The Research Services and Data Integration (RSDI) team strives to facilitate timely access to the linkable data that researchers and policy makers need for population-based research.
Victorian Data Linkages (VDL) provides a mechanism for administrative, research and other datasets to be used for projects that are of benefit to the public. It undertakes linkages of health-related datasets and provides a means for researchers and policy makers to gain access to this valuable population-wide data for approved research projects.
In providing these services VDL respects and adheres to all the legal, privacy, ethical and confidentiality requirements that apply to the use of unit-level data for research and statistical purposes. VDL functions as a trusted intermediary that, with the approval and collaboration of data custodians, enables linkages and allows researchers to gain access to data in a secure and privacy-sensitive way.
The role of the RSDI team in VDL is to provide researchers and policy makers with guidance, support and advice in applying to access the linkable data they need to address research questions on population health and well-being and to facilitate the planning, evaluation and delivery of health and other services. The RSDI team brings a range of previous experience to these functions including working in government, academic, clinical and health service settings. They have a broad range of educational backgrounds including clinical care, epidemiology, health services research and evaluation, economics and business.
RSDI staff members are responsible for coordinating and facilitating various stages of the data access process. They can assist researchers and policy makers wanting to conduct projects that entail tailored data extractions based on the routine linkages of administrative datasets VDL undertakes or that involve project-specific linkages with other datasets.
In order to use VDL’s linkage services researchers and policy makers must define a research project that is consistent with the aims of VDL and must have the approval of the relevant data custodians and the approval of a recognised Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC).
Early engagement with RSDI is strongly recommended for researchers seeking access to linked data. Researchers are requested to contact us prior to seeking ethics approval for a research project to confirm that any linkages are technically feasible and can be carried out by VDL. Researchers should also note that a HREC may require documentation of approval in–principle from the relevant data custodian(s) before considering an application. Particularly in cases involving access to linkable data from administrative datasets we are able to present and discuss your application to the relevant data custodian(s).
Please see our Data Request From on the right under downloads, as the first step in this process.