Thursday, December 20, 2012

Day in the life of a dataset (from ICPSR)

Cool webinar series from ICPSR in January!
Join ICPSR for a webinar series titled, “Life of a Dataset.”  This 3-part series will describe ICPSR’s data management approach starting with the identification and deposit of data, to processing and cleaning, and finally to building metadata and tools to ready the data for discovery and dissemination. 
Whether you are collecting data, planning on sharing (depositing) data to meet funding agency requirements, or interested in repository and archive management, you will find lots of informative content and guidance.  Q&A will be available during each session.
Interested in all three sessions?  Please note you must register for each session individually.
Life of a Dataset Part I: The Deposit - Wednesday, January 16, 2013, at 1 pm EST
This stage in a dataset’s life will discuss and describe the opening steps it takes on the path to dissemination through the Web site at We’ll cover the method of identifying data for acquisition, depositing of study materials (ingest), and the technical support that the Acquisitions unit provides to researchers. Tools for the researcher will be reviewed and the tools that are used by this unit will also be shown.
Life of a Dataset Part II: The Process of Processing - Wednesday, January 23, 2013, at 1 pm EST
This stage in a dataset’s life will describe the process of how the data are reviewed, cleaned, archived, and prepared for dissemination. The working relationship between the processor and the processing supervisor to ensure the confidentiality of respondents will be examined. The tools used by the processor to insure data security and accuracy in processing will be discussed.
Life of a Dataset Part III: Discovery & Dissemination - Wednesday, January 30, 2013, at 1 pm EST
This stage in a dataset’s life will relate how the study’s description is built and the metadata are enriched to aid discovery. We’ll consider how the codebook and other materials are created, and what final steps are taken to preserve the digital data in advance of their release. Finally, we will talk about how the study is released, announced, and disseminated through the ICPSR Web site. 

Registration information regarding this webinar series is also summarized on ICPSR's Announcements page:

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

2007-2011 American Community Survey

A big present from the Census Bureau!

The Census Bureau has released the five-year 2007-2011 American Community Survey. You can access the data using American FactFinder or find out more on the American Community Survey homepage.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Election polling for the political nerd in you!

Through our Roper Center membership we now have access to fourteen USA Today/Gallup Organization studies from July-September 2012. The polls cover the presidential elections and the republic and democratic conventions! Take a look at the list of studies to see the topics. You can also use iPOLL to search for individual questions about the 2012 elections. Check out Roper Center for Public Opinion Research for more polling goodness.

You may need to use main access link if you are off-campus. Let us know if you have questions!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

ICPSR webinar on weighting and variance estimation

New ICPSR webinar on October 4:

Weighting and Variance Estimation in Early Care and Education Data: A Training and Q&A

On October 4th, 2012, Research Connections will hold a Webinar training on using weights and estimating variances when analyzing data from national surveys with complex sampling designs. This Webinar will provide participants with a foundation for determining which weights to use for a particular analysis and how to apply them. It will also review the different options that are available for calculating standard errors for complex sample designs. The training will begin to answer the following common questions about weighting and variance estimation, as they relate to prominent data collections in the field of Early Care and Education:

-What are sampling weights and why are they important?
-Why should I use weights in my analyses?
-Why are there so many different weights in the datasets?
-Can I use weights with my statistical software package? How?
-Why are variances and standard errors important?
-What are design-based variance estimation methods and why should I use them?
There will be ample time after the presentation for live Q&A with the presenter. The conversation will continue through the end of the week via a question and answer blog, at which Webinar registrants and the data experts can continue the Q&A. Jerry West, Senior Fellow at Mathematica Policy Research, will be presenting.

Date: Thursday, October 4, 2012
Time: 1:00 - 2:15 pm EDT
Registration link:
Please direct questions about the webinar to:

Monday, September 24, 2012

The American Community Survey in the News!

NPR recently did a story on the increase in poverty in America that featured the American Community Survey. It is a great introduction to the survey and the types of questions you can ask of the data!

You can check out the newest data release (for geographies with a total population of 65,000 or higher) at American FactFinder!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Election Data in the Classroom!


On Wednesday, October 3rd, join us for two sessions that feature tools and content to bring election data into the classroom with the goal to support quantitative literacy in the social sciences. As the momentum of the 2012 Presidential Election builds, what a great time to pique the interest of students and get them hooked on (election) data!

Register today for:

12-12:50 p.m.: SETUPS: The ANES in the Classroom

Webcast link:
The Supplemental Empirical Teaching Units in Political Science (SETUPS) have been widely used by political science instructors since the 1970s. Charles Prysby and Carmine Scavo, the creators of Voting Behavior: The 2008 Election as well as past SETUPS editions, will lead this session and describe how this series of activities can be used to teach students about survey research and data analysis as they examine patterns in voting behavior. Prysby and Scavo will include tips for classroom use of the exercises and maybe even some hints about the 2012 version!

1-1:50 p.m.: Election Data in the Classroom

Webcast link:
ICPSR's Online Learning Center and Web site include several activities that use election data and polling to illustrate basic concepts in political science. Lynette Hoelter, ICPSR's Director of Instructional Resources, will highlight specific resources and provide concrete examples of classroom use.

These webcasts are part of ICPSR’s 2012 Data Fair featuring election data. For still more sessions to be held October 1 – 3, 2012, visit the schedule at:

Monday, September 17, 2012

Economic Census 2012: Coming to A Business Near You!

New site and information from the Census Bureau!

Census Bureau Launches Website to Promote 2012 Economic Census

The economic census is the U.S. Government’s official five-year measure of American business and the economy. To encourage response to the 2012 Economic Census, the Census Bureau has launched The site includes videos, fact sheets, story ideas and talking points that business associations, chambers of commerce, media and public agencies can use to get the word out about the economic census. Information on how communities and businesses owners can use the statistics in economic development, business decisions and strategic planning is also provided.

The site also offers resources tailored to businesses in specific industries. One of these resources,, covers businesses in more than 300 industries engaged in franchising in the U.S. This site includes direct links to samples of the economic census forms these businesses will receive this fall to help them prepare to respond. The site also includes highlights from the first-ever comprehensive report on franchising from the Census Bureau from the 2007 Economic Census, as well as a video message from International Franchise Association President Steve Caldeira.

Beginning in October, more than 4 million businesses will receive 2012 Economic Census forms representing all U.S. communities and industries. The economic census provides accurate benchmark statistics that are fundamental building blocks of economic indicators, such as the gross domestic product , monthly retail sales and the Producer Price Index.The economic census gives state and local governments, Congress and community leaders the information they need to make informed decisions that shape our democracy. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Day at the Data Fair!

Or actually 3 days of data! Join ICPSR for a virtual social science data fair in October. They will be featuring election data primarily, but you can also get ideas for teaching with data. UNCG's own Charles Prysby will be presenting on his work with SETUPS. All are welcome to attend.

You'll need to bring your own cotton candy (or fried reese's cups), but it is sure to be a great day at the fair!

Introducing ICPSR's Social Sciences Data Fair

You're invited to participate in the 2012 ICPSR Data Fair, "Analyzing Election Data with ICPSR"! Scheduled for October 1-3, the series of webcasts will focus on orienting new users to ICPSR's data and services, as well as providing an overview of the election data available from ICPSR and other data repositories.

Who should attend?

This data fair has been organized for the social sciences data community at large including researchers, librarians, teaching faculty, students, and policymakers from around the world who are interested in the use of social sciences data.

Who is eligible to attend?

This free fair is open to everyone, including members and non-members of ICPSR.

How do I participate?

You participate in the data fair directly from your desktop computer during the week of October 1, 2012! Live sessions will be broadcast using GoToWebinar technology. This webinar technology requires no downloads to your computer. All sessions will be recorded and the recordings and presentation slides posted should you desire to view the presentations at a later date. A schedule of sessions with links to the webcasts is available here.

What will be covered?

Beginning at 11 a.m. Eastern time on Oct. 1, four one-hour sessions will be conducted to introduce new users to ICPSR's data and services: General Orientation to ICPSR; Navigating the New ICPSR Web Site; ICPSR in the Classroom; and Promoting ICPSR on your Campus.
Other days will focus on datasets such as the American National Election Study and other polling and election data, including those held at the Roper Center at the University of Connecticut. Click here for a complete schedule.

Monday, September 10, 2012

2011 Guilford County data from the ACS!

Mark your calendars now dataheads! The 2011 one-year American Community Survey estimates will be released on Sept. 20th. This release will have data for geographies with a population of 65,000 or more. Check out the new data for Guilford County!

The 2011 3-year ACS estimates will be released in October 2012 and the 5-year in December 2012. For more information:

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Upcoming ICPSR webinar on education data!

Just in from ICPSR:

It’s Elementary: A Tour of the Prek-3rd Data Resource Center Website

Space is limited.

Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

Join us for a tour of the PreK-3rd Data Resource Center, a website that equips policymakers, educators, and researchers with an understanding of the PreK-3rd approach to early education and policy making and provides resources for conducting research on pre-kindergarten to 3rd grade education.

Title: It’s Elementary: A Tour of the Prek-3rd Data Resource Center Website
Date: Monday, August 20, 2012
Time: 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM EDT

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Don't be afraid of data!!

Fun new webinar from ICPSR!

Quantitative Literacy Through Social Science: Don’t be Afraid of Data!
Join us for a Webinar on April 30

Space is limited.Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
It is important for students to become knowledgeable consumers of information that is delivered to them through various media sources, an increasing amount of which is being presented in tables, graphs, or other quantitative formats. The use of survey data can help convey course content in an interesting way while building students’ quantitative literacy. This session is designed to introduce even the most “number phobic” instructors to 1) the importance of including quantitative skills in courses outside the traditional STEM disciplines, 2) a multitude of sources of data-based exercises for classroom use (most of them free!), and 3) the additional benefits of using data in lower-division social science courses. This session will be a webcast version of a recent presentation presenters Lynette Hoelter & Linda Detterman conducted at the 2012 International Conference on College Teaching and Learning.

Title: Quantitative Literacy Through Social Science: Don’t be Afraid of Data!
Date: Monday, April 30, 2012
Time: 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EDT

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

What did your grandmother tell the Census Bureau in 1940?

For all of you data heads out there, the 1940 Census became available yesterday from the National Archives. Apparently the release was so popular that the servers were overloaded! You can look up individuals by their location information or enumeration district. You can even view maps for locations.

They also provide some useful guides:

Monday, March 12, 2012

Free webinar on quantitative data

Integrating Quantitative Data Analysis into Substantive Undergraduate Social Science Courses

Join us for a Webinar on March 15

Space is limited. Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

On March 15th at 2PM EDT, ICPSR with SSDAN will host the first webinar in a series aimed at integrating quantitative data analysis into substantive undergraduate social science courses. This first webinar features Dr. Jim Jones, Professor of Sociology Emeritus at Mississippi State University, who will discuss how he has introduced students in his introductory courses to data analysis using US census data and simple analytical tools.

Participants will learn how Dr. Jones encourages students to tap their sociological imagination through the investigation of quantitative social data. In addition to promoting a deeper understanding of the content, students taught with these methods improve critical thinking skills and develop a greater appreciation for the social sciences. Viewers will also learn where they can access some of Dr. Jones’ relevant teaching materials to adapt for their own use.

Title: Integrating Quantitative Data Analysis into Substantive Undergraduate Social Science Courses
Date: Thursday, March 15, 2012
Time: 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EDT

Monday, January 30, 2012

ICPSR webinar: The National Addiction and HIV Data Archive Program

ICPSR is hosting a webinar on the National Addiction and HIV Data Program (NAHDAP) on February 21 at 1:00 pm. They will describe the program and provide information on data sharing! If you are working or will be working with confidential or restricted use data, this might of interest. More information below.

Space is limited.Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
The goal of this 60 minute webinar is to describe the ways the National Addiction and HIV Data Archive Program (NAHDAP) facilitate research on drug addiction and HIV infection by enhancing, sharing, and preserving data produced by research grants funded by the National Institutes on Drug Abuse. This webinar will cover:

Data Sharing:
• Technical assistance with data preparation
• Educational activities to promote data sharing
• Proposal preparation and data sharing plans
• Confidential data and Restricted data dissemination

Data Use:
• Identifying drug abuse and HIV data
• Customized sub-setting and on-line analysis
• Retrieval and use of data files from the archive
• Related Bibliography

Title: The National Addiction and HIV Data Archive Program: Supporting Research Data Sharing and Use
Date: Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Time: 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EST

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.