SA-NT DataLink
Supporting health, social and economic research, education and policy in South Australia and the Northern Territory.

Pricing of Data Linkage Services

The SA NT DataLink Steering Committee approved 'Access and Pricing Policydescribes the principles SA NT DataLink uses to determine the cost of a research project to a researcher or their organisation, which may then be used to inform a grant application.

The estimated cost or quotation (based on the principle of partial cost recovery) is based on the provision of the following services and project requirements:

  • engagement of client services staff to assist researchers with the project application process, and agreements with Data Custodians;
  • maintenance of the Master Linkage File (used to generate project linkage across multiple datasets);
  • production of project specific linkage keys, required for each Statistical Linkage Project.
  • the number of datasets and the anticipated cohort size;


Obtaining an estimate or a quote

To allow SA NT DataLink to develop an estimated cost, the Researcher must provide information about the number of datasets to be linked and the anticipated cohort size.

Before a written quote is provided, an assessment of the technical feasibility of providing and linking the data sought for a project is undertaken by SA NT DataLink.  An Expression of Interest must be submitted to SA NT DataLink before a Feasibility Assessment is undertaken.

Note that a final invoice may vary from a quote where there was a significant difference between the estimated cohort size provided by the researcher and the actual number of probable individuals linked by SA NT DataLink.

Please contact SA NT DataLink Client Services to obtain an estimate or to discuss feasibility and a written quotation. 

Other costs

Separate to SA NT DataLink charges, Data Custodians and providers of data for Statistical Linkage Projects may seek a fee or reimbursement of the costs they incurred in supplying the data required for Linkage Projects. Each organisation providing linked data for research studies has its own pricing or charging policy. The following is an example.

SA Health's Cost Recovery Statement
SA Health is a large and diverse organisation with data collections administered in different portfolio areas.  SA Health has no portfolio-wide pricing policy in relation to data extraction for researchers.  Data custodians separately decide whether to seek cost recovery for data extraction.  Cost recovery is rarely sought but may be if a research request will have a significant impact on SA Health resources, particularly staff time.  There is potential for a significant increase in demand for data from researchers, leading to a greater likelihood of cost recovery charges being sought.