DPLS News, November 2001

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, Associate Special Librarian
Contributors:
Lu Chou, Senior Special Librarian & Cindy Severt, Senior Special Librarian

November 2001


Table of Contents

Terrorism by the Numbers
New Studies at DPLS
DPLS Holiday Closings

ICPSR Direct is Here!
Census 2000: Unadjusted Data
2001 Meeting of ICPSR Official Representatives
Datastream Advance 3.5

Internet Corner
     Key Indicators of Developing Asian and Pacific Countries
     National Association of Health Data Organizations (NAHDO)
     European Central Bank (ECB) – Statistics
     Delaware Census 2000


Terrorism by the Numbers

Datasets about terrorism, conflict, aggression, and violence have long held a place in the collections of many data libraries and archives. Like many things in the wake of September 11, the words data (facts), analysis (interpretation), and intelligence (information) have taken on different meanings, especially when applied to datasets about terrorism.

DPLS has received some inquiries about terrorism datasets since the September 11 tragedy. A search for data collections on the topic reveals several interesting resources.

TerrorismOne of the first resources devoted exclusively to conflict and aggression is INCORE, Initiative on Conflict Resolution and Ethnicity, http://www.incore.ulst.ac.uk/. The INCORE web site contains this description: “Founded in 1993 as a joint initiative between the University of Ulster and the United Nations University, INCORE aims to address the management and resolution of conflict via a combination of research, training, and other activities which inform and influence national and international organizations working in the field of conflict.” One feature of INCORE is the Conflict Data Service. Aimed at academics, policy makers, mediation practitioners and the media, the Conflict Data Service provides information and Internet resources categorized according to countries, themes (e.g. refugees, landmines), and peace agreements. The site also has a researcher database and information bank.

When this newsletter went to press, ICPSR had recently added seven ABC News/Washington Post opinion polls about terrorism, conducted between September 11 and October 15, 2001, at http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/ORG/announce.html#terror. These special topic polls assessed such questions as the public’s reactions to the September 11 attacks, confidence in the U.S. government to prevent further attacks, support for military actions, and degree of patriotism. Respondents were also asked if capturing and/or killing Osama bin Laden was a higher priority than overthrowing the Taliban; if the terrorists who attacked the U.S. held viewpoints in keeping with the mainstream teachings of Islam; and what brand of antiobiotics (if any) were purchased to confront a biological attack.

The Political Terrorism Database, at http://polisci.home.mindspring.com/ptd/, is an unceremoniously candid web site that indexes terrorism according to geography, tactics, weaponry, group structure, definitions, and incidents. Consisting solely of summary data and images, this site is both remarkable and sobering for its comprehensive coverage of terrorist incidents from 1998 – 2000. The site’s author, Armando F. Mastrapa III, is a graduate of St. John’s University with a specialization in International Relations and Comparative Politics.

Strictly informational terrorism-related web sites include the Office of Homeland Security, http://www.whitehouse.gov/homeland/; the U.S. State Department Counterterrorism Office, http://www.state.gov/s/ct/; and the Terrorism Research Center, http://www.terrorism.com/index.shtml.

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New Studies at DPLS

DPLS has acquired several new products on CD-ROM.

  • CensusCD, 1970.
  • Historical statistics of the United States on CD-ROM: colonial times to 1970, bicentennial edition.
  • National longitudinal surveys of labor market experience, mature women: 1967-1999.
  • National longitudinal surveys of labor market experience, young women: 1968-1999.
  • National longitudinal survey of youth, 1997-1999.

These CDs are available for use at the DPLS public access workstations.

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DPLS Holiday Closings

Happy Holidays! DPLS will be CLOSED:

Snowman on Ice SkatesThu./Fri. Nov. 22 & 23, for Thanksgiving.

Mon./Tue./Wed. Dec. 24-26, for Christmas.

Mon./Tue. Dec. 31-Jan. 1, for New Years.

 

 

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ICPSR Direct is Here!

ICPSR Direct is a new service providing direct access to ICPSR data for all students, faculty, and staff at UW-Madison. With ICPSR Direct you can download data as well as documentation directly to your computer without having to route your request through DPLS. This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The implementation of ICPSR Direct does not mean that your local Official Representative (OR) will no longer be available for consultation, only that the OR need not be involved with the transmission of data. For complete instructions about ICPSR Direct, see the announcement under “New on the DPLS Web Site” at http://dpls.dacc.wisc.edu/.

DPLS staff would like to remind users that the usual conditions for ICPSR data use still apply. By downloading data, you signify that you agree not to share the data with anyone other than faculty members, students, or staff at the UW-Madison. You further agree to the terms of use specified in ICPSR’s Responsible Use Statement, at http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/ORG/Policies/respuse.html.

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Census 2000: Unadjusted Data

The Census Bureau announced in October that they would not be releasing statistically adjusted population counts for Census 2000. Earlier this year, the Bureau had determined that no adjustment would be made for political redistricting. The new decision applies to distribution of federal program funds.

The net undercount for the 2000 Census was less than 1 percent, compared to an undercount of 1.6 percent in 1990. However, the additional survey that was used to double-check the enumeration proved to be inadequate to determine how many people were double-counted, and this inaccuracy played into the decision not to release adjusted numbers.

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2001 Meeting of ICPSR Official Representatives

The 25th biennial meeting of ICPSR Official Representatives (ORs) was held in Ann Arbor from October 25 to 28, and DPLS Senior Special Librarian Lu Chou was in attendance. “Innovations in Research, Instruction, Documentation and Distribution” was the meeting theme.

ICPSR staff presented a number of web tools intended to enhance their services to members. The most exciting innovation is a new service called ICPSR Direct. It allows users to download data directly from ICPSR to their computers, as long as their machine IP addresses are in the range of their member institution.

Another innovation for users of ICPSR data is a system called Survey Documentation and Analysis (SDA). SDA allows users to analyze approximately 50 selected datasets directly from the ICPSR site, at http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/ACCESS/sda.html#data. Users may view the variables and perform certain statistical procedures, such as cross tabulation, multiple regression, correlation matrix, and create custom subsets. The system can be used to quickly determine if a dataset is pertinent for a research topic without downloading the entire dataset and importing the data into a statistical package.

ICPSR has also created a Site for Instructional Materials and Information (SIMI), for teaching quantitative methods to undergraduates at http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/ORG/Other_Resources/SIMI/simi.html. It includes instructional datasets and accompanying instructional materials. These materials may include exercises for classroom use, information about useful web sites, notes to instructors, and related publications. Materials are reviewed to ensure their quality and proper copyright clearance. Faculty and teaching staff are invited to submit data-based instructional materials that they have developed for their classes to SIMI.

A second teaching site, not hosted by ICPSR but presented at the OR meeting, is DoStat.com, a web site built to teach undergraduates introductory statistics. Funded by a NSF grant, DoStat offers online access to courseware and data analysis software at http://www.dostat.com/, requiring only a free registration. Instructors are invited to evaluate this site and incorporate it into their course materials.

In addition, it was announced that the Supplementary Empirical Teaching Units in Political Science (SETUPS) for American Politics has released a package called Voting Behavior: The 2000 Election. This computer-based instructional package consists of a dataset and a monograph, constructed to allow undergraduate students to analyze survey data on electoral behavior. A web site will be available for the 2000 Election SETUPS in the near future. Many other SETUPS datasets can be obtained from ICPSR for teaching research methods.

ICPSR believes users from their member institutions will benefit from these new tools. Cindy Severt, DPLS’ local Official Representative, will be happy to assist you with any questions about our ICPSR membership and its services.

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Datastream Advance 3.5

DPLS has upgraded the user-friendly interface Datastream Advance from version 2.0 to 3.5. This new interface is available only from the DPLS workstation known as Pepper. The DS-Windows and Excel interfaces to Datastream can be used from the other workstation, Salt. Advance 3.5 has several new features. The Advance for Office add-ins integrate the Datastream data with Microsoft Excel, Word and PowerPoint. There is also an embedded browser that allows users to access the Datastream.com Extranet site. Due to the security setup on Pepper, a special login and password are now needed for the Guest account to connect to Datastream. Please ask DPLS staff for assistance when you want to use Datastream Advance 3.5.

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 Internet Corner

Key Indicators of Developing Asian and Pacific Countries

Key Indicators of Developing Asian and Pacific Countries can be found at http://www.adb.org/documents/books/key_indicators/, on the web site of the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

ADB.org logoThe ADB describes itself as “a multilateral development finance institution dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific.” The site contains the latest three years’ worth of the ADB’s flagship publication, Key Indicators of Developing Asian and Pacific Countries. Key Indicators covers 38 countries, presenting time-series data and analysis on economic, financial, environmental and social development. The publication is available in PDF, with downloadable tables in Excel format.

National Association of Health Data Organizations (NAHDO)

The National Association of Health Data Organizations (NAHDO) is a not-for-profit membership organization that aims to strengthen the nation’s health information system.

In addition to information on meetings, jobs, news, and links to member web pages, the NAHDO web site includes a useful Health Website Locator (http://www.nahdo.org/soa/soa1.html) that lets users identify categories of health web sites such as international health organizations, health data organizations, or health sites with databases.

The main page of the NAHDO web site is located at http://www.nahdo.org/index1.htm.

European Central Bank (ECB) – Statistics

The European Central Bank (ECB) is the bank of the monetary union in Europe, with the euro as currency. The ECB web site carries an extensive statistics section, centering on their Monthly Bulletin publication. PDF Monthly Bulletin files go back to January 1999. For each page of the “Euro area statistics” section of the Monthly Bulletin, there is a corresponding downloadable file containing the data in CSV format, where the filenames refer to the corresponding pages of the Monthly Bulletin.

The site also includes: daily nominal effective exchange rates for the euro, retail interest rate statistics, euro area securities issues statistics, and historical time series for euro area monetary aggregates.

Statistical press releases and statistical release schedules round out the site.

The ECB Statistics page may be reached at http://www.ecb.int/stats/stats.htm.

Delaware Census 2000

Outline of the State of Delaware, filled with facesResearch & Data Management Services of the University of Delaware has created this site to provide access to Census 2000 data files for Delaware. Features include a Census Mapper, an ArcIMS application that provides GIS access to the data, and selective access to data in ArcView shapefile format and Excel format.

While the site’s special features are focused on Census data for Delaware, there are also links to pages within the U.S. Census Bureau and beyond.

The Delaware Census 2000 site is available at http://datamil.udel.edu/census/.

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