Council Minutes
October 23-26, 1997

The ICPSR Council met briefly in conjunction with the Official Representatives meeting.

Council Participants: Kenneth Bollen, John Garcia, Ann Gray, Charles Hirschman, Margaret Levi, Edward Nelson, Carole Shammas (Chair), Elizabeth Stephenson, Wendy Watkins, Halliman Winsborough.

Council not able to participate: Suzanne Bianchi, Heinz Eulau, Norval Glenn, Kent Jennings, Warren Miller, Samuel C. Patterson.

Additional Participant: Bjorn Henrichsen, Director, Norwegian Social Science Data Services.

ICPSR Staff Participants: Zack Allen, Erik Austin, Chris Dunn, Nancy Fultz, Peter Granda, John Gray, Hank Heitowit, JoAnne McFarland, Mary Morris, Richard Rockwell, Janet Vavra.

Staff not able to participate: Michelle Humphres, Pam Schwarzmann, Mary Vardigan.


Approval of June 1997 Minutes

Wendy Watkins moved to approve the June 1997 Council minutes as written. Charles Hirschman seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

It was noted that ICPSR Official Representatives have asked to view Council minutes in draft format on the website. Council approved that minutes could be posted to the Web in draft format.

Correspondence from David Featherman, Director, Institute for Social Research to Carole Shammas, ICPSR Council Chair, was distributed.

Summer Program

The staff proposed a modest ($50 to $100) fee increase for the 1998 Summer Program. Some Council members questioned whether such increases impact enrollments, especially among graduate students. The staff was asked to monitor enrollment patterns to gauge the impact of fee increases.

Ann Gray moved to approve a fee increase. Margaret Levi seconded the motion. The 1998 fee structure was passed unanimously by the Council.

Advanced Conference on Social Science Methodology

The Administration and Governance Committee and the Summer Program Committee had discussed guidelines for this conference at prior Council meetings. At the October 1997 meeting, Council suggested the following guidelines:

  • The conference should be interdisciplinary.
  • The conference should focus on issues and produce a concrete product.
  • Ken Bollen should be the Council liaison.

Carole Shammas made a motion to approve a social science methodology conference. Hal Winsborough seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

NAPA Report

Margaret Levi, Chair of the Archival Development committee, introduced the report of the committee, proposing to establish NAPA (New Acquisitions Preservation Archive). Noting that the report was up on the ICPSR Website and would be discussed by the ORs on Sunday, Levi described NAPA as a process for prioritizing incoming data for processing by archival staff to make efficient use of resources. Subsequent discussion by Council and staff was followed by Council endorsement of this experimental set of procedures. There was general agreement that a clear archival development policy should be established. This policy should include what kinds of data will be archived. This is an ongoing process and should include input from the Official Representatives. The core mission of the consortium must be considered as such a policy is developed.

Corporate Affiliates

The Executive Director requested authority to proceed with establishing ICPSR Corporate Affiliates in accord with specified guidelines but with flexibility to negotiate agreements on a case-by-case basis.

Interest in acquiring ICPSR data has been expressed by several corporations, but that demand could decrease when pricing is established. The mission of ICPSR is membership- based, and corporate agreements should not alter that mission.

A motion was made and seconded that terms of Corporate Affiliate agreement contracts should specify that these affiliates have no voting rights and cannot redistribute data. Nothing else will be acceptable. The rights of users and subscribers should be carefully delineated. The motion passed unanimously.

Laboratory of Electronic Data Archiving

Agenda item deferred to future meeting.

National Conference on Social Science Data

Richard Rockwell reported on preliminary discussions held between ICPSR staff and the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) group about the need to hold a National Conference on Social Science Data to encourage the process of developing archiving standards for electronic/digital data, especially in the social sciences. This conference would bring together the key players in the social science data archiving profession to work toward a common goal of assuring that valuable electronic materials would be preserved for the future.

A lively discussion followed in which a number of opinions about the need for such a conference were expressed. Libbie Stephenson felt that such standards already existed and had been developed by professionals in the archiving field, many of whom are part of IASSIST. Ann Gray agreed that much of the work of developing standards has been done by archivists and governmental agencies.

It was decided that a subgroup would be formed to look into this topic. The group includes Hal Winsborough, Libbie Stephenson, Richard Rockwell, and Janet Vavra.

Discussions between ICPSR, CPS, and ISR/OVPR

Council discussed the letter of September 25, 1997, from David L. Featherman to Carole Shammas. Revision of the Memorandum of Agreement and the Bylaws seems a certainty in any scenario. Council considered that its questions to ISR had been well-received by ISR and that ISR had acted appropriately in response. ISR's consultation with the Council and with ICPSR staff was appreciated. The new fiscal arrangement with CPS for the current year was well-received. Members expressed relief that it might now be possible to get on with the "normal business" of the Council.

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