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Can’t get enough of that good data?

Do you know about ICPSR, the treasure trove of data files?

ICPSR is the acronym of the Inter-University Consortium of Political and Social Research. But don’t let the title fool you. There is a wealth of data of interest to the College of Nursing community, including the Health and Medical Care Archive. This collection includes data files such as Chronic Illness and Caregiving, Community Tracking Study- Physician Survey and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Employer Health Insurance Survey.


How do I access ICPSR?

1. Start at the library homepage. Click Databases, A-Z and then choose ICPSR

2. In order to download data sets, you must register for a personal account. Click MyData Login/Create Account once you are in the database. Most of the data sets can be downloaded into SPSS for analysis.

3. Highly recommended: Data Use Tutorial.

Online Biennial ICPSR Meeting

The Biennial ICPSR Meeting will take place next week from Monday, Oct. 5 to Friday, Oct. 9. Please take a look at the program. This year’s meeting will be completely online, which means that you will be able to follow live presentations, ask questions and join online discussions from the comfort of your office.

No pre-registration is necessary! Log in via the Webinar Session Links in the program to join the online meeting at the time indicated.

Learn about  tools that support data analysis and about using data files such as the Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, the Integrated Fertility Study Series and much, much more.

power_analysisHarness the power!

Bausell, R. B., & Li, Y-F. (2002). Power analysis for experimental research: A practical guide for the biological, medical and social sciences. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge U. Press.  2006 digital reprinting.
Available at Falvey: R 853.S7B375 2007

(From the back cover) “Power analysis is an essential tool for determining whether a statistically significant result can be obtained in a scientific experiment prior to the experiment being performed. Many funding agencies and Institutional Review Boards now require power analyses to be carried out before they will approve experiments, particularly when they involve the use of human subjects.”

This work will show you how to conduct power/sample size analyses, even if you have only a basic understanding prior knowledge of summary statistics.
For more information contact Barbara Quintiliano  (tel. x95207)



Join the ICPSR Biennial Meeting online next week!

icpsrThe Biennial ICPSR Meeting will take place next week from Monday Oct. 5 to Friday Oct. 9. Please take a look at the program. This year’s meeting will be completely online, which means that you will be able to follow live presentations, ask questions and join online discussions from your office. No pre-registration is necessary. Log in via the Webinar Session Links in the program to join the online meeting at the time indicated.

Here is a small selection from this year’s program:

  • Highlights of 2009 Website – Web 2.0 Enhancements
    Oct. 6, 10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
    ICPSR Web managers will be present for a live chat/demo of the newly released ICPSR Web site (a prerecorded orientation will also be available for viewing).
  • Graphical Displays of Quantitative Information
    Oct. 6, 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
    This session will focus on the theoretical concerns and practical issues involved in using visual displays for quantitative information. We will discuss ways to, quite literally, look at your data.
  • Tools that Support Data Analysis
    Oct. 6, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
    ICPSR provides an increasing number of tools that support data analysis. This session will provide an overview of them, including: variable-level searching, the sample characteristics tool, the recode syntax tool, subsetting tools, Quick Tables, the Bibliography of Data-related Literature, and data mapping tools.
  • Census 2010 & American Community Survey
    Oct. 7, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
    Discussion of new Census products and information on Census 2010 and the ACS.
  • ADD-Health
    Oct. 7, 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
    In this session, we will describe access to and analysis of the Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. The session will include a description of how to use the new restricted use contract system to acquire the 33 restricted use files and the public use files.
  • Using Data in Teaching (Panel)
    Oct. 8, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
    This session aims to give instructors helpful hints for using data in teaching. Panelists will include social science faculty who actively use data-based activities in a wide range of courses. They will give participants a brief overview of what they do with their own students and the effects they see from these exercises, followed by a time for interaction among participants and presenters for sharing questions and ideas. Everything from tips for choosing a dataset or topic to creating and evaluating an exercise is fair game for this session.
  • Online Data Analysis Tools
    Oct. 9, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
    The objective of this session is to provide participants with hands-on experience to inform them of, or broaden their knowledge of, the chief online data analysis tool used at ICPSR, Survey Documentation and Analysis (SDA). Recent features of SDA include corrections to standard errors produced for studies with complex sampling designs. This session will provide an overview of the analysis programs offered by SDA and demonstrate some of the analyses that can be run using SDA, including highlights of the new features.
  • Quantitative Literacy: Assessment and Enhancement (Panel)
    Oct. 9, 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
    In addition to working on efforts to help instructors more easily bring data into their courses, ICPSR is involved in a project to assess the educational impact of such exercises on students’ quantitative literacy (QL) skills. This session will provide a discussion of what QL means, an overview of related student learning outcomes, and examples of assessment techniques. Panelists will include experts on QL and faculty who have designed and implemented assessment strategies to measure QL in their courses.


Heather J. Hicks on Postmodern Labor Issues in America

hicksThe Scholarship@Villanova series continues on Wed., Sept. 30 at 12:30p.m. in Falvey Memorial Library’s first floor lounge with Heather J. Hicks, Ph.D. discussing her book, The Culture of Soft Work: Labor, Gender, and Race in Postmodern American Narrative. Dr. Hicks explores the meaning of being a worker in America as she highlights general labor issues of postmodernism and industrialism.

Undeniably, labor issues, general or specific, have influenced the works of contemporary writers who show how these issues represent the experience of American workers. The Culture of Soft Work captures the decline in local economy and the deterioration of the labor movement system. (more…)


Banned Books On Display: Politics, Sex, Racism??

nuremberg_chroniclesFalvey Memorial Library is featuring a display to coincide with the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week, September 26 to October 3. The Banned Books Display shows that books on all subjects and for all age groups can be targets for supposedly containing objectionable material.

Neither a child’s book such as Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are nor adult reading such as Knowles’ A Separate Peace are immune from being banned. A book can be humorous such as Adams’ A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, a fantasy such as Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings trilogy or a serious adult novel such as Chopin’s The Awakening.

The reasons for a book being banned are numerous, including politics, race, religion and sex. For example, the sex and racism in Morrison’s Beloved and the “free love” and cannibalism in Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land landed them on the list. The non-fiction book, The Rights of Man by Thomas Paine, was banned for its political views.

As an unintended consequence, when someone or some group attempts to ban a book, this action draws more attention to that book.

If you see a book in the display that interests you, please check it out. (more…)


Feedback Friday: How do you respond to censorship?

censorshipAccording to Time magazine (9-28-08), “the American Library Association has sponsored Banned Books Week to pay tribute to free speech and open libraries” since 1982. For hundreds of years, individuals and groups have tried to have certain titles banned by schools, libraries, communities, and governments. Banning books is one way of censoring the free flow of information and ideas.

Have you ever encountered censorship and how did you respond? Tell us about it in the Comments section below.


How good is GDP at measuring economic health?

Read a report authored by Joseph E. Stiglitz, Amartya Sen and Jean-Paul Fitoussi for the French Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress for a critique of the use of GDP as a barometer of economic health.



World Religions — "Window Shopping"

wwdwindowAlthough World Religions Day was celebrated campuswide only on September 16, there will be an extended celebration in Falvey Memorial Library. A large window display, “World Religions Day-Religion in the Workplace: Understanding Religious Diversity,” near the library entrance, provides information about the religions of peoples across the globe.

One’s eye is first drawn to the large central image of a girl who looks at the viewer; she stands with her hands pressed together at chest level in what may be a gesture of prayer. Flanking her are various objects and books, and the display is framed on each end by panels with symbols of the various religions. The symbols on the far left within the display represent (from top to bottom) Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, Jainism, Hinduism, and Confucianism. On the right side of the display are symbols for Taoism, Bahaism, Native Spirituality, Sikhism, Islam, and Shintoism, as noted in the photograph. (more…)


PsycInfo with a New (inter)Face: Tips for Searching this Premier Psychology Resource

Yes, the first search screen to PsycInfo, the important psychology database, is definitely different from the version Falvey subscribed to last semester. Due to popular demand, we were able to switch vendors from OVID to CSA.

csa_logo_left1The CSA interface is familiar to many on campus who have used databases such as PAIS or Sociological Abstracts. In fact, you can search many of the CSA databases simultaneously, if you wish.

Access PsycInfo through the Databases A-Z list or via the Psychology Subject Guide.

To begin, enter your search terms at the initial search screen and then scroll down to limit your search in many ways, such as language, age ranges and methodology. And, as an extra plus, you can export your marked citations directly to RefWorks, according to the 6th edition of APA style. (more…)


Sally J. Scholz on Achieving Social Change

border-sally01The Scholarship @ Villanova series kicks off this academic year on Thursday, Sept. 24, at 4p.m. in the first floor lounge in Falvey Memorial Library with Sally Scholz, Ph.D., discussing her acclaimed book, Political Solidarity. In her book, she explores the definition of solidarity in a political context using the transformational roles of advocacy groups, such as the civil rights and women’s rights movements, in society.

Undoubtedly, social movements, radical or otherwise, have brought about substantial change in American politics and have molded the fabric of our society. From civil rights to international trade, activists for social change are engaging in a wide variety of efforts to advance their cause for justice. Dr. Scholz’s book captures the essence of social activism. (more…)


History Between the Pages: Looking at 19th Century America through the Digitized Writings of Samuel Alanson Lane

lane3Falvey Memorial Library’s Special Collections and Digital Library proudly present the fully digitized autobiographical manuscript of 19th century American Samuel Alanson Lane. Leather-bound and handwritten in ink, this one-of-a-kind manuscript has become a historical gem among the many treasures digitally donated to the Digital Library. But perhaps what is the most priceless feature of this manuscript is the unique insight this autobiography offers historians and history lovers: a depiction of 19th century American life by an average man.

Born on the 15th of June in 1815, Samuel Alanson Lane would become yet another witness to the scientific and technological progress and revolutionary social change that occurred in the 19th century.

Curated by Johanna Hibbs (Father Thomas Middleton Digital Library Intern 2008), with graphic design by Christopher Barr, this fascinating online exhibit includes Lane’s complete digitized manuscript, a transcription of his memoir, the exhibit bibliography, Lane’s biography and a timeline of Lane’s life.

Johanna Hibbs’ commentary, “Oh, the Humanity! Time travel and the search for the “human” in the “history” within the pages of S. A. Lane’s autobiography,” also offers her unique and thoroughly readable perspective as an intern curator.


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Last Modified: September 15, 2009