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DATA ACCESS

Data collected in the Understanding America Study, including the data collected as part of our COVID-19 tracking surveys, are available for download for any registered UAS data user. In view of the overwhelming interest in the COVID-19 tracking data, however, we are asking that researchers describe their analysis plan in a couple of sentences before downloading the data. These brief descriptions are available for others to browse, to encourage collaboration on similar projects, and reduce the risk that several researchers are pursuing identical goals.

Registered users who provide the brief analysis are provided with access to download the Covid survey microdata files, which are accessed via the National Survey Data and Los Angeles Survey Data tabs in the menu above. Questionnaires, codebooks, and toplines are available without need for registration on those pages.


Available Data Sets

Available datasets include files for each completed wave of the Covid surveys (new data files released every two weeks) as well as longitudinal files that combine all Covid survey waves into easy-to-use datasets, updated with a consistent variable naming structure to simplify data comparisons between the different waves, and sample weights. In addition, several derived variables are included in the files, as well as indicators for wave number, UAS survey number, and survey type (long versus short form). The two longitudinal files are:

  1. Full data waves from the long-form national surveys, administered once every fourteen days
  2. Full data waves from the long-form survey for the subset of Los Angeles County respondents, combined with data from Los Angeles County-only short-form surveys. Los Angeles County respondents are surveyed once every seven days

These data sets may be linked to other UAS survey data files downloadable from our survey page, using a unique UAS ID code (uasid). CESR does not release personal identifiers associated with these data to researchers, who may apply for "not human subjects" determinations from their local IRB for their analysis.


You can add questions to the surveys!

Since a new survey is launched every two weeks, it is possible to add questions. Given the wealth of information available, adding one or two questions on a specific topic may open powerful new opportunities for innovative analysis. We are interested in new ideas!

The pricing schedule is straightforward; we charge $2 per respondent for one minute of question time (approximately two or three simple questions). Since the sample size is about 7,000, one minute of question time in a two-week survey comes to $14,000. Data from each wave remains under embargo to the public until it is complete, during the full 28-day field period. However, authors who add questions have access to the data during the field period, including weighted preliminary files. Preliminary data is useful for analysis as more than 90% of responses are accumulated in the first 14 days.

By proposing and funding new questions, you are supporting the operation and contribute to science for the common good. Just send an email to Tania Gutsche (tgutsche@usc.edu).


Data Documentation

We have created and are making available a variable "crosswalk" to identify how the variable names in the longitudinal files correspond to the variable names in the individual Covid wave files. We also provide a data description document that contains information about how the longitudinal files are created, details on the derived variables, differences between the content of the long and short-form surveys, and how to link the longitudinal files to other UAS data sets. You can download the UAS Covid-19 Survey Longitudinal Files Crosswalk now here, and the UAS Covid-19 Longitudinal Files Data Description now here.


Process for Gaining Access to Covid Data Sets

Requesting access to Covid data requires two steps:

  1. As for the use of any UAS dataset you need to be a registered data user. If you are not yet registered, please do so here. If you have an account, log in to your account before you click the link below to fill out the form
  2. Fill out the UAS Covid-19 Proposal form with a brief description of the research you are planning to undertake with the data. Once you have filled out the form, you will have access to download the data from the data pages. If the research team consists of more than one person, please enter the email addresses of all team members on the form. Each team member must be a registered UAS data user in order to access the data. A list of current proposals can be found here (login required).

For more information or if you have any questions, contact us at uas-l@mymaillists.usc.edu.