Creating “Usable” Data from the Recovered Data
Converting the Data
- For technical reasons, the data were typically downloaded from the Unisys in two forms, assuming the data were all in:
- Excess-3 character set
- FIELDATA character set
- If the character set of the underlying data is known, recovered files can be converted to usable formats (e.g., ASCII) through known mappings
- Data in a record might employ multiple character sets
- Record layout explaining variables, their lengths, and character set employed may no longer exist or may be incorrect
- A file showing the first 100 records using 5 different character set assumptions created when the data were downloaded can help reveal variable length and character set
- Existing microdata and/or published data can help in determining variable content
- Data files may have other problems such as missing variables or observations, corrupted data, not matching the description in the paper records, etc.
Secure Access to Recovered Data
Step 1: Contact the Recovered Data Team
- Email the Recovered Data Team the following information:
- Recovered data of interest
- Brief description of planned research
- Whether or not the recovered data is critical to the planned project
- Recovered data team will respond with basic information about the recovered data of interest
- If research does not hinge critically on recovered data, submit an RDC project proposal
- If research does hinge critically on recovered data, request 6–month feasibility access
Interested in these Recovered Data?
Email the Recovered Data Team to learn more.