Using MABEL Data

Instructions and forms for applying to access the MABEL Data.

Use of the MABEL data

The data collected by the MABEL survey are used by researchers to investigate a range of issues relating to the medical workforce in Australia. The data should be used only by individuals with the necessary quantitative skills and who are aware of the limitations of this type of survey data. For individuals and organisations without such skills it is recommended they contact the research team directly to discuss their requirements.

For those organisations which have endorsed MABEL, the research team is happy to provide basic descriptive statistics of specified variables. More detailed requests (e.g. cross tabulations and specific analyses) will be considered by the research team on a case-by-case basis and will be charged at an hourly rate.

MABEL User Manual

All users of the MABEL data should consult the MABEL User Manual. This manual contains background information about the MABEL survey and methods, as well as the data dictionary. The MABEL data released to researchers are de-identified, which means that individual respondents cannot be identified. To this end, the data contain no geographic identifiers apart from the ASGC remoteness categories; age is coded into aggregated categories; and other variables are top-coded.

The MABEL User Manual - Wave 11 Release (April 2020)

The study was approved by the University of Melbourne Faculty of Business and Economics Human Ethics Advisory Group (Ref. 0709559) and the Monash University Standing Committee on Ethics in Research Involving Humans (Ref. CF07/1102 - 2007000291).

Access to the MABEL data

There are two ways the MABEL data can be accessed and used. The first is by researchers conducting their own analysis using the de-identified unit record data for each wave, which can be supplied on a DVD.  The second is by requesting the MABEL team to undertake analysis.

Applying for de-identified unit record MABEL data

Those wishing to use de-identified unit record MABEL data to conduct their own analysis are required to submit a completed application form to the Melbourne Institute at:

Application form (new users)

Renewal application form (returning users)

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

Applications will be considered by the MABEL research team in its absolute discretion and applicants will be notified of their success, or otherwise, usually within a month of application.  Upon approval a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), outlining conditions for use of the data, including privacy issues, will need to be signed by all users, including research assistants.

Data will be supplied on a DVD which will be posted to the applicants. The MABEL User Manual can be downloaded above.

Since MABEL is an annual longitudinal survey, a separate application needs to be made for additional waves of the survey data each year, using the process above. The latest wave plus all previous waves of data will be provided, including any updates to previous waves. To the extent possible, we will notify users upon the release of each wave.

MABEL data is provided on an 'as-is' basis and, while reasonable care has been taken in its collection, neither the University of Melbourne nor Monash University is responsible for its accuracy, quality or fitness for purpose.

Cost. For university-based researchers and those in state, territory or federal governments, statutory agencies and endorsing organisations, an administrative fee of $88 (incl. GST) is charged for each annual application. This covers the use of the data for all individuals named on the application form. Current PhD students using MABEL in their PhD, and who apply as the main researcher, will not be charged a fee. The cost to other organisations is $1,100 (incl. GST) for each annual application to use the data.

Requesting analysis of the MABEL data

Individuals and organisations can also submit a request for analysis of the MABEL data by MABEL researchers. This might be relevant where an individual does not need access to the full dataset or where an organisation does not have its own statisticians or researchers to analyse the data. For example, an organisation may simply require the average earnings of doctors across different specialties, descriptive statistics for a group of doctors, or the production of aggregate tables or cross-tabulations.

A separate request form must be completed and submitted for every request made and a Memorandum of Understanding must be signed by all those intending to use the data:

Request Form for analysis of the MABEL data

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

Cost. Analysis requests will be charged at an hourly rate of $250.00 (ex. GST).  The production of simple descriptive statistics (e.g. averages) is free of charge for endorsing organisations, but more complex analyses will be charged at the above hourly rate.

Acknowledgements and publications

Copies of all publications and details of presentations which use the MABEL data should be provided to the Melbourne Institute, and must include the Acknowledgement below:


This [research/publication/presentation*] used data from the MABEL longitudinal survey of doctors. Funding for MABEL has been provided by the National Health and Medical Research Council (2007 to 2016: 454799 and 1019605); the Australian Department of Health and Ageing (2008); Health Workforce Australia (2013); and in 2017 The University of Melbourne, Medibank Better Health Foundation, the NSW Ministry of Health, and the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services. The study was approved by The University of Melbourne Faculty of Business and Economics Human Ethics Advisory Group (Ref. 0709559) and the Monash University Standing Committee on Ethics in Research Involving Humans (Ref. CF07/1102 – 2007000291). The MABEL research team bears no responsibility for how the data has been analysed, used or summarised in this [research/publication/presentation*]."

*select as applicable