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Conference Presentations 2005

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

D3: Tools to Support Data Services: New Approaches (Thu, 2005-05-26)
Chair:Desai, Tanvi

  • SOEPMENU: A menu-driven Stata/SE interface for accessing the German Socio-Economic Panel
    Mathias Sinning (SOEPMENU)
    John P. Haisken-DeNew (SOEPMENU)


    This papers outlines a panel data retrieval program written for Stata/SE, which allows easier accessing of the German Socio-Economic Panel Data set. Using a drop-down menu system, the researcher selects variables from any and all available years of the panel. The data is automatically retrieved and merged to form a rectangular “wide file”. The wide file is transposed to form a “long file”, which can be directly used by the Stata panel estimators. The system implements modular data cleaning programs called plugins.

  • Reusing information on websites
    Sam Smith (CCSR)


    This session will cover methods of sharing of information across services currently used by several projects. This information principally concerns events, news and other activities both within and externally to the UK ESRC Research Methods Programme, Samples of Anonymised Records, and Government subservice of the Economic and Social Data Service. It briefly covers what technologies we use, but focuses on how we use them, the benefits they bring to us and our users, and the systems they work within and contribute to.


D4: New Insights in Providing Data Services: A Variety of Evidence (Thu, 2005-05-26)
Chair:Read, Eleanor

  • Increased accessibility of datasets and statistical resources through faculty-library collaboration
    Lynda Duke (Illinois Wesleyan University)


    This paper outlines a unique collaborative approach used to bring together library and teaching faculty with library IT staff to better manage datasets and statistical resources. Librarians led a process to identify specific challenges, assess data resources available through the library and academic departments, determine user needs, implement and promote solutions, and assess student and faculty responses.

    Additionally, the presenter will discuss project outcomes including organizing and consolidating datasets, designing dataset and statistics web pages to direct users to appropriate sources, naming a librarian the Institutional Representative for ICPSR, and increasing student support through both individual appointments and instructional sessions. In addition, users are more aware of what resources are available, teaching faculty gained an expanded understanding of the library's mission and the expertise of its faculty and staff, the university has been able to utilize financial, time, and material resources more effectively, and librarians have developed a more intimate knowledge of student's needs, our collection, and how to work with datasets.

  • Capturing meta data on a different kind of data
    Mary B. McGrath (Bank of Canada)
    Mary Jo Roy (Bank of Canada)


    In 2004 the Bank of Canada implemented a meta data repository to provide economists, analysts, researchers and business data managers with easy access to information about the statistical data they use and produce in their work.

    The web based, bilingual (French and English) application allows staff members working with economic and financial data to easily determine what statistical data are available, to acquire information about these data such as their sources and to locate specific data objects (time series, formulas). The repository facilitates the re-use and sharing of statistical data resources by also capturing information on corporate applications and projects that use and create statistical data.

    This paper describes the reasons for the creation of the repository, the challenges experienced and overcome, the lessons learned and the rewards since implementation.

  • e-Government Information: the same old problem -- newly digitized
    Alastair J. Allan (University of Sheffield Library)


    Government information was, for the last half of the twentieth century, a research resource often overlooked by academics and librarians. With the wholesale migration of government information to digitized formats, the information is now far more readily available and, indeed, far more of it is available. Additionally the globalization of government information provides more detailed data but complicates the choices facing researchers.

    This paper looks at the type of information that supports e-government and its place in academic research. The difficulties of using the information, though, have not gone away and for some types new challenges have emerged. This summary examines the impact of the web on government information, traces recent developments and predicts future trends.


E1: Transforming Social Data into Information (Thu, 2005-05-26)
Chair:Trost, Tess

  • Information issues in health networked organisations: cooperative work and new relationships
    Christian Bourret (ISIS, Université de Marne la Vallée)


    In our Knowledge and Information-based Society, the rise of networks is becoming a key aspect of Healthcare. New networked service organisations have developed as an interface between primary care and hospitals. Their innovative aspects (organisational, human and technical) focus on new cooperative practices centred on patients who are more involved in their health.

    This paper will firstly examine the rise of Healthcare Networks from the French perspective and will compare that with experiences in United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Spain in a background of management of the complexity (global vision both of the networked organisation and of the patients).

    Secondly the paper will outline specific aspects of Health data: personal, sensitive, confidential and conforming to particular legislation. Then the paper will study their use both for the monitoring of patients’ pathways and for the management of organisations with the essential role of Information and Communication Systems (information sharing and quality of data) with their key element: the patient’s Electronic Health Record. Finally the paper will demonstrate how supportive evaluation of these community service organisations helps develop their collective identity via a process of continuous improvement.

  • Bridging information and political science: investigating empirical evidence on political information seeking on the internet, 2000-2004
    Alice Robbin (Indiana University)


    For nearly three decades information technologists and democracy theorists have contended that the digital revolution would renew and invigorate political community. The early utopian cyberdemocrats were optimistic that information and communication technologies (ICTs) would provide a vehicle for effective political participation in the public sphere, by diffusing and improving access to and use of information for public decision making. Employing theoretical frameworks from information science and political science on information and political behavior and democratic theory, this paper examines the claims of the cyberdemocrats as they relate to the search for political information through the Internet. The analysis relies on a series of national surveys of the U.S. population conducted by the Pew Internet Life Project between 2000 and 2004. The results indicate that, in general, the Internet has had little effect on increasing the salience of politics for most people but provides an additional channel of information for people who are already active seekers of political information.

  • Digitising Dutch Censuses, 1795-1971; Preliminary results & work in progress
    Luuk Schreven (Netherlands Institute for Scientific Information Services (NIWI))


    Since 1997 NIWI and Statistics Netherlands have been cooperating in an effort to digitize all Dutch censuses, ranging from 1795 to 1971. Thefirst results were published in 1999. Only when more funding becameavailable (in 2002) the work on this project continued. Last November NIWI and Statistics Netherlands were proud to present a second round of preliminary results during a special meeting at which the new website was presented. Work on the census digitization will continue throughout 2005 and (hopefully) finish at the end of this year. In this paper I would like to address three topics concerning our work on the digitization of census material;

    1. The new website contains not just data, but also metadata and background material. I will give a quick tour of our new website (, which by May will also be available in English).
    2. Work on an online Historical GIS is progressing. We hope to have a data mapping server up this year in which to present our census data. I will give an update on our efforts toward a Historical GIS.
    3. In 2005 our work will mainly focus on the documentation of the censuses. I will address our efforts to document and harmonize the census data.


E2: Tools for Preservation: Integration and Assessment (Thu, 2005-05-26)
Chair:Paneth-Peleg, Michal

  • Preserving and improving the access to large and complex household surveys
    Jostein Ryssevik (Nesstar Limited)
    Pascal Heus (World Bank)
    Olivier Dupriez (World Bank)
    Mark Diggory (Harvard University)


    A household survey is an expensive, large and complex project producing a series of inter-related datafiles and a variety of documents and reports including questionnaires, sampling plans, data processing notes, table reports, user guides etc. Preserving, documenting and disseminating the relevant deliverables from a household survey is thus a major task that seldom is planned into the survey project and often is neglected. This is reducing the value of these important data resources for secondary and comparative analysis. The latest version of the Nesstar Publisher has been designed to meet the requirements of large and complex surveys allowing data producers and archives to document and preserve the complete set of artefacts from a data gathering project and to publish these collections on CDrom or to a Nesstar server. The Nesstar Publisher provides complete support for the DDI as well as Dublin Core and eGMS.

  • The DataWeb/VDC integration
    Micah Altman (Harvard-MIT Data Centre)
    Cavan Capps (U.S. Bureau of the Census)


    The Virtual Data Center (, VDC, is a complete open-source (OSS), digital library system for the management, dissemination, exchange, preservation, and citation of virtual collections of quantitative data. VDC functionality includes everything necessary to
    maintain and disseminate collections of research studies. The system also provides extensive support for distributed collections and federated
    networks. The long-term goal of the VDC project is to increase the replicability of research by providing advanced tools to support exchange,
    citation, and preservation of research data.

    "The DataWeb" ( is a network of government and non-profit statistical databases with associated data access and
    manipulation tools. This system, developed by the U.S. Census Bureau with support from other federal agencies, provides free server and analytical software to agencies and organizations that want to participate in the policy oriented data Other planned future releases of the VDC will include, among many other features, extended support for "deep citations" of data subsets, support for extended data analyses, and support for operation of the VDC on other platforms.

    This briefing will outline a cooperative effort, aimed at enabling these systems to interoperate -- with a view to giving the user communities associated with each system integrated access to data and resources available within both networks: By having both systems installed on one host, one can provide access to a common data store via either network. In addition, the two systems will locate and exchange data within a federated environment using open standards including DDI, OAI, and open XSL-based metadata crosswalks.

  • 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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