Accessing Restricted Data Through openICPSR

The sections below provide information on identifying, applying for, and accessing restricted data through openICPSR.

openICPSR projects with restricted data include a “Request Information” button on the study home page. Restricted datasets are unavailable for immediate download. View all openICPSR studies containing restricted data.

To gain access to restricted data, users must click on the “Request Information” button on the project home page and submit their name and email address.

After receiving a request, ICPSR staff will first review the data collection to verify the collection can be re-used for secondary analysis, since openICPSR data are distributed in the exact condition as they arrived from the data depositor. If the data collection is not complete or self-explanatory to allow for re-use, ICPSR will inform the applicant and close the request. Otherwise, ICPSR will proceed with the application process. There may be a wait time between the initial request for information and submitting the full application.

If the data can be made available, ICPSR will process and release the project as a restricted-use ICPSR collection. This can take several weeks or months. Users can then apply for access to those restricted data using the ICPSR Data Access Request System (IDARS), through which applicants agree to follow strict legal and electronic requirements for maintaining data confidentiality. Applicants submit the following completed materials to ICPSR via IDARS:

Investigator information: Includes name, contact information, and institutional affiliation of the principal investigator. In most cases, the principal investigator must have a Ph.D., J.D., or M.D. degree and be affiliated with an academic or research institution.

Research staff information: Includes name, contact information, institutional affiliation, and computer make and model of all research staff members who will access the data. All research staff members must be affiliated with the same institution as the Investigator.

Research description: Applicants will submit a research description which includes a description of the research project that the data will be used for and clear information about why these specific data are being requested. If multiple restricted studies or series are being requested, applicants should explain why each study or series is required.

Confidential Data Security Plan: Applicants will select a confidential data security plan and agree to all terms included therein. The fundamental goals of this plan are to ensure that the restricted data are stored securely and are accessible only to the people listed in the application. ICPSR offers three confidential data security plans for secure download data: External hard drivenon-networked computer, and private-networked computer.

Restricted Data Use Agreement: Applicants must submit a Restricted Data Use Agreement. This is an agreement between the University of Michigan and the investigator’s institution, signed by both the investigator and a legal representative of the investigator’s institution, which specifies the terms of use of the restricted data. View a sample Restricted Data Use Agreement template.

IRB approval or exemption: Applicants must provide documentation of IRB approval or exemption for the proposed research project.

Other requirements: Some restricted data have additional requirements, such as obtaining special certifications or filling out additional forms.

Upon approval, researchers will receive an encrypted file via e-mail which they may download to the secure location specified in the application.

Please also note that as openICPSR is a self-publishing repository, the data will be distributed in the exact condition as it arrived from the data depositor. ICPSR does not check or process the materials associated with these collections.