DPLS News, April 2004

Please note: Older issues of the newsletter are likely to contain
broken links -- the newsletter is presented here "as published."

DPLS News contains articles about local, national, and international data issues.
It is published twice a semester by the library staff.

Editor: Joanne Juhnke, Special Librarian
Contributors: Lu Chou, Senior Special Librarian, & Cindy Severt, Senior Special Librarian


April 2004


Table of Contents
IASSIST 2004 is coming to UW!
Upcoming DPLS Closings
New Studies at DPLS
iPOLL, Campus-Wide
Nesstar at DPLS
NCES Seminars

Internet Corner

Center on Hunger and Poverty
The Wisconsin Campaign Finance Project
Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)
Secretaria del Trabajo y Prevision Social (STPS; Mexican Ministry of Labor)



IASSIST 2004 is coming to UW!

If your friendly DPLS librarians have seemed a bit distracted lately, it’s because they are knee deep in coordinating the local arrangements for the 30th annual conference of the International Association for Social Science Information, Service, and Technology (IASSIST), taking place May 25-28, 2004 at the Pyle Center, http://dpls.dacc.wisc.edu/iassist2004/.


IASSIST 2004 logo: Data Futures, Building on 30 Years of AdvocacyIASSIST is an international organization of professionals working in and with information technology and data services to support research and teaching in the social sciences. Its 200 members are from a variety of workplaces including data archives, statistical agencies, research centers, libraries, academia, government, and non-profit organizations. It is quite likely that some innovative data product you are using right now was borne of an idea at an IASSIST conference, developed or tested by an IASSIST member, or built from original source material held by an IASSIST member.
This year’s conference theme, Data Futures: Building on 30 Years of Advocacy, examines new issues and trends and links them to principles that have emerged during the past thirty years. You needn’t be a member to attend the conference, which offers reduced registration fees to students.


Social science data producers, users, and support specialists have long understood and promoted responsibility for preservation, quality, stewardship, responsible use, and literacy. Juxtaposed against these guiding principles are pervasive and innovative national and international trends in data availability, access, and usage. New frontiers in data include the globalization and commodification of data; integration of multimedia in research; and confidentiality concerns.


IASSIST has been on the leading edge of data dissemination and access issues, critically examining developments in electronic delivery and privacy/confidentiality. “Data advocacy” has included promoting statistical literacy among data professionals and the public; participating in the development of metadata standards for data; and working on solutions for preservation and archiving. The 2004 conference will build on this work with workshops, plenaries, round tables, concurrent and poster sessions that address various aspects of data advocacy. One sure highlight of the program will be a plenary session titled Data in the Dairyland with guest speakers Robert Hauser, Jim Sweet, Larry Bumpass, and Alberto Palloni.

We at DPLS are looking forward to welcoming our international colleagues to UW, and to Madison, starting with a catered outdoor reception at Allen Centennial Gardens. Other social events include a barbeque and barn dance featuring the Wooden Nickel Orchestra, and a lakeside banquet with a special appearance by the UW Marching Band. All social events are included in the conference registration fees.

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Upcoming DPLS Closings

cartoon of smiling sunBetween the IASSIST 2004 Conference and the Memorial Day holiday, DPLS will be closed several days in late May.

  • Tuesday, May 25: limited coverage
  • Wednesday-Friday, May 26-28: CLOSED
  • Monday, May 31: CLOSED (Memorial Day)

Enjoy the extra-long weekend!

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New Studies at DPLS

  • 14 State-level Measures of Social Capital.
  • DDB Life Style Data, 1975-1998.
  • Intergroup Relations, 2000.
  • International Social Survey Program (ISSP): Environment III, 2000.
  • International Social Survey Program (ISSP): Family and Changing Gender Roles I, 1988.
  • International Social Survey Program (ISSP): Religion II, 1998.
  • iPOLL, 1935-date [online].
  • National Survey of Graduate Assistant Stipends, Graduate Fellowships and Postdoctoral Fellowships, 1999-2000.
  • The Gallup International Millennium Survey, 1999.
  • U.S. Census of Agriculture, 1840-1900.

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iPOLL, Campus-Wide

As a benefit of DPLS’ subscription to the Roper Center for Public Opinion, the iPOLL databank is now available on the web for UW-Madison users at http://roperweb.ropercenter.uconn.edu/ iPOLL/login/ipoll_login.html. (Sign in with your e-mail address; first time users are required to fill out a free registration).

iPOLL is a full-text, question-level retrieval system for United States public opinion survey data dating back to 1935. Through subject, word, organization, and date indexes, users can retrieve the complete question text and the percentage of respondents giving each response.

iPOLL Databank logoiPOLL also provides study-level information including the name of the organization(s) that conducted the poll, the name of the sponsoring organization(s), the dates when the poll was conducted, the polling method used, and a full description of the sample. Major survey research organizations represented in iPOLL include the Gallup Organization, the Roper Organization, Louis Harris and Associates, the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, USA Today, the Washington Post and the Associated Press, among others.

Experienced Roper Center data users will want to note that iPOLL does not contain all the datasets in the Roper Center archive. iPOLL does not include state samples or foreign samples, covering only those surveys that have US national adult samples or samples of registered voters, women, African Americans, or any subpopulation that constitutes a large segment of the national adult population.

To search the entire Roper Center catalog at the survey level, visit http://roperweb.ropercenter.uconn.edu/Catalog40/StartQuery.html. If you would like to order a Roper Center dataset, contact DPLS staff.

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Nesstar at DPLS

DPLS has joined a Social Science Nesstar consortium organized by Dr. Janet Eisenhauer Smith at the Center for Demography of Health & Aging. DPLS staff is using Nesstar Publisher, a metadata-authoring tool, to convert some of our archival studies to a format that meets international archiving standards. Nesstar Publisher makes it easier for us to document a dataset and to make it available to potential users on the web. From the web, data users can examine the contents of the data, analyze the data using basic statistical tools including cross tabulation and graphs, and then download the data in a format that can be easily imported into other spreadsheet or statistical software (SAS, SPSS, Stata, and dBase) for further analysis. For more information on the Nesstar software, visit the Nesstar web site (http://www.nesstar.com/).

NESSTAR logoThe goal of this local consortium is to put together a user-friendly catalog of datasets created by researchers at the UW. Most of them will be available for public use. However, the use of some particularly sensitive data will be restricted to researchers only and a special license will be required beforehand.

To date, four DPLS archival studies have been put on the Nesstar test server. We are testing them and will upload them to a web site over the next few months. Once there, users can view summary statistics (e.g., mean, variance, frequency counts) for variables contained in these data sets, and perform basic multivariate analyses (cross tabulation and regression analysis) so they can decide if a particular study meets their research needs. Be sure to stay tuned for further announcements.

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NCES Seminars

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) is sponsoring advanced studies seminars this summer on the use of NCES data. Each seminar is designed for researchers in academic communities and other research communities, such as federal agencies, research organizations and think tanks that are interested in quantitative studies. The target audience includes faculty members, advanced graduate students, and data analysts involved with educational research. Each multi-day seminar will be held in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area and covers the nature and content of the database, computer software for accessing and analyzing the data, and funding opportunities.

The primary purpose of these seminars is to demonstrate the richness of NCES databases and provide instruction on how to use the data properly and effectively. Seminar activities include lectures, illustrations, and demonstrations. The hands-on computer practice sessions will allow participants to conduct analyses with their selected databases. Applicants should have knowledge of statistics and be proficient in the use of SAS or SPSS statistical software packages. Accepted applicants will be fully funded by NCES.

The upcoming seminars and their application due dates are as follows (all dates are 2004):

Topic

Application
Due Date

Seminar

Contact

PIRLS

June 7

June 28-30

Joy Butler

ECLS-K

June 4

July 6-9

Christine Forest

NHES

June 23

July 14-16

Joy Butler

NAEP

June 18

July 20-23

Christine Forest

SASS

July 14

August 4-6

Joy Butler

Seminar announcements are also posted on the NCES Web Site (http://www.nces.ed.gov/conferences/). If you have any questions regarding these seminars, please contact Joy Butler at (703) 807-2315 (joyb@smdi.com), or Christine Forest at (703) 516-8873 (christinef@smdi.com).

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Internet Corner

Center on Hunger and Poverty

The Center on Hunger and Poverty at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University, aims to promote policies to improve the lives of low-income children and families. Their program includes a Food Security Institute and an Asset Development Institute, both of which offer data on their web site. The Food Security Institute carries a publication on Hunger and Food Insecurity in the United States, 1998-2000 (PDF, 9 pages) as well as an interactive United States map and pull-down menu to access the data from the report by state in HTML tables. The Asset Development Institute section of the web site also has an interactive map and pull-down menu for the United States, where each state has a 2-page PDF document listing one year's worth of 39 asset-related indicators, in categories of job-related assets, human capital, and financial assets.

Visit the Center on Hunger and Poverty web site at http://www.centeronhunger.org/.

The Wisconsin Campaign Finance Project

Under the direction of Ken Mayer (former director of DPLS/DACC), the Wisconsin Campaign Finance Project aims to shed light on public election funding programs in the United States. State legislative races and the New York City Council are the primary focus, with campaign spending and election data posted for Arizona, Hawaii, Maine, Minnesota (partial), Nebraska, New York City (partial), and Wisconsin.

The web address for the Wisconsin Campaign Finance Project is http://campfin.polisci.wisc.edu/. Click on the Data link to get to a highlighted map, which leads to data files in Excel.

Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) established the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) in 1984 to track behavioral health risk in the United States. All 50 states were covered by 1994, and BRFSS is now billed as the world’s largest telephone survey. Behavior and risk categories include not getting enough physical activity, being overweight, not using seatbelts, using tobacco and alcohol, and not getting preventive care, among others. The main BRFSS web site is online at http://www.cdc.gov/brfss/index.htm. Annual survey data in ASCII and/or dBase format is available for download, back to 1990.

BRFSS questionnaire logoA new section of the site now offers local area health risk data as well, through the SMART project (Selected Metropolitan/Micropolitan Area Risk Trends). The SMART project covers 98 MMSAs, currently only for 2002, presenting PDF “quick view” charts or HTML tables . The SMART project can be found at http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/brfss-smart/index.asp.

Secretaria del Trabajo y Prevision Social (STPS; Mexican Ministry of Labor)

The Ministry of Labor site for Mexico, at http://www.stps.gob.mx/index2.htm, carries a rich set of labor statistics under the Estadísticas button in the top menu bar. In the Spanish section of the site tables are presented in HTML format, and in general go back to 1998.

STPS logoThe site also carries an English section, which does not parallel the information in Spanish. Under Labor Statistics in the left-hand column of the English section, one can link to PDF documents with tables summarizing the major national surveys covered (surveys of employment, education, micro-business, and Mexico/US border migration), with figures as far back as 1991.

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