1104.0 - CURF Microdata News, Dec 2007  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 06/12/2007   
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FeaturesMASS Culture
Image: A Hand writingWhat are your thoughts on CURF
Test Files?
Image: Man using keyboardRADL Discussion Forum
Image: CURF logoNew CURF releases - coming soonImage: BooksHelp ABS publicise your CURF research
Image: Group of PeopleABS Email Notification Service -
Now available for CURF Microdata

MASS MediaMASS Spectrum
Image: A Computer Citing ABS CURFs - made simple Image: People in a rowABS Christmas shutdown - no manual clearance in RADL...


Image: A Hand writing What are your thoughts on CURF Test Files?

The ABS is considering new ways of structuring CURF Test Files in RADL to help users obtain more accurate outcomes from their testing. To assist this process, we will shortly be emailing all CURF users a short on-line feedback form about their usage, if any, of CURF Test Files. Any information you provide, even if it is to say that you do not use test files, will contribute to improving CURF Test Files.

For those who have not yet used them, CURF test files are downloadable files that broadly reflect the same structure as particular CURFs. However, the data in each test file is synthetic and has been randomly generated.

The main use for downloaded test files is that they can be used to develop code to run against the actual CURF on RADL. RADL programs can be run locally against downloaded test files to check for syntax errors prior to submitting the job through the RADL.

CURF test files are currently available for all Basic and Expanded CURFs on RADL. Find them on the CURF Documentation pages within RADL.

If you do not receive a feedback form by email by the end of December, and would like the opportunity to provide comment, please email
<microdata.access@abs.gov.au> and we will send you one to complete.

Image: CURF logo New CURF releases - coming soon

2008 is just around the corner and so is the release of some of our most highly anticipated CURFs. As always, the advertised release date is indicative only and may change.

Stay up to date with CURF releases by visiting our List of Expected CURFs web page or by subscribing to Email Alerts for CURFs through the free ABS Email Notification Service.

Time Use Survey (2006) Basic and Expanded CURF - Indicative release date March 2008

The 2006 Time Use Survey (TUS) was conducted throughout Australia during four collection fortnights during 2006 and obtained information on housing, ethnicity, education, labour force, income, childcare, disability, social capital, household items or services, personal and household use of IT, as well as information on times of primary and secondary activities, who with and for whom, transport used, physical and spatial location, selected technologies used in activity, and selected perceptions data.

The Time Use Survey (2006) CURF is a confidentialised data file consisting of variables from the 2006 Time Use Survey at the unit record level for person, family, and household level records as per previous cycles.

More detailed information will be available in the CURF Technical Manual which will be released along with this CURF.

Multi-Purpose Household Survey (2006-07) Expanded CURF - Indicative release date February 2008

This Expanded CURF from the 2006-2007 Multi-Purpose Household Survey provides statistics on four topics: Barriers and incentives to labour force participation; Retirement and retirement intentions; Adult learning; and Household Use of Information Technology. It will only be available in the Remote Access Data Laboratory.

Users will be able to tabulate, manipulate and analyse data to their individual specifications. Steps to confidentialise the dataset are taken to ensure integrity of data, optimise its content and maintain confidentiality of respondents. They include removing any information that might uniquely identify an individual, reducing the level of detail for some items and collapsing some categories.

The CURF includes metadata files and documentation to enable users to read the data into SAS, SPSS or Stata software. Users can then analyse the data using any method supported by SAS, SPSS or Stata, including cross tabulation and correlative analyses.

More detailed information will be available in the CURF Technical Manual which will be released along with this CURF.

Census 2006 - Census Sample File (2006) Basic & Expanded - Indicative release date March 2008

The 2006 Census Sample File (CSF) is a comprehensive CURF of Census variables, containing a small random sample of private dwellings and associated families and persons; and a small random sample of persons within non-private dwellings. The CSF is produced for statistical modelling and analysis purposes. It has been designed and produced following consultation with past users of HSFs, and other major users of Census data. The structure of the 2006 CSF will be similar in nature to the 2001 Household Sample File (HSF).

Most of the variables available from the 2006 Census are provided on the CSF. However, some classifications, such as birthplace, industry, occupation and qualification have been collapsed to less detailed levels, in order to protect the confidentiality of personal data.

The CSF contains information relating to persons families and dwellings. The person record includes age, sex, birthplace, language, income, occupation, qualifications and labour force characteristics. The family record includes family income and family type. The dwelling record covers topics such as dwelling type and structure, number of bedrooms, housing costs and number of motor vehicles. A Detailed technical information paper is provided with the CSF.

Clients who used the 2001 HSF included universities, commercial clients, State Government users, Commonwealth agencies and the private sector.

Data will be provided for geographic areas which are made up of Statistical Regions or groups of Statistical Regions. Statistical Regions are defined in the publication Statistical Geography: Volume 1 - Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) 2001 (ABS Cat. no. 1216.0).

Both the Basic and Expanded RADL versions of the CSF are available in SAS and SPSS format.

For more information see Census 2006 - Household Sample File (2006) CURF.

Image: Group of People ABS Email Notification Service - Now available for CURF Microdata

As of early September, you can receive email alerts about new CURF releases. You can sign up to receive Notifications for new releases of individual CURFs or you can sign up for the lot - including Alerts for CURFs not previously released.

To subscribe to this free service visit the ABS home page and click on 'Email Notification Service' in the middle of the page.

MASS Media

Image: A Computer Citing ABS CURFs - made simple

Citing CURFs and other ABS products when reporting your research is made easier using the ABS Guide to Citing ABS Sources. Available on the ABS website, the Guide is a one stop citation shop providing researchers with advice to citing various data sources such as ABS printed publications, CURFs and tailored or unpublished data.

The style suggested in the guide is based on the author-date system as outlined in the Style Manual: for Authors, Editors and Printers (Dept of Finance and Administration, 2002.

Universities, educational institutions, corporations and other users of ABS statistics may have their own guidelines for citing resources. The ABS Guide does not intend to supersede those requirements, rather to act as a suggested guide, indicating elements that should be included when citing ABS sources

MASS Culture

Image: Man using keyboard RADL Discussion Forum

The RADL Discussion forum is a great way to start a discussion, share your views or ideas with other RADL users and stay informed about suggestions that have been made and may be implemented into the RADL. All Discussion Topics raised, and the responses to it, are logged in the RADL and can be viewed by other RADL users.

You can raise a new Discussion Topic by selecting 'New Discussion Topic' from the left navigation bar when you log into the RADL.

You can also use the discussion forum as a way to offer suggestions for improvement regarding the RADL or any other aspects of our service. We are always trying to improve our service and appreciate your suggestions.

Image: Books Help ABS publicise your CURF research

Your research using CURFs and the publications that you have released are of great interest to the ABS as they provide feedback on client use of microdata in ways that guide the ongoing improvement of our services. They also help our subject matter areas to plan for future CURF releases.

The ABS website includes a bibliography of publications that have used CURFs and MASS seek out citations annually to add to the growing list of Published Research using CURF Microdata, currently available on the ABS website.

Your research and citations are also of great interest to other researchers and by having these citations listed on the ABS website the exposure to your work can be increased.

You can find the bibliography, listed by CURF, at Published Research using CURF Microdata.

MASS Spectrum

Image: People in a row ABS Christmas shutdown - no manual clearance in RADL...

The ABS will be closed for the period 25 December to 1 January 2008. Clients will continue to receive RADL automatic output clearance but no manual clearance service will be available.

If the lack of availability for manual clearance will cause serious difficulties during this period please do not hesitate to contact the RADL Administrator at <radl@abs.gov.au>