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Frequently Asked Questions

Data Access

How do I access ECLS-B data?

Due to NCES's confidentiality legislation, ECLS-B case-level data are available only to qualified researchers who are granted a restricted-use data license. Information about applying for or amending a restricted-use data license can be found at When presenting analyses, preparing manuscripts, publishing ECLS-B results, or corresponding through email (including with NCES staff), analysts must comply with ECLS-B rounding rules. Specifically, unweighted sample sizes must be rounded to the nearest 50. For example, a cell size of 25 to 74 is rounded to 50, 75 to 124 is rounded to 100, and a cell size less than 25 is denoted by a symbol indicating ''rounds to zero.'' Further, all presentations and manuscripts prepared using ECLS-B restricted-use data must be sent to the NCES Data Security Office ( for disclosure review prior to publication or presentation, as is required by the terms of the NCES restricted-use data license.

A subset of variables from the ECLS-B 9-month data collection is available to the general public in the Data Analysis System (DAS).The DAS allows users to develop tables with weighted estimates from the ECLS-B but does not provide users with access to case-level data. For more information about the DAS, please click on Data Information.

I saved my taglist in the ECB and used the “Extract” function to save a file with the variables I tagged, but when I try to open the file in SPSS/SAS/Stata, I don’t see any data. What’s wrong?

The ECB does not create a data file. Rather, the ECB creates syntax code that must be run in a statistical software package to generate a data file. The syntax file reads in raw data from the ASCII data file (the file with a .dat extension). In the ECB, there are two “save” steps in the “Extract” procedure. The first step saves the syntax file. In the second step, there is no file that is actually saved. Instead, this step writes a line of code in the syntax file indicating what to name the data file once the syntax file is run and a data file is generated.

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