NACDA Depositor Agreement

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Terms of data deposit and dissemination; ICPSR deposit agreement (Copied from ICPSR deposit system):

For ICPSR to archive and distribute this data collection, we require an electronic signature attesting to the following statements:

  1. I have all rights needed to make this Data Collection publicly available through ICPSR.
  2. I give my permission for the Data Collection to be used by ICPSR for the following purposes, without limitation:
    1. To disseminate copies of the Data Collection in a variety of media formats
    2. To promote and advertise the Data Collection in any publicity (in any form) for ICPSR
    3. To describe, catalog, validate and document the Data Collection
    4. To store, translate, copy or re-format the Data Collection in any way to ensure its future preservation and accessibility
    5. To incorporate metadata or documentation in the Data Collection into public access catalogs.
  3. The depositor permits ICPSR to enhance, transform and/or reorganize the Data Collection, including the data and metadata, for any of the following purposes:
    1. Protect respondent confidentiality
    2. Improve usability.

Data Enhancement and Organization

ICPSR/NACDA may make minor enhancements to any given deposit based on both internal archive standards as well as either federal or cross-national archival standards. Examples of enhancements include renaming variables to ensure compatibility across statistical packages, editing metadata summaries to reflect the data and collection approach, editing the title to ensure consistent discoverability, etc. Examples of transformations for disclosure risk purposes include top-coding value ranges, creating new case identifiers (and possibly removing original), computing duration variables such as exact times or dates. Examples of rearranging include editing the metadata to reflect information across appropriate fields, organizing multiple datasets within a study, and reordering variables within the data files to match provided codebook or questionnaire, as needed. NACDA will communicate with depositors, upon request, to provide information about enhancements and other edits to the data and metadata.

Expectations for Release

  • Metadata – a study description page will be created to enable discoverability. DDI may be marked up using the Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) standard to facilitate variable discoverability and searchability, with exception to expedited releases and restricted content.
  • Downloadable Files – data is routinely converted into multiple file formats to accommodate users of popular statistical software packages.
  • Download Statistics information about study usage is available from the study page; this includes the number of downloads, unique users, sessions, and use by ICPSR member institutions.
  • Related Publications – we link citations to studies where we have confirmed the data represent part of the published analyses; these citations appear as part of the study page.
  • User Support – we provide guidance to users who reach out to us about our holdings; support includes suggestions about studies related to specific topics of interest, general navigation of the site as well as the documentation available for a given study, and help in accessing restricted materials.
  • Long-term preservation – we preserve the long term use of materials by creating a preservation file format, and archive deposited materials in several secure server locations to ensure we maintain our holdings in the event of any emergencies.

Time from Deposit to Dissemination

The amount of time from deposit to the release of the materials varies and is affected by many factors:

  1. The National Institute on Aging (NIA) funds our project; therefore NIA funded research is prioritized.
  2. We typically prioritize longitudinal data with broad research applications. These include large, nationally representative, multi-domain, and panel studies. Studies that do not meet these standards may be identified as a priority by the NACDA Steering Committee if the study offers unique benefits to the research community.
  3. The total number of deposits in our queue and their complexity will impact delivery timelines.
  4. The condition of the deposited materials will impact the delivery timeline; inconsistent data or poor documentation can factor in the assignment of curation work.
  5. Any immediate concerns related to the conversion process will affect delivery timelines, for instance, we may need to rename variables or reformat dates to ensure consistency across software packages.
  6. The size of the deposit (# of variables, # of datasets, # of documents) can affect processing time.

We may reach out to depositors after receiving materials to request additional information and to clarify potential inconsistencies.

Given the need to prioritize Tier 1 longitudinal, NIA-funded projects, the queuing of deposited studies may change, impacting the delivery timeline. Additionally, the assignment of a study to a specific ICPSR Curation Level will affect processing time.

ICPSR Curation Levels

Priorities, the size of the existing queue, and available resources determine the estimated time between deposit and curation assignment. Initially, all deposits undergo a disclosure risk review and consistency review regardless of curation levels. Subsequently, NACDA will choose the appropriate curation level based on NIA priorities and resources.

  • Level 1 (minimal curation; includes metadata, file conversion) - approximately two weeks from assignment within curation
  • Level 2 (moderate curation; includes level 1 actions plus data “cleaning” for variable and value labels) - approximately Eight weeks from assignment within curation
  • Level 3 (intensive curation; include levels 1 and two plus question text or other added value actions like online analysis capabilities) - approximately 9 or more weeks from assignment within curation

Ultimately, we curate all data deposits in a manner that makes them available within the shortest period possible. Some deposits may only take a few weeks from deposit to dissemination; some can take months depending upon size and condition.

Depositors facing time constraints associated with publications, funding, conferences, or a need to have the deposited materials available for a specific event should contact us at We will work with you and help determine the best option with consideration to dissemination and long term preservation.