4914.0.55.001 - Newsletter: Age Matters, Dec 2003  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 22/12/2003   
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What is the Remote Access Data Laboratory (RADL)?

The Remote Access Data Laboratory (RADL) is a new online data query service that provides access via the ABS web site to Confidentialised Unit Record Files (CURFs). CURFs are datasets compiled from ABS surveys which contain the most detailed statistical information available from the ABS. CURF datasets have been confidentialised by removing name and address information, controlling the amount of detail and changing a small number of values to ensure that survey respondents cannot be identified.

Who uses the RADL?

Using RADL, researchers and policy analysts in universities, government departments and the private sector can run secure online queries from their desktops on CURFs they are approved to access. Whilst the CURF remains within the confines of the ABS computing environment, users can submit tailored queries to produce aggregated output according to their research needs. All user activity is monitored and audited by the ABS to ensure that confidentiality requirements are met.

What are the advantages of the RADL?

The RADL currently provides access to a range of basic CURFs that have previously been released on CD-ROM only, as well as new expanded datasets that contain more statistical information than that released on CD-ROM. Users can now access expanded datasets from the 2001 National Health Survey, the 2001 Census of Population and Housing, and the 1997 Time Use Survey. It is expected that the ABS will continue to release expanded datasets via the RADL for most surveys.

As all user activity is monitored, the RADL can also be used to release data that cannot be released on CD-ROM because of confidentiality requirements. In the future, the RADL will also be used to provide access to overseas researchers who previously have not be able to access ABS CURF data.

For more information on the RADL and CURFs, visit the Access to ABS CURFs page on this website.