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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

F3: The Challenges of Data Preservation (Fri, 2008-05-30)
Chair:Libby Bishop, University of Leeds

  • Planning Against Failure – It's Not All about Technology
    Dr. Lucia Lotter (Human Sciences Research Council)
    Marie-Louise van Wyk (Human Sciences Research Council)


    This presentation will illustrate that a successful data curation solution can be implemented without an excessive investment in technology and resources. While more than seventy percent of information technology projects fail, only five percent of such failures can be attributed directly to technology. It is thus essential to understand the factors that contribute to these failures and to ensure that preventative measures are put in place.The presentation will - by raising selected issues - address the implementation of data curation in a research organisation. It will highlight challenges relating to (1) information technology methodology (2) executive custody (3) strategic alignment (4) funding / resources (5) data engineering and data management (6) people / soft issues and (7) technology issues. There will be discussion of practical ways of dealing with obstacles, as well as illustrations of the supportive role that technology can play in the implementation process.

  • Preserving Social Science Data: How Much Replication Do We Need?
    Myron P. Gutmann (ICPSR)
    Nancy Y. McGovern (ICPSR)
    Bryan Beecher (ICPSR)
    T.E, Raghunathan (University of Michigan)


    Those responsible for digital preservation are aware of a tension between the need to expend resources on preservation and the scarcity of those resources. Ideal preservation would save many copies forever, but this has a large potential cost. We need to be certain that we are preserving the right number of replicas. The paper raises issues that derive from a core attribute of most social science data, which is that social science data is often created by drawing random samples from a population and studying the behavior or attributes of the sample. The sampled character of these data has implications for preservation. While it is less than desirable to lose cases from a sample, even after some loss the sample still has validity and can be used for future research. From this the paper argues that replication for preservation purposes may require thinking at the level of cases or variables and not entire data files. There may be varying numbers of replicas within a data file, depending on the attributes of the overall sample, and the attributes of cases and variables. The situation is also more complex because of the need to protect confidentiality of data.


G1: Innovation in the Use of International Data for Teaching and Learning (Fri, 2008-05-30)
Chair:Celia Russell, University of Manchester

  • Measuring Development Results: The Story Behind the Numbers
    Eric Swanson (World Bank)


    The World Bank's World Development Indicators database provides access to more than 800 statistical series for 209 economies. A comprehensive, consistent global database is essential to building a culture of evidence-based decision making and increasing the effectiveness of development programs. In this talk I will discuss the underlying sources of data for the WDI and efforts to improve the availability and reliability of data produced by developing countries. These data are being incorporated into results measurement systems to encourage greater accountability on the part of aid donors and recipients.

  • Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development
    Joachim Doll (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development)


    Recent teaching and learning developments at the OECD include the organization’s three new data dissemination services, a new data warehousing system, new visualization interfaces, and a tentative exploration of Web 2.0 technologies. This talk will outline these recent developments designed to address the needs of a wide variety of new audiences.

  • Learning and Teaching with the ESDS International Data Service
    Jackie Carter (Mimas, University of Manchester)


    ESDS International is a UK-wide national data service providing free web-based access to regularly updated international databanks produced by intergovernmental agencies. We also help users locating and acquiring international survey data and provide a helpdesk, support materials and learning and teaching resources, introductory awareness raising courses; and interactive visualisation interfaces.

    This presentation will focus on two key learning and teaching resources available through ESDS International. The Countries and Citizens e-learning materials are a comprehensive course on combining international aggregate and survey data. Written by subject specialists, the materials include PowerPoint slides, PDF documents and streamed video files.

    The second resource to be described is the e-learning materials based around the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). These materials are currently in development with an anticipated release date later this year. They are intended to provide a useful and effective re-usable e-learning package on the MDGs which will be available to the entire international data community.


G2: Licensing, Privacy and Protection (Fri, 2008-05-30)
Chair:Libbie Stephenson, UCLA

  • IRB Issues and Archival Data: From Data Deposit to Data Use
    Amy Pienta (ICPSR)


    IRB issues as they relate to archival data are quite wide-ranging. This presentation will describe the importance of understanding the IRB process with respect to archiving and use of secondary research data. IRB often provide oversight of data archiving plans and informed consent statements may prohibit public archiving of data. ICPSR will present examples of informed consents that should and should not be used when a researcher intends to provide long-term access to data through a data archive. With respect to use of secondary data, some IRBs in the U.S. recognize publicly archived data as being exempt from IRB review when secondary analysis is proposed. The University of Michigan recently instituted a process of adding public-use data to a list of pre-approved data that do not need IRB-clearance prior to analysis. These examples will be discussed in this presentation.

  • The Digital Locked File Cabinet: A Problem of Metaphor
    Thomas Lindsay (University of Minnesota)
    Kristen Houlton (University of Minnesota)


    In which I'd like to present on the problem that the standard of respondent data security for researchers has been the locked file cabinet. A simple concept that all researchers understand and adhere to, it continues to be the metaphor for data security in the digital age. But although the locked file cabinet itself is a simple concept, it becomes incredibly difficult to interpret when used as the standard for digital data protection. With recent data privacy laws, each institution's IRB has been given the task of determining on a case-by-case basis whether a researcher's data security plan adheres to this metaphor. Although IRBs are supposed to be both policy and enforcement bodies located in each institution, they are often underfunded, overworked, and ill-equipped to deal with the technical complexities of the research presented. Often IRB proposals are approved or rejected in an inconsistent manner, based on non-technical issues or incorrect understandings. So it falls to data security professionals in each institution to work with the IRB to develop standards for their operations that meet the goals. This talk will look at the many stakeholders and address the needs, desires, and obligations of each, and will explain how the CLA Survey Services at the University of Minnesota developed a standard for interpreting the digital metaphor of the locked file cabinet. We will address the important but delicate position we have found ourselves in as the holders of the data and as the occasional intermediaries between researchers and the IRB.

  • Becoming a Legitimate Data Repository: When Policy and Practice Collide
    Libbie Stephenson (UCLA)


    The data archive at UCLA has been operating since 1977 and disseminates publicly available data. Federal guidelines on human subjects’ protection are interpreted at UCLA to require each user of one of the public data files in the collection to file for a research review or to become certified exempt from review. Actual practices of researchers and enforcement of the Federal guidelines are at odds with this requirement. This presentation will discuss the process in which the data archive applied to become a repository of public data to bring actual practice in line with the campus interpretation of Federal guidelines for protection of human subjects. As part of the process a resource for researchers on Data Sharing and Responsible Use was developed. The resource and its attributes will be shared.


G3: Beyond Numbers: Preserving and Delivering Non-numeric Collections (Fri, 2008-05-30)
Chair:Jennifer Green, University of Michigan

  • Shakespeare 2.0 - New Challenges in Preservation
    John Venecek (University of Central Florida)
    Elizabeth Konzak (Hoover Institution)


    This paper will discuss the preservation challenges faced at the conclusion of a semester-long study to determine how effectively wikis can facilitate collaborative research in undergraduate learners. The study was conducted at the University of Central Florida in Dr. Katherine Giglio's fall 2007 Shakespeare course, which focused primarily on the social identities that pertain to Shakespeare's life, work and times. In small groups, students created wikis based on specific identities such as women, men, knights, fools, lovers and villains. Students collaboratively constructed wikis that would serve as research guides and would incorporate a wide range of primary and secondary source material. Once the project was complete, however, issues related to preservation and the intellectual property rights of our students were of primary concern. Our presentation will focus specifically on how current trends in Web 2.0 and open source publishing as vehicles for collaboration will impact projects such as ours with an eye toward intellectual property rights as well as methods of appraisal and preservation in this highly collaborative environment of ever-changing technologies.

  • Sounding It Out: Sharing and Disseminating Audio-Visual Data
    Mus Ahmet and Louise Corti (UKDA)


    Increasingly data archives are confronting new kinds of media. Qualitative data is traditionally captured as an audio source, and increasingly visually, yet the sharing of that data can be problemetic. Format standards, storage capacity and consent to share have been the main barrier. The UKDA currently delivers audio in MP3 format via authenticated web-based downloads, but has been investigating enhanced delivery solutions and long term open storage formats. The goal being to deliver a flexible open-source streaming media format with rich metadata content. The precise description and representation of audio/visual data is also challenge. UKDA has been working on metadata schema for complex multi-media collections – including using METS and those for relating text and audio-visual. Item level description for complex multi media collections adds power to the data. UKDA has been leading some exciting developments in: minimising data storage requirements whilst simultaneously maximising audio quality; and representing audio-visual sources using hypermedia and FEDORA-based systems. This paper will provide an overview and discussion of these developments and consider future best practice and guidance.

  • 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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