About the Health and Medical Care Archive
Content and Goals
The Health and Medical Care Archive (HMCA) is the data archive of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), the largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and health care in the United States. Operated by the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) at the University of Michigan, HMCA preserves and disseminates data collected by selected research projects funded by the Foundation and facilitates secondary analyses of the data. The data collections in HMCA include surveys of health care professionals and organizations, investigations of access to medical care, surveys on substance abuse, and evaluations of innovative programs for the delivery of health care. Our goal is to increase understanding of health and health care in the United States through secondary analysis of RWJF-supported data collections.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation requires many of the research projects that it funds to deposit their data with HMCA. In collaboration with HMCA, the timely submission of these data collections is closely monitored by the Foundation. HMCA provides consultation, by telephone and written communication, to Foundation grantees on the preparation of their data collections in a manner optimal for secondary analysis. To this end, grantees also receive ICPSR's Guide to Social Science Data Preparation and Archiving (PDF 2MB), which was produced with generous support from the Foundation. The preferred data formats for submissions to HMCA are ASCII, SAS, SPSS, and Stata files. Grantees should use the ICPSR Electronic Data Deposit Form to securely upload files via their Web browser.
Data Processing Activities
ICPSR staff prepare metadata and execute other processing functions that ensure respondent anonymity and the integrity, usability, and preservation of each data collection. Data files are usually released in the original data formats provided by the principal investigators, together with any submitted setup files, and original technical documentation is scanned, edited, and augmented as needed. If data files are not submitted in ASCII format, HMCA generates ASCII versions of the files. In addition, HMCA staff generate univariate frequencies and prepare SAS, SPSS, and/or Stata setups for many collections. Moreover, HMCA is retrofitting some previously released HMCA collections with the full ICPSR suite of setups and data formats. The full suite comprises SAS, SPSS, and Stata setups and five data formats: SAS, SPSS, Stata, column-delimited ASCII, and tab-delimited ASCII.
Dissemination and Preservation
HMCA distributes the processed data collections to the research community and provides technical support to users of the data. ICPSR is committed to preserving the archival holdings of HMCA in perpetuity.