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Confidentialised Unit Record File (CURF) and TableBuilder: Overview

Confidentialised Unit Record Files (CURFs) from key Australian Bureau of Statistics surveys. Included also is the ABS TableBuilder online tool for creating your own tables of Census data.

About this guide

Researchers can gain access to a large number of Australian and New Zealand National Statistics via an agreement between the ABS and Universities Australia. There is a range of products and services available to university researchers at no cost to the researcher, including CURFs and TableBuilder.

What are CURFs?

  • CURFs contain data from ABS surveys in the form of unit records.
  • CURFs contain the most detailed statistical information available from the ABS and are for researchers and analysts who wish to run their own statistical queries on the data using software packages such as SAS or SPSS.
  • CURFs have been confidentialised by removing name and address information, by controlling the amount of detail and by changing a small number of values.
  • The unit level for a CURF may be a household, an income unit or a family.
  • The ABS provides three different ways to access CURFs - CD ROM, the Remote Access Data Laboratory (RADL) and the ABS Site Data Laboratory (ABSDL).
  • The ABS provides three different levels of CURF data:
    • Basic CURFs - the least detailed CURF type. Users can access basic CURFs in their own environment (via a CD-ROM or DVD). Individual data items in basic CURFs are likely to be reported at broad levels.
    • Expanded CURFs - more detailed CURFs. Expanded CURFs are accessible only in the secure RADL (Remote Access Data Laboratory) and ABSDL (Australian Bureau of Statistics Data Laboratory) environments. They contain finer levels of detail than basic CURFs. The RADL prevents a large part of the CURF coming into contact with external databases, by restricting the amount and nature of information which can be viewed freely, and outside of a restricted environment.
    • Specialist CURFs - may be produced to serve specific approved statistical purposes for a particular customer, with the cost to produce the CURF fully cost recovered from the customer. Specialist CURFs may include data items and levels of detail not otherwise disseminated, or may be configured in other ways responding to particular user needs. Production of Specialist CURFs is dependent on availability of ABS resources.

Which CURFs are available?

Visit the ABS website to view the list of expected and available microdata (CURFs)

Applying for CURFs

Information you need to know:

To apply for CURFs data:

  1. Visit MiCRO (the ABS on-line CURF application system) Opens in a new window and register yourself as a user in MiCRO.
  2. You will need to set and enter your preferred user ID and Password and enter personal information to complete registration for access.
  3. Once you have registered online, the Western Sydney University Contact Officer will be notified by email and will be required to login and endorse the application.
  4. Once endorsed the request is processed and you will be notified by email.

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