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Conference Presentations 2010

  • IASSIST 2010-Social Data and Social Networking: Connecting Social Science Communities across the Globe, Ithaca, NY
    Host Institution: Cornell Institute for Social and Economic Research (CISER) and Cornell University Library (CUL)

C1: Social Networking in Action (Wed, 2010-06-02)
Chair:Ernie Boyko

  • Developing an Interactive Survey Question Bank: Early Lessons Learned
    Jack Kneeshaw (UK Data Archive)


    A key theme for the UK's Survey Question Bank (SQB) ( - the successor to the former Question Bank (Qb) run from the University of Surrey - is the push to build an online community of users. The SQB is delivering a range of strategies across the 'traditional-through-innovative' spectrum to get users involved in the service. Traditional features include the 'top-down' delivery of news via mailing lists and newsfeeds. The service has also used twitter ( and Methodspace ( to encourage greater 'bottom-up' activity. Most innovatively, the service will soon introduce an interactive element to its forthcoming survey question database, allowing users to comment on survey questions. 

    Later in 2010, the SQB will be investigating how it might house a 'grey literature' repository so that users might find a home for their previously unpublished resources/tools, papers, presentations etc. This presentation will describe these strategies and review early successes and failures.


C2: Data Sharing: An Important Step in Scientific Method (Wed, 2010-06-02)
Chair:Chuck HumphreyModerator: University of Alberta

  • Copyright and "Facts": Issues in Licensing and Redistribution for Social Science Data Professionals
    San Cannon (Federal Reserve Board )


    While data and statistics have always been the backbone of empirical research, they are now important intellectual property even outside the halls of academia. Everything from the global financial system to shipping gifts for the holidays depends on data: in today’s digital world, information and data are crucial commodities. But often there are strings attached to the access, usage and reporting of data, even if the data are “free.” Researchers may compile a dataset but what rights do they have for the use of those data? This paper will outline some of the issues and considerations of which data professionals in the social science need to be aware. Copyright, licensing, redistribution and intellectual property rights are now important issues that data users, and those who support them, need to understand early on in the research process.

  • Reproducibility of Computational Results: Opening Code and Data
    Victoria Stodden (Yale Law School)


    Scientific computation is emerging as absolutely central to the scientific method, but the prevalence of very relaxed practices is leading to a credibility crisis. Reproducible computational research, in which all details of computations — code and data — are made conveniently available to others, is a necessary response to this crisis. Questions emerge regarding scientists' incentives and motivations to share. This talk presents results from a survey of computational scientists to determine the factors that facilitate code and data sharing and those that create barriers. One major result finds that sharing is done for reasons other than direct personal gain, but when scientists choose not to reveal data or code this is due to perceived personal impact. A second major finding is the prominence of Intellectual Property concerns with regard to not sharing code and data. Solutions to the various barriers are discussed, including how the "Reproducible Research Standard" (Stodden 2008), which proposes a licensing structure consonant with scientific norms, can thus encourage open sharing in scientific research.

  • Barriers to Data Sharing: New Evidence from a US Survey
    Amy Pienta (ICPSR)
    George Alter (ICPSR)
    Jared Lyle (ICPSR)


    Recent studies demonstrate that the majority of social science data is not preserved or shared through social science data archives and other formal archival arrangements. This motivates further investigation about the various ways researchers share their data (including more “informal” data sharing) and the factors that underlie their data sharing behavior. We developed a survey to collect information from principal investigators (PIs) of federally funded research grants in the US about their experiences with data sharing (n=1,021). We also collected information about various factors that might be related to data sharing behavior including: normative data sharing practices in their discipline, perceived barriers to data sharing, rank/tenure, institutional type, gender and so on. We find that while only 12% of the PIs have archived their data, 45% have shared their data outside the immediate research team. Being in a discipline that favors data sharing is positively associated with the likelihood that a PI shares his or her research data. Perceived barriers to data sharing reduce the likelihood one shares data. Other factors associated with data sharing include rank/tenure status and duration of the grant. Implications for data archives are also discussed.


C3: Sustainable Data Preservation (Wed, 2010-06-02)
Chair:Nancy McGovern, ICPSR

  • On the Lam or in Collaboration - Increasing Competence in Long-Term Preservation
    Tuomas J. Alaterä (Finnish Social Science Data Archive (FSD))


    Recently the Finnish Social Science Data Archive (FSD) has taken part in a pilot project by the National Digital Library which intends to develop organisations’ readiness to "make the transition into an electronic operating environment". The project conducted a series of surveys in late 2009 measuring the organisations’ data management quality and maturity. At FSD we would want to believe that we already operate electronically. This presentation summarises the findings of the report. The Digital Library project aims to create a centralised long-term preservation solution for the digital cultural objects, and later, for research data too. The project participants vary from large national institutions to regional museums and private archives. Finding a single solution that would ensure long-term preservation and dissemination will be a challenge. Sharing of competence, building partnerships and monitoring international development are crucial for success. This presentation seeks to answer the following questions: How does a national data archive do when compared to libraries, traditional archives and museums ("LAMs")? What could be the mutual benefits of actively working with the LAMs in the field of long-term preservation? Metadata used in and by the LAMs differ notably from research data documentation. How to approach other metadata formats than DDI?

  • Data Rescue in Canada, a Case Study
    Jane Fry (Carleton University)


    What happens when an organization that has been collecting data closes shop? Has their data been archived? Has it been disseminated to the academic community? Has all the metadata been kept with its associated data? This talk illustrates a case study of a data rescue in a Data Centre. We were informed that there was a series of datasets that needed a home because the government funding for this organization was withdrawn. The talk will include: the background of the Centre for Research in Canada (CRIC); how the rescue mission came about; the rescue mission itself; and the importance of data rescue. Then the question of whose responsibility it is to keep data alive will be discussed.

  • How to Achieve Economic Sustainability in Digital Archiving?
    Laurents Sesink (Data Archiving & Networked Services (DANS))


    Since its establishment in 2005, Data Archiving & Networked Services (DANS) has been storing and making research data in the arts and humanities and social sciences permanently accessible. To this end DANS itself develops permanent archiving services, stimulates others to follow suit, and works closely with data managers to ensure as much data as possible is made freely available for use in scientific research. Economic sustainability is a key issue for DANS. For this reason DANS initiated a research project in 2007 to have a better understanding of the costs of digital archiving. DANS adopted and adjusted two managerial models, the Balanced Scorecard (BSC) and the Activity Based Costing (ABC) model. The design of the ABC model is based on DANS activities which are categorized in five clusters: Administration, Networked Services, ICT (R&D and maintenance), Data Acquisition and Archiving. The Balanced Scorecard of DANS builds on the following business perspectives: Impact, Enablers/Users, Processes and Supporters. Fifteen success factors are allocated to them. The success factors are further specified with over forty performance indicators. During this presentation we will explain how the data generated by the models can be combined and can be used as decision making instruments regarding project specific costs, funding-related decisions, and predicting expenses.


C4: New Directions in Qualitative Data Access (Wed, 2010-06-02)
Chair:Libby Bishop, UK Data Archive/University of Leeds

  • The Orwellian Data Processing and Provision System of the Historical Archives of the State Security Services
    Zoltán Lux (Historical Archives of the Hungarian State Security and L&G Co)


    The Historical Archives of the State Security Services ( has the task of preserving the pre-1989 documentary state-security archives, surveying their content, and making them available to citizens and researchers under strict conditions. The presentation provides on the one hand a broad outline of the Orwellian information system of the Archives, which guards all change and access to it, and the methods used to support this large mass of document accessing (special meta-data structure, mass use of OCR, examination of the introduction of text-exploring tools). On the other hand it seeks to show how, alongside strong access restrictions, it can make ever more of documents and service provisions compiled from the database (e. g. Archontology— —and the photographic database fully publicly accessible on the Internet or accessible by special privilege (e. g. to researchers). The database of the Historical Archives is also interesting from an IT point of view because the mass digitalization and the beginning of OCR use will bring an increase in volume of 2–3 TB a year.

  • Qualitative Data in DDA – Coping with New Formats
    Anne Sofie Kjeldgaard (Danish Data Archive)


    One of the places data archives experience emerging new and challenging data formats is within qualitative research. New social technologies such as e.g. Facebook, debates on the internet and photographing on mobile phones produce data for qualitative research project. The Danish Data Archive (DDA) has a long standing ambition to archive qualitative data alongside with quantitative data. To welcome qualitative data we need knowledge about variations in data formats which we must be able to support and archive. The article will be based on a study of data formats and the use of CAQDAS – Computer assisted Qualitative Data Analysis Software – in Danish, empirically based social science PhD thesis published in 2009. The study will be related to comparable studies carried out in national and international contexts as well as initiatives concerning archiving of qualitative data among our fellow data archives.

  • The RACcER Project: A Data Partnership Between the Irish Qualitative Data Archive (IQDA) and A Major Community Based Childhood Intervention Strategy (Tallaght West CDI)
    Jane Gray (Irish Qualitative Data Archive)
    Aileen O'Carroll (Irish Qualitative Data Archive)
    Tara Murphy (Irish Qualitative Data Archive)


    This paper will describe the ongoing work of an innovative partnership between the Irish Qualitative Data Archive and the Tallaght West Childhood Development Initiative (based in west Dublin). RACcER (Re-Use and Archiving of Complex Community-Based Evaluation Research) aims to explore and implement new approaches to meeting the ethical and practical challenges involved in archiving, and creating appropriate levels of access to the complex qualitative and contextual data generated in the rigorous evaluation of a major community-based childhood intervention strategy. The project objectives include: documenting the concerns and expectations of research funding agencies, researchers and potential users; evaluating and enhancing IQDA protocols and procedures, especially in relation to evaluation research, through a participatory process of preparing qualitative data from CDI for archiving; dissemination of the outcomes of the project through the CDI and IQDA websites. It is intended that the partnership will act as a major demonstrator project for the promotion of qualitative data archiving and re-use across the Irish social science communities. The project has been co-funded by the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences (IRCHSS) and Tallaght West CDI.

  • 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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