Accessing LSAC data

Ordering LSAC data, Release 6

General advice for researchers wishing to access the LSAC dataset:

  • Researchers affiliated with an organisation which has signed an Organisational Deed of Licence will need to contact their Data Manager and sign a Deed of Confidentiality. Refer to the list of organisations with an Organisational Deed of Licence [PDF 384KB].
  • Researchers from all other organisations must sign a Deed of Licence.
  • Honours students will only be granted access to the dataset under an Organisational Licence.
  • Students who apply for the dataset will only be granted access to the dataset if their supervisor is a user of the same or higher level dataset.

For more information, refer to the fact sheets on the Department of Social Services (DSS) website.

All applicants should read the DSS fact sheets, regardless of whether they have previously read them. A recent change is the requirement for a senior research officer from the same project to have access to the data before research assistants will be granted access to the data.

As with any legal document, all users should carefully read the Deed that they sign and make sure that they fully understand their responsibilities and obligations.

The data is provided as SAS datasets, STATA datasets and SPSS system files datasets on a CD. Full documentation is included.

Further information:

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Ordering through an Organisational Deed of Licence

Under organisational licensing arrangements, organisations sign an Organisational Deed of Licence for access to the LSAC datasets. Individuals within the organisation who require access to the data will sign a shorter Deed of Confidentiality. The Organisational Delegate, the officer responsible for the Deed, nominates a central contact person (a Data Manager) who is responsible for managing the security of the data and regulating access to the data within the organisation. The Data Manager is required to liaise with DSS on data access issues and provide information to the DSS about the use of the datasets within the organisation.

A major advantage of the organisational licensing arrangements is a better assignment of the rights and responsibilities between the organisation and individual users. It also streamlines access to the data as the datasets would be held on site and be paid for up front.

Users at an organisation which has an Organisational Deed of Licence will only be granted access to the data under the organisational licensing arrangements. They will need to contact the Data Manager at their organisation to complete the application form and sign the individual Deed of Confidentiality.

Organisational licensing arrangements are available for both Australian and overseas organisations.

Download the list of Organisational delegates and data managers [PDF, 384.49 KB].

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Frequently Asked Questions for Organisational Deed of Licence

1. Our organisation is considering applying for an organisation licence, can you tell me what we need to do and how much it costs?

You will need to contact DSS to obtain the Organisational Deed of Licence.

An Organisational Delegate will sign an Organisational Deed of Licence on behalf of the organisation. The Organisational Delegate will need to nominate a Data Manager who will be responsible for regulating the security of and access to the data within the organisation.

The Data Manager is also required to liaise with DSS on data access issues and to provide the names of individuals using the dataset to DSS. Individuals within the organisation who require access to the data will then need to sign a shorter Deed of Confidentiality.

A flat fee of $330 (GST inclusive) is charged for each release of survey data. The fee covers all datasets for that survey until the next release is available. The fee is paid to the relevant survey contract manager and will be charged to the organisation when the first application for any of the datasets from that survey is approved by DSS. Once paid, the fee covers all datasets (except for the HILDA-CNEF data, which has a completely separate application process; visit the HILDA survey for more information).

2. I have just been approached with a request for access to the Unconfidentialised dataset. Is this covered by the Organisational Licence? Do we need to apply on separate forms?

There are HILDA and LSAC General Release and Unconfidentialised datasets available to Australian users only. If you are an Australian user, the Unconfidentialised dataset/s is covered by your Organisational Licence. Overseas users may only apply for the General Release datasets through either organisational or individual licensing arrangements.

Applications for the datasets will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Before DSS approves applicants to use the Unconfidentialised datasets, applicants must demonstrate that they:

  • have a need for the dataset, specifically, they must show that the information they require is not available in the General Release dataset
  • can meet the security requirements. Refer to Fact sheets on the DSS website for Security Requirements on page 9 and in Appendix C.

Email the Longitudinal Data Team at DSS to request the Unconfidentialised forms, or if you have further questions.

3. If more than one person will be using the data in our department, does each person fill out an application and sign a Deed of Confidentiality for DSS Longitudinal Surveys?

Yes, each person will need to complete the application and sign the Deed of Confidentiality.

4. Does the Data Manager need to fill in the application and Deed of Confidentiality for DSS Longitudinal Surveys?

The Data Manager will only need to fill in the application and sign the Deed of Confidentiality if they intend to use the data.

5. I am the Data Manager for our organisation and will be taking leave shortly. What do I need to do?

If the Data Manager is on leave, the Organisational Delegate may nominate a substitute person to fill the role. The Organisational Delegate will need to email the Longitudinal Data Team at DSS stating the name of the person to undertake the role of Data Manager and the duration of the period that they will be filling the role.

If an organisation wishes to permanently change the person in the role of Data Manager, the same procedure applies: the Organisational Delegate will email DSS the name and contact details of the new Data Manager, and the date they will start in the role.

The existing permanent Data Manager will need to ensure that the new person filling the role fully understands the responsibilities of the role, by referring them to the Fact sheets on the DSS website.

6. We have an organisational licence. Do we have to pay for the data for each new data release?

Yes, a flat fee of $330 (GST inclusive) is charged for each release of survey data. This applies to both Australian organisations and overseas organisations. Please note that GST is not applicable to overseas organisations. The fee covers all datasets for that survey until the next release is available.

The fee is paid to the relevant Survey Management Contractor and will be charged to the organisation when the first application for any of the datasets from that survey is approved by DSS. Once paid, the fee covers all datasets (except for HILDA-CNEF) from that survey as agreed in the Organisational Deed of Licence.

7. We have just got an organisational licence – when do we have to pay for the dataset/s?

The relevant Survey Management Contractor will bill the organisation when the first application for any of the datasets from that survey is approved by DSS.

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Organisational delegates and data managers

If your organisation is not listed in the file below but you believe your organisation may be interested in signing an Organisational Deed of Licence, please email the Longitudinal Data Team at DSS.

Download the list of Organisational delegates and data managers [PDF, 384.49 KB].

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Ordering data through an Individual Deed of Licence

There are two sets of rules governing applications for the LSAC Release 6 data via an Individual Licence – one set for Australian users, and one for overseas users.

Australian users

You may apply for an Individual Licence if you are:

  • an academic at an Australian University, Institute of Technology or TAFE
  • a researcher or research assistant attached to an Australian university, Institute of Technology or TAFE (note: a research assistant will only be granted access if a senior researcher from the same project also has access to the same or higher level dataset)
  • a Masters or PhD student at an Australian university, Institute of Technology or TAFE (note: both the student and their supervisor must apply and pay for access to the dataset independently. Both the student and their supervisor must be located at the same institution)
  • an employee of an Australian Commonwealth agency (including DSS)
  • an employee of a state/territory agency
  • a researcher within a statutory body whose primary business is research.

Applications by individuals with other statutory bodies will be granted approval on a case-by-case basis.

Other Australian users whose applications will be considered on a case by case basis include:

  • users attached to other organisations (such as private research organisations, lobby groups). Please note: the data will only be released to private (non-academic) institutions if their prime business is research and the data is used for research purposes only.
  • Private consultants. Please note: the data will only be released to private consultants if their prime business is research and the data is used for research purposes only.

Refer to the advice for Individuals on the Access to DSS Longitudinal Datasets page on the DSS website.

Overseas users

You may apply for an Individual Licence if you are:

  • an overseas academic at a university
  • an overseas PhD student at a university. (Please note that access will only be granted in exceptional circumstances and both the student and the supervisor must apply for and pay for access to the same dataset independently. The student and their supervisor must be located at the same university.)
  • An overseas researcher who works at private institutions whose primary business is research, and where the data is used for research purposes (applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis).

Refer to the advice for Overseas Researchers on the Access to DSS Longitudinal Datasets page on the DSS website.

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Geospatial data linkage

Data users may apply via the form below to have geospatial datasets linked to the LSAC dataset. Please email the form to the LSAC team at DSS.

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LSAC data user workshop

Workshops are run by AIFS to assist data users, those considering becoming users, or those who are interested in learning more about LSAC data, to gain confidence in understanding and navigating the datasets.

To register your interest or find out more, contact the LSAC Team at AIFS.

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