ICPSR Council Minutes
June 20-21, 2002
Council members present: Margo Anderson (Past Chair), Sandy Darity, Ilona Einowski, Elisabeth Gerber, Ann Green (Chair), John Handy, John Korey, Scott Long, Jim Sweet, Bo Wandschneider
ICPSR staff present: Erik Austin, Rita Bantom, Steve Burling, Dieter Burrell, Chris Dunn, Peter Granda, Sheila Grindatti, Myron Gutmann (Director), Hank Heitowit, Laurie Howland, Cynthia Hoxey, Michelle Humphres, Stacey Kubitz, Jim McNally, Mary Morris, JoAnne McFarland O'Rourke, Bree Scesny, Mary Vardigan, Janet Vavra
Visitors: Kevin Schurer, UK Data Archive; Sami Borg, Finnish Social Data Archive; David Featherman, ISR Director; Patrick Shields, ISR Staff
Presentation by Patrick Shields
Two years ago, Council approved Patrick Shields' request to establish the Warren Miller Fund to raise money for a young scholar to attend the ICPSR Summer Program. Since then, a committee chaired by Merrill Shanks and David Leege has put together a database of about 300 people and set a goal of $100,000. Shields reported that they have currently raised about $58,000 and proposed several ways to raise the remaining funds:
Shanks and Leege will personally contact five potential sponsors.
Shields would like to create a database of past Summer Program alumni and create a mailing list to send them ICPSR newsletters and updates, as well as solicitations for funds.
Shields would also like to mention the fundraiser in the ISR newsletter.
Shields clarified that the alumni mailing list would also be used for other fundraising efforts. Council approved the creation of the alumni database, and suggested targeting alumni from further in the Summer Program's past rather than more recent attendees to avoid soliciting those who have not yet established their academic careers. This led to another suggestion to solicit past ORs for funds as well. Council pointed out that it is important to clarify for ORs that these funds will not come from membership money, but from external sources. Council also expressed concern about representing ICPSR as the University of Michigan, rather that a consortium of members that is hosted by U-M. Shields explained that the promotional materials do not associate the Consortium with U-M, and that he will continue to use caution when wording fundraising documents.
The Miller Fund is part of a $2 billion university campaign. ISR has been working on institute-wide interests and well as individual centers' interests for about 18 months. So far, he and Myron Gutmann have come up with the following objectives for ICPSR:
Reach the $100,000 goal for the Miller Fund.
Establish funds to support international students.
Provide funds to graduate students to come to Ann Arbor to use ICPSR datasets.
Continue to provide funds for the OR sabbatical at ICPSR.
Raise funds for the Perry Building infrastructure.
Recruit minorities for junior and tenured faculty positions.
Gutmann observed that based on these initiatives, it becomes apparent that ICPSR raises endowments for people (ie., students, visiting ORs) rather that infrastructure, archival operations, or preservation activities. Shields will prepare a report on the progress of the initiatives for the October Council meeting.
Staff asked whether a fundraising effort would be coordinated with the upcoming ICPSR 40th anniversary and the move to the Perry Building. Shields reported that plans for such an event are underway, and that it would be a good place to gather alumni. He will continue to work on the details, and will keep staff updated on the planning process.
Myron Gutmann gave a PowerPoint presentation outlining ICPSR's recent accomplishments in several key areas. First, he reported that Summer Program registrations are 100 over last year's numbers, and that new courses are well enrolled. The offsite course program is on track, with five scheduled this year.
Gutmann also indicated that the following grants have been accepted:
- National Archive of Criminal Justice Data project renewal
- NSF Biocomplexity grant
- Child Care Archive planning grant
- Sun Microsystems grant
The following grants are still pending:
- National Treatment Outcomes Monitoring System with Westat
- IPUMS redesign with the University of Minnesota
- Clean Process Data Methods through NIA
- GSS-DIRS II through NSF-NORC
- Grammars of Death with University of Massachusetts, Amherst
- Immigrant Elders through NIA
ICPSR currently has 112 employees. The CNS Director position has been posted and advertised in the Detroit News, the Ann Arbor News, the New York Times, and the Chronicle of Higher Education. A position for a Director of Acquisition Activities has also been posted.
The original remodeling of the Perry Building is behind schedule but almost complete. The furnishing plan is also nearly complete, and should be ready for bid by July 15. A customization project will follow, with a projected move in date late this fall.
Regarding web-related activities, Gutmann reported that there are currently 210 members of ICPSR Direct. The ICPSR bibliography, with over 22,000 citations, went live on June 20, and a redesign of the website will be released in February 2003. The retrofit codebook project is 84% complete (there are 420,000 pages done out of 500,000). The project is on track for completion in late August. An IRB web page was recently added to the ICPSR site, and a letter announcing it went out to IRB chairs and coordinators around the country. There has been no reaction from IRBs so far, although some ORs have voiced the opinion that they would have preferred notification beyond the e-mail to the or-announce list. Gutmann asked Council to think about how ICPSR could better communicate with ORs in a time when ICPSR rarely sends out physical notices. He'd like to have a further discussion of this issue at the October Council meeting.
The Census 2000 Advisory Committee met in April and reported that SF2 has been released, and SF3 will be released soon. Nearly 300,000 files have been downloaded by ICPSR this year. There is a Census workshop scheduled for the week of June 24 with two former U.S. Census Bureau Directors, Barbara Bryant and Kenneth Prewitt.
Gutmann also reported on the recent projects of visiting ORs, Michal Peleg and Jim Oberly. Gutmann called the project a great success, indicating that it established a valuable precedent for future OR visits.
Myron Gutmann focused this session on ICPSR initiatives for 2002-2003. His objective was to get all of the initiatives on the table as a coherent whole and to hear from Council about priorities.
In Gutmann's view, ICPSR previously spent a great deal of time handling data on physical media, but in the current technological environment that is no longer the case. ICPSR is now able to focus on and develop intellectual ideas, while still pursuing its core mission. We are freed up to develop new content, take leadership, and set standards in new areas. We have opportunities for more direct contact with policy-makers and instructors, in addition to researchers.
Gutmann described five primary initiatives that he believes are important to ICPSR's continuing growth and evolution.
ICPSR is advertising a position for an "Acquisitions Officer" to assist the Archival Development staff in devising strategies to build the collection in specific ways. This person will identify projects currently being funded and endeavor to bring the data into the ICPSR collection. Additional tasks will include revisiting the collection development policy and deciding whether ICPSR should declare that certain kinds of data are the responsibility of other archival organizations and that we don't need to archive them. Such a division of labor may make sense, but it's also possible that it is not in ICPSR's best interest to narrow the scope of the collection in this manner.
We also need to think about what is appropriate in terms of creating additional topical archives. There will most likely be a Request for Proposals coming from the Child Care Bureau for the archiving activities associated with the Child Care Research Collaborative and Archive (CCRCA); similarly there may be an RFA for a demographic data archive coming out next year from NICHD. A Welfare archive and an Environment and Social Change archive are also possibilities in the near-term future. Many of these initiatives provide opportunities to reach out to policy-makers on issues of significance. But ICPSR needs to think about the ways in which topical archives change the shape of the organization. Are these the areas we want to concentrate on? If not, what topical archives should we look for? Finally, Council members urged staff to develop a policy for creating new topical archives that could be used to guide development of such archives in ways most beneficial to ICPSR and its members.
ICPSR is developing a proposal for an "Instructional Toolkit" and will be starting to seek funding this summer and fall. The toolkit will combine ICPSR datasets with the functionality of SDA (Survey Documentation and Analysis), the data analysis packaged developed at the University of California, Berkeley. This is a new way of serving members in an important area that we haven't devoted enough attention to in the past. Producing the toolkit will permit us to enhance SDA in terms of "quick tables" (crosstabs) and graphical output.
We must develop a plan for using additional space at Perry for training purposes. Also, the newly created Quantitative Methods for Underrepresented Groups ad hoc committee has been charged to investigate the kinds of funding and special programs ICPSR might develop to serve underrepresented minority groups. As another Summer Program initiative, we are interested in creating a course on preparing NIH grant applications, to be funded by NICHD.
On the research front, the SAMHDA archive will be entering into a collaborative disclosure analysis project with the Survey Research Center at ISR. Gutmann has two other research programs in place: Population and Environment Research, and Historical Demography and Health Research. James Lee from Cal Tech, the world's leading historical demographer of China, will be visiting U-M for 2002-2003, possibly working in ICPSR.
During discussion of the initiatives outlined above, questions were raised about the relationship between the Instructional Toolkit and the Site for Instructional Materials and Information (SIMI) project. The relationship is a close one. SIMI can provide core support and advice for the toolkit because this committee has the needed expertise. The toolkit is a departure for ICPSR in the sense that its primary intellectual input will come from outside. The effort will probably be staffed by data preparation experts from ICPSR, a textbook editor or writer, and a testing/assessment expert. It was also pointed out that a fruitful discussion might take place with other U-M units on the topic of instructional materials. Many have observed that there is a disconnect between the rich information at ISR and elsewhere on campus and the existing instructional resources. ICPSR and some of these other units may find common cause.
Another issue raised with respect to the toolkit was whether the substantive curriculum component of the toolkit could be separated from the data analysis function. It was pointed out that either component used in isolation is less effective. Staff was also advised to explore the instructional products focused on the UK Census developed by the UK Data Archive in collaboration with other centers in the UK.
With respect to creating new topical archives, a concern was voiced that we don't just accept the ones that come our way and let the market structure our activities. Taking a purely reactive stance may not be the best approach. The topical archives do offer some clear benefits to users: they provide resources for more development and enhancement and make it easier for users to find and use data. The risk is that the mechanism of topical archives is shaping what we archive. It was also pointed out that innovative social science methodologies have made their way into many of the government agencies that are funding topical archives.
Gutmann continued with his report and raised the issue of whether ICPSR should have a scientific research staff. This grew out of posting the position for the new Acquisitions Officer. The position was posted as a research investigator, although it might be better staffed at the assistant research scientist level. Both positions require a Ph.D.
PI status for these positions is automatic and there are more flexible salary ranges. This makes it possible to attract better Ph.D.-holding candidates, and it improves our position relative to ISR. Research scientists are also more effective in dealing with the external investigators from whom we need to obtain data.
Currently, we have no research scientists but instead have professional and administrative (P&A) managers with the title of archivist. In the future, under the new staffing structure that Gutmann envisions, there will be three types of senior staff leaders at ICPSR: research scientists, technical specialists (finance, HR, computing), and professional archivists/managers with social science training.
Having these research positions raises issues of tenure/bridging, special duty assignment (SDA), and governance. How do we invest in the career development of our staff and how do we pay for it? How do we deal with equity issues for people with equivalent responsibilities but who are not eligible for SDA? We currently have a generous tuition policy, but are there other effective ways to build careers of the staff? It was also pointed out that faculty-level positions expect to have a voice in governance. How would we accomplish that when our MOA says that Council has governance rights?
In terms of equity, we need a clear set of policies. We will conduct a series of equity reviews for P&A titles over the next year and set in motion position reclassifications over the next year or two. We also need to have a succession plan in place.
Council needs to think about the costs and benefits of having a research staff at ICPSR, the budgetary implications, and different governance models. Use of indirect costs for research staff is also an issue.
The downsides of this arrangement are that we haven't done it this way in the past, yet have been successful nevertheless. There is also the potential for new research staff to be disappointed if their positions do not fit their expectations in terms of time available for research and the level of production activities involved. We need to think about status issues throughout the organization as well. Council may want to ask for a financial report on this.
Demonstration of Bibliography of Data-related Literature
This plenary session opened with a demonstration of ICPSR's new bibliography of data-related literature, which had gone "live" just that morning. Containing more than 21,000 citations to research reports, articles, and books, this facility permits social scientists to learn about published and unpublished research findings emanating from use of ICPSR data. Gutmann demonstrated this facility's search capability, and its forward and backward links to specific datasets in the archival holdings. Council offered three suggestions for further development of the bibliography facility. These included a prominent and easy-to-use way for authors to contribute citations to their own research publications; the need for widespread publicity of the facility, including in professional journals and newsletters; and the development of a document describing the methodology for assembling the bibliography, as well mechanisms to be used for announcing periodic updates for the facility.
Planning and Policy Committee
Council: Ann Green (Chair), Jim Sweet, Sandy Darity, Mark Hayward
Staff: Myron Gutmann, Rita Bantom
Myron Gutmann reported to the committee about discussions with Associate Provost James Hilton and Assistant General Counsel Jonathan Alger regarding ownership and control of intellectual property produced by ICPSR. The University believes it owns all intellectual property produced by its employees (which include ICPSR staff), but has a general approach that encourages the dissemination of knowledge and the delegation of authority to college-level units (such as ISR). The University agreed to try to formulate some simple language that might be used to modify the Memorandum of Agreement. Myron Gutmann will continue discussions with the General Counsel and Provost, draft a document that confirms the importance of free distribution of information, balancing the University's rights and ICPSR's rights.
Staff confirmed the conclusion of earlier discussions about relations with CESSDA. Kevin Schürer will be the first person to hold a two-year term as CESSDA observer. Sami Borg, representing Finland, is the observer this meeting. The staff will establish a schedule for future meetings.
Staff recommended that a taskforce be formed beginning in Fall 2002 to investigate the utilization of approximately 4000 square feet of currently unallocated space in the Perry Building. The committee agreed that the Summer Program might be a good way to make use of this space. ISR has agreed to allow us a 6-month window after ICPSR occupies the building before a decision must be made.
Myron Gutmann will appoint a taskforce prior to the October Council Meeting that will make recommendations for the use of the remaining Perry Space. The Council will be represented by Jim Sweet.
During this spring and summer, two Official Representatives spent part of their sabaticals at ICPSR. They are Michal Peleg, from Israel, who visited for 10 weeks, and Jim Oberly, from Wisconsin, spent four weeks at ICPSR. The ORs will write an article for the OR Bulletin and conduct a presentation for an all staff meeting. This has been a very positive experience for both the staff and ORs and staff would like to continue to offer this program in the future, if funds are available. The cost was approximately $17,000.
Proposed action item: Staff will evaluate the financial situation as of the October Council Meeting and recommend the potential for a visiting OR in the summer of 2003.
Staff discussed a proposal to hire an Acquisition Officer, primarily responsible for initiating work to build the collections. It is likely that this position will be filled by the fall. Among other activities, this person will have responsibility for initiating new topical archives, for locating data that should be part of the collection but is not, and for chairing an acquisitions committee.
Major Initiatives for Summer and Fall 2002
Instructional Activities - The committee discussed an initiative to enhance the instructional services ICPSR provides to members and others. At the time of the meeting staff were considering a number of possibilities that would provide teaching materials and on-line data access for a series of data sets, probably beginning with the Alice Hanson Jones study. This project has been led by visiting OR Jim Oberly, Mary Vardigan, and Myron Gutmann. As part of this project it is likely that ICPSR will encourage SDA to enhance their graphical interface. The committee discussed the advisability of any financial commitments required by SDA for this work, deciding to leave the decision to staff.
Summer Program - The major initiatives related to the summer program are the committee organized by John Handy to consider enhanced services to under-represented groups, and a project led by Myron Gutmann to secure funding from NIH for a class on writing grant applications. Negotiations for both activities will continue over the summer and speed up in the fall.
Disclosure Project - Myron Gutmann, JoAnne McFarland O'Rourke, and Jim McNally have been involved in a joint project between ICPSR and the Survey Research Center on disclosure risk in collecting and archiving data. The other participants include Robert Groves, Eleanor Singer, Rod Little, and Trivellore Raghunathan. The goal is to plan a research program about the measurement and limitation of disclosure risk, and to devise means to disseminate the knowledge gained throughout the research community. By the end of the summer the group will produce a pre-proposal for discussion with program officers at NIH. If the program officers are encouraging, staff envisions an application for October 1 or February 1.
Employment of Research Scientists at ICPSR - The Director requested approval from the Council for the employment of Research Scientists at ICPSR. The discussion in the committee meeting followed an earlier discussion among the entire Council and senior staff, and emphasized the possible commitments required of ICPSR should research scientists be employed. The Chair requested that this discussion be continued by the Council in executive session.
Refining the Policy for Indirect Cost Return for Research Projects - The committee discussed the policy for returning indirect costs for research projects to their principal investigators. The current policy was adopted in 2000 as part of the process of recruiting a new director, and staff recommended that it be further refined. The recommendation for a new policy is as follows:
"ICPSR project directors will be given the use of a portion of the net indirect cost recovery for new, externally funded, research grants that are specific to that investigator's personal research agenda. This does not apply to general ICPSR research grants. The formula for creating the research fund is as follows: The research fund will be equal to 50% of the indirect costs returned, less the amount set aside for Special Duty Assignment and writing time (in total generally one-sixth of the cost of time devoted to the project by persons holding Research Scientist and Archivist titles). In the case that there are multiple investigators involved in the project, the distribution of the research fund between investigators will be established by the researchers and the ICPSR Director prior to the beginning of the project. A portion of the research fund (5% of indirect costs) will be sequestered until the end of the project to provide a reserve for cost overruns."
The Chair recommended that this issue be considered by the Council in Executive Session.
Archival Development Committee
Council: Scott Long (Acting Chair), Ilona Einowski
Staff: Erik Austin, Chris Dunn, Peter Granda, JoAnne McFarland O'Rourke, Jim McNally, Mary Vardigan
Visitor: Sami Borg
Census 2000 Activities (including Coordination with NHGIS on Markup)
Staff reviewed all ongoing projects involving Census 2000 at ICPSR. These include the continued acquisition and distribution of data and documentation files, the creation of data definition statements in SAS, SPSS, and Stata, a report on a meeting of the ICPSR Census Advisory Committee in April, and an upcoming workshop on using Census data scheduled for the week of June 24-28. Wendy Thomas from the Minnesota Population Center also visited ICPSR in May to discuss DDI markup issues for the Census 2000 Summary Files. Markup work has begun with the documentation for Summary File 1.
Staff produced a flyer on ICPSR activities for Census 2000, which was distributed at the Population Association of America meeting in May and continues to add additional information to the Census website at ICPSR. As the flyer makes clear, all data and documentation products for Census 2000 are now available free to the public. Council members contrasted this development with the fact that all products from prior censuses are available freely only to member institutions. Further discussion on this topic will be necessary, particularly in view of the future release of aggregate data from earlier census years through the National Geographic Information System (NHGIS) project at the University of Minnesota.
In April, ICPSR mailed a letter to IRB chairs at all member institutions informing them of statements on safeguarding respondent confidentiality and related information available on its website on this topic. Council members reported that some Official Representatives felt that they were not fully informed on this issue since a copy of the letter was not sent to them. Some had the impression that a packet of information was mailed to their schools and not a single letter. Some Official Representatives reported that the subject of IRB involvement with public use data has become a more important topic on their campuses, which also contributed to the uncertainty about the purpose of the original letter. Council indicated that Official Representatives should see a copy of the letter and know to whom it was sent. The committee recommended to the full Council that staff ask ORs through OR-announce if they want a copy of the letter and send it to any Representative who requested it. The Council approved this recommendation.
Staff reported that an XML version of the thesaurus as well as the DTD and stylesheet for display is now available for downloading. Council members and our European representative, Sami Borg of the Finnish Social Science Data Archive, stressed the importance of the thesaurus for the development of the new integrated data catalog being developed by the Council of European Social Science Data Archives.
It is now possible to search ICPSR's Web pages through specifying either a "word" or "phrase". The site currently uses InktomiSearch, which staff still feels is the best alternative at this point for our website.
Cynthia Hoxey reported that the retrofit scanning project continues to be on schedule for completion in August; it is also anticipated that conversion of documentation currently only available on microfiche will also be completed on the same schedule.
Staff have placed a link on the Official Representative site to encourage the deposit of data definition statements that have been produced by the OR community or their users. Council suggested that it is still not yet clear to ORs that ICPSR wants such files or how best to deposit them if they wish. Prospective depositors should also be told that ICPSR staff will check the statements to make certain that they run correctly with the software. The committee recommended that staff develop new procedures to facilitate deposit of these files and publicize them broadly to the OR community.
Developed with support from the National Science Foundation, the bibliography of data-related literature contains over 20,000 citations of known published and unpublished works resulting from analyses of data held in the ICPSR archive. The bibliography is now completely integrated with the online data catalog and has already proven to be a beneficial enhancement to topical archives and an important addition to current and future grant proposals. The Committee suggested that staff publicize the availability of the bibliography widely to the membership and to the entire social science research community.
A proposal will soon be sent to the Child Care Research Collaborative and Archive to fund the planning phase of the development of a Child Care Topical Archive. The planning phase will extend to March 2003, when a more extensive proposal will be submitted in response to an expected RFP for the creation of an operational archive of datasets related to child care issues. The committee supported the submission of the proposal but also remarked that this initiative has general implications for data acquisition and archiving policies as well as for the expansion of topical archives. When not approached directly, how does ICPSR determine which substantive areas from which to seek to archive data? The committee suggested that staff contact researchers who know about possible areas of new data acquisitions and get recommendations about important collections to archive. New collections in a particular field do not necessarily have to lead to the establishment of a new topical archive. Two examples for potential new areas to archive data were offered: (1) the environment, with Scott Long suggesting that he would contact the Center for the Study of Institutions, Population, and Environmental Change (CIPEC) at Indiana University for possible new acquisitions; and (2) social policy, with Ilona Einowski making reference to data collections on the welfare system in California.
ICPSR, through its topical archive, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Data Archive (SAMHDA), has proposed a joint project with the Survey Research Center to perform data acquisition and analysis tasks for SAMHSA's Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. The ICPSR/SRC team has already passed the first review and created a set of PowerPoint slides which they will present to SAMHSA on July 17 documenting what the team would do during the period when task orders are issued beginning at the end of this year.
SAMHDA is also proposing a contract with Westat, Inc. to prepare data files from the National Treatment Outcomes Monitoring System (NTOMS) for public release. The work will include a disclosure analysis for the files, as well as processing, archiving, and distribution. A joint proposal has already been submitted to SAMHSA for this project, which, if funded, will commence on October 1, 2002.
The committee discussed recent inquiries appearing on the IASSIST list server concerning the difficulties researchers have experienced in getting access to Latinobarometro data collections (costs are extremely high and newer surveys are still under embargo). The committee recommended that a joint effort be made to contact the public funders of these surveys, e.g., the Inter-American Development Bank and European Commission to encourage the data producers to provide more reasonable access to these collections. Staff will work in conjunction with archives in Europe to contact the funders.
ICPSR has provided additional financial support to the Survey Methods Program at UC-Berkeley to develop additional features for its Survey Documentation and Analysis software. Among the new features under development are the ability to generate "quick tables" (simple analytic output on pre-selected topics) and graphs to display results. The committee supported increased involvement with SDA at the same time that ICPSR continues to pursue discussions regarding future collaborations with such tools as the Virtual Data Archive at Harvard and NESSTAR.
The committee considered two requests for use of ICPSR data:
Use of data from the National Election Study and General Social Survey: Philip Pollock, a professor of Political Science at the University of Central Florida wants to use a limited number of cases and variables from the 2000 NES and 1998 GSS in a data analysis workbook designed to instruct upper division political science majors in the use of SPSS. The committee approved this request and asked staff to inform Professor Pollock of their decision.
Use of ICPSR Study Number 3 (Historical, Demographic, Economic, and Social Data: The United States, 1790-1970) by GeoLytics, Inc. in a commercial product involving historical census data. The committee felt that this request required a policy decision by the full Council because the request came from a for-profit organization and did not appear to have a clear, overall benefit to the membership of ICPSR. The committee recommended that Council and staff develop a set of guidelines that would directly address the issue of selling ICPSR data for commercial use. Council requested Myron Gutmann to inform GeoLytics that their request would not be accepted at this time. Ilona Einowski will work with staff on the development of policy guidelines on this topic.
Council asked staff to consider the following questions when determining these guidelines:
- Is the product of general benefit to the research community?
- Does the product offer a functionality not available from ICPSR?
- Will the product provide a clear benefit to the ICPSR membership?
- Will the license agreement be acceptable to the ICPSR membership?
- Will the proposed renumeration to ICPSR be satisfactory?
Council: Jim Sweet (Chair), Ann Green, John Handy
Staff: Myron Gutmann, Stacey Kubitz
Perry Building Furnishings and Technology Expenses
The committee discussed the estimate report included in the binder. Staff emphasized that the report reflects estimates, and that the final numbers may come in lower or higher after the bid process is complete. The committee felt that the total estimated budget was sizeable, however, the consensus was not to hold back on equipping the new facility. There was a short discussion on furnishing the conference rooms over a longer period of time if costs begin to consume too much of our fund balance. It was felt that this option would likely not be exercised. The committee also discussed the cost of renovating the building. It is assumed that ISR Administration will pay for all or most of the renovations. The committee would like confirmation that ISR Administration will cover the moving expenses. The committee recommended that in addition to the $294,000 budget, we should earmark another $300,000 for Perry furnishings and technology needs. Council noted that the furniture for Perry will be a significant purchase ($300,000 currently set aside plus an additional $300,000 to be set aside). After the additional $300,000 is earmarked, our discretionary reserves will be only $500,000. In an effort to replenish the reserves, any unspent dollars in 2003 should be contributed to our fund balance.
Fiscal Year 2003 Budget
Staff emphasized the conservative approach taken for the fiscal year 2003 budget. The committee discussed staff's estimate of $100,000-$200,000 additional revenue that is likely to be received from pending sponsored projects. The committee discussed the OR sabbatical experience. Staff explained that another OR opportunity for the 2003 summer was not included in the budget, but may be included by the October meeting if staff can find a way to shift expenses. Staff will give an update on actual performance versus budget during the October meeting. Staff confirmed Council's assumption that ICPSR will not be paying for the entire Perry building's square footage in 2003. There was some discussion about the five-year technology plan. Once a new CNS Director is recruited, he/she will work on a staffing plan that will augment the technology plan because we not only need to anticipate technology needs, but also staffing needs. Staff also highlighted that the following Council requests are included in the budget:
- $10,000 for the membership restructuring committee meetings
- $10,000 ISR Data Center Seat
- $10,000 QMUG committee meetings
- $5,000 IMIS committee meetings
Council determined that ICPSR is in a sound fiscal position, and that the budget projections are reasonable. Council voted to approve the 2003 budget.
Fiscal Year 2004 Membership Dues Increases
The committee reviewed the recommended dues increase report. The committee agreed that the historical and current method of calculating dues increases produces a time lag. For example, the 2001 CPI was used to calculate 2004 membership dues. Staff explained that the suggested 2004 dues increases did not include forecasting additional services to be provided to members, but only maintaining the status quo. Staff also highlighted that in past years, the merit increases for ICPSR staff were roughly 4-4.5%. Since staff salaries is ICPSR's largest obligation, raising dues by 3% will not cover the increased level of operating expenses. The committee recommended increasing membership dues 3% for fiscal year 2004, and Council approved.
Five-Year IT Plan
The committee briefly discussed the exhibit included in the binder. Staff explained that this is an equipment replacement plan and not a staffing plan, which will be discussed at the October meeting. Council noted that the IT plan did not include an infrastructure/network plan, a disaster recovery plan, or future server capacity needs. Staff alerted Council to the fact that the exhibit is a working document and will be revised regularly.
Refining the Indirect Cost Policy for Research Projects
Staff pointed out that the current policy is adherent to what ISR practices. Some Council members were unclear as to the boundary between core ICPSR membership mission activities and some of the "research" activities. The committee decided that this agenda item could wait. It was deferred to the Executive Session.
Quantitative Research and Training Committee
Council: Margo Anderson, Chris Dunn, Elizabeth Gerber, John Korey, Scott Long
Staff: Dieter Burrell, Hank Heitowit
Visitor: Sami Borg
Update on the 2002 Summer Program
Hank Heitowit gave an update of the 2002 Summer Program. Pre-registration is up substantially. A new course on "modern" regression has been introduced. Use of R as a comprehensive statistics language for many of the advanced courses has been introduced. We expect a record enrollment. This year the Program is offering six off-site courses. The new advanced courses are doing well in pre-registration. The committee had requested that staff develop information on two topics for the committee to consider: the impact of the size of the Ann Arbor component of the Program and a draft policy on off-site courses including a handbook.
Scott Long requested that issues concerning the size and recent growth of the Program be discussed at the October Council meeting.
Update on IMIS Committee and Related Teaching Oriented Activities
Mary Vardigan reported on a draft of a proposal to create a web-based instructional toolkit located on the ICPSR website. John Korey requested that this effort be coordinated with the work of the IMIS Committee, and that a copy of the pre-proposal be sent to them. Committee members discussed issues concerning the proposed toolkit including focusing on teaching statistics/quantitative methods versus content, etc.
Update from Ad Hoc Underrepresented Groups Committee
Long and John Handy gave a report on the 6/19/02 meeting of the Ad hoc committee on Quantitative Methods for Underrepresented Groups (QMUG). Handy reviewed the charge of the QMUG committee, whose goal is to provide training in social science research techniques for minority scholars in order to enhance their profession success. QMUG members noted that attrition is a substantial problem and hence, that intervention at various levels during the graduate student or junior faculty career may be helpful. Thus, a phased approach to this issue was recommended:
- Phase 1: target incoming 1st-year graduate students.
- Phase 2: assist instructors who teach large numbers of minority undergraduates
- Phase 3: target advanced graduate students
- Phase 4: target junior faculty
- Phase 5: target undergraduates
Handy also reported that the QMUG Committee discussed funding issues and assigned committee members to approach foundations for information and preliminary support.
Long recommended that the issue of women in quantitative social science be included in the Committee's purview.
Discussion of Off-Site Summer Program Courses
The Committee discussed the issue of off-site Summer Program courses. Council requested that staff created a policy and handbook on the requirements for hosting off-site courses, and that staff investigate and report back for discussion the issue of compensation to and cost-sharing by off-site host institutions.
Gutmann suggested that ICPSR recruit a _ -time faculty member to work on this issue.
Information Technology Committee
Council: Bo Wandschneider (Chair), Ilona Einowski
Staff: Steve Burling, Sheila Grindatti, Cynthia Hoxey, Peter Joftis, Janet Vavra
Visitor: Kevin Schurer
ICPSR Direct Progress Report
Staff reported that there now are 210 institutions participating in ICPSR Direct. This number was an update to the information provided by staff in the briefing book. Council observed that despite the ongoing retrofit scanning project, the staff is still filling a significant number of codebook orders underscoring the level of activity generated by ICPSR Direct. Staff is also noticing that users are working with files that have not been accessed by users for years, and this is generating some interesting questions and occasional problems.
The committee discussed the fact that ICPSR Direct users may not realize that there are hard copy codebooks. Although the web page has a notation when there is hard copy documentation for a collection, it can be overlooked. This problem, however, should disappear when the retrofit scanning is completed. One collection for which the codebook will remain hard copy is the current General Social Survey Cumulative File. We are not permitted to scan or distribute the machine-readable copy.
Council noted that when the last of the hard copy codebooks are gone, the feedback forms that User Support has used over the years to help gauge user satisfaction will basically be gone. The possibility of some type of a replacement for feedback was mentioned.
Preservation and Migration Activities Report
The briefing book contained a document outlining some of the deliberations the staff went through while developing a strategy for the migration of the storage 3480 cartridge tapes to DLTs. Included was an appendix that outlined the checking procedures developed by the staff to monitor the translation of the EBCDIC files from the 3480 tapes to ASCII in preparation for their transfer to the DLTs.
Although the project does not go into full production until fiscal year 2003, the staff has done tests with a cross-section of 3480 tapes in the archive. Staff reported that 600 tapes have been read out of the approximately 3,500 that will eventually have to be processed. There were 52 files on the 600 tapes that produced problems. These files are set aside by the staff for additional checking and processing. Staff anticipates that as they work through the various tapes and formats in the holdings, some additions and adjustments will need to be made to the procedures that have been developed thus far.
Staff will keep Council informed as this project moves along.
Paper Documentation Scanning Backlog Report
As reported earlier in the Council meeting, the retrofit scanning of hard copy documentation has continued at a steady pace and is over 84% complete. An updated progress report was distributed with other supplemental materials at the beginning of the Council meeting. Staff reported working with the Referenda Election project, which proved to be easier than originally anticipated since much of the scanning had already been done by the Duplication Services at ISR and had been previously stored on Docutech tapes. Ever since ICPSR started the scanning project, the staff has been working with the ISR group to assure that hard copy codebooks that were duplicated had the resulting image files that were created by the duplicating process stored on tape.
Staff reported that attention will turn to how to store the PDF files in the future. Additionally, the PDF format will raise issues for preservation. Staff also noted that new materials come into ICPSR at a steady pace and all the new releases and updates go through the imaging process before they are released. ICPSR receives documentation in a variety of formats ranging from hard copy to different electronic formats and most of this is processed through the EDC group. It was also noted that "locked" PDF files have been received recently. It is unclear whether these were exceptions, or whether we will start seeing more of these.
Council noted that staff should record their experiences with the scanning activities so that what they have learned can be passed on to others.
Status of External Initiatives
Staff indicated that there was not a great deal to report about the Harvard VDC project at this point. Their software will not be available until this fall, and the Murray Center and MIT will get the software before it will go to ICPSR. In the meantime, we do have some conversion tools that we can use. Harvard will support the ICPSR staff that will be working on this effort. ICPSR will also work with the VDC on converting metadata to DDI.
Staff reported on the I2T San Diego supercomputer project which is an "out on the edge" group. It is important for ICPSR to "stay at the table" with such projects so that we know what is going on. ICPSR is a very small part of this project, but it does have a social science component to it. San Diego has other projects with the White House and the National Archives that involve the preservation of digital objects. They are also developing different web protocols and have an interest in the digital government project.
Staff reported little activity at this point regarding the General Social Survey Enhancement project. 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 in order to continue the GSS site that ICPSR has been supporting. There would be an improvement in the retrieval system and an update with data through the most recent General Social Survey. However, the staff is unclear where GSS is in the current funding round. We stand to receive $110,000 for participating in this effort.
Staff gave an update regarding the two collaborations underway with the University of Minnesota - NHGIS and IPUMS. An aggregate data extraction tool is being developed in the NHGIS project. The beta test version will run on 1990 data first, but will eventually do all summary files. The IPUMS project will be running DDI off of the IPUMS extraction. In May, Wendy Thomas from IPUMS at the University of Minnesota came to ICPSR to instruct the staff on how to do the DDI coding for the aggregate Census data. ICPSR is doing the DDI mark-up for the 2000 Census for the NHGIS project. For this effort, we are using our own tools. These data will eventually be archived at ICPSR as part of the plan to eventually mirror their site.
The proposed collaboration with the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration was outlined in the Council briefing book. Council cautioned that involvement in projects such as this puts a substantial amount of pressure on the staff. Accordingly, there is a need to think seriously about implications before getting involved in such efforts.
Staff noted further SDA collaboration with the developers at the University of California at Berkeley. More features have been requested by ICPSR including graphic capabilities. There are approximately 60 studies in SDA currently, and this summer a substantial number of studies are being added into SDA. Council raised a concern that now membership money is being used to fund SDA enhancements. Staff noted that the criminal justice archive and other topical archives have previously funded the SDA enhancements, but since some general archive collections were now going into SDA, membership dues were allocated to fund some of the effort. Council expressed concern that money had been put into SDA when their understanding was that currently only an evaluation of different potential capabilities was underway rather than a commitment to a given product. It was Council's understanding that staff would be looking at SDA in addition to VDC and Nesstar, among others.
Staff reported that negotiations are under way to develop a Child Care topical archive. The Child Care Research Collaborative and Archive (CCRCA) recently approached ICPSR to help them develop this archive. This effort would provide access to data that are uniquely valuable to the childcare area. The activity is currently in the planning stages, and there is funding to support the planning efforts. The CCRCA group is not interested in online analysis. Part of the planning effort includes having ICPSR put up a website along with some sample data. We expect that this will go to the proposal writing stage sometime in the fall. There could potentially be an archive here in 2003.
The SAMHDA staff is proposing a contract with Westat, Inc. to prepare public release files from the National Treatment Outcomes Monitoring System (NTOMS). This effort will include disclosure analysis for the files in addition to archiving, processing, and distributing them.
Staff's primary concern remains understanding to what extent Council needs and wants to give guidance to the staff regarding these and future initiatives. Among the issues here remain identifying these initiatives that are proposed by ICPSR and others, and identifying their costs and value to the organization. Council noted that each of the above initiatives includes something that can be seen as serving the interests of ICPSR.
ICPSR Web Site Redesign
Staff reported that a team of ICPSR staff members is at work re-evaluating the functionality of the ICPSR website and looking to redesign portions that need upgrading or enhancement. The group intends to add a facility to help new users understand the website and ICPSR better. The group plans to develop navigational tools that would allow users to move to various sections of the website more rapidly and smoothly. A re-evaluation of the search engine currently in use is anticipated. A shopping cart feature is under discussion. It is anticipated that the work on this will be completed and public sometime in February 2003.
Tracking Database Report
Staff reported that the tracking database development is continuing with the staff moving slowly and cautiously. Staff plans to simplify the model that was distributed at the March 2002 Council meeting. Staff is looking at a model that will give staff a great deal of flexibility to do what is needed at any given point. Version control and naming conventions are being evaluated, and processes used by the different groups within ICPSR are being studied. Staff anticipates having a demo ready in about nine months, with a showing ready for the March 2003 Council meeting. The move to Perry and the Summer Program computing needs have impacted this project.
The Official Representative and administrative databases should be completed in October 2002. The first version of this database was done approximately eight years ago and this is a major upgrade to that effort.
The other administrative database is the financial database that includes personnel tracking information on ICPSR staff. Staff plans to take some time and look at capabilities already on campus to avoid duplicating efforts. Additionally, the University has recently completed a complete overhaul of its administrative record keeping systems so we need to see what is available. This could save us a great deal of time and effort and prevent ICPSR from expending resources to develop tools that are already available. Accordingly, this activity has been postponed until after the move to Perry.
Strategic Five-Year Plan for Computing and Network Services
Council indicated that they want a more detailed strategic plan than what was provided in the briefing book. Staff commented that the Computing and Network Services (CNS) group has not had a Director for about nine months, and there is widespread agreement that the new Director should lead this effort. There are difficulties in predicting technology six months in advance given the rapid rate of advancement. Additionally, this plan involves predicting the growth and direction of ICPSR, which is not a simple task.
Staff explained that the expenses presented in the report in the briefing book estimate a growth of somewhere around 10% annually for ICPSR. Council noted that many technology groups are starting to look at changing desktops for staff every two years rather than every three years. The two-year rotation would assume that ICPSR staff could also find some funding from vendors for this.
Council expressed concern about the lack of redundancy in servers at ICPSR and asked that there be a report prepared by the staff for the next Council meeting which presents a detailed analysis of why ICPSR does not need this. ICPSR needs a Disaster Recovery Plan and Council wants to see a draft document in October 2002. Council members agreed that ICPSR is a unique organization, and they need to feel comfortable with the reasons that ICPSR has decided not to implement this.
There was also some discussion of the Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) issue that had been discussed at the March meeting. Staff noted that the move to the Perry Building will return us to the campus-wide network and alleviate some of the concerns on this front.
Membership Relations Commmittee
Council: Margo Anderson, Elizabeth Gerber, John Korey (Chair), John Handy, Bo Wandschneider
Staff: Sheila Grindatti, Hank Heitowit, Michelle Humphres, Mary Morris
Visitor: Kevin Schurer
Annual Dues Increase 2003-2004
Discussion began with background information and logic for ICPSR annual dues increases. Past practice has based the annual dues increase according to the previous years consumer price index (CPI). Staff presented Council a dues increase recommendation of 3% for fiscal year 2003-2004. The following membership fees were presented for approval:
A (Doctoral institutions)
B (Larger undergraduate)
S (Smaller undergraduate)
C (Developing countries)
The committee discussed alternative models for annual dues increases that included taking into account the overall fiscal condition of ICPSR as an indicator of what percentage annual dues should be raised. Another suggestion was to automatically raise annual dues each year according to the CPI without requiring a formal vote from Council.
Due to the economy, some members have reported budget constraints. Staff explained that several procedures were in place to work with members that were experiencing financial constraints.
The committee agreed that final recommendations should be made in conjunction with the Budget committee, who was also reviewing a recommendation for the 2003-2004 annual dues increase.
During the general session, a report from the Budget committee in conjunction with the Membership committee recommended a 3% increase to Council. Council approved a 3% annual dues increase for FY 2003-2004 unanimously.
The committee reviewed membership activity for July 1, 2001 through the present. Activity is stable in relation to previous fiscal years, but staff noted that membership revenue had not increased. New members in the current fiscal year have been predominately at the category "C" (developing countries) level of membership. In previous fiscal years, the same number of new members had the makeup of category "A" and "B" members.
Council requested an update from staff on membership outreach efforts. To date, staff had nothing to report. Council commented that previous committee discussions and meeting minutes indicated that staff would pursue membership outreach activities. In addition, $15,000 was reserved to support this initiative. Staff commented that due to inadequate staffing, there was not currently a representative to support this initiative.
During the general session, Council expressed continued interest in pursuing outreach activities to members and requested that membership outreach be an agenda item on the October Membership Relations Committee agenda. It was noted that at the March 2002 Council meeting, a decision was made to place outreach activities to non-members on hold, pending the outcome of the membership structure committee recommendations.
Ilona Einowski volunteered to contact other University of California ORs to discuss current ICPSR/OR relations and how communication might be increased or improved. ICPSR staff will also contact other ORs to get their input.
ICPSR Direct Activity
Staff reported that 212 member schools are participating in ICPSR Direct.
Based on a previous request from committee members, staff indicated that utilization reports for federations listing all federation ICPSR Direct activity, in addition to federation hub activity, would be routinely sent to all federation hubs once or twice a year, and more often if requested. This is an effort to keep the federation hub OR informed about ICPSR usage by their member schools.
Membership Restructuring Report
The Ad hoc committee on membership met on May 24, in Ann Arbor. Much of the Council and Membership Relations committee discussion revolved around a summary of the May 24th meeting.
Discussion began with governance issues. The current ICPSR governing documents do not provide for a formal review process of the ICPSR membership categories, nor do the governing documents provide for a formal review of the classification of members. In order for the Ad hoc committee to implement a final recommendation, the governing documents must be amended and voted on.
One new model being considered is the Carnegie Classification System. Staff undertook re-classifying U.S. ICPSR membership in alignment with their Carnegie class. National members were deferred to a later discussion. Undertaking this exercise revealed that several ICPSR members were not correctly classified within the current ICPSR structure. For example, 4 Doctoral Research Intensive campuses are paying "A" rates and should be paying "B" rates. Thirty-five Doctoral Research Extensive members are paying "B" rates that should be paying "A" rates. It was recommended that adjusting members to their correct level of membership would need to be phased in over a period of time.
It is likely that members are misclassified because some universities have substantially changed their academic offerings and enrollments since joining ICPSR. Reviewing these schools today has placed them in a different membership category.
This exercise also revealed that 92.1% of Doctoral Research Extensive institutions in the United States are members of ICPSR. However, only 28.2% of Doctoral Research Intensive, 14.3% of Masters I, and 25.4% of Baccalaureate institutions are current members of ICPSR. These areas should be specifically targeted for membership growth. The committee noted that the Carnegie Classification System will change in 2005.
It is clear that services would need to expand and include resources that are attractive to potential Masters I and Baccalaureate institutions. Value added services and developing marketing practices are an essential component of a new membership model.
Notion of a "Super A" category was discussed. Staff was commissioned to review the NSF grant awards of category "A" members in an effort to identify institutions that may be considered for a "Super A" category of membership.
There was a brief discussion of "subscribing" to ICPSR versus becoming a "member" and marketing "membership" versus marketing "services." Council pointed out that until the current governing documents are amended or revised, a subscription to ICPSR is not an option.
The Ad hoc committee on membership will meet in the near future to continue working toward a new membership structure.
Green asked that the action items from each committee be identified so they can be addressed prior to the October Council meeting and reported on at that time. The action items put forth are detailed below.
Staff will prepare a disaster recovery plan and a more detailed five-year technology plan. Kevin Schurer will provide staff with information regarding software to scan punch cards.
Quantitative Research and Training
Staff will prepare a pre-proposal on the instructional toolkit and a report about the maximum size of the Summer Program given current locations and the Perry Building. The Summer Program advisory committee that meets shortly before the October Council meeting will use this report. A policy regarding requirements for teaching staff and type and length of classes is necessary for off-campus ICPSR classes. Staff will begin developing a handbook containing information needed for running off-campus ICPSR classes. This should include all the bits and pieces of what goes into providing participants with that special ICPSR summer program experience.
Staff will prepare information on the cost of the OR sabbatical and where those monies would come from in the next fiscal year since that item is not currently in the FY2003 budget.
Staff will prepare and present draft proposals to be submitted to the U-M Business School for assistance in marketing ICPSR and possibly in pricing ICPSR membership. There will be a report on experimental outreach activities to current ORs at the October Council meeting. Hopefully, this will improve ICPSR-OR communications.
Staff will post a message on the OR-listserv regarding ICPSR's recent communication to local university IRBs. The message should offer to provide additional information if ORs request it. Staff will improve the documentation on the ICSPR website regarding solicitation of SAS and SPSS data definition statements from ORs. Staff will also contact funding sources for the Latinobarometros to determine if ICPSR can get access to the data and produce a draft proposal or guidelines for responding to non-member requests for ICPSR data. Staff also plans to produce a commemorative codebook recognizing the work of the scanning staff in retrofitting the hardcopy codebooks. Council and staff will also develop a set of guidelines that would directly address the issue of selling ICPSR data for commercial use. Council requested Myron Gutmann to inform GeoLytics that their request would not be accepted at this time. Ilona Einowski will work with staff on the development of policy guidelines on this topic.
Planning and Policy
Gutmann should continue the intellectual property ownership and management discussions with U-M administrators. Council approved Jim Sweet as the Council Representative for the Perry Building Space Planning Taskforce. There will be a report on the status of the Census Research Data Center during the October Council meeting.
Other Action Items
In other action, Kevin Schurer expressed interest in providing relevant information to Council on CESSDA activities, since CESSDA now has a regular observer seat on Council. Council agreed to review this information.
Also, a number of committees indicated they had difficulty covering their agendas in the allocated time. Council suggested lengthening the time allocated to committee meetings and reduce the time allocated to committee reports.
Council supports the proposal that ICPSR staff include Research Scientist appointments. Council approved the recruitment at Assistant Research Scientist level rather than Research Investigator for the open Archival Acquisitions position, with the understanding that policies are not defined and commitments can not be made regarding issues of tenure/bridging, research leave, and governance participation. Council asks for documentation regarding the financial implications of such positions and demonstration of a sound financial plan regarding these appointments. Issues of equity and governance are also of significant concern, and we look to the Director for leadership in these areas and request a report on the impact on current staff, how governance rights would be conferred, and how these appointments map to ISR. Articulation of the benefits of Research Scientists to the membership is important to document since not all staff in these categories will be funded by external grants. What work will this allow ICPSR to do?
Council voted to approve the amended policy regarding indirect costs. The text is included at the end of the document distributed in the briefing book, and on the web at: http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/ICPSR/council/2002-06/PDF/indirect6.pdf. The text was approved as amended to exclude the word 'net' from the first sentence.
Council also discussed activities of the Ad Hoc Committee on Membership Structure. Focus will be upon the first two parts of the charge: Who are the current members and how do we organize membership categories? What are our pricing policies and pricing models? ICPSR staff will continue to support the collection and analysis of external pricing models. Revision of categories that would affect by-laws and the analysis of equity issues will follow.