Name of the microdata access service
Central Bureau voor de Statistiek – CBS (Statistics Netherlands)
Postal address
Henri Faasdreef 312 2492 JP Den Haag (Netherlands)
Microdata access conditions
General conditions

Conditions vary according to microdata type. While heavily anonymised microdata (public use files) are available from the CBS website, access to microdata that might allow for indirect identification of the statistical units is restricted. CBS considers all such data as "confidential" and makes them available either as scientific use files or as secure use files. The former are made for the Dutch National Data Archive (DANS), and can be delivered only to researchers in universities. The latter are accessible to legitimate researchers according to a twofold definition. First, there must be affiliation to a national institution belonging to a category specified in the law: universities, statutory organisations or institutes for scientific research, planning agencies. Institutions outside these categories can be authorised by the Central Commissions for Statistics (CCS) if they have an independent legal personality, conduct research as their primary aim, and publish results. Institutional accreditation normally lasts five years. Second, the researchers must obtain approval for the specific project they wish to undertake with CBS data.

Conditions for non-resident researchers

Non-resident researchers can have access to microdata if their institutions obtain authorisation from CCS. While the criteria are the same as for national researchers, a new CCS authorisation is needed for each project.

Conditions for students

Because access can be permitted only to researchers who are employed by a legitimate research institute, to obtain access, a student needs to have a so-called "0-contract". This is because only persons with an employment contract can be held responsible by the institute they are working for.

How to apply & modes of access
Public Use Files

CBS considers data released through its Internet site as public use files. Users can make their own tables and figures to a certain level. Occasionally CBS will make a public use file for a particular subject such as the Census.

Scientific Use Files

Scientific use files can be delivered via DANS. Researchers will either get data on CD-ROM or download the files from the Internet. For the use of scientific use files made by CBS, the researcher has to sign a declaration of confidentiality.

Secure Use Files

Secure use files, or “microdata under contract”: the researcher has to complete several forms. To begin with, if the research institute is not in one of the categories specified by the law, it has to obtain a CCS authorisation. Then, there is a form to be filled in by the research institute, and it is the base for the project-based contract. There is also a form with questions for the researchers. Each researcher (and the institute) has to sign a security declaration.
If access is granted, the researcher can get access to the data in the CBS offices in The Hague and Heerlen, or from the researcher’s own workplace using a secure internet connection). In the latter case, a document for obtaining a RA-connection needs to be signed by a Dean or Director of the institute, who will be responsible for the right use and the security of the equipment.

Details & practical information
How long does it take to obtain data?

For public use files, access is immediate. For scientific use files released by DANS, access is also immediate except for new users who have to sign a security declaration. It takes much longer for secure use files. Researchers from an institution mentioned by law (or an institution with a previous, and still valid, CCS authorisation), who have worked with CBS before, and who do not have a very complex project, can get started within 2-3 weeks. New users and complex projects require longer waiting times.

How much does it cost?

Public use files and scientific use files are available at no charge. Secure use files are chargeable (minimum 1000€ for a small project; a detailed list of fees is available online). Although the data themselves are free, prices are meant to cover the cost of services related to providing access to them.

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