Microdata is unit record data that contains deidentified and confidential information about individual children. This includes demographic data and AEDC domain scores that have not been anonymised or subjected to statistical disclosure controls that alter unit record information.
While no personal information is released, some of the records provided to researchers will be unique to individuals. To ensure confidentiality is maintained at all times, strict legal and regulatory controls are followed to manage the use and dissemination of AEDC microdata.
Each AEDC Microdata file is customised based on the data elements required to answer a project’s research questions. To minimise the number of unique records in each AEDC Microdata file by, Data Users are encouraged to:
- request only those data elements that are required to directly answer the key research aims or questions
- consider the number of demographic data elements requested and if they are all essential
- determine the most relevant level of geography or spatial disaggregation relevant to the research
Applying for microdata
The AEDC Microdata Application Form contains the data variables available to Data Users. If Data Users have any questions, particularly if a required data variable is not listed, they should contact AEDC Support before completing the application form.
Microdata applications follow this process:
- Applicant contacts AEDC Support to ensure the project is within the scope of acceptable research uses of AEDC, and that AEDC data is suitable to address the aim of the project and any associated research questions.
- Applicant begins to complete the application form. Where necessary, the applicant will be supported throughout the process to ensure all pre-application conditions, such as ethics approvals, are gained or in train prior to a new application being submitted for assessment.
- Applicant submits application for compliance checks and review. Non-compliant applications will be returned for further work.
- Once compliant, an in-depth assessment of the application will be undertaken to ensure it meets the requirements outlined in the AEDC Data Guidelines and identify if any additional information is required
- Subject to the application’s risk assessment, one of the following pathways will apply. If the application is considered:
- ‘Low Risk’ or ‘Medium risk’: Data User will be notified, and application will move to the move to next stage.
- ‘High risk’: Application will be sent to the Department to make a final decision.
- If approved, and once the invoice has been paid, the required customised file(s) are created, quality checked and further assessed for risk and released to the applicant. If the application is not approved at this stage, it will either be returned to the Data User for further work, or it will be declined in full.
- A copy of the Microdata file(s) and supporting documentation will be released to the Data User.