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Research Data Center (RDC)

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RDC On Site Access

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The NCHS Research Data Center (RDC), located at the NCHS headquarters in Hyattsville, Maryland, allows researchers meeting certain qualifications, and under strict supervision, to access confidential data.

Visiting NCHS

Please see our tips for visiting NCHS to make the best of your visit. To visit the RDC, researchers must work under the supervision of the RDC staff during normal working hours
(Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m.– 5:00 p.m.).



Guest Researchers can use the RDC facility to securely analyze approved data using Windows workstations provided with SAS, SUDAAN, and Stata. Additional programming or analytic languages can be added as needed.


Data confidentiality

Prior to RDC access, researchers must:

  1. Complete the Application Process
  2. Read the Requirements for Using the Onsite Facilities
  3. Read and follow the provisions of the NCHS Manual on Confidentiality
  4. Complete and sign the Designated Agent form Click to open pdf file 22 KB. Note: This form must be notarized before you arrive at NCHS.
  5. If you are not a U.S. citizen, you will need to register with the Visitor Management System Click to open pdf file 27 KB at least 15 workdays before your visit.
  6. When you arrive, you will also need to fill out two more confidentiality forms: "Agreement Regarding Conditions of Access" Click to open pdf file 19 KB and "Researcher Affidavit of Confidentiality." Click to open pdf file 19 KB
  7. Please note: The RDC reserves the right to terminate any project at any time that it deems that an investigator's actions will compromise confidentiality or ethical standards of behavior in a research environment.


  1. Please pay the invoice we send you. You can pay with an institutional check, a personal check, a money order, or an Interagency Agreement. We do not accept Purchase Orders or credit cards.
  2. Please include your Social Security Number on any personal check.
  3. For an institutional check, ask your institution to put the Employer Identification Number (EIN) and your name on the comment line so that we can link your payment with our invoice.

Rigorous security standards

To maintain the highest level of security and fully protect confidentiality, the RDC developed the following security standards for onsite access:


RDC computers

  • Do not provide access to the NCHS network, the CDC/NCHS mainframe, or the Internet,
  • Users may not remove data or information from workstations,
  • Users only have read-only access to requested data files and can write only to the local workstation's hard disk.


Researchers may take the results of their analyses off-site only after disclosure review by NCHS RDC staff. Disclosure review consists of looking for tabular cells less than five, tables with geographic variables in any dimension, models with geographic variables (or variables tantamount to geographic variables) as outcome variables, or case listings. In general, disclosure review is consistent with the guidelines published in the NCHS Staff Manual on Confidentiality (see Requirements for Using the Onsite Facilities for more information).



Page Last Modified: December 15, 2008




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