Use of Restricted Data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health - Department of Sociology, Duke University

In 2008 the Duke Department of Sociology entered into an agreement with the Carolina Population Center at the University of Carolina for use of the restricted data associated with The National Longitudinal Study for Adolescent Health. Jim Moody is the Duke principal investigator on the agreement. Bob Jackson is technical manager for the contract.

Under the terms of the agreement, other affiliates of the Department of Sociology may join the agreement as investigators, thereby gaining access to the data for their research projects. Each use of the data is reviewed and approved by the Carolina Population Center for a fixed period of time. Each researcher must sign a Pledge of Confidentiality, which becomes an amendment to the original agreement.

Technical Requirements

The following provisions are part of the contract.

  1. Data access is provided by means of a drive mapping (Windows terminology) or a mount (Mac terminology) to a specific, Ethernet-connected PC, which must be located on the Duke Campus in a building serviced by Sociology or SSRI IT staff. This is a file server mode of access, as opposed to a computational server mode. The specific PC must contain the software required to perform management and analysis of the data.

  2. Original Add Health data are stored on a secure file server in a read-only RAID storage location. No tape backups are made of these data. The only backups are password-protected copies of files stored on the original CDs provided by UNC.

  3. Users of the data are provided with dedicated directory space on the file server. Users are allowed to perform a mount from the file server to a designated PC workstation located on the Duke Campus. This mount provides access to the read-only, original data and a dedicated directory into which they can write data analysis files. All data extracted and written by the user must be stored on the secure server. Add Health data, including temporary data analysis files or subsets of the data, may not be copied to the user PC workstation, other media such as CDs, DVDs, USB hard drives, memory keys or downloaded to other platforms or machines.

  4. Programs written by the researcher to extract, manage and analyze the data should also be stored on the secure server in a program directory. But copies of programs may also be stored in other locations to provide personal backups and an archival record of data handling and modelling procedures.
  5. The contract requires that each researcher bi-annually in the months of April and October must delete their existing data analysis files. This provision ensures that data from completed projects are destroyed in a timely fashion. If the project is still active, the researcher must still delete files, but is allowed to recreate them using saved versions of their program files. Your programs should be designed in an orderly fashion that allows you to replicate analysis files in 6 month intervals.

  6. No tape backups are made of any Add Health analysis or program files.
  7. Researchers may use locally attached or network printers to print outputs. Each investigator is responsible for handling their own outputs, storing them securely when not in use, and shredding them when no longer needed or at the end of the contract.
  8. At the end of a project, all temporary analysis files will be removed from the server using a secure erase program.


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