At ETS, we recognize that the data we collect and maintain in the course of operating our testing programs and research grants may provide a rich and valuable source of information for researchers.
The release of data to external researchers facilitates the ability for them to explore new avenues of research, replication and the secondary analysis of existing research; for example, in contributing to the field of educational research.
ETS data is defined as information collected, derived and generated from test-taker and institutional participation in ETS tests and programs or federally-funded grants with ETS staff serving as Principal Investigators. The data collected includes information such as:
- demographic facts
- institutional affiliations
- item and test scores
- responses to questionnaires
ETS will not share audio or video responses, personally identifiable information, or data for specific institution/s or geographic regions that are not already published, unless under specific and legally approved circumstances.
Learn more about how ETS respects individual privacy and security.
How to Request Data
When submitting a request for data, clearly indicate the objectives and significance of your study. All requests will be given careful consideration and will be evaluated in a timely manner.
If accepted, you will be required to sign a licensing agreement* before the data can be released, and you will be assigned both an ETS program and a research contact person. For federally-funded grants, the contact will be the Principal Investigator.
If the result of your research using ETS data produces a publication that resides, or will reside in the public domain, it is subject to review prior to publication. Additionally, ETS requires that your ETS research contact person retain a copy.
Please keep in mind the following when initiating a data request:
- Some data maintained by ETS may require that additional permission be granted by an outside agency or governing body. For example, data from a client program will require permission from both ETS and the client for the release of data. It is the responsibility of the requesting researcher to obtain any additional permission that may be required for the release of data. ETS will not release any such data until the researcher provides a copy of the permission from the data owner. All requests for data from College Board® programs, such as for the SAT® and the SAT Subject Tests, should be submitted directly to the College Board.
- Some data that is maintained by ETS is not owned by ETS. For contractual reasons, we cannot release data that we do not own. For example, data from a testing program under contract to a state or local education agency will not be released. Permission to access and use said data can only be granted by the state or local agency that owns it.
- Data that is released by ETS to an external researcher may not be shared with other parties. Authorized members of a research team may have access to the data solely as needed for the research purposes as stated in the research proposal and agreed to in writing by ETS. The data must be protected from unauthorized use and distribution to the greatest extent possible. Once the data has been utilized in its final form, it must be retained for the lesser amount of time between the guidelines specified by ETS and the requestor’s institutional guidelines. After such time, ETS will remove the data from our archives and the requestor needs to destroy the data from any device used to conduct the research.
* For more information about ETS licensing agreements, please visit Permissions Use on the ETS Legal Website.
- ETS Corpus of Non-Native Written English housed at the University of Pennsylvania Website
- TOEFL® Committee of Examiners Research Program
- Findings of the CGS/GRE® Survey of Graduate Enrollment and Degrees, a joint project of the Council of Graduate Schools and the Graduate Record Examinations® (GRE) Board