Skip to Main Content

Archive Update (Apr. 2017) – Child: Birth to 42 Mon. & Consent

Posted by Peter Gilbertson on April 19, 2017, 5 p.m.

With the April release, the Archive now has NCS child information from birth to 42 months of age available, in addition to prenatal mother data. New in this release is information from the 24-, 30-, 36-, and 42-month child visits. The Archive’s supporting documentation and research tools - Instrument Inventory, Protocol Browser, and Variable Locator - have been updated to include the new dataset and instrument information.

The Participant Explorer now gives users access to explore a combined Vanguard Study child dataset. This new, All Study Children (IVS, ARS, PBS), dataset allows explorations of child participant information by Recruitment Protocol, demographics, and data collection activities.

The Archive is also making the consent and authorization forms used during the NCS available on the site. These available documents represent final versions fielded in the NCS and are available for reference or to inform future research endeavors.

Below is a brief summary of website changes to facilitate the sharing of this new information:

General Information

Research Tools

Data and Documentation

Sample & Lab Data

NCS Archive: Connecting With Other Collections and Repositories

Posted by Peter Gilbertson on March 10, 2017, 3:10 p.m.

The goal of the NCS Archive is to make data and samples, from the National Children’s Study, available to interested researchers. In order to better engage with different research communities and other scientific resources, the NCS Archive is now listed with several data and sample registries.

A brief introduction and links to these registries is available below:

National Institutes of Health Data Sharing Repositories

The NCS Archive is now listed on the Trans-NIH BioMedical Informatics Coordinating Committee’s (BMIC) listing of NIH Data Sharing Repositories at the US National Library of Medicine. The repository listing includes information on NIH-supported repositories with data and samples available for researcher use. There are currently 66 repositories available for researcher evaluation including the National Children's Study Archive.

National Cancer Institute (NCI)

Biospecimen Research Database

The Biospecimen Research Database shares the protocol used for biospecimen collection in the Nation Children's Study: BRD - NCS Archive. The Biospecimen Research Database is a freely available database of peer-reviewed articles and scientific operating procedures dealing with human biospecimen research.

Research Resources for Cancer Epidemiology and Genomics

The Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences's Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program lists the NCS Archive among potential Research Resources for Cancer Epidemiology and Genomics. The Research Resources for Cancer Epidemiology and Genomics listing provides links to biospecimen resources of interest for cancer researchers.

Specimen Resource Locator

The Specimen Resource Locator lists the NCS Archive as a source of available samples for research analysis: SRL - NCS Archive. The Specimen Resource Locator allows users to search biospecimen samples, from different repositories, by organ site, specimen type, histology/tumor type, and preservation type.

Registry of US Federal Scientific Collections

The NCS Archive is listed on the Registry of US Federal Scientific Collections (USFSC): USFSC - NCS Archive. The USFSC registry is a listing of collections owned or managed by US Federal government departments and agencies. The site is supported by the Interagency Working Group on Scientific Collections (IWGSC) which is co-chaired by U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Smithsonian Institution.

Global Registry of Biodiversity Repositories

The NCS Archive is also listed on the Global Registry of Biodiversity Repositories (GRBio): GRBio – NCS Archive. The GRBio is a clearinghouse of information about biological collections in natural history museums, herbaria, and other biorepositories. The repository is an ongoing collaboration and union of data from the Index Herbariorum at the New York Botanical Garden, the Biodiversity Collections Index (BCI) at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, and the Consortium for the Barcode of Life (CBOL) at the Smithsonian Institution.

Notice for NCS Users: Availability of NHANES Biospecimens

Posted by Peter Gilbertson on Feb. 15, 2017, 11:40 a.m.

National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES)

National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) Biospecimen Program


1) NHANES DNA Specimen Repository reopened

2) NHANES Genetic Data Repository updated with 800,000 additional variants

3) NHANES Serum/plasma/urine Specimens Repositories added more recent samples

Samples and data are from the nationally representative NHANES surveys NHANES III and 1999-2016.

The NHANES Biospecimen Program is a collection of stored serum, plasma, urine, and DNA specimens and genetic data that are readily available and can be used by researchers. Blood and /or urine samples were collected from eligible and willing participants from the NHANES III and NHANES survey cycles 1999-2016. Data produced from research using NHANES biospecimens are added to the NHANES database and made available to the public.

The DNA Specimen repository, which was reopened for use among researchers in October 2016, feature DNA specimens collected in NHANES III Phase II (1991-1994) and in NHANES cycles 1999-2002, 2007-2008, 2009-2010, and 2011-2012. The program is a nationally representative collection of stored DNA specimens and genetic data and will serve to add to the extensive amount of information collected from NHANES. The repository contains DNA specimen from ~27,000 NHANES participants.

The NHANES Genetic Data Repository added 800,000 genetics variants in October 2015. All variants pass NCHS Quality Control Review. Available variants are searchable at NHANES Genetic Variant. These data are restricted and available for research via the NCHS Research Data Center.

The NHANES Serum/plasma/urine Repositories contain over 1 million total vials of pristine serum, plasma and urine samples (i.e. immediately frozen for storage at the point of collection and not tested in a lab) and surplus samples (obtained after a laboratory has tested the samples and sent them back in a frozen state to our repository). All samples are stored at -80 degrees. Both pristine and surplus serum, plasma and urine samples are available for future research projects.

NHANES participants provide a separate consent/assent for the storage and use of their specimens for future research. Results of this research is not given back to these participants. Please see the NHANES Biospecimen Program website for more detailed information on what types of specimens are available and how to access them.

Federal Register notice: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) DNA Specimens: Guidelines for Proposals To Use Specimens and Cost Schedule

To learn more about NCS biological and environmental samples, please Login or register. There are currently over 200,000 biological samples, most with consent for genetic analysis, and more than 4,000 environmental samples available for new and unique research analysis.

Archive Update (Jan. 2017) - Environmental Analytic Results & Research Tool Update

Posted by Peter Gilbertson on Jan. 30, 2017, 4 p.m.

With the January release, the NCS Archive now has results data available from more than 195,000 environmental assays from over 5000 unique samples. This complements the more than 120,000 biological assay results already available in the Archive.

For the Initial Vanguard phase, the new datasets include results from:

For the Alternative Recruitment phase, the new datasets include results from:

Additionally, the Archive research tools: Participant Explorer, Protocol Browser, Sample Explorer, and Variable Locator, have been updated to include new results, sample, and explanatory information.

Below is a brief summary of changes to facilitate the sharing of this new information:

General Information

Research Tools

Sample & Lab Data

NCS Research Highlight: Precision and Reliability of Anthropometric Measurements Replicates

Posted by Peter Gilbertson on Nov. 28, 2016, 11:45 a.m.

National Children’s Study (NCS) research evaluates the precision, reliability, and additional value of multiple replicates for Anthropometric measurements.

A recent article, Use of Replicates to Improve the Quality Of Physical Measurements: Lessons Learned From A Psychometric Evaluation Of An Adaptive Protocol In The National Children’s Study by Zimowski et al., published in the Journal of Survey Statistics and Methodology, explores the value of a third replicate in conducting the anthropometric measures in a study that includes children.

The team from NORC at the University of Chicago, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and the American Institutes for Research evaluated 10 anthropometric measures collected from an adaptive protocol used in the NCS. The evaluation included the use of the technical error of measurement (TEM), and the coefficient of reliability (R) to measure the precision and reliability of the anthropometric measurements.

The team concluded that the necessity of a third measurement is often multifactorial - depending on the type of measurement, the age of the child being measured, increased time and burden, the tendency to discontinue an event, and the degree of precision required for the intended use.

As noted by the authors:

"The findings broaden the current literature by providing a methodology for using a reliability analysis to inform the design of measurement protocols, improve data quality, and begin to realize key efficiencies with respect to participant burden and data collection cost."

To learn more about other NCS publications, please visit the Publications and Bibliography page.

Login or register now to probe collected NCS data for new and unique research opportunities.