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National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition

Data Access Policies and Procedures

The following Data Access Policy outlines the steps required for external researchers and institutional researchers who would like to request data collected by the National Resource Center. The data files will be released to Principal Investigators (PI) who meet certain criteria and are approved by the National Resource Center. The Center holds the right to refuse a data request, particularly if the research proposal overlaps with any past or current Center projects.

Data Access Policy

Data Files

The data files have been cleaned and stripped of any identifying data. The data files can be provided in of the following formats: SPSS, STATA, and Excel. In addition, each data file is accompanied by a corresponding codebook.

Data Policy

External researchers and institutional representatives who request data collected by the National Resource Center to conduct their own analyses must submit the following:

Documented Approval from Institutional Review Board

All requests must be accompanied by approval of document(s) from the PI’s institutional review board. If the PI’s review board awards the research project an “exempt status,” documentation must still be provided detailing the approval of exemption.

Provisions for Release

All granted requests for data shall be subject to the following provisions:

  • Released data will include responses from only those schools that gave the National Resource Center permission to share their data.
  • All identifying information (e.g., institution, contact, title, city, state, email, phone, ZIP code) will be removed from the dataset before the National Resource Center releases data to the researcher.
  • Datasets shall be made available as established by the National Resource Center.
  • Data will be used (analyzed and disseminated) only in the manner stipulated in the proposal and accepted by the National Resource Center.
  • Agreements for the Use of Data from the National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition expire 18 months after the date of approval by the Center. Agreements may be extended for an additional 12 months by the National Resource Center with the submission of an updated research proposal and IRB approval for the project.
  • All publications and presentations resulting from these data must explicitly state that the original research using the dataset was conducted by the National Resource Center, and that the current author has been granted special permission to use the dataset for independent research.
  • All publications and presentations resulting from these data must include the following statement: “The analysis and opinions presented in this [report, article, etc.] are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition.”
  • The PI is required to provide the National Resource Center with an electronic copy of any publication or presentation that utilized the data. Moreover, upon acceptance of publication or presentation, it is the responsibility of the PI to update the Center on when and where the data will be showcased.
  • If the PI plans to share any findings that result from the proposed research with the media, they must advise the National Resource Center of their intent to do so. If the PI is contacted by the media, the PI is responsible for informing the Center of such media inquiries.

Note: Research using data collected by the National Resource Center will not be eligible for the Paul P. Fidler Research Grant.

Data Sharing Fees

When external researchers and institutional representatives request data collected by the National Resource Center to conduct their own analyses, Center staff will determine whether a fee will be assessed.

Fees are generally not assessed if:

  • Requestor is a graduate student seeking limited use for a course project, thesis, or dissertation project.
  • The project will generate research data that are useful to the National Resource Center, but is not a project that the Center would conduct itself.
  • Requestor is a representative of an institution that participated in the National Resource Center study of interest who is making a first-time request for the data.
  • Requestor is an individual who requests data for a previously approved National Resource Center-sponsored publication.
  • Requestor is a National Resource Center Advisory Board member or Fellow.

For more information about the fees, please contact the Research Team at the National Resource Center at nrcrsrch@mailbox.sc.edu

Review of Applications

All proposals will be reviewed and approved by the Assistant Director of Research, Grants, and Assessment and the Executive Director of the National Resource Center.

Approval Timeline

Once the National Resource Center approves the data access request, the PI is permitted 18 months to fulfill their research proposal. After 18 months, the PI is required to provide the NRC with a status update documenting the progress of the research. The PI may request an extension of an additional 12 months to fulfill their proposal, but the NRC has the right to terminate the research upon the 18-month review.

When the agreed upon timeline expires, the PI is solely responsible for immediately destroying all electronic data files.


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