Already a member?

Sign In

Conference Presentations 2005

  • IASSIST 2005-Evidence and Enlightenment, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
    Host Institution: EDINA National Data Cente and Edinburgh University Data Library

Workshops (Tue, 2005-05-24)

  • W4: Building a Data Library or Data Observatory on the Web Using Nesstar Technology
    Jostein Ryssevik (Nesstar, Ltd.)
    Margaret Ward (Nesstar, Ltd.)
    Cliff Dive (Nesstar, Ltd.)


    This workshop will focus on the various steps in the process of setting up and running a data library or observatory on the Web. Issues to be addressed include: a) setting up and configuring a Nesstar server, b) customizing the interface, c) adding data and other digital resources, d) defining and managing the access control and e) building a virtual library by linking several servers. The workshop will be of a hands-on nature and will include visits to a variety of live data services. The users will also set up, customize and populate their own server during the workshop.

  • W5: Data Publishing with Nesstar Publisher
    Margaret Ward (Nesstar, Ltd.)
    Jostein Ryssevik (Nesstar, Ltd.)
    Cliff Dive (Nesstar, Ltd.)


    This workshop will focus on data and metadata preparation and publishing by means of Nesstar Publisher. Nesstar Publisher is a comprehensive data management tool that allows the user to extract data from a variety of formats and systems, author and edit DDI-compliant metadata and load data and metadata onto a Nesstar server (or any other DDI-compliant data platforms). The focus will be on survey-data (also complex hierarchical studies) as well aggregated data or cubes. Even publishing of maps (GIS-resources), reports and other documents will be covered. The workshop is a follow-up to workshop 4, but can also be useful for persons without prior knowledge of Nesstar. The workshop will be hands-on and participants are encouraged to bring their own data.

  • W6: Using Streaming Geospatial Data Sources
    Steve Morris (North Carolina State University)
    Guy McGarva (EDINA, University of Edinburgh)
    James Reid (EDINA, University of Edinburgh)


    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. 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 Geospatial Consortium specifications. The most common examples of the latter include WMS (‘Web Map Service’) and WFS (‘Web Feature Service’) specifications although other specifications are being published and used such as Web Coverage Service (WCS) and the Catalog Interface (CAT). 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 and the issues arising from doing so. 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.

  • W7: DDI 102: Codebook Creation and Beyond
    William Block (Minnesota Population Center)
    Mary Vardigan (ICPSR)


    This workshop is a follow up to last year's successful introductory workshop on the DDI. This workshop will begin with a brief introduction to DDI and XML 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 that can be taken home. Freely-roaming instructors will be available throughout the hands-on portion of the workshop to answer questions and offer advice, and DDI questions at any level of expertise are encouraged! The workshop will conclude with suggestions on how to markup documents more efficiently as well as a look toward what is coming with DDI 3.0. You might consider taking this workshop if:

    • you are new to the DDI and would benefit from an overview of the basics
    • you have questions about how to mark up documentation from your local collection
    • you have questions about how to more efficiently mark up documents
    • you are wondering where the DDI is going with version 3.0 and what that means for DDI documentation created in an earlier version

    For this session, participants should bring a codebook file in MSWord or ASCII on a CD or USB flash drive. Participants are also encouraged to bring a paper copy of their codebook, in case of technical difficulties on the morning of the workshop.

Plenary I (Wed, 2005-05-25)

  • The Need for Rigour and Accessibility in Comparative Research
    Roger Jowell (Professor of Sociology and Director of the Centre for Comparative Social Surveys, City University)


    The European Social Survey (ESS) was set up in 2001 as a new quantitative time series. Its twin aims were to monitor trends in social values and to raise methodological standards. It is now about to start its 3rd biennial round with funding from the European Commission, the European Science Foundation and 25 National Science Foundations all over Europe. Its results are made available on line as soon as they are available with no privileged access. Roger Jowell, the Coordinator of the ESS, will describe the origins and methodology of the project, commenting on what he sees are the 'imperatives' of modern-day cross-national time series.

A1: Cross-national Socio-economic Data: Boundaries of Evidence (Wed, 2005-05-25)
Chair:Russell, Celia

  • Understanding the United Nations Millennium Development Goals indicators -- how to find and interpret the evidence on target achievement
    Robert Johnston (United Nations Statistics Division)


    The eight Millennium Development Goals and eighteen targets were adopted by consensus at the United Nations Millennnium Summit of the General Assembly in 2000. In just a few years, they have become the strategic centerpiece of international development assistance and support to the world's poor countries, and the measure of differences between the poor and the rich. The goals and targets were specified to a considerable extent in quantifiable terms and reflected recommendations from the previous decade of global conferences on environment, status of women, social development, population and development,education for all and international finance, among others. In adopting the Declaration the General Assembly also asked the Secretary-General to set up an evidence-based system to monitor progress towards achievement of the goals and targets at national, regional and international levels, through an annual global report and an extensive network of national reports. At the regional and international levels, these and related reports are based on data at the United Nations Statistics Division's Millennium Indicators Database at

    The proposed presentation would take a few of these indicators--such as extreme poverty, gender parity in school, maternal mortality, HIV/AIDS and atmospheric C02--and demonstrate, preferably online if a connection is available, how the data can be retrieved from the database and interpreted. The emphasis will be, through specific examples, on how to get maximum information from limited data without taking the data beyond the serious limitations of reliability and availability typical of international statistics. Researchers should approach the data with a healthy skepticism and be prepared to look further to understand their sources, methods and limitations. The more they know about the data, the better they can put together their research strategy and the better and more reliable their
    hypotheses and conclusions will be.

  • Cross National and Intergovernmental Data: Paying for one stop shopping.
    Bobray Bordelon (Princeton University)


    Governmental and intergovernmental data can be found in many formats. The interface provided by the originating body is not always user friendly. Researchers often seek one stop shopping and want to rely on one interface that combines data from many organizations. Some institutions have developed local solutions while others often rely upon commercial vendors such as Datastream, Global Insight, the Economist Intelligence Unit, or Bloomberg. This paper will explore the various approaches made by commercial vendors to provide coverage, comparability, methodology, and access.

  • The production and presentation of statistics of unemployment: comparability issues
    John Adams (Napier University)
    Ray Thomas (Open University)


    The United Nations publish unemployment statistics for 123 countries. Most of these statistics are based on International Labour Office (ILO) criteria for the definition of unemployment, but many countries also produce unemployment statistics based on insurance records and on the basis of registered unemployment.

    The paper aims to compare the main features of different series. The dimensions compared include the conceptual basis for the definition of unemployment, use of denominators for production of unemployment rates, boundaries with employment and inactivity, entry statistics and duration of unemployment, and the cultural influence of the statistics.

    The paper identifies conflicts between achieving international comparability and national needs. Survey statistics that underpin international comparisons do not support geographically detailed analysis within countries. The value of ILO statistics also is limited by failure to recognise the concept of entry to unemployment and difficulties of integration with other unemployment statistics. The standard LFS questionnaire could be modified to support the production of statistics for entrants to unemployment. The sampling frame could be modified to ensure consistency with nationally produced insurance or registered unemployment statistics.

    (The research for this paper has been supported by a grant to John Adams from Scotecon and by the award of a Campion Fellowship by the Royal Statistical Society to Ray Thomas)

  • The World on a plate: building and supporting a new community of international data users
    Keith Cole (ESDS International, University of Manchester)


    The increasing importance of cross-national research has resulted in an astonishing growth in the usage of international data over recent years. ESDS International provides academics across the UK with access to the major international databanks produced by international governmental agencies such as the United Nations, International Monetary Fund and World Bank. In this paper we describe how an emerging new user community for these databanks has been developed and supported, and the challenges of responding to a diverse and expanding user group. We report some of the problems users face accessing and using the data in their teaching and research and how these barriers can be overcome. Finally, we examine how the rapid growth in usage in the UK is reflected in current global trends and the potential demand for access to these databanks worldwide.


A2 : National Initiatives in Coordinating Preservation: Working Together (Wed, 2005-05-25)
Chair:Burnhill, Peter

  • Data-PASS/NDIIPP: A new effort to harvest our history
    Caroline Arms (Library of Congress)


    The preservation of digital content has become a major challenge for society. In December 2000, the United States Congress appropriated funds for a national digital-strategy effort, to be led by the Library of Congress. The Library responded by creating the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP). This paper will provide background information on the project, and outline NDIIPP activities. It will also introduce the goals for one aspect of the program: a group of preservation partnerships, including both Data-PASS and North Carolina Geospatial Data Archiving 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


  • 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...