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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

Pecha Kuchas (Thu, 2013-05-30)

  • Faculty practices and perspectives on Research Data Management
    Jennifer Doty (Emory University)
    Katherine Akers (Emory University)


    Our university library has a long history of supporting the data acquisition and analysis needs of campus researchers. To address the emerging trend in academic libraries to support research data management needs, and to focus our development efforts on the most effective services, we initiated a campus assessment in fall of 2012 to solicit input from faculty conducting research across all disciplines. The library and institutional research office invited science, social science, and humanities faculty to complete a brief online survey of their data management practices and perspectives, including questions on data management plans, documentation and metadata, data sharing and preservation. This presentation will share findings from our analysis of the survey data, including general and discipline specific responses. Preliminary analyses show that the majority of our researchers are not very familiar with funders’ requirements and do not share their data with people outside of their research group. Although most researchers do not use disciplinary data repositories, many are somewhat or very interested in this option. The results of our survey give insight into researchers’ data management practices and help identify services with the greatest potential to effectively support the creation, preservation, and dissemination of research data within the university.

  • New data exploration tools at ICPSR
    Sue Hodge (ICPSR)


    In its continuing effort to support faculty, ICPSR has built data exploration tools aimed at streamlining data use in the classroom. ICPSR’s online data analysis tool that is based in SDA, the Custom Crosstab Creator enables faculty to set up a crosstab from ICPSR data to be viewed and manipulated by their students. The instructor selects an appropriate dataset and identifies relevant variables. The students can be given varying degrees of autonomy - instructors can designate placement of specific variables (row, column, control) or they can leave the choice up to students. Students will then receive a URL that provides access to the limited-choice table where they can modify the display and create charts or graphs as appropriate. Students can also download the small subset of data used in the exercise for further use in another statistical program. The SDA version of the study’s codebook (searchable) is available on both the instructor and student interface. Other tools offered by ICPSR to support faculty include Short Exercises also known as Data Driven Learning Guides which use data to illustrate a variety of social science concepts, Exercise Sets, such as SETUPS, and, a web portal to data-related teaching and learning materials.

  • Data are like parachutes: They work best when open
    Reiner Mauer (GESIS - Leibniz - Institute for the Social Sciences)
    Oliver Watteler (GESIS - Leibniz - Institute for the Social Sciences)


    The call for “open data” is very popular these days. The Open Access movement has gained a lot of momentum during the last decade and publishing under this model has partly become routine for researchers. But even though e.g. the Berlin Declaration (2003) mentions free and unrestricted access to research data, there is still a long way to go for the advocates of data sharing. A significant part of research data is still not accessible and will probably be part of the “digital oblivion movement” in the near future. What is actually meant by “open data”? The Open Knowledge Foundation defines “open data” as “data that can be freely used, reused and redistributed by anyone, subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and share alike.” However, in practice openness can have different meanings. These meanings form a continuum ranging from the mere documentation of the existence of data to unrestricted and direct access to the actual datasets. We will analyze different access scenarios to research data to disentangle the legal, organizational and economic aspects that need to be taken into account when talking about “opening” access to data.

  • Getting some bang for the buck: Reaching out to journalists
    Lisa Neidert (University of Michigan Population Studies Center)


    Much of the emphasis on statistical and data literacy involves teaching students how to use, manipulate, and interpret data. And, university settings are appropriate venues for this effort. However, for many, the horse has already left the barn. How do we reach folks who are no longer in a university setting but potentially have greater impact than our statistically literate researchers? A typical journalist, even for relatively weak web-only newspapers, reaches a wider audience than publications in journals, which may only have 10 citations 5-years after publication. And, journalists for major newspapers reach a very large audience on the order of millions. Thus, it is well worth our time to reach out to bloggers/journalists. This presentation will provide (a) examples of focused training/follow-up for journalists and (b) subject-specific content. It will close with an example of academics who reach out to wide audiences with blogs and Twitter. This could be a model for data professionals and/or for research faculty.

  • @MsDrData goes to Washington
    Lisa Neidert (University of Michigan Population Studies Center)


    National Public Radio had an open call to Tweet the 2012 Election at NPR headquarters. This presentation will describe the experience for @MsDrData. The presentation will cover the wide range of expertise of the Election2012 meet-up participants; research/preparation; technology and shared resources; an information fire hose; misinformation; live tweeting; production tours; and learning new technologies for recording the experience. This presentation will also put this experience in the larger context of Twitter: information, archival resource, analysis and prediction, and outreach.

  • SupercalifragilisticexpialiDotStat
    Celia Russell (University of Manchester)
    Richard Wiseman (University of Manchester)


    As part of the new UK Data Service, a fresh and innovative platform for disseminating country-level international data has now been released. The new interface, UKDS.Stat, uses OECD data warehousing technology and the Statistical Data and Metadata Exchange (SDMX) standard to provide an enhanced user experience with the additional benefit of improvements to the hidden task of data ingest and processing. This presentation sets out the approach taken to choose the new DotStat software; the process of requirements gathering, assessing contenders and finally signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the OECD to work alongside other members of the Statistical Information Systems Community Collaboration team to help develop this non-commercial product. The characteristics and features of the DotStat software will be described, particularly integrated metadata, visualization and searching capabilities. We shall also mention some of the ups and downs we've encountered working with a non-commercial, community based platform. Finally we will set out a possible vision for the future for the UKDS.Stat platform whereby intergovernmental data delivered in SDMX format can be ingested and checked with a minimum of manual intervention enabling the UK Data Service to make available a huge amount of freely available country-level international data.

  • Visualization: On reluctance and tools
    Andreas Perret (Swiss Center of Expertise in the Social Sciences (FORS))


    Whenever a researcher presents his work, some visual support almost inevitably comes along, and the audience is gratified with at least some chart or graphic. Fancy or rudimental, these visualizations are never innocent, we know it, researchers know it, but the topic is seldom addressed in discussions. To understand the issues of visualization in the social sciences, we have chosen to follow two paths that seem to venture in opposite directions: As society is a very tough subject to describe, social scientists have spent decades to master a complex vocabulary that is (somewhat) unanimously accepted. Introducing graphics in that well groomed landscape brings up touchy issues such as how we convince each other of the quality of our findings. Social scientists use statistical packages for to analyze data; they have different visualization possibilities, but differences arise in other dimension as well. So choosing one over another has implication that range from the attitude towards intellectual property to the kind of journal that is likely to publish a paper. Through interviews with social scientists we intend to show how five communities have shaped - and been shaped by - their statistical tools.

  • Do-It-Yourself Research Data Management Training Kit for Librarians
    Robin Rice (University of Edinburgh)


    As part of the University of Edinburgh's Research Data Management Roadmap, a pilot training of four liaison librarians was facilitated by the University's Data Library over a four month period in 2012-13. The training design was discussed and agreed by the participants and a mid-period evaluation helped to fine tune the remaining training sessions and affirm the overall approach. The components of the University of Edinburgh training sessions have been packaged for re-use by librarians at other institutions to conduct a do-it-yourself training course in research data management. The design of the course takes advantage of the librarians' professional experience of working with student and research communities to apply their existing skills towards a new arena for them: research data and its management. Course components include: units from MANTRA, an open, online research data management course hosted at the University of Edinburgh; reflective writing assignments; face to face group discussion; selected group exercises from the UK Data Archive's Train the Trainers suite; and expert speakers who provide reinforcement of the learning points at the start of each face to face session. Each speaker has been voice-recorded to create an audio-visual presentation which can be re-used by other institutions as well.

  • Achieving real data security via community self-enforcement
    Richard Welpton (UK Data Archive)
    Katharina Kinder-Kurlanda (GESIS - Leibniz - Institute for Social Science)


    Providers of sensitive/confidential data typically rely on IT-based measures to control the security of their data. Examples include swipe-card access to “controlled” rooms, with CCTV monitoring, sign-in procedures etc. When providing access to research data such a focus on security reinforces the message that researchers are a security problem. We argue that these measures not only are costly and increase barriers to sensible research, but also create the wrong incentives for researchers, who are seen as a threat to rather than collaborators in creating and maintaining secure. We argue that fostering a community of trusted researchers is the most effective way of achieving security. With the right incentives in place, researchers, when considering themselves as part of a community, will reinforce standards upon each other, lest their entire community is denied access to data. In addition, cumbersome or hard to comprehend measures are more likely to result in security breaches as researchers make mistakes or deliberately flout rules for the sake of convenience. We will explain how to build trusted communities of researchers around the secure data services of both the UKDS and GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences and how these fit with providers’ and researchers’ interests in secure and accessible data.

  • Beyond Social Sciences
    Marion Wittenberg (Data Archiving and Networked Services (DANS))


    Data Archiving and Networked Services (DANS) in the Netherlands has been originated out of the Social Science data archive and the Historical data archive in the Netherlands. Nowadays we are discipline independent. Driven by data, DANS ensures that access to digital research data keeps improving, by its services and by taking part in (international) projects and networks. In this Pecha Kucha we want to illustrate what kind of advantages this broadening has for our work.

  • 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


  • Resources


    A space for IASSIST members to share professional resources useful to them in their daily work. Also the IASSIST Jobs Repository for an archive of data-related position descriptions. more...

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