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The International Workshop on Social Science Data Archives, held in Taiwan, sponsored by IASSIST

The International Workshop on Social Science Data Archives, sponsored by IASSIST, was held on September 15 in Conference Room II, Research Center for Humanities and Social Science (RCHSS), Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan. The invited speakers included Prof. Dr. Christof Wolf from GESIS – Leibniz-Institute for the Social Sciences, Dr. Yukio Maeda and Dr. Kaoru Sato from Social Science Japan Data Archive (SSJDA), University of Tokyo, and Dr. Won-ho Park, Dr. Seokho Kim from Korea Social Science Data Archive (KOSSDA), Seoul National University.

The finalized workshop agenda is listed in the following. We also had Dr. Ruoh-rong Yu introduce the Survey Research Data Archive of Taiwan. The topics of the presentations covered data curation, preservation, and dissemination services provided by each data archive. 

09:00~09:30

Registration

09:30~09:40

Opening Remarks

Dr. Ching-Ching Chang
Chair Professor
Department of Advertising
National Cheng-Chi University, Taiwan

Morning Session

Session Chair: Dr. Ching-ching Chang

09:40~10:20

Curating, Preserving, and Disseminating Social Science Micro Data at Social Science Japan Data Archive

Dr. Yukio Maeda
Professor
Institute of Social Science
University of Tokyo, JAPAN

10:20~11:00

Introduction to Korea Social Science Data Archive

Dr. Won-ho Park
Associate Professor
Department of Political Science and International Relations
Seoul National University, KOREA

Dr. Seokho Kim
Associate Professor
Department of Sociology
Seoul National University, KOREA

Dr. In Chol Shin
Senior Researcher
Korea Social Science Data Archive
Seoul National University Asia Center, KOREA

11:00~11:20

Tea Break

 

11:20~12:00

Introduction to Survey Research Data Archive of Taiwan

Dr. Ruoh-Rong Yu
Research Fellow and Executive Director
Center for Survey Research
Research Center for Humanities and Social Sciences, Academia Sinica, TAIWAN

12:00~14:00

Lunch

 

Afternoon Session

Session Chair: Dr. Chyi-In Wu. (Research Fellow, Institute of Sociology, Academia Sinica)

14:00~15:00

Services for Survey Data: The GESIS Perspective

Dr. Christof Wolf
President
GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, GERMANY

15:00~15:20

Closing Remarks

 

The registration of the workshop started May 1, 2017. The registration fee was NT$200, which included conference printed materials, lunch and light refreshments.  69 researchers attended the workshop. Most of the attendants were local scholars, while others were from Thailand, Turkey or other countries.

In the opening remarks, Dr. Chang stressed the importance of data archives, and gave a brief introduction to the speakers of the morning sessions.

The speaker of first session, Dr. Maeda, introduced the development and current practice of SSJDA. In addition, he also introduced some other data centers in Japan, including Leviathan Data Bank, Rikkyo University Data Archive, and Research Centre for Information and Statistics of Social Science at Hitotsubashi University.

SSJDA was started in 1998, with deposits amounting to 2,018 datasets. Its main collections include the Japanese General Social Surveys, Japanese Life Course Panel Surveys, Japanese Election Studies, National Family Research of Japan, Working Persons Survey, and Elementary School Students Survey. Researchers affiliated with academic institutions and graduate students can get access to SSJDA datasets for academic purposes. Applicants should sign an agreement (pledge) and get permission from PI in advance. Under the supervision of professors, undergraduate students are allowed to access certain data for paper writing. Such usage is classified as educational use, instead of research use. Some datasets are for research use only, and are not available for educational use.

SSJDA also offers several seminars on data usage and a one-week seminar on quantitative analysis every year. SSJDA built a desktop application for managing metadata based on the DDI lifecycle named Easy DDI Organizer (EDO). EDO can be used to edit metadata, import metadata and variable information from statistical software, and export documents. It is a useful tool for researchers, data users, and data archives. However, this system only has a Japanese version.

The second speaker was Dr. Park from KOSSDA. KOSSDA is Korea’s leading data archive, with expertise in the collection, dissemination, and promotion of research materials through various academic events and methodology education programs. Started in 1983 as a non-profit social science library, KOSSDA began to collect survey data in 2003, and moved to Seoul National University Asia Center in 2015.

KOSSDA collects survey data, statistical tables, qualitative interviews and narrative history data, documents, observation records, and other kinds of data produced by research institutes and individuals. KOSSDA also establishes digital databases, and provides access to the data. Its main collections include the Korean General Social Survey, ISSP Annual Topical Module Survey, Gallup Omnibus Survey, etc. KOSSDA has translated 250 survey datasets to English, including their questionnaires and codebooks.

KOSSDA is now rebuilding its website to enhance its data searching function and to improve web design. KOSSDA offers methodology training programs, data fairs, and a research paper competition every year.

After a 20-minute tea break, the presentation on SRDA kicked off. The speaker, Dr. Yu, is the Executive Director of the Center for Survey Research at Academia Sinica. SRDA was established in 1994. There are now eleven full-time workers in SRDA, including two IT staff members. The data archived by SRDA include survey data, census data, and in-house value-added data.

SRDA curates academic survey data such as the Taiwan Social Change Survey, Panel Study of Family Dynamic, Taiwan Social Image Survey, Taiwan Youth Project, Taiwan Education Panel Survey, and Taiwan’s Election and Democratization Study. In addition, SRDA also curates government survey data including the Manpower Survey, Manpower Utilization Survey, Woman’s Marriage, Fertility and Employment Survey, Survey of Family Income and Expenditure, Digital Opportunity Survey for Individuals and Households, Survey on Workers’ Living and Employment Conditions, etc. The number of datasets dissimilated by SRDA exceeds 2,800, in which 315 datasets have English versions.

A membership scheme is adopted by SRDA. Academia Sinica members are researchers at Academia Sinica. Regular members are faculty, researchers, students, or research assistants at colleges or research institutes. There are now about 2,302 members. A member can get access to most of the archived data by direct downloading from the SRDA website.

SRDA members can also apply for data with restricted access. The restricted datasets can be used via on-site access or remote access. All services provided by SRDA are now free of charge.

SRDA offers workshops, webinars, and on-campus lectures to promote data usage. In addition, SRDA maintains some social media websites such as a Facebook fan page, Youtube Channel, and SRDA blog.

SRDA has been constructing a data-based bibliography for years. Since 2016, SRDA has begun to register DOI via da|ra. One task in progress is to construct a data integration platform for Taiwan Social Change Survey data of various years. Other main tasks include enlarging data storage, broadening membership, remodeling the website, developing data management plans, and constructing an evaluation scheme for data disclosure risk.

In the afternoon session, Dr. Chi-in Wu was the chair. The presenter, Dr. Wolf, introduced the development and current progress of GESIS. Relative to data archives of Asia countries, the budget and personnel of GESIS are very large. GESIS was founded in 1960, and the data archive for social science is one of the five research departments of GESIS. There are about 70 staff members in the data archive for social science, belonging to seven teams.

GESIS currently has about 6,000 datasets, which mainly focus on migration, election, values and attitudes, and social behavior. ISSP, CSES, EVS, and ALLBUS are some well-known social science survey programs. It is easy for PIs to upload datasets through the Datorium system, which is a self-deposit service for sharing data.

Dr. Wolf stressed the importance of DOI (Digital Object Identifiers), and introduced the DOI registration service built by GESIS  da|ra. Da|ra has 576,297 registered DOI names and 88 data providers worldwide, including ICPSR, SRDA, etc. In addition to hosting da|ra, GESIS is devoted to developing international standards for data documentation and data archiving, and providing training and consulting services to researchers.

In the presentation, Dr. Wolf also talked about the secure data center of GESIS. The secure data center enables researchers to access sensitive, and weakly anonymized data. It is a locked room without internet. Users have to sign contracts in advance. Any inputs and outputs are required to be checked for disclosure risk. In the future, the secure data center will establish a remote access system, which can provide secure access to the data curated in CESSDA.

A business meeting was kicked off on the next day (September 16). Besides the guests from GESIS, KOSSDA and SSJDA, participants of the meeting included researchers at the Center for Survey Research, and all the staff of SRDA. The agenda was as below.

Development of Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives (CESSDA)

Christof Wolf (GESIS)

Connections among SSJDA, KOSSDA and SRDA in Recent Years

Ruoh-rong Yu (SRDA)

Possible Future Collaboration among Data Archives

All Participants

There have been frequent connections among KOSSDA, SSJDA and SRDA in recent years. Conferences and/or workshops were hosted in rotation in 2008, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017.

In 2016, KOSSDA organized an international conference with invited guests from SSJDA at the University of Tokyo (Japan), CNSDA at Renmin University (China), and SRDA at Academia Sinica (Taiwan). In this conference, a consensus was reached to develop a regional association of data archives in Asian countries, namely the Networks of Asian Social Science Data Archive (NASSDA).

The main purpose of the business meeting this year was to discuss possible future collaboration among data archives in Asia countries. The brief conclusions are listed in the following:

  1. To build a joint data catalogue for the archives involved.
  2. To construct web linkages and brief introduction among archives.
  3. To have a contact person for each data archive for future cooperation.

NASSDA members will hold annual workshop or conferences on a rotating basis. Further collaboration will be discussed in the near future. 

IASSIST & CARTO 2018 CALL FOR PROPOSALS

Conference website: http://www.library.mcgill.ca/iassistcarto2018/

Conference hashtag: #iassistcarto

The 44th annual conference of the International Association for Social Science Information Services and Technology (IASSIST) will be jointly held with the 52nd annual conference of the Association of Canadian Map Libraries and Archives (ACMLA-ACACC) in Montréal, Québec, Canada from May 29-June 1, 2018.

Once Upon a Data Point: Sustaining our Data Storytellers

In many ways, researchers are data storytellers: they create compelling data-supported narratives for examining both historical and current social phenomena and for facilitating social change and reconciliation. We professionals who support these data storytellers play vital roles in giving their data stories life. We assist our data storytellers in:

  • Discovering existing and collecting new data from which to craft the stories.
  • Analyzing and managing data to uncover the stories hiding within.
  • Visualizing data to offer vivid and meaningful illustrations to enhance the stories.
  • Teaching data literacy skills to their audiences so they can understand and critique the stories.
  • Curating, archiving, and sharing data so that the stories are not lost for future generations, and so new data storytellers may weave even more stories from the data.

And we conduct our own research to tell our own stories and to also improve our support of other data storytellers.

We welcome submissions that tell diverse stories about our IASSIST and ACMLA-ACACC communities’ experiences, that offer conference attendees suggestions of how they can implement or adapt lessons for their own work, and that have wide-reaching appeal to our international attendees. Although the positive outcomes are always something people want to hear, there’s also an appetite for learning about the things that didn’t go well, particularly any problems you faced and how others might avoid or handle them.

So bring us your data comedies, tragedies, epics, horror stories, mysteries, histories, thrillers, adventures, fables, fantasies, science fiction, and even romances if you’ve got them! We look forward to sharing, learning from, and adapting each other's stories.

 

Submitting Proposals

We welcome submissions for papers, presentations, panels, posters, and Pecha Kuchas in English and French.

The Call for Presentations, along with the link to the submission form, is at: http://www.library.mcgill.ca/iassistcarto2018/call-for-proposals/ 

Questions about presentation submissions may be sent to the Program Co-Chairs (Jay Brodeur, Laurence Horton, and Mandy Swygart-Hobaugh) at iassist2018@gmail.com.

We are also accepting submissions for Pre-conference Workshops. The Call for Workshops, along with the link to the submission form, is at: http://www.library.mcgill.ca/iassistcarto2018/workshops/

Questions about workshop submissions may be sent to Workshop Coordinators, Jenny Muilenburg (jmuil@uw.edu) and Andy Rutkowski (arutkows@usc.edu).

Deadline for ALL submissions: 20 November 2017

Notification of acceptance: February 2018


Support for Attending the Conference

IASSIST Fellows Program supports data professionals from underrepresented regions and countries with emerging economies. IASSIST Early Professional Fellows Program helps early career data professionals recognizing the value of innovative ideas. Applications can be made at https://goo.gl/forms/dr6fie6XJyOKR4Ee2 and will close 19 January 2018.

Address questions about the Fellows Programs to Florio Arguillas (foa2@cornell.edu) and Stuart Macdonald (smacdee@outlook.com).

Winter 2016 IASSIST Quarterly Posted

Editor’s Notes
When things get digital and huge. Doing the things right and doing the right things.


Welcome to the fourth issue of Volume 40 of the IASSIST Quarterly (IQ 40:4, 2016).


There is a lot of management involved in the data management carried out at data archives and with data collections. The phrase 'Doing the things right and doing the right things' belongs to fathers of modern management and is used to distinguish management vs. leadership, efficiency vs. effectiveness, and tactics vs. strategy. The winning authors of the 2016 lASSIST paper competition used the article 'More Product, Less Process: Revamping Traditional Archival Processing' (Mark A. Greene and Dennis Meissner, 2005) as their starting point for investigating the 'More Product, Less Process' (MPLP) approach for digital data. The winning paper 'More Data, Less Process? The Applicability of MPLP to Research Data' is written by Sophia Lafferty-Hess and Thu-Mai Christian. The authors work at the Odum Institute for Research in Social Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as Research Data Manager and Assistant Director of Archives. The paper was presented in the session 'Data Management Archiving/Curation Platforms' at the IASSIST 2016 conference in Bergen.


In their paper Lafferty-Hess and Christian set out to apply the principles and concepts formulated in MPLP to the archiving of digital research data. They discuss data quality, usability, preservation and access, leading to the question: What is the ‘golden minimum’ for archiving digital data? In terms of data archiving, spending too much effort on doing the things right may bring the trade-off problem that the resources are not sufficient to do all the things. Users in the digital world retrieve and consume lots of information by themselves, but digital data comes in forms that are seldom directly consumable without additional processing. When the authors also relate the phrase 'golden minimum' to the phrase 'good enough', management is again brought into the discussion. In my view, the short formulation of Herbert Simon's ‘satisficing’ concept in his theory of bounded rationality is 'good enough is best'. Lafferty-Hess and Christian are aware that shifting responsibility for certain data curation tasks from the data archive to the data producer and to the data user can present problems. Their best advice and hope for the future is that additional 'future research will help us build better understanding of the connection between user needs and data curation processes'.


The following paper 'MMRepo - Storing qualitative and quantitative data into one big data repository' is authored by Ingo Barkow, Catharina Wasner and Fabian Odoni, working at University of Applied Sciences Eastern Switzerland HTW Chur where Barkow is Associate Professor and Wasner and Odoni are research associates. They describe a prototype of their MMRepo project that addresses the problem of storing qualitative large binary objects with regular quantitative data in order to achieve the advantage of storing mixed mode data in the same infrastructure, whereby only one system needs to be provided and maintained. Linking to the first paper they are looking into the efficiency problem of doing the things right. When you are efficient you can do more things right. The project is trying to achieve this by combining CERN’s Invenio portal with a Hadoop 2.0 cluster and DDI 3.3. The prototype was successful and the project continues. The paper was presented at the IASSIST 2016 conference in the session ‘Technical Data Infrastructure Frameworks’.


Aidan Condron works with the Big Data Network Support team at the UK Data Service. At the IASSIST 2016 conference he presented ‘Data Science: The Future of Social Science?’ at the session ‘Big Data, Big Science', and has submitted this presentation as the paper 'Servicing New and Novel Forms of Data: Opportunities for Social Science'. These ‘new and novel’ forms are, for example, social media data that present potential resources for researchers but also pose challenges for access provision and analysis. The paper introduces Data Service as a Platform (DSaaP), which is a project to establish technological infrastructure support. As with the MMRepo project, the DSaaP project will include both familiar and new and novel forms of data. The novel forms of data are often huge, and 'Hadoop' solutions are also at play here using a data lake built through use of open source software. The article also gives several demonstrations through graphs of energy consumption based on 3.7 billion datapoints. After the presentation and the paper, the Big Data Network Support team will standardise and generalise the procedures developed from their DSaaP project.


Submissions of papers for the IASSIST Quarterly are always very welcome. We welcome input from IASSIST conferences or other conferences and workshops, from local presentations or papers especially written for the IQ. When you are preparing a presentation, give a thought to turning your one-time presentation into a lasting contribution. We permit authors 'deep links' into the IQ as well as deposition of the paper in your local repository. Chairing a conference session with the purpose of aggregating and integrating papers for a special issue IQ is also much appreciated as the information reaches many more people than the session participants, and will be readily available on the IASSIST website at http://www.iassistdata.org.


Authors are very welcome to take a look at the instructions and layout:
http://iassistdata.org/iq/instructions-authors


Authors can also contact me via e-mail: kbr@sam.sdu.dk. Should you be interested in compiling a special issue for the IQ as guest editor(s) I will also be delighted to hear from you.


Karsten Boye Rasmussen

July 2017

Editor

but how do i *do* qualitative research? bridging the gap between qualitative researchers and methods resources--part 4

Last week Mandy shared ideas about how librarians and other data-support professionals can act as connectors, crusaders and collaborators on campus in order to better provide and develop qualitative research teaching resources. This week we want to build on Mandy’s suggestions by looking a bit more broadly at how librarians and other data-support professionals can help build community around qualitative research at their institutions.

As qualitative research methods are often not the dominant methodologies used in departments and institutions, qualitative researchers may not have a strong support network and may lack colleagues to consult with or learn from. I have regularly heard from graduate students embarking on a qualitative project that they are struggling to learn about qualitative methods on their own because their advisor doesn’t know much about qualitative research or because their department does not offer a course in qualitative research methods. I have also heard from the lone qualitative research faculty member in a department about how isolating that can be. So building a community where qualitative researchers can support, connect with and learn from each other can be very important. Libraries, often seen as neutral ground on campus, have an opportunity to play a unique role as facilitators building this community by connecting people and leveraging resources from across campus.

Some activities that librarians and data support professionals may want to consider to help build a qualitative research community on their campus include:

  • Conduct an environmental scan.  Each campus has a different research support environment, so it may help to first do an environmental scan of your campus to learn who is already doing what to support qualitative research. Document what you learn! Think about how the library can bring together existing resources and build on them.
  • Then, act as a clearinghouse around qualitative methods and support. As you investigate what is going on across your campus related to qualitative research, compile and publicize what you find.  For example, you may create:
  1. lists of campus resources, including labs and software/support tools available,
  2. lists of qualitative methods courses offered in departments across campus,
  3. a directory of faculty members with strengths in qualitative research who agree to act as a resource for others.

As Jill mentioned in our second blogpost, Libguides/research guides are often a great way to capture and share this type of information with the university community and with  library colleagues. Additionally, sharing this information through other campus organizations, such as a graduate resource center, might be a good way to reach an audience with related needs. 

  • Establish/host/contribute to a campus listserv for those with questions or who need help working with qualitative methods and tools.
  • Partner with faculty/graduate students/other campus departments to establish/host a qualitative research support group on your campus. These could be informal brown bags, reading groups, or a place for attendees to meet others and ask questions of those  interested in similar issues.
  • Consider helping to establish a mentor program partnering those new to qualitative research with more experienced researchers.
  • Host/organize/co-sponsor a qualitative research event/symposium - this not only fosters building a vibrant qualitative research community but can help demonstrate the library’s commitment to serving this community.
  • Offer library spaces and resources to support qualitative groups, events, etc.

I hope these suggestions get you started thinking about ways to build a community on your campus. We’d love to hear what you are already doing and we welcome comments here, emails to the IASSIST listserv, the QSSHDIG google group, or directly to the authors, and/or comments in this “Blog Conversations” doc embedded in the QSSHDIG website.

This is the last of our 4-part blog series, “How Do I *Do* Qualitative Research? Bridging the Gap between Qualitative Researchers and Methods Training Resources.” QSSHDIG would love to get more conversations going on the IASSIST blog - there's a section at the bottom of our “Blog Conversations” doc for suggesting future QSSDHIG posts - please do!

But How Do I *Do* Qualitative Research? Bridging the Gap between Qualitative Researchers and Methods Resources--PART 3

Connectors, Crusaders, and Collaborators

Jill’s post from last week detailed ways we data-support professionals can connect researchers to library collections and other information sources for bridging the qualitative methods gap. I’d like to offer more ideas for how we can act not only as connectors but also as crusaders and collaborators on our campuses specifically in the realm of providing and developing qualitative-research teaching resources. 

Because we work with researchers across campus and in various capacities, data-support professionals are often more aware of methods gaps than are the academic departments we support. As such, we are well-positioned to act as intermediaries to address these gaps by connecting researchers to existing resources and crusading for additional resources. For example:

  • We can use our cross-disciplinary knowledge to connect researchers to resources (including other people) about which they may be unaware:
    • “Did you know that the College of Education offers a qualitative methods class that’s open to any discipline?”
    • “Do you know about ResearchTalk's Qualitative Research Summer Intensive?”
    • “Professor X does narrative analysis - maybe you should contact them to see if they’d be on your dissertation committee?”
    • “Professor Y does mixed-methods research - perhaps they’d be willing to consult on the qualitative aspects of your research, and maybe even be a co-investigator?”
  • When we encounter campus researchers experiencing this qualitative methods gap, we can document these occasions and then share them with those who can affect positive change:
    • Tell chairs of academic departments and/or methods professors that graduate students attending qualitative analysis software workshops want this training integrated into their qualitative methods class.
    • Contact the Graduate School and recommend they coordinate student support groups focused on qualitative research [Liz’s post next week will have even more community-building suggestions].
    • Share information gleaned from research consultations and/or instruction sessions with your library administrators to advocate for funds for qualitative-research collections/e-resources and for your own professional development in qualitative methods training.

In addition to connecting and crusading, we data-support professionals can collaborate with other campus researchers to buttress qualitative methods training on campuses. For example:

  • Librarians can draw on their own expertise and also partner with qualitative researchers on campus to offer presentations, workshops, brown bags, etc., aimed at addressing the qualitative methods gap:
    • In my presentation with sociology professor Dr. Ralph LaRossa, “The Logics and Logistics of Qualitative Research”, Dr. LaRossa discusses the methodological steps involved in building theoretically-rich qualitative analyses, then I outline the specific features of NVivo qualitative research software that complement and facilitate these analyses.
    • When teaching qualitative research softwares such as NVivo, Atlas.ti, Quirkos, MAXQDA, or Dedoose, pointedly integrate methodological concepts along with teaching the mechanics (e.g., “Grounded Theory in the Atlas.ti Environment,” “Using NVivo Memos to Document your Methodological Process,” “Developing Variables and Rich Coding Schemas using NVivo Hierarchical Nodes,” “De-Identifying Interview Transcripts in Quirkos,” etc.)

These are just a few ideas for how we can use the three Cs (connecting, crusading, and collaborating) to address this qualitative methods gap. What ideas do you have? What are your successes in this area? Or your slip-ups that we can all learn from?

We welcome comments here, emails to the IASSIST listserv, the QSSHDIG google group, or directly to the authors, and/or comments in this “Blog Conversations” doc embedded in the QSSHDIG website. Also, there's a section at the bottom of the "Blog Conversations" doc for suggesting future QSSDHIG posts - please do!

Stayed tuned for Part 4 of our blog series next week, when Liz Cooper will address how librarians and other data-support professionals can help build community at their institutions around qualitative research.

Special Issue of International Journal of Librarianship: Data Librarianship

[Posted on behalf of Kristi Thompson]

The special issue of the International Journal of Librarianship on Data Librarianship I guest edited has been published. One feature in particular that might be of interest to IASSISTers is an article in which we interviewed a number of people who had prominent and interesting careers in the field and asked them to share their thoughts on how data services have changes over the course of their careers, as well as advice for newbies.

Our interviewees include IASSIST President Tuomas J. Alaterä, as well as Ann Green, Guangjing Li (China), Jian Qin, Wendy Watkins, and Lynn Woolfrey. Hopefully it will help spread the IASSIST word to some audiences we don't always reach! (Readership for this journal is largely in Asia so far.)

Article (open access): https://doi.org/10.23974/ijol.2017.vol2.1.35

Other articles and book reviews will also be of interest. Table of contents:

http://ojs.calaijol.org/index.php/ijol/issue/view/3

Kristi Thompson

But How Do I *Do* Qualitative Research? Bridging the Gap between Qualitative Researchers and Methods Resources--PART 2

Mandy kicked off our 4-part blog series last week with an inaugural post that provided background and context for this project, which centers around a specific challenge faced by many qualitative researchers: lack of qualitative methods training.  This post offers some concrete ideas to data-support professionals on how to leverage library collections and other information sources that direct researchers to secondary and tertiary sources on qualitative methods to address this issue.

Possibly the most basic yet high-impact way to bridge the gap between researchers and qualitative methods is to create a LibGuide—or any other online research guide or pathfinder—dedicated to qualitative research resources.  It can be embedded within an existing resource, such as a library’s Data Services page or a course-specific guide, or it can exist as an independent guide unto itself.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: when faced with an instructional or research need, a librarian’s knee-jerk reaction is often, “Let’s make a LibGuide!”  While research guides aren’t necessarily appropriate for every topic or service we provide as information and data specialists (i.e., LibGuides aren’t a panacea, per se), they can be a useful didactic medium for culling and delivering information and resources specific to qualitative research methods.   

Online research guides, like LibGuides, allow researchers to benefit from the guidance and expertise of a data-support professional in an autonomous, self-paced manner.  This type of learning object is well-suited for researchers who fit the profile Mandy described in her introductory post for this series: those who aren’t getting formal qualitative methods training and need to get up to speed quickly on their own, and/or researchers with varying degrees of qualitative methods knowledge and experience who would like a set of materials, sources, and resources to which they can refer back periodically.  The portability of a LibGuide also makes it convenient for use by data-support professionals in mediated settings, such as consultations or instruction sessions.  And at institutions where demand for research methods and tools training outstrips an individual or staff’s capacity to provide one-on-one or even course-embedded support, a LibGuide can solve the scalability problem for a large and diverse set of needs (although, obviously, not all of them).  Lastly, LibGuides aren’t just for researchers; they also serve to assist colleagues and fellow information and data specialists in providing reference and research services at an institution (and beyond) and are an effective tool for cross-training.  This last point is relevant especially for fairly specialized, niche areas of expertise, like qualitative research methods.

 A number of qualitative research guides already exist and are worth checking out (e.g., Duke University Libraries’ guide on Qualitative Research by Linda Daniel, UCSF Library’s Qualitative Research Guide by Evans Whitaker).  Below are some suggestions for content to include—with a focus on resources related to learning about qualitative methods—if one were to consider creating anew or building on an existing qualitative research guide.

Select bibliography of relevant literature

A centralized bibliography, or simply citations/links dispersed throughout a guide, can be useful in directing users to relevant secondary and tertiary sources to learn more about qualitative research methods.  Citations to the following literature types may be appropriate to include:  

As a companion, it may be useful to link to relevant catalogs and social-sciences databases to search for additional literature and research.  However, not all catalogs and bibliographic databases index research methods, and even those that do often don’t index qualitative methods with appropriate granularity.  Thus, it may be necessary to provide tips on how best to search for studies that employ qualitative methods (e.g., NYU Libraries’ guide on Locating Qualitative Research by Susan Jacobs).  This way, a guide delivers select sources but also teaches users how to find additional methods-related sources themselves.

Links to subscription-based resources

There are a number of specialized library databases designed for quick reference and/or in-depth, self-guided learning, and these serve as rich fonts of information about qualitative methods.  Three possible resources that fit this bill are:   

  • Credo Reference
    While not specific to research methods, Credo is a multidisciplinary, searchable collection of digitized reference works (e.g., dictionaries, encyclopedias, and handbooks) that provide helpful background information on a topic but also act as springboards to connect users to further readings and cross-references.  Credo can serve as a good starting point for researchers looking to learn more about qualitative methods in general or about a particular methodology.   
  • Sage Research Methods Online (SRM)
    SRM is an online multimedia collection devoted to research methods (qualitative and quantitative), with a special emphasis on research skills training.  It includes e-versions of SAGE’s Little Blue Books, an instructional series on qualitative research methods, as well as many other searchable, full-text interdisciplinary SAGE reference and journal sources that allow users to deep-dive into a particular method at each stage of the research lifecycle.  SRM also provides resources for teaching qualitative methods, including case studies, sample datasets, and instructional videos.

  • Oxford Bibliographies Online (OBO)
    OBO offers access to online, peer-reviewed, annotated bibliographies that are organized by discipline and are written by experts in their fields.  One can find entire bibliographies or portions of a bibliography dedicated to qualitative methods in a given field of social science (e.g., sociology, political science) or to a particular qualitative methodology (e.g., anthropology, education).  This makes OBO a good source of information for discipline-specific qualitative research methods.  

In addition to researchers, these resources can be indispensible to data-support professionals who are asked to consult on research projects using qualitative methods outside their own specializations, or who are asked to consult with researchers who sit in (or between) disciplines with which they are less familiar or comfortable.

List of professional development and ongoing learning opportunities

Researchers who are new to a qualitative research method may want to learn more about it in an interactive manner beyond (or in lieu of) the classroom.  Opportunities to do so are plentiful and varied, and may take the following forms:

I hope you have enjoyed my suggestions in this post!  They are by no means exhaustive.  I would love to here what you think, what you would add, or what you’re already using on your guides to address the qualitative methods gap discussed in this series of blog posts.  

We welcome comments here, emails to the IASSIST listserv, the QSSHDIG google group, or directly to the authors, and/or comments in this “Blog Conversations” doc embedded in the QSSHDIG website. Also, there's a section at the bottom of the "Blog Conversations" doc for suggesting future QSSDHIG posts - please do!

Stayed tuned for Part 3 of our blog series next week when Mandy Swygart-Hobaugh will share ideas for developing and providing training resources in collaboration with faculty and academic departments that are mindful of the qualitative methods gap.

But How Do I *Do* Qualitative Research? Bridging the Gap between Qualitative Researchers and Methods Resources--PART 1

The IASSIST Qualitative Social Science & Humanities Data Interest Group (QSSHDIG) was created in October 2016, its central purpose: to foster conversations regarding the needs of researchers who generate qualitative data, and what types of services librarians and other information professionals can develop to support these researchers in managing their data/source materials throughout the research lifecycle.

This four-post blog series engages in one particular conversation: challenges researchers face in terms of a lack of qualitative methods training, and strategies for how data-support professionals can address these challenges. The following QSSHDIG members are the series authors:

  • Jill Conte, Social Sciences Librarian at New York University
  • Liz Cooper, Social Sciences Librarian at the University of New Mexico
  • Mandy Swygart-Hobaugh, Social Sciences Librarian at Georgia State University

To foster conversation, we welcome comments here, emails to the IASSIST listserv, the QSSHDIG google group, or directly to the authors, and/or comments in this “Blog Conversations” doc embedded in the QSSHDIG website. Also, there's a section at the bottom of the "Blog Conversations" doc for suggesting future QSSDHIG posts - please do!

Why have this conversation?

Many social science researchers (students and faculty alike) are increasingly conducting qualitative research while lacking formal training in qualitative methods. This may be due to various factors, including but not limited to the following:

  • their particular discipline does not widely embrace qualitative research,
  • their discipline just recently began emphasizing mixed methods (using qualitative and quantitative methods) when previously it was predominantly quantitative-based,
  • they are in an interdisciplinary academic program without a strong research methods training component.

Those of us who offer training sessions on qualitative data analysis software (such as NVivo, Atlas.ti, Quirkos, or Dedoose) often experience researchers coming to these sessions without the methodological background to *do* qualitative research or understand what the software can/cannot do for them - sometimes hoping that the software will have the “magic button” to solve their lack of training. Similarly, as social science liaison librarians we often witness this qualitative methods gap during our research consultations. Although this dilemma of lack of methods training is not unique to qualitative research (i.e., researchers lacking quantitative research training are known to attend statistical software training sessions), when compared to their quantitative counterparts, qualitative researchers often have less resources for support and for building necessary skills.

The three posts in the remainder of this blog series will offer concrete strategies for how data-support professionals can act as bridges between social science researchers and the resources they need to strengthen their qualitative research and methodologies skills:

  • Jill Conte’s post will offer suggestions for connecting researchers with secondary and tertiary sources for qualitative research training. [to be posted Monday, July 24] 
  • Mandy Swygart-Hobaugh’s post will share ideas for developing and providing training resources in collaboration with faculty and academic departments that are mindful of this methods gap. [to be posted Monday, July 31] 
  • Liz Cooper’s post will address how librarians and other data-support professionals can help build community at their institutions around qualitative research. [to be posted Monday, August 7] 

IQ Volume 40 Issue 3 now available

Issue 40(3) is now online at http://www.iassistdata.org/iq/issue/40/3.

Editor’s Notes

Being international - and proud of it!

IASSIST is proud of being international. These days some us of find it important to emphasize how international collaboration has improved and made our lives more efficient. In the small but around-the-globe-reaching world of IASSIST, many national data archives have come into existence as well as continuing their development, through friendly international support and spreading of knowledge and good practices among IASSISTers. So let us cherish the 'International' in IASSIST. We are proud of the lead 'I' for 'International' in the IASSIST acronym and have no intention of changing that to 'N' for 'National'. It is also my impression that data archives all over the world simply don't have the facilities for storing 'alternative facts' as they are shy of all kinds of documentation.

Welcome to the third issue of Volume 40 of the IASSIST Quarterly (IQ 40:3, 2016). Four papers with authors from three continents are presented in this issue. The paper 'Demonstrating Repository Trustworthiness through the Data Seal of Approval' is a summary of a panel session at the IASSIST 2015 conference in Minneapolis with panel members Stuart Macdonald, Ingrid Dillo, Sophia Lafferty-Hess, Lynn Woolfrey, and Mary Vardigan. The paper has an introduction from DANS in the Netherlands where the Data Seal of Approval (DSA) originated. Cases from the US and South Africa are presented and the future of the DSA including possible harmonization with other systems is discussed. DSA certifications are basically consumer guidance, clearly assisting all the involved parties. Depositors and funding bodies will be assured that data are reliably stored, researchers can reliably access the data repositories, and repositories are supported in their work of archiving and distribution of data.

The second article brings us to the actual use of data. From the UK Data Service, Rebecca Parsons and Scott Summers in 'The Role of Case Studies in Effective Data Sharing, Reuse and Impact' take us into positive narratives around secondary data. The background is that although the publishing of data is now recognised by funders, the authors find that ‘showcasing’ brings motivation for data sharing and reuse as well as improving the quality of data and documentation. The impact of case studies is all-sided and research, depositing data, and the brand recognition of the UK Data Service are among the areas investigated. The future is likely to include new case studies developed for use in teaching in schools, with easy linking to datasets, as well as for researchers being assisted to build their own portfolios. The appendix presents case studies on research and impact.

In the third article, we are situated in data creation. Muhammad F. Bhuiyan and Paula Lackie from Carleton College in Minnesota write on 'Mitigating Survey Fraud and Human Error: Lessons Learned from A Low Budget Village Census in Bangladesh'. As the 'fraud' term implies, they are looking into the problem of data creators being too creative, but more importantly they are investigating the essential area of data quality. The authors explain how selected technological assets like the use of geographic information systems (GIS) and audio-capturing smart pens improved data quality. The use of these tools is exemplified through many scenarios described in the paper. Furthermore, a procedure of daily monitoring and fast transcription lead to quick surveyor re-training and dismissal of others, thus minimising data errors. For those interested in false data and its detection, the introduction in particular has valuable references to literature.

In the last paper the difficult task of handling images is addressed in 'Image Management as a Data Service' by Berenica Vejvoda, K. Jane Burpee, and Paula Lackie. Vejvoda and Burpee work at McGill University in Montreal. You have already met Lackie from Carleton College in relation to the third paper above. The 'images' in the article are digital images, and the authors suggest that the knowledge of digital data services across the 'research data lifecycle' also benefits the management of digital images. Digital images are numerical data, and the article compares the data, metadata, and paradata of a survey respondent to the information on a digital image. Considerations from normal data concerning system formats and storage space also apply to management of images. In the last section the paper introduces copyright issues that are complicated, to say the least. Just as reuse of normal data can have ethical angles, it is even more apparent that images can have complicated issues of privacy and confidentiality.

Papers for the IASSIST Quarterly are always very welcome. We welcome input from IASSIST conferences or other conferences and workshops, from local presentations or papers especially written for the IQ. When you are preparing a presentation, give a thought to turning your one-time presentation into a lasting contribution. We permit authors 'deep links' into the IQ as well as deposition of the paper in your local repository. Chairing a conference session with the purpose of aggregating and integrating papers for a special issue IQ is also much appreciated as the information reaches many more people than the session participants, and will be readily available on the IASSIST website at http://www.iassistd ata.org.

Authors are very welcome to take a look at the instructions and layout: http://iassistdata.org/iq/instructions-authors

Authors can also contact me via e-mail: kbr@sam.sdu.dk. Should you be interested in compiling a special issue for the IQ as guest editor(s) I will also be delighted to hear from you.

Karsten Boye Rasmussen

January 2017

Editor

IASSIST Call for Event Sponsorship Proposals 2017 Round 2: “Mini Grants”

The IASSIST Liaison and Organizational Sponsorship Task Force is seeking proposals for sponsorships of regional or local events during calendar year 2017. In this second round of sponsorships we will be awarding up to four grants of $500 USD each, but requests for any amount up to $500 USD will be considered.

The goal of these sponsorships is to support local networks of data professionals and data-related activities across the globe in order to help support IASSISTers activities throughout the year and increase awareness of the value of IASSIST membership.

Events should be a gathering of data professionals from multiple institutions and may vary in size and scope from workshops, symposia, conferences, etc. These may be established events or new endeavors. We are particularly looking to sponsor regional or local level events that will attract data professionals who would benefit from IASSIST membership, but may not always be able to travel to attend IASSIST conferences. Preference will be given to events from geographic areas outside of traditional IASSIST conference locations (North America and Western Europe), and from underrepresented membership areas as such as Latin/South America, Africa, Asia/Pacific, and Eastern Europe.

Requests for sponsorships may be monetary, and may also include a request for mentorship assistance by matching the event planning committee with an experienced IASSIST member with relevant expertise (e.g., conference planning, subject/content, geographic familiarity).

Accepted events will be required to designate an active IASSIST member as the liaison. Generally, this would be an IASSIST member who will be attending the event and although not required, may be on the planning committee or otherwise contributing to the event. The liaison will be responsible for assistance with coordinating logistics related to the sponsorship, ensuring that the sponsorship is recognized at the event, and contributing a post to the IASSIST iBlog about the event.

Proposals should include:

  • Name of the event and event details (date, location, any other pertinent information)
  • Organizing or hosting institution
  • Description of event and how it relates to IASSIST goals and communities
  • Specific request for sponsorship: amount of money and/or mentorship assistance
  • Description of how the sponsorship will be used
  • Name and contact information of person submitting proposal and designated event liaison to IASSIST (if different)

Proposals are due on Friday, June 30 2017 via the Application Form. Notification of sponsorship awards will be by July 21 2017. The number and monetary extent of awarded sponsorships will depend on the number and quality of applications received within a total budgeted limit. Individual sponsorship requests may range from $0 USD (request for mentorship only) to $500 USD.

Please direct questions to Jen Doty, IASSIST Membership Chair (jennifer.doty@emory.edu).

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