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Conference Presentations 2015

  • IASSIST 2015-Bridging the data divide: Data in the international context, Minneapolis
    Host Institution: University of Minnesota

E1: Geospatial and qualitative data (Thu, 2015-06-04)
Chair:Amber Leahy

  • Qualitative research: The Jan Brady of social sciences data services?
    Mandy Swygart-Hobaugh (Georgia State University)


    Librarians providing data services for researchers and learners in the social sciences should be offering data support and management services to qualitative researchers as well as quantitative ones. But, is this the case in practice? Do social sciences data services librarians devote their primary attention to quantitative researchers to the detriment of qualitative researchers? Is qualitative research the Jan Brady of social sciences data services? This presentation will present findings from: (1) a content analysis of IASSIST job repository postings from 2005-2014, gauging their requirements/responsibilities regarding qualitative data services; (2) a content analysis of the social sciences data services professional literature from 2005 forward, gleaning the discussion of qualitative data services, and (3) a survey of social sciences data services librarians, exploring the extent of qualitative data and research support they presently provide at their academic institutions and their thoughts regarding the relevance of qualitative data and research for the future of data support services.


E2: First products of the Research Data Alliance (RDA): Integration and sustainability (Thu, 2015-06-04)
Chair:George Alter

  • Dynamic Data Citation Working Group: Approaches to data citation in non-trivial settings: How to precisely identify subsets in static and dynamic data
    Ari Asmi (Research Data Alliance)
    Andreas Rauber (Research Data Alliance)
    Dieter van Uytvanck (Research Data Alliance)
    Reagan Moore (v)


    Being able to reliably and efficiently identify entire or subsets of data in large and dynamically growing or changing datasets constitutes a significant challenge for a range of research domains. To repeat an earlier study, or to apply data from an earlier study to a new model, we need to be able to precisely identify the very subset of data used. While verbal descriptions of how the subset was created are hardly precise enough and do not support automated handling, keeping redundant copies of the data in question does not scale up to the big data settings encountered in many disciplines today. Furthermore, we need to handle situations where new data gets added or existing data gets corrected or modified over time. Conventional approaches are not sufficient. We will review the challenges identified above and discuss solutions that are currently elaborated within the context of the Working Group of the Research Data Alliance (RDA) on Data Citation: Making Dynamic Data Citable. The approach is based on versioned and time-stamped data sources, with persistent identifiers being assigned to the time-stamped queries/expressions that are used for creating the subset of data. We will further review results from the first pilots evaluating the approach.

  • DSA-WDS Partnership on Repository Certification Working Group
    Mary Vardigan (Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR))
    Lesley Rickards (Research Data Alliance)


    Created under the auspices of the RDA Interest Group on Audit and Certification, this Working Group is a partnership between the Data Seal of Approval (DSA) and the World Data System (WDS) to develop a common set of requirements for basic assessment and certification of data repositories. Both the DSA and the WDS are lightweight certification mechanisms and their criteria have much in common, so it makes sense to bring them together. In addition the Working Group seeks to develop common assessment procedures, a shared testbed for assessment, and ultimately a framework for certification that includes other standards like Nestor and ISO 16363 as well. This presentation will provide an overview of the activities of the working group, including a review of the harmonized requirements and procedures.

  • Data Publication: Cost Recovery for Data Centres Interest Group
    Ingrid Dillo (DANS)
    Simon Hodson ()


    A lot of work is going on to understand the costs of maintaining long-term accessibility to digital resources, to identify different cost components, and on the basis of this to develop cost models. However, in a broader context that considers data as part of research communication, the identification of costs and development of cost models address only part of the problem. In times of tightening budgets, it is important to address the challenge of ensuring the sustainability of data centres -- and to consider this in the context of the broader processes for data publication. Many established national and international data centres have reliable sources of income from research funders. However, these income sources are generally inelastic and may be vulnerable. There is concern that basic funding of data infrastructure may not keep pace with increasing costs. And there is a need, therefore, to consider alternative cost recovery options and a diversification of revenue streams. The RDA/WDS Interest Group on Cost Recovery for Data Centres aims to contribute to strategic thinking on cost recovery by conducting research to understand current and possible cost recovery strategies for data centres. This presentation will provide an overview of the activities of the interest group.


E3: Data user insights (Thu, 2015-06-04)
Chair:Bobray Bordelon

  • Bridging the business data divide: insights into primary and secondary data use by business researchers.
    Linda Lowry (Brock University)


    Academic librarians and data specialists use a variety of approaches to gain insight into how researcher data needs and practices vary by discipline, including surveys, focus groups, and interviews. Some published studies have included small numbers of business school faculty and graduate students in their samples, but provided little, if any, insight into variations within the business discipline. Business researchers employ a variety of research designs and methods and engage in quantitative and qualitative data analysis. The purpose of this paper is to provide deeper insight into primary and secondary data use by business graduate students at one Canadian university based on a content analysis of a corpus of 32 Master of Science in Management theses. This paper explores variations in research designs and data collection methods between and within business subfields (e.g., accounting, finance, operations and information systems, marketing, or organization studies) in order to better understand the extent to which these researchers collect and analyze primary or secondary data sources, including commercial and open data sources. The results of this analysis will inform the work of data specialists and liaison librarians who provide research data management services for business school researchers.

  • Listening to the user-voice to improve user support and training
    Sarah King-Hele (UK Data Service)
    Vanessa Higgins (UK Data Service)


    The UK Data Service is a resource funded to support researchers, students, lecturers and policymakers who depend on high-quality social and economic data. This presentation will discuss the methods we use to consult with users and track their behaviour on the website in order to improve our services to them. Our approaches include an annual stakeholder consultation, a continuous pop-up survey on the website, ad-hoc consultations with specific user groups, regular user-testing of the website, monitoring of Google Analytics, user conferences and monitoring of feedback and attendance figures from training events. These developments allow the "user-voice" to come through loud and clear in a variety of formats in listening to the user voice we are able to deliver an improved and targeted service. We also discuss future plans to reach new audiences, including expanding our use of data visualisation and a new dissertation zone.

  • Was it good for you? User Experience Research to improve dissemination of census aggregate data via InFuse
    Richard Wiseman (UK Data Service)


    InFuse ( provides easy access to aggregate data from the UK's 2011 and 2011 censuses based on a fundamental remodelling of the thousands of disparate aggregate datasets produced by the three UK census agencies into a single, integrated, standards-compliant dataset suitable for global and automated operations. To date, efforts have mainly been focussed on the enormous task of data processing. This presentation will outline the next phase of development aimed at enhancing users' experiences of InFuse. It will include details of user experience research already carried out, and the ways in which results have guided current development, as well as describing future plans, challenges and opportunities.

  • Understanding academic users' data needs through Virtual Reference transcripts
    Margaret Smith (New York University)
    Samantha Guss (University of Richmond)
    Jill Conte (New York University)


    New York University Libraries has a very high volume chat reference service--averaging more than 14,500 transactions per academic year for the past few years. This popularity offers a unique opportunity for insight into our patrons' conceptualization of their data needs and how these needs are changing. Through analysis of four years worth of chat transcripts, we assessed user needs and familiarity related to locating secondary data and statistics, performing data analysis, and using existing data services. We used a grounded theory approach, exploring the data through coding and categorization. We will discuss the process and results of our investigation, as well as implications for training virtual reference service staff on the data reference interview and other data topics, and improving overall service quality.


E4: Enhancing search and discovery (Thu, 2015-06-04)
Chair:Michelle Edwards

  • Publishing codebooks via CED2AR to enable variable cross-searching between datasets
    Janet Heslop (Cornell University)
    Ben Perry (Cornell University)


    The Comprehensive Extensible Data Documentation and Access Repository (CED2AR) is designed to improve the discoverability of data collections based upon codebooks and metadata of the holdings. CED2AR utilizes DDI 2.5 metadata standards for documenting the holdings, along with for microdata markup to allow search engines to parse the semantic information from the DDI metadata. This combined solution enhances the discoverability of DDI metadata and displays it through a user friendly web interface. In addition to making individual codebooks searchable, CED2AR also facilitates cross-codebook searching and browsing. Based on the CED2AR application the Cornell Institute of Social and Economic Research (CISER) is currently in the midst of bringing our data archive metadata into DDI 2.5 through the CED2AR application. The presentation will describe the steps taken to accomplish this task and a demonstration on the status of producing an extensible data archive down to the variable level.

  • Update on Taxonomy / Lexicon Project at the US Bureau of Labor Statistics
    Daniel Gillman (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


    The taxonomy and lexicon project at the US Bureau of Labor Statistics was started in summer 2013 with the goal to provide consistent access to BLS data and documents. Each search criterion should provide data and documents that are related. The taxonomy portion of the work is to improve searching for data, and the lexicon portion is to improve tagging, cataloging, and searching for documents. The work has advanced significantly since it was initially described at IASSIST 2014. There are 5 areas of note: 1) The development of a 3 level hierarchy over all the measures and characteristics encompassing BLS data 2) Linkage of all low level characteristics across measures 3) The identification of common confusions and plain language similarities for all BLS data 4) Cognitive evaluations of the 3 level hierarchies 5) The development of a web-based implementation of the taxonomy 6) The inclusion of the taxonomy into the new DataFinder series dissemination tool 7) Assessment of the impact on standardizing all BLS terms Each of these developments will be discussed in more detail, and in particular the impact of each is described.

  • 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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