October 12-13, 2006
Council present: Darren Davis, Charles Franklin, Michael Haines, Kathleen Mullan Harris, Mark Hayward, Aletha Huston, Paula Lackie, Jim Oberly, Ruth Peterson (Chair), Walter Piovesan
ICPSR staff present: Erik Austin, Rita Bantom, Bryan Beecher, Dieter Burrell, Linda Detterman, Peter Granda, Bree Gunter, Myron Gutmann, Hank Heitowit, Peter Joftis, Stacey Kubitz, Felicia LeClere, Chris Maxwell, Nancy McGovern, Jim McNally, Mary Morris, JoAnne O'Rourke, Amy Pienta, Mary Vardigan, Cole Whiteman
Visitors present: Kevin Schurer, UK Data Archive, Council of European Social Science Data Archives (CESSDA) representative; ZeQi Qiu, Peking University, observer
The minutes from the June 2006 Council meeting were approved unanimously.
Staffing and Budget
Myron Gutmann reported that ICPSR has hired three new research staff since the June Council meeting: Nancy McGovern (Digital Preservation Officer), Kristine Witkowski (Research Associate), and Lynette Hoelter (Research Investigator).
ICPSR ended the 2006 fiscal year with $488,630 in revenue. The total fund balance is currently $2,677,000. Gutmann noted that the 2007 fiscal year is off to a good start with regard to new grants and open positions, and that one risk to the 2008 fiscal year will be changes in Summer Program funding.
Membership and Summer Program
There are 22 members that have joined so far in the 2007 fiscal year (11 from the updated agreement that ICPSR has with the CUNY Federation). ICPSR membership now stands at about 570 institutions.
With regard to new initiatives, the undergraduate research paper contest is underway, the OR data utilization tools have been launched, and a policy for trial memberships has been established. ICPSR exhibited at more than 20 conferences in FY2006, conducted several workshops on how to use ICPSR data, and exhibited at several career fairs. A new product called the ICPSR Online Learning Center is also being developed. The new product, set for release in summer 2007, will teach students and faculty about the appropriate data for learning, supply tools for searching and subsetting custom Survey Documentation and Analysis (SDA) implementations, and establish a MyClass environment to package tools and content.
Gutmann noted that a recently concluded new member survey revealed that faculty tend to drive ICPSR memberships and that librarians tend to manage it. One new initiative that has stemmed from this survey is a media kit to assist Official Representatives (ORs) and librarians.
The ICPSR Summer Program had a record enrollment of 775 participants, with 20 students enrolled in the spring courses. New courses were offered on minority data, the Community Tracking Survey, and historical demography.
Collection Delivery and Computing
Lori Weber and Rachael Barlow, the two visiting ORs from this past summer, have completed mockups of their websites on teaching students about research methodology and data analysis. The sites should be ready for release soon. The SETUPS Election 2004 website was awarded an Innovative Teaching in Political Science award and has hosted 22,327 sessions since its release. The average session lasts 10:14 minutes.
Footprints, the ICPSR tool for tracking user support requests, has been logging about 151 requests per month, 62 percent from members, 27 percent from nonmembers, and 11 percent from unknown users. The ICPSR Bibliography had 1.7 million hits in FY2006, with 995,145 searches performed.
ICPSR is working with U-M Libraries on converting ICPSR metadata records to MARC record format, the library catalog standard. ICPSR is also working on creating statistical package setup files for ICPSR studies that lack them. There are new features on the Minority Data Resource Center (MDRC) website, and the OR data utilization report site has also been launched. The online data deposit form will be available soon.
Gutmann also reported that Computer and Network Services (CNS) continues to update staff desktop computers: 30 machines were deployed in 2005, and 35 have been deployed so far in 2006.
Collection Development and Funding
Three new research assistants have been hired in the General Archive, which has also recently improved its Intranet pages. Due to the Minority Data Resource Center, whose website should be ready to launch shortly, there are now also more SDA files in the General Archive.
Gutmann reported that 48 new studies have been released since July 1, and that 31 collections have been updated. There were 289 new collections added to the archive in FY2006; 167 collections were updated. Some studies that have been added to the archive since June include:
- Seven Tenths Incorrect: Heterogeneity and Change in the Waist-to-Hip Ratios of Playboy Centerfold Models and Miss America Pageant Winners
- Survey of Stratification and Migration Dynamics in Russia, 1985-2001
- Afrobarometer: Round II Survey-Mali, 2002
- National Comorbidity Survey Replication, 2001-2003
The following proposals have recently been funded:
- NACDA supplements to process the National Long-Term Care Survey
- Supplement to the Disclosure Project to support research by Kristine Witkowski
- Commitment from Library of Congress to extend Data-PASS to 2010
- Continued NACJD support
- Thai Population-Environment Data Management (NORC)
- Sloan Center on Parents, Children, and Work Studies
- Agricultural Landscapes in Transition Project (NSF-Arizona State)
The following proposals are currently under review:
- Creating a Biomarker Registry (NIA)
- Integrated Family and Fertility Surveys (NICHD)
- Barriers and Opportunities for Sharing Research Data (NIH)
- NACDA Competing Continuation (NIA)
- Population and Environment in the Great Plains (NICHD)
Strategic Plan and Future Initiatives
Gutmann is planning preparatory meetings for April or May 2007 to begin the process of strategic planning. He also requested that Council think about a one-day retreat as part of the June 2007 Council meeting. The goal is a public release of the strategic plan for the 2007 OR meeting.
For FY2008, ICPSR plans to complete the pipeline automation, add staff to build expertise in instructional materials, and secure the leadership of the Minority Data activities.
Over the next several months, Gutmann noted that ICPSR will be building the 2008 budget, selected the visiting ORs for next summer, and recruiting summer interns. Staff will also begin work on judging the undergraduate research paper competition, recruit a new leader for the Summer Program, and solicit nominees for the 2007 Council election.
Margaret Hedstrom Presentation
Margaret Hedstrom, University of Michigan Associate Professor of Information and ICPSR Faculty Associate, presented information about an NSF grant exploring "Incentives for Data Producers to Submit Archive-Ready Data." This three-year project, a partnership between the U-M School of Information and ICPSR, is looking at ways to encourage data depositors to provide archives like ICPSR with datasets that are well-documented and straightforward to use. The pool of depositors being studied is grantees of the National Institute of Justice, who are mandated to deposit their data with ICPSR.
Hedstrom began the presentation by noting that data archiving is based on an assumption of cooperation between the data producer and the archive. However, in reality, the quality of the datasets deposited is often not ideal, and we need to explore ways to get producers to think ahead about preservation issues, documentation, etc., so that archives can ingest the datasets more automatically and seamlessly. It may be the case that if we provide sufficient training and guidelines and adequate incentives, we can influence the quality and the quantity of the data products that are deposited.
Hedstrom is investigating how much effort producers are willing to expend for preparation of their deposits and whether what archives are asking them to do is realistic given their skillsets, knowledge, and rewards. Since archiving one's data is not seen as having much reward, we need to explore ways to motivate people to do something that may or may not be in their best interest.
The project has the following components:
- Part 1 - In-depth literature review and conceptual model
- Part 2 - Survey of practices and attitudes
- Part 3 - Lab experiments
- Part 4 - Field experiments
Hedstrom is examining both extrinsic and intrinsic incentives and possible mechanisms such as laws and policies, appeals to self interest, and reputation (extrinsic incentives); and altruism, reputation of the group, and social norms (intrinsic). In terms of policies, there are a lot of them but very little follow-through. NSF "expects" that data will be deposited in a public archive and NIH has a policy that large awards over $500,000 must include a data sharing plan.
The Web survey of attitudes toward data sharing and deposit polled about 170 NIJ grantees who had recently received awards or were about to deposit their data, and there was a 32-percent response rate. About 52 percent of the respondents were from universities, with 33 percent from research institutes like Rand. One objective of the survey was to determine whether prior experience in depositing data had any impact on attitudes. The survey also sought to test hypotheses about incentives that could later be brought to bear on experiments. About one-third of the subjects had deposited data two or more times. Since they do not do this on a regular basis, it is unclear how much they would be willing to invest in doing it better. About 14 percent had conducted secondary analyses two or more times. One hypothesis was that if they used secondary data, they would be more careful to document it well for use by others.
The survey also looked at what would encourage depositors to do secondary analysis and reuse data - 67 percent mentioned that they would be more likely to reuse data if more data were related to their research; 42 percent mentioned that they would be more likely to do so if they could discuss the data with the person who collected it. In terms of awareness of the NIJ mandate to deposit data, 95 percent were aware of the deposit requirement. About 31 percent were not aware of the NIJ Guidelines for preparing data for archiving, and 47 percent were not aware of the ICPSR Guidelines on this topic. Of those who were aware, 72 percent found NIJ Guidelines useful, and 85 percent found ICPSR Guidelines useful. About 65 percent did not know what DDI (Data Documentation Initiative, an XML standard for technical documentation) was.
With respect to the benefits of depositing data, 76 percent noted that it saves others from having to collect data again; 52 percent mentioned that depositing data would increase their citations and thus improve their reputations; and 36 percent responded that this would help them avoid having to answer questions about the data. The most frequently mentioned incentives to depositing data were if respondents thought it would benefit others (65 percent); if depositing were mandatory in order to receive new funding (50 percent); and if data counted as a citable publication (37 percent).
Respondents said they were more likely to improve the quality of data and documentation deposited if they got additional services from ICPSR (36 percent) or the quality of the deposit were visible to others (34 percent). In terms of what would make depositing easier, respondents said it would be easier if more time and financial assistance were available from NIJ (64 percent); if they had better tools to facilitate deposit (48 percent); and if ICPSR could handle confidentiality concerns (28 percent).
Hedstrom's basic conclusions at this stage were:
- Depositing and sharing data are valued in the abstract but do not translate into good practice in specific cases
- Researchers understand the benefits but get insufficient feedback on the impact - who is using the data and how
- Both extrinsic and intrinsic incentives might result in more and higher quality data deposits
She also wants to look at what the right division of labor might be between producers and ICPSR. The original data collector may have tacit knowledge about the data that only he or she can explain, but archival staff can help with many aspects of data management.
Planned experiments for the project going forward will test different incentive mechanisms against each other; it may be that a combination of incentive approaches will work best (as is true in getting people to stop smoking).
It may be effective to make contact with future depositors at the beginning of their projects and to consult with them at various times during the life of the project, as the UK Data Archive does. This has the effect that, at the time of deposit, the data can be ingested more expeditiously. Getting in touch at the beginning of a project could also have positive implications for the IRB process and informed consent language.
Diversity Data and Training
Hank Heitowit presented information about the impact of the diversity initiative on the 2006 Summer Program. Since 2005, diversity in faculty and student increased insofar as there were more faculty and students of color represented in the 2006 program than were represented in 2005 program. Additionally, classes were offered that dealt with diversity issues.
Phillip Bowman, Director of the University of Michigan's National Center for Institutional Diversity and instructor in the 2006 Summer Program course Methodological Issues in Quantitative Research in Race and Ethnicity, was invited to provide Council and staff with more information about the course. He gave an overview of the syllabus he used for his course, and also discussed how the class was structured, what worked, and what he would do differently next year. One of the challenges is that the course drew participants from many disciplines and at all experience levels, from early-career graduate students to post-docs to junior and mid-level faculty.
Felicia LeClere gave a presentation about the status of Minority Data Resource Center (MDRC) at ICPSR and gave a demonstration of the new beta version website for the MDRC. The MDRC now has a staff and budget - the staff attended the plenary. The initial goal of the MDRC is to bring in new users, claim and repurpose relevant studies in the ICPSR collection, add new tools to better access data, and develop resources of interest to the research community. The website highlights featured data and featured findings and includes a tool that permits users to view sample size for demographic characteristics (including race/ethnicity) without downloading the data. The website also offers tools for subsetting data prior to download and downloading syntax (associated with various online analyses a user has performed). The Council indicated they were very pleased with the progress of this project.
Budget and Policy Committee
Council: Michael Haines, Mark Hayward, Kathleen Mullan Harris, Sam Myers, Jim Oberly, Ruth Peterson (Chair), Walter Piovesan
Staff: Erik Austin, Rita Bantom, Myron Gutmann, Stacey Kubitz
Year-end Results for FY2006
ICPSR staff reported that the organization closed fiscal year 2006 with $489K of revenues in excess of expenses that contributed to the nearly $2.7 million in total reserves. The results were more favorable than budgeted, driven by member and indirect cost-funded activities being under budget.
In discussing 2006 financial results, staff noted the importance of recognizing sponsored project contributions to the membership portion of the organization (e.g., the bibliography). Although the federal funding environment is tight, ICPSR continues to increase its sponsored revenue. As of FY2006, sponsored revenue represents roughly 46 percent of total annual revenues. Senior research faculty within the other ISR Centers serve as Principal Investigators on sponsored projects, and govern budgets in those Centers. Currently, ICPSR's Director is its only senior research faculty member. As the organization's sponsored project portfolio grows, more faculty are likely to be recruited. This may create a governance issue for the organization (i.e., faculty versus Council), but the Director suspects governance would be performed in a collaborative manner.
Council felt it would be helpful to see a trend report to display the organization's progress toward its goal of holding $4.5 million in reserves. Staff will create and present such as report at the March 2007 meeting.
Understanding ICPSR's Year-end Results
FY2006 budget-to-actuals variance reports were included in the Council binders to lead the committee's discussion above.
Preliminary Forecast for FY2007
Staff reported that at this early point in the fiscal year, they anticipate that FY2007 will be on target as budgeted.
Summer Program Fee Committee Discussion
The committee continued the discussion from June of the impending decrease in revenue received from CIC students participating in ICPSR's Summer Program. Staff reported that ISR believes ICPSR will receive all of the expected 2006 revenue, but the decision will likely not be finalized until March or April. Beyond 2006, the University of Michigan will likely change the method for calculating the revenue ICPSR receives from CIC students. On average, the program enrolls 60 CIC students per year. The new revenue calculation may result in as much as $150K less in income to support the program. The Director and Council named a sixth committee to analyze how this may impact the financing of the Summer Program. The committee will be looking at ways to cut costs, increase revenues, or both for future years.
Budget Planning for the Minority Data Resource Center (MDRC)
The committee was reminded that the original membership funding dedicated to support the start-up costs of the Minority Data Resource Center (MDRC) was to last through October 2006. Additional funding has been requested and was outlined in a document included in the Council binders.
The current hope is to recruit permanent leadership for the archive in the fall of 2007. The Director would like to seek funding from the University to support this role. He will report to Council if the potential exists. The committee had a more general discussion about external funding opportunities for the MDRC. Staff reminded Council that a formal report will be provided at the March meeting outlining a recruitment and funding plan for the MDRC.
Staff reported the organization has two senior vacancies: Associate Director, and Summer Program Director. At the time of the meeting, ICPSR is making progress on the Associate Director recruitment and will continue to update Council on further developments. The search for the Summer Program Director has produced a small number of applicants. Staff would like to have the new leadership named by spring 2007.
Filling Vacant Council Positions
The committee briefly discussed the document included in the Council binders that named the two new Council members, Matthew Snipp of Stanford University and Michael Goodchild of University of California, Santa Barbara.
Replacing the Annual Report Appendix with Databases
The committee discussed the document included in the Council binders that outlined staff's recommendation to replace the ICPSR Annual Report appendix with databases. The decision was made to make these available electronically via the website. This was estimated to produce an annual cost savings of $10-15K minimum.
Grant Applications Submitted Since June
The committee reviewed the grant applications submitted since June 2006.
Collection Development Committee
Council: Darren Davis (Chair), Charles Franklin, Aletha Huston, Paula Lackie
Staff: Peter Granda, Felicia LeClere, JoAnne O'Rourke, Amy Pienta
Visitors: Kevin Schurer, ZeQi Qiu
Demonstration of Online Data Deposit Form
Amy Pienta demonstrated a prototype of the new online data deposit form. The committee asked whether it was possible to create a metadata record from the output of the online form. Pienta indicated that currently this is not possible but that it should be soon. Other questions about functionality and the comparability to the UK system were discussed. Pienta was asked to report back on the functionality and performance of the online form at the March meeting. A brief demonstration for the Council as well as some estimate of use was requested.
Progress Report on Sensitive and Restricted Data and How it is Handled
A report on ICPSR's plans for confidential data training and documentation was presented by Joanne O'Rourke in response to a request from the committee for an update. She reported on three aspects of ICPSR's disclosure and confidentiality initiatives and described a three-part training initiative that will begin in the spring. The first level will be basic review and training that might be widely available to ICPSR/ISR staff. The second and third steps will be to help train staff to do more sophisticated disclosure review. The second issue discussed was organization-wide initiatives to create systematic methods for disclosure review. The aim is to maintain consistency across projects. The final issue was to develop more general tools to use to assess disclosure risk. The committee was pleased with the progress toward instituting confidentiality training and creating institution-wide rules.
Nomination for Depositor Recognition (and Report)
The committee reviewed the method for selecting depositors to recognize them for their ongoing contributions to ICPSR. Pienta noted that she has received two nominations, which were approved by the committee. The committee asked that a nomination and award committee be established to write policy on criteria for nominations, solicit nominations, and decide the timing. The committee requested that a slate of nominees be put forward by October. This year's depositors awards were approved with the provision that next year's award process will follow the new rules.
Web Site Demonstration: MADIERA
The final item was a discussion with Kevin Schurer from the UK Data Archive on the Madiera project, which is a project to unify the European archival catalogue. Schurer demonstrated the interface during the Collection Development Committee report. It was suggested that decisions on the participation of ICPSR in the shared catalogue should be moved to the Preservation and Access Committee to assess the technical aspects of the shared access. Schurer also suggested that ICPSR send a representative to the 2007 CESSDA meeting in Bucharest.
Membership and Marketing Committee
Council: Aletha Huston, Jim Oberly, Walter Piovesan (Chair)
Staff: Linda Detterman, Bree Gunter, Mary Morris
Membership Activity and Utilization Report
The membership activity report lists 22 new members so far this fiscal year. Eleven of these new members are additions to the CUNY Federation. The arrangement with CUNY Federation allows them to add schools within their system in exchange for agreeing to review and test online learning center tools ICPSR develops.
Marketing and Membership Initiatives Updates
Detterman reported that the Undergraduate Research Paper Competition was launched in September in a mailing to all ORs and DRs. Flyers advertising the Competition were also provided and ORs were encouraged to distribute them to students and faculty. Another reminder to ORs will be sent later this fall, and Gutmann will begin to recruit the competition judges in late October.
New OR utilization tools were launched in September. These were created in response to suggestions from ORs during the 2005 OR Meeting. The tools provide ORs with summary information about downloading activity at their universities, about how their institutions compare with others within their Carnegie classification, about individual data users and their departments, and any Summer Program activity by their universities. An upgrade, to include SDA activity, alternate media activity, and access by Federation Hub-ORs to individual school activity, is scheduled for 2007. During the reporting out period, Detterman provided a demonstration of the site for the entire Council.
This is the second year for the Miller Scholars Fund campaign, which solicits funds for the Summer Program's Miller Scholars. Last year a letter was mailed to all Summer Program alumni. This year a brochure is being developed that focuses on the Summer Program in review and highlights last year's Miller Scholar recipients. The mailing will be done in November and the mailing list has been expanded to include friends of ICPSR, such as past Council members, past Official Representatives, and OR Sabbatical recipients.
A membership drive was the focus of an August mailing. It targeted institutions that had been members in the past, institutions that inquired recently about membership, colleges that should be members of ICPSR, and institutions that support underrepresented student groups. Additionally, mailings were directed at non-profit/industry organizations that had downloaded significant amounts of data. Two relatively simple and focused brochures were developed as part of this effort; one for academics and one for non-profits. The mailing included about 2000 organizations.
Detterman reported that a 2005 post-OR meeting survey indicated ORs attend OR meetings for three main reasons: to learn about new content, activities, and tools from ICPSR; to network with other ORs; and to meet ICPSR staff. Plans for the 2007 meeting incorporate those areas. The symposium topic has been established, as have most session topics. The next month or two will be devoted to contacting speakers and session presenters. One new addition to the program will be roundtables where ORs will have an opportunity to present and discuss a number of different topics and network with their peers.
The committee reviewed the trial membership policy presented. Basically this allows an institution to become an ICPSR member for a set period of time without paying the predetermined membership fee. Trial membership will be decided on a case-by-case basis and membership privileges will be limited to the downloading of data. The goal is for the institution to become a dues-paying member, with ICPSR working with them to achieve that goal by providing marketing assistance.
ICPSR will be exhibiting at nine conferences through December and expects to attend 20 conferences in 2007. Committee members suggested a few additional professional conferences that ICPSR may want to consider attending.
New Product Research Update
In furtherance of the development of Web-based instructional materials, Detterman interviewed eight faculty members who incorporate quantitative analysis in their classrooms in order to ascertain their current practices and needs in this area. Although none could clearly articulate what a final ICPSR product should look like, they were able to describe materials and tools that should be part of it.
Based on that information, staff will do the following: 1) select one or two topics to focus on, 2) review textbooks, websites, syllabi, teaching aides, etc., to see how those topics are being taught, 3) determine which ICPSR studies lend themselves to those topics, and 4) develop tutorials for those topics incorporating ICPSR data. Some of the tools already developed by the Minority Data Resource Center (MDRC) topical archive will be used in the tutorials. The goal is to develop a prototype that will lend itself to other content areas in the future.
Since this is a new endeavor and product line for ICPSR, the Consortium will eventually post a position for a manager of this development effort. There was some discussion by the committee regarding the personnel skills, abilities, and background needed to lead this effort. The FY08 budget will include this position; in the meantime, though, staff will move forward with a goal of having something to preview at the 2007 OR meeting.
New Member Survey Report
During the 2006 fiscal year 23 new institutions joined the ICPSR. In an effort to determine what sparked this interest, Detterman surveyed new ICPSR members in August. The key findings are that faculty drive membership and that libraries tend to manage the membership. The implications are that ICPSR must continue to make faculty aware of ICPSR and its resources, and must assist libraries in promoting ICPSR on their campus. Toward that end, ICPSR will pursue the development of content for use in webinars and workshops.
OR Sabbatical Review
ICPSR hosted two ORs during the month of June. Both individuals focused on developing instructional materials for the ICPSR community. During the reporting out, it was noted that hosting two ORs at the same time worked very well both for the ORs and for ICPSR, and that ICPSR might want to continue that practice in the future.
Preservation and Access Committee
Council: Paula Lackie (Chair), Darren Davis, Kathleen Mullan Harris
Staff: Bryan Beecher, Nancy McGovern, Mary Vardigan, Cole Whiteman
Visitors: Kevin Schurer, ZeQi Qiu
Authentication and Authorization
Council and staff continued consideration of the Shibboleth technology, by which a user can access online resources from multiple institutions via a single authentication. The primary question is whether ICPSR should adopt this technology in addition to its current practice (using MyData for authentication and checking IP address for authorization). The discussion led to larger questions about access and membership.
Staff clarified the potential impact of ICPSR adopting Shibboleth, with three user experience scenarios. Council and staff also expressed several desires that motivate and inform this discussion:
- We want to remove barriers that get in the way of mobile researchers accessing ICPSR data; improve the user experience.
- We want to tighten security. (Staff observed that there is a natural tension between 1 and 2.)
- We want to unburden CNS staff from having to spend time dealing with recurring access issues that involve facilities out of their control (namely: proxy servers and VPNs operated by member institutions).
- We want to broaden ICPSR's perspective, from a US-centric to an international user base, and from the here and now to a world ten years from now of "data without borders," where users can move seamlessly through a pool of networked collections in different archives.
Council raised a question that deserves its own conversation: whether ICPSR should (like UKDA) contract with and authenticate individual people rather than institutions and nations. Council anticipates that in the next couple of years there may be thousands of American users who will obtain a Shibboleth registration with UKDA in order to access European resources. Should they be able to register with ICPSR instead? Staff noted that to move from authenticating institutions to authenticating people would involve taking on a huge user management responsibility.
Staff reported that work on a comprehensive IT disaster recovery procedure document has begun, using a document template from dplan.org. Staff is gathering information on ICPSR's digital assets, insurance arrangements, and University of Michigan disaster plans already in place (which we will not need to reinvent). Staff expects to have a first draft in March.
Warm Backup Web Server
Staff reported that discussions are in progress with a potential partner organization to provide a warm backup for the ICPSR web server. Staff mentioned two other institutions that could serve as warm backup hosts.
Staff presented a graphic tour of ICPSR's plans for further automation of its data processing pipeline. Staff noted that over time Council will likely see changes in the organizational terminology describing the pipeline flow, as well as the pipeline sequence itself.
In particular, Council and staff discussed the preservation steps. Currently they appear to be cul-de-sacs; later we expect to integrate them more with the overall flow. Council noted that the preservation steps appear static rather than dynamic, and suggested that the diagram should show how we review and refresh preservation copies and metadata.
2007 Web Site
Staff presented plans for redesigning the ICPSR website, targeted for release in March 2007. ICPSR's website redesign team consists of three committees (for visual design, navigation, and content) and has established an advisory group of users.
One possible feature of the new website is a new search engine. The current search engine is not broken, but we are researching options with additional technical capabilities. ICPSR surveyed the user advisory group and the ORs regarding desired features for the search engine. Council noted that our user base increasingly consists of "the Google generation," which has no understanding of Boolean expressions, and thus employs only a very small percentage of the search engine's capabilities.
Overview of Digital Preservation Policy Development
Staff presented plans for developing a fresh articulation of ICPSR's digital preservation policies, consisting of a policy paper of 4-5 pages plus a detailed plan document of 35-40 pages. These documents should help ICPSR get the recognition it deserves for its long track record on effective digital preservation, and should help ICPSR address the challenge of moving into new kinds of digital content.
The effort will also deliver a preservation policy document framework that could be useful to the community of other archive organizations. Staff intends to have rough drafts for March, good drafts for June, and polished drafts for the OR meeting.
Training and Instruction Committee
Council: Charles Franklin (Chair), Michael Haines, Mark Hayward, Ruth Peterson
Staff: Dieter Burrell, Hank Heitowit
Review of the 2006 Summer Program
The 2006 Program had a total of 775 individuals in attendance for the 49 courses offered. This is the highest enrollment since the inception of the Program in 1962. The participants represented 248 institutions (also a new record). The 49 courses were taught by 58 individual instructors. The teaching staff was drawn from 8 disciplines, and 40 institutions.
Diversity Initiatives Summary
The second topic was to highlight the diversity initiatives undertaken in the 2006 program. These changes extended to the instructional staff, the student participants, and the curriculum.
The instructional staff (almost 60 individuals) experienced a major increase in minority representation. In 2005 there were two scholars of color on the staff. In 2006 the number grew to 8, 13 percent of the total. While the percent of the faculty that is female remained the same (20 percent), the absolute number increased from 9 in 2005 to 12 in 2006.
Student participation also further diversified between 2005 and 2006. This was especially true for the African-American scholar group, which exhibited a 23-percent increase between the two summers.
Several courses reflecting interest and coverage on targets of relevance to ethnic diversity were featured in the curriculum. The Aging and Health workshop was expanded to include U.S. Hispanics as well as Latin Americans. The Health Care Change in the U.S. workshop had a major component on minority populations. The workshop on the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods was thoroughly invested in issues of race and ethnicity. The major change to the curriculum was the addition of the course Quantitative Research on Race and Ethnicity. This class had 48 participants, mostly graduate students (75 percent) but also including about 25 percent faculty and post-docs. The class featured an interesting and innovative intermingling of substantive and methodological techniques.
Update on U-M Funding Issues
The next topic discussed was related to a possible change in the funding formula that the University of Michigan uses to return ICPSR a percentage of the tuition that the Program generates. In anticipation of a reduced revenue stream from U-M, the Council endorsed a larger than usual increase in Program non-credit fees.
Two years ago the Council asked the staff to experiment with offering off-cycle or non-summer training courses. In the early spring of 2006 ICPSR offered two three-day workshops, one on Maximum Likelihood Estimation for Categorical Analysis, and the other on Network Analysis. Neither course had a strong enrollment, and the shortened time frame somewhat constrained topic coverage. However, those who did attend were very pleased by the quality of instruction and the course content. Things to be learned from the exercise include: 1) plan well ahead of time and establish course dates early, taking into account faculty availability, as well as local (U-M) events; 2) Start PR activities well ahead of the course and advertise very broadly; 3) Choose course coverage carefully, and be very explicit about prerequisites.
Update on New Product Developments in Undergraduate Instruction
The Committee concluded with a brief presentation and discussion of possible Web-based instructional materials/products that ICPSR might develop over the next few years.
Council and staff reviewed the following action items:
|ACTION ITEM||DUE DATE||RESPONSIBLE PERSON|
|Budget and Policy|
|Begin listing action to be taken by Council at the beginning of each document (requesting feedback, for your information, requesting action)||Ongoing||Bree Gunter|
|Demo of online data deposit form with user feedback||March 2007||Amy Pienta|
|Establish committee to clarify standards and policies for data depositor recognition||March 2007||Peter Granda, Amy Pienta|
|Membership and Marketing|
|Establish prize committee for undergraduate research paper prize||March 2007||Linda Detterman, Myron Gutmann|
|Preservation and Access|
|Draft disaster recovery plan||March 2007||Nancy McGovern|
|Draft preservation policy statement||March 2007||Nancy McGovern|
|Draft preservation policy plan||March 2007||Nancy McGovern|
|Update on the warm backup plan||March 2007||Bryan Beecher|
|Update on Shibboleth/authentication issues||March 2007||Bryan Beecher|