Already a member?

Sign In



A space for IASSIST members to share professional resources useful to them in their daily work.

New and Noteworthy

Statistical Associates Publishing
Amy West on 2014-06-16 08:43

Statistical Associates Publishing is a website that offers guides focused primarily on correctly executing various statistical techniques. The guides are short and provide screenshots and step-by-step instructions for for some of the major commercial statistical packages. One can buy the books - each at very low prices $5USD or less per book from Amazon - or request a free copy from the publisher with some reasonable restrictions on use.

I should note that since I don't spend much time doing statistics myself, I feel a bit unqualified to attest to the quality of the materials. However, I'm a pretty good judge of user guides in general (having created a lot of really bad ones over the years) and I was able to glean some information from Amazon reviews and from researching the publisher himself. Therefore, I feel pretty confident in what I say below, but do take it with a grain of salt. 

The publisher is G. David Garson. In addition to what he shares at the Statistical Associates website, he continues to publish pretty regularly and co-authored at least one entry in the Springer International Encyclopedia of Statistical Science (Toma, Roxana, and G. David Garson. "Research Designs." International Encyclopedia of Statistical Science. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2011. 1224-1227.)

The guides themselves are straightforward, understandable to the novice and most importantly, given that they include software-specific instructions, updated often. The use of screenshots to supplement written instructions is always a good idea as it helps the user orient herself and breaks up blocks of instructions. Most Amazon reviews were positive and the overriding theme was that the works are concise and good for users at different levels. One complaint from some reviewers however, was while the books help users figure out specific techniques or steps in the major commercial tools, they didn't necessarily tell you why you should use that technique. So, good for novices, apparently yes, but users with no exposure to statistics at all? Probably not.

An open question is whether these books would do more for a user than simply finding a similar video on YouTube. Again, I don't feel qualified to answer this from a content perspective, but I do think it's nice to have alternatives to video presentations for those who learn best from written instructions.

Libraries may purchase the collection as a package - the cost is extremely low - but I'm not sure how urgent the need would be. Much of the site is pitched to instructors and it seems to make more sense to view these books as supplementary course readings when the course involves working with particular statistical techniques. So as a possible source of low-cost course materials, Statistical Associates Publishing is probably a good source.


Update from the publisher:

I posed a few questions in my original post and the publisher responded as summarized next.

Statistical Associates does aim for introductory graduate students and, relative to YouTube, they vouch for their accuracy. Dr. Garson also made an interesting observation that "...most researchers use a single package and therefore never have occasion to cross-verify results with different packages. It is very common for researchers using the default settings on different packages to come to different results. We not only provide worked SPSS, SAS, and Stata solutions, but we reconcile them. It is very hard to find that information elsewhere on the net." 

Certainly, in other contexts I've seen users go with defaults across programs and end up confused. This particular characteristic seems like an excellent reason for keeping this reource in mind when working with your students/users.

e-Science Portal for New England Librarians: Research Data Management Links
mingluwang on 2014-05-13 08:37

e-Science Portal for New England Librarians has been gathering comprehensive resources links to keep librarians updated about e-Science issues and library's new roles and functions. There is a "Data Management" section of the portal gathering publications, guides, tools, and other resources falling under the following general data management topics:


New England Collaborative Data Management Curriculum
mingluwang on 2014-05-13 08:08

The New England Collaborative Data Management Curriculum (NECDMC) is an instructional tool for teaching data management best practices to undergraduates, graduate students, and researchers in the health sciences, sciences, and engineering disciplines. Each of the curriculum’s seven online instructional modules aligns with the National Science Foundation’s data management plan recommendations and addresses universal data management challenges. Included in the curriculum is a collection of actual research cases that provides a discipline specific context to the content of the instructional modules. These cases come from a range of research settings such as clinical research, biomedical labs, an engineering project, and a qualitative behavioral health study. Additional research cases will be added to the collection on an ongoing basis. Each of the modules can be taught as a stand-alone class or as part of a series of classes. Instructors are welcome to customize the content of the instructional modules to meet the learning needs of their students and the policies and resources at their institutions.

Built upon the Frameworks of a Data Management Curriculum developed by the Lamar Soutter Library and the George C. Gordon Library at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, the NECDMC is designed to address present and future researchers’ data management learning needs.

Data Information Literacy (DIL) Project Website
mingluwang on 2014-05-13 08:01

The Purdue University Libraries, partnered with the libraries of the University of Minnesota, the University of Oregon and Cornell University, led this project to help raise awareness of research data management and curation issues among rresearchers, through developing and implementing data information literacy (DIL) instruction programs for graduate students. The website of the project has gathered updated information and development of the researcher interview instruments, the data management training curriculum, as well as research publications result from the project. 

ICPSR’s Data Management and Curation Guide
mingluwang on 2014-05-12 14:13

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) website has a new section devoted to Data Management and Curation, which provides a general guide on research data quality, preservation, access, confidentiality, and citation, and also explains how ICPSR, as a social science research data archive, is working hard to address all these issues. There is also a Tools & Services section compiling recommended applications that could help researchers deal with data confidentiality, restricted-use data, data processing, and dissemination.

In January 2014, ACRL/Numeric and Spatial Data Interest Group invited ICPSR’s Director of Curation Services, Jared Lyle, to offer a webinar for data librarians on the subject of social science data management and curation. The slides and recording of the webinar are available for viewing now.

  • 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...

  • community

    • LinkedIn
    • Facebook
    • Twitter

    Find out what IASSISTers are doing in the field and explore other avenues of presentation, communication and discussion via social networking and related online social spaces. more...