Council Minutes
20-22 March 2002

Council members present: Margo Anderson (Past Chair), Ilona Einowski, Elisabeth Gerber, Frank Gilliam, Ann Green (Chair), John Handy, Mark Hayward, John Korey, Scott Long, Steve Ruggles, Jim Sweet, Bo Wandschneider

ICPSR staff present: Erik Austin, Rita Bantom, Steve Burling, Dieter Burrell, Ed Czilli, Chris Dunn, Sheila Grindatti, Myron Gutmann (Director), Hank Heitowit, Laurie Howland, Cynthia Hoxey, Michelle Humphres, Stacey Kubitz, JoAnne McFarland O'Rourke, Jim McNally, Mary Morris, Bree Scesny, Mary Vardigan, Janet Vavra

Visitors: Nanna Floor Clausen, Danish Data Archive; David Featherman, ISR Director; Dorothy Russell, ISR Assistant Director

The new Council orientation took place on Wednesday. Margo Anderson led a discussion about the history of ICPSR and the roles of the Council. Her presentation is attached as an appendix to these minutes.

Plenary Session/Director's Report I

Council Chair Ann Green opened the meeting with a welcome to new Council and general introductions. The first order of business was a review of the October minutes, which the Council approved. The second order of business was a discussion led by Myron Gutmann and Stacey Kubitz. The presentation was organized into the following three reports: ICPSR accomplishments, finances, and technology. This presentation is also attached as an appendix.

In the first report, Gutmann briefly reviewed the major accomplishments of each ICPSR unit and highlighted, in particular, cross-unit accomplishments. The latter included new database development work for the administrative database and the tracking database, the completion of a more functional system for tracking invoicing and payment of member dues, and the Official Representative Sabbatical Opportunity program recently implemented. He praised the entire ICPSR staff for their hard work and dedication.

Kubitz presented financial information for the FY2003 budget, along with historical financial information. The comparison of income from grants and contracts and income from membership dues shows a shift in recent years, with income from grants and contracts increasing at a greater rate than income from membership dues. The draft FY2003 budget shows more expenses than revenues, but only grants and contracts in hand were included in the draft. Because a number of proposals are pending, it is likely that the final FY2003 budget will be in the black. Kubitz also touched on the reserve fund (currently 2.6 million) and reviewed how these monies are targeted. There has been a trend toward increasing the reserve fund and Kubitz asked Council to consider whether that should continue or not. Council was also asked to consider whether the current unit budgets allow the Consortium to fulfill its missions and whether other initiatives should be reflected in the budget.

Gutmann then turned to the area of technology and its critical role in supporting our core missions of archiving and disseminating data, training current and future generations of social scientists, and providing leadership to the international social science community. ICPSR must continue to be innovative and flexible technologically to accomplish these goals. Staff must not only be knowledgeable about new ideas and products in the field but be willing to test and implement those that can help us accomplish our missions in more efficient ways. Also, training for all staff must be ongoing as we move forward with new and innovative technology.

Gutmann grouped the technology challenges for ICPSR into five categories: understanding what we do and how we accomplish our goals; preserving our resources and guarding against disaster; making sure that our computing facilities for both staff and data users are state-of-the art; expanding our educational activities; and delivering data in innovative ways to a variety of users. He spoke briefly about each category, identifying the challenges and offering solutions. Finally, Gutmann reiterated that ICPSR must continue to change the way it works so that technological leadership will continue to develop throughout the organization. We need to find a balance between serving established needs such as acquiring, processing, preserving and disseminating data, and incorporating new ideas and approaches that serve our evolving goals and objectives.

Plenary Session/Director's Report II

ICPSR Human Resources Manager Rita Bantom led meeting participants through a series of slides focusing on space issues, and ISR Assistant Director Dorothy Russell and ICPSR Director Myron Gutmann also joined in the presentation.

Bantom drew a comparison between the space that ICPSR now occupies in the Borders Building and Carver Gunn, and the new space in the Perry Building, which ICPSR will occupy in September 2002.

ICPSR currently occupies 15,000 square feet at Borders and 3,000 square feet at Carver Gunn. Our current space is not ideal because the staff is split across two locations, there are environmental and accessibility concerns, and we have limited potential for growth. In Perry we will occupy 24,000 square feet across three floors and will also have basement space. As currently configured, the Perry space has a higher office-to-cube ratio than Borders, and there is more conference space.

Perry is a University of Michigan building on the edge of central campus at the intersection of Packard and Madison Streets. It was built as a public elementary school in 1902 with an addition in 1923. The university has owned it since 1965.

The state of Michigan is financing the renovation of the Perry Building. This will be the first major renovation to Perry, and efforts are being taken to preserve the historic appearance of the building. The ventilation, electric, and plumbing systems are being totally updated, and an audible fire alarm system will be installed.

In terms of a timeline, the major renovation should be complete by April 30. During May to August, a limited number of ICPSR-specific renovations will occur, and ICPSR plans to move into the building after the renovations are finished. Currently, two moving dates are being considered: August 23 and September 14. ICPSR has set up three committees to deal with the move to Perry: Services and Logistics, Technical, and Central. The staff is kept apprised of move-related developments through the Intranet, the staff newsletter, and various e-mails and other documents.

It is only recently that the main Perry Building became an option for ICPSR headquarters. Originally, as part of a plan to create more space for ISR and all of its units, Perry was to be renovated and a new addition built; ICPSR was to occupy the addition. In April 2001, the possibility of ISR's purchasing the Fleming Building, current home of University of Michigan administration, emerged. This space would be twice the size of the Perry addition, is close to the main campus, and does not involve the loss of parking spaces, as the Perry addition would.

Fleming is envisioned as a dual use facility, with academic social science research and instruction on the first two floors. There is the possibility for computer labs, classrooms, and data library services (currently, there is no good instructional computing facility on central campus). ICPSR would have a public presence in the building.

The Fleming purchase would provide enough space for all of ISR to unite in three central campus buildings (ISR on Thompson Street, Fleming, and Perry), with only the interviewing facility off-campus.

With this new scenario involving the Fleming Building, ICPSR will not be contributing to a mortgage, but instead will have a gradual rent increase. Rental costs at ISR are currently calculated according to a formula that differentiates between "legacy" space ($5/net square foot - ICPSR has 11,000 square feet of legacy space) and "new" space ($26/net square foot - ICPSR currently has 6,000-7,000 square feet of new space). To pay for the Fleming Building, the rent on legacy space for ISR units will increase by $1 per square foot over the next five years, while the $26 for new space is guaranteed for that period. In 20 years, it is expected that the two rents will converge.

The consequence of the Fleming purchase for ICPSR is that rent will increase by $11,000 a year; by 2007, rent will increase by $55,000 a year. ICPSR will have 18,000 of the total square footage in Perry immediately and will have the right of first refusal for the remaining space through 2002. The space in Perry that we currently are not slated to occupy is about 4,500 square feet, which would cost $117,000 per year at the current rate for new space.

How might we use this space? A task force will be appointed this fall to study the Perry Building future, with a report due December 31, 2002. This is an opportunity for creative growth for ICPSR. We can think of the unprogrammed space in Perry as growth space (it would accommodate 45-50 employees). Or we can think about whether we can use it for Summer Program activities. There is a possibility that we could share the space with other units, especially if some of it were configured as a computing lab.

Currently, the Summer Program is housed at Helen Newberry House (HNH), which costs approximately $35,000 a year to rent; in addition, we have spent over $50,000 improving the space. There is presently 8,000-10,000 square feet for the Program in HNH, which is configured as labs, offices, and a library.

Planning and Policy Committee

Council: Ann Green, James Sweet, Mark Hayward

Staff: Myron Gutmann, Rita Bantom

Perry Building Planning

The Committee discussed various options for using space at the Perry Building, and applauded the successful planning work done already for the move to the Perry Building.

The Committee urged staff to consider how to use space that is now unallocated, including the option of bringing appropriate portions of the summer program into Perry. Occupancy of the entire building is a rare opportunity, which the staff is encouraged to do. The Committee also encouraged the staff to undertake partnerships with other University of Michigan units in order to make best use of the space.

Harvard VDC Proposal

The Committee discussed the review of the Harvard VDC that took place in October. They concurred in the report prepared by the review group (Gutmann, Green, Vavra, Joftis, Ruggles).

The Committee recommended that the Council authorize staff to undertake a fuller test of the VDC, including the installation of a test-bed server, whenever that seems most appropriate. The committee also recommended that Harvard be asked to pay for half of the cost of personnel employed at ICPSR for the development and testing of ICPSR metadata to be used in VDC.

Copyright and Intellectual Property

Staff reported on discussions with University of Michigan administrators about the ownership of intellectual property created at ICPSR, and about options for the future. The Committee encouraged the staff to continue these discussions, with a view to negotiating a specific agreement on this subject in the coming months.

Future Development of the Data Documentation Initiative (DDI)

Staff reported on developments related to the funding of the DDI in the future. Important topics related were the current (small) NSF grant, and the possibility for future funding from Health Canada and from a to-be-created "consortium" of metadata users.

Relations with CESSDA (The Council of European Social Science Data Archives)

Myron Gutmann reported on his attendance at the annual meeting of CESSDA Directors. That group has asked that they be allowed to appoint one of their members to a two-year term as observer at the ICPSR Council meetings. In addition, they would like to continue their current practice of sending a member on a rotating basis to Council meetings. The Committee had a thorough discussion of this issue and agreed to the idea of the two-year observer term. As is now the case for the rotating member observers, ICPSR will pay for travel and lodging from the observer's point of entry to the U.S.

The Committee also recommended that the rotating member scheme be changed, so that all national members be allowed to participate, not just members of CESSDA, and that the rotation be managed by ICPSR, not CESSDA. The current practice of paying travel and lodging expenses from the U.S. port of entry should continue for these observers too.

Membership Relations Committee

Council: John Korey (Chair), Margo Anderson (past Council Chair), John Handy, Bo Wandschneider

Staff: Hank Heitowit, Michelle Humphres, Mary Morris

Overview of the Membership Relations Committee

Continuing committee members provided new Council members with a brief overview of the purpose of the Membership Relations Committee. In addition, new Council members were given a briefing about current agenda items.

2001 Official Representatives Meeting

Council and staff reviewed the mail survey results of the 2001 Official Representatives meeting to identify areas of success and suggestions for improvement.

The meeting was well attended despite the events of September 11th. Evaluations provided positive feedback from ORs with regard to session topics and meeting logistics, although the number of total responses was relatively small.

Areas to consider for the 2003 meeting were identified:

  • Provide ORs with a copy of the meeting survey in their meeting packet and encourage presenter to ask ORs to drop-off their feedback forms after each session
  • Serve wine at the Saturday night banquet dinner
  • Hold both receptions at ICPSR rather than at the Campus Inn Hotel
  • Future meeting topic suggestions: GIS possibly through Census geo-coded studies, presentations on the use of major datasets

Bo Wandschneider and John Korey provided staff with a summary of the federated members meeting that occurred during the 2001 Official Representative meeting. The meeting was very well received and informative for the nine out of thirteen federations who attended.

The discussion indicated that each hub school has its own unique way of communicating with its members. Discussions provided members with new ideas and creative ways to improve the viability of their federation. In addition, members identified increasing membership fees as problematic. It appears that most federated schools retain their membership due to the federated structure and fee schedule.

Korey and Wandschneider agreed to write a memo detailing federation concerns for the special membership committee that will review and develop a new ICPSR membership structure. In particular, this memo will emphasize the importance of the federated fee schedule and how its elimination could prevent existing federated members from sustaining their ICPSR membership.

Another area of concern is that hub institutions need access to manifests that detail the users of their ordering activity. Staff clarified that this report was available and agreed to provide ORs with information via e-mail that would publicize the report and its benefits.

There was a suggestion to list ICPSR member institutions in alpha order rather than by federation in ICPSR publications. This suggestion was not formalized as an action item.

Membership Activity Report

Staff reviewed the current year-to-date membership activity. It was noted that membership activity for this fiscal year was stable when compared to activity from last fiscal year.

In addition, staff communicated hearing from several members that they are experiencing budget cuts and pressure to reduce expenses. Staff explained to Council that ICPSR works personally with each member who is under financial constraints by laying out payment installment options and providing benefits of membership information that is customized to each member's justification request.

Lastly, staff communicated concern that ICPSR membership may decline over the next fiscal year, and that ICPSR should be prepared to work with members in a flexible way to sustain as many memberships as possible.

Membership Outreach

Staff reported that Dieter Burrell and Darrell Donakowski visited Georgia Southern University to promote membership.

Council suggested that staff consult with the University of Michigan's Business School to identify marketing strategies, and develop practices to attract new members.

The area of membership development is understaffed. New billing practices, in addition to the implementation of ICPSR Direct, have increased the administrative expectations of staff. Council expressed concern that membership staffing should be reviewed. Membership development, outreach, and marketing will only increase the demands on staff.

Membership Committee to Review the ICPSR Membership Structure

A committee to review the ICPSR membership structure has been formalized and charged with reviewing and developing a new membership structure that will enable ICPSR to expand membership and offer access to community colleges and other organizations.

Committee members are: Paula Lackey, Carleton College; Kevin Schurer, UK Data Archive; Chuck Humphrey, University of Alberta; Jim Sweet, University of Wisconsin-Madison; John Handy, Morehouse College; Margo Anderson, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Discussions included:

  • Who are the current members and how are they classified under the current membership structure? Are they classified correctly?
  • What are the pricing polices and models used?
  • How does the membership structure and current membership relate to the ICPSR governance structure?

Staff are to provide a list of current members by ICPSR membership category and align them with their appropriate Carnegie Classification. They were also charged with identifying the number and proportion of which Carnegie Classifications are current ICPSR members.

In addition, discussion included continuing research with regard to Canadian universities, national members, and research organizations.

Archival Development Committee

Council: Steve Ruggles (Chair), Ilona Einowski, Frank Gilliam, Scott Long

Visitor: Nanna Floor Clausen

Staff: Erik Austin, Chris Dunn, Cynthia Hoxey, JoAnne McFarland O'Rourke, Mary Vardigan

Census 2000

Erik Austin gave a brief report on the status of Census 2000 data at ICPSR. More than 16,000 Census 2000 files have been received containing data from releases SF1 and SF2. The files are structured differently than in previous Census releases. The files are limited to no more than 255 data variables per file so that they can be easily used in spreadsheet programs. However, this has caused the number of files produced to increase dramatically.

Austin also discussed the currently available information about grant proposals that had been submitted to NSF and NIH in support of Census 2000 data availability at ICPSR. NSF has awarded funding, and the NIH proposal received a priority score within the fundable range. If full funding of these proposals occurs, ICPSR will restructure the Census data and develop data finding and extraction tools. Part of the funding to ICPSR would support DDI markup of the Census data. Steve Ruggles indicated that his research group would be working on an extraction tool that ICPSR could use. In addition to the data files, Austin reported that the Census data collections would also include the technical documentation, and SAS, SPSS, and Stata data definition statements.

Austin continued his report by noting that a Census 2000 summer program workshop in 2001 had attracted 35 people. Another workshop is being planned this summer for 20 people. He responded to a question about subsequent Census data releases by noting that SF3 data might be available in June. He also indicated in response to another question that if full funding is made available on the Census grants, a number of staff would be added for about three years. Some current staff would also be assigned to Census data processing, so that a total of about 7-8 data processing staff would be working on Census data products from ICPSR, including some specialized products that are now in the planning stages.

In planning to begin the DDI markup of current Census 2000 data, Ruggles suggested that it would be useful to have ICPSR staff communicate with his staff on the National Historical Geographic Information Systems project who were developing some specialized software to do DDI markup on historical census data. That suggestion became an action item: Mary Vardigan will communicate with Wendy Thomas at the University of Minnesota to utilize the software being developed.

In response to remaining questions about the Census data at ICPSR, a brief discussion occurred about the American Community Survey (ACS). The American Community Survey is being developed by the Census Bureau as a continuous annual measurement alternative to the Census long-form data collection. Results from three percent samples collected annually over five years will be pooled into a 15 percent sample equivalent to the long-form 15 percent sample once every 10 years. Although the ACS is not due in the field until 2004, ICPSR should start planning how to process and release these data. In addition to the three percent sample of area data, there would be a one percent microdata sample produced by the Census Bureau. Austin indicated that the Census Bureau is very interested in having researchers use the ACS and is therefore interested in supporting workshops on how to use the ACS.

Proposals Submitted

Staff reviewed the current status of several of the seven proposals submitted. The 2002 BJS renewal proposal has been modified and currently is requesting a total of $806,569 for the 12-month period: April 1, 2002 - March 31, 2003. The collaborative DDI proposal with the Roper Center will receive one year of continuing support from NSF, with ICPSR's share totaling $31,066. In view of the reluctance of funding agencies to provide sustained support for DDI development, future proposals including DDI development would focus on broadening the use of ICPSR data through capacities like quick reports, variable searching, easier subsetting, and instructional packages. It was requested that the title of the proposal to NIH from the University of Minnesota and ICPSR be corrected to Integrated Public Use Microdata Redesign.

Deposit of Data Definition Statements

The committee wanted to know what the results were of ICPSR's request to Official Representatives for the submission of data definition statements for ICPSR data collections that had been prepared by the user community. No formal tracking of this request had been undertaken and very few data definition statements had been acquired. Ilona Einowski volunteered to talk to Peter Granda about encouraging and rewarding receipt of any data definition statements. Suggestions were made to create incentives or rewards for those researchers who submitted data definition statements to ICPSR and for ICPSR to become more aggressive in seeking data definition statements.

Creation of the Controlled Vocabulary for Metadata Searches

ICPSR's recent creation and release of a social science thesaurus has proved to be very popular. Questions have been received about how the entire thesaurus can be downloaded. The Committee recommended that the thesaurus be made available for download from the ICPSR website.

Retrofit Scanning Progress Report and EDC Manager Hired

Cynthia Hoxey was introduced as the newly hired Manager of the Electronic Documentation Conversion unit, filling the position vacated by Zack Allen's retirement. She was asked to present a short report from her perspective on the retrofit production of PDF codebooks.

Hoxey reported that 72 percent (320,000 of 441,800 pages) of paper-only documentation have been scanned, leaving 28 percent to be completed. The remaining materials are from studies that are probably older and not as heavily used. Hoxey summarized the report that appeared in the Council materials and indicated that the project would probably be finished on time and within its budgetary limits. Council members recommended maintaining some of the remaining project funds as a contingency fund in case some unusual or difficult conversion tasks arose. They also noted that the completion of the project would represent a significant accomplishment for ICPSR and should receive special recognition. One manner of recognition would be to frame and commemorate the "first" paper codebook of an ICPSR data set. Council recommended that staff locate a copy of the first paper codebook and prepare an exhibit that would document the conversion of paper documentation to electronic documentation. Council also requested that staff who helped convert reams of paper documentation into electronic format be formally recognized as those who helped provide ICPSR members with upgraded resources.

Update on IRBs and ICPSR Confidentiality Procedures

ICPSR has received inquiries from users and University officials about the exempt status of ICPSR publicly available data collections from institutional human subjects review. The ICPSR Web development unit has created a number of pages pertaining to confidentiality protection and human subjects review issues. Council members recommended that ICPSR pull all this information together and publicize its availability more intensively. ICPSR staff are planning to do a mailing to IRB chairs and coordinators to publicize the information that ICPSR provides to data users about confidentiality protection and disclosure issues.

Search capability of the revised ICPSR website itself is not currently available, but will be added to the site in the near future.

Demographic Data Cooperative

Ruggles gave a report about the proposed Demographic Data Cooperative (formerly known as the Data Access Collaborative Core). This project is a collaborative effort between the University of Michigan and University of Minnesota Population Studies Centers to build a network of data available at all the population research centers. Some of the data is privately held by individual populations study centers but much of it is already in the ICPSR holdings. The longer-term objective is to have the Demographic Data Collaborative become a new topical archive in ICPSR with additional NIH external funding.

Budget Committee

Council: Jim Sweet (Chair), Frank Gilliam, Ann Green, John Handy

Staff: Myron Gutmann, Stacey Kubitz

Staff indicated that they anticipate ending fiscal year 2002 favorably as expected. The total cost estimates for the Perry building will be presented at the June meeting (furniture, printers, etc.). Budgets will be added for the following two activities: approximately $10,000 will be added to the fiscal year 2003 budget for the Ad-hoc Membership committee meetings, and approximately $5,000-10,000 will be added to the fiscal year 2003 budget for a committee whose charge is to increase underrepresented college participation in the Summer Program.

The committee also discussed long-term server architecture. The current Computing and Network Services fiscal year 2003 budget needs to be augmented in order to keep up with changes in desktop technology. Council formally requested that Myron Gutmann produce a 5-year IT plan, for which Council approved a budget of $15,000 for consulting.

Quantitative Research and Training Committee

Council: Scott Long (Chair), Margo Anderson, Elisabeth Gerber, John Handy, John Korey

Staff: Dieter Burrell, Hank Heitowit, Ed Czilli (present during part of the meeting)

IMIS Activities

John Korey described the background and history of Instructional Materials and Information Subcommittee/Site for Instructional Materials and Information (IMIS/SIMI). He also described its current and proposed content, with references to the Teaching Resources Depository website.

Committee members discussed the focus of IMIS and whether it should aim at material for undergraduates vs. masters level vs. PhD level students, or some combination. Members discussed the characteristics of the IMIS standing committee. Margo Anderson described the nature of Council committees as per the ICPSR Bylaws.

The Committee recommended to Council that IMIS be constituted as an Ad Hoc Council committee for this year, something that can be done by the Council Chair.

Summer Program Activities

Hank Heitowit reviewed the 2001 Summer Program including a report of the October 2001 Summer Program Advisory Committee meeting. Committee members discussed Summer Program off-site activities including issues of quality control, cost, and ICPSR name recognition. The Committee requested that Heitowit and Dieter Burrell prepare preliminary information on costs and other pertinent issues for the June Council meeting.

Committee members discussed the notion of "clustering/marketing" Summer Program courses, and other funding issues including financial aid, scholarships, and possible foundation funding. Discussion also included the impact of the retirement of the Summer Program's Program Assistant and the restructuring of staff activities for this summer.

John Handy led a discussion on minority outreach issues for the Summer Program. Committee members discussed the issue of attendance at the Summer Program by underrepresented minorities, how to recruit more graduate students and retooling minority faculty, and the possible benefits of establishing a program to bring high quality minority juniors to the Summer Program.

The Committee recommended to Council that an Ad Hoc Committee be established to study the issue of Underrepresented Groups in Quantitative Social Sciences; that Handy chair the Ad Hoc Committee; that a line in the budget be established to support the Ad Hoc Committee's work; and that the Ad Hoc Committee be charged with establishing a working plan on how to encourage individuals from underrepresented groups to develop training in quantitative social science methods and on how to find funding for such activities (i.e. Mellon/NSF).

Scott Long led a discussion on broadening the types of courses offered by the Summer Program. Committee members discussed other types of courses that the Summer Program could offer including short courses on complex datasets, how to archive social science data, standards and procedures issues, preservation, etc. This topic marked the way for a discussion of possibly establishing non-summer training opportunities in data management and preservation. The possibility of using space at the Perry Building for special course offerings led Council to request additional tours of the Perry and Helen Newberry buildings at the June meeting, if time permits.

Information Technology Committee

Council: Bo Wandschneider (Chair), Ilona Einowski, Mark Hayward, Steve Ruggles

Visitor: Nanna Floor Clausen

Staff: Rita Bantom, Steve Burling, John Gray, Sheila Grindatti, Peter Joftis, Janet Vavra

ICPSR Direct Progress and Impact

The original Council materials for this meeting included a list of the institutions participating in ICPSR Direct through February 22, 2002. That document indicated 175 members participating; there now are almost 180. Staff also passed out several additional reports showing an increase in downloading volume at institutions with ICPSR Direct. One table compared the download activity of current ICPSR Direct institutions in FY02 from the July 1 through February period, when they were not ICPSR Direct members, with the same period in FY03 when they were members. Council thought it would be good if this information were made available to everyone at the next meeting rather than just to this committee. Staff will include it in the full Council materials in June.

Council asked what efforts were being made to increase ICPSR Direct registration. Staff noted that attempts have been made to contact all members not participating in ICPSR Direct either by e-mail or by phone. Not all attempts at contact have been successful. A number of ORs responded that they intended to sign up but just hadn't gotten around to doing it. Some cited reluctance of technical staff on their campuses to provide IP addresses to someone outside their campuses. There was an increase in institutions that signed up after the contact, but new additions have slowed down to 2-3 per week. Staff will continue to stay in contact with those who have not yet signed up.

Council asked staff to continue urging members to join ICPSR Direct. The goal is to have all member institutions participate in ICPSR Direct. Staff noted that some ideas that have been discussed include advertisements in professional journals and publications, and greater visibility at professional meetings to get faculty, staff, and students to urge ORs to sign up.

Preservation and Migration Activities

Staff reported that a grant seeking outside funding for preservation-related activities was recently submitted to the Institute for Museum and Library Services. An abstract of the proposal was included in the Council packet. Awards will be announced in late September 2002.

Staff continues with plans to migrate data from the archival 3480 cartridge tapes in fiscal year 2003. There are approximately 3,500 cartridges that will need to be processed. Staff will keep Council advised as this project progresses. The goal is to have this work completed by the end of FY03.

Paper Documentation Scanning Backlog

As reported earlier in the Council meeting, the retrofit scanning of hard copy documentation has been progressing at a steady pace. Since July 2001, nearly 900 documents have been scanned. It is anticipated that retrofit scanning will be completed this summer.

External Initiatives

Staff reported on the visit to Harvard regarding the VDC project. The committee found that a significant amount of money is still available at Harvard to work on this project. ICPSR will provide a staff person to convert metadata to the DDI format needed for the testbed environment. ICPSR anticipates remaining involved with the project as it moves along.

Staff presented a report on the I2T San Diego supercomputer project. ICPSR is to provide help to the group as they are developing tools and technology that will be used as a testbed for information integration. ICPSR wants to stay involved with this effort as they are looking at projects that include preservation, confidentiality, etc.

A proposal has been submitted by NORC at the University of Chicago to NSF to fund the General Social Survey Data and Information Retrieval System II. This is a continuation of the GSS site that ICPSR has been supporting, with an improvement in the retrieval system and an update with data through the most recent General Social Survey. ICPSR will provide assistance with DDI markup, assist NORC with the design of a user interface and website, program as needed to run the system at ICPSR, install the system on the ICPSR server, and provide user support.

There are two collaborations underway with the University of Minnesota--National Historical Geographic Information System (NHGIS) and IPUMS. In the NHGIS project, an aggregate data extraction tool is being developed. The first (beta test) version should be ready this spring (either May or June). The beta test version will initially run on 1990 data, but will eventually do all summary files. It should be finished in a year. The IPUMS project will be running DDI off of the IPUMS extraction. This involves collaboration with ICPSR in which there will be data for ICPSR to archive. This will include version control solutions to the IPUMS project data. A third project at Minnesota is the Demographic Data Cooperative. This involves a Union catalog of holdings of all Population Studies Centers in the country--this project is nearly done.

In response to Council's request for a report in March on the Instructional Tool Development effort discussed at the October 2001 meeting, staff indicated there was nothing additional to report at this time.

Staff introduced a Geospatial Repository for Analysis and Safety Planning project that has been proposed by the National Institute of Justice. This project focuses on developing a database for use by police departments as they respond to calls. Data generated from this effort would eventually be archived at ICPSR.

Tracking Database Report

Staff reported that the tracking database development is currently underway with much of the work still in the talking phase. A report was circulated which outlined the team's efforts to date as well as a diagram outlining the flow of the database. The team has a preliminary model for the database and they are confident that everything can be done in this model: Oracle in the background and web browser in the foreground. There will be something for staff to use in 12 months. Staff noted that while there has been interest at ICPSR in a tracking database for some time, this is the first time that the project has had such enthusiastic high-level support. Council asked that future reports on this activity be circulated earlier for all Council members to see rather than just for the committee members.

Other Items

Staff reported that an administrative database combining financial and personnel information at ICPSR is in the talking phase.

In response to an inquiry from Council, staff noted that ICPSR rolls over or evaluates staff computers every three years, replacing machines as various staff members need them. This evaluation takes place each year after the Summer Program is completed, when there are new machines available. Staff will shortly be reviewing printers and servers also. Council suggested that staff consider separate servers for various functions.

The issue of offsite computing for staff arose. Presently, there is limited support for such work.

There was a discussion of issues related to the Perry Building move. All wiring should be in place when we move in. The main cost to us will be that of the move. Council suggested that staff think about how to prepare for a total loss of power. One way is two identical servers; one could also be used for developmental work thereby not interfering with the rest of the staff while such work goes on.

Staff promised that a five-year technology plan would be available for Council review at the October meeting.

Open Session

Ann Green introduced a discussion on procedures for committee appointments. She asked whether appointments are made by Council vote or by direct appointment by Chair. Staff clarified that Standing Committees are established by Council vote and Ad Hoc Committees are established by Chair appointments.

Council approved the creation of an Ad Hoc Committee on Instructional Materials. John Korey and Scott Long will lead this initiative and Myron Gutmann will appoint staff members from ICPSR as needed. In response to this discussion, Korey asked for general ideas and suggestions for members of the committee. An Ad Hoc Committee was also created to install an Initiative to Recruit and Support Underserved Members. John Handy will chair this committee and recruit members to it as needed. Both Committees are budgeted at approximately $5,000 to $10,000 for their respective tasks from ICPSR funds.

The session was then opened to general comments. Gutmann asked about future Council dates. The following dates were confirmed for 2002: June 20-21 and October 17-18. Bree Scesny will contact Council before the June meeting to solicit preferences for potential 2003 dates.

The session then adjourned and Council held the closed Executive Session.

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