Research Connections' Role in Archiving Your Data

Preservation:
Research Connections (RC) makes an explicit commitment to preserving digital information. By complying with the Open Archival Information System (OAIS) Reference Model, an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standard, RC employs digital preservation standards and practices that ensure digital content remains readable, meaningful, and understandable into the future.

Processing and Confidentiality Review:
Research Connections cleans and enhances data, including creating versions formatted for the major statistical software packages, standardizing missing data codes, and correcting data in consultation with the data producer(s) when errors are found. Additionally, Research Connections examines data to determine if any special handling or restrictions are required in order to protect human subjects.

Data Description:
The creation of a description or metadata record, as part of the archive's online catalog, is one RC tool for publicizing data. RC tags these descriptions according to our classification scheme and adds other descriptive elements to enhances the ability of users to discover your data. For complex studies, Research Connections creates a user guide to assist new users in working with the data.

Dissemination:
Research Connections employs a resource database and advanced search tools for making data available online. Data are provided in a variety of analysis-ready formats. Additionally, we make the data available in our online analysis system, allowing users to access data and run basic analysis without proprietary statistical software.

Research Connections utilizes multiple techniques for protecting confidential or restricted data, which require specialized user agreements to access. Depending on the level of security required, data can be disseminated by physical media, accessed remotely via virtual data enclave (VDE), or analyzed in our on-site data enclave.

User Support:
Research Connections supports users with technical and data content related inquiries through phone, email, and video tutorials. We respond to all user requests within 48 hours.

Training and Outreach:
Research Connections holds training workshops that allow users to learn about the data from experts, especially from the data production teams themselves. Using our extensive resource database, we create publications on key topics in child care and early education. We conduct webinars and attend conferences to foster connections with researchers, policy makers, administrators, practitioners and the myriad of other professionals involved and interacting in the field.

For a more detailed and graphical explanation on how data are processed, please refer to ICPSR's Data Processing Pipeline.

Contact Research Connections at contact@researchconnections.org for more information about these services or for other ways to customize your data products for dissemination.