- Remote Access Infrastructure for Register Data

Fact sheet

The main aim of the RAIRD project is to promote and ease access to register data for research projects and to increase the data dissemination capacity.  RAIRD will make it possible for scientific users to merge individual level register data in a way that is in accordance with data confidentiality rules and regulations and reduce time consuming access procedures. Data made available for analytic use through RAIRD will be of the same quality and scientific relevance as the data that are made available through the present system of data access.

How to manage this ? RAIRD is based on a distinction between data and metadata.  Researchers will have free access to metadata, the documentation of data.  This will be used to set up analyses. Statistical analyses will be run against the detailed data. However researchers will not be permitted to see the actual data, the internals of the data files. Users work against detailed, not-anonymized data, but will not see the detailed numbers . Through good documentation they will get required information and understanding of the data.  

Users will see good documentation of data and work from that, the analytic runs will take place on the original detailed data.

The RAIRD project start by giving access to 5 main collections of data from Statistics Norway: population, education, labour marked, income and property and social security data.

To make sure that analytic results do not violate the rules for confidentiality, automatic controls of output are conducted. Analytic output should not be used to identify individuals. The anonymity is checked as part of the analytic process. It is a prerequisite that anonymization should not influence the quality or relevance of data.

If it is necessary for a researcher / a research project to have direct access to identified data, it will still be possible. Two alternative procedures, the present procedure with transferal of data or a version of RAIRD allowing direct access will allow for that. However, such access will be regulated under the existing rules for direct access to non-anonymized data.

An important aspect of RAIRD is to permit skipping of the formal regulations that normally make it time-consuming and expensive to access data. Using register data via RAIRD requires no special preparation of single analytic files