Announcing the winners of the ICPSR Data Story Contest!

During 2018 Love Data Week (Feb. 12-16), we asked the ICPSR community to share its successes/failures in dealing with data. The following are the winning entries for the #LoveData18 contest. Congratulations to the winners, who will receive gift boxes full of fun ICPSR memorabilia. Thanks for sharing your data stories with us!


"I was helping a student researching gasoline prices and public-transit use. The data she needed were spread across 34,770 worksheets in 1140 Excel files, and her adviser didn't know how to combine them together efficiently. So, I asked her for a few months of data with which I could experiment. The files were very consistent in terms of formatting, so I was able to write up Stata syntax that imported the worksheets, cleaned them up, and combined them into a single dataset. We met to review the syntax, which she then edited to clean up and combine the rest of her data. We started with data that were effectively unusable and turned them into something she could actually analyze. In her thesis, the student thanked me for being 'absolutely instrumental to [her] collection and analysis of the data,' which remains one of my proudest moments as a data librarian."

Rob O'Reilly, Data Services Librarian at Emory University



"In honor of Love Data Week, here’s a shout out to one of my favorite data archives/resources.

Many social scientists are familiar with ICPSR, the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research, but faculty may not always keep up with the new goodies at the archive. Since I became a data librarian in 2007, ICPSR has expanded its resources widely to include a wealth of training materials. Along with its Summer Program in Quantitative Methods of Social Research, ICPSR also has a variety of modules for teaching and learning about data, data concepts, social science concepts, and more. My favorite tool is the Social Science Variables Database that allows users to search for variables in the major data studies, about 76% of ICPSR’s holdings. In addition to isolating data studies with specific, required variables, the tool allows users to examine the questions being asked across data studies. ICPSR has much more in its expansive offerings, especially for members of its consortium. Definitely worth a look and some love!"

Lynda Kellam, Data Services and Government Information Librarian at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro’s University Libraries

Feb 19, 2018

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