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FOR RESEARCHERS

Welcome fellow researchers!

 

California Teachers Study (CTS) data are available to be used as broadly as possible to advance scientific inquiry into disease etiology and women’s health.

 

If you are interested in working with CTS data or biospecimens, this page contains information about how to get started, including:

 

CTS data and resources have been collected and developed primarily with funds from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). These resources are made available in accordance with the NIH Sharing Policies and Related Guidance on NIH-Funded Research Resources and the NIH Genomic Data Sharing Policy.

 

Available Data

Since 1995, the CTS has collected:

 
 
 
 

How to Get Started

The CTS Data Commons is a shared workspace where you will find CTS data, CTS documentation, and a variety of analytic tools, including R and SAS, to enable you to securely access and analyze CTS data. Researchers can access the CTS Data Commons[?] through a Remote Desktop Service (RDS)[?] client that is installed on their own Windows or macOS computer. RDS provides a virtualized Windows desktop[?] that serves as a CTS-wide workspace. Researchers can request access to the CTS Data Commons at any time by contacting us.  

What will you find in the Data Commons?

The CTS Data Commons includes a variety of resources to help you understand and analyze CTS data:

A STANDARD CTS DATASET

These “Standard Data” include the most-commonly requested subset of variables from the baseline questionnaire and cancer follow-up data. Rather than a snapshot of CTS data, this draws directly from a live connection with the CTS data warehouse to give you the most up-to-date data available. We encourage everyone to start with the Standard Data. The following will assist your exploration:

 

The dictionary describes the baseline questionnaire, cancer, and follow-up variables in the Standard Data.

A version of the Standard Data has already been formatted for use in SAS. All users are provided with a SAS program that includes two parts:

  1. The first part is an %INCLUDE statement that combines the CTS data from the multiple sources in the CTS Data Commons into the Standard Data. Running that %INCLUDE program guarantees that you will always get the complete and most up-to-date CTS data.

  2. The second part is the space after that %INCLUDE statement in which you can write your own SAS code to generate cohort frequencies, perform time-to-event or person-time calculations, explore distributions, run regression analyses, or any other SAS functions. Examples are included to help you get started.

Another option for using the Standard Data is to explore data visualizations using Tableau software. Visualizations have already been created for many of the baseline and follow-up variables. You can adjust the visualizations or create your own to fit your curiosity or analytic needs. Start with the "ReadMe" tab to learn how.  

ENTITY RELATIONSHIP DIAGRAM (ERD) (click to download pdf preview)

For those who are curious about the data model of the dimensional data warehouse[?] that underpins the CTS Data Commons, you will also have access to view an interactive Entity Relationship Diagram (ERD)[?].  

SOFTWARE

The CTS Data Commons includes the tools needed to analyze the data, including SAS and R. If there are other tools you would like to see in the Data Commons, just let us know, and we can make those tools available.

DATA DICTIONARIES & VISUALIZATIONS

In addition to the Standard Data, data dictionaries are available for all self-reported questionnaire data. A variety of data visualizations summarizing hospital and cancer endpoints are available as well.

 
 

How to Access the CTS Data Commons

  1. Contact us by submitting the web form below.

  2. Select the option to Request access to the CTS Data Commons and include a brief description of your research interests.

  3. You will immediately receive a confirmation email with a link to the CTS Data Confidentiality Pledge. Please sign and return this form at your convenience by responding to the confirmation email. If you do not receive an email confirmation, please email us, as we may not be able to reach you at the email provided.

  4. Within 5 business days of receiving your CTS Data Confidentiality Pledge, we will send you login credentials and a user guide to help you install the Remote Desktop Service (RDS) and navigate the CTS Data Commons.

 
 

How to Propose a Project

The CTS Steering Committee uses a two-step process to approve all research projects that use CTS data and resources.

Step 1: Feasibility Review
  1. Contact us using the web form below, including the Ready to propose a project? section.

  2. You will immediately receive a confirmation email. If you do not receive an email confirmation, please email us, as we may not be able to reach you at the email provided.

  3. The CTS Principal Investigators will review your submission and either:

    • Recommend that you to proceed to the scientific review, or

    • Contact you to discuss your idea

  

Step 2: Scientific Review
  1. Complete the Proposal Form, which asks you to describe your aims, study design, analysis plan, and other details about your project.

  2. Once completed, email the form to cts@coh.org with the subject line Completed Proposal Form.

  3. The CTS Steering Committee will review the scientific merit of the project and vote to approve, reject, or revise & resubmit your proposal.

How to Begin Your Approved Project

The CTS team is available to help with all phases of your project.

  • If your project involves new data collection or contact with CTS participants, we will help facilitate those activities.

  • If your project involves use of existing biospecimens, we will help you obtain and use those resources.

  • If your project involves analysis of existing data, we will help you get started. Please continue reading for more information.

Process for Projects Involving Analysis of Existing Data

1. Complete the Analysis Data Request Form
This form provides a standard way for researchers to ask for the specific data they need for their analysis. You can complete the form yourself, or we can assist you in completing this form. The forms asks you to:

  • Specify your inclusion & exclusion criteria

  • Operationally define your endpoint(s)

  • Identify all of the exposure and covariate data you will need

 

2. After the Analysis Data Request Form is complete, the CTS team will insert those details into a SQL script that calls the specific data you need for your analysis.

 

3. A folder will be created for you within the Data Commons Remote Desktop to serve as your project’s workspace. That folder will contain:

 

  • A copy of the SQL SCRIPT that contains your query criteria

  • A SAS PROGRAM with a single line of code that calls the specific data you requested

  • A TABLEAU WORKBOOK with useful graphs and tables to help you visualize the data you requested

  • A DATA DICTIONARY specific for your data

  • A copy of your ANALYSIS DATA REQUEST FORM

 

4. From there, you can proceed with your analysis.

 

If your analysis changes and you need to make revisions, we can help you make those changes. If you know SQL or are familiar with data warehousing, you can also make those changes yourself.

 
 

Contact Us

Having trouble with the form? You can email us at cts@coh.org.

1500 E Duarte Road

Building 173, Suite 119

Duarte, California 91010

calteachersstudy@coh.org

(800) 568-9471

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