International Access to Sensitive Social and Economic Microdata - P6 BOF session

23 September 2015- BREAKOUT 1 - 11:00

Researcher in social science and economics can make use of a high number of sources of microdata. Such data comes from surveys, administrative processes, production of statistics and many other sources. Microdata on individuals (persons, households and organizations) are crucial for modern research methods; but due to disclosure risk only small portion can be used without restrictions. Legal, organizational, technical and cultural borders make research difficult. This applies in particular for international research projects. A number of initiatives address this problem for the social sciences and economics. Techniques like statistical disclosure control (SDC), secure remote access, safe center networks and user friendly (and secure) research environments will make access to confidential microdata more comfortable and ensure high security measures at the same time. This development will not only open new possibilities for international research, it will also open the door to interdisciplinary research.

Aim of the session

This session will provide an opportunity for RDA participants to examine existing initiatives. Building on that the session can also act as a starting point for exchange and networking between the social sciences and economics and other RDA participants.

Agenda/Potential output

-Inventory of access policies in the social and economic sciences

-Best practice in data protection and recommendations for access to highly confidential microdata

-Contribution to create an integrated model of data access where the best solutions are available, irrespective of national boundaries, yet flexible enough to fit national arrangements

-Discussion of the role of social science and economics in RDA


Contact Person: Thomas Runge