CBS Microdata Services is the facility through which external investigators can get access to Microdata available within CBS for their own research purposes. CBS offers over 4000 yearly datasets, covering about 300 subjects over periods ranging from 5 to 25 years. The data are based either on surveys performed by CBS or, mainly, on administrative registers originating from government or other (semi-)public institutions. The data are related to the entire field of national statistics and more: demography, education, health, labour and social security, income and property, business economics (production, finance, international trade and globalization, innovation etc), criminality, regional data, construction and building, etcetera. Standardized documentation reports for all datasets are available on the Internet. The major added value is that all datasets can be linked at micro-level through meaningless linkage keys for persons, households, enterprises, etc, including the employer-employee linkage. A number of external research institutes has also decided to make their own data available within CBS in linkable form. Under appropriate conditions investigators can also bring in their own datasets to link them to CBS Microdata after encryption of the relevant identifiers. The data can be accessed from the institute of the researcher through a secured remote access facility. Strict protection of privacy and confidentiality is guaranteed by pseudonimization of the data and by a number of administrative procedures and technical measures; here CBS-law and GDPR (AVG) are leading. Investigators do their statistical analyses while the data remain within a secure network environment inside CBS, using a range of software tools standard available. They are allowed to export only aggregate results from which no information about individual persons or organisations can be retrieved. The facility may be used for statistical/research purposes only, and results need to be made publicly accessible. Currently, CBS Microdata services is used by all Dutch universities and several abroad, and by government based, not-for-profit or private research institutions. Starting 200 new research project yearly, about 1000 researchers are actively taking benefit of the facility. All data collection is funded entirely with public means; the operational costs of the service however have to be fully covered by its users. Information like the catalogue of available datasets, overviews of projects running and of resulting (scientific) publications etc are published on the institute’s website www.cbs.nl/microdata.
CBS is partner in the national infrastructure for the social sciences ODISSEI (Open Data Infrastructure for Social Science and Economic Innovations) which is included in the NWO Roadmap for Large Scale Scientific Infrastructures, and in that context collaborates with other ODISSEI-related infrastructures included in this landscape to identify synergies, efficiencies and new lines of innovation. ODISSEI supports CBS microdata research projects in a variety of ways such as the development of new methodological tools and computational facilities, including access to the National Super Computer at SURF.