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Conference Presentations 2013

  • IASSIST 2013-Data Innovation: Increasing Accessibility, Visibility, and Sustainability, Cologne, Germany
    Host Institution: GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences

Posters (Thu, 2013-05-30)

  • Data Without Boundaries-Supporting Transnational Research in Europe
    David Schiller (Institute for Employment Research (IAB))


    Under European FP7 funded Data without Boundaries (DwB) project, academic researchers resident within the European Union member states or the European Free Trade Association are invited to apply for access to highly detailed micro-data from Research Data Centers (RDC) in the UK, Germany, Netherlands and France. This is a unique opportunity for researchers to receive specialist support and reimbursement of costs to conduct comparative research across borders. Depending upon the RDC, available datasets are social survey, census and business micro-data considered to be too detailed, confidential or sensitive to be provided through standard access mechanisms. Researchers should apply to access specific datasets to conduct research at one or more RDCs that are not in the country of their residence. Successful applicants will visit the RDC to conduct their research onsite and/or receive training and will receive specialist support. Onsite research visits will last for one to three weeks, depending upon the research and the RDC. The mentioned support is offered to reach two goals: first to force transnational research in Europe and second to collect information about the needs and obstacles when doing transnational research. The poster will describe the program and inform about the first findings.

  • The Next Generation Microdata Information System (MISSY)-Towards a Best-Practice Open-Source Software Architecture for DDI-Driven Data Models
    Matthäus Zloch (GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences)
    Thomas Bosch (GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences)
    Dennis Wegener (GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences)


    The DDI Discovery Vocabulary represents the most important parts of DDI-Codebook and DDI-Lifecycle in the Web of Data covering the discovery use case. In various software projects in the statistical domain these elementary concepts are re-used to a large extent. Utilizing the DDI Discovery Vocabulary as the core data model the idea is to create a reusable data model, which can be extended and adjusted to the requirements of an individual project. In this poster, it is shown how the abstract data model can be implemented and how individual software products might leverage this model as a foundation for their own data models. By means of the MISSY use case, it is shown how a well-structured software architecture, based on the model-view-controller software design pattern, might look like, how certain software project layers interact, and how to implement different persistence formats like DDI-XML, DDI-RDF, and relational databases. This poster also will give a step-by-step guidance into how a project, which uses the DDI Discovery Vocabulary as an exchange format and core data model, can be build up from scratch. We will also show a live demonstration of the next generation of the Microdata Information System.

  • DDI-Lifecycle Migration, Curation and Dissemination Production Systems at the Danish Data Archive
    Jannik Jensen (Danish Data Archive (DDA))
    Anne Sofie (Danish Data Archive (DDA))


    The DdiEditor is the key tool in a framework of data processing tools and processes composing data processing of survey datasets. However the DdiEditor is also utilized as middleware to migrate the DDA collection into DDI-L. The DdiEditor lays the foundation for enhanced machine actionable dataset landing pages, as well as search and retrieval based infrastructure. This way the support of curation and dissemination processes is enhanced leading to quality assured products and workflows.

  • CharmStats and DataCoH
    Kristi Winters (GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences)


    Comparative social researchers are often confronted with the challenge of making key theoretical concepts comparable across nations and/or time. Further, researchers have multiple ways to recode education into a harmonized variable. GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences is launching two electronic resources to assist social researchers. The website DataCoH (Data Coding and Harmonization) will provide a centralized online library of data coding and harmonization for existing variables to increase transparency and variable replication. DataCoH will contain socio-demographic variables used across the social sciences and then expand to discipline-specific variables. The software program CharmStats (Coding and Harmonizing Statistics) will provide a structured approach to data harmonization by allowing researchers to: 1) download harmonization protocols; 2) document variable coding and harmonization processes; 3) access variables from existing datasets for harmonization; and 4) create harmonization protocols for publication and citation. This paper explains DataCoH and CharmStats and demonstrates how they work.

  • Come in and Find out about Research Data: Documenting and Searching for Data in the German Data Reference System
    Sophia Kratz (GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences)


    Social science research data is produced by various institutions and projects. Although archives enable access to some data in well-established ways, many datasets which could be interesting for other researchers cannot be found because there is no central platform where datasets - archived or not - can be documented. As a consequence, there is no easy way for data creators to showcase the data they have collected. Similarly, it is very difficult for users to find the datasets best fitting their research. The existing information is highly scattered in a dispersed data landscape and cannot be found without further knowledge about institutions and projects. To solve these problems, GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences has started a project to identify and document data sources in Germany, which are currently not documented and made available in a systematic way. This database will also be open for researchers to describe their own data by using a tailored metadata schema and to search for already existing data available for secondary analysis. The aim of the poster is to present the current approach to building the data reference system, its position within the data services of GESIS, as well as its structure and features.

  • New Requirements Regarding Research Data Management and Data Access in Sweden
    Mattias Persson (Swedish National Data Service (SND))


    Since 2012, grant applications to the Swedish Research Council (SRC) must include a specific data publication plan if a major component of the project involves collecting data. The aim is to ensure that the data can be used in the future by researchers other than those who participated in the project. This means that within a reasonable time, research data should be made available through relevant national and/or international data organizations The Swedish National Data Service (SND) is part of the research data infrastructure financed by the SRC with University of Gothenburg as host university. SND responsibility is within service and support for researchers regarding management and access to research data within Social Sciences, Humanities and Medicine. SND is one of the data organizations that SRC recommend researchers to use, which has increased the demand on service and support at SND. In the research and innovation bill from October 2012, the government stated that the SRC should be given an assignment to develop forms and national guidelines for how researchers can gain access to research results and research data, so called open access. This will further down the road improve both the use of data management and data access.

  • Focusing Services and Expertise: The Research Data Centre International Survey Programs at GESIS-Leibniz Institure for the Social Sciences
    Markus Quandt (GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences)


    The poster will showcase diverse added-value services provided by the GESIS RDC International Survey Programs as a central access point for cross-national and cross-cultural survey databases with a wide thematic scope of attitudinal data and subjective social indicators, encompassing an ever-expanding number of countries across several decades. The RDC International Survey Programs was established in order to focus the institution's expertise and activities in this field, benefiting from prominent involvement in almost all steps of the research data life cycle: from the standard demography development for the ISSP or the multilingual instrument documentation and development in the EVS, over data harmonization and detailed documentation in close cooperation with the principal investigators (CSES, EVS, ISSP) to online access facilities to individual level datasets and related materials, even across distributed platforms where necessary (European Elections Study). To complement the infrastructure components, the analysis potential of the comparative database will be exemplified in research oriented data reports and workshops. The poster will also point to future potentials such as the strengthening of links between comparative survey programs and other data types for multi-level analysis.

  • Under Lock and Key? Setting up a Secure Data Center at GESIS in Germany
    Katharina Kinder-Kurlanda (GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences)
    Christina Eder (GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences)


    This poster is about the specific challenges in setting up a secure data service at GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences. German data protection law (Bundesdatenschutzgesetz) gives every person the right to protection of their personal data. The re-use of survey data, for example, must be provided in a way that no individual person is identifiable. This usually means that data is anonymized. However, anonymization is often difficult to achieve without compromising the quality of the data. To enable research access to disclosive data, GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences is establishing a secure data center with three controlled access points: A low-level solution employing a comprehensive legal contract, a safe room providing particularly strict access control, and, a remote access system. Using German electoral survey data as a practical example, we will examine the technical and organizational challenges, opportunities and questions that arise when building a secure data service in the context of the German data protection framework, which comprises both federal and state laws. We introduce our strategy of setting up pilots for the usage models. This strategy enables us to better understand the legal framework and GESIS's role within it, and also to improve the service's usability by integrating test users' feedback.

  • Archive and Data Management Training Center
    Laurence Horton (GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences)
    Astrid Recker (GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences)
    Alexia Katsanidou (GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences)


    The Archive and Data Management Training Center exists to ensure excellence in the creation, management, and long-term preservation of social science research data. Our aim is to increase data quality and data availability for the benefit of the social sciences. At the center of activities lies the importance of sharing publicly funded research data and meeting funder requirements on data management, preservation, and re-use as well as awareness of good practice in data licensing, documentation and data enhancement, methods of data sharing, file formats, physical and digital data storage, and preservation planning. We offer training and consulting on data management planning for researchers, projects, and centers. Additionally, we provide courses on long-term archiving and preservation, data dissemination and security, licensing data for use, managing access systems, format migration and verification. Our target audiences include (a) principal investigators for research projects who plan the data management and are responsible for its implementation and oversight, (b) individual researchers or researchers who are members of project teams and who actually implement data management procedures, (c) social science and humanities data archivists responsible for digital curation, data enhancement, and long-term preservation.

  • Scenarios for Semantic Data Discovery
    Vasilly Bunakov (STFC Scientific Computing)


    ENGAGE project aims to build an information infrastructure for Public Sector Information (PSI) which is typically an aggregated data published by national and local governments, or other public bodies. An automated or semi-automated discovery of PSI datasets would cater for the needs of researchers in social science, behavioral science, and economics who want to consider freely available PSI sources for their study, in addition to other data perhaps collected or compiled via a dedicated research project. The researchers could then provide either an explicit or an implicit feedback for the relevance of the discovered PSI to their research needs. This would add up to the quality of data exposed via ENGAGE infrastructure, and empower other ENGAGE users: researchers, as well as citizens who are the second major ENGAGE user category, with the links from PSI aggregated data to the concepts and other datasets including well curated micro-data. We see our poster presentation as a means to suggest an approach to data linking and to gather requirements from data practitioners for the rest of the project.

  • 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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