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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

B2 : Panel: DDI Structural Reform (Wed, 2005-05-25)
Chair:Ryssevik, Jostein

  • Inside view of DDI Version 3.0: Structural Reform Group report
    Wendy Thomas (Minnesota Population Center, University of Minnesota)
    Arofan Gregory (AEON Consulting)
    Tom Piazza (University of California - Berkeley, Computer-Assisted Survey Methods Program)
  • DDI Comparative Data Working Group: introduction and status
    Oliver Watteler (Zentralarchiv)

B3 : Building Data Services: Evidence from the Users (Wed, 2005-05-25)
Chair:Wandschneider, Bo

  • New user needs will change 'best practice' of data archive services
    Irena Vipavc Brvar (Slovene Social Science Data Archive)


    Slovene Social Science Data archive is relatively young archive and was for that reason able to follow "best practices" of established archives. Never the less, use and usability of offered services is changing with new technologies and that is why practice, that was once very good, needs to be changing as well. Regular users of data archive services have different needs than new users. Decision was made to interview both groups of users to find out first how to improve ADP work and services provided (e.g. improving accessibility of information on a web page) and second, to find out for what purposes are data and documentation mostly used - to find the most common user group to target. At the same time we provided information about services that ADP offers and metadata information about surveys that are available. Our experience is that part of provided information is rarely used, because users had no knowledge of its existence or practicability. Gathered information will be used to help plan future services and to prepare seminars for target groups.

  • Meeting the demand for data professionals
    Jane Fry (Data Centre, MacOdrum Library, Carleton University)
    Ernie Boyko (Nesstar)


    In an ideal world, a data centre should be able to hire trained professionals at variuos levels of expertise and senority and provide them with a career path. The reality is that training for data professionals in universities is limited, poeple change jobs (and thus leave vacanies)and career paths entirely in the data sphere are limited. This session will describe Canada's national training and mentoring process and will give an example of students are trained to become part of a team that that offers a full range of data services. This is the process by which the expertise required to staff Canada's 67 data centres is being developed.

  • Building a data archive that meets the needs of both researchers and non-researchers: how CPANDA addresses this challenge
    Larry McGill (Cultural Policy & the Arts National Data Archive, Princeton University)


    The Cultural Policy & the Arts National Data Archive (CPANDA) at Princeton University was created in 2003 to stimulate the development of a nascent field of study - arts and cultural policy research. As a field-building enterprise, CPANDA seeks not only to archive relevant data sets, but also to spur new research, encourage emerging scholars to take an interest in the field, and inform journalists, policy makers, artists, cultural organizations, and the public about the data it collects.

    Meeting the needs of such a diverse set of potential users poses significant challenges for organizing and creating web content, building tools for accessing data, and educating non-researchers on the proper interpretation of statistical data. At the same time, CPANDA must also meet the needs of its primary constituency, the research community; it is, after all, a data archive. This presentation will discuss how CPANDA structures users' online experience so as to meet the data and information needs of individuals with widely differing backgrounds and research expertise.


C1 : The Life Course of Survey Data: Evidence from New Tools (Wed, 2005-05-25)
Chair:Vardigan, Mary

  • Demonstration of a Blaise Instrument Documentation System
    Gina-Qian Cheung (Institution for Social Research, University of Michigan)


    This presentation will focus on features of the system, which produces DDI-compliant XML-based codebooks and questionnaires that may be printed or viewed as Web pages. Also discussed will be the challenges of parsing Blaise metadata information to document clearly question universes, question variable text, questionnaire skip logic, etc., and to display question text in multiple languages.

  • Demonstration of the interactive codebook for the National Survey of Family Growth
    I-Lin Kuo (ICPSR, University of Michigan)


    Documentation of public-use data files frequently differs substantially from the information stored in original CAI instruments in order to address possible confidentiality concerns and to provide researchers with tools suitable for data exploration and analysis. This presentation will explore the role that XML documentation plays in such an environment and how a data producer moves from original questionnaire to final public-use documentation.

  • Documentation in Blaise: past, present and future
    Lon Hofman (Statistics Netherlands)


    This presentation will demonstrate what Blaise as a system provides in terms of instrument documentation (which was very limited until the TADEQ project started), with a focus on XML products. The idea behind Blaise for the last several years has been that Blaise should be open enough to allow users to extract all metadata and transform it into the desired format, as shown by the SRO system.

  • CASES instrument documentation
    Tom Piazza (University of California, Berkeley)


    The U.S. Census Bureau worked with the Computer-Assisted Survey Methods (CSM) program in Berkeley to develop a system for documenting CASES instruments. Examples of the instrument documents can be viewed at: The documentation programs parse an instrument into a structured element file, which will be convertible into DDI when a standard for instruments is eventually adopted.

C3 : New Insights in Providing Data Services: A Variety of Evidence (Wed, 2005-05-25)
Chair:Boye Rasmussen, Karsten

  • Improving social science data and statistical services through assessment
    Joel Herndon (Duke University, Perkins Library)
    Alexandra Cooper (Duke University, Social Science Research Institute (SSRI))


    Duke University has social scientists housed in (at least) 15 different departments, programs, and schools. It also contains numerous interdisciplinary centers conducting applied research projects based in full or in part on the social science disciplines. Thus, Duke provides social scientists with an environment at once robust and complex, with a wide variety of computing facilities and data service points. In the spring of 2005, Duke's Social Science Research Institute in collaboration with Duke Libraries conducted a joint survey of Social Science faculty and graduate students to determine 1.) the usage of data/statistical services on campus 2.) the level of awareness of data resources/statistical computing on campus and 3.) the need for additional data resources. Additionally, the survey attempted to determine the level/need for statistical training on campus. This presentation (and paper) provides a summary of our survey's findings and an analysis of the implications for data and statistical services at Duke and other research institutions.

  • 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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