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Conference Presentations 2007

  • IASSIST 2007-Building Global Knowledge Communities with Open Data, Montreal, Canada
    Host Institution: McGill University

C1: Considering the data management plan: More than Window Dressing? (Wed, 2007-05-16)
Chair:Gretchen Gano, New York University Library

  • Preparing Public Use Data Files
    Felicity Leclere (ICPSR)


    Cleaning and preparing data files for public release are tasks that many researchers and survey professionals feel are unnecessary in the era of computer assisted and web based interviewing.   The addition of automation, in principle, should have resulted in a dataset that is ready immediately upon data collection.  In practice, however, the automation necessary to collect data does not always produce data files that are in fact designed to be used by the uninitiated (ergo "public") user.  In this part of the session, I will discuss how to approach data set cleaning and documentation from a user's perspective.

  • Approaches to Data Dissemination and Preservation
    Micah Altman (Institute for Quantitative Social Science, Harvard-MIT Data Center)


    This presentation describes approaches to dissemination and preservation, including dissemination and preservation through major data-archives, self-archiving, preservation strategies and agreements, DATA-Pass, and related technologies.

  • Formalising Data Management Plans for Large Scale Multi-disciplinary Projects
    Louise Corti (U.K. Data Archives)
    Susan Cadogan (U.K. Data Archives)


    This presentation describes work undertaken by UKDA to formalise data management and archiving for a cross-Research Council research programme. The funding of a dedicated data support service for the multimillion dollar, interdisciplinary Rural Economy and Land Use Progamme, has enabled the creation of a formal Data Management Policy and Plan. The concise plan must completed by PIs and signed off by the UKDA before programme contracts are issued. A glossy brochure on Guidance on Best Practice in Data Management, primarily authored by the late Alasdair Crockett, has also been produced for the programme.


C2: DDI in Canada – Where are we at? (Wed, 2007-05-16)
Moderator: Michel Seguin, Data Liberation Initiative, Statistics Canada

  • An Update on DDI Working Groups at Statistics Canada
    Mary Decuypere (Special Surveys Division, Statistics Canada)


    Statistics Canada has formed working groups tasked with laying the foundation, and the development of best practices, for the implementation of the Data Documentation Initiative. The tasks involved include developing a business case rationale for the DDI, refining the documentation requirements, repurposing metadata, as well as interoperability of collection and processing tools. This presentation will present an overview of these initiatives and future plans.

  • Ontario Universities moving forward with DDI
    Michelle Edwards (Data Resource Centre Coordinator, University of Guelph)


    The art of creating dataset codebooks using the Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) in Canada has been slowly gaining ground. The University of Guelph has been marking up codebooks for the past 5 years and is now involved in a collaborative effort with partner Universities in Ontario and Statistics Canada to determine a core set of tags and best practices procedure of completing the tags. This paper will discuss why some Ontario universities have chosen to move away from their home grown systems and implement DDI compliant systems and how working with Statistics Canada will benefit the Canadian data community.

  • Capitalising on Metadata: Tool Develoment Plans
    Chuck Humphrey (Data Library Coordinator, University of Alberta)


    The Research Data Centre Network recently received funding to develop metadata tools to facilitate research using the Statistics Canada confidential data in these Centres. The metadata and the tools to exploit the metadata were identified specifically to solve three related problems for researchers. This presentation will discuss the solutions to these problems from the life cycle perspective of conducting research in Canada's Research Data Centres.


C3: New Discovery Tools: Thinking Outside the Catalogue (Wed, 2007-05-16)
Chair:Anna Bombak, University of Alberta

  • Searching for Data: Powered by Google
    Peter Bern (Syracuse University)


    Even for the experienced person, finding data and statistics can be a daunting, if not very frustrating task.  For the novice, finding the right data can be virtually impossible.  The typical approach of googling it has about as much chance of finding the right information as winning the lottery.  As powerful as the Google search engine is, it will only bring up the most popular sites, not necessarily the best sites.  Not to mention that most novices cannot always differentiate between a reliable source and one that is questionable. Google Custom Search Engines (CSE) can combine the expertise of the data librarian with the power of Google searching.  By restricting or boosting the search to specific sites or pages, the results returned are fine-tuned toward data and statistics from reliable sources.  This presentation will demonstrate the difference between a standard Google search and a CSE, how to set up a CSE, and highlight some of the more useful features and some of its drawbacks.

  • Snippets of Data at a Glance: Using RSS to Deliver Statistics
    San Cannon (Federal Reserve Board)


    For most researchers, more data are always better.  But for some number watchers, especially in the economic and financial realm, an observation or two is all that is needed but it is needed the moment it is available.  How can data providers serve these clients as well as those who want every observation even if it isn’t readily available?  A group of central banks (US, Canada and Mexico) as well as some international institutions (the European Central Bank and the Bank for International Settlements) are developing a specification for RSS that will allow such immediate delivery as well as adding extra metadata for those users who are compiling a more complete dataset.  This paper will discuss the origins and specifications of RSS-CB1.0 as a data transmission mechanism and explore the success of the current pilot implementations.

  • Multilingual Web Services - Possibilities and Pitfalls
    Taina Jääskeläinen (Finnish Social Science Data Archive)
    Tuomas J. Alaterä (Finnish Social Science Data Archive)


    Experiences and ideas from the Finnish Social Science Data Archive which provides web services on three languages but with somewhat different goals for each. The presentation focuses on what to take into account when planning multilingual services, and what kind of pitfalls or good practices there are. Should the existing web site and services just be reproduced in another language, with the same content? If not, then what? It is only after the goals, potential service users and available resources have been outlined that we have a basis from which to plan the web design. The presentation includes advice on some aspects of web design, and an introduction on how to use the DDI to facilitate multilingual data documentation.

  • University Information System RUSSIA: Bilingual (Russian-English) Search Tools to Intergrate Data and Knowledge Products
    Tatyana Yudina (Moscow State University)
    Anna Bogomolova (Moscow State University)


    University Information System RUSSIA ( is an electronic library serving RF social research and education. The system has been in operation since 2000. Currently up to 3 million. documents from 60+ holdings are in the system. The UIS RUSSIA is maintained as an integrated resource with content-based searching across collections. The technology for automatic linguistic text processing (ALTP, special software-lingware-knowledgeware complex) was designed, developed and implemented within the framework of the project. The technology is customized to process all main types of business prose documents. Documents in English may be also processed and cross-searched, exploiting bilingual (Russian-English) search tools. A short summary in Russian accompanies a document in English. Journal of Economic Literature (JEL)-based searching is implemented and is currently being tested on the full-text SocioNet module which maintains publications on economic and social sciences in English available via links in the Research Papers in Economics (RePEc; electronic library; the collection covers 30000+ articles. In 2007, the UIS RUSSIA team plans to integrate foreign universities' and think-tank publications in English. Search in English across UIS RUSSIA holdings (in Russian) is completed.

  • 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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