Kristine WitkowskiKristine Witkowski

Research Investigator, ICPSR

Brief Biography

Seeking to inform the design and implementation of public policy that promotes data-sharing within the social science research community, Dr. Witkowski has conducted quantitative research whose aims have been to (1) evaluate disclosure risk, informational utility, and costs of producing confidential research data; (2) develop practical tools of disclosure risk reduction; (3) educate the research community in the use of practical tools of disclosure risk reduction; and (4) understand how different institutional actors address disclosure risk in their own work.

Incorporating disclosure risk into the conceptual and empirical frameworks used in evaluating study designs, Dr. Witkowski is developing methods for estimating disclosure outcomes associated with various formulations of geographically-rich research data, whereby accurate information is generated to help studies address confidentiality issues in the earliest stages of the data life cycle. The empirical foundation of her research agenda is the simulation of scientific practice, where she models survey, record linkage, and masking activities to generate an accurate description of the work required to optimally meet data sharing goals. Using a platform of joint statistical distributions that mimic those reflected in real-world studies, disclosure outcomes are measured as an iterative and experimental function of the entropic properties of a study's sampling and database design features.

As part of the NICHD-sponsored "Safe Design Project", her methodological work entails (1) developing and validating models that predict the composition of survey data under different sampling designs; (2) selecting and/or developing measures and methods used in the assessments of disclosure risk, analytical utility, and disclosure survey costs that are best suited for evaluating study designs; and (3) conducting simulations to gather estimates of risk, utility, and cost for studies with a wide range of study design characteristics; using restricted data from the 2005-2009 American Community Survey (ACS) as the empirical foundation and testbed of this research.

Recent Publications

Journal Articles

Gutmann, M. P., K. M. Witkowski, C. Colyer, J. McFarland O'Rourke, and J. McNally. (2008). "Providing Spatial Data for Secondary Analysis: Issues and Current Practices relating to Confidentiality." Population Research and Policy Review 27: 639-665.

Working Papers

Witkowski, K. M. (2014). "Enhancing Data Sharing Via 'Safe Designs'". Submitted to: Journal of Official Statistics.

Witkowski, K. M. (2015). "Finding a Needle in a Haystack: The Theoretical and Empirical Foundations of Assessing Disclosure Risk for Contextualized Microdata". Submitted to: Journal of Privacy and Confidentiality.

Witkowski, K. M. (2008). "Disclosure Risk of Geography Attributes: The Role of Spatial Scale, Identified Geography, and Measurement Detail in Public-Use Files". Submitted to: Sociological Methodology.

Additional Selected Publications

Gutmann, M. P., S. M. Pullum-Piñón, K. M. Witkowski, G. D. Deane, and E. Merchant. (2012). "Land Use and the Family Formation in the Settlement of the U.S. Great Plains". Social Science History, 36(3): 279-310.

Gutmann, M. P., G. D. Deane, and K. M. Witkowski. (2009). "Finding Frontiers in the U.S. Great Plains from the End of the Civil War to the Eve of the Great Depression". In Navigating Time and Space in Population Studies, edited by M.P. Gutmann, G.D. Deane, K.M. Sylvester, and E.R. Merchant, Chapter 6. Springer: New York.

Young, E. A., R. Tolman, K. M. Witkowski, and G. Kaplan. (2004). "Salivary Cortisol and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in a Low-Income Community Sample of Women". Biological Psychiatry, 55(6), 621-626.

Mead, H., K. M. Witkowski, B. Gault, and H. Hartmann. (2001). "The Influence of Income, Education, and Work Status on Women's Well Being". Women's Health Issues, 11(3), 160-172.

Day, J. Cheeseman and K. M. Witkowski. (1999). "Financing the Future: Postsecondary Students, Costs, and Financial Aid, 1993-1994". U.S. Census Bureau P70-60 report.

Witkowski, K. M. (1999). "Becoming Family-Friendly: Work-Family Program Innovation Among the Largest U.S. Corporations". Research in the Sociology of Work, 7, 203-232.

Leicht, K. T., M. L. Fennell, and K. M. Witkowski. (1995). "The Effects of Hospital Characteristics and Radical Organizational Change on the Relative Standing of Health Care Professions". Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 36, 151-167.

Witkowski, K. M. and K. T. Leicht. (1995). "The Effects of Gender Segregation, Labor Force Participation, and Family Roles on the Earnings of Young Adult Workers". Work and Occupations, 22, 22-47.

Witkowski, K. M. and N. E. Johnson. (1992). "Organic-solvent Water Pollution and Low Birth Weight in Michigan". Social Biology, 39, 45-54.

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