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IASSIST Fellows application now closed

The application for IASSIST Fellows is now closed. Over 40 applications from 23 different countries have been received with the following number of applications by region:

  • 23 Latin America
  • 12 Africa
  • 6 Asia

The Fellows Committee is now working to evaluate the applications and will make the decisions in the following weeks. Good luck to all participants.

IASSIST 2012 Fellows Program

The IASSIST Fellows Program is now accepting applications for financial support to attend the IASSIST 2012 conference in Washington [http://www.iassist2012.org/], from data professionals from countries with emerging economies who are developing and managing data infrastructures at their home institutions.

Please be aware that funding is not intended to cover the entire cost of attending the conference. The applicant’s home institution must provide some level of financial support to supplement the IASSIST Fellow award. Strong preference will be given to first time participants, and applicants from Latin-American countries. Only fully completed applications will be accepted. Applicants submitting a paper for the conference will be given priority consideration for funding.

 You may apply for funding via this form.

For more information, to apply for funding or nominate a person for a Fellowship, please send an email to the Fellows Committee chair, Luis Martínez-Uribe.

 

IASSIST Quarterly (2011: Fall)

Sharing data and building information

With this issue (volume 35-3, 2011) of the IASSIST Quarterly (IQ) we return to the regular format of a collection of articles not within the same specialist subject area as we have seen in recent special issues of IQ. Naturally the three articles presented here are related to the IQ subject area in general, as in: assisting research with data, acquiring data from research, and making good use of the user community. This last topic could also be spelled “involvement”. The hope is that these articles will carry involvement to the IASSIST community, so that the gained knowledge can be shared and practised widely.


“Mind the gap” is a caveat to passengers on the London Underground. The authors of this article are Susan Noble, Celia Russell and Richard Wiseman, all affiliated with ESDS-International hosted by Mimas at the University of Manchester in the UK. The ESDS, standing for “Economic and Social Data Service”, are extending their reach beyond the UK. In the article “Mind the Gap: Global Data Sharing” they are looking into how today’s research on the important topics of climate change, economic crises, migration and health requires cross-national data sharing. Clearly these topics are international (e.g. the weather or air pollution does not stop at national borders), but the article discusses how existing barriers prevent global data sharing. The paper is based on a presentation in a session on “Sharing data: High Rewards, Formidable Barriers” at the IASSIST 2009 conference. It is demonstrated how even international data produced by intergovernmental organizations like the International Monetary Fund, the International Energy Agency, OECD, the United Nations and the World Bank are often only available with an expensive subscription, presented in complex incomprehensible tables, through special interfaces; such barriers are making the international use of the data difficult. Because of missing metadata standards it is difficult to evaluate the quality of the dataset and to search for and locate the data resources required. The paper highlights the development of e-learning materials that can raise awareness and ease access to international data. In this case the example is e-learning for the “United Nations Millennium Development Goals”.


The second paper is also related to the sharing of data with an introduction to the international level. “The Research-Data-Centre in Research-Data-Centre Approach: A First Step Towards Decentralised International Data Sharing” is written by Stefan Bender and Jörg Heining from the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) in Nuremberg, Germany. In order to preserve the confidentiality of single entities, access to complete datasets is often restricted to monitored on-site analysis. Although off-site access is facilitated in other countries, Germany has relied on on-site security. However, an opportunity has been presented where Research Data Centre sites are placed at Statistical Offices around Germany, and also at a Michigan centre for demography. The article contains historical information on approaches and developments in other countries and has a special focus on the German solution. The project will gain experience in the complex balance between confidentiality and analysis, and the differences between national laws.


The paper by Stuart Macdonald from EDINA in Scotland originated as a poster session at the IASSIST 2010 conference. The name of the paper is “AddressingHistory: a Web2.0 community engagement tool and API”. The community consists of members within and outside academia, as local history groups and genealogists are using the software to enhance and combine data from historical Scottish Post Office Directories with large-scale historical maps. The background and technical issues are presented in the paper, which also looks into issues and perspectives of user generated content. The “crowdsourcing” tool did successfully generate engagement and there are plans for further development, such as upload and attachment of photos of people, buildings, and landmarks to enrich the collection.

Articles for the IQ are always very welcome. They can be papers from IASSIST conferences or other conferences and workshops, from local presentations or papers especially written for the IQ. If you don’t have anything to offer right now, then please prepare yourself for the next IASSIST conference and start planning for participation in a session there. Chairing a conference session with the purpose of aggregating and integrating papers for a special issue IQ is much appreciated as the information in the form of an IQ issue 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

December 2011

Call for Workshops

Topic:

Don't forget to propose that extra special workshop for IASSIST 2012. Deadline is Jan 16. You can also propose Pecha Kuchas, posters, and roundtable discussions until Jan 16.

Call for Workshops

Data Science for a Connected World: Unlocking and Harnessing the Power of Information

The 38th International Association for Social Science Information Services and Technology (IASSIST) annual conference will be hosted by NORC at the University of Chicago and will be held at the George Washington University in Washington DC, June 4 - 8, 2012.

The theme of this year's conferences is Data Science for a Connected World: Unlocking and Harnessing the Power of Information. This theme reflects the growing desire of research communities, government agencies and other organizations to build connections and benefit from the better use of data through practicing good management, dissemination and preservation techniques. Submissions are encouraged that offer improvements for creating, documenting, submitting, describing, disseminating, and preserving scientific research data.

Workshops details:
The conference committee seeks workshops that highlight this year’s theme Data Science for a Connected World: Unlocking and Harnessing the Power of Information.  Below is a sample of possible workshop topics that may be considered:

  • Innovative/disruptive technologies for data management and preservation
  • Infrastructures, tools and resources for data production and research
  • Linked data: opportunities and challenges
  • Metadata standards enhancing the utility of data
  • Challenges and concerns with inter-agency / intra-governmental data sharing
  • Privacy, confidentiality and regulation issues around sensitive data
  • Roles, responsibilities, and relationships in supporting data
  • Facilitating data exchange and sharing across boundaries
  • Data and statistical literacy
  • Data management plans and funding agency requirements
  • Norms and cultures of data in the sciences, social sciences and the humanities
  • Collaboration on research data infrastructure across domains and communities
  • Addressing the digital/statistical divide and the need for trans-national outreach
  • Citation of research data and persistent identifiers
  • The evolving data librarian profession

Successful workshop proposals will blend lecture and active learning techniques.  The conference planning committee will provide the necessary classroom space and computing supplies for all workshops.  For previous examples of IASSIST workshops, please see our 2010 workshops and our 2011 workshops. Workshops can be a half-day or full-day in length.

Procedure: Please submit the proposed title and an abstract of no longer than 200 words to Lynda Kellam (lmkellam@uncg.edu). With your submission please include a preliminary list of requirements including:

  • computer Lab OR classroom
  • software and hardware requirements
  • any additional expected requirements

Deadline for submissionJanuary 16, 2012
Notification of acceptance: March 2, 2012

Please contact Lynda Kellam, IASSIST workshop Coordinator, if you have any questions regarding workshop submissions at lmkellam@uncg.edu

IASSIST is an international organization of professionals working in and with information technology and data services to support research and teaching in the social sciences.  Typical workplaces include data archives/libraries, statistical agencies, research centers, libraries, academic departments, government departments, and non‐profit organizations.  Visit iassistdata.org  for further information.

IASSIST 2012
June 4 - 8, 2012
Washington DC, USA

-IASSIST 2012 Program Chairs: Jake Carlson, Pascal Heus and Oliver Watteler

IQ Special Quadruple Issue: The Book of the Bremen Workshop

Welcome to this very special IASSIST Quarterly issue. We now present volume 34 (3 & 4) of 2010 and volume 35 (1 & 2) of 2011. Normally we have about three papers in a single issue. In this super-mega-special issue we have fourteen papers from the countries: Finland, Ireland, United Kingdom, Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Slovenia, Belarus, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland and Switzerland. This will be known in IASSIST as the “The book of the Bremen Workshop”.

The workshop took place in April 2009 at the University of Bremen. The workshop was hosted by the Archive for Life Course Research at Bremen and funded by the Timescapes Initiative with support from CESSDA. The background and context of the workshop as well as short introductions to the many papers are found in the Editorial Introduction by the guest editors Bren Neale and Libby Bishop. The many papers are the result of the effort of numerous authors that were instrumental in the development and fulfillment of the many outcomes of the workshop. The introduction by the guest editors shows impressive lists of short-term activities, agreed goals, and also strategies for development. There are future initiatives and the future looks bright and interesting.The focus of the Bremen Workshop is on “qualitative (Q) and qualitative longitudinal (QL) research and resources across Europe”. I would have called that a qualitative workshop but you can see from the introduction and the papers that this subject is often referred to as “qualitative and QL data”. The “and QL” emphasizes that the longitudinal aspect is the special and important issue. In the beginning of IASSIST data was equivalent to quantitative data. However, digital archives found in the next wave that the qualitative data also with great value were made available for secondary research. The aspect of “longitudinal” further accentuates that value creation.

This is a growing subject area. During the processing one of the authors wanted to update her paper and asked for us to replace the sentence “80 archived qualitative datasets and yearly around 30-40 datasets are ordered for re-use” with “115 archived qualitative datasets and yearly around 50-60 datasets are ordered for re-use”. Yes, we do have a somewhat long processing time but this is still a very fast growth rate. I want to thank Libby Bishop for not being annoyed when I persistently reminded her of the IQ special issues. I’m sure the guest editors with similar persistency contacted the authors. It was worth it.

As in Sherlock Holmes we might look for what is not there as when curiosity is raised by the fact that “the dog did not bark”. IASSIST has had and continues to have a majority of its membership in North America so it is also remarkable that we here present the initiative on “qualitative (Q) and qualitative longitudinal (QL) research” with a European angle. Hopefully the rest of the world will enjoy these papers and there will probably be more papers both from Europe but also from the others regions covered by the IASSIST members.

Articles for the IQ are always very welcome. They can be papers from IASSIST conferences or other conferences and workshops, from local presentations or papers especially written for the IQ. If you don’t have anything to offer right now, then please prepare yourself for the next IASSIST conference and start planning for participation in a session there. Chairing a conference session with the purpose of aggregating and integrating papers for a special issue IQ is much appreciated as the information in the form of an IQ issue 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 description for layout and sending papers to the IQ:
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 (editors) I will also delighted to hear from you.

Karsten Boye Rasmussen
Editor August 2011

Image Credit: by mitko-denev on flickr

IASSIST 2012 - Call for Workshops

Topic:

 

The Call for Papers for IASSIST 2012 is closed, but proposals for Workshops are now being accepted.  The Call for Workshops is listed below:

 

Call for Workshops

Data Science for a Connected World:
Unlocking and Harnessing the Power
of Information

The 38th International Association for Social Science Information Services and Technology (IASSIST) annual conference will be hosted by NORC at the University of Chicago and will be held at the George Washington University in Washington DC, June 4 - 8, 2012. 

The theme of this year's conferences is Data Science for a Connected World: Unlocking and Harnessing the Power of Information. This theme reflects the growing desire of research communities, government agencies and other organizations to build connections and benefit from the better use of data through practicing good management, dissemination and preservation techniques. Submissions are encouraged that offer improvements for creating, documenting, submitting, describing, disseminating, and preserving scientific research data. 

Workshops details:
The conference committee seeks workshops that highlight this year’s theme Data Science for a Connected World: Unlocking and Harnessing the Power of Information.  Below is a sample of possible workshop topics that may be considered: 

  • Innovative/disruptive technologies for data management and preservation
  • Infrastructures, tools and resources for data production and research
  • Linked data: opportunities and challenges
  • Metadata standards enhancing the utility of data
  • Challenges and concerns with inter-agency / intra-governmental data sharing
  • Privacy, confidentiality and regulation issues around sensitive data
  • Roles, responsibilities, and relationships in supporting data
  • Facilitating data exchange and sharing across boundaries
  • Data and statistical literacy
  • Data management plans and funding agency requirements
  • Norms and cultures of data in the sciences, social sciences and the humanities
  • Collaboration on research data infrastructure across domains and communities
  • Addressing the digital/statistical divide and the need for trans-national outreach
  • Citation of research data and persistent identifiers
  • The evolving data librarian profession

Successful workshop proposals will blend lecture and active learning techniques.  The conference planning committee will provide the necessary classroom space and computing supplies for all workshops.  For previous examples of IASSIST workshops, please see our 2010 workshops and our 2011 workshops. Workshops can be a half-day or full-day in length.

Procedure: Please submit the proposed title and an abstract of no longer than 200 words to Lynda Kellam (lmkellam@uncg.edu). With your submission please include a preliminary list of requirements including:

  • computer Lab OR classroom
  • software and hardware requirements
  • any additional expected requirements

Deadline for submissionJanuary 16, 2012
Notification of acceptance: March 2, 2012

Please contact Lynda Kellam, IASSIST workshop Coordinator, if you have any questions regarding workshop submissions at lmkellam@uncg.edu

IASSIST is an international organization of professionals working in and with information technology and data services to support research and teaching in the social sciences.  Typical workplaces include data archives/libraries, statistical agencies, research centers, libraries, academic departments, government departments, and non‐profit organizations.  Visit iassistdata.org  for further information. 

IASSIST 2012
June 4 - 8, 2012
Washington DC, USA

-IASSIST 2012 Program Chairs: Jake Carlson, Pascal Heus and Oliver Watteler

Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics (COPAFS) meeting notes

I was lucky enough to be able to sit in on the most recent COPAFS meeting in place of our regular liaison Judith Rowe.  While the topics were very different than the issues I usually deal with at work, I found the presentations really interesting. Here's an abridged version of my notes.

 

News:

Ed Spar will be stepping down as Executive Director at the end of 2012.  The board will be launching a search and will be engaging a search firm.

Director's update:

The budgetary situation is grim to worse and outlook isn't any better. Every agency will wish they had last years budget. Census numbers reflect a very bad year coming up. The meeting dates for next year are: March 16, June 1, Sept 14, December 7.

Update on National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)- Marilyn Seastrom
NCES is the statistical agency within Dept of Education.  They have a small staff but lots of contractors and may be lucky enough to be level funded next year.

Assessment: it was the busiest year in the history of national assessment.  They are ready to release the state mapping report.  This compares assessment measures across states - map state assessments to National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). For example, there is only one state (MA) where a 4th grader who is deemed is proficient on the state exam is proficient on the national level.  There are many states where they are proficient at the state level but they don't even make the "basic" cut for the national assessment. The are also ready to Release the Reading and Mathematics report card


Elementary and Secondary update: They've done an expansion of NCES Geo-mapping application which works with the ACS to provide data by school district boundaries.


Miscellaneous: there's a new OECD adult literacy study (PIAAC - first international assessment done on laptops in the home) and the national household education survey (what goes on outside of school) is no longer random digit dial sample due to deterioration in response rates, now address based sample (mail) .
There's new stuff on the horizon:  a middle school study, NAEP-TIMSS (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study) link which will be an ambitious study using 8th grade level achievement in math and science.

American Demographic History: Campbell Gibson (demographer retired from Census)
Website of demographic history : www.demographicchartbook.com
Developed over a few years with David Kennedy and Herbert Kline (Stanford) - about 130 graphics through 2000 for both state and national charts which are freely available and can be downloaded.
Source:  all decennial census - some drawn from compendia of ipums files.
He showed a variety of slides - all of which are available on the website and most of which were fascinating.  Can you guess the changes in the set of the top five languages spoken in the home of non-US born residents?

Rural Statistical Areas: Mike Radcliffe, Geography Division, Census
The presentation described a three year joint research project with 23 states. The goal was to define Rural Statistical areas - geographic areas defined using counties, county subdivisions and census tracts a building blocks. The goal was to be able to tabulate ACS 1 year estimates for areas of 65K+ people. These areas would be based on rural focus - not like pumas which used 100K but mostly urban areas.  They started with most rural parts and build from there - urban is really the residual.


RSA delineation process - counties with 65K+ would be standalone RSAs if rural focus.  Used the urban influence codes (UIC from USDA) to get to "ruralness" and grouped counties with some boundary tweaks made by State Data Center Steering committee. He showed maps of UIC ratings then discussed how to aggregate counties:  they created an aggregation net using state boundaries, interstate highways and rivers to create a lattice work to think about how to group counties.  They started with UIC category 12 and aggregated up by county until you hit the 65K+ measure. It's an imperfect measure and there were some problems with adjacent county differences and sometimes had to sacrifice resolution.


The resulting definitions for RSAs by state were sent to the state and they were able to move things around a bit to help smooth out some of the initial classification imperfections. Some states suggested alternative definitions; for example, Vermont wanted to use their planning regions.


Questions on the table:

  • Should RSAs be contiguous? Census has a preference for yes but states disagree - eg Alabama might have similar demographics between north and south counties that would match better for an RSA than using geography.
  • Can a variety of building blocks be used to form RSAs?  Initial proposal was counties but they may not be the best units to start with.  States found that in some cases sub-county divisions or census tracts worked better.
  • Why not cross state lines?  Makes sense for some questions but State data centers need to address rural areas withing their states?
  • Should counties of 65K+ be split into multiple areas?

Next steps:
State data centers have asked Census to define these as statistical areas but Census has said that in some cases (like Los Angeles) you just can't call them rural.  What do you call them? The project needs to get wider review including public comment through a Federal Register notice.


Research on measuring same sex couples - Nancy Bates - Census
Motivation: definition of marriage has changed; new terms and different state recognition and no federal recognition of same sex couples. According to 2008 ACS, there are about 150,000 self described same-sex married couples but only around 32,000 same-sex legally married couples.

Possible causes:

  • Classification error:  maybe people think of themselves as married even if they aren't.
  • First response: on ACS the husband/wife category is first in list but unmarried partner is 13th
  • Errors elsewhere: false positives due to incorrect gender response

Research: some based on focus groups - 18 groups in 8 different areas with different legal recognition of same sex marriage.  Mostly gay couples but some unmarried straight couples.  Most people interpreted the question on federal form as indicating "legal status".  Some thought it meant "legally married anywhere".  Many groups noted they were missing categories for civil unions or domestic partnerships. And there is the "function equivalence" problem that couples had the equivalent of a marriage but no where to put themselves.


Research: some based on cognitive interviews - 40 interviews both gays and straights across different legal jurisdictions. Participants filled out forms then were debriefed afterwards and showed alternative form and asked for preference.
Results: most survey results aligned with "true" legal status.  Specifically calling out same sex or opposite sex in the marital status question was preferred but also was flagged as potentially sensitive. Would this delineation increase unit non-response? Also, there was some confusion about defintion of civil union/domestic partnership.  Most people found it useful to have a cohabitation question.
Next steps:  interagency group review, piggyback on an ACS test for a larger trial which is mail only and they need to test in other modes and would love to be able to have a re-interview component.

Research on measuring same sex couples - Martin O'Donnell - showing some data
Showed a comparison of ACS data and census stuff - but comparability may not be perfect.
Changes in ACS forms and editing caused a drop of self reported same sex spouses from 350K+ to 150K+.

2010 Census results showed much higher level of same sex households than the 2010 ACS.  There was a huge difference between mail forms and non-mail forms.  Approximately 3 times as many households reported themselves as same sex households in mail forms as non-mail forms for ACS where the non-mail were nonresponse follow up (NRFU). On the pre2008 ACS and 2010 Census NRFU form, the matrix format for the form didn't yield consistent results.  ACS 2008+ and 2010 Census form had a person based column format which had much more consistent responses.  This is truly non-sampling error for populations: you only need 4 errors per 1000 of opposite sex households to generate the 250K+ error in the same sex spouses because there are 60 million of them.


Problem: bad matrix form was approved and printed before these results where available. Now short form data wave 1 is published including one table with one table about same sex couples but they can't stop the processing of the entire 2010 Census to allow for the correction of one table. Now how do they fix it?


They tested the quality of the reporting on sex.  Used name index to match the probability that a person has a name associated with a male (John or Thomas has very high index, Virginia or Elizabeth is very low) with state controls for cultural differences (Jean may be more likely to be a male in French areas).  Index value of 0-50 were likely to be female and those with 950-1000 were likely to be male.  Couples with a female partner with a name at the highest index value or a male partner with a name at the lowest index value where then considered to have incorrectly marked the sex item on the question and they were dropped from the same sex couples category. Ex: 9000 male-male couples in Texas out of 31,000 have names that indicate they are probably male-female couples - nearly one third of the same sex marriage stats in American Factfinder may be incorrect.  


Geographic distribution with inconsistent name reporting: swath from Florida north west to ND - matches high rate of NRFU forms.
Summary: They reissued the numbers which matched the 2010 ACS better once the name mismatched folks where thrown out. Spousal household estimate is most improved. American Factfinder page shows people where to go to get preferred estimate. Census PUMS is based on edited data.  They aren't recalculating the entire Census data but they are published the edit data and there will be a flag on data that are affected.

Reminder - Submit your paper and panel proposals to IASSIST 2012

Topic:

Just a reminder that the deadline to submit an individual paper or a panel session to IASSIST 2012 is Friday December 9th.  The Submission Form can be found at: http://www.iassist2012.org/index.php/CPMS/submissions2012.html  

Call for Papers

Data Science for a Connected World: Unlocking and Harnessing the Power of Information

The theme of this year's conference is Data Science for a Connected World: Unlocking and Harnessing the Power of Information. This theme reflects the growing desire of research communities, government agencies and other organizations to build connections and benefit from the better use of data through practicing good management, dissemination and preservation techniques.

The theme is intended to stimulate discussions on building connections across all scholarly disciplines, governments, organizations, and individuals who are engaged in working with data.  IASSIST as a professional organization has a long history of bringing together those who provide information technology and data services to support research and teaching in the social sciences.  What can we as data professionals with shared interests and concerns learn from others going forward and what can they learn from us?  How can data professionals of all kinds build the connections that will be needed to address shared concerns and leverage strengths to better manage, share, curate and preserve data?

We welcome submissions on the theme outlined above, and encourage conference participants to propose papers and sessions that would be of interest to a diverse audience. Any paper related to the conference theme will be considered; below is a sample of possible topics

Topics:

  • Innovative/disruptive technologies for data management and preservation
  • Infrastructures, tools and resources for data production and research
  • Linked data: opportunities and challenges
  • Metadata standards enhancing the utility of data
  • Challenges and concerns with inter-agency / intra-governmental data sharing
  • Privacy, confidentiality and regulation issues around sensitive data
  • Roles, responsibilities, and relationships in supporting data
  • Facilitating data exchange and sharing across boundaries
  • Data and statistical literacy
  • Data management plans and funding agency requirements
  • Norms and cultures of data in the sciences, social sciences and the humanities
  • Collaboration on research data infrastructure across domains and communities
  • Addressing the digital/statistical divide and the need for trans-national outreach

Papers will be selected from a wide range of subjects to ensure a broad balance of topics.

The Program Committee welcomes proposals for:
Individual presentations (typically 15-20 minutes)
Complete sessions, which could take a variety of formats (e.g. a set of three to four individual presentations on a theme, a discussion panel, a discussion with the audience, etc.)
Posters/demonstrations for the poster session
Pecha Kucha (a presentation of 20 slides shown for 20 seconds each, heavy emphasis on visual content) http://www.wired.com/techbiz/media/magazine/15-09/st_pechakucha
Round table discussions (as these are likely to have limited spaces, an explanation of how the discussion will be shared with the wider group should form part of the proposal).
[Note: A separate call for workshops is forthcoming].

Session formats are not limited to the ideas above and session organizers are welcome to suggest other formats.

Proposals for complete sessions should list the organizer or moderator and possible participants; the session organizer will be responsible for securing both session participants and a chair.

All submissions should include the proposed title and an abstract no longer than 200 words (note: longer abstracts will be returned to be shortened before being considered).  Abstracts submitted for complete sessions should provide titles and a brief description for each of the individual presentations.  Abstracts for complete session proposals should be no longer than 300 words if information about individual presentations are needed. 

Please note that all presenters are required to register and pay the registration fee for the conference; registration for individual days will be available.

  • Deadline for submission of individual presentations and sessions: 9 December 2011.
  • Deadline for submission of posters, Pecha Kucha sessions and round table discussions: 16 January 2012.
  • Notification of acceptance for individual presentations and sessions: 10 February 2012.
  • Notification of acceptance for posters, Pecha Kucha sessions and round table discussions: 2 March 2012.

We would want to receive confirmation of acceptance from those we invite to present by two weeks after notification.

Stephen S. Clark Library for Maps, Government Information, and Data Services is open for business!

Three cheers for Jen Green!!! 

When not keeping IASSIST finances in check as the IASSIST Treasurer, Jennifer Green, director of the new Stephen S. Clark Library for Maps, Government Information, and Data Services, at the University of Michigan has been busy getting the library in shape for the recent opening day! 

Check out the announcement of the grand opening festivities in the Record Update (a publication of the Office of the Vice President for Communications at the University of Michigan) and don't miss the brand new website of the Setphen S. Clark Library

Green says the new library’s unique combination of collections, government information expertise, and data services will provide scholars and researchers with unprecedented opportunities for exploration, discovery, and collaboration.

“Before the Clark, there was a large degree of interaction among these three units,” Green says. “Our new proximity, in a purposefully designed and equipped space, means that we can more effectively collaborate with each other, which in turn really enhances our ability to creatively collaborate with students, faculty, and researchers.”

From the Record Update

IASSIST 2012 - Conference website

The IASSIST 2012 conference website is now live and ready to receive submissions:  http://www.iassist2012.org/index.html

Call for Papers

Data Science for a Connected World: Unlocking and Harnessing the Power of Information

The theme of this year's conference is Data Science for a Connected World: Unlocking and Harnessing the Power of Information. This theme reflects the growing desire of research communities, government agencies and other organizations to build connections and benefit from the better use of data through practicing good management, dissemination and preservation techniques.

The theme is intended to stimulate discussions on building connections across all scholarly disciplines, governments, organizations, and individuals who are engaged in working with data.  IASSIST as a professional organization has a long history of bringing together those who provide information technology and data services to support research and teaching in the social sciences.  What can we as data professionals with shared interests and concerns learn from others going forward and what can they learn from us?  How can data professionals of all kinds build the connections that will be needed to address shared concerns and leverage strengths to better manage, share, curate and preserve data?

We welcome submissions on the theme outlined above, and encourage conference participants to propose papers and sessions that would be of interest to a diverse audience. Any paper related to the conference theme will be considered; below is a sample of possible topics

Topics:  
  • Innovative/disruptive technologies for data management and preservation
  • Infrastructures, tools and resources for data production and research
  • Linked data: opportunities and challenges
  • Metadata standards enhancing the utility of data
  • Challenges and concerns with inter-agency / intra-governmental data sharing
  • Privacy, confidentiality and regulation issues around sensitive data
  • Roles, responsibilities, and relationships in supporting data
  • Facilitating data exchange and sharing across boundaries
  • Data and statistical literacy
  • Data management plans and funding agency requirements
  • Norms and cultures of data in the sciences, social sciences and the humanities
  • Collaboration on research data infrastructure across domains and communities
  • Addressing the digital/statistical divide and the need for trans-national outreach

Papers will be selected from a wide range of subjects to ensure a broad balance of topics.

The Program Committee welcomes proposals for:
- Individual presentations (typically 15-20 minutes)
- Complete sessions, which could take a variety of formats (e.g. a set of three to four individual presentations on a theme, a discussion panel, a discussion with the audience, etc.)
- Posters/demonstrations for the poster session
- Pecha Kucha (a presentation of 20 slides shown for 20 seconds each, heavy emphasis on visual content) http://www.wired.com/techbiz/media/magazine/15-09/st_pechakucha
- Round table discussions (as these are likely to have limited spaces, an explanation of how the discussion will be shared with the wider group should form part of the proposal).
[Note: A separate call for workshops is forthcoming].

Session formats are not limited to the ideas above and session organizers are welcome to suggest other formats.

Proposals for complete sessions should list the organizer or moderator and possible participants; the session organizer will be responsible for securing both session participants and a chair.

All submissions should include the proposed title and an abstract no longer than 200 words (note: longer abstracts will be returned to be shortened before being considered).  Abstracts submitted for complete sessions should provide titles and a brief description for each of the individual presentations.  Abstracts for complete session proposals should be no longer than 300 words if information about individual presentations are needed. 

Please note that all presenters are required to register and pay the registration fee for the conference; registration for individual days will be available.

  • Deadline for submission of individual presentations and sessions: 9 December 2011.
  • Deadline for submission of posters, Pecha Kucha sessions and round table discussions: 16 January 2012.
  • Notification of acceptance for individual presentations and sessions: 10 February 2012.
  • Notification of acceptance for posters, Pecha Kucha sessions and round table discussions: 2 March 2012.

We would want to receive confirmation of acceptance from those we invite to present by two weeks after notification.

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