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Conference Presentations 2004

  • IASSIST 2004-Data Futures: Building on 30 Years of Advocacy, Madison, Wisconsin, USA
    Host Institution: Data and Program Library Service, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Workshops (Tue, 2004-05-25)

  • Workshop 1: Using Atlas-ti to explore qualitative data
    Libby Bishop (ESDS, UK Data Archive, University of Essex)
    Louise Corti (ESDS, UK Data Archive, University of Essex)


    In this workshop we will present an overview of the uses and range of computer assisted qualitative data analysis software (CAQDAS) packages.   Focusing on the software Atlas-ti, through hands-on sessions and exercises, participants will be introduced to the particular applications and key functions of the software.   The session is intended to be practical, intensive and aims to get participants started with the software by familiarizing them with the initial usage tools, data preparation considerations, importing data into software, 'coding' data (attaching thematic labels to segments of data), searching and retrieval of coded data, use of annotation and "memoing" tools, and exporting quantitative data.   Archived qualitative data from ESDS Qualidata will be used as the data sources.

  • Workshop 2: DDI 101: Codebook Creation for Beginners
    William (Bill) Block (University of Minnesota)


    This workshop will provide a brief introduction to DDI and XML (for example, what elements and attributes are, and the most important DDI elements for beginners) and then move on to a hands-on exercise in which participants create DDI codebooks from actual documents they have brought from their local settings. The bulk of the session will be hands-on entry by participants, resulting in a DDI-compliant file. Freely-roaming instructors will be available throughout the workshop for questions and advice. The emphasis of the workshop is on applying the DDI to participants' work-related documents.

    For this session, participants should bring a codebook file in MSWord or ASCII on a CD, iomega zip (100 or 250) or USB flash drive.

  • Workshop 3: Using Streaming Geospatial Data Sources
    Steve Morris (North Carolina State University)


    In the past few years new streaming geospatial data sources have become available, allowing users and their applications to interact with remote geospatial data resources and services without actually downloading the data. These services are based on proprietary technologies such as ESRI's 'image server' and 'feature server' as well on open technologies such as the Open GIS Consortium WMS ('Web Map Service') and WFS ('Web Feature Service') specifications. This workshop will focus on consumption of such data sources and services, with an eye to integrating these new resources with more traditional file-based data offerings.

    Topics to be addressed include: demystifying the alphabet soup of WMS, WFS, WCS, GML, etc.; identifying and evaluating some existing streaming data sources; discussing the advantages and pitfalls of using streaming data in project work and research; and highlighting challenges related to integration of streaming data with traditional file-based data in catalogs and metadata databases.

    The discussion will include hands-on examination of some existing streaming geospatial data services. While the workshop will primarily focus on consumption of such services, a brief overview of approaches to publishing streaming data will also be provided. Also to be considered is the challenge posed to data preservation by the elimination of data file acquisition as a necessary precursor to providing data access.

  • Workshop 4: DDI 501: Increasing Proficiency and Efficiency with DDI
    Sanda Ionescu (ICPSR, University of Michigan)
    I-Lin Kuo (ICPSR, University of Michigan)


    In this follow-up workshop, participants will learn about transformations from document sources such as PDF, Word, Excel, SAS/SPSS syntax files, and SAS/SPSS export and system files and will have an opportunity to perform document conversions themselves. Issues of display through different stylesheets, markup tools, and repurposing of text will also be addressed, with useful examples. Workshop participants are encouraged to bring their questions about markup and to share the challenges they face with respect to markup in their own environments.

    Individuals with a working knowledge of DDI should feel free to elect DDI 501 without taking the introductory workshop.

  • Workshop 5: STATA, SPSS, and SAS: Flavors of Statistical Software
    Michelle Edwards (University of Guelph)


    So many different flavors to choose from - how will we ever choose? Are they all the same? Do they have the same functionality? Which one should I use? Which is the quickest to learn? Questions many of us have encountered in one form or another.

    This workshop will take you on a quick tour of Stata, SPSS, and SAS. We will examine a data file using each package. Is one more user-friendly than the others? Are there significant differences in the codebooks created? We will also look at creating a frequency and cross-tabulation table in each. Which output screen is easiest to read and interpret? The goal of this workshop is to give you an overview of these products and provide you with the information you need to determine which package fits the requirements of you and your user.

    Please bring your experiences and/or horror stories about working with statistical software to this workshop. Together we'll try to demystify the flavors of statistical software and help you decide on a favorite flavor.

  • Workshop 6: Creating Web Based Surveys Using MySQL and PHP
    Aaron K. Shrimplin (Miami University of Ohio)
    Jen-chien Yu (Miami University of Ohio)


    Do you ever conduct surveys or help faculty or graduate students develop them? Have you found yourself wishing for tools that would simplify the collection and use of survey data? If so, this workshop is for you! "Creating web-based surveys using MySQL and PHP" is designed for data professionals and researchers who would like to use Web technologies to speed up the process of disseminating surveys and retrieving, organizing, and coding survey data.

    The workshop will begin with brief demonstrations of different approaches for creating surveys in online environments. Hands-on training will then teach you how to:

    • script a web-based survey using PHP
    • create a MySQL database for storing the survey data
    • generate reports based on real-time data
    • add visual presentation to the reports
    • create a portable data file that can be used for statistical analysis

A1: The Diverse World of Digital Libraries (Wed, 2004-05-26)
Chair:Tess Trost

  • Multimedia Oral History Database
    Zoltan Lux (Institute for the History of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution)


    The Oral History Archive at the 1956 Institute in Budapest contains about a thousand life interviews. A good two-thirds of these tie in with the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, as they contain recollections by participants or their children. They vary in length between 50 and several thousand pages. Each was made as a sound recording.

    Thanks to a successful competitive application for funds, a start could be made in 2003 to digitize the recordings and the texts. The purpose is to preserve the interviews in digital form. Since the existing database handling system cannot store large files, we began by devising a data-archiving program system based on Oracle. This was not just intended to provide efficient data storage. It also set out to meet the standards of international practice (DDI) and promote later development of a still more efficient content-based search facility. Much of the material is confidential in character and cannot be published, so that great care had to be taken in devising a system of entitlement grades for access.

    Special heed has been paid to making it possible to have interconnection with other databases, for which we are seeking partners. At present, a provisional test version is accessible at the URL:

  • Economic Growth Center Digital Library: Creating Access to Statistical Sources Not Born Digital
    Ann Green (Yale University)
    Julie Linden (Yale University)


    The Economic Growth Center Digital Library (, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, digitizes and makes accessible a selection of Mexican state statistical abstracts from Yale University Library's Economic Growth Center Library Collection.

    In a departure from most digital libraries, which concentrate on images or texts, EGCDL focuses on statistical tables. This project addresses issues and challenges unique to statistical materials, such as:

    • Evaluating whether common digitization practices and standards, generally developed for images and text, are ideally suited to statistically-intensive documents.
    • Automating metadata production for thousands of PDF and Excel files.

    Detailed table-level metadata records will be created in XML according to the Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) specification, including the DDI aggregate data extension. In addition to a user interface that presents the PDF versions of the statistical abstracts along with individual tables from the series, a selection of tables and metadata also will be presented in the Nesstar system. This will allow users to browse lists of tables by topic, state, and year, and to search across the entire collection for specific individual tables.

    We also address the long-term preservation of the digital materials produced in this project and their relationship to the original printed source materials.

  • A Digital Library in a Multilingual Environment
    Cor van der Meer (Fryske Akademy)


    Mercator is a network of three research and documentation centres dealing with the regional and minority languages which are spoken by more than forty million citizens of the European Union. The Mercator-Education centres started with a pilot project for the creation of a digital library on European Minority Languages with text, image and sound. The project is financed by the Royal Dutch Academy of Scientists. The pilot will take one year and will be carried out with Frisian digital material. The aim is to develop a digital library to index, classify and catalogue scientific sources concerning European minority languages and knowledge of and from academic researchers. The content will cover linguistics, sociolinguistics, literature, media, legislation, education, culture history and language policy. The pilot will serve as a development model for partners in other European linguistic communities.

    This presentation will focus on some of the crucial issues of this project, like the creation of a user profile and contentplan. Also very important is the set of requirements and functionalities which should help to decide which type of applications or tools are necessary. Formats and standards have to be chosen for metadata, the repository, the publications, etc. Organisation is a crucial aspect, but also practical matters such as 'flexible' user interfaces are very important.


A2: Pulling It All Together: Strategies in Data Preparation (Wed, 2004-05-26)
Chair:San Cannon

  • Separating Our Concerns: Evaluating the Use of Apache's Cocoon Project to Efficiently Manage Data Tasks at the Minnesota Population Center
    William C. Block (Minnesota Population Center)


    Each year more and more social science data is made available to researchers, and with it comes an ever-surging demand for easy access to data over the web. Such demands place a substantial technical burden on data providers, who must constantly prepare and update datasets, websites, and related documentation. At the Minnesota Population Center such activities are carried out by a small army of workers, including research staff, programmers, and web designers, that specialize in various aspects of the data preparation and dissemination process.

    As the size and complexity of our data projects has grown, so has our need to efficiently accomplish our tasks. Getting research staff (who do most of the data preparation), programmers (who often do "back end" processing work), and web designers (responsible for the "front end" look and feel of our projects) to work efficiently together can be a major challenge. This presentation will describe our evaluation of Apache's Cocoon Project to "separate the concerns" of our research staff, programmers, and designers so that each group can work independently yet in parallel to efficiently achieve their tasks.

  • 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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