One more reason you’ll be happier if you remember to look for working papers…
As much as I emphasize using the indexes and abstracts of journal literature in the social sciences, it is also important, especially when looking for emerging research, to look at the research being published by the major NGOs, IGOs and think tanks.
Here, for example, are two new studies on happiness from the OECD (links lead to downloadable PDFs).
No. 99. Happiness and Age Cycles – Return to Start…? On the Functional Relationship between Subjective Well-being and Age
Justina A.V. Fischer (November 2009)
A study using data from the World Values Survey.
No. 96. Income Distribution and Subjective Happiness: A Survey
Claudia Senik (December 2009)
A summary of empirical literature using subjective data from such sources as the General Social Survey and Eurobarometer along with observable income data.
Net Aid Transfers Data Set (1960-2005)
A new measure of foreign aid flow
Primary Investigator: David Roodman
Publishing Organization: Center for Global Development (CDG)
Citation: David Roodman, “An Index of Donor Performance,” Working Paper 67, Center for Global Development, August 2005.
Back in February, the UN Statistics Division released their beta system for providing a single entry point for UN data. This new system replaces the UN Common Databse (UNCDB), with which many readers will be familiar.
Undata allows you to search for data by keyword as well as browse by category. It is regularly updated and pulls data from across the UN. As of this post, it searches 55 million records of data sources.
Read more about it on the undata wiki.
The latest Liber8 newsletter focused on the possible economic impacts of a flu pandemic. The following free data sources were mentioned in the report.
“Pandemic Flu and the Potential for U.S. Economic Recession: A State-by-State Analysis.”
A 96 page report published by the Trust for America’s Health, which presents the results of estimated GDP loss by state, by industry, and other projections from three models (from the Congressional Budget Office, the ANU/Lowry Institute, and BMO Nesbitt Burns).
The Department of Health and Human Services’ “one-top access to U.S. Government avian and pandemic flu information.”
ICPSR has announced the beta launch of its Online Learning Center (OLC). The press release is reproduced below. If you would like to learn more about this, contact Paula or me.
ICPSR is pleased to announce the beta launch of the Online Learning Center (OLC). The site is located at: http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/OLC/ and can be found under the Courses & Learning Tools tab on the ICPSR main page.
The OLC is the result of discussions with teaching faculty about using data in their classrooms and the challenges such undertakings can entail. Instructors directed ICPSR to develop tools that would: 1) quickly locate relevant data that are easy to work with and that nicely demonstrate the concept(s), and 2) enable the instructor to customize the materials to their own teaching approach and syllabus.
To that end, Data-driven Learning Guides, a core element of the OLC, were created for the express purpose of making ICPSR data more user-friendly for classroom exercises. The guides are designed for faculty to use for in-class demonstrations or to assign as supplemental activities for giving students greater exposure to concepts.
Note: This launch is a beta launch of the OLC. More topics, guides, and tools will continue to be added over the coming weeks and months. The purpose of the beta launch is to go live and allow instructors to use the site while encouraging their feedback and watching for any potential bugs in the site’s use. A more widely-publicized full launch is expected in Summer 2008.
When looking for neighborhood information, it’s often a good idea to check local city resources such as city government, universities or colleges located in the city, and area associations. Local institutions of higher education are likely to have guides to city information on their library web sites and might even have maps and GIS data in geography or urban studies department web pages.
Using Chicago as an example, here are some great sources of neighborhood and local Chicago demographic maps brought to my attention by Whitney Richards-Calathes, a current student.
Here are a couple more that I found while writing this blog post:
CPANDA, the Cultural Policy & the Arts National Data Archive
Search and download policy-relevant data on the arts and cultural policy in the U.S. from this archive at Princeton.
CPANDA also includes a “searchable bibliographic database of selected monographs, serials, reports, papers, proceedings, articles and books (1965 to first quarter 2007) relevant to arts and cultural policy studies.”
statehealthfacts.org from the Kaiser Family Foundation
This web site provides a remarkably quick and easy way to find and compare health and health care statistics and data on a U.S. state level. Over 500 topics are represented, many of which are from freely available public sources, but some private sources are included such as original Kaiser Family Foundation reports. All data are fully documented and can be downloaded in Excel or tab delimited format. Before you download, though, notice that you can graph, chart, sort, and map results in your browser.
Good for: comparing the states on topics of health and health care; finding current data and data sources for state-level health topics
Publishing Organization: Henry J. Kaiser Foundation
Example citation: The Kaiser Family Foundation statehealthfacts.org. Data Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HIV Surveillance Supplemental Report, Midyear Edition, Vol. 12, No. 1, 2001, “Characteristics of Persons Living with AIDS at the End of 1999.”
Time period: usually the most current data (i.e., not historical)
Outputs: On the web site, data can be displayed in table, map, or graph formats with some ability to sort. Individual tables can be downloaded in Excel format. Full datasets can be downloaded in tab-delimited format.
International Data Resource Center (IDRC)
New from ICPSR, this special archive “acts as a clearinghouse for international data housed at ICPSR.” The site makes it easier to find ICPSR data of interest to internationalists. Browse by subject, data series, or geography. Of special interest on this site is the Instructional Resources section, which links sample research questions to relevant datasets, and the Foundational Datasets page, which lists pivotal studies (in the ICPSR archive) for comparative politics and international relations.
The James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS), is a nongovernmental organization devoted to research on issues of nonproliferation. Their web site provides access to several of their databases:
- WMD Country Profile
Frequently updated profiles of countries covering their nuclear, biological, and chemical capabilities, facilities, and imports/export.
- NIS (Newly Independent States) Trafficking Database
“Cases and reported incidents of trafficking in nuclear and radioactive materials,” incident tables, and summaries and analysis of relevant literature; compiled since 1991.
- China WMD and Arms Control Database
“…Hundreds of primary source documents (in both English and Chinese), extensive reference materials, bibliographic information and comprehensive fact sheets”
- HEU (Highly Enriched Uranium) Reduction and Elimination Database
More of a web site than what I would call a database, but a rich resource nonetheless: reports on civilian uses of HEU, efforts to reduce and eliminate its use, and an interactive map
- Submarine Proliferation Database
Country profiles for states with major submarine holdings or export activities
- Inventory of International Nonproliferation Organizations and Regimes
Descriptions of international organizations, treaties, and agreements relevant to WMD disarmament, summaries of recent activities and contact information
- ChemBio Weapons and WMD Terrorism News Database
Searchable archive of a tri-weekly news service focusing on articles, testimony, government reports, speeches, and specialized news reports.
- Nuclear and Missile Developments Database
Searchable archive of abstracts of “proliferation developments such as major policy statements or key negotiations, international transactions and developments involving nuclear weapons, and material and missile technology in countries of proliferation concern.”
- Nuclear Disarmament Progress
“factual information on nuclear weapon proliferation since 1945 including a comparative chart showing the number of nuclear warheads and related systems that have been dismantled and destroyed by all states currently armed with nuclear weapons, as well as those who gave up or destroyed their nuclear weapons arsenals”
- Newly Independent States (NIS) Nuclear and Missile Database
“an electronic reference handbook organized by country and topic. It provides extensive information on nuclear facilities, nuclear weapons, nuclear material protection as well as accounting, international nonproliferation participation, and nuclear and missile exports”
New Data on African Health Professionals Abroad
Estimates of African-born doctors and professional nurses working in developed countries.
Good for: students investigating international labor mobility and global development
Primary Investigator: Michael Clemens
Publishing Organization: Center for Global Development (CGD)
Related Publication: CGD working paper 95
Time period: 2000
A New Nation Votes: American Election Returns, 1787-1825
This collection of early U.S. election returns has been painstakingly created using official reports, original election ballots, contemporary newspaper accounts, and 19th century county histories. All levels of elections are included, from town clerks to presidential. Search by keyword, state, year, office, candidate, party or election type or browse by candidate, office, year, or state.
Good for: Hard to find election statistics from the early history of the U.S.
Geographic coverage: The 25 states existing during this period is the scope, but as of 11/02/07 only Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Missouri, and Michigan are complete.
Time period: 1787-1825
Outputs: Results are displayed as html tables, but the entire dataset or subsets by state can be downloaded. The download is a zipped .tsv (tab separated values) file. To open it with Excel, you may need to change the file extension from .tsv to .txt. Then, from the Excel menu, select Data > Get external data > import text file. If you experience problems with this, contact me or, alternatively, the SCIC.
Documentation: The original transcription notes are linked from each results page. Full source information is prominently displayed.
Search Engines: Technology, Society, and Business.
Part of UC Berkeley’s new YouTube campus, a web site of lectures uploaded for viewing by the public, is a series of lectures about search engines. The lectures are part of a course taught in the School of Information by Dr. Marti Hearst. Some of the lectures are a couple of years old, now, but the fundamentals covered are no less relevant.
The Abstract (quoted from the web site):
“The World Wide Web brings much of the world’s knowledge into the reach of nearly everyone with a computer and an internet connection. The availability of huge quantities of information at our fingertips is transforming government, business, and many other aspects of society. Topics include search advertising and auctions, search and privacy, search ranking, internationalization, anti-spam efforts, local search, peer-to-peer search, and search of blogs and online communities.”
The CIAO database (Carleton only link), as of fall 2007, contains selected data and information from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), a respected and highly cited source in political economy.
EUI country information now in CIAO
- Detailed country maps
- Basic information and data for 201 countries
- Political and economic structures and backgrounds (coming in October)
- Five-year summary and outlook assessing current and future economic growth, currency appreciation, and evolving policies for each country (coming in October)
To find the maps and brief country information within CIAO, click the ‘atlas‘ link on the left-hand menu of the main page.
The maps and brief information are similar to the content of the CIA World Factbook (but better documented) and the CQ Political Handbook of the World (which is the most detailed of the three).
Did you know that you can use the Social Sciences Citation Index to identify articles that cite a particular article? Whenever you need to find out what has been written on a given topic since the time of an important publication, the SSCI is the tool to use. Contact me or any of the other reference librarians for tips on searching the SSCI, which you can access from the library’s databases page.
For those of you who are pros at searching the SSCI, did you know that you can set up an email- or RSS alert to let you know when new articles are added to the database and that match your criteria? For example, you could receive alerts every time a particular work or researcher is cited, or every time an individual publishes a new article, or the contents of new issues of a journal central to your work.
When you find a document in LexisNexis, it is now possible to create a URL that will take you directly back to that document in the database, precluding the need to search again. Just use this beta tool.
As the 2007-08 school year approaches and you begin to collect readings for your comps, now is a good time to think about how you will organize your research. One possibility is to use EndNote, citation management software that you can use as current Carleton students.
EndNote is software installed on all lab computers. If you’ve taken Bio 125 or 126, you learned to use it from Charlie Priore. You can also download a copy for your personal computer from the library web site. Read more or download a copy.
The earlier you get your personal citation database set up and arranged, the smoother it will be for you to quickly add books and journal articles as you find them. And, best of all, by organizing your bibliography throughout the process, you can avoid last-minute reference-scramble nightmares, and you build a resource to use in the future (if you go to grad school, your future self thanks you).
Immigration to the United States, 1789-1930
The Harvard University Library Open Collections Program has created this digital library of historical documents on immigration.
“Concentrating heavily on the 19th century, Immigration to the United States, 1789-1930, includes approximately 1,800 books and pamphlets as well as 9,000 photographs, 200 maps, and 13,000 pages from manuscript and archival collections. By incorporating diaries, biographies, and other writings capturing diverse experiences, the collected material provides a window into the lives of ordinary immigrants.” (quoted from site’s home page)
Also included in this collection are statistical publications on immigration.Â To find these, perform a search for the term ‘statistics’ and change the dropdown menu from ‘Anywhere’ to ‘Subject.’Â You can add extra search terms to the second search box, but you might want to browse the search results first for context, from which you can select keywords more strategically.
The LexisNexis Academic database of news and other research sources has a new interface designed to be more intuitive and fast to search.Â If anyone would like some tips on using the new interface, please send me an email or call.Â Is anyone interested in a drop-in workshop?
In the meantime, here are some basic hints from one of the developers:
“Want to find stories from newspapers in your state?
Run the search against â€œAll US Newspapers and Wiresâ€ in the News form or the Power Search form, then use the results clustering to narrow your result by newspaper or by geography.
Want to search a specific publication?
Go to the Source Selection and enter its name in quotation marks.
Want to find stories on a particular industry?
Go to the News form and expand the â€œAdd Index Termsâ€ option.
Want to find contemporary news stories on a particular event?
Start with the Easy Search form and an appropriate date restriction.
Trying to do exhaustive and precise research for a reference question?
Use the Power Search form and the Index Terms tool.”