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Nielsen Dataset

The Harvard Library provided funds for a paid subscription to the Nielsen DataSet from University of Chicago Booth School of Business and the Harvard Office of Sponsored Programs is the point of contact to receive and manage registration codes and provide a DUA for Researchers.  Before obtaining access a Researcher must:

  1. Determine which Harvard IT representative you will work with to obtain a certificate of destruction of data after the expiration date of the data. This could be your own department IT person if you are using their servers or your Harvard issued laptop or FASRC if you are using our servers.
  2. Register the project with on the Chicago Booth Nielsen site.
  3. Submit data safety and DUA applications in the Research Administration system
  4. If using FASRC resources, submit a FASSE project request form including the DUA and DAT IDs from the Research Administration system.
  5. Transfer of Data is via Globus.  To transfer to your own Harvard issued laptop or workstation you will need to setup a personal endpoint.  If using FASRC resources, you will need to work with FASRC to setup a location for transfer.

The following provides notes about the two documents that must be obtained by the researcher before using the data set.

NOTE: This summary does not in anyway substitute for the knowledge the individual researcher must have by reading the entire documents.

Data Access and Confidentiality Agreement

At the beginning of this document, the Researcher and school/department official responsible for oversight of research/data access must be designated and adhere to the following.

  1. Understand that “Data” is more than just the downloaded data set.
  2. The Researcher shall submit a copy of his or her Research Project description, along with a signed copy of this Agreement and any applicable IRB Approval(s) to the Harvard Office for Sponsored Programs (
  3. The Researcher may disclose Data only to those PhD seeking students of Harvard working under the supervision or direction of Researcher on the Research Project(s).
  4. Pay attention to the limited use of the Data.
  5. The Researcher agrees to use appropriate safeguards of the Data.  This includes proper security of the data from the Internet or transmission thereof.
  6. The Researcher agrees to submit to Chicago Booth copies of all final papers or other publications arising from use of Data at least thirty (30) days prior to their proposed publication or other public dissemination.
  7. Any personally identified information within the Data shall not be disclosed in any manner.
  8. The Researcher shall coordinate with their school IT staff to provide any required certifications of destruction to Chicago Booth.  In the case of the data stored with FASRC we are happy to provide that.
  9. Researchers must abide by all federal and state laws and Harvard policies on research conduct.
  10. The Agreements last the entire duration of the Research project.

Master Access Agreement

  1. Data and License is made solely to the individual researcher via Nielsen site. This research can be Ph.D. student or postdoc that has a tenure-track faculty registered on the site.  Data is not available to undergraduates or masters students.
  2. The Fee has been paid for by Harvard Library
  3. Support is not provided by Nielsen.
  4. The start date is set on this document and the end date of use is 1 year after the start date
  5. An annual status report must be provided back to Chicago Booth
  6. Nielsen owns the data and there are particular rules around publishing that must be met.
  7. Data cannot be distributed and must remain on Harvard issued equipment, that is either servers maintained by Harvard or encrypted laptops or workstation issued by Harvard.
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