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  7. Scientific use Files (SUFs)

Scientific use Files (SUFs)

Scientific use files are specially released for the purposes of scientific research and relate to statistical surveys on individuals, households and enterprises. These are microdata files, with no direct identifiers, which have been subject to control methods to protect confidentiality.

Scientific use files may be requested exclusively for carrying out specific research projects by researchers belonging to Entities recognised as research institutions by Comstat or included in the list of research Institutions recognised by Eurostat.

Failing such requirement, it is necessary to activate the procedure for the recognition of the relevant Entity as a matter of priority.

How to request SUFs

To apply for access to SUFs, the Principal researcher of an accredited research entity shall submit:

  • Research proposal – (facsimile)
  • Confidentiality Declaration of the Principal Researcher of the Research proposal – (facsimile)
  • Confidentiality Declaration of individual Researchers involved in the project – (facsimile)
  • Additional certification (in case of Joint projects) – (facsimile)

Principal Researcher

The Principal Researcher should have one of the following qualifications: university professor (full, associate, aggregate or contract professor); researcher or similar positions; research grant-holder, manager of recognized research institutes, employee of entities carrying out research activities, member of scientific societies.


Contact person for microdata requests

The Contact person for microdata requests shall be the same as the contact person indicated in the Application form for Recognition as a research entity. In the case of recognition by Eurostat, the name of the “Contact person” shall be given, and, if necessary, can be requested directly to Eurostat by sending an email to


Joint project

A joint project is a research project involving the collaboration of two or more entities. All participating organisations must be recognized as research entities. The model refferring to a joint project must also be signed by the Contact person for microdata requests of each related entity.


This request shall be formally submitted through the Istat Contact Centre, by selecting the service “Release of microdata”.

The files are released in text format. Old editions only also include import programs for STATA, SAS, and R. Istat does not guarantee that the functions contained in the above programs are error-free and assumes no responsibility for the output resulting from their use.

List of scientific use files

European microdata files can be obtained from Eurostat by following the instructions given in the dedicated section of the website.