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Conference Presentations 2008

  • IASSIST 2008-Technology of Data: Collection, Communication, Access and Preservation, Stanford, CA
    Host Institution: Stanford University Libraries and Academic Information Resources

D1: Metadata: Enhancing Access to Data Resources (Thu, 2008-05-29)
Chair:Katherine McNeill, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • Data and Knowledge Management at the Federal Reserve Board
    Andy Boettcher (Federal Reserve Board)


    The Federal Reserve Board purchases and creates numerous datasets to support its role in monetary policy, banking regulation, and consumer protection. To better manage these datasets, the Board has built a metadata repository called the Data and News CataloguE (DANCE) to store descriptive dataset characteristics. The growing number of datasets and their corresponding security and licensing issues motivated a data initiative, in which the Board's research community identified enhancements that could be made to DANCE. Planned improvements include the addition of Dublin-Core standard metadata, the communication of changes in metadata, and the dissemination of metadata on new datasets. The improvements are expected to foster more collaboration which will enable better research. This paper will chronicle DANCE's original role within the organization and its transformation into a knowledge management solution.

  • Making Sense of the Census: Creating a Census Aggregate Information Resource Demonstrator
    Justin Hayes (Mimas, University of Manchester)


    UK censuses are fundamental tools for social scientists interested in conditions within the UK. However, use of aggregate outputs from the UK and other censuses has always been severely limited by the separation and fragmentation of data and metadata, with meaning effectively encrypted in graphical table layouts, or buried within ‘supporting documentation’. This has precluded the development of anything but rudimentary search and exploration applications, and frustrated attempts to create machine-readable services to make the aggregate information more widely available and accessible. This paper describes a project funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council to create a Census Aggregate Information Resource Demonstrator (CAIRD), which will combine data and metadata from the UK 2001 Census through the use of developments in open-standards structured XML, and XML-aware database systems to create a machine-readable, application-ready online service. Some of the many potential benefits offered by CAIRD include the facilitation of advanced search and exploration applications; flexible generation of aggregate information to user request; efficiency in storage, maintenance, update and operation; and encouragement of secondary innovation and the development of online user communities. The main aim of the CAIRD project is to demonstrate the feasibility of this approach in order to encourage adoption of similar methods by the national census agencies for aggregate outputs from the UK 2011 Census.

  • Searching for Datasets and Variables with SDA
    Tom Piazza (UC Berkeley)
    Charlie Thomas (UC Berkeley)


    The SDA team is developing new methods that will allow users to search an SDA archive for datasets of interest and also to search for variables both within a single dataset and across multiple datasets. Users can search for words or phrases in basic core fields in the study-level descriptions or in the variable-level metadata. We will show how searching looks to the student or researcher. We will also give an overview of how the archivist would set up these capabilities for an SDA archive of datasets.

  • Variables, Datasets, and Finding What You Want
    Dr. Anthony Rafferty (University of Manchester)
    Sam Smith (University of Manchester)


    A common problem when searching repositories for secondary data is finding useful data to meet specific requirements. Variables are a fundamental building block of data analysis and usage. This talk covers the benefits to users from a search system that generates information and cross-references for variables in each file in the +250 large-scale UK Government datasets supported by ESDS Government. Use of broad but highly targeted search along with the integration of a variety of sources of data, documentation, and metadata facilitates a powerful search platform. While the examples will be from our service, the talk will include suitable references to other international systems.


D2: Data Discovery and Dissemination: Linking Librarians, Vendors, and Archives (Thu, 2008-05-29)
Chair:Shawn W. Nicholson, Michigan State University

  • Panelist 1: Datasets In Disstertations Across Disciplines
    Terrence Bennett (The College of New Jersey)
  • Dissertations, Data Sets and ProQuest UMI
    Austin McLean (ProQuest)
  • Linking Data and Dissertations
    Myron Gutmann (ICPSR)

D3: Numeracy, Quantitative Reasoning and Teaching about Data (Thu, 2008-05-29)
Chair:Wendy Watkins, Carleton University

  • Innovation in the Use of Data for Teaching and Research : The Russian Case
    Anna Bogomolova (Moscow State University)
    Tatyana Yudina (Moscow State University)


    Capacity building and statistical literacy in Russia is a demand for effective public administration. Universities are at a leading edge - it is a challenge to work out educational courses and training modules to teach state statistics analysis. Moscow State University Research Computing Center and Economic Faculty has accomplished an information system that integrates state statistics - socio-economic and budget data available at federal, regional and local levels. Each indicator may be monitored with 10 years coverage and analyzed exploiting applied math methods and developed models. Data from other state agencies will be added in 2008. The special point - is development of detailed methodology to indicators as an element of academic service. The database is used for investigations and innovated education programs on regions of RF. In recent months interest to the database is growing among government agencies - it provides for system analyses in support for decision making at federal, regional, local level.

  • Numeracy at the University of Guelph: One Year Later - Where Are We Now?
    Michelle Edwards (University of Guelph)


    In 2006-2007, the Data Resource Centre was the lead partner in a multidisciplinary project entitled “Numeracy and Quantitative Reasoning Initiative” at the University of Guelph. The goal of the project was to build new opportunities to improve numeracy and quantitative reasoning skills, and to help students overcome their insecurities around dealing with numbers. The repository was built and populated during the summer and now houses several learning objects covering topics from numbers to graphing data. This paper will showcase the Numeracy repository and the format of the learning objects contained within. The paper will also discuss how the project took shape and the different ways it is being used by the University of Guelph faculty.

  • Teaching, Testing, and Assessment in a Quantitative Reasoning Course: Taking Aim at a Missing/Moving Target
    Lisa Neidert (Population Studies Center, University of Michigan)


    This paper explores some challenges in teaching a class that satisfies the quantitative reasoning requirement at a large research university. The presentation has concrete examples from the classroom setting. These illustrative examples are to provoke discussion, rather than to be additional entries into a statistical literacy toolbox. The main issues to be covered are (a) determining the appropriate mix for class content (subject matter vs quantitative exercises); (b) testing the students; and (c) assessing the course – what did the students learn? The University of Michigan has had a quantitative reasoning requirement for students in the College of Literature, Arts, and Sciences (LSA) for almost 15 years, but there is no LSA-wide oversight of these courses – thus the “missing target” in the title. The “moving target” in the title describes my changing perspectives on what a quantitative reasoning course should be and a way to deliver this product. The presentation will describe some of the changes in the course focus and end with issues of student testing and course assessment.

  • 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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