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Use of the NSS National Safe Haven


NHS National Services Scotland ISD Scotland & NHS National Services Scotland

Use of the NSS National Safe Haven

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This section outlines:

NSS National Safe Haven

The NSS (National Services Scotland) is a secure environment in which data are linked and accessed. This environment provides a high powered computing service, secure analytic environment, secure file transfer protocol for receipt of data, and provision of a range of analytic software (SPSS, STATA, SAS and R). The IT infrastructure is supported by Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre.

Access is provided via a secure access point, a physically secure area containing a computer with no external devices e.g. disc, CD, USB drives or printer access, or remotely via an accredited organisation’s PC / laptop. This allows trusted and authorised researchers to analyse linked individual level data while maintaining the utmost confidentiality.

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Secure Access Points

Secure access points are now located at Farr Institute Scotland, No 9 Bioquarter, Little France Road, Edinburgh. Any researcher wishing to use the secure access points at the Farr Institute Scotland will need to pre-arrange any visits with the eDRIS Research Co-ordinators to ensure work station availability and gain access to the secure access points. Your Research Co-ordinator will provide more information for your visit.

You will be given a username and password to log on to a secure area to access your linked data file.

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Remote Access to the NSS National Safe Haven

In some cases, data controllers may allow the researchers remote access to the data. This will be via a VPN (virtual private network). To remotely access the safe haven there is a 2 factor authentication process, the first part of which will be receipt of an access code via your mobile phone.

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Release of Output

Outputs from your analyses are only available for release to you, for the agreed purpose, after your eDRIS Research Co-ordinator has checked the output using statistical disclosure control methods in line with the data controller requirements specified for your study. The objective of this review is to ensure that an output does not contain information which could be used either on its own or in conjunction with other data to breach an individual's privacy. Your eDRIS Research Coordinator will inform you of the procedures for clearance of output.

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eDRIS charges for the use of the service. Our charges are listed here Download PDF file [190Kb] for information. Your eDRIS Research Co-ordinator will provide an estimate based on your project requirements and the services used.

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Archive of data

Once you have finished with the initial analysis of your study, you should first tidy up your study folders and then ask your research co-ordinator to move the study from the active study area to the archive.

If you have not already archived your study, your research co-ordinator will warn you approximately one month before your active study time is about to expire.

If you require access to the study area once it is in the archive e.g. to conduct further analyses to answer a referee's questions, you can request the study to be moved back out of archive into the active study area to allow you to conduct further analyses.

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Deletion of data

Shortly before the end of the archive period for your study, your research co-ordinator will contact you to ask if your study can be deleted. Once you authorise deletion of your study, it will not be possible to restore it, deletion is permanent.

At the end of the archive period we will make all reasonable attempts to contact members of the research team. If after 2 months, we are unable to contact any member of the team, the study will be permanently deleted.

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