NACDA Acquisitions Policy

(Updated Oct. 2019)

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The National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging (NACDA) is interested in acquiring datasets that address research issues on the aging lifecourse and gerontological research. NACDA operates within the scope of a U24 cooperative agreement with NIA. 

NACDA prioritizes the curation of Tier 1 studies (see Appendix A) funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA). NACDA also supports and distributes many NIA funded studies listed under the Tier 2 designation. These studies are also seen as important investments of NIA funding and scientific value and represent the next level of curation priority. Collectively, these Tiers represent the main body of research supported by the FACTORS in Aging U24.

We also encourage deposits which are high-priority aging studies funded by other sources, and will review deposits with respect to the following:

Considerations for Prioritizing Non-Tier 1 or Tier 2 NIA Funded Data Collections:

  • Longitudinal data from studies that take place over time, with at least two waves of data collection on the same measurements.
  • Repeated cross-sectional data from studies with similar measures from independent samples collected over multiple waves, with each sample being representative of the population at that time period.
  • Enhancements to current holdings are studies that supplement or link to NACDA’s current holdings that improve the analyses that may be performed with those datasets.
  • Data on minorities from studies that focus on or identify detailed ethnic and racial groups.
  • Data from probability samples from studies that use some form of random selection.
  • International and cross-cultural data from studies in a variety of countries, cultures, and social contexts.
  • Government- or foundation-funded “high-priority” studies that are not actively being distributed from another source, in particular, prospective research projects.
  • NACDA Steering Committee input 

NACDA is happy to discuss research development with investigators and we are interested in all datasets which may extend our understanding of the aging lifecourse. The list below represents types of data which are not considered a high priority: 

  • Data from non-probability samples
  • Experimental and pilot studies
  • Clinical data
  • Data without social science content
  • Data from non-human subjects (animals)

All non-Tier 1 or Tier 2 data collections funded by NIA may be preserved and shared by depositing via the self-publishing Open Aging Repository (NACDA-OAR) option. The NACDA-Open Aging Repository (NACDA-OAR) offers free self-publishing options for gerontological researchers to share their research projects. Data collections published in NACDA-OAR are immediately distributed as-is for research use in the same condition and format submitted by the depositor.

Depositors will be able to make the data available on the NACDA website and discoverable through Google, ICPSR and other search engines. The NACDA-OAR mechanism allows us to share important data quickly with the research community. 

In order to efficiently respond to data deposits, NACDA reserves the right to publish deposits submitted to NACDA through NACDA-OAR. NACDA staff will reach out to depositors and data producers accordingly to collaborate and ensure information is appropriately reflected for any study. 

A study published in NACDA-OAR may later be curated and shared through the main NACDA archive, in order to enhance value to collections with strong research potential to the aging research community.

NACDA Mission

  • Enhance and expand the longitudinal collections and further develop the archive to support behavioral and social science research on healthy aging worldwide.
  • Focus on longitudinal, panel, repeat measure, and linked data while acquiring emerging biomedical data, lifecourse data, harmonized data, and data that are otherwise not readily available.
  • Advise and assist in the archiving and documentation of data and metadata for researchers who are producing longitudinal, repeat-measure and linked data, including guidance in methods that ensure adequate confidentiality review and protection for geospatial data.
  • Enhance services that make the archiving process easier and implement innovative solutions for safe distribution, including the active monitoring of data use.
  • Distribute data and documentation to researchers in a form that will facilitate their efficient and cost-effective use.
  • Facilitate secondary analysis by providing user support, data access, training, and consultation. 

Questions? Email us at

Please visit our deposit pages for more information on preparing your deposit, expectations for released materials, FAQs for depositing with NACDA, depositor checklist, and FAQs for depositing with the NACDA-OAR