Research Microscope Lab

Human Research Protection Program

MCW defined Public Data Sets

Per 45 CFR 46.101, research using certain publicly available data sets does not involve “human subjects”. The data contained within these specific data sets are neither identifiable nor private and thus do not meet the federal definition of “human subject” as defined in 45 CFR 46.102. Therefore these research projects do not need to be reviewed and approved by the Institutional Review Board, (IRB). MCW HRPP office has worked with a number of investigators to identify and classify numerous data sets as "publicly available data sets" or "restricted use data sets". 

MCW defined Public Data Sets

MCW HRPP office has worked with researchers to identify and classify numerous data sets as "publicly available data sets" or "restricted use data sets" to facilitate MCW research initiatives.

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Data Set Nomination Process

If the identified data set has not been listed as either an MCW designated Public Data Set or as a Restricted Use Set, Investigators should review the IRB policy to confirm their identified data set qualifies under the IRB policy, along with completing the Public Data Set Nomination Checklist. 

This will allow the HRPP Office to make a determination after reviewing the data set, their policies and procedures, and data use agreement templates.   The nominating investigator will receive a letter with the HRPP Office's determination and should not access the data set until a determination has been made.

Contact the IRB Office to submit the data set nomination once completed.  

IRB SOP: Public Data Sets

MCW designated Public Data Sets
  • American College of Surgeons National Trauma Data Bank (NTDB)
  • American Hospital Association Annual Survey
  • Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS; public data only)
  • CDC Wide-ranging Online Data for Epidemiologic Research (WONDER)
  • Comprehensive Hospital Abstract Reporting System (CHARS; public data only)
  • Demographic Health Survey (DHS), Standard and Interim Surveys
  • Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS)
  • Global Burden of Disease (2013)
  • Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (H-CUP) healthcare databases
    • The Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS)
    • The Kids’ Inpatient Database (KID)
    • The State Inpatient Databases (SID)
    • The State Ambulatory Surgery Databases (SASD)
    • The State Emergency Department Databases (SEDD)
    • The Nationwide Emergency Department Sample (NEDS)
  • Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS)
  • Home Mortgage Data Act (HMDA)
  • Hospital Compare
  • Integrated Public Use Microdata Series International (IPUMS)
  • Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) – public use data only
    • National Latino and Asian American Study (NLAAS) – public use data only
  • Mapping Inequality
  • MarketScan Databases
    • Commercial Claims and Encounters (CCAE)
    • Coordination of Benefits (COB)
    • Medicare Database
    • Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS)
    • Household Component Full-Year files
    • Household Component Event files
    • Household Component Point-in-time files
    • Pooled Linkage files
  • Medicare Healthcare Cost Report Information System (HCRIS)
  • Milwaukee Property Records (MPROP)
  • National Automotive Sampling System (NASS) General Estimates System (GES)
  • National Center for Health Statistics
    • Life Tables
    • LSOAs: Longitudinal Studies of Aging
    • NHANES: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
    • NHCS: National Health Care Survey
    • NHIS: National Health Interview Survey
    • NIS: National Immunization Survey
    • NSFG: National Survey of Family Growth
    • SLAITS: State & Local Area Integrated Telephone Survey
    • Vital Statistics: National Vital Statistics System
  • National Center for Education Statistics
  • National Election Studies
  • National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC)-Wave 1 & Wave 2
  • National Longitudinal Survey (NLSY)
    • National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 (NLSY97)
    • National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 (NLSY79)
    • NLSY79 Children and Young Adults
    • National Longitudinal Survey of Young Women and Mature Women
    • National Longitudinal Survey of Young Men and Mature Men
  • National Survey of Children’s Health (public version)
  • National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs (public version)
  • National Household Travel Survey
  • Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN)
  • Roper Center for Public Opinion Research
  • School Health Policies and Programs Study (SHPPS)
  • Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF)
  • Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics
  • U.S. ATF Firearms Trace Data
  • U.S. Bureau of the Census
  • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS)
  • Wisconsin Incident Based Reporting System (WIBRS)
  • Wisconsin Interactive Statistics on Health (WISH)
  • Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (WLS) non-DNA Survey Data
  • Wisconsin Public Instruction Data
  • World Health Organization Global Health Observatory Data Repository (WHO GHO Data Repository)
  • Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS)
Restricted Use Data Sets

Use of these data sets require IRB submission and determination prior to their use in research

  • NCI SEER
  • American College of Surgeons - National Surgical Quality Improvement Program
  • National Anesthesia Clinical Outcomes Registry (NACOR) Participant Use Data File (PUF)