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Note 31/03/2009: This product has been edited on 31 March 2009 to provide greater clarity on the Census Table Builder product.
In this Issue
2009 promises to be an exciting year for our CURF clients. Not only will a number of key files be released - including the National Health Survey CURF and the Business Longitudinal Database, but Census Table Builder will also be released mid year. Read more about releases in the New CURF releases article below, and on the List of Expected CURFs ABS web page.
We are also delighted to announce that universities now have unprecedented access to statistics through the new Universities Australia/ABS Agreement. As well as access to Basic CURFs on CD-ROM, and Basic and Expanded CURFs in RADL, participating universities may now access the ABS on-site Data Laboratory. The Data Lab is a great solution for researchers who want a more responsive and interactive environment than that offered by the RADL. Another important change is that for the first time, the Agreement permits access to CURFs for a range of commercial uses. See What's new in the ABS/Universities Australia Agreement below.
Finally, the ABS will progressively move to an on-line CURF application system from March. Many clients have asked for this in recent times and we are pleased to be able to provide it. Read more below in the MiCRO - its coming! article.
Director, ABS Microdata Access Strategies
New CURF releases
This part of the Newsletter provides information on recent and forthcoming CURF releases. Clients may also keep up to date with CURF releases by subscribing to our Email Notification Service or the ABS RSS Feed.
Microdata: Personal Fraud, Expanded CURF, Australia, 2007. Released: 27 January 2009
The first edition of this CURF contains summary results of the Personal Fraud Survey. Topics covered in the survey are identity fraud, including credit or bank card fraud and identity theft; and a selected range of scams: lotteries, pyramid schemes, phishing, financial advice, chain letters, advance fee fraud and other scams.
The publication includes information about the characteristics of the most recent incidents of personal frauds, and socio-demographic details of victims and non-victims.
As an Expanded CURF it is only available through the RADL.
The CURF also presents characteristics of children aged 0-8 in their early learning years through the collection of information about the types of formal, non-formal and informal learning activities they engage in and the environments in which these activities take place. Information is also collected about patterns of attendance at preschool/kindergarten and school, including historical and usual attendance, and frequency of attendance.
Both the Basic and Expanded CURF's will contain information about:
Microdata: Business Longitudinal Database (previously known as A Profile of Australian Businesses), Expanded CURF, Australia, 2004-05, 2005-06, 2006-07. Indicative release: July 2009
The aim of Business Longitudinal Database is to facilitate micro level analysis for a panel (cohort) of small and medium businesses over time, and it includes both characteristics and financial data. A new wave of businesses is added each year and each wave is surveyed for five years.
The Business Longitudinal Database Expanded CURF will be available through the RADL.
Changes to Consultant CURF application process
ABS has simplified the process for those who apply to use CURFs within a consultancy to another organisation. We have also simplified the process for the organisation employing the Consultant. Until now, organisations using Consultants were required to provide the ABS with a letter of introduction for each Consultant and to take responsibility for the Consultant's use of CURF Microdata. This requirement will no longer be necessary.
In the future ABS will manage Consultants in much the same way it manages other CURF users. This will include legal responsibility for use of the CURF lying with the Consultant's home organisation rather than the sponsoring organisation.
As a Consultant:
The organisation for which you are completing the consultancy will also need to be approved by ABS to access the CURF. This ensures that any Microdata based discussions you might have with them are in no danger of breaching ABS conditions of CURF access.
Short Cuts is a new regular feature highlighting tips and reminders for CURF users and Contact Officers.
In this issue we provide a reminder for CURF Contact Officers:
We encourage all CURF users and Contact Officers to revisit the Responsible Access to ABS CURFs Training Manual.
MiCRO - it's coming!
MiCRO: new on-line CURF application system
Production of an on-line CURF application system, MiCRO, has nearly finished. We are currently undertaking final testing of the system, which will be released to clients progressively from March 2009. We will email Contact Officers to let them know about the roll-out in their state or territory as it occurs.
So what will MiCRO do?
MiCRO will allow you to apply for CURFs on-line. It will provide a record of which CURFs you are currently approved to access and for what statistical purposes. Contact Officers will be able to manage CURFs in their organisation, verify new CURF applications before sending them electronically to the ABS and deactivate CURF users as they leave the organisation. With the application process going electronic there will no longer be any paper REQ1 forms to fill out and sign, thereby saving you time and paper.
If you would like more information about MiCRO please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What's new in the ABS/Universities Australia Agreement
Permitted Commercial Uses
Traditionally the Agreement has allowed only uses for the purposes of teaching and research. However, ABS and Universities Australia are committed to facilitating broader use of data in the university sector and are pleased to announce that some commercial use is now available under the new Agreement.
Permitted Commercial Use includes:
ABSDL: high-end data analysis
The ABSDL is the data analysis solution for high-end data users who want to extract full value from CURF microdata. It offers a richer and more interactive experience of the data than is possible in the ABS Remote Access Data Laboratory (RADL) and is available in ABS Offices in each state and territory. Under the Agreement each Data Lab user can access a CURF from the ABS List of Available CURFs, one of the standard analysis tools (SAS, SPSS or Stata), and is entitled to three half-day user sessions.
As a researcher conducting high-end data analysis, you are encouraged to utilise this exciting new addition to the Agreement. As an added benefit, production of a Specialist CURF tailored to your data requirements, and/or the loading of a statistical analysis package other than SAS, SPSS or Stata, is available on a cost recovery basis.
Census Table Builder
Census Table Builder is an interactive, web based product currently under development by the ABS and Space-Time Research. This product will enable you to build Census tables by remotely interrogating 100% of 2006 Census Unit Record Files. Census Table Builder will provide full graphing and mapping functionality, and is expected to be released mid 2009.
Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) Databases
While this was included in the 2009 Agreement it is timely to remind clients of their access to Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) data via the Universities Australia Agreement. LIS is a cross-national data archive that includes income microdata from more than 30 countries, including Australia, at multiple points in time. The LIS Databases also includes labour market and demographic data. It is an important source of information for researchers involved in international comparative studies.
New Zealand Basic CURFs
SNZ Basic CURFs are usually unavailable to users outside New Zealand. With the new Agreement, SNZ Basic CURFs will now be made available to Australian university researchers.
The Bottom Line
Universities Australia has paid for access to on behalf of participating universities. As a staff member or student, you will not be invoiced for use of the products and services covered under the Agreement.
Find out more
Currently thirty-five Australian universities participate in the Agreement. For a list of these and more information about the products and services provided by the Agreement see the ABS/Universities Australia Agreement web page.
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