DPLS News, October 1999

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

October 1999

Table of Contents

Roper Center Membership
The End of NTIS?
Friends of the UW-Madison Libraries Grant
Two New User Workstations
Selected Recent CD-ROM Acquisitions
DPLS Staff News
Want to be a Census Enumerator?
Poverty Monitoring Database
Internet Corner


Roper Center Membership

DPLS is pleased to announce that starting with the fall 1999 semester, we have a membership to the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research. Located on the campus of the University of Connecticut, the Roper Center’s domestic and international holdings of survey data comprise the most complete collection of public opinion information in existence.

Of greatest interest to users will be the ability of DPLS staff to download data on demand much as we currently do with ICPSR data. The Roper Center’s catalogue of holdings can be searched from http://www.ropercenter.uconn.edu/

Also of interest to our users will be the ability to query POLL, the most comprehensive and up-to-date source of national public opinion in the United States. The POLL database is a full-text question-level retrieval system. POLL allows users to easily and efficiently sift through thousands of questions by employing subject, word, organization and date indices in an effort to locate precisely the items required for their research interest.

DPLS’s membership to the Roper Center will allow us to expand our holdings and respond to user’s needs for timely, public opinion data. Please contact DPLS staff for download requests or questions.

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The End of NTIS?

The Department of Commerce Secretary William M. Daley recently announced his intention to close the National Technical Information Service (NTIS). The increased use of the internet to obtain free government information has rendered NTIS obsolete. More and more departments and agencies are posting their reports on the internet for free. People are bypassing NTIS, searching departmental home pages in hopes of finding the documents they need for free. In the last six years, NTIS sales have greatly declined, and the clearinghouse has not operated at a profit since the 1993 fiscal year. U.S. Department of Commerce' Office of Inspector General said, "even with significant efforts to improve its profitability, NTIS can no longer generate sufficient revenue to remain self-supporting." The Department of Commerce plans to send Congress proposed legislation to close NTIS and move all its paper, microfiche, digital archives, and bibliographic database to the Library of Congress. They will also work to ensure that agencies and departments continue to offer free reports to the public for long periods of time. The Department of Commerce believes the public would still have ready access to the same information, and not be adversely affected if NTIS closes. NTIS was established in 1950 and currently employs over 250 people. For more information, including a copy of the press release and additional fact sheets, see the Web site at: http://204.193.246.62/public.nsf/docs/FFF05791D63331D1852567CB00693643.

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Friends of UW-Madison's Libraries Grant

DPLS was recently honored as a recipient of the 1999 Friends of the UW-Madison Libraries third annual grant program. The program is aimed at funding small projects or purchases not possible through regular budgets. As outlined in our proposal, DPLS used the grant monies to purchase CensusCD 1980, a single CD-ROM consisting of Summary Tape File data down to the tract level for the 1980 census, as well as a user interface. This product, which compliments CensusCD 1990 already in our collection, is available for use in 3308 Social Science Building.

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Two New User Workstations

Users should find extracting and analyzing data at DPLS a bit faster and easier this semester due to the installation of two brand new user workstations. The identical Gateway Pentium IIIs have 13GB hard drives on which are installed the interfaces to the most popular CDs: International Financial Statistics, CPS Utilities, NSLY, CensusCD, to name a few. A Quick Guide to using CDs can be found on the clipboards next to each workstation. As in the past, users write their output to D:\TEMP, and can either FTP the files to their own accounts, or copy them to zip disks or diskettes. Please stop by and test drive them yourself!

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CD-ROM logo Recent CD-ROM Acquisitions

Selected Recent CD-ROM Acquisitions

  • Bureau of Health Professions area resource file (A.R.F.), 1999. (QG-014-003)
  • Census of population and housing, 1980 [United States]: summary tape files 1 and 3., Census CD 1980. (AC-023-001)
  • Data on crime and community. (SJ-116-001 and etc.)
  • General social survey, cumulative data file, 1972-1998. (SA-003-022)
  • OECD statistical compendium, 1999. (CB-531-002)
  • Statistical abstract of the United States, 1998. (CB-053-003)
  • USA counties, 1998. (AC-016-002)
  • United Nations statistical yearbook 1981-1995/1996, forty-second issue. (CB-527-001)

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DPLS Staff News

Please join us in welcoming Pete Zeimet, the newest member of the DPLS staff. A 1997 UW-School of Library and Information Studies graduate, Pete is a 50% Associate Special Librarian with undergraduate degrees in Economics and Philosophy. He will be primarily responsible for maintaining the DPLS website and editing the Newsletter, as well as learning the complexities of providing reference service to users of numeric data. Please take a moment to introduce yourself to Pete the next time you're in 3308 Social Science so that he can associate a name with an electronic request!

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Want to be a Census Enumerator?

Every ten years the U.S. Census Bureau conducts a complete count of the U.S. population. The next census is for the year 2000, and is already underway. To complete this project, the U.S. Government is hiring thousands of local workers for such temporary tasks as Census Enumerator (Taker), Local Census Office Manager, Assistant Manager for Field Operations, and Clerk. Census Enumerators will be hired in late 1999. According to the Census Bureau's Web site at http://www.census.gov/hrd/www/natwide/locojobs.htm, "A Census Taker is responsible for locating households, listing addresses, as well as conducting interviews with respondents. Census Takers usually work in their own neighborhoods or communities. In order to find people at home, Census Takers need to be able to work evenings and weekends." "Nationwide, Census Taker payrates will range from $6.25 to $13.75 per hour, depending on the area. Census Takers will also be paid for mileage and training." Who can be a census enumerator? You must be at least 18 years old, pass a test of basic skills, and pass a security background check. You can read more about the requirements at http://www.census.gov/hrd/www/natwide/jobreq.htm. For more information on census employment needs in Wisconsin specifically, see http://www.census.gov/hrd/www/natwide/wiscon.htm, or call toll free: 1-888-325-7733.

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Poverty Monitoring Database

World Bank has added a Poverty Monitoring Database to its web site. The site is called Poverty Net, and is available at http://www.worldbank.org/poverty/data/povmon.htm. This new database provides comprehensive information on world poverty. There are six components for quick access to current poverty information.

  • Household Surveys: it describes key features, data availability and general information on income/consumption surveys conducted recently in different countries.
  • Participatory Poverty Assessments: it lists inventory of participatory poverty studies conducted by the World Bank and other institutions.
  • Poverty Assessment Summaries: it presents summaries of all poverty assessments conducted by the World Bank since 1993.
  • Social Indicators: it provides downloadable Excel worksheet file for various countries with data on 32 basic indicators, organized in five sections: population, poverty, environment, income, income/consumption distribution and social indicators.
  • New Surveys: it delivers news on upcoming surveys, studies and poverty assessments.
  • Links to other sites: it maintains links to other sites relevant to poverty research.

The site also features citations in Poverty literature, a regular email newsletter, trends in poverty, and a concise discussion about indicators and measurement of poverty. For more information, Poverty Net also includes recent reports and papers.

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Internet Corner

National Occupational Information Coordinating Committee (NOICC)

The NOICC is an organizational network that works with various federal agencies and State Occupational Information Coordinating Committees (SOICC) to promote the development and use of career and occupational information. NOICC offers links to professional development and training programs, as well as to individual State resources. There is also an FTP link for downloading such files as the 1997 Occupational Employment and Wage Data. Contains a Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT), Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) codes, and many other resources. The Web address for this site is http://www.noicc.gov/.

Dutch Parliamentary Election Study, 1998

The Dutch Parliamentary Election Study 1998 was conducted around the Parliamentary elections on May 6, 1998 in the Netherlands. It is divided into two parts, the main study and the special study. The main study contains 2,101 respondents and 957 variables, while the special study contains 5,658 respondents and 47 variables. The results of pre- and post-election CAPI interviews (short-term panel) and a drop-off questionnaire as well as the neighborhood characteristics, weights, and index scores are included in the main study. The special study includes a telephone survey of the non-respondents of the main study, and a post-election telephone survey with a second sample, designed as a stimulus-effect study. The codebook contains all relevant information about the study, and frequency tables of the variables. The data and codebook files can be downloaded from its web site: http://www.bsk.utwente.nl/skon/.

National Election Study, 1948-1998

The National Election Studies (NES) 1948-98 Cumulative Data File is now available from the NES web site, http://www.umich.edu/~nes. With the addition of data from the 1998 National Election Study, the Cumulative Data File now comprises data for 42,908 respondents, collected by NES surveys since 1948. Users can download the raw data file, the SAS and SPSS control cards, the codebook file and the SAS and SPSS transport files from the NES site.

Russia Longitudinal Monitoring Survey

This data set was created to study the social and economic impacts resulting from the large-scale economic and social reforms of the Russia Republic in the 1990s. The entire data set, codebook, and documentation is available in machine-readable form at no charge. You can access this data set using a Web browser at http://www.cpc.unc.edu/rlms/. According to their Web site, "The RLMS is a household-based survey designed to measure the effects of Russian reforms on the economic well-being of households and individuals. In particular, determining the impact of reforms on household consumption and individual health is essential, as most of the subsidies provided to protect food production and health care have been or will be reduced, eliminated, or at least dramatically changed. These effects are measured by a variety of means: detailed monitoring of individuals' health status and dietary intake; precise measurement of household-level expenditures and service utilization; and collection of relevant community-level data, including region-specific prices and community infrastructure data. Data have been collected eight times since 1992." The data for this study can be accessed through an anonymous FTP server in SAS format.

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