for continued use of the Restricted Data, including the reasons for the request (maximum length of one page);
  • A completed and signed Extension Request Form (PDF); and
  • A check for $100 to cover administrative costs.

Renewals

Restricted Data Users who would like to continue using the data for more than one year beyond their original contract and are up-to-date with their Annual Reports may request a contract renewal. A single contract renewal can be requested for a period of up to three years.

To request a renewal, please submit the following items:

  • A written request for continued use of the Restricted Data, including the reasons for the request (maximum length of one page);
  • A revised Data Protection Plan (or written assurance that the plan has not changed);
  • A check for $250.00 to cover administrative costs; and
  • A completed Renewal Request Form (PDF).

Only a single extension can be requested. Continued uses of the L.A.FANS Restricted Data would require the submission of a new application.

End of Contract

At the end of the Agreement, Restricted Data Users must return the data to RAND along with an End of Contract (PDF) form.

L.A.FANS Restricted Data Agreements FAQs

Answers to frequently asked questions about L.A.FANS Restricted Data agreements are available here. Contact us for any additional information or for answers to other questions.

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