There is a wealth of information circulating about RDCs and issues relating to conducting research in RDCs. Click on the following links below to learn more about RDCs and conducting research in them.
US Census Bureau’s Website for the Center for Economic Studies (CES)
This is the main website for the Census’ RDC Network. It has a wealth of information on every aspect of Research Data Centers. It has so much information in fact it can be a bit overwhelming on first visit. But there are lots of good things available here if you are persistent in poking around in the nooks and crannies of the site. Much of the information on the TXRDC site is distilled from information available at the CES site.
National Center for Health Statistics RDC Website
This is the main website for the NCHS RDC. It has a lot of good information. Much of the information here also is available at the CES website. And the NCHS data sets can be accessed from regular RDCs in the CES-RDC Network. But there are some things on the NCHS site that might be of particular interest to folks who are interested in using NCHS datasets for their projects. Just bear in mind that the rules and guidelines for using the NCHS RDC do not necessarily apply in a Research Data Center (RDC). For example, costs of using the facility that are described at the NCHS site do not apply to RDCs. Each will have its own approach to handling that issue.
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
This is the main website for the AHRQ RDC. It has a lot of good information. Some of the information here also is available at the CES website. But, as with the NCHS site, there also are some things that are useful to folks who are particularly interested in using AHRQ datasets for their projects.
Virtual RDC at Cornell
The Virtual RDC at Cornell provides synthetic data which statistically approximates the data available in a Research Data Center. The value of the Virtual RDC is that it allows researchers to become accustomed to, and prepare for working in, the RDC environment without actually having to physically be in an RDC. It accomplishes this by providing datasets that have been created to simulate the restricted access data of interest, but in a “virtual” form that does not apply to real individuals and therefore can be made available for researchers to access from locations outside of the physical RDC facility.
One of the benefits of the Virtual RDC is that it allows users to write and refine analysis programs outside of the physical RDC facility. Once the programs are “ready for prime time”, they can then be brought to the real (i.e., non-virtual) RDC and run on the actual restricted data. This makes it possible for researchers to do much of their preliminary programming in settings outside of the RDC that may be more convenient. It also allows the RDC itself to be used more efficiently since people do not need to spend as much time in the facility working on preliminary programming tasks.