ICPSR Honors its 2020 Innovators of the Year

ICPSR Innovation Hall of Heroes


ICPSR is honoring the participants in two projects as the 2020 ICPSR Innovators of the Year. The Love Data Week event, which includes a popular Adopt a Dataset campaign (and DataJeff) was a collaboration between staffers on the Membership and Communications Team. The Curation Cycle Times tracking project was the work of an innovative ICPSR data curator.

Love Data Week

Over the past two years, this team (Dory Knight-Ingram, Shelly Petrinko, Anna Shelton, Jenna Tyson, and Sarah Pearson) has ramped up the content and visibility of Love Data Week. In 2020, ICPSR took on a leadership role by managing a listing of all Love Data Week events when the independent Love Data Week organizational committee was unable to do so. This has most directly impacted users by greatly increasing the usage of featured data. It also provided awareness-building and training opportunities for ICPSR resources including the Linkage Library; ICPSR Summer Program; the National Archive of Data on Arts and Culture (NADAC), Civic Learning, Engagement, and Action Data Sharing (CivicLEADS), the ICPSR Bibliography, restricted-use data, and ICPSR’s Training and Education strategic priority.

During the 2019 Love Data Week, there were over 2700 data downloads representing an 88% increase from the previous month. In 2020 we hosted 5 video premieres and 6 webinars. There were 260+ clicks on adoptable datasets and upwards of 400 more clicks on other LDW content. Social media impressions and click-throughs skyrocketed, including 118k monthly impressions on Twitter (approx 5x the average). Forty-seven datasets were adopted.

Thanks to Anna Shelton for nominating this group and innovation!

Curation Cycle Times Tracking

The honoree, an innovative ICPSR data curator who wishes to remain anonymous, took the initiative to work on analyzing metrics on curation cycle times (ie, time from study assignment to release), which has made it possible to address several long-standing problems. Such examples are making it easier to display the Curation unit’s accomplishments and successes over time to share with stakeholders, tracking studies on an aggregate level to help point out where improvements could be made to the curation process, and helped address the challenge of budgeting time for projects and understanding the length of time between curation steps. 

“I can hardly imagine an ICPSR Curation Unit without it! I have heard from various sources of how beneficial this new system that (the honoree) created has been and how hard (the honoree) works on reporting results and maintaining its function.” 

- Rujuta Umarji, Curation Director

Thanks to Amber Bryant and Rujuta Umarji for nominating this innovation!
Honorable Mentions: 

  • The ApFed project team – For innovating the ICPSR online Data Access Request System (IDARS) to support the external review of restricted data, which had never been done before at ICPSR. In doing so they helped the Census meet new data-sharing requirements; as well as raised ICPSR's profile in being the only organization that could meet their needs in the time needed. 
  • ICPSR Social Media Content Creators Group – For successfully running the ICPSR at IASSIST social media campaign. The entire ICPSR presence was captured in a Twitter Moment. ICPSR tweets and retweets had very high engagement, reaching an average of 1000 people per tweet! 
  • Dory Knight-Ingram, Abay Israel, Bianca Monzon, and Kil-Sang Kim – For helping capture the spirit of the Consortium during the 2019 Biennial ICPSR Meeting. Meeting participants were invited to stop by to talk to the Red Carpet Team. The team went live before two of the Biennial Meeting’s biggest events: The State of the Consortium Business Lunch and the ICPSR Awards Banquet. 
  • Dory Knight-Ingram, Shelly Petrinko, and Anna Shelton – For providing online resources from ICPSR user support during COVID19. As the world moved to react to the COVID-19 pandemic, this team saw an opportunity to highlight how ICPSR supports our users. 
  • Trent Alexander and his associated team – For the creation of the United States Census Bureau Data Repository. While the data have been traditionally available elsewhere, the acquisition of these specific data elevates awareness of ICPSR and will showcase our agility and best practices to both funding agencies and data users. 
  • Abay Israel, Matthew Richardson, Jon Brode, Kilsang Kim, and Trisha Martinez – For redefining how IT requests are defined, prioritized, and completed by using the Sprint Planning process. This process has created significantly greater transparency and efficiency in the allocation of IT resources. 


Thank you to all who participated in this process of recognition across ICPSR!


Jun 29, 2020

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