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DLI & Research Data Centres Creating a better understanding of these two programs Chuck Humphrey Data Library University of Alberta April 2004.

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Presentation on theme: "DLI & Research Data Centres Creating a better understanding of these two programs Chuck Humphrey Data Library University of Alberta April 2004."— Presentation transcript:

1 DLI & Research Data Centres Creating a better understanding of these two programs Chuck Humphrey Data Library University of Alberta April 2004

2 Outline Discuss some common input and outcome goals of the DLI and RDC programs to show how they complement one another. Discuss some differences between the two programs. While they have common goals, they were created to solve different but related problems.

3 Common Input Goals A goal of DLI is to create affordable and equitable access to standard data products for post-secondary institutions. A goal of the RDC program is to provide access to confidential data for approved research projects using procedures allowed under the conditions of the Statistics Act.

4 Continuum of Access ACCESS CHANNELS Open Free Statistics Restricted Expensive Data Depository Service Program Remote Job Submission Statistics Canada Website Data Liberation Initiative Custom Tabulations Research Data Centres

5 Continuum of Access ACCESS CHANNELS Open Free Statistics Restricted Expensive Data Depository Service Program Remote Job Submission Statistics Canada Website Data Liberation Initiative Custom Tabulations Research Data Centres

6 Access Problem Being Solved DLI: The problem was the high costs of standard data products. See Wendy & Ernies presentation on the History of DLI under the Orientation session. RDC: The problem was access to the confidential files of the longitudinal surveys begun in the 1990s. See the Canadian Initiative for Social Statistics report

7 Access: Some Differences DLI: Access is determined by a paid institutional membership and a license that defines approved users and uses of these data products. RDC: Access is determined by a peer- approval process for projects, a security clearance prior to establishing deemed employee status, and a contract. Institutions must pay a $100,000 per year service fee to operate an RDC.

8 Access: Some Differences DLI: Access is to standard data products, which have been created for public dissemination. RDC: Access is to confidential data, which are protected under the Statistics Act and are only available to STC employees or deemed employees who have been given approval to use the data. These data products have not been created for dissemination.

9 Common Outcome Goals A goal of DLI is to facilitate the creation of new knowledge by providing access to STC standard data products for research. A goal of the RDC program is to support the creation of new evidence or knowledge relevant to policy- making by providing access to STC confidential data for approved research projects.

10 Knowledge Creation: Some Differences DLI: While useful in evaluating DLI, knowledge products are not mandatory for the continued operation of DLI, although outcomes have shown to be important in maintaining participation by author divisions in DLI. RDC: A research outcome is required for every approved project, which is stipulated in the contract signed between STC and a project PI.

11 Common Outcome Goals A goal of DLI is to support the training of students in quantitative reasoning through the use of real Canadian data, which is seen as an important step in building a data culture in Canada. A goal of the RDC program is to support the training of students in quantitative methods developed for the analysis of longitudinal surveys.

12 Training and Skill Development: Some Differences DLI: Approved uses of data products provided under DLI are for teaching and research. See Michelle Edwards presentation about teaching uses of DLI data products. RDC: A parallel SSHRC-funded training program (Data Training Schools) is funded at $150,000 per year to train researchers in quantitative methods for analyzing longitudinal survey data.

13 Where Differences Have Clashed RDCs take a lot of money to build and maintain. Both the initial expense of building the facility to STC specifications (~$400K) and the operating expenses of running an RDC (~150K per year.) One years operating expenses would pay for over 10 years of a CARL membership in DLI. Grants are being sought to support the operations of RDCs, which leads to competing uses of research funds.

14 Where Differences Have Clashed Members of the DLI External Advisory Committee began to hear from or about survey managers who were saying that they would use the RDC program to provide access to data instead of creating a public use microdata file. The EAC met with Mike Sheridan who assured the Committee that PUMFs remain integral part of Statistics Canadas dissemination plans.

15 Where Differences Have Clashed The RDC National Coordinating Committee passed the following motion at their Fall meeting on November 15, 2003 : The RDC committee wishes to emphasize to Statistics Canada that the production of public use microdata files are very essential and remain complimentary and not an alternative to master files.

16 Where Differences Have Clashed Notwithstanding … the first cross- sectional survey without a prior PUMF was released to RDCs in December This the post- censal Ethnic Diversity Survey. The EAC has met with the author division about creating an EDS PUMF and was told that the division is investigating methods to achieve this.

17 The Need for R & D for PUMFS The need exists to promote research into new ways of creating public use microdata files. When the EAC met with Mike Sheridan, we asked about new ways of producing pumfs for difficult surveys. One suggestions was to create pooled cross-sectional files from longitudinal surveys

18 Where To Next? New uses of the RDC for non- STC confidential data Graduate students or visiting researchers brining confidential data from other countries. Example of the PhD student from Australia using the U of Alberta RDC.

19 Where To Next? New uses of the RDC for non-STC confidential data Provincial administrative data sources. In November 2003 a meeting in Alberta tied to the A-HEAD (Alberta Health & Education Data Research Network) project. Two services in B.C.: EDUDATA Canada and the Centre for Health Services and Policy Research.

20 Where To Next? Building relations between RDC Analysts and DLI Contacts. Invite and involve RDC Analysts in DLI and RDC training. RDC Analysts participated in ACCOLEDS/DLI workshop in December 2003 Make joint presentations on campus. Consult with each other about making proper referrals. Dialogue around providing service.


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