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Restricted Data

L.A.FANS Restricted Data Version 2.5

L.A.FANS Restricted Data Version 2.5 is a mid-high level of restricted data that includes Census tract and block numbers, the ability to incorporate untreated neighborhood characteristics based on tract or block number, and, when separately requested, access to the L.A.FANS Neighborhood Observations database. Version 2.5 of the Restricted Data also includes the name and code for the schools attended by all children in the L.A.FANS sample as well as variables describing distances between geographic locations (e.g., between home and work).

Eligibility and Requirements

To apply for Version 2.5 of the L.A.FANS Restricted Data, researchers must have permanent faculty appointments or faculty-equivalent research appointments at their institution. "Permanent" is defined as full-time employment throughout the course of the proposed project. Researchers must also be employed by an organization with a current Federal Wide Assurance (FWA) Certificate.

Preliminary Application

Researchers interested in using the L.A.FANS Restricted Data Version 2.5 must first submit a preliminary application including (1) a brief Research Proposal, (2) a detailed Data Protection Plan, and (3) a check to cover administrative and handling costs.

Research Proposal

The Research Proposal shall be no more than two pages long and should include each of the following items:

  1. Specific aims of the project;
  2. Scientific significance of the proposed research;
  3. List of main L.A.FANS variables to be used;
  4. Justification of the need for the Version 2.5 Restricted Data;
  5. An analysis plan; and
  6. A proposed start date and end date for the project (with a project duration of no more than three years).

Data Protection Plan

Researchers must provide a concise but detailed Data Protection Plan as part of their application for L.A.FANS Restricted Data Version 2.5. The Data Protection Plan is an important part of the signed agreement between RAND and the Restricted Data Investigator’s home institution. All members of the research team with access to the Restricted Data are contractually obligated to follow all aspects of the Data Protection Plan.

The fundamental goal of the protections outlined in this plan is to prevent persons who are not signatories to the Restricted Data Use Agreement or the Supplemental Agreement with Research Staff from accessing the data. RAND will not approve the preliminary application if the plan is not written with sufficient specificity, or if RAND does not deem the data protections to be adequate.

The Data Protection Plan applies to the original L.A.FANS Restricted Data files received from RAND (regardless of its format), to any copies made by the research team, and to any new data derived solely or in part from the original L.A.FANS Restricted Data files. The plan also should address how computer output derived from the data (for example, case listings), will be kept secure.

Application Fee

The non-refundable application fee for Version 2.5 is $650. RAND cannot accept payment by credit card.

Checks should be made payable to RAND Corporation and should be mailed to:

L.A.FANS Database
RAND Corporation
1776 Main Street
P.O. Box 2138
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138

A Final Application can only be submitted after the preliminary application has been approved.

Preliminary Application Checklist

Final Application for Restricted Data

If your Preliminary Application for use of the L.A.FANS Restricted Data is approved, you will be asked to submit a Final Application.

Human Subjects Review

If RAND notifies the applicant that their Preliminary Application is satisfactory, the researcher should then submit their preliminary application in its entirety to the Institutional Review Board of the researcher's institution. L.A.FANS has prepared the Memorandum and Certification Form for the Institutional Review Board for Human Subjects (PDF) for the researcher's IRB. The IRB must complete this form indicating that the board has reviewed and approved the Research Proposal and Data Protection Plan that specifically deal with respondent anonymity, data security, and compliance with the Restricted Data Use Agreement.

Institutional Contracting Authority Review and Signature

If the IRB approves the application and completes the form, the final step is signature of Restricted Data Use Agreement (PDF) by the researcher and an official from his/her institution who has authority to sign contracts.

This Restricted Data Use Agreement is a legal document between the Restricted Data Investigator, his/her employer, and RAND. The primary goal of this agreement is to insure that: (a) researchers understand the terms under which they have access to the data, (b) they will protect the security of the data, and (c) they will not try to identify L.A.FANS respondents.

Once signed by all relevant parties, the Agreement and all attachments must be sent as a package to RAND, as described in the Final Application Package section below.

Final Application Package

If RAND approves the application, the next step is for the applicant to submit a final application package that contains the following:

  • A complete copy of the Preliminary Application (including all attachments), with any modifications required by RAND clearly marked in the text.
  • A copy of the RAND notification approving the Preliminary Application.
  • Certification of human subjects review using the RAND IRB Memorandum and/or a notice of approval by the Institutional Review Board of the Restricted Data Investigator's home institution. The certification or notice must indicate that the project and the data safeguarding plan have undergone full IRB review.
  • A completed original of the Restricted Data Use Agreement signed by the researcher and an official authorized to sign contracts on behalf of the researcher's institution of employment.
  • A completed original of the Supplemental Agreement with Research Staff for each member of the research team (other than the Restricted Data Investigator) who will have access to the data.
  • A completed copy of the Final Application Checklist (PDF).

RAND will have full discretion in deciding whether to approve an application for access to Restricted Data. RAND may request additional information from applicants or request changes to the Data Protection Plan. When RAND decides that all requirements are met, a representative from RAND will sign the Restricted Data Use Agreement and return a copy of the fully executed agreement to the applicant along with a copy of the data.

Additional Restricted Data Application Documents