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Conference Presentations 2007

  • IASSIST 2007-Building Global Knowledge Communities with Open Data, Montreal, Canada
    Host Institution: McGill University

A3: Developments in Managing Digital Data: Challenges, obstacles and opportunities (Wed, 2007-05-16)
Chair:Bo Wandschneider, University of Guelph

  • The 2004 Canadian National Consulation on Access to Scientific Research Data (NCASRD)
    Michel Sabourin (Universite de Montreal, Chair, Canadian National Committee for CODATA)


    In mid-June 2004, an expert task Force, appointed by the National Research Council Canada (NRC) and chaired by Dr. David Strong, came together in Ottawa to plan a National Forum as the focus of the National Consultation on Access to Scientific Research Data.  The Forum brought together more than seventy leaders Canada-wide in research, data management, administration, intellectual property and other pertinent areas.  This presentation will be a comprehensive review of the issues, the opportunities and the challenges identified during the Forum.  Complex and rich arrays of scientific databases are changing how research is conducted, speeding the discovery and creation of new concepts.  Increased access will accelerate even more these changes, creating a whole new world.  With the combination of databases within and between disciplines and countries, fundamental leaps in knowledge will occur that will transform our understanding of life, the world and the universe.  The Canadian research community is concerned by the need to take swift action to adapt to the substantial changes required by the scientific enterprise and since no national data preservation organization exists, it is felt that a national strategy on data access or policies needs to be developed. It is also recommended that a Task Force be created to prepare a full national implementation strategy.  Once such a national strategy is broadly supported, it is proposed that a dedicated national infrastructure, tentatively called Data Canada, be established, to assume overall leadership in the development and execution of a strategic plan.


B1: What a Tangled Web We Weave: Preserving Today’s Data for Tomorrow (Wed, 2007-05-16)
Chair:Meredith Krug, Federal Reserve Bank

  • A Digital Preservation Respnose to Technological Change
    Nancy McGovern (ICPSR)


    Digital curation ensures that digital content will remain accessible and meaningful to users over time.  To achieve this objective, digital preservation strategies must continually evolve as information technology evolves.  Responding effectively to new technologies requires the development of new skills, knowledge, tools, and perspectives.  The digital preservation community has largely lacked access to information about technology developments presented in understandable and meaningful ways.  Developing the means for the digital preservation community to continually respond to evolving technology would establish the educational and informational foundation for sustained digital preservation research and development. This paper considers the needs of the digital preservation community in responding to technology, the scope of interest in technology developments for digital preservation, the means for prioritizing responses to technological change as it occurs based on digital preservation requirements, and the range of possible responses to technology by the digital preservation community.

  • Archiving multi-media and web-based data: issues of representation an sustainability
    Louise Corti (U.K. Data Archives)


    Increasingly the UK Data Archive is seeing resources and potential deposits being created that move beyond raw data. For social scientists this is a relatively new phenomena, although the arts and humanities have been creating such resources for some time.  Researchers and teachers are creating value-added resources to accompany data that are not just hard publications. They include web sites, interactive front-ends to data and user guides and opportunities to comment on or annotate data. This provides a new challenge for us as social science data archivists.  Recent work on the representation of social science research utilising hypermedia and research participants input is highlighting some innovative ways of publishing and disseminating research outputs.  But what should be archived and how? This paper will address some of the key issues that archives might consider.

  • Renewal of the 1956 Institute website and connectingit to the National Digital Databases
    Zoltan Lux (1956 Institute, Hungary)


    The 1956 Institute has renewed its website. A new design was made and implemented using the Oracle Portal ( The following questions were raised at the demonstration. Further possibilities: Connection of the various language versions of the pages and moves between them (from the editorial and users point of view); Search facilities (setting of data sources) with the aid of Oracle Ultrasearch; The hardware and software environment for developing and changing over to the new system. The 1956 Institute joined the NDD in 2006, so that its photo documentary database will now become accessible also through the NDD Internet search program ( The data link will be made over XML data paths as recommended by Dublin Core. Further plans: Connection of further data sources to the NDD (digital content developments, chronology, etc.)


B2: Quantitative Literacy: Assessing Needs, Developing Tools and Delivering the Goods. (Wed, 2007-05-16)
Chair:Wendy Watkins, Carleton University

  • Capacity Building for Quantitative Methods in the UK
    Robin Rice (EDINA, Univerity of Edinburgh)


    The Economic and Social Research Council and the Scottish Funding Council have jointly funded a scoping study to identify the capacity building needs for quantitative teaching and research in Scotland.  The findings of the study, along with several other studies and pilots across the UK, will be used to develop a strategy to improve the supply of quantitatively trained social science researchers. The study is being undertaken by a multi-disciplinary team at the University of Edinburgh and involves a survey of both social science lecturers and researchers, and managers of information services within Scottish Universities, to identify barriers and needs.  The scoping study is being conducted against a backdrop of longstanding and widespread concern about a UK-wide deficit in quantitative skills amongst social scientists. The funders recognise the need to develop quantitative skills amongst social scientists; and that this needs to take place during the earliest stages of career development.

  • Numeracy and Quantitative Reasoning Initiative at the University of Guelph
    Michelle Edwards (University of Guelph)


    Numeracy has been identified as a long standing learning objective for the University of Guelph from 1987 through to 2006.  A successful application to the Learning Enhancement Fund program at the University of Guelph has lead to the creation of a multidisciplinary group comprised of individuals from Teaching Support Services, the Mathematics and Statistics department, the Data Resource Centre, the Library, the Learning Commons and Computing and Communications Service to spearhead the initiative.  The group will be responsible for the development of a repository to collect and disseminate learning objects that will build new opportunities for students to improve their numeracy and quantitative reasoning skills.  This paper will outline the purpose of the initiative and will share development strategies and progress to date.

  • Incorporating Statistical Competancies into University-Level Information Literacy Programs in the Social Sciences
    Elizabeth Stephenson (UCLA)
    Patty Caravello (UCLA Information Literacy Program)


    This paper will address strategies for incorporating statistical literacy competencies into information literacy initiatives at the university level.  Integration of statistical and information literacy into coursework for upper division undergraduates and entry-level graduate students requires careful planning.  Key elements are the use of active learning methods and coordination with student research and faculty expectations.  The authors will discuss how the information literacy standards developed by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) provide the theoretical framework in which to situate data literacy learning outcomes.  Discipline-specific standards, such as those currently in draft form by the ACRL's Anthropology and Sociology Section, further help to place statistical literacy into the context of information literacy and critical thinking for social science students. The authors will also describe the one-unit information literacy course they developed for the UCLA Department of Sociology that utilized a set of tools and techniques designed to develop research skills and critical thinking in the use of statistical resources.


B4: Building National Data Archives and Using Metadata in Developing Countries. (Wed, 2007-05-16)
Moderator: Julia Lane, National Opinion Research Center

  • The role of the Internationl Household Survey Network and the Accelerated Data Program
    Oliver Dupriez (International Household Survey Network)


    International and bilateral agencies have invested considerable resources in supporting data collection activities in developing countries, with the main objective to generate data needed for the design, monitoring and assessment of development policies and programs. But the lack of data is still often invoked as a major obstacle to "managing for results". One reason is that many of the existing datasets remain unexploited. This presentation will provide an overview of the various causes -technical, legal, financial, institutional and others- and of the possible solutions to "unlock" the available data. The presentation will focus on the strategy being implemented by the International Household Survey Network (IHSN) and by the World Bank/OECD Accelerated Data Program (ADP) to assist developing countries in the establishment of proper national microdata archives.

  • The IHSN Microdata Management Toolkit:2007 Update
    Pascal Heus (International Household Survey Network)


    Advocacy efforts, training and technical assistance by the International Household Survey Network and its partner agencies have lead in the past year to a broad adoption and use of the Microdata Management Toolkit by statistical agencies in several countries in the Africa, Asia and Latin America regions. This translates into improved data and metadata availability and wider use of the DDI as the global standard. This presentation will provide an update on the IHSN Toolkit and a preview of upcoming new features and tools.

  • Country experiences in setting up a national data archive
    Kizito Kasozi (Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) )
    Thomas Emwanu (Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) )


    Establishing a data archive is a challenging task for any organization. When it comes to developing countries, the fundamental issues are the same as everywhere else but additional problems emerge to make the task more daunting. For this presentation, a representative from a national statistical agency will share experiences in setting up a national data archive using the DDI and leveraging on best practices and tools like the IHSN Microdata Management Toolkit.

  • 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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