Applications being accepted for ICPSR Summer Internships

Applications are now being taken for the 2013 ICPSR Summer Undergraduate Internship Program, an intensive, ten-week program for undergraduate students interested in social science research.

The NSF-funded program matches students with mentors at ICPSR, and supports exploration of a research question from start to finish -- including literature searches, data analyses, and creation of conference-ready posters summarizing students' research findings.

Applications are now being taken through an on-line application portal. Two letters of recommendation are required, and can also be sent over the Web. The deadline is January 31, 2013.

For examples of research projects that 2012 interns completed, see these videos.


New Releases through 2012-10-28

Below is a list of new data collection additions to the ICPSR data archive along with a list of released data collections that have been updated:

New Additions


Note: Additional SAMHDA studies may be available though they are not listed in this email/web site announcement.

Fall DataBytes: Learn what's new at ICPSR

Our latest newsletter is out, highlighting what's new at ICPSR, including:

  • A link to videos from the 2012 Data Fair on ICPSR's election data resources.
  • Announcement of the dates for the 2013 OR Meeting and ICPSR Summer Program.
  • A call for entries to the 2013 Research Paper Competition with first prize of $1,000, open to all undergraduate and master's students.

... and much more!

Video available from webinar on China Data Center's Spatial Religion Explorer

Video of the China Data Center's recent webinar on its new Spatial Religion Explorer is now available on the Web for viewing or download.

The Explorer is a new tool for analysis of religion in China, incorporating demographic and economic data, maps, charts, reports, as well as advanced functions for graphic and spatial analysis in a web-based delivery system.

The services is a joint effort from the Center on Religion and Chinese Study at Purdue University, the China Data Center, and the State Key Laboratory for Information Engineering in Surveying, mapping and Remote Sensing at Wuhan University. The China Data Center is an institutional unit of the University of Michigan administered by ICPSR.


New ICPSR project will improve metadata for two major national studies

Researchers will have access to improved metadata and new tools to search through and analyze the General Social Survey and the American National Election Studies under a new joint initiative launched by ICPSR, the independent research organization NORC at the University of Chicago, and several partners.

Supported by a collaborative research grant from the National Science Foundation, ICPSR, together with the American National Election Studies program in the Center for Political Studies at UM's Institute for Social Research and NORC, will carry out the two-year "Metadata Portal for the Social Sciences" project. Technical support will be provided by Metadata Technology North America and Integrated Data Management Services

The first phase of the project will involve bringing the metadata for the existing GSS and ANES datasets up to the Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) standard using XML. For a sample of the surveys, the project will also capture enhanced metadata on questionnaire flow and variable transformations. 

The second part of the project will create a metadata portal on the Web to demonstrate some of the prototype tools that can be built with the new structured metadata -- for example, survey catalogs and documentation libraries, question and classification banks, dynamic codebooks customized to user specifications, and tools for harmonization and comparison. These innovations will be broadly applicable to all survey data.

Thirdly, the project will develop new metadata-driven workflows and best practices to capture metadata early in the data production process so that it can be reused across the research lifecycle. 

"We are thrilled to be able to work toward improving the GSS and ANES metadata to create tools that both experts and novices can use to better understand these foundational studies of American society," said Principal Investigator George Alter, Director of ICPSR. "We hope these advances can serve as models for future research as well."

Tom W. Smith, GSS Principal Investigator, said: "NORC is pleased to link its capacity with that of ICPSR to provide the social science community with new and innovative products to facilitate the use of the GSS and ANES."


Thomson Reuters launches the Data Citation Index

Thomson Reuters has launched its Data Citation Index, a resource within its Web Of Knowledge service to facilitate the discovery, use, and attribution of scientific research data.

ICPSR and other data archives are partners in the project, which provides links between peer-reviewed publications and the datasets they use. The goals include making data more discoverable and giving proper credit to data producers.

As part of the launch, Thomson Reuters has released a video and Web page outlining the service.

ICPSR Assistant Director Mary Vardigan is quoted in the company press release: "By enhancing the discoverability of data through the Data Citation Index, Thomson Reuters is highlighting the importance of research data in the scientific process."

ICPSR is working in other ways to help create standards for data citation. For example, the consortium was recently awarded a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation that will promote the standardization of data citation by working with editors of peer-reviewed social science publications, research funding agencies, and professional associations.


RCMD wins U-M diversity award

Congratulations to ICPSR's Resource Center for Minority Data, which received a 2012 Distinguished Diversity Leaders Award from the University of Michigan on October 16! The awards honor groups and individuals demonstrating extraordinary commitment and dedication to diversity at U-M.

RCMD -- which collects, archives, and disseminates data related to racial and ethnic minority populations -- was one of 15 awardees. David Thomas, Abay Israel, and Daphne Lin of RCMD, and ICPSR HR Director Rita Bantom accepted the award.

Please see our photo album for a look at the ceremony!


New Releases through 2012-10-14

Below is a list of new data collection additions to the ICPSR data archive along with a list of released data collections that have been updated:

New Additions

Note: Additional SAMHDA studies may be available though they are not listed in this email/web site announcement.


Annual report available

The 2011-2012 ICPSR annual report -- a recap of our 50th anniversary year -- is now available (PDF, 770K).

The highlights include continuing budget strength; growth in membership; record enrollment in the ICPSR Summer Program; and results of a survey of Official Representatives.

Annual reports dating back to ICPSR's founding in 1963 can be accessed here.

Proxy Servers and Access Problems

As a reminder, ICPSR does not support proxy servers. Using a proxy server to access ICPSR services will prevent users from successfully downloading data and utilizing online analysis.

If a proxy server is not set up perfectly, our site will be unable to read/write cookies, which prevents us from authenticating users and verifying that they've agreed to terms of use. When a user can't get past the terms of use page, it usually means they're accessing our site via a proxy server.

We've had a large influx recently of users who are reporting problems like these that have been traced back to proxy servers, usually in relation to links set up on campus library Web sites or class sites.

You can identify proxy server links because the link does not begin with:


but rather looks something like:


Please link directly to the ICPSR site; do not link to ICPSR via proxy servers.

If you have any questions, please contact web-support@icpsr.umich.edu.


Improvements made to data deposit form

ICPSR's online data deposit form has been streamlined to make it easier to use. The form has been shortened to two pages, and no longer requires users to log in with a MyData account.

The new form replaces the seven-part questionnaire that ICPSR had been using since 2007 to accept data online. While the information collected from depositors is essentially the same, the new form is much easier to use.

There are also two new features -- one allowing depositors to bookmark the section of the form dealing with metadata so they can go back and update it as necessary, and another that asks depositors to enter keywords associated with their dataset in order to help processors improve its discoverability.

Any suggestions on further improvements to the form can be sent to deposit@icpsr.umich.edu.


New Releases through 2012-10-07

Below is a list of new data collection additions to the ICPSR data archive along with a list of released data collections that have been updated:

New Additions


Note: Additional SAMHDA studies may be available though they are not listed in this email/web site announcement.


Announcing Grants for access to MET data

The National Academy of Education, in partnership with the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research, is pleased to announce the Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) Early Career Research Grants competition. This program will award up to 10 grants of $25,000 each to conduct a research study using the extensive Measures of Effective Teaching Longitudinal Database. In conducting this study, grantees will receive free technical assistance from members of the National Academy of Education and participate, at no cost, in a series of networking meetings aimed at building a new cadre of scholars interested in research on teaching. Eligibility for the grants program is limited to scholars who received their doctorate after August 31, 2007. Individuals working in a variety of disciplines, including, but not limited to education, economics, psychometrics, psychology, sociology, and statistics are encouraged to apply. Applications from members of under-represented groups are encouraged.
More information and application materials can be found on the National Academy of Education's website.

FCD Policy to Action Brief Series, No. 1-A

Early Education for All: Six Strategies to Build a Movement for Universal Early Education is the first release in the 2004-2008 series of Policy to Action Briefs by the Foundation for Child Development (FCD). This brief outlines how to build a successful political movement around universal Pre-K. To learn more about strategic planning, developing messages, involving both likely and unlikely allies, resolving conflicts within the coalition, grassroots organizing, and working with state legislators, read the full brief.

New Releases through 2012-09-30

Below is a list of new data collection additions to the ICPSR data archive along with a list of released data collections that have been updated:

New Additions


Note: Additional SAMHDA studies may be available though they are not listed in this email/web site announcement.