Announcement on CEPS Geo Data Disclosure

China Educational Panel Survey (CEPS) has attracted wide attention from scholars in different fields of study since its data opened to academic use. Some users requested access to specific names of provinces, cities and counties (districts) in which the survey was conducted, because the schools in the open data were only marked as coming from different provinces, cities and counties (districts) while the specific name of schools and the provinces, cities and counties (districts) they belong to were not revealed. With respect to the request, CEPS hereby announces:

CEPS keeps in strict confidence the names, geographical locations and zip codes of schools and counties (districts) they belong to as required by relevant laws and scientific research ethics. This information will not be disclosed to any individual or institution so as to protect the privacy of the subjects and prevent any behavior that might cause damage to them, for example:

1. If the specific names of provinces, cities and counties (districts) are disclosed, some users might rank these provinces and regions according to different educational level or other indexes and publicize the rankings. This will not only be unfair to those who rank at the bottom, but will also bring difficulties to subsequent CEPS surveys.

2. Considering that in the sampling design of CEPS, the number of sample counties (districts) is limited, mostly 1 or 2 in each province, and schools in these counties (districts) are highly concentrated, and that abundant personal variables relevant to school administrators, teachers, students and parents are disclosed in the data, there is a chance that the personal identity and school information might be recognized and exposed and their privacy might be violated if detailed geographic information is disclosed.

Thus, CEPS hereby announces that, according to the basic scientific research ethics, it decides not to disclose the names, geographic locations and zip codes of provinces, cities and counties (districts) and schools so as to protect the privacy of its subjects, guard them from any potential damage and prevent legal wrangles and other kinds of disputes.