Case 12: Extracting files from the Danish Health Data Agency’s “Forskermaskine”
Cases are examples of questions and inquiries we receive in the Guidance Function, which we would like to share for inspiration.
A researcher contacted the Guidance Function to learn more about the rules for sending home files from The Danish Health Data Agency’s Forskermaskine. The researcher was interested in saving the code from specific files for further use.
Research Services provides access to Danish health data via the secure platform, Forskermaskinen. Definite rules apply for extracting files from the Forskermaskine. Under no circumstances is it allowed to extract data in which it is possible to identify individuals. This type of data can be found in comments or the code conditions, but also in tables or graphs if data is not sufficiently aggregated. The Danish Health Data Agency does not allow aggregation into groups smaller than five individuals, and smaller groups must be marked as <5. Statistics Denmark, which offers a similar Forskermaskine, allow aggregation into groups of three individuals. The rules apply to all accessible programs on Forskermaskinen.
All extraction from the Forskermaskine is at one’s own risk, and the researcher must therefore conduct a manual control of all files before extraction. It is therefore strongly recommended to study the following documents thoroughly (links in Danish):
Extraction of findings (particularly what can and cannot be extracted):
Data processing in the Forskermaskine (see subsection about extraction):
If you have any further questions or concerns, we recommend you contact the Danish Health Data Agency’s Research Services. Read more about the service here (in English): https://sundhedsdatastyrelsen.dk/da/english/health_data_and_registers/research_services
In this case, we guided the researcher towards information about the rules and regulations for file extraction from the Forskermaskine. We forwarded the relevant documents with a clarification of these rules. Please feel free to contact the Guidance Function if you need guidance in your research project. Our services are free of charge.
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