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Ohio Longitudinal Data Archive — Access Procedures

The OLDA data repository is comprised of state administrative records that have been prepared for use in research and evaluation. The OLDA is a restricted-use data source, available only for approved projects. The application process and data preparation may require several months.

Requesting Approval for Data Access

1. Complete and submit Section I of the OLDA Research Request for Data to ohioanalytics@oerc.osu.edu. Section I includes:

  • A brief (1-2 sentences) description of the proposed project;
  • Background information about the researcher and other research team members;
  • A statement of how the proposed project will inform state policy;
  • Purpose of the research and expected research products;
  • Requested data sets and expected linkage process.

2. Ohio Analytics will either decline the project at this point, or invite the research team to submit the remaining application materials:

  • Section II of the OLDA Research Request for Data which includes:
    • A research plan including the specific data variables the researcher will use, the research design, how the data will be used, and the targeted project timeline;
    • Acknowledgment of the data security plan detailing physical and electronic security and how access to the data will be handled.
  • An OERC and/or OLDA data sharing agreement (MOU) which identifies the legal terms of the agreement.
    • The lead research team member from each institution involved in the study must submit a completed copy of the data sharing agreement.
    • Each research team member must submit to CHRR a signed, completed OLDA Data Access Acknowledgment form prior to data access.

3. Ohio Analytics will review your application and determine if it meets our requirements. We may ask for additional details, so please allow sufficient time for review and subsequent revision. You will receive notification as to whether the project is approved or declined.

4. If the project is approved, complete the following steps:

  • Submit the signed data request materials to your Institutional Review Board (or equivalent) for human subjects review. The application process will be complete only when CHRR receives written verification that the research plan is in compliance with responsible research practices and has either been granted IRB approval or exempt status.
  • Submit to CHRR a certificate for each team member which confirms completion of Ohio State University’s online Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) human subjects training (Social and Behavioral course).

Data Preparation and Access

5. CHRR staff will prepare data extracts for researcher access via the secured network as described in the approved OLDA Research Request for Data.

Results and Project Completion

6. In consideration of the use of this data, communicate findings to the relevant agencies as follows:

  • At least 21-days prior to sharing findings outside the approved research team (e.g. for presentation or publication), upload key findings to your secure account and send an E-mail notification to CHRR. The findings will be forwarded by CHRR to the relevant agency(ies) for their review. Altered presentations or publications of the same basic study and analysis may be reviewed by CHRR without the need for additional agency(ies) approval if all of the following criteria are met:
    1. The research questions and goal remain the same,
    2. Data tables and findings are not fundamentally altered, and
    3. The interpretation and findings do not fundamentally change;
  • Provide CHRR with bibliographic references to final publications produced from the data;
  • Submit a short (2-3 page) research brief describing the research, key findings, and policy-relevant insights that can contribute to the priorities of the data-providing public agencies and the OERC;
  • If requested, conduct a brief presentation of the findings to interested agencies.

7. The following acknowledgement must be included on any materials produced using data accessed from the OLDA:

The Ohio Longitudinal Data Archive is a project of the Ohio Education Research Center (oerc.osu.edu) and provides researchers with centralized access to administrative data. The OLDA is managed by The Ohio State University's CHRR (chrr.osu.edu) in collaboration with Ohio's state workforce and education agencies (olda.ohio.gov), with those agencies providing oversight and funding. For information on OLDA sponsors, see http://chrr.osu.edu/projects/ohio-longitudinal-data-archive.

8. All researchers will destroy all OLDA data from all computers by the research end date identified in the OLDA Research Request for Data. Once all of the data are destroyed, the Authorized Representative named on the last page of the OLDA Research Request for Data will sign, notarize, and return an OLDA Data Destruction Affidavit.

Each approved data request will be assessed a service fee to recover resources spent to fulfill the project specifications. The charge for data will vary depending on the nature of the project.

Similarly, the time required to fulfill data requests will vary according to the availability of requested data, the complexity of the research design, and the extent to which CHRR staff are involved in preparing, matching, and analyzing the data.

In addition to the time required to deliver data access, researchers should budget time for the following:

  • Circulating data sharing agreements within the researchers’ organization(s) before submitting a data request;
  • Preparing the data request documentation;
  • Circulating the data request to the CHRR and data providing agencies for data access approval; and
  • Obtaining IRB approval after receiving agency approval for data access.

Finally, the data providing agencies require a 21 day review of key findings prior to submission for presentation or publication.

Any individual who will be directly involved in design, analysis, or reporting activities should be named as a research team member. Note separately collaborators who do not require access to the unit record data but who may need access to pre-release aggregate results.

Data requests will be reviewed with the following criteria in mind:

  1. Feasibility: Does the archive contain the necessary data to support the proposed research?
  2. Is the proposed research compatible with the data-providing agency’s organizational mission and priorities?
  3. Will the proposed research risk the privacy of individuals or organizations whose data will be used?
  4. Do we have the necessary resources to support the proposed research?

Data sharing agreements must be completed and signed on behalf of the organization or organizations requesting access to data. Research teams consisting of representatives from multiple institutions should submit one agreement per institution.

Research team members are required to complete and sign the OLDA Data Sharing Acknowledgment form before receiving data access. The form ensures each member of the research team is informed of the terms of data access which may have been previously reviewed only by the principal investigator and/or at a much earlier point in time.

It is the researcher’s responsibility to ensure the proposed research complies with their institution’s policies for responsible research practices. Most colleges have in place Institutional Review Boards (IRB) who oversee research involving human subjects. Researchers should consult with the appropriate personnel within their institution to obtain an approved IRB protocol or documentation of exempt status.

Researchers should submit the full, signed data request and data sharing agreements with the human subjects protocol to their IRB reviewers.

When research teams consist of members from multiple institutions, verification of human subjects consultation should be provided for each institution.

All researchers must provide certification that they have completed the Social and Behavioral course on human subjects found in OSU’s CITI online human subjects training (https://www.citiprogram.org/default.asp).

Researchers who have already completed CITI training through their home institutions should proceed as follows:

  • Log in to the CITI home page using your existing user name and password.
  • From the main menu select the "click here to affiliate with another institution" option. Type Ohio State University into that box.
  • Follow the screen instructions to fill in the required fields and proceed to complete the Social and Behavioral modules of the Human Subjects component of the training.  Completed modules from the existing records of your home institution will be auto-filled, and the list of additional training to be completed to meet OSU’s requirements will be indicated.

Each researcher who has not completed CITI training must register a new account, listing OSU as the participating institution. 

  • The registration page will request an OSU employee number (for those who do not have an existing OSU employee number and department, use Employee #: 00000000 and Department: Center for Human Resource Research).
  • Follow the screen instructions to complete the Social and Behavioral modules of the Human Subjects component of the training.

Upon completion a CITI report will be generated. Print the completion report from the main menu page and E-mail the report to CHRR.

Researchers agree to share their research findings with the data-providing agencies for a minimum 21-day period before submitting these findings to an external audience. The purpose of this review is two-fold: It informs the agencies of key findings so they may be prepared to address potential follow-up inquiries from interested stakeholders, and it serves as a final check that the privacy of the research subjects has not been risked via oversights such as reporting small cell sizes.

Researchers must send their findings to the data-providing agencies at the point when these findings are ready to be shared beyond the research team. Examples include, but are not limited to, the submission of a conference presentation, the initial submission of a journal article, a press release, or a policy report.

Researchers agree to share the bibliographic references of the final products of research using the archived data. This allows us to track the value of the archive and promotes a culture of information sharing.

Researchers are also required to submit a 2-3 page research brief describing the research, key findings, and policy-relevant insights that can contribute to the priorities of the data-providing public agencies and the Ohio Education Research Center. Researchers may also be requested to present the findings to interested agencies.

A copy of the information on this page is available for download: