DPLS News July 1998

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

DPLS News
July 1998

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DPLS Document Scanning Project, or, "How Did They Do That?"

Census 2000 Dress Rehearsal Mail-Response Rates

New! Census CD+Maps

Data from '70s Gets 2nd Look

Selected Recent Acquisitions

Researcher's Notes, by Sonya Sidky

Internet Corner


DPLS Document Scanning Project, or, "How Did They Do That?"

Since the debut of our Online Data Archive (http://dpls.dacc.wisc.edu/archive.html) in June 1995, DPLS has simultaneously embarked on a document-scanning project with the goal of storing hard copy documentation in a machine-readable format. The procedure involves scanning paper pages and saving them in Tagged Image File Format, or TIFF files; a format native to our scanner. The TIFF files are compressed and written to a CD-ROM for preservation, and also converted to Portable Document Format, or PDF, using Adobe Acrobat Exchange. DPLS has chosen PDF for distribution of its archival documentation over the World Wide Web because of its tight compression, easy online browsing, and the free availability of Adobe PDF readers for most computing platforms.

The primary alternative, OCR (Optical Character Recognition) conversion to plain text was ruled out because of the painstaking editing needed to ensure accuracy, and loss of any visual format information such as columns or tables. The actual scanning can be a time-consuming process, but the result is a document that can be disseminated easily and economically on the Internet.

DPLS' scanning workstation consists of a Hewlett Packard ScanJet connected to a Gateway Pentium II with a low-end CD Writer. With this set-up our library assistants can streamline the process and do all of the work in-house.

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Census 2000 Dress Rehearsal Mail-Response Rates

(Reprinted from: Census and You, Vol. 33, No. 5/6, May-June 1998, p. 4.)

In April, the Census Bureau began conducting the Census 2000 Dress Rehearsal, a dry run for the census operations in preparation for the big one in 2000. Users can now consult the Census Bureau’s web site (http://www.census.gov/geo/www/response) for the mail-response rates (at the time of print) in all three sites: Columbia County, South Carolina and 11 adjacent counties (55%), Sacramento, California (50%), and Menominee Indian Reservation, Wisconsin (40%).

The information includes number of questionnaires mailed or delivered and initial response rates (questionnaires mailed back) for all counties, all tracts sorted by county, tracts sorted by place, tracts in a single county, and tracts in a single place.

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New! Census CD+Maps

This CD-ROM from Geolytics, Inc. allows users to combine 1990 Census data with maps. It also includes 1997 estimates and 2002 projections for population, housing and economy. Users can use the boundaries to create maps for block groups, census tracts, zip code area, counties and states. Data can be exported as ASCII and DBF formats. The boundary files can be exported for ArcView or MapInfo. Those familiar with the previous "Census CD" know how easy the interface is to use.

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Data from '70s Gets 2nd Look

Two long-held studies have recently been added to DPLS’ Online Data Archive: Premarital Sexuality Among Young People, 1973 (http://dpls.dacc.wisc.edu/Premsex73), and Patterns of Interracial Politics: Conflict and Cooperation in the City of Milwaukee, 1970 (http://dpls.dacc.wisc.edu/Milwaupolit).

gender symbolThe Principal Investigator of Premarital Sexuality Among Young People, 1973 is John DeLamater, UW-Madison Professor of Sociology. These data represent face-to-face interviews that were conducted on random samples of over 1,300 single college student and single non-student young people in Madison, Wisconsin. Information was collected on the social aspects of premarital sexuality, sociopsychological characteristics, current sexual behavior, and contraceptive knowledge and use among young people, as well as personal and family characteristics, sexual experience, peer group influence, and self-image.

The first sample was composed of University of Wisconsin-Madison undergraduates obtained from a 6 percent random sample of the complete student file. The second group consisted of unmarried persons between the ages of 18 and 23 who resided in Madison but were not students at the university. These non-students were obtained by calling a systematic probability sample of residences in the telephone directory. The total sample sizes were 432 student males, 220 non-student males, 431 student females, and 293 non-student females, for a total of 1,376 respondents.

Milwaukee sealThe Principal Investigator of Patterns of Interracial Politics: Conflict and Cooperation in the City of Milwaukee, 1970 is Peter Eisinger, UW-Madison Political Science Professor. The dataset consists of responses to questions about important problems facing Milwaukee and what the city government was doing about these problems. Specific questions focus on the Presidential and mayoral vote in 1968; degree of political participation; level of political information on government, educational/social welfare programs and officials; knowledge of and participation in CAP, Model Cities, and consumer associations; attendance at political meetings; protest activities (types, reasons for, attendance, participation, level of violence, arrests) and their perceived effect on Milwaukee blacks. Opinions are recorded on federal and city governments; community control; educational policies; quality of government in Milwaukee; political action to carry out an objective; and black-white relations.

The population of interest for Patterns of Interracial Politics: Conflict and Cooperation in the City of Milwaukee consisted of all voting age inhabitants of the city of Milwaukee (1960 city limits). The study design was set up to yield two samples of about the same size; one sample of black residents, and one of whites.

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Selected Recent Acquisitions

Family budget survey, Bolivia, 1990. Republica de Bolivia. Instituto Nacional de Estadistica. (CA-514-001)

National rural energy consumption survey, Bolivia, 1991. Republica de Bolivia. Instituto Nacional de Estadistica. (DA-505-001)

cdrom imageNational household education survey, 1996: library/parent and family involvement in education. U. S. Department of Education. National Center for Education Statistics. (QD-025-007)

Immigrants admitted to the United States, 1993-1995. U. S. Department of Justice. Immigration and Naturalization Service. (SC-010-024)

Medical expenditure panel survey, household component: 1996 panel round 1 population characteristics. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Center for Cost and Financing Studies (CCFS). (QG-066-001)

National transit database, 1987-1994. U.S. Department of Transportation. Federal Transit Administration. (TA-007-001)

cdrom imagePolling the nations, 1986-1995. ORS Publishing. (ZA-022-001)

Social roots of art: metropolitan conditions and the development of art, 1970-1980. Blau, Judith R. and Blau, Peter M. (SA-042-001)

Washington Post poll: race relations, 1995. Washington Post; Kaiser Foundation and Harvard University. (SM-015-002)

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WLS logo

Researcher's Notes

by Sonya Sidky

I am a Master’s student in the School of Human Ecology in the department of Consumer Science. Currently, I am using data from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Survey (WLS) to examine intergenerational transfers of time and financial resources. I am interested in how factors such as wealth, education level, gender, marital status, religion and health status influence transfers between the respondents and their adult children and elderly parents.

The WLS is a long-term study of a random sample of 10,317 men and women who graduated from Wisconsin high schools in 1957 and their randomly selected siblings. Survey data were collected from respondents in 1957, 1964, 1975, and 1992 and from select siblings in 1977 and 1993.

For my thesis, I am using data from the 1992 telephone and mail survey, which provides a wealth of financial and time transfer information as well as extensive information on the socio-economic status of respondents and their families. My sample, which consists of a cohort of high school graduates mainly born in 1939, is ideal for my study because the variability due to differences in age of respondents which exists in many other surveys is eliminated. Furthermore my respondents, age 53-54, fall within the age group that the literature on transfers indicates are heavily involved with transfer behavior.

A description of the WLS is available at: http://dpls.dacc.wisc.edu/WLS/index.html. I would like to thank the staff at DPLS for their helpfulness in addressing questions that came up while I utilized the WLS data.

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Internet Corner

Polling Report: http://www.pollingreport.com

The Polling Report from Washington, D.C. has the results of the latest national polls in politics and public policy. Data come from major research organizations, such as Gallup, Harris, Yankelovich, and Princeton Survey Research. It also has articles by leading pollsters on current public opinion and on issues in survey research. PollingReport.com is free, nonpartisan, and updated daily.

Examples of current results at press time are: Clinton in China, priorities for Congress, General Motors strike, and health care reform. Raw data is not available; each topic displays the source and date, universe, number of respondents, question, and frequencies of responses. A hierarchical table of contents page and a site-wide search help users find their topics.

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Medicare Statistics from HCFA

The Health Care Financing Administration has a rich site for national medical data (http://www.hcfa.gov/stats/stats.htm). Medicare in particular is well-represented. While there is some data on Medicaid as well, this is a difficult type of data to find because the records are state-level and not collected from a national source. Data in comma-delimited or HTML tables are available in a variety of categories such as health industry indicators, state and county enrollment (1996), Medicare payment rates, and expenditure data from 1960-1996.

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NES logo The NES Mailing List

The NES research community includes approximately 2,600 social scientists, educators, students, journalists, and others from across the United States and around the world. The NES Board of Overseers and project staff communicate with the research community several times a year to notify users of the imminent release of new data sets, to issue calls for pilot study content, to share Board recommendations about the "core" time-series questions to be included in a forthcoming election study, and most importantly, to seek advice and recommendations from those who use the NES data. To subscribe, see http://www.umich.edu:80/~nes/joinmail.htm.

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New from Republic University, Uruguay

banco logoData Bank Socio-demographic and Political Information Unit - Social Sciences Faculty - is a new, rich source of Uruguayan data. According to a recent email announcement, "Our unit holds qualitative and quantitative information about research in Political Science, Sociology, Social Work, Population, and International Relations areas. [Sources for datasets are] our faculty, in the Universidad de la Republica and in Uruguayan private centers of research. We also hold other sources of statistical and referential information. The web page contains an explanation of our activities in English and Spanish, access to more than a hundred data banks of Latinoamerica and world wide Statistics Institutions, technical information of each investigation and Unit bulletin. . . and news from other Data Banks." http://www.rau.edu.uy/fcs/banco/banco.htm

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End of July 1998 Newsletter.