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Data Services Knowledge Base

Q:  

I want to apply for the restricted version of PSID data (geocode). Can you clarify what sort of secure environment PSID requires.

A:  

PSID requires a stand-alone PC in a locked office (not cubicle). Typically, the way we do this is to buy a CPU and use the keyboard/monitor of the networked office PC – using a switch to go between the two CPUs. That saves on the cost of the stand-alone as monitors can cost as much as a CPU. However, in some cases we buy a complete PC (CPU, monitor, keyboard). It depends on the preference of the researcher/size of office, etc. We add the statistical package to the stand-alone at no cost to the researcher.

The sort of language we use in describing the stand-alone environment is below:

http://www.psc.isr.umich.edu/dis/data/kb/downloads/t1089_PSID.pdf

PSID does not require all of these features – in particular the “precautions to avoid illicit behavior.” Thus, the USB port does not have to be disabled nor does the BIOS have to be password-protected. These features prevent the user from copying data to a flash drive and/or someone coming in and bypassing the login requirements.

The application process for getting access to the PSID data is to first get IRB approval for your project. Once you have that, you send in your application. The application requires minimal information:

Abstract
Justification for why the public-use data won’t work
Description of secure environment

Here’s a link to the FAQ on how to get access to the PSID restricted data from the PSID website (Question 42):

http://psidonline.isr.umich.edu/Guide/FAQ.aspx#350

Once you send a request to PSID, they will send you the application materials.

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