Access or Share LINKAGE Data
Researchers can use data from the Linkage Program or connect their own data sets. Learn more about how to get involved.
On this page:
Who can access LINKAGE data
Two primary groups are eligible for participation in the LINKAGE program:
- Studies: NIA grantees with active grant awards.
- Researchers: Any individual conducting research using a linked dataset from a NIA-funded study. These individuals must be affiliated with a U.S.-based institution and accessing data from the U.S.
Members with existing studies in LINKAGE and past and existing NIA-funded grantees are also eligible.
Access LINKAGE data
Researchers can access and analyze NIA-funded study data that has been linked to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) data using the LINKAGE Enclave data tool. LINKAGE Enclave is a secure web application with access to statistical and desktop applications.
- Contact the LINKAGE Program to request approval from a NIA-funded study to access linked data for your research.
- Submit a completed NIA Data Use Agreement (DUA) for the CMS data portion of your linked data set request. You may access a copy by contacting LINKAGE@acumenllc.com. The DUA will go to a NIA Privacy Board for review and approval.
- Complete onboarding for LINKAGE Enclave and use it to access and analyze your linked data set(s). Researchers may only access the LINKAGE Enclave from the United States.
Add and analyze LINKAGE data
To add your data to LINKAGE, you must meet all the following criteria included in the NIA Data Use Agreement:
- Demonstrate that you are conducting research and affiliated with a U.S. based institution.
- Have an active NIA grant award with at least one cohort.
- Obtain consent or a waiver of consent for CMS data linkages.
- Confirm availability of personal identifiers to support CMS data linkages.
- Decide to share your linked data set with other researchers in LINKAGE or opt-out of data sharing.
How to link and share study data
Researchers who meet the criteria stated above are required to complete these steps:
- Complete a Study Participation form that demonstrates that you are conducting research and affiliated with a U.S. based institution.
- Submit a completed NIA DUA for the CMS data portion of your linked data set request. The DUA will go to a NIA Privacy Board for review and approval.
- Complete onboarding for the LINKAGE Enclave and use it to access and analyze your linked data set(s). Researchers may only access the LINKAGE Enclave from the United States.
- Work with LINKAGE staff to link your study data to CMS data.
- Work with LINKAGE staff to define masking requirements for CMS variables.
- If you are sharing linked data, you must also set up and manage your account for the LINKAGE Enclave data tool, including granting researchers access to your data set(s).
To request the Study Participation form and the NIA DUA, please contact LINKAGE@acumenllc.com.
How to analyze data
LINKAGE Enclave can be used to analyze CMS data linked to NIA-funded study data.
Through LINKAGE Enclave, authorized users have free access to:
- Personalized workspaces (up to 300 GB, 100 MB per user for individual workspaces)
- Linked CMS and NIA-funded study datasets; and
- Statistical applications
- Office applications
- Adobe Acrobat Reader
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Word
- Notepad++ (Text Editor)
*Limited licenses are available.
LINKAGE has a Federal Information Security Modernization Act of 2014 (FISMA) certification through CMS. For more information about the Enclave analysis tool software, hardware, licenses, or security, please contact the LINKAGE team.
You can receive administrative, data analysis, and technical support from CMS data analysis experts. You can receive support with:
- Accessing and completing your administrative forms including the NIA Data Use Agreement.
- Submitting and reviewing your linked data sets.
- Preparing your linked CMS data set.
- Training on the enclave data tools workspace.
To request support contact the LINKAGE team.