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The Economic and Social Data Service Louise Corti ESDS/UKDA Archives Awareness Day September 2003.

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Presentation on theme: "The Economic and Social Data Service Louise Corti ESDS/UKDA Archives Awareness Day September 2003."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Economic and Social Data Service Louise Corti ESDS/UKDA Archives Awareness Day September 2003

2 What is the ESDS? new national data archiving and dissemination service, running from 1 Jan jointly supported by: –Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) –Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) initial five year funding commitment

3 ESDS Overview provides access and support for key economic and social data distributed service, bringing together centres of expertise in data creation, dissemination, preservation and use provides seamless and easier access to a range of disparate resources for UK Higher and Further Education sectors core archiving services plus four specialist data services

4 UK Data Archive, Essex MIMAS, Manchester Cathie Marsh Centre for Census and Survey Research (CCSR), Manchester Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER), Essex Partners

5 UK Data Archive established at the University of Essex in 1967 by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to acquire, preserve and disseminate data for UK higher education Typically core funded in 3-5 years blocks Celebrating 35 years of data service provision


7 Sources of data Data for research and teaching purposes and used in all sectors and for many different disciplines official agencies - mainly central government international statistical time series – World Bank individual academics - research grants market research agencies – eg GALLUP polls public records/historical sources links to UK census data qualitative and quantitative (numbers and text) access to international data via links with other data archives worldwide

8 Survey data Generally numeric data derived from questionnaires Answers provided are coded – male = 1 and female = 2 Entered into a spreadsheet –where row = person and column = coded answer Analysed with specialist analysis software

9 UKDA Collection 4,000+ datasets in the collection 250+ new datasets are added each year orders for data per year datasets distributed worldwide p.a. Staff of over GBytes of digital storage with capacity for more than 6,000 GBytes –(GB – 1000 megabytes) Growing by about 80GB per year Not yet lost any data!

10 Incoming Media Paper based Punched card, paper tape or manuscripts Magnetic Various reel-to-reel and cartridges Optical e.g WORM, CDROM Rescue methods and services

11 Standards Convert data and documentation to platform and software independent formats and media to maximise long- term utility BS Information security Machine room conforms to main fire and environmental control standards

12 Specialist data services ESDS Government ESDS International ESDS Longitudinal ESDS Qualidata Greater emphasis on: value-added data and documentation improved web-based delivery services helddesks online support materials and training programme outreach and promotion History data service in-house –(AHDS History)

13 The large-scale government surveys General Household Survey Labour Force Survey Health Survey for England/Wales/Scotland Family Expenditure Survey British Crime Survey Family Resources Survey National Food Survey/Expenditure and Food Survey Survey of English Housing British Social Attitudes National Travel Survey Time Use Survey

14 Benefits of the large-scale government datasets Good quality data –produced by experienced research organisations –usually nationally representative with large samples –good response rates –very well documented Continuous data –allows comparison over time –data is largely cross-sectional Hierarchical data –intra-household differences –household effects on individuals

15 Percentage of women aged cohabiting General Household Survey

16 Source: Richard Dickens, Paul Gregg and Jonathan Wadsworth (2000) New Labour and the Labour Market, CMPO Working Paper Series 00/19 Table 5

17 Longitudinal Data four main studies, that are primarily ESRC- funded –British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) –British Birth Cohort studies: National Child Development Survey (NCDS) British Cohort Study 1970 (BCS70) Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) –Also possible forthcoming MRC population study datasets – 1946 Birth Cohort

18 British Household Panel Survey Collected and deposited by the ULSC at Essex follows the members of 5500 households first sampled in 1991 interviews conducted annually become a major resource for understanding the dynamics of British households coverage includes: –income, labour market behaviour, social and political values, health, education, housing and household organisation Recently large new samples were introduced in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

19 British Birth Cohort Studies National Child Development Survey (NCDS) cohort born in a single week in 1958 data collected at birth & ages 7, 11, 16, 23, 33, 42 become a unique resource for investigating social mobility and the impact on later life of childhood conditions coverage includes a wide range of social, economic, health and psychological issues

20 British Birth Cohort Studies Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) the latest of the birth cohort studies, focusing on children born in 2000 and 2001 first sweep of data collected when children were aged 9 months second sweep collects data when the children reach 3 years the MCS will make a major contribution to understanding children and families in the UK

21 Qualitative Data Collections Data from National Research Council (ESRC) individual research grant awards Data from ESRC Programme research grant awards Data from classic social science studies Other funders/sources Focus on DIGITAL Collections, but also facilitate paper-based archiving Helping users use collections

22 Types of qualitative data Diverse data types: in-depth interviews ; semi- structured interviews; focus groups; oral histories; mixed methods data; open-ended survey questions; case notes/records of meetings; diaries/ research diaries Multi-media: audio, video, photos and text (typically transcriptions) Formats: digital, paper, analogue audio-visual Data structures - differ across different document types Scope for re-use across different disciplines

23 Classic datasets Paul Thompson – oral history and Edwardians Peter Townsend – Poverty and old age F Bechhofer, J Goldthorpe, D Lockwood and J Platt – Affluent workers Stan Cohen– Mods and rockers and long-term imprisonment Brian Jackson – education and the working class

24 Contemporary datasets Large in-depth interview studies Focus groups Mixed methods studies Cover many research disciplines/topics

25 Secondary analysis potential description comparative research, restudy or follow-up study re-analysis or secondary analysis research design and methodological advancement verification teaching and learning


27 Edwardians Online – Phase I Creation of a digital multimedia resource that integrates a wealth of existing primary and secondary materials: a catalogue of 444 interview summaries 5 full electronic interview transcripts thematic browsing of interview transcripts a collection of digital sound clips a set of contextual images of Edwardian life background information and press reviews on the original Paul Thompson study details of publications based upon secondary studies of the collection an account of the digitization methodology


29 Accessing data Web access to data and metadata Data are freely available for the majority of our users Data supplied in a variety of formats –statistical package formats (eg spss) –databases and spreadsheets –word processed documents –pdf documents

30 Online access to data and user guides Web pages - easy to navigate format –Web catalogue with variable level searching –Subject browsing - eg major series and geo web pages –Access to online doc - pdf user guides and forms Registration –One off registration with userid/password –Online account management and Shopping Basket ordering Data Download –Web Download in 3 software formats –NESSTAR - browsing metadata and exploring data

31 UKDA WEBSITE DEMO Search/browse data Documentation Download Ordering

32 Web front page

33 NESSTAR software Browse detailed information (metadata) about these data sources, including links to other sources Do simple data analysis and visualisation on microdata Bookmark analyses Download the appropriate subset of data in one of a number of formats (e.g. SPSS, Excel)

34 Other good online UK social science resources QBANK RDN

35 Data creation and deposit: best practice Early advice to data creators: –high quality data and documentation –consent and ethical issues are taken on board –Intellectual property rights considered Promoting standards in: –research design –transcription techniques –data and project management –documenting data collection & analysis

36 Facilitating greater usage Aim to encourage: –researchers to consult existing data sources –use of real data in teaching and learning Make obtaining data more straightforward Promotion… exploit existing and new networks Provide online resources Provide support and training

37 Contact ESDS FAQ:

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