Mar 29, 2012

Accessing and Using AHRQ MCC Data Stored at ICPSR

Data deposited at ICPSR will be freely available for download from the ICPSR web site until at least December 2015, except in cases where the data requires data licenses to protect respondents or patient confidentiality. In the latter case, users may be charged a small fee for administrative purposes (although the fee is negotiable). When the contract period ends, the collection will return to the ICPSR General Archive, which is supported by the dues of ICPSR members. ICPSR policy is to provide access to data based on the source of funding for each data collection. To the extent that distribution of an archived dataset is supported by member dues, access is free to ICPSR members, but others are charged a fee.  That said, many researchers in the United States and much of the rest of the world are affiliated with ICPSR member institutions.

For the primary investigators who have produced the data and archive them with ICPSR, there is no restriction on redistribution of their data. They may place it in other archives or provide the data to whomever they wish. ICPSR does not acquire copyright or any other legal right to the data. The archive asks only for the right to redistribute. If the primary investigator chooses to redistribute the data prepared with the assistance of ICPSR during this contract period or subsequently, there is no charge and no restriction.

Because ICPSR does not own any rights to the data nor do they restrict redistribution by depositors (only users may not redistribute for commercial reasons), it may be in the interest of researchers to leave a copy in the ICPSR archive even if they choose to distribute through other mechanisms as well. This helps ensure the continuity of data access both for outside researchers and the depositor.  As long as grantees agree, ICPSR will maintain a fully accessible version of the data in the archive.