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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.


Did you know that you can search some of your favorite research databases simultaneously?

blog11Cambridge Scientific Abstracts (CSA) makes it easy to search your favorite social science databases simultaneously.  Simply click on the Specific Databases link below the search boxes and select from Sociological Abstracts, Criminal Justice Abstracts, Social Services Abstracts, NCJRS Abstracts, ERIC, PsycINFO, and Communication Abstracts. Next click on Continue to Search and your selection will be listed on the search page under Now Selected: Multiple Databases. Search results will be clearly identified by database of origin. Since not all these research databases use the same subject thesaurus, it is best to avoid subject (descriptor) searches while cross searching multiple databases.

Other helpful features are the export to RefWorks and the QuickBib options. Both can be found by clicking on the Save, Print, Email link from the results screen. QuickBib will format selected records into the citation style of your choice in a matter of seconds.

For more bells and whistles set up a My Research account with CSA. You can find a link in the upper right hand corner of the CSA interface. My Research is your gateway to research alerts via e-mail or RSS feed, a customized search interface, and groups of preferred databases. You can also save unlimited search results and search histories to your My Research account. The price? One more login and password to remember.

Comments? Please let us know what you think.


Fall ’09 Library Research Workshops

falvey_doorwayIt’s that time of the year again:  The fall semester is right around the corner and everybody is scrambling to finish his or her syllabus.  Please contact me as early as possible if you plan to bring your class to the Library for a research workshop, even if it will be much later in the semester.  The Library’s classroom tends to get booked quickly.  I find that research workshops are most beneficial when they are scheduled after students have picked their paper topics.

There may be no room in your syllabus for a library workshop, but you feel that your students could definitely use some extra help.  A research course guide is a practical alternative.  Please take a look at some of the online course guides from previous semesters:  art history, criminal justice, history, and sociology. In the past I have often done both, research workshops and online course guides in lieu of handouts.

Last but not least, remember to order books and videos early, so that they will be available in the Library when you or your students need them.

Here is my contact information:
E-mail: jutta.seibert@villanova.edu
Phone: 610-519-7876
Office: 1st floor, Falvey Library


Sage Brings Print Encyclopedias Online

encyc_race_ethnicity.jpgFalvey added over 70 new e-reference titles from Sage to its popular online reference collection.  Some of these titles were already available in print on the Library’s reference shelves, but most of the titles are new in Falvey’s collection and worth a closer look. One can browse the Sage e-reference collection by subject areas such as history, sociology, or criminal justice and search for keywords in individual titles as well as the complete collection.

The Encyclopedia of American Urban History, the Encyclopedia of Activism and Social Justice, and the Sage Encyclopedia of Qualitative Research Methods are some outstanding new titles in this collection. Among the titles previously owned in print are the Encyclopedia of Juvenile Justice, the Encyclopedia of Social Problems, and the Encyclopedia of Social Theory, to name but a few.

Direct links to individual titles or to the complete collection can be added to WebCT as well as to the Library’s course guides. Links to individual entries are another possibility. A good example is Appendix A: Data on Race and Ethnicity in the United States, 1820 to the Present of the Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity, and Society, which includes 60 pages worth of data such as  persons obtaining legal permanent resident status by region and selected country of last residence, 1820-2006.

Noteworthy features of the Sage e-reference collection are a citation tool that offers a choice of three citation styles (APA, MLA and Chicago), numerous active URLs on the further reading lists, and the option to e-mail entries to any e-mail address.

Access to these titles is available via the Library’s subject guides (sociology, criminal justice, history), the E-Reference Resources list and the Library’s catalog.

Comments? Please let us know what you think.


New campus-wide access to the Chronicle of Higher Education through Falvey

news.gifFalvey now offers the university community online access to the Chronicle of Higher Education, “the No. 1 source of news, information, and jobs for college and university faculty members and administrators.” Widely valued for the timeliness and credibility of its news coverage, the Chronicle has won numerous awards for its coverage of political issues with impact on higher education. Popular features include the careers section with its job listings, annual salary surveys, and the scholarly productivity index, ranking 375 Ph.D. granting institutions. In addition, the online Chronicle offers exclusive daily news articles, podcasts and access to its digital archive dating back to 1995.

Because the site license includes off-campus access through LDAP (Villanova email ID and password) authentication, readers who already have a personal or departmental subscription may consider canceling it now. Those who still enjoy holding the print version of the Chronicle in their hands will find it on the periodical shelves on the first floor of the Library.  For quick, convenient access to the online Chronicle, bookmark the link found in the Library’s catalog.

Comments? Please let us know what you think.


New Encyclopedia of Social Problems

The Encyclopedia of Social Problems (2008) is now available at the Library.
Over 600 entries offer an interdisciplinary perspective into many social issues. The two volume set covers all of the major theories, approaches, and contemporary issues in social problems and provides insight into how social conditions get defined as social problems, and the ways different people and organizations view and try to solve them.

Here is a link to the Choice Review.


ICPSR Webinar: Analyze Data Online on Demand – an Introduction to SDA!

Time: Tuesday, February 24, 2009 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Your desktop
SDA is an online (Web-based) data analysis tool developed at UC Berkeley and offered on select studies by ICPSR. The webinar will introduce you to the tool, show you how to locate studies that have this option, and demonstrate how to use it.
For more information on SDA click here.
To register for the webinar click here.

ICPSR data sets with SDA data analysis capabilities include:
Juvenile Court Statistics
Annual Survey of Jails: Jurisdiction-Level Data
National Election Studies
American Time Use Survey
Capital Punishment in the United States, 1973-1989
For a complete list of all 486 data sets click here.

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Last Modified: February 17, 2009