1, September 2001
This is the
first of a regular series of newsletters intended to keep local
researchers informed of activities and new initiatives at the Toronto
Region-Statistics Canada Research Data Centre, which will be opening in
just a few weeks on the 7th floor of Robarts Library. We urge all
interested faculty and graduate students to apply now for access, using
the procedures outlined below.
The rest of this
newsletter is written by Tina Hotton, our new Statistics Canada RDC
analyst. Tina will be the first point of contact concerning access to
data, and she will be the person working with us to promote and
facilitate our research in the RDC. If you know of interested
potential users please forward this newsletter at your discretion.
Tina and I are available to visit groups / units/ departments across all
three participating campuses to discuss submission of proposals with
you. Information for contacting one or both of us is given at the end of
Canada data available for analysis
Region-Statistics Canada Research Data Centre (RDC) is one of nine
Centres located in universities across Canada that will provide
researchers easy access to confidential survey data collected by
Statistics Canada. The survey data available will include the
National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY), the National
Population Health Survey (NPHS), the Survey of Labour and Income
Dynamics (SLID) and the longitudinal Youth in Transition Survey
(YITS). Researchers may submit a proposal to access one of these
longitudinal surveys or other Statistics Canada cross-sectional master
survey data available at the RDC different from public-use files
available through your DLI librarian?
The RDC houses
Statistics Canada master files with full survey content (excluding the
names and addresses of respondents). This greatly enhances the
types of analyses that researchers can undertake with Statistics Canada
public-use microdata. Most importantly, access to unique case
identifiers on files enables researchers to merge several cycles of
NLSCY, SLID or NPHS data into a single longitudinal file.
primary mission of the RDC is to make longitudinal surveys available to
researchers in a secure environment, researchers may also submit
proposals to access other cross-sectional Statistics Canada data files,
e.g., the General Social Survey (GSS), the National Graduate Survey
(NGS), and the Labour Force Survey (LFS) to name a few. In
addition, there are variables that are collapsed into broad categories
or suppressed altogether on public-use files to protect the
confidentiality of respondents. The master files that will be made
available at the RDC will not suppress any variables and the original
ranges of values will be available for all variables.
For example, for
those interested in spatial analyses, the availability of geographic
identifiers will be a great resource. In addition, researchers
interested in working with multi-level models will be able to submit
proposals requesting cross-sectional or longitudinal survey data files
linked with geographic indicators from the Census (contextual
information such as the characteristics of enumeration areas, census
tracts or census metropolitan areas – not individual level Census data).
access to Statistics Canada data is possible at the RDCs because it will
operate under the same security provisions as any other Statistics
Canada office. This includes the use of physical access controls,
stand-alone computers and the vetting of output to ensure it complies
with confidentiality policies. The RDC program will work
collaboratively with Data Library Service to ensure that Statistics
Canada survey data is used to the fullest extent possible.
available at the Toronto RDC?
Region-Statistics Canada RDC offers a convenient research environment
for faculty and students at the University of Toronto, York University
and Ryerson University. The RDC will be equipped with state of the
art computers and a wide range of specialized statistical analysis
software. The RDC will be staffed with a full-time Statistics
Canada Analyst, Tina Hotton, who will provide guidance on using the
survey datafiles and ensure the security of the microdata. David
Haans, a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto, will also work at
the RDC on a part-time basis to provide statistical support for users.
access the Toronto Region-Statistics Canada RDC?
To access the
RDC researchers must submit a project proposal to a review committee
operating under the auspices of the Social Sciences and Humanities
Research Council (SSHRC) and Statistics Canada. The process is
done through an on-line application system accessible at (https://webapps.nserc.ca/SSHRC/faces/logon.jsp?lang=en_CA).
normally communicate the committee’s decision within four to eight weeks
of the date of applications. Because of this timeline, researchers
should submit their proposals as soon as possible for research to start
in the fall. Documentation and data dictionaries for the NLSCY,
NPHS and SLID are available at our new RDC web site (http://sites.utoronto.ca/rdchttp://sites.utoronto.ca/rdc) to help you identify
the kinds of variables that will be available on the longitudinal
and opening date
Region-Statistics Canada RDC will be located on the 7th floor of Robarts
Library, University of Toronto (130 St. George Street). The RDC
will open in late September/early October.
If you would
like more information about the RDC or the proposal submission process
please contact either the on-site Statistics Canada Analyst, Tina
Hotton, by e-mail or by phone
(416-978-5968), or Blair Wheaton by phone (416-978-7065). We would
be happy to come to your Department in the fall to meet with faculty and
graduate students to provide more information on opportunities at the
and other documentation, is also available on our website at (http://sites.utoronto.ca/rdc).