About the access

About the Research Data Centres

In 1998, the Canadian Initiative on Social Statistics studied the challenges facing the research community in Canada. One of the recommendations of the national task force  Archived - Report on the Advancement of Research using Social Statistics (PDF, 108.78 KB) was the creation of research facilities to give academic researchers improved access to Statistics Canada's microdata files. This access would allow researchers in the social sciences to build expertise in quantitative methodology and analysis.

To know more about the activities of Research Data Centres, please visit the Canadian Research Data Centre Network (CRDCN) website.

The benefits of Research Data Centres

The Research Data Centres (RDCs) provide opportunities to:

  • generate a wide perspective on Canada's social landscape;
  • provide social science research facilities across the country in both larger and smaller population centres;
  • expand the collaboration between Statistics Canada, SSHRC, CIHR, CFI, universities and academic researchers, and build on the Data Liberation Initiative; and
  • train a new generation of Canadian quantitative social scientists.

About the branch RDCs

A branch RDC is a laboratory that offers access to Statistics Canada detailed micro-data and presents the same characteristics of security as are required in all the RDCs. The branch RDC can reduce the need for travelling. It also facilitates the cooperation among researchers from the same region or province that are located in different cities.

Compared to a regular RDC, a branch has fewer workstations, and is open part-time (between 15 and 25 hours a week). Branches are staffed with part-time statistical assistants, but there is no Statistics Canada RDC Analyst on site.

Another limitation of a branch is that research results and computer programs are not vetted locally. These outputs are securely transferred to the main RDC associated with the branch, using a Wide Area Network. In the main RDC, the Statistics Canada Analyst will control the output before releasing the information to the researchers. The Analyst in the main RDC is also providing remote assistance on questions related to survey content.

About the Federal Research Data Centres

The Statistics Canada Federal Research Data Centres (FRDCs) is located at Tunney’s Pasture and is accessible to government employees from all federal departments. Two department specific FRDCs have also been established, one at Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) and the other at the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). Federal government employees not working in the NCR can apply to access data through a Research Data Centre located at a participating Canadian post-secondary institution in their area.

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