Policies and Procedures

NYRDC Operations

All research is conducted in secure laboratories located at Baruch, Cornell and Yale that are operated in partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau’s Center for Economic Studies (CES).

The NYRDC is supported by 13 member institutions and support from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

  • Researchers affiliated with NYRDC consortium members may use the NYRDC labs at no cost.
  • Non-members may access the NYRDC laboratories for a fee.

Skip ahead to:  Facility Information |  Funding and Fees |  Approved Projects |  Project Completion

Facility Information

The NYRDC laboratories provide each project with workspaces, a place to secure research materials, and thin-client workstations to remotely access the restricted-access data.

Available software includes:

  • SAS
  • Stata
  • Gauss
  • PBS Pro
  • R
  • Matlab
  • Sudaan
  • word processing and spreadsheet programs

Please consult with the RDC Administrator at each location if other software is necessary for your project.

Hours of operation:

  • Administrators are typically available to provide computing and research support during normal business hours.
  • Researchers with projects using NCHS data may only access the laboratories when an Administrator is present. Researchers using data from other agencies may access the laboratories 24/7.
  • Contact the RDC Administrators for information on access to the buildings that house each RDC.

NYRDC projects may take place at these locations:

NYRDC (Baruch)
Baruch College – CUNY
135 E 22nd St
Room 801
New York, NY 10010
NYRDC (Cornell)
Cornell University
391 Pine Tree Rd
Ithaca, NY 14850
NYRDC (Yale)
Yale Research Data Center
Yale University
37 Hillhouse Avenue
New Haven, CT 06511

Funding and Fees

  • Researchers who are not affiliated with a NYRDC consortium member may access the NYRDC labs by paying a fee. Contact the NYRDC Executive Director at the location where you would like to conduct the project to discuss fees.
  • The Census Bureau may charge fees for projects that impose special costs on the Census Bureau.

Contact the NYRDC Administrators or Executive Directors for more detailed information about costs, funding, and availability.

Steps for Approved Projects

  • Obtain Special Sworn Status.
    • Background investigation takes 3-4 months.
    • Foreign nationals must have at least 3 years of U.S. residence within the last 5 years.
  • Complete researcher agreements that describe terms and conditions under which the research must be conducted .
  • Provide any needed external data files to the RDC Administrator and CES computing staff .
  • Meet any Human Subjects review board criteria for their home institution.

Disclosure and Confidentiality

All research conducted at the NYRDC falls under Title 13 regulations. Federal law prohibits disclosure of information contained in data prepared by the Bureau of the Census. As a result, research at the NYRDC takes place under conditions that are more restrictive than a typical research environment.

  • Output-printed or otherwise-may not be removed from the NYRDC until it has been cleared for disclosure by the RDC Administrator and CES.
  • For certain projects, output may be subject to additional review by the Census Bureau’s Disclosure Review Board.
  • Each researcher on the project who wishes to see undisclosed output at the NYRDC must obtain Special Sworn Status (SSS).
  • No analysis can be performed outside of the NYRDC laboratories.
  • Outside computing equipment, including laptops, cannot be brought into the lab by researchers.
  • Data may only be used for the approved project.

There are significant limitations on what output may be released in order to maintain confidentiality standards:

  • projects must emphasize output from statistical models
  • intermediate output, including detailed tables of descriptive statistics and regression models based on small sample sizes typically cannot be removed from the RDC

Researchers should keep in mind that:

  • the clearance process for removing data from the RDC may take several weeks
  • coordination with the RDC Administrator on timelines for disclosure analysis in advance of presentations or circulation of papers is strongly recommended
  • co-researchers and graduate advisers may find it more efficient to obtain SSS and visit the RDC to examine preliminary output prior to its being cleared for disclosure

A complete description of the research environment at the RDCs and more details on disclosure and confidentiality are available on the CES web site.

Project Completion

Access to all files ends at midnight on the last day of the project.

  • All data and programs remain in the possession of the Census Bureau.
  • Researchers should provide documentation of all programs developed to conduct the research.

Extensions may be requested in some circumstances, but note that they are rarely granted in the case of projects using Federal Tax Information.

Reactivation of projects is permitted for one month at no charge to complete a reasonable set of revisions for publication, as long as a researcher’s SSS is current.

Researchers are required to provide within 6 months of the end of a project:

  1. a statement describing how the proposed benefits to the Census Bureau were realized
  2. a CES working paper and copies of any papers or publications based on the research
  3. a technical memo detailing the findings that pertain to the Census Bureau benefits

Disclaimers must be included on all researchers’ publications resulting from use of data at the NYRDC; contact the RDC Administrators for the specific language.

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