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Conference Presentations 2007

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

E4: Prospects for DDI - What the Evidence and Experience Tell Us (Thu, 2007-05-17)
Chair:Ron Nakao, Stanford University

  • Documenting, Maintaining, and Sharing Standard Variables with DDI Version 3.0: the ISCO example
    Joachim Wackerow (GESIS/ZUMA (Centre for Survey Research and Methodology))


    Standard variables can be documented and maintained by the new DDI 3.0 in resources separate from an actual study. This approach enables efficient sharing of metadata in one organization or over several organizations. DDI 3.0 resources can form the basis for a variable registry, for persistent sources of metadata. The documentation structure of a variable in DDI 3.0 is related to the metadata registry standard ISO 11179. Using standard variables in DDI resources can facilitate comparison of collection of studies. The ISCO variable is used to illustrate these new possibilities of DDI. DDI Version 3.0 will be published in the first half of this year. The International Standard Classification of Occupation (ISCO) is a standard variable for organizing jobs into a clearly defined set of groups according to the tasks and duties undertaken in the job. The classification has four nested levels of codes representing the categories of occupations. ISCO is used in major studies like ISSP, GSS, ESS, and Eurobarometer. ISCO is developed by the International Labour Organization (ILO).

  • Whither DDI - Status and Prospects in Canada
    Bill Bradley (Health Canada (Retired))


    The presentation summarizes a paper commissioned by Human Resources and Social Development Canada to examine the present status and future prospects of the Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) as a basis for improving the provision and exchange of policy-actionable data and knowledge in Canada. The paper takes the perspective of a major investor in the DDI, and is written in two parts.

    Part 1 provides an introduction to the DDI for researchers and knowledge workers. It describes the current state of the standard, its implementation in software tools, and the adoption of such tools in Canada's universities and governments. It introduces Version 3 and associated issues. Although there are some encouraging signs, the evidence suggests that the DDI is fragile, has not yet achieved much return on investment, and is taking on considerable risk. Part 2 introduces some of the difficulties in implementing standards for statistical metadata. It outlines the essential elements for a successful DDI: a)the standard; provision of metadata and content according to that standard, b) provision of sustainable, industrial-strength metadata management, web server, and 'killer' end-user applications to make it so, c) and close co-ordination among the elements to focus limited resources on the achievement of strategic goals. Part 2 provides an assessment of the status of the DDI for each element.

    The paper concludes that investments in the various components that comprise the DDI are asynchronous with the realities of the standard's overall implementation, take-up and payoffs. There appears to be almost no coordination between the elements, and little recognition among those working in each area of the interdependence of their efforts. The paper proposes that a meeting take place between key actors to initiate better coordination processes, and makes interim suggestions for action by each.


F1: Data-PASS: Collaborating to Preserve At-Risk Data. (Fri, 2007-05-18)
Moderator: Amy Pienta, Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), University of Michigan

  • Data Preservation Alliance for the Social Sciences: Collaborating to Preserve At-Risk Data
    Darrell Donakowski (University of Michigan)
  • Data Preservation Alliance for the Social Sciences: A Model for Collaboration
    Jonathon Crabtree (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
  • An Overview of Data-PASS Shared Catalog
    Micah Altman (Harvard University)

F2: Data Beyond Numbers: Using Data Creatively for Research (Fri, 2007-05-18)
Chair:Mary Luebbe, University of British Columbia

  • The data is out there. Analyzing from electronic tracks of behavior
    Karsten Boye Rasmussen (University of Southern Denmark)


    Traditional research data is primary data captured through the deliberate process of data collection, through an instrument built from themes of research, narrowing in on the relevant theories, and concluding with operationalizations of concepts and measurement of the variables that then will constitute the data foundation for the research analysis. Most often the research investigations within the broad area of social science have as their normal research objects the human subjects. The validity of the results obtained through this design is greatly affected by the coloring in obtaining socially desirable answers as well as by an often ignored bias present in low response rates. This presentation will exemplify how the electronification of human behavior supplies an added complete, reliable, and easily accessible resource for analysis both through regular content statements (exemplified by e-mails and blogs) as well as the electronic traces of behavior (exemplified by click-streams of web behavior).

  • The Importance of Data Visualization in Data Literacy
    Janet Stamatel (University at Albany)


    Data visualization is an important means by which we analyze information, particularly in the current social climate where visual media are so prevalent.  Although some disciplines, such as statistics and computer science, have invested considerable resources in studying and improving data visualization techniques, social scientists have not fully embraced this trend.  This paper argues that data visualization is an important aspect of quantitative reasoning and data literacy.  It presents Edward Tufte's principles of design and illustrates how they can be applied to empirical research results using an example from criminology.  It discusses the skills and software needed to effectively implement these design principles and addresses the technical limitations of applying these techniques to typical social science analyses.

  • Punishment and Reward for Research Data Sharing
    Jinfang Niu (University of Michigan)


    Publicly funded research data deposited into data archives are public goods. Under voluntary contribution, data are under-deposited and under-prepared. Either punishment or reward should be available to motivate researchers to deposit data and spend more effort in data preparation. This paper built a simple mathematic model to analyze the effects of punishment and reward. Hopefully, it could be help policy makers decide the incentive mechanisms for data sharing.


F3: Extending IASSIST through Outreach (Fri, 2007-05-18)
Chair:Ernie Boyko, Statistics Canada, Retired

  • Outreach to Schools of Information Science
    Jen Darragh (Virginia Commonwealth University)
    Paula Lackie (Carleton College)


    This is an update on efforts to get library schools to understand the value of data librarianship. The speakers will report on their efforts in this important area (including the results of IASSIST 2006 poster session taped interviews).

  • Measuring IASSIST Against Science's Sine Qua Non: Making Scientific Knowledge Understandable, Relevant and Useful
    Bill Block (University of Minnesota)
    Paula Lackie (Carleton College)


    This presentation reports on IASSIST's outreach efforts to the natural science community at the CODATA conference, held in Beijing, China in October 2006. This presentation will report on IASSIST's outreach efforts to the natural science community at the CODATA conference, held in Beijing, China, in October 2006.  In a keynote address at CODATA 2006, Dr. Jane Lubchenco, a professor of marine biology and zoology at Oregon State University, challenged the scientific community to make scientific knowledge more understandable, relevant, and useful by improving communication between the scientific researcher and the public at large.  The presenters, Paula Lackie and William Block, responded to this clarion call by tailoring their CODATA presentation on Social Science Data Archives to issues raised in Lubchenco's keynote speech.  Our argument:  the social science data community already fosters communication between (social) scientific research and the public via the close interaction of social scientists, data professionals, and computing specialists that make up the IASSIST community.  In that regard, the social science data community--as exemplified by IASSIST--was held up as a model to the natural science community for achieving the objectives outlined in the CODATA keynote.

  • 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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