ICPSR's "Bring Data to the Classroom" Webinar Series--Using Data for Instruction

Bringing data into the classroom early (undergraduate) and often in support of quantitative literacy and just plain fun is the goal of these sessions. ICPSR hosts a wide variety of Resources for Instructors as well as several data tools that can be used to get students interested in data and data analysis without the intimidation factor. Part of the 2014 Data Fair, webinars in this series (with registration links) include the following:

Data, Data Everywhere and Not a Number to Teach!

Broadcast time (EDT): Thursday, October 9, Noon (12:00pm)

Registration link

Sifting through the many megabytes of data with which we are bombarded each day takes practice. This webinar will focus on teaching students how to evaluate the data with which they come in contact (think Joel Best's books...). We will also present a variety of sources for "numbers" that can be used in teaching and examples of their use. Because working with numerical evidence is as much or more a mindset as it is a set of mathematical skills, the content should be especially helpful for faculty who might otherwise consider themselves "non-quantitative."

Making Research Methods Fun (or at Least Tolerable)

Broadcast time (EDT): Thursday, October 9, 2:00pm

Registration link

Can "social research" and "fun" really go together? We all know the value of social research and why learning methods is important, but students are typically not as easily convinced. Learn how to use ICPSR's collection of data and tools to make your research methods course more engaging. We will demonstrate how a variety of concepts -- including some of the less exciting ones like operationalization and sampling -- can be taught using real data and/or the tools built to support those data.

About The ICPSR Data Fair

ICPSR is pleased to present its program for the 2014 ICPSR Data Fair, which will take place Monday through Thursday, October 6-9, 2014.

  • The full program is available on the Membership in ICPSR site.

  • Webinar broadcast times are listed in Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).

  • Webinars are free and open to the public, and it is permissible (even encouraged!) for organizations to broadcast these webcasts to groups of attendees.

  • Attendees must register for each webinar they want to attend.

  • Recordings and slide decks (when available) will be placed on ICPSR’s YouTube Channel. Look for the playlist titled, "2014 Data Fair."


Population Reference Bureau (PRB)'s 2014 Interactive World Map now online

The Population Reference Bureau's 2014 Interactive World Map is now online.

Users can view data on global, regional, or country maps or tables using PRB's interactive map. This map gives you 15 indicators organized in six tabs:

Births & deaths
Life expectancy
Family planning

For three of the indicators (infant mortality, total fertility rate, and life expectancy), PRB has included data from 1970 and 2013 to show trends over time. The environment indicator (carbon emissions) shows data from 1990 and 2012.

For more information and to view the map, please follow this link or click on the image below.

PRB World Population Data Sheet

New article in ACM Queue discusses data privacy concerns and the release of high-quality open data

A new article in the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) Queue entitled "Privacy, Anonymity, and Big Data in the Social Sciences" by MITx (Massachusetts Innovation & Technology Exchange) and HarvardX MOOC (massive open online course) scholars Jon Daries, Justin Reich, and six of their colleagues provides a clear illustration of the considerable tension that can exist between data privacy concerns and the release of high-quality open data.

As Justin Reich, one of the authors of the article, summarizes in a blog post:

"Many people have called for making science more open and transparent by sharing data and posting data openly. This allows researchers to check each other's work and to aggregate smaller datasets into larger ones. One saying that I'm fond of is: "the best use of your dataset is something that someone else will come up with." The problem is that increasingly, all of this data is about us. In education, it's about our demographics, our learning behavior, and our performance. Across the social sciences, it's about our health, our beliefs, and our social connections. Sharing and merging data adds to the risk of disclosing those data."

He and his co-authors conclude that "you can have anonymous data or you can have open science, but you can't have both." (Source)

The article "Privacy, Anonymity, and Big Data in the Social Sciences" can be found here.


The 2014 ICPSR Data Fair is open for registration!

ICPSR—Powering Sustainable Data Access
The call for public sharing/public access to scientific research data continues to grow. Initially there seemed to be little recognition of the need to finance public access to research data, but fortunately funding-sustained public access is making its way into the conversation.

For many years, ICPSR has hosted several public-access research data archives that are sustained by federal and foundation funding. ICPSR's 2014 Data Fair will feature webinars about many of these archives and collections, including an introduction to the National Archive of Data on Arts and Culture; the R-DAS collection at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Data Archive; two Gates Foundation-funded collections at the Resource Center for Minority Data; an orientation to the National Addiction and HIV Data Archive Program; and a Q & A about the Gates Foundation-funded Measures of Effective Teaching Longitudinal Database.

You will find descriptions of these webinars in the Data Fair program. Other offerings will include a presentation about ICPSR's current efforts to fund and achieve sustainable public-access data sharing models, including its newly launched collection known as openICPSR.

Also of note, ICPSR will launch the Data Fair with an orientation webinar focused on our membership archive—composed of a data collection and related teaching resources that have been sustained successfully for over 52 years. Membership matters, and this webinar titled, "Understanding ICPSR," will provide members—and those exploring membership—with in-depth tours of ICPSR's research data services education resources, and the benefits of membership.

We invite you to join us for one or all fourteen webinars airing October 6-9, 2014!

Note: All data fair webinars are free and open to the public.


Data Seal of Approval Conference to Take Place September 24 in Amsterdam

Third Annual Data Seal of Approval Conference September 24, 2014, in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Please join us for the 2014 Data Seal of Approval conference, which is open to all. This year's DSA conference is organized as a co-located event with the Research Data Alliance Fourth Plenary Meeting on September 22-24. The conference will take place on the afternoon of September 24, just after the RDA 4th Plenary concludes.

Theme: Data Seal of Approval Conference 2014

Date/Time: Wednesday, September 24, 2014, 13:30-17:00

Location: Meervaart Theater in Amsterdam

The Data Seal of Approval (DSA) is an initiative to provide basic certification to data repositories. Receiving the DSA signifies that data are being safeguarded in compliance with community standards and will remain accessible into the future. The DSA and its quality guidelines are relevant to researchers, organizations that archive data, and users of the data.

We have an interesting program planned for the conference. Topics will include:

  • A basic overview of the Data Seal of Approval, including how to apply for the DSA
  • DSA and the European Research Infrastructures
  • Case studies
  • The DSA-WDS Partnership Working Group and its goals

The full DSA conference program is available on the DSA Web site.

The registration fee for the DSA conference is 50 euro. Register for the DSA conference. Note that this is a separate registration from the RDA 4th Plenary and EventBrite will charge a fee (3,75 euro) for booking the ticket.

Accommodations and travel information can be found on the RDA 4th Plenary Web site.

For more information please contact: info@datasealofapproval.org

Mary Vardigan
Chair, Data Seal of Approval


Latin American Mortality Database (LAMBdA) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

The Latin American Mortality Database (LAMBdA) is a project at the University of Wisconsin-Madison that is directed by Dr. Alberto Palloni of the Department of Sociology. It was originally created to support the empirical study of the history of mortality trends in Latin American countries after independence. It now supports the study of very recent mortality trends and is particularly suited for the study of old age mortality during the post-WWII period. The database covers the interval between 1848 and 2014 and contains data on population censuses, age-specific total death counts, mortality rates, and life tables.

The Latin American Mortality Database is provided free of charge to all individuals who register to the site. The project is supported by research project grants from the National Institute on Aging and a Fogarty International Center award for Global Research Training in Population Health.