How to Access Data via Health Data Australia

Health Data Australia (HDA) helps researchers discover and access health data.

We do not store the data here - we provide descriptions of the data from our data publishing partners.

To discover data for research:

  1. Search the catalogue of data descriptions
  2. find data of use to your research
  3. request access to the data via “Access the data” on the data information page and complete the request form
  4. your request is sent to the owner of the data to review
  5. if your request is approved, the owner will arrange for you to be given access to the data
  6. keep track of your data requests via MY HDA.

Overview of the data request process

Different datasets listed on HDA have different governance and requirements for how access is granted. This information should be included in the listing of each dataset. However, to make it easier for you, all datasets listed on HDA adhere to a common framework for responding to data requests.

How do I submit and track a data request?

To submit a data request, you must first login to HDA. Currently, the only way to login is using AAF credentials (NB. we will add other ways to login in the future). AAF credentials are set up by your organisation, and we cannot arrange this on your behalf. If you work at an Australian university, then you likely already have AAF credentials. In most cases, you simply use your university username and password.

Once you are logged in, click on the ‘Access Data’ button on the listing of the dataset you wish to request access to. You will be asked to complete a data request form. You can save your progress and submit this form at any time.

Once you have submitted a data request, you will receive email notifications about its progress. You can also see its progress at any time by logging in and viewing the myHDA page.

Who reviews data requests?

Your request will be forwarded to the owner of the data or their delegated representative. Different datasets have different governance requirements (e.g. based on their ethics approval). If the details of these requirements are not listed on HDA you can contact the owner for more information. The data owner will review your data request against their specific requirements and let you know the outcome.

Depending on the details of your request, you may be asked to provide additional information or modify the way you propose to use the data before your request is approved. In some cases, additional ethics approval may be required. The data owner will let you know if this is the case.

Please note that it is not always possible for data requests to be approved. This may be due to ethical or other limitations. The data owner will let you know if this is the case.

Will I need to sign a data sharing agreement?

As noted above, different datasets have different governance requirements, but in most cases you will need to sign a formal agreement with the data owner before you are given access to their data. If your request is approved, the owner will let you know if an agreement needs to be completed. The owner will determine what kind of agreement is required and will send a copy to you to complete.

If my request is approved, how do I access the data?

The specific access method for each dataset is determined by the owner. This may include being sent a link to securely download the data, or being given access via a secure research platform to remotely access the data, or via some other method. The data owner will let you know which methods are available.

User documentation

View detailed information about using Health Data Australia in our user documentation.