2015-03-03

Tentative Schedule Announced for ICPSR Biennial Meeting


The ICPSR Biennial Meeting will take place September 30 – October 2, 2015.
This year’s conference theme is “Working Together for Effective Data Stewardship.” With over 17 workshops and sessions in development, this biennial meeting will highlight ICPSR’s core functions, featuring current data collections and data-related tools and exciting new data projects. The meeting will also feature practical approaches and strategies to work with data producers to share data, write data management plans, steward discipline-focused repositories, and locate tools and resources to assist in curating and managing research data.

The meeting registration site is expected to be launched later this spring. Until then, below is a sneak peek at the workshops and sessions being organized.

Workshops Preview – Wednesday, September 30
Curating and Managing Research Data for Re-Use. Participants will learn about best practices for curating and managing research data, how to apply them to daily operations, and the types of tools that can assist. This workshop borrows highlights from the five-day workshop offered during the ICPSR Summer Program in Quantitative Methods of Social Research. Laptops with Wi-Fi capability are recommended for this workshop.

“Just the Facts, Please.” Understanding Methods Metadata. Weights?  Panel study?  Universe?  Ever wonder what the terms in the “Methodology” metadata mean?  ICPSR datasets are described in detail by the research methods employed while collecting and analyzing the data. The metadata can be somewhat of a mystery or even intimidating for those not trained in data collection (methods) or analysis techniques. This workshop will give you just enough of an introduction to the vocabulary of social research to use this information confidently.  We  will walk through a number studies, using the ICPSR Study Home Page, to explain project metadata including the contents of the Scope of Study, Methodology, Versions, and Variables. After a thorough review of several different types of studies, attendees will be released to the ICPSR archive to find other studies and practice what they have learned. You’ll review the methods metadata in groups and share your interpretations of these sections. Participants will benefit by bringing laptops and/or tablets to this session.

Data Data Everywhere & Not a Number to Teach. Sifting through the many megabytes of data that we are bombarded with 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.” Participants will benefit by bringing laptops and/or tablets to this session.

A Tour through the Statistical Software Maze. ICPSR offers data in a variety of statistical software formats as well as online analysis (Survey Documentation and Analysis, or SDA) capabilities. This hands-on introduction will enable attendees to get to know the software and SDA, removing curiosity and perhaps some trepidation. Note: this is an introductory workshop – no statistical background is assumed. Laptops with Wi-Fi capability are recommended for this workshop.

Orientation for New ORs/DRs: Fundamentals and an Introduction to the OR/DR Role. This session for new (and not so new) ORs will cover details on the organization of ICPSR and its governance, roles and responsibilities of the OR, where and to whom you can go for help, location and use of the ICPSR website, tips and tools for helping your users, and promoting ICPSR on your campus. This session is a must for those who are new to ICPSR. Come learn what makes this organization and the data it distributes so great!

ICPSR Refresher Course. After a short break from the OR/DR Orientation, this course will cover a broad overview of how to work effectively with ICPSR’s website, and provide a rapid tour through ICPSR’s various data collections and data tools, including the Resources for Instructors. We also will orient you to new research projects at ICPSR and introduce you to some outstanding ORs.

Sessions Preview – Thursday and Friday, October 1-2
Data Visualization. Get visual with this session that will show and tell about standard techniques of data visualization and power tools for understanding data. See various graphical techniques, from simple to advanced, and discuss principles of good data presentation.

Data Management Plans-from Writing to Reward. This session will provide attendees with practical advice and resources for writing a data management plan. The session will also cover how the ICPSR Acquisitions team estimates data curation costs for inclusion in grant/contract budgets as well as describe support letters and plan elements that benefit successful grant/contract awards.

ICPSR Featured Dataset: The Survey of Consumer Attitudes and Behavior. Initiated in the late 1940s by the Survey Research Center here at the Institute for Social Research, the Surveys of Consumers are used to calculate the Index of Consumer Sentiment. In addition, the data are used to evaluate consumer attitudes and expectations, to understand why these changes occur and to evaluate how they relate to consumer decisions to save, borrow, or make discretionary purchases. This session will highlight the Surveys of Consumers Website managed by the Survey Research Center, and illustrate how ICPSR’s archive of these collections differs from what users can obtain from that web site. Additionally, how each center (ICPSR, ISR, SRC) contributes and collaborates to this data series will be discussed.

Delivering Data Services to your Institution. This session is a glimpse into the Providing Social Science Data Services: Strategies for Design and Operation which caters to individuals who manage or support local services for ICPSR and other research data for quantitative analysis. The session will briefly highlight the fundamental topics covered in the workshop, including what are social science data services; a matrix of potential services to offer; and evaluating what is right for your organization and next steps.

The Sleuthful Data Steward: Strategies to Discover Research Data on your Campus & Argue for its Deposit. As a Data Steward, do you suspect there are data on your campuses or within your institution that should be shared and preserved? Have you argued unsuccessfully for its deposit? Join our Acquisitions team for strategies to discover data and convince researchers to deposit. Audience success strategies and stories (participation) will be encouraged!

Data Repository Best Practice – Guidelines and Tales from the Field. Developing a data repository involves many decisions – for example, what kinds of data will you accept? What level of curation will you perform? What types of staff members do you need? What policies will you put into place? The repository needs to think broadly about processes and procedures for all of its activities, from acquisitions, to preservation, to data sharing. This session will cover best practices in developing discipline-focused repositories, illustrated with a real-life example provided by ICPSR staff who traveled to Ghana to collaborate with the University of Cape Coast in establishing a data repository.

Bringing Data into the Classroom. Explore the many data tools, content resources, and opportunities ICPSR has developed to assist in getting data into the classroom. We will even debut a few new resources at this session. Time will be left for discussion among attendees about how they have incorporated those ICPSR tools into the classroom and encouraged others on their campus to do so.  Learn what works (and what doesn’t) from those who have tried it.

Building Research Data Management Services. Join this panel of fellow data stewards as they describe their efforts to build research data management services at their institutions. Come with questions and share your experiences and challenges too!

All About ICPSR. ICPSR has been in the data-sharing business for 53 years. There are many parts to the organization supporting its core mission to acquire, preserve, and share data. This session will cover the core as well as highlight areas of teaching and education, data management and curation services, and our data collections including our newest collections, The National Archive of Data on Arts & Culture, The Archive of Data on Disability to Enable Policy and Research, and openICPSR.

Understanding ICPSR Data (Deposit) Sharing Options. ICPSR has several options for depositing, curating, and sharing research data. This session will cover the options including the member archive, agency archives, openICPSR (public access), and importantly, how you determine which option suits the dataset needs. ICPSR options and considerations regarding sharing restricted-use data are also included in this session.

Bring Your Own Data to Publish – BYOD! Do you or someone you know have data ready to deposit with ICPSR?  Don’t have data but would like to learn about the process of depositing data with ICPSR?  Schedule a one-on-one drop-in appointment.
The 2015 ICPSR Meeting will also include formal and informal opportunities to network with fellow representatives (attendees) from member institutions and ICPSR staff. The meeting is open to individuals from member institutions and invited guests and speakers. There is no registration fee for the meeting.

Also in Development! Data Carpentry Workshop – Monday and Tuesday, September 28-29
The popular two-day Data Carpentry workshop is designed to teach basic concepts, skills and tools for working more effectively with data in an open and reproducible way. The workshop is designed for learners with little to no prior knowledge of programming, shell scripting, or command line tools. Topics covered will include:
·      Getting data out of spreadsheets and into more powerful tools – using R or Python.
·      Using databases, including managing and querying data in SQL.
·      Workflows and automating repetitive tasks, in particular using the command line shell and shell scripts.


More information to come soon!