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1104.0 - CURF Microdata News, May 2008  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/05/2008   
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Image: Looking through a rolled up piece of paper In this IssueImage: four people looking at camera Step By Step Guide. Version 3 to be released soon
Image: CURF circle logo New CURF releases Image: Person writing Statistical Purpose FAQ
Image: Australia NatStats08 Conference 19-21 November 2008 in Melbourne Image: Lady in office looking at camera Can I share my RADL password or CURFs with other people?
Image: CURF/RADL logoCURF Tool Kits Image: text in a book Got a question regarding CURF Technical Manuals and Information Papers?
Image: Pen siging signature REQ3 form required for new CURF editions



Image: Looking through a rolled up piece of paper In this Issue

The ABS CURF release programme stepped up a gear this month with the release of new editions of three existing CURFs. In all cases these new editions include new information. See the New CURF releases section below for more information.

ABS has released an updated version of the Step by Step Guide to include assistance in writing up your statistical purpose when applying for CURFs. Researchers have asked us to provide more detailed help in this area so as well as updating the Step by Step Guide we have updated our Statistical Purpose FAQ .

This Newsletter also flags further upcoming improvements to the CURF Microdata web pages happening over the next few months. We will welcome your feedback on these changes and will, indeed, be soon seeking input into these developments, as they progress, from representative clients.

We are always looking for ways that we can improve our service to you. We have a number of such developments underway that we anticipate announcing in coming editions of CURF Microdata News. As ever, we warmly welcome your thoughts about how we can help to make your experiences using ABS CURF Microdata more fulfilling.

Grant Mitchell
Acting Director
Microdata Access Strategies

Image: CURF circle logo New CURF releases

Its only May and there have already been several new and highly anticipated CURFs released this year, all of which are listed on our List of Available CURFs web page. As always, the advertised release date is indicative only and may change.

Please note that there has been a change to the release of the Census 2006 Basic and Expanded CURFs, now due for release on 25 August 2008.

You can stay up to date with all 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.


Household Expenditure Survey and Survey of Income and Housing (2003-04) Third Edition, Basic and Expanded CURF. Released 1 May 2008.

This is the third edition of this CURF combining unit record data (microdata) from the Household Expenditure Survey (HES) and the Survey of Income and Housing (SIH). It differs from the second edition only in that new experimental estimates of imputed rent have been added to the household level microdata. These new estimates are derived from the survey microdata in conjunction with other data. This CURF is available free of charge to those with access to the previous edition. An Undertaking form will be required. Please see the REQ3 form required for new CURF editions section below.

For more information about this CURF see Household Expenditure Survey and Survey of Income and Housing - Confidentialised Unit Record Files, Technical Manual, 2003-04 (Third edition) (cat. no. 6540.0.00.001).

Income and Housing Survey (2005-06) Second Edition, Basic and Expanded CURF. Released 1 May 2008.

This is the second edition of the file and includes experimental estimates of imputed rent on the household level file. These new estimates are derived from the survey microdata in conjunction with other data. In addition to incorporating the imputed rent estimates, the second edition corrects some minor errors that were on the first edition of the CURF. This CURF is available free of charge to those with access to the previous edition. An Undertaking form will be required. Please see the REQ3 form required for new CURF editions section below.

For more detail about these revisions, refer to page 4 of Survey of Income and Housing - Confidentialised Unit Record Files, Technical Manual, 2005-06 (Second edition) (cat. no. 6541.0).


Family Characteristics and Transitions (2006-07) Expanded CURF. Released June 2008.

This is an Expanded CURF providing data from the 2006/2007 Family Characteristics Survey. The survey collects statistics on the composition of families and households, especially characteristics of children such as age, sex and step relationships. Some of the issues covered include marital status; labour force status; and visiting arrangements for children with parents living elsewhere. Additional data on various aspects of family transitions and history is also presented for persons aged 18 years and over. New topics include parent's relationship history, experiences of leaving the parental home, registered and de facto marriage history, children ever born and fertility expectations.

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

Image: Australia NatStats08 Conference 19-21 November 2008 in Melbourne

You are invited!

"NatStats08 will give you an opportunity to meet with a wide range of key players involved in the production and use of the official data that informs and shapes a great deal of public and private policy and investment decisions across our nation." Please see the Australian Statistician's invitation at http://www.nss.gov.au/natstats/natstatshome.nsf

Image: CURF/RADL logo CURF Tool Kits

The CURF Microdata web pages will soon be reshaped to include a number of 'CURF Tool Kits', each focussed on helping you to more easily find the CURF information you need. There will a Kit for CURF users, one for Contact Officers, one for Responsible Officers and so on. We hope these Tool Kits will make finding the information a breeze.

For example, the CURF Responsible Officer Tool Kit will lead you to information on the role and responsibilities of someone occupying that position. It will also provide links to the Responsible Officer Undertaking form and to information about annual Renewals and FAQs.

All Tool Kits will be available on a reshaped CURF Microdata Entry page. They are the first of a series of website developments aimed at improving your access to CURF related information and assistance.


Image: Pen siging signature REQ3 form required for new CURF editions

If you are already an approved User for one or more of the following CURFs and you wish to obtain the latest edition, you will need to complete a 'Request For Access To A CURF form' (REQ3) specific to the CURF that you require. These forms have been sent to your CURF Contact Officer to distribute to you.

The CURFs are:


    Housing Expenditure Survey, 2003-04, Second Edition, Basic and Expanded CURF
    Survey of Income and Housing, 2003-04 Second Edition, Basic and Expanded CURF
    Survey of Income and Housing, 2005-06, Basic and Expanded CURF (the Expanded format has special conditions that require separate signing off. You can obtain a Special Conditions sign off form from your CURF Contact Officer)

Once complete, please pass your applications back to your CURF Contact Officer who will forward them to us for processing.

This will involve no additional cost to your organisation if you are already an approved user of these CURFs.

Keep up to date with new CURF releases by viewing the List of Available CURFs.


Image: four people looking at camera Step By Step Guide. Version 3 to be released in June

Managing ABS CURFs: a step by step guide (cat. no. 1406.0.55.004) has been updated.

The new version includes a new flow chart giving you an overview of the steps required to apply for a CURF. This provides a graphical map on how to apply for CURFs and can serve as a checklist – useful even for those who have submitted applications before.

The glossary has also been expanded to cover more terms used in the Guide; 'Steps for CURF Contact Officers' has been made clearer and simpler to follow; and revisions to many sections of text to help increase readability.

The Step By Step Guide will be distributed with all new approved CURF applications, and it is recommended that the new version be downloaded to replace your previous copy.

Once released, Version 3 will be available on the ABS website at Managing ABS Confidentialised Unit Record Files (CURFs): A Step by Step Guide, 2007 (cat. no. 1406.0.55.004).

Image: Lady in office looking at camera Can I share my RADL password with other people?

RADL Passwords must not be shared. Access to CURFs is granted on an individual basis and sharing your unique RADL password breaches the conditions of the Undertaking you signed when applying for access to each CURF.

Breaching these conditions may lead to withdrawal of your and, perhaps, your organisation's access to CURFs.

Everyone accessing a CURF must have signed a relevant Undertaking, even where their use of the microdata is in support of another approved user.

For more information on this matter, please see the Frequently Asked Questions page - Can I share CURFs with other people?

For more information about applying for CURFs see Applying For CURF Access

Image: Person writing Statistical Purpose FAQ

More examples of Statistical Purposes and Outputs are now available to help you prepare your Request for Access to a CURF (REQ1) form.
Clearly expressed Statistical Purposes help the Australian Statistician to ensure ABS CURFs are being used appropriately. This facilitates our approval of your request for access.

Please see 'What is meant by 'Statistical Purpose' on the application forms?'


Image: text in a book Got a question regarding CURF Technical Manuals and Information Papers?

Do you have a question about, or need help using a Technical Manual or Information Paper? If so, please email <microdata.access@abs.gov.au> so that we can put you in contact with the best person to provide the help you need.

We ask that you do this because, although each such publication contains contact information, such contacts change over time. Channelling your CURF related inquiries through our email address helps us help you quickly and efficiently.

If you have any queries regarding other ABS publications or general data queries contact the National Information Referrals Service (NIRS) on 1300 135 070.


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