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ESDS: Using and archiving research data Laurence Horton Economic and Social Data Service UK Data Archive 03 November 2008.

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Presentation on theme: "ESDS: Using and archiving research data Laurence Horton Economic and Social Data Service UK Data Archive 03 November 2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 ESDS: Using and archiving research data Laurence Horton Economic and Social Data Service UK Data Archive 03 November 2008

2 ESDS national data archiving and dissemination service, running from 1 Jan. 2003

3 ESDS holdings Data for research and teaching purposes and used in all sectors and for many different disciplines official agencies - mainly central government individual academics - research grants market research agencies public records/historical sources links to UK census data qualitative and quantitative international statistical time series access to international data via links with other data archives worldwide history data service in-house (HDS) 5,000+ datasets in the collection 250+ new datasets are added each year 6,500+ orders for data per year 60,000+ datasets distributed worldwide p.a.

4 ESDS structure ESDS Management –central help desk service; coherent and flexible collections development policy; central registration service; links to other ESRC resources ESDS Access and Preservation –collections development strategy; ingest activities - including data and documentation processing; metadata creation; data dissemination services; long-term preservation Specialist data services –ESDS Government –ESDS International –ESDS Longitudinal –ESDS Qualidata dedicated web sites data and documentation enhancements tailored user support outreach and training

5 Kinds of data ESDS deal with quantitative –micro data are the coded numerical responses to surveys with a separate record for each individual respondent –macro data are aggregate figures, for example country-level economic indicators –data formats include SPSS, Stata and tab delimited formats qualitative –data include in-depth interviews, diaries, anthropological field notes and the complete answers to survey questions –data formats include Excel, Word and RTF multimedia –a small number of datasets may include image files, such as photographs, and audio files non-digital material –paper media could include photographs, reports, questionnaires and transcriptions –analogue audio or audio-visual recordings

6 ESDS Government data General Household Survey Continuous Household Survey (NI) Labour Force Survey/NI LFS Health Survey for England/Wales/Scotland Family Expenditure Survey/NI FES British/Scottish Crime Survey Family Resources Survey Expenditure and Food Survey ONS Omnibus Survey Percentage of women aged 18-49 cohabiting General Household Survey Survey of English Housing British Social Attitudes/Scottish Social Attitudes/Young Peoples Social Attitudes/NI Life & Times National Travel Survey Time Use Survey Vital Statistics for England and Wales

7 ESDS Longitudinal Data main studies that are primarily UK Research Council: –British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) –British Birth Cohort studies: National Child Development Survey (NCDS) British Cohort Study 1970 (BCS70) Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) –English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) –Longitudinal Study of Young People in England (LSYPE) –possible forthcoming Medical Research Council population study datasets – 1946 Birth Cohort

8 British Birth Cohort Studies impact of childhood conditions on later life and understanding children and families in the UK national Child Development Study follows a cohort born in a single week in 1958 - data collected at birth & ages 7, 11, 16, 23, 33, 42 (7 Up TV series) 1970 British Cohort Study follows a cohort born in a single week in 1970 - data collected around birth & ages 5, 10, 16, 26, 29 and most recently at age 34 Millennium Cohort Study focuses on children born in 2000/ 2001 - first sweep at 9 months, second sweep at 3 years wide range of social, economic, health, medical and psychological issues

9 Longitudinal data longitudinal surveys involve repeated surveys of the same individuals at different points in time allow researchers to analyse change at the individual level more complex to analyse

10 ESDS International data portfolio regularly updated macro-economic time series datasets from selected major international statistical databanks that collectively chart over 50 years of global economic, industrial and political change: –the International Monetary Fund –the OECD –the United Nations –the World Bank –Eurostat –the International Labour Organisation –the UK Office for National Statistics access to micro data surveys –Eurobarometers, Latinobarometers –International Social Survey Programme –other social data via other national data archives access for UK HE/FE only

11 International data themes economic performance and development trade, industry and markets employment demography, migration and health governance human development social expenditure education science and technology land use and the environment Databanks cover:


13 International survey data ESDS International at the UK Data Archive (UKDA) can help users to locate and acquire data from other archives within Europe and worldwide, using a series of reciprocal agreements with the individual institutions. Datasets include: – Eurobarometer – International Social Survey Programme – World Values Survey


15 ESDS Qualidata 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 data from National Research Council (ESRC) individual and programme research grant awards data from classic social science studies other funders/sources

16 Classic sociology datasets Peter Townsend – Poverty, old age and Katherine Buildings Paul Thompson – oral history and Edwardians Mildred Blaxters Mothers and Daughters Ray Pahl –Hertfordshire Villages studies National Social Policy and Social Change Archive

17 Finding data Catalogue of holdings –Describes study, methods and data collection –Records all study related publications –Lists variables for SPSS datasets –Can download user guide free –Link to web download of dataset







24 Accessing data DOWNLOAD TO LOCAL MACHINE You first need to register using Athens or UK Federation. You agree to an End User Licence You specify a project for which you'd like to use data You download data selecting your desired format (SPSS, STATA, ASCII, RTF etc) You get an idea of file size



27 Accessing data online online data analysis, including –Simple data analysis, visualisation, downloading and subsetting via Nesstar –ESDS Qualidata Online – interview transcripts –ESDS Government Vital Statistics online –International macro data via Beyond 20/20 and visualisation interface –Census data





32 Cross-tab

33 Instantly chart it


35 ESDS Qualidata Online Creation of digital multimedia resources that integrate existing primary and secondary materials: catalogues of interview summaries full electronic interview transcripts thematic browsing of interview transcripts collections of digital sound clips contextual photos background information and press reviews on the original studies details of publications based upon secondary studies of the collections




39 Help for users help desk and web site dedicated survey pages JISCmail list regularly updated web-based FAQs programme of training courses and publicity events news bulletins and articles resources (links to other sites) teaching datasets and/or exemplars enhanced documentation e.g. dataset and software guides statistical guides (SPSS, Stata, weighting) Variables consistent over time on specific surveys (ESDS Government) Thematic guides Each specialist service provides:

40 The Census Portal the Census Portal provides one-stop registration and support for access to: –Census Dissemination Unit from MIMAS – aggregate tables/Casweb –Census Geography Data Unit (UKBORDERS) from EDINA – boundaries data –Census Interaction Data Service (Universities of Leeds and St Andrews) - flow data –Samples of Anonymised Records from CCSR – micro data –CHCC - Historical Census Collection from AHDS History

41 History Data Service particularly strong in 19th and 20th century economic and social history census data (1881 100% sample; 1851 2% sample; lots of local census returns) Great Britain Historical Database online taxation materials large-scale datasets of Welsh and Irish historical statistics electoral data (poll books for local areas) criminal court records (e.g. a collection of datasets on violent crimes 1600-1900) agricultural statistics (prices, output) surveys of Scottish witchcraft state finance data economic indicators/industrial production data

42 Secondary analysis potential descriptive material comparative research, restudy or follow-up study re-analysis/secondary analysis research design and methodological advancement replication of published statistics teaching and learning

43 Secondary analysis potential description comparative research, restudy or follow-up study augment data you collect e.g. expand sample size re-analysis or secondary analysis verification research design and methodological advancement teaching and learning

44 Re-using qualitative data Archived qualitative data are a rich and unique, yet too often unexploited, source of research material. They offer information that can be re-analysed, reworked, and compared with contemporary data. In time, too, archived research materials can prove to be a significant part of our cultural heritage and become resources for historical as well as contemporary research. What then are the methodological, ethical and theoretical considerations relating to the secondary analysis of qualitative data?

45 Culture of re-use well-established tradition in social science of reanalysing quantitative data no logical intellectual reason why this should not be so for qualitative data however, among qualitative researchers no similar research culture lack of discussion of the issues involved in literature on the benefits and limitations of such approaches more now published, but more needed …!

46 Data and Methods often a diversity of methods and tools rather than a single one are encompassed types of data collected vary with the aims of the study and the nature of the sample samples are most often small, but may rise to 500 or more informants as we have seen data include interviews, group discussions, fieldwork diaries and observation notes, personal documents, photographs etc. created in a variety of formats: digital, paper (typed and hand-written), audio, video and photographic

47 Description describing the contemporary and historical attributes, attitudes and behaviour of individuals, societies, groups or organisations data created now, will in time become a unique historical resource providing alternative sources (the peoples voice etc.) to the public record that will be deposited in archives

48 Comparative research, replication or restudy of original research to compare with other data sources to provide comparison over time or between social groups or regions etc. to follow up original sample verification - substantiating results, although we have yet to see any evidence of re-use for this purpose (might be useful in a teaching context though)

49 Re-analysis secondary analysis asking new questions of the data and making different interpretations to the original researcher approaching the data in ways that weren't originally addressed, such as using data for investigating different themes or topics of study the more in-depth the material, the more possible this becomes

50 Research design and methodological advancement designing a new study or developing a methodology or research tool by studying sampling methods, data collection and fieldwork strategies and topic guides although researchers often publish a section on methods used, researchers' own fieldwork diaries can offer much insight into the history and development of the research encourage researchers to reflect on the researchers own experiences

51 Difficulties in re-using data practice of secondary analysis of qualitative data is not a commonplace research activity Major barriers cited: –problem of the implicit nature of qualitative data collection and analysis – context and reflexivity –lack of time to get fully acquainted with research materials created by someone else –Constraints of informed consent –insecurity about the exposure of ones own research practice; IPR or threat of misinterpretation –Lack of publicly available research data

52 Prerequisites for undertaking secondary analysis Having a rich an diverse stock of quality data sources, without excessive restriction Having access to original sources where possible, e.g tape recordings or full transcriptions Having access to data contextualising material e.g. online catalogues, lists, methodology etc. Have a solid foundation in primary data analysis – range of qualitative research methods Possess rudimentary skills in computer assisted qualitative data analysis software (not essential, but useful) Have adequate time to engage in the project

53 Contact

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