Posts about APLIC Conference

Developing New Services in Science Libraries

Tuesday, March 29, 2016
2:00 PM-3:00 PM

Speaker: Alvin Hutchinson, Smithsonian Libraries

Developing new services is key to the survival of science libraries in the future. Because much of the scientific literature is available directly to scientists online rather than going through the librarian as a broker, it will be additional services provided by librarians that define the library’s utility. Alvin Hutchinson will describe the life cycle of new service development and highlight several new services that are taking place in research libraries today.

Many thanks to Liz Nugent for sharing her notes, below:

Self-service in libraries most pronounced in science libraries, but the Internet provides opportunity for librarians to develop new services.

Publication Services:

  • Smithsonian used free bibliographic services (Pub med, Google Scholar, BioOne, etc.) to produce staff publication lists i- house vs. using more expensive outside vendors.
  • Signing up for e-alerts via Google Scholar is a great tool.
  • A staff publication list is good for the office of public affairs and development office. This is sent to the museum’s management with copy to the scientist with a link to the article. If the information is put in central database, it can be reused for many different purposes, including posting to website.

Repository Services:

  • The open access movement in the 1990s resulted in many repository services. Often these services were built, but not used.
  • The staff bibliography can (partially) populate the repository.
  • Copyright and embargo issues can be tracked (easier for federal employees).
  • Most repositories allow user to “darken” the entry.
  • Get repository content indexed by Google Scholar, adhering to metadata compliance. Authors are keen to integrate publications into the science publishing ecosystem.
  • Identifiers!  It’s important to have DOI, Cross Ref, and ORCID identifiers in repositories and in the organization’s press so different machine systems can talk to each other.

Additional Publishing Support:

  • Librarians can be advocates regarding predatory journals.
  • Scientific Data and Metadata – Data management plan now required by government-funded work. Smithsonian has work group that provides guidance to staff. Journal of EScience Librarianship.

Alt Metrics to track social media. Smithsonian has contracted to track activity by Smithsonian authors.

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Design Thinking in KM

Tuesday, March 29, 2016
10:45 AM-12:00 PM

Speaker: Arno Boersma, World Bank Group

At most organizations, managing knowledge is an ongoing challenge. Knowledge management is often not where we want it to be and some would say KM is grasping for its last breath. Design Thinking – a “human-centered” approach used to create new product or services solutions – could be its much-needed lifesaver. It has everything KM needs to survive and even thrive. By applying the fundamental characteristics of Design Thinking – experimental, collaborative, human-centered, and optimistic – to KM initiatives, a powerful combination emerges. The presentation will underline this much-needed combination by way of real life examples.

Interested in Knowledge Management since the 1990s, Arno Boersma has also been focusing on Design Thinking principles over the past few years. This requires a focus on more human, behavioral side of Knowledge Management. A Knowledge Designer designs knowledge so organizations perform better.

Many thanks to Liz Nugent for sharing her notes, below:


Click here to view a PDF of Mr. Boersma’s presentation.

To do KM well, you should pull from many disciplines: Information management, IT, HR, strategy management. KM is really about helping people get the ability to act.

Two things have changed KM: technology and neuroscience

There are five critical success factors to do KM well:

  • Ensure management commitment
  • Think big, then start small
  • Show quick, tangible results
  • Use what you have, before you invest
  • It’s about people, not technology

KM needs a jolt because too often the any of the five critical success factors are lacking:

  • Too abstract
  • No link to business
  • Too technology-driven
  • No owner
  • People don’t want to change
  • People don’t want to share
  • Not helping the end-user

Understanding people means understanding (Innovation professor Mathieu Weggeman):

  • K + I * ESA
  • Knowledge =Information (codified)* Experience, Skills, Attitude (tacit, sharing vs. door closed). Attitude is the biggest challenge. “It’s about chefs, not recipes.”

Understanding people means understanding neuroscience (neuroscientist David Eagleman):

  • We don’t always know what we know
  • Knowledge is never singular
  • “Encourage knowledge-sharing, connections and conversations” (make sure people meet others as often as possible)

Design thinking to the rescue!

  • Many organizations are still struggling with KM, and there are still a lot of unhappy people with the concept (because IT may have hijacked KM practice in an organization)
  • Design thinking has caught up with KM
  • Design thinking has gone mainstream (Harvard Business Review article, NY Times IBM article)
  • What is sweet spot between KM and DT?
  • DT is innovation inspired by people: experimental, collaborative (look at stakeholders you might not suspect; throw wide net as far as stakeholders), human-centric (make sure you know what people want), optimistic (have to believe you can create change)

Examples of application to KM

  • Experimentation – make it an iterative process, not linear process of roadmap with milestones
  • Collaboration – be more inclusive, larger stakeholder field, break silos in organization, including position of KM
  • Human centric end user focus, not tech or supply driven, see what they do, don’t just survey
  • Optimism – try things, learn and adjust, not afraid to fail, capture lessons learned

Case study: Knowlympics Competition

  • Objective: solicit great examples of KM for the field / operations
  • 160 field projects across World Bank – turned into a booklet that was made available to staff
  • Keynote given by Captain of Jamaican bobsled team

Case study: Global Knowledge Flows

  • Objective: ensure effective knowledge transfers across the globe
  • Interactive program of embedding knowledge transfer principles and policy among local staff based on in-depth cultural insights

Case study: Large-scale learning event

  • Objective: design learning events in ways that the knowledge and learnings are absorbed and applied
  • NOT: one-way lectures, death by PPT, large plenaries, panel talks, one-off moment. What you hear doesn’t stick – consider the forgetting curve (Donald Clark), which says that after one month, you retain about 20% of information provided
  • The event was collaborative, bite-sized, practical, staff-to-staff, small groups, bottom-up, long-term. Internal Wikipedia on lessons from event still being tapped.

Lessons from these examples, in short…

  • Do not just ask people to fill in a database, adopt a policy, or sit at event
  • Do not invest in a new program without knowing how your stakeholders will and want to benefit
  • Do not underestimate the fact that it’s the human factor that determines success or failure in our knowledge work. This is where KM programs usually fail.
  • Recommended app: “Poll anywhere” to immediately poll your audience and project live results
  • “No money, no problem” workshop – looked at free tools internally and externally (library is one big resource)

Recommended resource:

Q&A and other tips

  • Ask the same question three times to get the best response!
  • Where might a Knowledge Services Unit best sit within an organization? A high-level chief knowledge officer can serve as a connector that moves inside and outside the organization. The World Bank has no chief knowledge officer.
  • “Ask Me Anything” web session!
  • Institutional acronym list, central database of external contact names – examples of useful added value
  • Free social network analysis can provide a snapshot on a specific inquiry related to just people, used to examine how people were connected
  • Information audit involves more than just people

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APLIC’s 49th Annual Conference: Welcome, Networking, and Ice Breakers

Tuesday, March 29, 2016


Julia Cleaver, Ipas
Sarah Burns, Pathfinder International
Alli Buehler, Ipas

This opening session was designed to allow conference attendees to get to know their colleagues better, connect with new members and long-time friends, and to discover common ground and sources of support from within the APLIC network.

NetworkingTim1           Networking1

Alli led us in a networking activity that allowed us to cycle through small group conversations based upon what we wanted to be asked by our peers.  We chose from questions ranging from, “Ask me about my biggest success this year” to “Ask me about my favorite website.”  Julia and Sarah then led the group in a give-and-get activity: each of us was encouraged to think about an area in which we were looking for more information or support.  All of our Asks  were posted around the room, and as we walked around the space, reading one another’s requests, we were able to write responses to those requests–how we might help, whether we were also interested in this topic.  Julia and Sarah planned to re-distribute these to us at the end of the conference.

As we looked at the areas of highest need among our participants, we noticed some themes, and possible topics for APLIC Lunch and Learn discussions this year:

  • Citation management software
  • Pluses and minuses of different software tools
  • Tips and tricks for webinar platforms; use of Google Hangout
  • Photo and video archiving and access
  • Downsizing of library spaces – implications for our work
  • Tools to share information in the field


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Case Studies of Knowledge Sharing via Communities of Practice

In this session we looked briefly at how EngenderHealth, FHI360 and Ipas have implemented CoPs, what’s working and what the challenges are. The session handout is replicated below :


Case Studies of Knowledge Sharing via Communities of Practice

Jill Leonard (bio), FHI360
Julia Cleaver (bio), Ipas
Christopher Lindahl (bio), EngenderHealth

Summary: Communities of Practice (CoPs) are groups of people who share an interest (technical or professional) and share knowledge, information and experience in their group. In this session, we look briefly at how EngenderHealth, FHI360 and Ipas have implemented CoPs, what’s working and what the challenges are. We then open the discussion to how we in the APLIC community might apply the lessons learned to enrich our own experiences, build a sense of belonging and add value to our practices.


What is a CoP?

  • “Communities of practice are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.”[1]
    • Domain: The area of shared inquiry and of key issues.
    • Community: The relationships among members and the sense of belonging.
    • Practice: The body of knowledge, methods, stories, cases, tools, and documents.


Why CoPs?[2]

Facilitated introductions “Are you doing what I am doing? Who else is interested in this?”
Facilitated resource sharing “Have you seen this? Do you have what I need?”
Problem solving “Can we work on this design and brainstorm some ideas; I’m stuck.”
Requests for information “Where can I find the code to connect to the server?”
Seeking experience “Has anyone dealt with a customer in this situation?”
Reusing assets “I have a proposal for a local area network I wrote for a client last year. I can send it to you and you can easily tweak it for this new client.”
Coordination and synergy “Can we combine our purchases of solvent to achieve bulk discount?”
Discussing developments “What do you think of the new CAD system? Does it really help?”
Documentation projects “We have faced this problem five times now. Let us write it down once and for all.”
Visits “Can we come and see your after-school program? We need to establish one.”
Mapping knowledge and identifying gaps “Who knows what, and what are we missing? Who else should we connect with?”


EngenderHealth Experience

  • Developed and maintained external communities of practice through projects such as the Maternal Health Task Force and the RESPOND project
  • Currently establishing internal communities of practice
  • Staff survey identified gaps/challenges that CoPs could potentially address
  • Brought in graduate intern who had experience with CoPs at UNDP to do literature review, identify good practices, and talk to partner organizations about their experiences with CoPs
  • Launched Monitoring, Evaluation, and Research Community of Practice (MERCOP) in fall 2014
  • Allows staff working on M&E around the world to more easily interact with each other, share good practices, address issues, discuss tools and resources, and ask questions of their colleagues.
  • Creating sense of community among staff and getting them to know colleagues.
  • Currently exists as an email group, a page or two on our intranet and regular meetings using GoToMeeting.


FHI360 Experience

  • 30 or more CoPs on technical topics including Evaluation, Mobile Technology, etc.
  • Varying levels of engagement across them – some CoPs have created knowledge products, created databases of all staff with M & E experience, done group applications to conferences, shared announcements on funding, new developments, articles, webinars and observations on a conference or presentation
  • Model of facilitator vs Moderator- We find that a facilitator does not have to be an expert, but rather someone who partners with experts to host meetings, facilitate projects, take notes, post materials to corresponding intranets and invite and introduce new members
  • Each CoP is on MailList listservs, has a Yammer channel, and a Sharepoint page. We use Intercall and Adobe Connect for meetings and try to schedule meetings so that field staff can attend
  • Listservs show varying level of activity that wax and wane as do the groups and their activities
  • Overall we have found that staff like to feel part of groups in ever growing organizations where we are separated by offices and geography, but time to participate is biggest barrier
  • Getting to know other people and working together in groups have been the most tangible benefits
  • The CoPs must be continually nurtured, but they are a key tool in a knowledge sharing organization


Ipas Experience


  • Staff requested a platform that could be used to collaborate with partners outside Ipas. They need a way to host email lists and document libraries.
  • Ipas did not have technology to achieve this
  • Many of our partner organizations use the IBP Knowledge Gateway (KG) to host online communities. We had hoped that by joining IBP Consortium we would be able to use that technology. Unfortunately, we were told at a late date, that we cannot post abortion content on the KG as it is funded by USAID.
  • Paying a fee to have an Ipas Portal using this platform
  • The underlying platform of the KG is called CommunityCloud and is run by a man in Geneva called Damir Simunic. Working to create a connection between Dgroups, KG, and Ipas – User’s Group


  • 12 staff from 4 units formed a working group to inventory the potential communities and lead pilots
  • We wanted to start by using best practices. Hired Nancy White, co-author of the book Digital Communities, to provide a series of webinars and in-person training in the fall of 2014.
  • This helped us learn how to be leaders of effective networks and online communities, and to define scopes and purposes to move this work forward.

Next Steps

  • Learn to technically administer the portal
  • Brand the Ipas portal
  • Set up overall governance, roles and responsibilities and community norms
  • Pilot communities!

Activity: Variation of 25/10 Crowd Sourcing from Liberating Structures

Additional Resources

[1] Etienne Wenger, “Communities of practice a brief introduction.”

[2] Etienne Wenger, “Communities of practice a brief introduction.”

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APLIC Show and Tell

During the 2015 Annual Conference Jean Sack coordinated a session dedicated to sharing resources and lessons learned. Here’s her report:

Although 8 APLIC members had planned to share on topics below in 3 short 20 minute sessions, time of start precluded 6 of the presentations. The actual two breakout groups discussed citation software and NIH requirements for manuscript uploads into PMC for access to peer-reviewed journal articles written under federal government grants.

Lori Rosman, Nykia Perez, Lori Delaney are willing to give a Webinar to APLIC members on NIH requirements for biographies, researcher NCBI bibliographies and federal grant-funded peer-reviewed research journal articles to be uploaded in full-text (publishers’ permissions or final manuscript versions) into PMC with a PMC ID number.

Jean Sack will post a PPT on encouraging HINARI use with our developing country national partners, MOHs, and universities. (See link after the table.)

Debra Dickson shared her PPT handout on a free sharing software, Medium. (See link after the table.)

Laurie Calhoun invited those interested in Open Access to join her for lunch,

Others are willing to share insights via a CoP format being proposed.


Amanda Berry Reference citation software Ask questions of group & discuss advantages of commercial (ENDNOTE, Reference Manager, Refworks) vs free (Mendeley, Zotero)
Lori Delaney How the Public Access affects our colleagues in uploading full-text of their research papers Demonstrate submitting a manuscript to the NIH Manuscript Submission system.NIH Public Access PolicySee a webinar from California!
Debra Dickson K4Health’s use of Medium, a blog publishing platform, as a way to talk about KM in our publication called ‘The Exchange’.
Laurie Calhoun Lead discussion of experiences with Open Access, what Funders’ Require. Intro Open Access Tutorials from UNESCO Directory of Open Access journals
Nykia Perez new NIH Biosketch requirement
Lori Rosman My NBCI for researcher’s bibliography and other docsOther government agency requirements From Claire: researchers are now not limited to linking to *publications*. They can list other products like databases, etc. and, myNCBI’s my bibliography allows you to enter citations that are not in PubMed manually (Federally Funded Research)
Jean Sack HINARI – tool for partners’ collaboration connection or just demo on PPT?
Jill Leonard Altmetrics tracks social media hits of academic papers like impact factor but on social media) to the original Explorer is still free for academic librarians and repository managers, just email to request a login.)



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Leveraging Knowledge at PCI

As part of APLIC’s 2015 Annual Conference, Janine Schooley shared how Project Concern International’s ‘Leveraging Knowledge’ and related strategic directions have utilized various approaches such as Chatter, InnovAtion, and regional workshops this past year to share promising practices and lessons learned both internally and externally for optimal efficiency, effectiveness, thought leadership, and performance.

Jean Sack provided her notes about the session:

Founded in 1969 by Dr. Turpin, Coronado Island Pediatrician who went into Mexico to save two children from pneumonia and began his outreach into Mexico, Vietnam War, Hong Kong (floating clinics) Walks for Mankind, and very targeted community interventions with program implementation.

Community-based integrated work for strengthening local people to solve their own problems. Funded US contracts, 60 years office in San Diego, DC office, now in 16 developing countries and US/Mexico border. Will have their PCI Global Summit in DC in early May.

She has worked 15 years and oversees food/nutrition, gender, innovation, local capacity strengthening, documentation, monitoring evaluation report to Janine. Masters in Child and Maternal Health. Janine found commonality with most all the APLIC members’ and their organizations, with many PCI collaborations.

“get our fieldstaff to document lessons learned!” How do we examine impact post-project when funding ceases? 7 Strategic Directors = by 2016 want to have more KM to connect remote locations with different aspects championed by “prime movers” and executive partners. Levering knowledge team and innovations went to a Dreamforce Conference to learn about Salesforce along with a Gender champion.

Chatter app (twitter / Facebook) comes with a database called Salesforce – for nonprofits (has dashboard to track users, groups, feeds, top users, largest groups, total group feed posts)

Sharing Tacit Knowledge (70%). Used internally so that staff are linked and feel connected/cohesive with trusted information – decentralized so all employees can contribute/share project insights regardless of location or title, open access, collaborative rather than top down. Janine can post, so also can a driver in India. Used during earthquake in Bihar who used Facebook to communicate “safe”. Recent example of India’s January announcement of polio-free was applauded by India PCI Director Ed Schol. Comes with a timed feed settings if you don’t want continuous. Email still used normally and not replaced by Chatter which will go to targeted staff in communications. Adoption = Value > Pain / worthwhile greater than pain. New groups act like CoPs. A monthly Chatter King is named from stats and gets symbol of power (gamification). Used to “take the pulse via polling” via chatter on smart phones. The phone works better in low bandwidth areas. Breaking down barriers to far corners. Success in increased awareness of programs and resources but there are IT Gold Standards but also openness to piggy backing to use Chatter more widely in organization. HR and Finance use Salesforce configurations with tinkering possibilities, new business and fundraising and innovAtion (A for adaption

@snapshots from the field testimonials or photos from the field feed into marketing and communications (85% of content)

Sharing Explicit Knowledge(30%). Can strategic information be better shared rather than just with donors? No Intranet, just email and chatter. Growth is from program funding, not in effective fund-raising. Janine says don’t assume anything but do capitalize on natural information hubs/people with a good communications strategy. They have hired a communications staff to link to more technical information on the website, not just marketing. Program quality alignment needs linking with insights from chatter.

Embedding InnovAtion = Makes current practice obsolete, improves value by 50%, provides PCI with unique product, skills, experiences benefitting beneficiaries and donors.   Need to incorporate the feedback loop from lessons learned from projects into the New Programs area to avoid reinventing wheels and to remain competitive. Putting documents on a shared drive. Physical resources library was dismantled because it wasn’t being used and no staff responsible. New Marketing VP is working on branding. Do perform literature searches, local focus groups, and assessments of projects but hard to capture total program implementations.


How can we integrate what we have learned? Document databases (eg Library catalogs) and sharing (eg APLIC listserv).

  1. Theory of change. One of the donors is expecting PCI to produce logframes which is pushing evidence base to show logical connections of purpose and outcomes with evidence. Gates expects delivery research.

Q How were the innovations rolled out to get “buy-in” from staff?

Q Could PCI join APLIC and have a staff person visit some of our DC members to learn? Jessica in San Diego is a possibility.

Q are libraries outdated?

Q sounds like you need an information specialist to gather those innovation insights to get them dispersed to the staff.

A need a more senior strategist to do this

Q we at FHI360 are still struggling to pull out the assets using yammer and intranet.

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Improving Awareness : The San Diego Air & Space Museum

Katrina Pescador talked about one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of aerospace related materials in the world. The collection includes books, documents, films, photos, periodicals, manuals, drawings, and other archival materials. Over the past several years, the Museum has reviewed and revised its processes for cataloging, organizing, and digitizing these collections, as well as improving connectivity. Digitization has dramatically enhanced worldwide awareness of the Museum’s collection.

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Adding Value through Data Curation

Libbie Stephenson, UCLA, and Jared Lyle, ICPSR / Umich, shared information about requirements for access to data generated from federally funded projects

Jean Sack shared her notes from the session:

2003 Data sharing for grants over $200,000. During 2011-13 at least 20 USGA Agencies (over $100m) to respond to increasing access to the results of Federally Funded Scientific research and studies.

Example website for data storage: Posting data, saving plans

Data access can benefit through saved funds, openness for scientists. In a 2011 poll, 85% UK researchers thought data would be of interest but less than ½ have made data available. In USA 33-43% never shared data.

Max access = accessible, complete and self-explanatory, usable

Protect confidentiality= if human subjects, must mask identities; ICPSR secures downloads, virtual data enclave (lockdown browser), physical enclave 6400 restricted use dataset with 2000 agreements.

Appropriate attributes = need citation references for data used ICPSR’s data citations page, IASSIST’s Quick Guide to Data Citation, Datacite (persistent identifier DOI)

Long-term preservation = floppies? Flash drives used currently. Formats important

Data management planning = start when applying for funding for preservation, access, digital formats

(some federal agencies will withhold 10% of grant to deny if data not properly saved for access) Private foundations like Ford, Hewlett are now requiring data management plans (Laurie Calhoun)

ICPSR has sample elements of data management plans on website – ICPSR Collection Development Policy shows scope of repository (supply letters of support to show donors that data is secure and meets requirements of ICPSR) Once images, websites were proposed but steered to different repository. Could attach the DOI (needed for all datasets) as a hyperlink to data to an abstract. Agencies may issue requirements to publish data sooner once results published in journals (embargo will be limited) – Open Access supplementary materials,

NIH biocady/ data discover index; USAID has an open data policy now (Chris) to give access to data immediately.

Data documentation initiative (DDI) formats show which metadata needed. Intellectual property rights must be decided, Creative commons CC-0 removes all rights vs limited access. Formats are important such as SPSS, ASCII, media files. Where will you deposit? Multiple copies? Ability to migrate from one format to another? Storage and backup plans, links to similar data, quality assurance procedures to clean, security and permissions, names of those responsible for curation, cleaning, archiving. What is the budget for preservation – mandated data access does not give extra money so it MUST BE BUDGETED in grant (data preparation!! And management!! Pay for archiving in repository). How long should data be held?

Print copies of two documents circulated:

  1. Guide to Social Science Data Preparation and Archiving 5th edition. 2012
  2. ICPSR Guide to Archiving Social Social Science Data for Institutional Repositories 1st Edition

Q How long does ICPSR take to give access to data

A there is a queue now usually month(s). Sometimes delays are because the PI never contacted ICPSR (looks very bad!)

A ICPSR is a consortium of 700 organizations – NICHD has a topic index. Open ICPSR gives open access to anyone (from members) and can be searched through Google or BING. lists 1000 repositories around the world,

Q is there any problem of duel archiving in institution and also in ICPSR?

A does it really matter if you can put in a link? BUT if you change or add to data, both versions need to be edited – which is up-to-date? Most data libraries only commit to store…for 10 years. At ICPSR the data is kept in usable formats and migrated. In journal supplements the zipped data files are potentially dated in future (will Excel be used 10 years from now).

Libbie Stephenson – resources available to us

Data Curation Profiles Toolkit in–

Helps in meeting with researchers about their project data, how long they want to keep it, intermediary files tend not be shared – only final is accessed, what resources are offered? Sometimes code is more important than the data if running simulations,

DMP Template Tool from University California (Discover UC3)

Managing and sharing Data: Best Practices for researchers excellent narrative resource from the UK

Libbie says that frequent checks with PIs about their data management plans is the best idea as federal grants data management requirements are changing. Definitely need copies of questionnaires and codebooks! Librarians should be trained to do curation with appraisal tools! She is training interns from Information Studies schools. Collectica has tools to discover and evaluate data use for other projects…

Peer, Green and Stephenson, IDCC, February 2014 has article on data quality, processes

Who are stakeholders & their roles, policies, usability over long term, staff competencies, finances

Standards and certification may be needed (System_architecture_for_Digital_Preservation_Neil_Jefferies)

Q is training in survey research and data collection/preservation taught in graduate programs?

A Doctoral seminars are given by Libbie at UCLA. Oregon State has courses with syllabi on line, Minnesota has courses. Summer 5 day course at ICPSR is for researchers, archivists to curate and manage data. Green, MacDonald & Rice: Policy making for Research Data in Repositories: A Guide




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Conference News : Minnesota Pop Center Data Initiatives

Two reports on data initiatives at MPC were given:

David Van Riper reported on Terra Populous (TerraPop), an NSF-funded DataNet project that seeks to lower the barriers for conducting human-environment interactions research.

Dr. Miriam King reported on the Integrated Demographic and Health Series, a new NICHD-funded data integration project that lowers the barriers to cross-temporal and cross-country research.

Jean Sack posted this resumé based on her notes:

David Van Riper presented Terra Populus: Integrated Data on Population and Environment (one of 5 projects from National Science Foundation), in 2007 DataNet established.

GIS mapping at Minnesota Population Center; collaborative with CIESIN at Columbia University, ICPSR, Institute of the Environment at Univ. of Minnesota, Humans in the environment, INNE crop data (needs documentation and archiving),

  1. DataOne (second 5 years of funding given but reduced) 2. DataConservatory (failed 18 month review and lost funding) 3. DFC Datanet Federation Consortium in N. Carolina 4. ?? 5. SEAD: Sustainable Environments – Actionable Data

Terrapop is like a blender to mix together 3 levels of data to make them interoperable: microdata, area-level data, raster data (land cover tied to spatial coordinates such as trees, crops, water bodies, roads tied to GIS). Terrapop is trying to create tools to quickly link population and raster data with climate data with income data).


Improved data access – some data comes in tiles from FTP sites so now access is simplified to global resource sets broken down into country sets. “Liberating data from hard-to-use formats” Some data in html tables such as in Croatia (not machine readable); Loas data in tables which were converted into digital metadata

Preservation – need plans! Previous versions of data difficult or impossible to find when new collection supersedes old collections.

Documentation – data lacks sufficient (or any) metadata, eg EarthStat lacked on FTP site, Tiff files only without data description, Terrapop wrote a python script to give tips in metadata. need user permissions. Needed area information, linage statement, GLI data is used on National Geographic but it falls apart to gain access.

Data Creation – construct historical subnational GIS data. Eg Departments in 1980 are different than 1970 in Tucuman, Argentina. Brazil and Latin America will be trained with GIS and cameras to disseminate through Terra Pop to study Population changes. Used Harvard’s maps collection, took digital pictures which can incorporate other data sources. Interlibrary loans from Census Bureau International Collection to take photos, Library of Congress,.

Transformations: learning curve for sociologists would be difficult so Terrapop can show precipitation map over the geographic/political traditional authority boundaries. Can calculate % of cover of trees in Brazil. Excellent coverage in South America and parts of Asia with censuses, down to county levels but military and politics often blocks lower level information sharing. 175 crops, landcover, worldclim 1950-2000. 12 MODIS land cover types.

Project year 4 – August 2015 will role out a new Terrapop website.

Q who are your big users and how can I encourage our colleagues to use it

A let’s build it, they will come… we need to talk to environmentalists (who don’t know what data exists). David knows who owns what country data,

Q How can your data relate to other socio-economic indicators?

A type of crop may involve child labor, gender, deforestation for soybean production, etc.

Q Will website give geographic level by country?

A Yes we do have geographic level info and if we have geographic boundary sets

Q could economists use this?

A Yes, Gates Harvestplus folks were excited about the crop information, Yes for women farmers,

Q Is there a group that specialized in environmental and population

A University of Colorado

Q How are you leveraging your data to gain more funding?

A We have post-doc student and are learning about his former datasets. Many datasets do exist but others needed and funding is needed.

Q Can people download maps

A Yes, in August the maps and shape files can be downloaded from the revised TerraPop website

IDHS: An Integrated system

Dr. Miriam King, coordinates the integration of DHS and GIS but level of geography is not good, small samples and only representative geography. Third year of work on interoperability of DHS IDHS countries in Africa, India, with more than two DHS, and committed to integrating newest surveys (as in Nigeria, 2013) 18 countries, 76 surveys to look at dramatic change over time from mid 1980s to recent.

Works like IPUMS so that use carries over into the IDHS They take the publicly available data sets and make them easier to understand and do file management and select variables in   demographics, geography, household possessions, SES, education, media, FP, sex practices & attitudes, condom use & access, HIV/AIDS STIs, antenatal & delivery care, insurances & care access, NEW: Fistula TB; childhood diarrhea respiratory illness child nutrition, alcohol & tobacco use, female genital cutting, domestic violence, household decision-making. May be adding pregnancy termination.

Early 2016 will add: BIRTHS as 3rd unit of analysis and children under 3 as comparison for Feb 2016; many nonstandard variables by country, new countries Cameroon, Madagascar, Rwanda

How to use IDHS – start with unit of analysis (women or children); select samples of interest

Variable available at a glance – which survey has FGM?

Easy access to variable information

Customized datasets, easy to modify to ignore those you do not need

Variable integration without loss of detail (have now defined variables into a given code)

Users wanting to download data can use DHS/IPF login ID or apply for access to DHS data (info on organization, contact into, reasons for using). Samples can be used from web freely but researchers who might want to upload data must register.

Dropdown menu of topics appears with sample data so subgroups can be seen. Eg Domestic Violence has 14 variables – husband accuses of unfaithfulness to spouse ever threatens with harm – the X shows that the DHS does include the variable. Can learn about individual variables and how they differ between samples, how it changed, clickable link to explanations. Gives case counts on variables so sample sizes are adequate, age ranges match. TABS show how variables constructed, survey question text, other texts are linked to those variables to see context of question, original survey forms and model questionnaires translated into English!

Customized datasets possible after log in, select samples and variables (data cart), merge files on the fly to create a single custom extract over time, select format (SPSS, State, SAS, CSV, ascii), download fully-integrated file (with variables code translated/integrated over time; meanings obvious). Email notification of dataset ready with specifications saved by IDHS. Easy to modify datasets to add or delete samples.

Variable integration without loss of detail: IDHS uses a variety of national surveys, not just DHS, to compare and point out differences for variables, issues of comparability, consistent codes. Uses IPUMS-International using international census data for 3 countries: Bangladesh, Mexico, and Kenya. Excel Translation Table harmonizes codes and labels with 3 digit composite codes. E.g. married, single, divorced. MPC dataset saves so much time in leafing through code books, merging files, focus on questions.

Q Does harmonization occur before samples or on the fly?

A Broadest ranges included (perhaps not monogamy or polygamy)

Q Why didn’t DHS or Macro International [ICF] do this?

A They are funded for getting out in the field, negotiate with country, create final reports, they never had the orientation of looking at historical impact of data and economic change. They lack a backward looking perspective and are too busy getting surveys into field and cleaning data. Minnesota Population Center had much experiences and in-house knowledge of multiple data sets ($2.5m over 5 years which is being cut by 20% is not much to start from scratch) Dee Ruggles of US Census Bureau had experienced his own student frustrations with historical censuses.

Q How do researchers appropriate citations?

A on the website is a link to the proper citation format for using IDHS versions. When people apply for access they are asked to cite the data properly. Funding agencies won’t fund unless we mention the use of IDHS! MPC bibliography names datasets. Working on Youtube instructions, hands-on exercises used at PAA workshop on April 28th and will be put on line, and a help email is on web

Q Are there are other “new” huge datasets that you are using

A USA – based Integrated Health survey will integrate a MEPS survey (treatment, costs of care, drugs taken, combined with status of smokers, depression, education). Micro Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) from UNICEF may be harmonized… Mhanes someday…


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Annual Conference Begins

APLIC members toured the Library at the San Diego History Center in Balboa Park on Monday afternoon.


The Annual Conference is in full swing today and tomorow.


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