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Conference Presentations 2005

  • IASSIST 2005-Evidence and Enlightenment, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
    Host Institution: EDINA National Data Cente and Edinburgh University Data Library

A2 : National Initiatives in Coordinating Preservation: Working Together (Wed, 2005-05-25)
Chair:Burnhill, Peter

  • UK strategies for digital preservation and digital curation
    Chris Rusbridge (Digital Curation Centre, University of Edinburgh)


    The UK has long been active in digital preservation. Following a series of international workshops, the Digital Preservation Coalition was set up in 2001. Meanwhile, other parts of the UK were becoming heavily engaged in e-science, and bearing these developments in mind, the Digital Curation Centre was formed in 2004. These two organisations are founded and funded on very different principles and scales, and are looking at related problems from different angles; nevertheless, they aim to complement and mutually support each other. This session will provide some context and background on the two organisations and their approach, leading towards a discussion of relevant issues from an IASSIST perspective.

  • North Carolina Geospatial Data Archiving Project/NDIIPP: collection and preservation of at-risk digital geospatial data
    Steven P. Morris (North Carolina State University Library)


    The NCSU Libraries is partnering with the North Carolina Center for Geographic Information and Analysis on a three-year project to collect and preserve at-risk digital geospatial data resources from state and local government agencies. This project is being conducted under a cooperative agreement with the Library of Congress in conjunction with the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program. Although the effort will focus solely on North Carolina, it is expected to serve as a demonstration project for other states. Targeted resources include digitized maps, geographic information systems (GIS) data sets, and remote sensing data resources such as digital aerial photography. State and local agencies frequently offer more detailed and up-to-date geospatial data than federal agencies. However, these entities are by definition decentralized, and their dissemination practices focus almost exclusively on providing access to the most current data available, rather than any older versions. The project partners will develop a digital repository architecture for geospatial data through use of open source software tools such as DSpace and emerging metadata standards such as Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard (METS). In addition, the partners will investigate application of emerging Open Geospatial Consortium specifications for data interoperability in the archive development process. Specific technical and organizational challenges will be discussed.

  • Data-PASS/NDIIPP: A new effort to harvest our history
    Darrell Donakowski (ICPSR, University of Michigan)


    In 2004, six major social science data repositories in the United States joined together in a partnership with the Library of Congress to work on ensuring the long-term preservation of their holdings and of materials that they have not yet collected. This presentation will provide an update on this innovative partnership: its current status, what it hopes to achieve, and how organizations like IASSIST can help it succeed. The challenges in identifying "at-risk" data and the process of selecting data for the project will also be presented. We also hope to have a discussion with participants to gather additional ideas of data sources and other organizations that would join our efforts.


A3 : Enlightened Policies: Improving Collections and Acquisitions (Wed, 2005-05-25)
Chair:Taylor, Marcia

  • Collecting evidence about studies to guide acquisition policy
    Janez Stebe (Social Science Data Archive, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia)


    The bulding of a national data archive collection is often pragmatic and thus luck a proper legitimacy. We intend to critically evaluate the situation in Slovene ADP and present some efforts to improve that. We have initiated to collect more systematic evidence on studies that could potentially be selected for further processing. This will hopefully broaden the range of topics covered and ensure that we don't miss more relevant studies. We will discus the problems that we dealt with in the process: Which information about studies to include that could guide study selection. How to evaluate, if acquisition criteria about data such as general data quality, relevance and new areas that they cover, met with users expectations? And, finally, after locating and selecting potential new studies, how to motivate potential depositors to collaborate in the archiving process?

  • Setting up acquisition policies for a new data archive
    Sami Borg (Finnish Social Science Data Archive, University of Tampere)
    Helena Laaksonen (Finnish Social Science Data Archive, University of Tampere)


    The size, age and the national setting affect remarkably acquisition policies of data archives. Some are happy about every data set that they manage to get, the others must be selective. We describe the development of FSD's data holdings and acquisition policies, particularly highlighting problems we have come across in practice.

    We elaborate the issue by answering most questions outlined in the session abstract, especially from the point of view of a new archive. A good working strategy for safeguarding sufficient flow of data requires investments in general promotion of comparative and secondary research, and a lot of encouragement of researchers to leave their data in archive.

    We discuss the methods to acquire data sets that are used most frequently, and what type of data has been used the least. Also, we try to classify the types of action needed to ensure success in getting the data in, and keeping both researchers and data providers pleased. In addition, the presentation discusses briefly how the science funding organizations have acknowledged the need to support acquisition of the national data archives in Europe.

  • Redesigning and formalising national Data Archives' collection development policies
    Amy Pienta (ICPSR, University of Michigan)
    Louise Corti (UK Data Archive, University of Essex)


    The aim of this paper is to describe the processes of revising, formalising and maintaining a collection development policy for two major national data archives. Both the UK Data Archive and ICPSR have a 35+ year history during which both have seen a number of changes in their acquisitions policies and in the way in which data are acquired. In the first part of the paper, the experiences of ICPSR's recent phased policy revision in 2004-2005 is described that has resulted in a new policy approved by eminent social scientists and archivists from around the world. In the second part, the paper sets out the UKDAs' work to revise its Collections Development Policy to encompass the needs of the distributed national data service, the Economic and Social Data Service. UKDA are also now working closely with the national Research Councils to operate, more efficiently, official datasets policies both for Research Programmes and Research Grants. Work from a recent project that is supporting data creation and data management for a high investment cross-disciplinary thematic research programme that is generating some interesting yet complex data is highlighted.

    Both Data Archives describe their internal strategies and procedures that have been used to review existing policies and identify current best practices, trends and developments, with a view to reworking their own policies. They pay attention to detailing the internal processes that include setting up new procedures and groups to assess, oversee and monitor potential and incoming national and international data sources.

  • Identifying quality acquisitions from a data deluge
    Zoe Bliss (AHDS History)


    This paper will discuss the current acquisitions strategy of AHDS History, one of the five centres of the Arts and Humanities Data Service (AHDS), and outline how it currently identifies, evaluates and accessions data into its collection. In particular it will describe the means employed by AHDS History in conjunction with the AHRB, to ensure that historical digital data created as a result of AHRB funding is offered for deposit with the AHDS. The paper will also discuss the competing influence of funding bodies, creators and users on a robust acquisitions policy.


B1 : Cross-national Social Data: Building Common Ground (Wed, 2005-05-25)
Chair:Johnston, Robert

  • NGO and IGO funded surveys: lessons from Vietnam
    Daniel Tsang (University of California, Irvine)


    Modernization in Asia has created the urgent need for reliable data about socio-economic developments in each country and region. Although statistical agencies, IGOs and NGOs have commissioned numerous surveys about living standards, public opinion and social behavior across the continent, much of the data collected have not been made public, or are only accessible to a select few. Where data files are available, onerous access conditions make accessibility difficult. Even NGO- or IGO-funded surveys are not usually made public or deposited in an accessible data archive. Based in part on field research in Vietnam in 2004 as a Fulbright research scholar, the author, a social science data librarian, surveys the state of social science archiving primarily in Vietnam and the prospects for encouraging and institutionalizing data sharing. This paper addresses various possible solutions to this problem of data sharing and the implications for social science research.

  • Data archive in developing countries: preservation and dissemination of microdata as an instrument for better development results
    Olivier Dupriez (The World Bank, Development Data Group)


    Poverty alleviation has become the overarching objective of many development strategies. Consequently, the demand for socio-economic data for designing, targeting, and monitoring development policies and programs has been constantly growing. Considerable investments have been made in developing countries to collect data. But the return on these investments is far from optimal. National data producers often have weak analytical capacity, and access to survey datasets by secondary users is limited due to political, legal and technical constraints. Most datasets are inadequately preserved, documented and disseminated, and remain under-exploited.

    To foster better use of existing data by promoting the adoption of international standards and best practice of data preservation, documentation and dissemination, the World Bank and the International Household Survey Network
    are developing guidelines and tools (such as the DDI-based Data Dissemination Toolkit) and are providing technical and financial assistance in data archiving to statistics producers in developing countries.

    The paper will present the background and rationale of these activities, and describe how the tools being developed and new partnerships with the dataarchive and research community in developed countries could contribute to better development results.

  • DevInfo: A common database
    Trevor Croft (UNICEF)
    Nicolas Pron (UNICEF)
    Kris Oswalt (Community Systems Foundation)


    The vision is that Member States will someday use a common database system for tracking human development indicators. This database system will contain high-quality data with adequate coverage and depth to sustain good governance around the agenda of achieving the MDGs.

    DevInfo is a database system endorsed by the UN system that can help realize this vision.
    It is a general purpose database system designed for the collation, dissemination and presentation of human development indicators. The technology has been specifically designed to support governments in MDG monitoring. In addition, the system can be adapted to include additional user-defined indicators linked to national monitoring frameworks. By serving as a common database, DevInfo can be used to add value to national statistics systems by complementing existing databases and bridging data dissemination gaps. DevInfo presents data in tables, graphs and maps to help countries report on the status of the MDGs and to advocate for their achievement through evidence-based policy development.

  • 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


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