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Conference Presentations 2012

  • IASSIST 2012-Data Science for a Connected World: Unlocking and Harnessing the Power of Information, Washington, DC
    Host Institution: National Opinion Research Center (NORC)

Pecha Kucha: A (Wed, 2012-06-06)

  • infinitE - An informational infrastructure for the E-science age, OR, Improvement of data access The long way to remote data access in Germany
    Christopher Gürke (Federal Statistical Office Germany)
    Anja Crößmann (Federal Statistical Office Germany)


    The project infinitE aims at improving the access to micro data in Germany. At present, researchers have the possibility to gain access to micro data via remote execution. By doing so, the researcher is provided with a so-called "data structure file" that enables him to develop a code that is applied to the statistical software of the researchers choice by the staff of the Research Data Centers. Afterwards, the output is manually checked for confidentiality and is handed over to the researcher. Unfortunately, this imposes a substantial waiting period on the researcher. In addition, the process of manual output checking demands a lot of manpower in the Research Data Centers. That is why in the course of infinitE the foundation for an automatization both of the process of starting the code of the researcher and the output checking was laid. This comes along with the need of the application of new methods of output checking instead of the cell suppression method currently used in the Research Data Centers. The outcomes of infinitE have demonstrated that a partial automatization, or even a full automatization of the German micro data acceess is not a question of feasibility, but of costs.

  • Scholars GeoPortal: Discovering data one layer at a time
    Leanne Hindmarch (Ontario Council of University Libraries)
    Jennifer Marvin (University of Guelph Library)


    Launched this spring, Scholars GeoPortal (, the newest service of the Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL) allows students, staff, and faculty at Ontario universities to discover, manipulate, and download a wide range of geospatial datasets. The result of a collaborative project involving participants from libraries across the province, the GeoPortal presents consortially licensed data collections to the academic community using exiting new tools that offer state-of-the-art web mapping features. Rich in data and highly visually engaging, the Scholars GeoPortal is the perfect material for a pecha kucha session! We'll provide a whirlwind tour of the portal itself, while touching on lessons learned while undertaking this complex project.

  • The Missing Link: Giving Statistical Data Meaning
    Paul A Murphy (ESDS University of Manchester)


    Statistical data are a valuable research resource, however they are usually contained in discrete datasets, disconnected from the people, places and things they describe. This can make finding, accessing and using statistical data a difficult and time-consuming process. This presentation will show how ESDS International, a specialist service of the Economic and Social Data Service which disseminates and supports aggregate and survey international datasets for the UK academic community, has begun to address this problem by using semantic technologies to expose the World Bank World Development Indicators as Linked Data. We will look at the benefits to be gained from exposing statistical datasets to the web of Linked Data, using the World Development Indicators as an example of how linking to other datasets can lower the barrier to usage of statistical data and increase the utility of a dataset. Finally, we will examine the process of exposing statistical datasets as Linked Data, looking specifically at the Data Cube Vocabulary, a framework which has been created to enable the publishing of statistical information as Linked Data, and showing how this relates to and can be used with SDMX, the main standard for dissemination of aggregate statistical data and metadata.

  • One More Tool: The Pecha Kucha
    Lisa J Neidert (Population Studies Center, University of Michigan)


    A picture is worth a 1,000 words; 20 images x 20 seconds is a Pecha Kucha This Pecha Kucha will present examples of a data service unit engaged with various audiences using a range of tools: webinars; web sites; online voting/surveys; contests; a blog; twitter; a crossword puzzle; audio interviews and even a roast. These examples include triumphs, whimpers, and lots in between. The initial impetus to embrace varied communication tools was to liven things up: in workshops - especially workshops crammed with too much material in too little time; selected techniques were also helpful in an 8:30am required quantitative reasoning class. But, over time, I've embraced technology as a way to enhance communication even when the audience is eager and engaged. In ten years, the technology and tools will be different, but the need for data professionals (and others) to reach their audiences will remain. So, the major issue is really the message, not the medium. But, it is important to learn, evaluate, and embrace new communication technologies. Alas a technique I haven't ever used is the Pecha Kucha. It is time for one more tool for audience engagement.

  • Fixation with Citation
    Susan H Noble (Mimas, University of Manchester)


    As data becomes an increasingly important element within the scholarly record there is growing recognition that researchers need to easily locate an original dataset that results are drawn from, and to verify and reproduce these results in order to build upon research work. Due to the lack of standards for citing data, the stage of locating the original dataset is not yet easy to do, or widely embedded in researchers' practice. This presentation will describe the approach taken to address this concern by ESDS International, a specialist service of the Economic and Social Data Service who disseminate and support aggregate and survey international datasets for the UK academic community. Key issues citing ESDS International hosted datasets, such as the OECD's Main Economic Indicators will be highlighted, including: revisions to historical series, frequently updated datasets, multiple publishers, data access restrictions and granualarity of the citation. We will explain how we worked with DataCite UK to create bibliographic citations conforming to the DataCite Metadata Schema ( and used their Metadata Store to mint Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs). In addition we will illustrate how we have integrated citation information into our data delivery software. Finally we will describe future challenges - primarily user adoption and publisher buy-in.

  • An online portal for sharing and managing statistical data
    Abdul Rahim (Metadata Technology North America)


    Extensive efforts are being undertaken by data management agencies and users to leverage metadata standards to provide better access to statistical data and knowledge. This however requires combining domain expertise, infrastructures, tools, and technologies, an endeavor that can be challenging even for larger organizations. Metadata Technology North America and Integrated Data Management Services are at the forefront of such efforts. As such, we recognize the need for providing free or low-costs access to shared infrastructure and tools for fostering metadata-driven data management and sharing. OpenMetadata is our attempt at achieving such objective.The web based portal, to be unveiled at IASSIST 2012, aims to provide agencies and users with an online space for sharing metadata and gaining access to useful tools/utilities around the DDI, SDMX and related standards. Furthermore, it will provide detailed provenance information, directing users to sources of data to apply for access and/or leverage other services. The presentation will provide an overview of the initial set of tools and services available through the portal, including OpenDDI, and outline our long term vision.

  • Bringing them in: what 5 years of data can tell us about growing a data service
    Kristi A Thompson (University of Windsor)


    The University of Windsor Academic Data Centre, a walk-in service for help with data analysis and statistical software, opened in 2006. Since opening we have kept data on every user to walk in our doors, recording their status, department or major, project type and how they found out about the service. This presentation will delve into the data with graphs, charts and other analysis to see what it can tell us about how to keep bringing them in!


Pecha Kucha: B (Wed, 2012-06-06)

  • DDI Lifecycle and Qualitative Data: Development of a Formal Model
    Arofan Gregory (Metadata Technology North America)
    Joachim Wackerow (GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences)


    In December of 2011 the DDI Qualitative Working group began the formalization of a model describing qualitative studies and mixed-method studies, to complement the existing DDI - Lifecycle model describing quantitative studies. From a large number of collected use cases, it was determined that a very general model would be needed. While not yet in final form, this model borrows from several existing sources such as QuDEX and TEI, and aims to support the description of CAQDAS-documented multi-media data, text analysis, and more traditional interviews, texts, video, audio, and image collections. It will support collections and sub-collections, annotations and coding at the level of the files, and also within files of different types. Further, it will provide a rich toolset for linking between and among qualitative and quantitative data objects. The end result of this work will serve as the basis for the enhancement of DDI - Lifecycle in a future release.

  • Election Studies: A Research Data Management Challenge
    Laurence Horton (GESIS-Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences)
    Alexia Katsanidou (GESIS-Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences)


    Election studies present a research data management challenge due to the size and diversity of the data they collect in a concentrated period. We consider how data infrastructure can support election studies to ensure the data they produce is good quality reusable comparative data. Election studies are critical large-scale data investments. When fully realised, election studies provide an unparalleled spatial and temporal resource for studying social attitudes and political behaviour. They have contemporary value for researchers but also as long-term data investments with prospective comparison across time and in comparative cross-national analyses. However, election studies operate under circumstances exceptional to other long-term longitudinal or repeated cross-sectional studies. Elections may occur at irregular intervals or as sudden ‘snap' elections. Consequently, studies may have a concentrated period to design and collect data. Here the risk is that data management concerns are relegated to irrelevant or secondary consideration under the pressure to produce publications, with the result that data is not comparable across either time or spatial units. We seek to ensure election studies produce well-documented data, collected in compliance to recognised data harmonisation standards by ensuring data management planning and metadata are incorporated and implemented in the design and execution of the research.

  • Sensitive Data: Organisational Aspects of confidentiality protection and Privacy Concerns
    Reza Afkhami (UK Data Archive)


    The purpose of this study is to extend the legacy threat-vulnerability model to incorporate human and social factors. This is achieved by presenting the dynamics of threats and vulnerabilities in the human and social context. We examine costs and benefits as they relate to threats, exploits, vulnerabilities, defence measures, incidents, and recovery and restoration. We discuss privacy concerns and the implications of implementing employee surveillance technologies and we suggest a framework of fair practices which can be used for bridging the gap between the need to provide adequate protection for information systems, while preserving employees' rights to privacy. Organizations have to prioritize the security of their computer systems in order to ensure that their information assets retain their accuracy, confidentiality, and availability. While the importance of the information security policy in ensuring the security of information is acknowledged widely, there has been little empirical analysis of its impact or effectiveness in this role.

  • 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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