Regional Report 2007-2008 Asia/Pacific

IASSIST Regional Report 2007-2008 Asia/Pacific

Sophie Holloway
Australian National University
May 2008

AUSTRALIA

The Australian Social Science Data Archive ASSDA has been successful in gaining a 4.2 million dollar grant to establish a national e-research service for the social sciences in Australia. Based at the Australian National University’s Supercomputer Facility, this development will allow the operation of the virtual organization and one-stop-shop with the design and development of tools and middleware to support analysis across a wide range of data types.

The University of Western Australia ASSDA node was opened late last year and the University of Technology Sydney, the University of Melbourne and Griffith University will be opening in 2008/09. The University of Technology Sydney will be opening the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Data Archive under the direction of Professor Martin Nakata, the first Torres Strait Islander to obtain a PhD and an expert in access protocols to Indigenous data. The University of Melbourne will be specializing in Business and Economics data and the University of Griffith in Crime and Policing data.

Australian Consortium for Social and Political Research Incorporated (ACSPRI) ACSPRI is holding its second conference in research methods at the University of Sydney from Sunday December 7th to Wednesday December 10th. The invited speakers for this year’s conference are Professor Lyn Richards, founder of QSR International, and Professor Colm O’Muircheartaigh, University of Chicago. There will be a stream on data archiving and access, and it would be great to see other IASSISTers attending the conference. Further information can be found when available at http://www.acspri.org.au.

NEW ZEALAND

The New Zealand Social Science Data Service The Social Statistics Research Group at The University of Auckland, New Zealand, has enjoyed a year’s successful development of the New Zealand Social Science Data Service (NZSSDS). It now has a web presence (at http://www.nzssds.org.nz) a Drupal CMS site and a Nesstar WebView interface, with 20 data sets processed and archived at time of writing, further contacts awaiting follow-up, and a pending renewal of the Nesstar licence. A number of presentations have been given around the country to spread awareness and enthusiasm, and there have also been a few interested parties from overseas.

We have been most lucky to receive support and guidance from the Australian Social Science Data Archive in setting up the software at our end, and getting started with the archiving, them having been custodians of a series of New Zealand data sets since the closure of the previous local effort, the New Zealand Social Research Data Archives.

The New Zealand Social Statistics Network NZSSN has continued its role in the development of quantitative social science research, with short courses held in February, one of which made use of data archived with NZSSDS, and a presence at the TASA/SAANZ conference at The University of Auckland in November, including presentation and workshop sessions discussing data archiving and showcasing NZSSDS and where it sits in the global picture.