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Institute for Social Research 5075 TEL Building York University 4700 Keele Street Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3 416-736-5061 DLI OntarioTraining 2004 Queens.

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Presentation on theme: "Institute for Social Research 5075 TEL Building York University 4700 Keele Street Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3 416-736-5061 DLI OntarioTraining 2004 Queens."— Presentation transcript:

1 Institute for Social Research 5075 TEL Building York University 4700 Keele Street Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P DLI OntarioTraining 2004 Queens University Kingston, Ontario April 6

2 HISTORY The Institute for Social Research was established by the Senate of York University in the spring of 1965, almost 40 years ago. First known as the Institute for Behavioural Research – or IBR. After 19 years the name was changed to the Institute for Social Research in ISR has given birth to other ORUs at York, including the Centre for Feminist Research, the Centre for Refugee Studies, and the York Centre for Health Studies.

3 When we began conducting telephone survey research, we had a minimal number of interviewing stations; interviewers filled out surveys on paper while talking to respondents over the telephone. In 1986, the Institute implemented Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing technology, or CATI. A telephone lab was built containing nine interviewing stations. The Canadian Civil Liberties Study examining attitudes to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms made the first use of this technology.


5 MAIN TELEPHONE LAB with 42 Interviewing Stations two monitoring stations in each lab interviewers continuously monitored rotating basis maintain interview quality and standardisation

6 Each interviewing station is equipped with an auto-dialer, which automatically dials the telephone number that is associated with the individual case on the interviewers screen. For general population surveys we use RDD - Random Digit Dialing, followed by a random selection of respondents from households. To improve response rates and sample representativeness, at least 12 attempts at different times of the day and different days of the week are made to reach the selected telephone number.


8 Currently, ISR employs a staff of approximately 160 part- time interviewers (about 70 percent of whom are York University students), 3 senior supervisors, 2 supervisors, 8 monitors, as well as a recruiter/trainer and a scheduler. Labs are operational seven days a week: on weekdays from 10 a.m. until 9:45 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday from 2 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. On two evenings per week, we call the western provinces until 12:45 a.m. our time, which is 9:45 p.m., in British Columbia. On each shift, there are eight supervisors and monitors, and 60 interviewers. There is a separate room with three monitoring stations that may be used by visiting clients.

9 DATA ARCHIVE In the early years focus was on archiving and disseminating data from a variety of sources. With the advent of DLI and the Web / FTP, no longer necessary to store data and documentation on site. Focus shifted away from acquiring other data to preserving survey data collected in-house by ISR.

10 CLIENTS & TOPICS Academics Government Agencies / Units Other Canadian Election Surveys Social Capital Informal Learning Nutrition RRFSS Environmental Tobacco Smoke Health & Well-being Fitness CAMH e.g., ODM, OSDUS University Service

11 Rapid Risk Factor Surveillance System - annually since 2001 RRFSS replicates a model of research conducted across the United States by the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta Public health units across Ontario Monitors public knowledge around existing health topics such as nutrition, exercise and heart health and, newly-emerging public health issues like West Nile Virus, influenza vaccinations and SARS More than 2,000 interviews monthly Concatenated file released to the HUs each month via ftp from secure server In 2003 there were 23 health units participating; 27,511 respondents; 796 variables

12 Data Preparation CATI produces a rectangular (80-column) data file SPSS or SAS syntax is developed depending upon clients wishes Data files are distributed in either SPSS.sav or.por or SAS export with accompanying formats Responses to other[specify] items and open-ended questions are converted to WordPerfect for coding, then merged into the data A Technical Document is produced for most surveys which covers the study description, sample design, data collection method, weights, etc.

13 Data Dissemination Data collected under SSHRC sponsorship released as soon as possible Some data released through the client rather than ISR What you get -- Data: SPSS or SAS format Tech Doc: PDF Questionnaires: PDF or WP or paper How you get it -- FTP Attachment CD-ROM Web Download

14 Whats Available Just about every survey that ISR conducted for archival purposes. Some havent been looked at in ages and are only available as flat data with paper documentation. Cost? None - unless the photocopier has to work overtime. To Whom? Anyone. Catalogue? A work-in-progress which is always out-of-date. Visit our Web Site for current projects; publications list; and our Newsletter.

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