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1104.0 - CURF Microdata News, Aug 2009  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/08/2009   
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Image: missing Jigsaw puzzle peiceIn this issueCensus TableBuilder - released 28 August
Image: CURF logoNew CURF releases Send us your citations
MiCRO online CURF application system Short cuts. How to cite CURF data


Image: missing Jigsaw puzzle peice In this Issue

It has been a busy few months for the Microdata Access Strategies team with a number of important CURFs being released, and more coming up in the remainder of the year, including the Business Longitudinal Database CURF. The eagerly awaited Census TableBuilder has also been released, offering researchers an easy-to-use tool for creating tables with up to 5 million cells! Read more about recent and expected releases in the New CURF Releases article below.

We are delighted to announce that we have now released our online CURF application system, MiCRO. This makes the process of applying for CURFs and keeping your information up-to-date simpler and virtually paper-free! It will also greatly assist each organisation's Contact Officer in managing their users and CURF holdings. All existing CURF users have now been registered to MiCRO and been provided with log-in details, but it is easy for new users to register themselves into MiCRO Online.

Our Newsletter also includes information about citation of ABS sources - when you are citing ABS information that you have used, or when you are providing us with details of your published research for our bibliography of publications. Correctly citing ABS information is a requirement, and can also greatly assist other researchers in their work.

For further information about these topics and more, please have a look through the articles below.

Michelle Gifford
(Acting) Director, ABS Microdata Access Strategies

Image: CURF logo New CURF releases

This part of the Newsletter provides information on recent and forthcoming CURF releases. Clients may also keep up to date with CURF releases by subscribing to our Email Notification Service or the ABS RSS Feed.

Microdata: Employee Earnings and Hours, Basic and Expanded CURF, Australia, 2006. Released: 31 March 2009

The survey was designed to provide statistics on the composition and distribution of earnings and hours of employees and whether their pay is set by award, collective agreement or individual agreement. Distribution and composition of average weekly earnings and hours of employees is classified by sex, adult/junior, full-time/part-time, managerial/non-managerial, industry, State/Territory, sector (private/government), employer unit size and composition of earnings and paid hours.

Microdata: Mental Health and Wellbeing, Basic and Expanded CURF, Australia, 2007. Released: 15 April 2009

The 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing CURFs contain confidentialised data about each selected person and the household to which they belong. Data is also available based on diagnosis, mental health condition, and consultations for mental health (service use).


Microdata: Childhood Education and Care Survey, Expanded CURF, Australia, June 2008. Released: 29 July 2009

This CURF presents information on children aged 0-12 years and their families. Information was collected about the use of formal and informal care, requirements for additional preschool/kindergarten or formal care, patterns of child care attendance, child care costs, the use of the child care benefit, working arrangements used by parents to help care for their children and parental income.

The CURF also presents characteristics of children aged 0-8 in their early learning years through the collection of information about the types of formal and informal learning activities they engage in and the environments in which these activities take place. Information is also collected about patterns of attendance at preschool/kindergarten and school, including historical and usual attendance, and frequency of attendance.

Microdata: Income and Housing, Basic and Expanded CURF, Australia, 2007/08. Released: 20 August 2009

The 2007-08 SIH cycle was conducted throughout the financial year and collected information about income and personal and household characteristics of persons aged 15 years and over resident in private dwellings throughout Australia.
The CURFs contain the following information:

  • detailed income information at the household, person and income unit levels,
  • housing characteristics (including tenure and housing costs), dwelling characteristics, mobility, finance and rental lease arrangements,
  • child care usage and costs, and
  • certain demographic and socio–economic characteristics.

Improvements have been made to the measurement of income in the 2007-08 cycle, in line with international statistical standards to: incorporate non-cash benefits provided to employees, termination payments and lump sum workers compensation payments; and to improve the coverage of bonuses and irregular overtime payments and inter-household transfers.

Microdata: National Health Survey, Basic and Expanded CURF, Australia, 2007-08. Indicative release: 21 September 2009

The 2007/08 National Health Survey (NHS) is the third in the series of regular triennial health surveys conducted under the partnership arrangements between the ABS and the Department of Health and Aging (DoHA).

Both the Basic and Expanded CURFs will contain information about:

  • the health status of the population, including long term medical conditions experienced;
  • health–related aspects of people's lifestyle, such as smoking, exercise and alcohol consumption;
  • use of health services such as consultations with doctors and other health professionals and other actions people have recently taken for their health; and
  • certain demographic and socio–economic characteristics.
Microdata: Business Longitudinal Database (previously known as A Profile of Australian Businesses), Expanded CURF, Australia, 2004-05, 2005-06, 2006-07. Indicative release: October 2009

The aim of Business Longitudinal Database is to facilitate micro level analysis for a panel (cohort) of small and medium businesses over time, and it will include both characteristics and financial data. A new wave of businesses is added each year and each wave is surveyed for five years.


Microdata: Labour Force Survey and Forms of Employment Survey, Basic and Expanded CURF, Australia, November 2008. Indicative release: January 2010

This Basic and Expanded CURF will provide information from both the monthly Labour Force Survey and the related Forms of Employment supplementary survey.

Detailed labour force and demographic characteristics for the civilian population aged 15 years and over will be included. In addition, data will be provided on independent contractors, other business operators and employees. Information will also be provided on people who had found their job through a labour hire firm or employment agency.

Microdata: Multipurpose Household Survey, Expanded CURF, Australia, 2008/09. Indicative release: February 2010

Formerly titled: 4100.0.55.001 - Multi-Purpose Household Survey, Australia, Expanded Confidentialised Unit Record File 2008/09

This CURF will provide statistics on four topics: Household Use of Information Technology, Barriers and Incentives to Labour Force Participation, Retirement and Retirement Intentions, and Crime Victimisation.



MiCRO. The new Online CURF application system

MiCRO is a new online system which streamlines the ABS CURF application process. This system has replaced the paper forms previously used to apply for CURF access. MiCRO enables users and contact officers to undertake tasks from your desktop including applying for CURFs Online, viewing the CURFs to which you have access and updating your contact information. Contact officers have much more visibility of their organisation's users and CURFs.

This week, MASS distributed letters containing MiCRO user ids and passwords to existing CURF users (via the Contact Officer).

Want to find out more? Click here for MiCRO information and guides

Log into MiCRO? Click here to log-in to MiCRO


Census TableBuilder - released 28 August

Available free to end users under the ABS/Universities Australia Agreement ,TableBuilder is an online tool which allows you to create your own custom tables of Census data including person, family and dwelling classifications in the one table. You decide to count either persons, families or dwellings, how to structure the data and which variables to include. Almost all variables from the 2006 Census Dictionary are available plus some additional popular requests.

TableBuilder's large table function makes creating tables with up to 5 million cells of Census data a breeze! Small tables are available immediately, while larger tables are submitted for processing, allowing you to create additional tables while your large table is being prepared.

New technology has been applied to TableBuilder which allows the screen to refresh much more quickly and allows you to make large selections without waiting for an entire list to display. In addition, a large table mode allows you to construct your table without displaying the data cells which can take your web browser a long time to return.

Unlike CDATA Online, TableBuilder is not topic based so you will be able to add any combination of variables to your table. The variables available to you will be restricted by the summation option you are using in the table.

For more information see the TableBuilder Product Brief

To register, download the Application and Undertaking Form.


Send us your citations!

We want to hear about your published research! If you have been using a CURF for a project and have published your research, send us the citation for inclusion in our list of Published research using CURF Microdata on the ABS website. The full text of the article or research is not required, although an abstract or web links can be supplied if available.

Your citations, and our bibliography, help publicise your research work and assist other researchers and the ABS to understand the range of research activities undertaken using CURFs.

Email your citation (any format suitable) to microdata.access@abs.gov.au.



Short cuts. How to cite CURF data in your publications

Short cuts is a regular feature highlighting tips and reminders for CURF users and Contact Officers.

CURF data should be specifically cited in your publications. Simply citing CURF data in the text of your publication as being from a "<named> survey" does not provide enough information to enable readers to identify that data source - since data from any ABS survey is released in various forms and in various products. You should therefore specifically name not only the survey and its reference period but that the data was sourced from a CURF.

While citation styles can vary, the standard elements to include when citing CURFs are:
  • Source of data: Australian Bureau of Statistics
  • Date/reference period of survey
  • Name of dataset used to produce CURF. In bold, for publications released online and in italics for print publications
  • Basic, Expanded or Specialist CURF
  • Method of access to CURF (ie. CD-ROM, ABS Remote Access Data Laboratory (RADL) or ABS Site Data Laboratory (ABSDL)
  • Statement: Findings based on use of ABS CURF data.

For example: Australian Bureau of Statistics 2007, Survey of Education and Work (2008), Basic CURF, CD-ROM. Findings based on use of ABS CURF data.

For more information about citing ABS data and products please refer to Guide to Citing ABS Sources.


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