IASSIST Regional Report 2005-06 Asia/Pacific
Australian National University May 2006
Australian Social Science Data Archives (ASSDA) Since its establishment in 1981, ASSDA has been a centralised organisation, based at the Australian National University (ANU). In 2004 ASSDA successfully applied for a grant allowing the establishment of a distributed archiving model using the NESSTAR software. 2005-2006 saw the two new archive nodes being established with the original ANU data archiving becoming the central node. A one week data archiving training course was held for staff from the new nodes based at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney and the University of Queensland (UQ), Brisbane. Each node has published a data set and has posted it to the ASSDA NESSTAR webview. The UQ node has also experimented with archiving and redistributing qualitative research data, and the UNSW node commenced work solving some of the problems in the release of administrative data for academic purposes.
A new grant application has been submitted by the ASSDA partners in 2006 to further support the development work in each of the nodes and establish a new node at the University of Western Australia (UWA) in Perth. The UWA node will specialise in political data and will facilitate the release of datasets about elections and voting. Also in this grant application is a request to support the development of a new research tool for historians, the Historical Census Archive. By digitising rare documents trapped on difficult to access microfiche and creating a user friendly search facility, ASSDA aims to give researchers access to Australian census records going back to Colonial times.
Australian Consortium for Social and Political Research Incorporated (ACSPRI) ACSPRI will host the first Australian Social Science Methodology Conference in December, 2006 in Sydney, Australia, in order to provide a national forum focusing on current issues in social science methodology. Streams include: Data Archiving, E-Social Science, Survey Research, Qualitative research, assorted statistical techniques, sessions pertaining to specific areas of research including criminology, drugs, tourism, or particular surveys including The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) and The Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey. The first call for papers has been made with the final cut off being in October. For more information, visit the ACSPRI Conference website at www.conference2006.acspri.org.au.