DPLS News, September 2000

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, Special Librarian & Cindy Severt, Senior Special Librarian

September 2000


Table of Contents

A Smorgasbord of Census Data Products
Friends of the UW-Madison Libraries Grant #2
Be Our Guests: Bring a Class to DPLS
Louisiana Slave Databases on CD-ROM
A Taste of IASSIST 2000
Wisconsin School Ethnicity, 1974-1975
SAS and SPSS: New and Improved Flavor

Internet Corner
     Pew Research Center for People and the Press
     DATA2010: The Healthy People 2010 Database
     World Database of Happiness
     Country Indicators for Foreign Policy


A Smorgasbord of Census Data Products

As Census 2000 recedes from the newspaper headlines, the work behind the scenes continues. In July, the data chefs at the Census Bureau released their menu for Census 2000 data products at http://www.census.gov/mso/www/prodprof/census2000.pdf. The products are scheduled for release between March 2001 and 2003.

A Brief History
The smorgasbord of census data products continues to change through time. From the first census in 1790, census results were published as print on paper. Since the 1960 census, however, the list of census products has been new every decade.

The 1960 census was the first to offer limited data on both microfilm and tape. A comprehensive tape program began in 1970, including six different 1% sample files of microdata. In 1980 the microdata was presented as one 5% sample and two 1% samples, and more summary tape files appeared. Meanwhile, the Census Bureau began the online CENDATA service in 1984. Census data appeared on the World Wide Web in the 1990s, as well as on CD-ROM.

Census 2000 Offerings
While fewer serving platters appear on the table for Census 2000 data, the dishes themselves have new combinations of ingredients. Tapes, microfilm and microfiche are formats of the past. CD-ROMs will be released simultaneously with DVDs, and the Internet has become a primary dissemination format: most Census 2000 data products will be released first on the Internet via the American FactFinder site, http://factfinder.census.gov. The Internet release will be followed by CD-ROM, DVD, and/or print.

The first Census 2000 product will be the Redistricting Summary File in March 1997, including tabulation by 63 race categories with detail down to the block level. The Redistricting Summary File reflects statistical corrections for possible overcounts and undercounts. A second version based solely on the actual count will be released as well.

Four Summary Files will be released between June 2001 and March 2003. SF1 presents counts and cross-tabs of information collected from all people and housing units, i.e. the questions that appeared on both the short and long forms. SF2 will also contain "100-percent" summary data but the tables will offer more detail on selected race and Hispanic-origin groups.

SF3 will be the first release of long-form sample data, and SF4 will present the sample data in terms of race and Hispanic-origin groups. For microdata, users of the American FactFinder site will be able to prepare tabulations online using the full database of individual responses. Two Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) files are planned on CD-ROM as well, a 1% sample in April-July 2002, and a 5% sample in August-December 2002.

Table of Contents

 

Friends of the UW-Madison Libraries Grant #2

For the second year in a row DPLS successfully competed for grant monies from the Friends of the UW-Madison Libraries through its program to fund small projects and purchases. In May we were awarded $500.00 to be put toward the cost of renewing our membership to the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research. Implemented last year, our Roper Center membership has proved to be both popular and costworthy. Beginning September 2000, students, staff, and faculty may email or call DPLS and request any dataset listed in the Roper Center catalog, http://www.ropercenter.uconn.edu/, until we reach our maximum of 50 studies. Users can find relevant studies by querying the Roper Center's iPOLL database at http://web.lexis-nexis.com/universe/ (click the Reference button).

Table of Contents

 

Be Our Guests: Bring a Class to DPLS

Is your class using social science data this semester? If so, why not consider a class session at DPLS! Our librarians have taught classes on data resources for students in economics, political science, library science, and the La Follette School of Public Affairs. Each session is tailored specifically to the interests of the students in the particular class. For more information, please contact DPLS staff. Topic outlines from previous classes are on our web site at http://dpls.dacc.wisc.edu/about.html.

Table of Contents

 

Louisiana Slave Databases on CD-ROM

DPLS has acquired a CD-ROM that will pique the interest of social science researchers and genealogists alike: The Databases for the Study of Afro-Louisiana History and Genealogy. These databases are the product of years of research by historian Gwendolyn Midlo Hall. Aided by research assistants, Hall scoured public transaction records regarding the purchasing and freeing of slaves in Louisiana from 1699 to 1860. The resulting databases contain records on over 100,000 slaves.

The manuscripts from which the data was gathered were surprisingly rich in content. The information covers birthplaces, skills, health status, and personality. Other intriguing fields include family relationships, white paternity, and languages spoken.

The database is designed to appeal to a broad spectrum of researchers. For the social science researcher, the database makes use of numeric coded variables. SPSS syntax files are included as well. Genealogists, however, can search the records for personal names and read the contents of each record spelled out in plain English. The Louisiana slave databases on CD-ROM will complement the Slave Movement datasets that are available on the web in the DPLS Online Data Archive (http://dpls.dacc.wisc.edu/slavedata/index.html). The Slave Movement datasets are the most frequently accessed files in the archive, focusing on voyages of slave ships rather than on individuals. DPLS also has available on CD-ROM the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade database, which contains records of 27,233 trans-Atlantic slave ship voyages between 1595 and 1866.

Table of Contents

 

A Taste of IASSIST 2000

In early June, DPLS staff librarians piled in a van and headed to Evanston to attend the nearby 26th Annual Conference of the International Association for Social Science Information, Service & Technology (IASSIST) which was held on the campus of Northwestern University. IASSIST is one of the few organizations bringing together data professionals, producers, and analysts from around the world. IASSIST members are engaged in the creation, acquisition, maintenance, distribution, preservation, and use of numeric social science data for research and instruction. This year's conference emphasized strengthening relationships between archives and libraries in managing, preserving, and providing access to "digital collections," a phrase well known to users of data, but one which is quickly being co-opted by other disciplines.

The keynote address, The Politics of Census 2000 -- Implications for Data Quality was delivered by Kenneth Prewitt, Director of the Bureau of the Census. Dr. Prewitt discussed how the politics of census results became the politics of census methods, with emphasis on how Census 2000 controversies may affect data quality and data products. An audio version of Dr. Prewitt's address can be downloaded from http://datalib.library.ualberta.ca/iassist/KP000607.ram.

Other noteworthy sessions with international panels of speakers included International Infrastructures for Statistical Data; Building on the DDI/DTD Foundation: Additional Perspectives on DTD Application and Use; and Economics and Business Resources in Your Data Library. The abstracts to these and other sessions can be found at http://www.src.uchicago.edu/datalib/ia2000/prog/program.htm. An opening reception and a banquet honoring Achievement Award Recipients rounded out the program. Best of all, we came home having had the opportunity to meet and renew acquaintances with our global network of colleagues.

Table of Contents

 

Wisconsin School Ethnicity, 1974-1975

The DPLS Online Data Archive continued its steady growth this summer with the addition of Ethnicity of Students and Staff in Wisconsin Public Schools, 1974-1975. The data was originally collected by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction in a survey required by state law, and housed at the State Historical Society of Wisconsin. DPLS is the primary distributor of the data and has received permission to make the dataset publicly available online.

The survey recorded ethnicity in the categories of American Indian, Black, Asian American, Spanish-Surnamed American, and Others (including Caucasian) for students, professional staff, and non-professional staff across Wisconsin public schools in the 1974-75 school year. Other variables include country, district, and school name and type.

The data was intended to monitor compliance with affirmative action and desegregation, and to plan programs in bilingual and bicultural education.

The dataset and further information are available at the DPLS Online Data Archive at http://dpls.dacc.wisc.edu/WI_school_ethnicity/.

Table of Contents

 

SAS and SPSS: New and Improved Flavor

SAS version 8.0 and SPSS version 10.0 are now available at DPLS on the two public-use PCs in the library. In addition to their data analysis uses, these programs are also needed for reading data from some of our CD-ROMs from the National Center for Educational Statistics.

Table of Contents

 

 Internet Corner

Pew Research Center for People and the Press

The Pew Research Center is an independent opinion research group, best known for regular national surveys that measure public attentiveness to major news stories and for polling that charts trends in values and fundamental political and social attitudes.

The web site contains reports, ranging from brief summaries to full analyses, dating back as far as August 1995. Between one and four new reports are added each month. Recent reports include the popularity of online news versus broadcast news; journalist self-censorship; and media characterizations of Bush and Gore.

The web site for the Pew Research Center for People and the Press can be reached at http://www.people-press.org/content.htm.

DATA2010: The Healthy People 2010 Database

DATA2010 is an interactive database created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in support of Healthy People 2010, a national health and disease prevention initiative. The initiative includes a list of 467 health objectives for the U.S. population. Each objective contains a measure with a baseline and a specific target. The DATA2010 database incorporates data that corresponds to the objectives, from various sources including federal government departments. Data can be sorted by focus areas, objectives, or demographic categories.

Visit DATA2010: The Healthy People 2010 database at http://198.246.96.90/hp2010/index.htm. For background information about the Healthy People 2010 initiative, see http://www.health.gov/healthypeople/default.htm.

 

World Database of Happiness

Directed by Ruut Veenhoven of Erasmus University in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, the World Database of Happiness provides an index to research on "subjective appreciation of life" worldwide. The web site not only catalogs surveys that asked questions regarding happiness, but actually presents data country-by-country and by type of question asked.

The site also includes a bibliography of articles published using happiness data and a database of abstracts of correlational research findings. The databases are available for downloading in zipped MS-ACCESS format.

The World Database of Happiness can be found at http://www.eur.nl/fsw/research/happiness/.


Country Indicators for Foreign Policy

The Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University has undertaken the Country Indicators for Foreign Policy (CIFP) project as "an on-going effort to identify and assemble statistical information conveying the key features of the economic, political, social and cultural environments of countries around the world." The resulting database evaluates countries on the basis of internal stability, geopolitical stability, national power/influence, social development, the environment, and human security.

Interactive online access to the database is available via a free registration that takes about a day to be authorized. The site also contains brief text descriptions for foreign policy situations in 121 countries.

The CIFP web site is located at http://www.carleton.ca/cifp/.

Table of Contents