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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is this all of the data available from the federal government listed on ResearchDataGov.org?

No. ResearchDataGov includes information about restricted data assets. If there is a public-use version of the data described, that will be noted along with a link to the source for the public file(s).

Data.gov is the official U.S. data catalog for publicly available data from federal agencies including data from the federal statistical system.

How often is the inventory updated?

Descriptions for data assets can be added and records updated by the agencies at any time. The inventory will be made public on March 1, 2022 with as many records as possible, but check back regularly for updates if the data in which you are interested do not appear.

What do words/abbreviations like “PUF” and “access modality” mean in the data descriptions?

A list of the metadata fields, along with a short description of each, is available.

Can I request access to data from multiple sources?

You may request data from multiple sources (see FAQ #4 for information about applying in these instances). You need to note, however, that the data you request may be available in different physical or virtual locations. Requesting data in a single application does not change those locations – that is, the data will not be made available in a single location. Even when data are accessed in a single location, restrictions may prohibit linking or otherwise using the data together.

How do I request data from multiple sources?

If you are interested in using multiple data assets, each owned by a different agency or unit, you will need to submit applications to each agency independently. Once the single-application process is integrated into ResearchDataGov.org in late 2022, this requirement will be removed and you will be able to submit a single application that will be routed to the proper agencies for review.

What if I have questions about a particular data asset?

For questions about specific programs, datasets, or data files, please use the contact information included in the metadata about the asset. The owning agency or unit is the most knowledgeable about their data sources.

I submitted an application but now I have a question, what should I do?

Please follow up with the data owning agency or unit to which you submitted your application.