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New Search Engine

GovMine is a new search engine that might become useful in searches for data and statistics. Features that look particularly promising:
  • categorized grouping of search results, including a category "Statistical Data" (try this sample search).

Intute: the Best of the Web

Intute was launched on 13 July 2006 at an event held at the Wellcome Trust, London. Intute is the new face of the Resource Discovery Network (RDN), and is a free national service enabling lecturers, researchers and students to discover and access quality Internet resources. Intute exists to advance education and research by promoting the most intelligent use of the Internet.

Caroline Williams, Executive Director of Intute said, "the environment in which we operate is rapidly changing.

Call for discussion: what do data librarians read?

Joe Doll would like to start a discussion: "I am in receipt of the IASSIST Quarterly journal but am wondering what other means/media data librarians read on a regular basis, be it a journal, newsgroup, magazine, blog."

Any and all suggestions are welcome!

- Contributed by Joe Doll via Bill Block

Q and A on data-librarianship

During the colloquy hosted by the Chronicle of Higher Education today, there were a number of questions about the role of libraries and librarians in preservation of and access to data. Although the focus was on e-science more than social science, the questions and answers might be of interest. All the questions and answers are available here. D. Scott Brandt, associate dean of libraries at Purdue University, is helping to build a repository of scientific data.


-- jim jacobs


The Chronicle: Colloquy: Data Deluge


The Chronicle of Higher Education is sponsoring an online discussion on Thursday, June 22 on the topic of preserving data.


The Chronicle: Colloquy: Data Deluge more...

Cataloging query: how does cataloging data differ from traditional library material?

In their never ending quest for information, Jen, Tiffani and Paula would like to know about people's experiences cataloging data. Do you use MARC format? Have you tried using DDI? At what level do you tend to catalog collections? How does it depart from cataloging traditional library matter? Enquiring minds want to know.


- Contributed by Jen Darragh

What to do about data in old formats?

Recently I posted a message to the IASSIST mailing list about a study in in the ICPSR Publication Related Archive that had a data file in an old (SST) statistical software format. I had no tools to convert or even read that file and was looking for a solution to get the data. I solved that problem through the kindness of the software producer who converted the file for me.

This brought to mind a new question:

Is there something IASSIST or ICPSR can or should be doing to share solutions for saving or converting data in old, no-longer-common formats?

I'm thinking that some very small project might be a useful start: something like a registry of data libraries that still have "older" software and that would be willing to help data libraries that need to read or convert old datasets.

But there might be other opportunities as well: e.g.,

  • incorporating information about older formats and utilities for using them in ICPSR metadata;
  • formal communications with other groups that are interested in digital preservation (e.g., PRONOM for tools like JHOVE and Droid);
  • archiving old software
  • procedures at ICPSR for accepting deposit of converted datasets.

I'm not sure if others are interested in this general problem or if there is an IASSIST committee that might investigate it or propose solutions.

I'm posting this message to the IASSIST list and the blog and invite your comments and ideas...

- jim jacobs

Statistical software in the news?

The Washington Post reports that the personal information recently stolen from the VA "was stored in a format that could make it difficult for thieves to use, according to an internal VA memo."
In the May 5 memo, VA privacy officer Mark Whitney wrote that the critical data "may not be easily accessible" because most of it -- including names, birth dates and Social Security numbers -- was stored in a specialized, standard format used for data manipulation and statistical analysis.
See the full article: "VA Data in Format Not Widely Used" By Christopher Lee.

Defining Data Librarian - call for comments

Tiffani Conner, Paula Lackie and Jen Darragh are working on the handouts for an ALA poster session and have found that defining "data" and "data librarian" clearly, in a concise manner, for a non-data audience is really hard. In addition, some of the sources they consulted (the Online Dictionary of Library and Information Science - ODLIS , Oxford English Dictionary ) were not adequate (ODLIS has data, data set, social science data set but the definitions are not that great). They also looked at Wikipedia, and there is nothing for data librarian. more...

Waxing Lyrical about IASSIST 2006

The lyrics from this year's song are now available.
  • IASSIST Quarterly

    Publications Special issue: A pioneer data librarian
    Welcome to the special volume of the IASSIST Quarterly (IQ (37):1-4, 2013). This special issue started as exchange of ideas between Libbie Stephenson and Margaret Adams to collect


  • Resources


    A space for IASSIST members to share professional resources useful to them in their daily work. Also the IASSIST Jobs Repository for an archive of data-related position descriptions. more...

  • community

    • LinkedIn
    • Facebook
    • Twitter

    Find out what IASSISTers are doing in the field and explore other avenues of presentation, communication and discussion via social networking and related online social spaces. more...