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Conference Presentations 2011

  • IASSIST 2011-Data Science Professionals: A Global Community of Sharing, Vancouver, BC
    Host Institution: Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia

Workshops (Tue, 2011-05-31)

  • WB1: ICPSR at 50: Facilitating Research and Data Sharing
    Peter Granda (ICPSR)
    Mary Vardigan (ICPSR)
    Linda Detterman (ICPSR)


    Presented by ICPSR, this workshop will provide instruction in three primary areas including data exploration tools, data sharing, and data management. Participants in the workshop will learn to employ unique approaches to explore and teach with data using two of ICPSR’s most popular data tools: 1) The Social Science Variables Database (SSVD), enabling the data community to search for variables across datasets, and 2) the Bibliography of Data-Related Literature, a continuously-updated database of tens of thousands of citations to publications using data held in the ICPSR’s collections. Next participants will explore upcoming Census Data 2010 data products available at ICPSR as well as data and distinctive offerings found within several of ICPSR’s publicly accessible data collections. Lastly, as ICPSR begins to celebrate its 50th year as a member of the global data community, the workshop will turn to current and future data management strategies by sharing ICPSR’s experience in preparing data management plans, computing and data sharing in secure environments, and administering restricted data contracts electronically.

  • WC1: Sharing Data with DDI 3 and Colectica
    Jeremy Iverson (Algenta Technologies)
    Dan Smith (Algenta Technologies)


    Colectica is a platform for documenting and sharing data using open standards such as DDI 3. This workshop covers the following topics: Introduction to DDI 3-based data sharing; Hands on tutorial Document concepts and general study design; Design and document surveys; Share questions with question banks; Create and document datasets; Share variables with variable banks; Ingest existing datasets, variables, and questions and Publish data documentation on the Web.

  • WD1: Thematic Mapping of U.S. Census Data in ArcGIS
    Nicole Scholtz (University of Michigan)


    ArcGIS software is a great tool for making customized maps and doing spatial analysis, but it has a fairly steep initial learning curve. In this hands-on workshop you will gain skill and confidence in creating a very specific kind of map: a thematic map with current or historical U.S. Census data, similar to those made in Social Explorer and Simply-Map. We will also review some basic concepts fundamental to geographic information systems (GIS). You will learn appropriateness of various free census tabular and spatial data resources and practice downloading and preparing data for use in ArcGIS. You will join tabular data to spatial data and create thematic maps. We will troubleshoot common projection and join issues, learn best practices for classification and color ramps, and practice adding context layers such as roads and place names. We will create map layouts suitable for export in a variety of file formats. We will look at scenarios which might lend themselves to using ArcGIS and discuss the appropriateness of this and other mapping tools.

  • WE1: Helping Empower Researchers and Their Institutions to Manage and Share Research Data
    Louise Corti (UK Data Archive)
    Bethany Brett (UK Data Archive)


    In this workshop we will showcase the materials we have produced at the UK Data Archive as part of our support and outreach work on managing research data from the social sciences. The areas we are focusing on are: consent and ethics; IPR; data description and data formatting.

    The workshop will use a combination of ppt presentations (reflecting materials given to researchers and support staff) and hands-on activities such as: assessing and evaluating authentic consent forms for data sharing; anonymisation exercises; and assessing data formats such as interview transcription. Participants will learn about practical strategies that can help research centres or hubs set up in-house procedures to manage their own live project and legacy data. The workshop will showcase how the UK Data Archive has worked with: 1) Research Ethics Committees to help them appreciate how to accommodate data protection vs data sharing in their own advice, and 2) Continuous Professional Development training programmes within institutions to support core skills of data handling and data security; and 3) PhD and early career research training courses to support data awareness and data management.

  • WA2: Basic Principles of Survey Design
    Thomas Lindsay (University of Minnesota)
    Andrew Sell (University of Minnesota)
    Michelle Edwards (University of Guelph)


    What makes a good survey? This interactive workshop will explore the basic tenets of survey design for an audience of data professionals who are not familiar with survey design principles. In the course of the workshop, participants will work with each other and with the leaders to design a simple feedback instrument from beginning to end. Though the primary focus of the workshop will be on instrument design, the group will start by addressing the research questions that drive instrument creation and will work first to formulate a cogent set of research objectives and analytical goals to reach those objectives. With these objectives and goals established, participants will create a focused questionnaire designed to meet them. Using principles largely based on the theoretical work of Dillman and Krosnick, the leaders will guide participants through the various question types and answer methods to explain when and why survey designers use various question types and structures. Working collaboratively in small groups and as a large group, we will start with larger issues of bias, fatigue, and order effects, and will work in to narrower specific issues such as likert scale polarity and how to word scale items as we create a basic survey instrument. Finally, we will briefly discuss issues of usability testing, recruitment, and analysis.

  • WC2: Prepare and Publish Multilingual Metadata and Aggregate Data in Nesstar. Embed Live Data into Your Website.
    Ørnulf Risnes (Norwegian Social Science Data Services (NSD))


    A new version of Nesstar, Nesstar 4.0, with a lot of new functionality has recently been released. The metadata editor and publishing tool Nesstar Publisher is now also made available as freeware. The new version includes, among other things, support for multilingual metadata, powerful support for aggregate data, subscriptions/notifications, cell notes/missing data symbols, and embedding of live data into web pages.

    This workshop will be a hands-on one, and participants will learn how to use Nesstar to: Prepare and publish survey data with multilingual metadata Produce, prepare and publish aggregate data (cubes) Notify subscribing users about changes in the published material Add thematic mapping capabilities to microdata and aggregate data sets Embed tables, analyses, charts and thematic maps into ordinary web-pages.

  • WA1: Free Stars in the Data Universe - AKA – Open Sources of Data
    Jane Fry (Carleton University)
    Wendy Watkins (Carleton University)


    All Canadian universities (and some colleges) are members of the Data Liberation Initiative (DLI) of Statistics Canada. This rich resource answers many of the data questions from our clients – but not all of them! This workshop will show you other stars in the data universe. And keeping in mind the budget restrictions under which many of us operate, we will be concentrating on the open data sources, that is, the free data resources, that are out there. We will be examining open data sources from various countries, with a focus on Canada. Some of the areas we will look at are: social surveys; election surveys; socio-economic country level data; public opinion polls; geographic and environmental information; and student financial surveys. The workshop will be part presentation and part hands-on so the participants will be able to examine these data stars themselves. Another component will be the participants showing us any open data sources that they want to share.

  • WD2: Introduction to R
    Ryan Womack (Rutgers University)
    Harrison Dekker (Unviersity of California Berleley)


    R, the open source statistical environment,is growing rapidly in use and increasing in visibility. R is one of 7 Computing Languages on the Rise, has been profiled in the New York Times, and will be featured in an upcoming issue of Forbes. This program will begin with an introduction to R, its features, and the characteristics that have led to its popularity in the data world. Hands on work will introduce R programming, data manipulation capabilities, basic statistical operations, and graphing functionality. Add-on packages, including graphical interfaces and data mining tools, will be illustrated. Finally, the workshop will discuss how R is being used with “big data”, interacting with databases and large data feeds to perform analysis.

  • WE2: Developing Effective Data Management Plans using DMP Online
    Martin Donnelly (University of Edinburgh)
    Sarah Jones (University of Glasgow)


    In 2010 the US National Science Foundation (NSF) announced that it will mandate the inclusion of a data management plan with all new funding applications. The NSF is not alone in its efforts to improve accountability for data management, and we are beginning to see Research Councils and funding bodies around the world seeking evidence that adequate and appropriate provisions for data management and curation have been considered from the earliest stages of any publiclyfunded activity.

    The Digital Curation Centre has developed DMP Online, a Web-based data management planning tool that assists researchers in creating personalized data management plans to meet specific funders’ requirements. DMP Online has three main functions: to assist researchers in the preparation of basic data management plans at the grant application stage; to help them build and maintain a more detailed DMP during the project’s lifetime; and to enable customized reporting of these activities.

    This workshop will provide participants with: An introduction to DMP Online and related resources; The chance to work through the development of a plan drawing upon their own experience; Opportunities to share data management concerns and experiences.

Plenary I (Wed, 2011-06-01)
Chair:Ian McKinnon, Chair of the National Statistics Council

  • A Look at Census Taking in Canada: The Recent Past And Looking Ahead
    Ian Mckinnon (National Statistics Council)


    Ian Mckinnon is the Chair of the Canadian National Statistics Council, the group that is  tasked to provide Statistics Canada with its best advice. This advice did NOT include cancelling the long form census and substituting a voluntary National Household Survey. He is uniquely placed to give IASSIST a view of how this change came about and the implications for Canada and Statistics Canada as a result.

  • 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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