The following report was written by Jan Meisels Allen, Chairperson of the IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee and published originally on the IAJGS Public Records Access Alert mailing list:
The (US) Department of Commerce announced that effective April 1, 2018 the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) implemented upgrades to modernize and enhance access to the Limited Access Death Master File (LADMF). One of the changes is their new website accessible at: https://ladmf.ntis.gov/ You will have to register at the site to familiarize yourself with and the new subscription options.
You may recall that when the proposed certification to the LADMF was announced, genealogists basically could not be certified as they could not meet the onerous requirements for business security and the cost of subscriptions. The submitted testimonies by various genealogical groups, including the IAJGS and the Records Preservation and Monitoring Committee (RPAC) of which IAJGS is a sponsoring member fell on “deaf ears”.
The remainder of the notice sent to IAJGS is copied in its entirety below as it is not posted to their website:
“Part of the upgrade includes improving the security for data access. NTIS accomplished this by making raw data subscriptions other than the LADMF Base File available only through Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP). NTIS no longer offers LADMF updates on CD ROM or DVD. NTIS also discontinued the Quarterly Updates. However, subscribers who would like to continue receiving raw data will still be able to obtain the Weekly and Monthly Updates via SFTP at the listed price when they renew or may instead choose one of the online search options described below. Because of its size, the LADMF Base File, which consists of more than 86 million entries, will remain available exclusively on CD ROM or DVD until further notice. The changes described in this paragraph will be implemented as subscriptions are renewed.
As the date for each subscriber’s raw data subscription renewal approaches, the NTIS subscription management team will be reaching out to existing customers to support the transition to the new NTIS-provided data products (contact firstname.lastname@example.org).
NTIS also simplified the subscription online search options to make selecting the services you need much easier. Customers already subscribing to online search products will not be charged more for the same product. However, the new option may cost more or less than the current subscription when you renew. Please note that only the mode of access will change; the data content and elements remain the same.
The new online search subscription options are described at: https://ladmf.ntis.gov/Products/Products
NTIS would like to remind you that all subscribers of the LADMF intending to use its data on a continuing basis must, after receiving a complete LADMF Base File, keep that file updated by purchasing a subscription to the weekly or monthly updates. Any subscriber who does not receive the updates on a continual basis is not keeping the LADMF up to date.
Licensees who resell LADMF in accordance with 15 CFR Part 1100 must notify their customers of the changes in LADMF product offerings and should also remind them that, to maintain an up to date LADMF Base File, they must continue to purchase the weekly or monthly updates.”
To read the previous postings NTIS requirements for certification to access the LADMF database go to the archives of the IAJGS Records Access Alert at: http://lists.iajgs.org/mailman/private/records-access-alerts/. You must be registered to access the archives. To register go to: http://lists.iajgs.org/mailman/listinfo/records-access-alerts and follow the instructions to enter your email address, full name and which genealogical organization with whom you are affiliated You will receive an email response that you have to reply to or the subscription will not be finalized.
Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee