Social Sciences

IAP 2015: Finding Information: Search Tools and Strategies

Posted December 8th, 2014 by Mark Szarko

 

dataThe MIT Libraries are offering a whole series of classes to help you locate various types of information, from large data sets to companies you might want to work for. Some classes require advance registration.

Unlocking the Secrets to Company Databases
Wed Jan 14, 2:00-3:00pm, 4-257
Contact: MIT Global Education & Career Development, gecd@mit.edu

Biotech Business Information for Engineers and Scientists
Thu Jan 15, 4:00-5:00pm, 14N-132
Contact: Courtney Crummett, crummett@mit.edu

Business Information for Engineers and Scientists
Fri Jan 16, 1:00-2:00pm, 14N-132
Howard Silver, hsilver@mit.edu

Patent Searching Fundamentals
Thu Jan 22, 12:00-1:00pm, 14N-132
Tue Jan 27, 4:00-5:00pm, 14N-132
Contact: Anne Graham, grahama@mit.edu

Finding Research Datasets
Thu Jan 22, 3:00-4:30pm, 14N-132
Contact: Katherine McNeill, mcneillh@mit.edu

APIs for Scholarly Resources
Tue Jan 27, 12:00-1:00pm, 14N-132
Contact: Mark Clemente, clemente@mit.edu

Public Opinion Data Resources
Tue Jan 27, 1:00-2:00pm, 14N-132
Contact: Katherine McNeill, mcneillh@mit.edu

Overview of Citation Analysis
Wed Jan 28, 10:00am-12:00pm, E17-128
Contact: Randi Shapiro, shapiro@mit.edu

For a complete list of all the classes offered by the Libraries this IAP, please see our calendar of events.

OA research in the news: Waves as scientific & cultural things

Posted November 25th, 2014 by Katharine Dunn

MorganLecture2014This fall, MIT anthropologist Stefan Helmreich gave the prestigious Lewis Henry Morgan Lecture at the University of Rochester. Helmreich, whose 2009 award-winning book Alien Ocean describes marine biologists studying deep-sea microbes, spoke about waves—in the water and elsewhere—and how scientists and others use the notion of a “wave” to describe many disparate phenomena.

“How do cardiologists tracking waves of electrical potential in the heart draw inspiration from research in physics? How has the image of the wave migrated into social theory, making it possible to speak of waves of opinion, of revolution, of immigration, of innovation? The cultural work of analogy in the sciences — natural and social both — fascinates me,” Helmreich told the MIT News last week.

Explore Professor Helmreich’s research in the Open Access Articles collection in DSpace@MIT, where it is openly accessible to the world.

Since the MIT faculty established their Open Access Policy in March 2009 they have made thousands of research papers freely available to the world via DSpace@MIT. To highlight that research, we’re offering a series of blog posts that link news stories about scholars’ work to their open access papers in DSpace.

Chris Bourg named director of MIT Libraries

Posted November 21st, 2014 by Heather Denny
CBourg photo blog

Chris Bourg (Photo by: Wayne Vanderkull)

Longtime libraries administrator at Stanford tapped to lead MIT’s libraries and the MIT Press.

Chris Bourg has been named as the new director of the MIT Libraries, effective in February. Provost Martin Schmidt announced her appointment today in an email to the MIT community.

Bourg comes to MIT from Stanford University, where she is currently associate university librarian for public services. At Stanford, Bourg oversees the largest division of the Stanford University Libraries, with six branches and a collection of more than 4 million volumes.

Bourg “has a deep appreciation for the critical role of scholarly communication in a research university environment, and how this communication links to education and service to the community,” Schmidt wrote in his email to the community. “She also has considerable experience with leveraging the capabilities of digital technologies in order to enhance library services.”

Bourg joins the MIT Libraries and MIT Press at a pivotal time, and will play an important role in guiding the redesign and renovation of library spaces. She will also lead the exploration of the Libraries’ role in new modes of learning and global engagement, and advance MIT’s commitment and influence in the area of scholarly communication and open access.

“I am very much looking forward to working with Chris as she undertakes the leadership of the MIT Libraries, particularly at a time when the nature of library services is evolving to accommodate a variety of needs related to research and education,” Schmidt wrote. “I know you will join me in welcoming her to the MIT community.”

As a senior officer with oversight responsibility for the MIT Press, Bourg will also provide strategic guidance to the Press, expanding international engagement and managing its evolving business models. The MIT Press is one of the largest university presses in the world; it publishes journals, scholarly books, trade books, textbooks, and reference works in print and digital formats in a wide range of academic disciplines.

Bourg’s appointment follows a nationwide search that began after the death of the Libraries’ previous director of 17 years, Ann Wolpert, in October 2013.

“I have long admired MIT’s commitment to openness, inclusion, and innovation,” Bourg says. “It is an honor to join a community of faculty, staff, and students with a global reputation for excellence, integrity, and service. I look forward to engaging in conversations across the MIT community about the future of library spaces, services, and resources. Together, with the talented staff of the libraries and the MIT Press, we have the opportunity to build on MIT’s legacy and to be a leader in creating new models for scholarly communication and research libraries. I am eager to get started.”

Read the full story on MIT News.

Event: Building Global Economic Prosperity

Posted November 10th, 2014 by Katherine McNeill

OECD logo

Building Global Economic Prosperity: Who Profits, Who Pays, Who Protests

Discussion featuring:

  • Dr. Daron Acemoglu: MIT Economics Professor & Author of the Bestseller “Why Nations Fail”
  • Jean-Luc Schneider: Deputy Director, Policy Studies, Economics Dept., OECD Headquarters, Paris

A question-and-response session follows the program.

When: THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 5:30pm
Where: Wong Auditorium – E51-115 (Tang Center)

For more information, contact the MIT OECD Student Ambassador, Caroline Shinkle, at cshinkle@mit.edu.

The Springer Book Archive (SBA) is here!

Posted October 14th, 2014 by Chris Sherratt

springer

You may know that for several years, MIT Libraries has had online books (2005+) from the prolific publisher Springer. Now we are pleased to announce the addition of approximately 47,320 more e-books across all fields of engineering, math, physics, life sciences, social sciences and more…through Springerlink!

Most of the titles in SBA were published between 1980 and 2005, but it does include some older books, such as Very’s Prize Essay on the Distribution of the Moon’s Heat and its Variation with the Phase (1891) and Economics Aspects of Immigration (1954). And, as before, you can still download chapters or whole books; great for a community on the go.

Another great service available to MIT is Springer’s MyCopy: a chance to buy a sturdy paperbound copy of a book for $24.99 regardless of the current price: Bargains!

Contact Michael Noga for further information, and enjoy your new access to older Springer books!

OECD coming to MIT

Posted September 23rd, 2014 by Katherine McNeill

OECD logo

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is coming to MIT!  Join us to:

  • increase your knowledge of the world
  • get a leg up on your job search
  • enjoy some refreshments!

Join the Libraries for an event co-hosted by MIT Economics major Caroline Shinkle, the first-ever MIT student to be selected by the OECD to be a Student Ambassador. In this role, Caroline is raising awareness about the OECD within the MIT community.

When: Thursday, October 9, 2014, 3-4PM
Where: 14N-132
Register
Refreshments served

Kathleen DeBoer, Deputy Head of the OECD Washington Center, will present about the OECD iLibrary (http://libraries.mit.edu/get/oecd), including:

  • Information the OECD provides on countries around the world, in areas such as:
    • Development
    • Employment
    • Energy
    • Environment
    • Trade
    • and more…
  •  How to efficiently extract data from their vast array of statistics

Note: For those interested in working for the OECD, Ms. DeBoer will be available to meet in the afternoon before and after the presentation to discuss the application process. If interested, contact her at Kathleen.DEBOER@oecd.org.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) provides a forum in which governments can work together to share experiences and seek solutions to common problems. Today, 34 OECD member countries worldwide regularly turn to one another to identify problems, discuss and analyse them, and promote policies to solve them. It is one of the largest economics publishers in the world.

International Historical Statistics–now online!

Posted August 28th, 2014 by Katherine McNeill

IHS logo

Looking to study countries worldwide far back in time?  Want the convenience of country statistics at your fingertips?  International Historical Statistics now is available online!  Previously only available in print, this unique collection of statistics covers a wide range of economic and social topics for countries worldwide from 1750-2010.

Access data about the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania on the following topics:

  • population and labor force
  • agriculture
  • industry
  • external trade
  • transport and communications
  • finance
  • prices
  • education
  • national accounts

You can search or browse the collection and download data tables as PDF or Excel.  Access the database at: http://libraries.mit.edu/get/ihs.

Want more resources in this area?  Check out our guides to Country Data and Analysis, History, and Social Science Data Services.

What’s new at the Libraries this fall

Posted August 26th, 2014 by Heather Denny

nullWelcome back! The MIT Libraries have been busy over your summer vacation. We’ve made improvements, added new resources, expanded our services, and lined up great events for the fall. Here are some of the new things you can look forward to:

New website

  • Our homepage has a new look Everyone wants to look their best going back-to-school, including us! With your feedback we made major improvements to our homepage. The fresh new design features a streamlined search bar, less clutter, and easy to find hours, locations, research guides, and experts.

New resources & tools

  • Got data? Need help managing it? We can help MIT faculty and researchers manage, store, and share the data you produce. Evaluate your needs with this short checklist on our new Data Management website.

Expanded borrowing & easier renewing

  • More options for borrowing Borrow Direct, the partnership that allows you to borrow books from other Ivy League+ institutions, has expanded to include Johns Hopkins University. Search over 50 million volumes owned by Borrow Direct libraries through MIT’s WorldCat.
  • Keep your books longer You may have noticed this summer that you didn’t have to worry about renewing books as often. We launched automatic renewals this spring, giving you extra time with your books. Your library loans will now automatically renew 3 days before the due date, unless the book has been requested by another patron.

Upcoming events & exhibits

  • Fall exhibit opens Wired: A World Transformed by the Telegraph opens in the Maihaugen Gallery in September. Long before telephone or text, instantaneous messages travelled by telegraph. Explore the historic significance of this technological triumph of the 19th century through an exhibit featuring books, telegrams, photographs, manuscripts, and ephemera from the Libraries’ collections.
  • Fridays just got a little more fun, and furry Starting in October we’re expanding our popular therapy dog program. Now on the first Friday of each month this fall you can stop by Hayden Library for some one-on-one time with a dog. Petting a dog is great stress relief! Just drop by 2-4pm on October 3, November 7, or December 5.
  • Authors@MIT series returns The MIT Libraries and MIT Press Bookstore will offer a series of events with MIT authors. Join us in October for a reading by Ellen Harris who will discuss her most recent work, George Frideric Handel: A Life with Friends on Wednesday, October 22nd, at 5:30pm in the Lewis Music Library. Stay tuned for more events to come.

Follow the MIT Libraries on Twitter and Facebook for all the latest news and events.

New Requirements for DOE-funded Researchers: Public Access to Data and Publications

Posted August 18th, 2014 by Ellen Duranceau

In response to the 2013 Memorandum from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, “Expanding Public Access to the Results of Federally Funded Research,” the Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a Public Access Plan.  The DOE is the first agency to release its open access plan in response to this directive, which applies to the largest federal agencies.

doe logoThe aim of the directive is to ensure that “the direct results of federally funded scientific research are made available to and useful for the public, industry, and the scientific community.”

Publications

Under the DOE plan, researchers will be required to submit accepted manuscripts of publications that report on DOE-supported research to an open access repository such as DSpace@MIT.  Researchers will also need to submit information about their publications to the DOE’s Office of Scientific and Technical Information.   DOE will begin to include these requirements in award agreements as of October 1, 2014.

Data

Also under the plan, researchers will be required to include in grant proposals a Data Management Plan outlining how the data generated in research will be shared and preserved.   These requirements take effect October 1, 2014 for the DOE’s Office of Science and by October 1, 2015 for other DOE offices.

The Libraries can help you comply with these new requirements:

In coming months, the Libraries will be evaluating what other services may be of help to DOE-funded researchers. If you have comments or suggestions, please contact:

For publications: contact Ellen Finnie Duranceau, Program Manager, Scholarly Publishing, Copyright, and Licensing, MIT Libraries

For data: contact the MIT Libraries’ data management team

New! Access to the complete New Yorker

Posted May 30th, 2014 by Katherine McNeill

New Yorker cover image        

The current issue and all past issues of The New Yorker—going all the way back to very first in 1925—are now available to the MIT community through our subscription to The New Yorker Digital Archive.

You can read the magazine in its full-color glory anywhere you have a browser and an internet connection (try it on your iPad).  So if you’re traveling light this summer and have a hankering for “The Talk of the Town,” those sometimes uproarious, sometimes inscrutable cartoons, and a little Eustace Tilley, check out The New Yorker Digital Archive.

Share your research data with openICPSR—free for a limited time!

Posted May 12th, 2014 by Katherine McNeill

openICPSR logo

Need to share research data you have collected in the social or behavioral sciences?  Have a funding agency that requires you to make your data publicly available?  Share your data through openICPSR!

A service of the ICPSR data archive, openICPSR is a research data sharing service for the social and behavioral sciences which provides:

  • Distribution through an established network of over 740 research institutions with powerful search tools and search engine indexing, enabling your data to be discovered and cited
  • Reliability of a trusted, sustainable organization with over 50 years’ experience storing research data
  • Review by professional data curators
  • The ability to accept and disseminate sensitive or restricted-use data

In order to make your data publicly available to others, openICPSR charges a deposit fee (different levels of service are available).  Normally this cost would be written into a grant proposal when planning your data management.  But if you have data right now to share, for a limited time through the end of the calendar year, you can self-deposit your data in openICPSR with no fee!

For more information:

  • For assistance in preparing your data for deposit in ICPSR for free this year, contact data-management@mit.edu.
  • For more information on all your options for depositing data with ICPSR, including professional data curation, contact deposit@icpsr.umich.edu.
  • Working on other issues related to data management or sharing?  Looking for a way to share data from other disciplines?  We can help!  Find out more about the Libraries’ data management services.

Cite your data sources!

Posted April 23rd, 2014 by Katherine McNeill

citation needed sign    data

You’re familiar with the importance of citing the literature that you use in your paper.  But did you know that it’s equally important to cite the sources of the data that you use?

Authors don’t always rigorously cite their data sources—have you ever had a hard time finding the data underlying a publication?—but citing data is equally important in order to:

  • Give the data producer appropriate credit
  • Enable readers of your work to access the data, for their own use and to replicate your results
  • Fulfill publisher requirements

Need guidance and examples?  See the Libraries guide to citing data.  For help in citing data—or in identifying sources of data behind publications—contact Katherine McNeill, Social Science Data Services Librarian, mcneillh@mit.edu.

Want to know more about improved standards and practices in the field for data citation?  See:

Image credits: futureatlas.com [CC-BY-2.0], infocux Technologies [CC-BY-NC-2.0]

Discovering the Libraries: Enriching and simplifying research

Posted April 23rd, 2014 by Pritee Tembhekar
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Priya Kalluri, ’16, doing research on several generations of Frankenstein adaptations, using MIT Libraries’ resources.

By MIT Libraries’ student blogger, Pri Tembhekar

Hello everyone! It is research season! Well at least many of us have design projects, theses, or final reports that require significant research. This week I’ll be highlighting some of the Libraries’ resources for research. You probably already know about finding print resources, such as books owned by the MIT Libraries. While this is a good first step, there are many additional sources of information that can add depth and breadth to your findings.

Subject matter experts are part of the Libraries’ staff and have specialized knowledge about subjects ranging from accounting to women’s and gender studies. These experts can provide research consultations for courses, theses, and other in-depth research. These consultations can be very valuable if you come prepared, and with a project that isn’t due in the next two hours. In case you are facing an impending deadline, these subject matter experts have kindly put together subject matter guides. For an example of how these can be used, take the one on energy. The experts have provided a list of easily accessible databases and journals along with short descriptions of their contents. This enables students to produce higher quality research than Google alone can facilitate. The guides are also a direct way to utilize MIT-only resources without much research into which resources are available and relevant. In short, some of the leg work has been done for you! For a particularly fun research guide, check out the one on designing and making stuff.

Along the same lines as the research guides, the Libraries provide class guides. Certain classes require substantial outside material and/or research from students. The professors can work with librarians to put together class guides especially usefully for that class. If your research is for a class, it is worth checking if there is a class guide for it. In my case, the guide for 10.27 (Energy Projects Lab) along with the Energy guide mentioned above and the Chemical Engineering guide were the foundation for preparing a meaty introduction to my final report in 10.27.

Finally, one of the simplest resources is a class textbook. The Libraries provide access to select textbooks online. I never thought to search for textbooks in the library until a friend mentioned last year that he wasn’t buying the textbook because he could access it through the Libraries. This is also useful if you find that you need a textbook for a class you aren’t taking or would like to peruse the textbook for a class you might take. Never hurts to look before you buy!

Learn more about Mendeley–with pizza!

Posted April 17th, 2014 by Katherine McNeill

Mendeley logo

Meet Mendeley Representatives–Refreshments served!

When: Friday April 25th 3:30-5pm

Where: 14N-132

Come eat pizza and learn more about Mendeley, a tool that helps you manage and share pdfs and easily generate citations and bibliographies when writing.  Representatives from Mendeley,  MIT Mendeley Advisors and library staff will be on hand to meet you, answer your questions and get feedback on this great tool.

RSVP for the event.

Enhanced Mendeley Access for MIT Users

The MIT Libraries has purchased Mendeley Institutional Edition for the MIT community.  This gives MIT users more personal and shared space than what is available with a free Mendeley account.  To find out more see our Mendeley page.

Questions? Email personal-content@mit.edu

Climate Change volumes now online

Posted April 11th, 2014 by Chris Sherratt

Many will already be aware that Dr. James Hansen, one of the most prominent voices in the climate change conversation, visits our campus next week. In honor of his visit, the Libraries would like to highlight the new, five volume online resource, Climate Vulnerability: understanding and addressing threats to essential resources.

It would be difficult to find an aspect of this challenging topic not addressed in this collection of essays. Well referenced and written by experts, the articles explore the vulnerability of human health, food resources, energy, ecosystems and water to our climate and its changes. They address science, policy, economics and social ramifications of these changes in the world around us.temperature_gis_2012We hope you explore!  Image credit: NASA

 

Community Archives in the Digital Era: Creating the South Asian American Digital Archive

Posted April 11th, 2014 by Mark Szarko
Samip Mallick

Samip Mallick

Desis Rising Up and Moving (DRUM)

Please join the MIT Libraries for a discussion with Samip Mallick, co-founder and Executive Director of The South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA). SAADA works nationally to give voice to South Asian Americans by documenting, preserving, and sharing stories that reflect their diverse experiences.

Mallick will share stories from the archive and SAADA’s unique approach to documenting and preserving community history. The discussion will be moderated by Professor Vivek Bald of MIT Comparative Media Studies/Writing.

SAADAphoto2

Photograph of Vaishno Das Bagai, pictured in a general store. Courtesy of Rani Bagai

 

 

 

Founded in 2008, SAADA has built a digital archive of over 1600 items, and through outreach and educational programming has raised awareness about the rich histories of South Asians in the United States.

Refreshments will be served.

Date: Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Place: 2-105
Time: 4:00-6:00pm
4-4:30: refreshments
4:30-6:00: talk followed by Q&A

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact: Michelle Baildon baildon@mit.edu

Additional support is provided by the MIT Asian Pacific American Employee Resource Group, the Center for Bilingual/Bicultural StudiesMIT India, and MIT’s programs in Comparative Media Studies/Writing and History.

Preservation Week, April 29–May 1: Explore the art and science of preserving cultural heritage

Posted March 27th, 2014 by Heather Denny

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Join us for a variety of events that highlight the importance of preserving cultural heritage materials during National Preservation Week.

Tuesday, April 29th, starting at 12 pm

The Art and Science of Document Security: Past, Present, and Future, 32-144 A series of talks presenting research on historical, contemporary, and novel methods for creating secure documents in all forms. Join us for one session or several. There will be breaks for refreshments and questions throughout.

  • 12:15 pm “Our Marathon”: The Boston Bombing Digital Archive
    Our Marathon is a crowd-sourced digital archive of stories, photos, video, and social media related to the Boston Marathon bombings and aftermath. Join us for a brown bag talk with Jim McGrath and Alicia Peaker from the Our Marathon team for an overview of the project and the archive.
  • 1:00 pm      Opening Remarks
  • 1:15 pm     Our Digital Lives: Protecting Our Data In Use and At Rest, Michael Halsall, Senior Network and Information Security Analyst at MIT

  • 1:45 pm    Benign Neglect No More: How Document Security Affects Access to Memory, Kari R. Smith, Digital Archivist, MIT Libraries Institute Archives and Special Collections
  • 2:45 pm    Historic Letterlocking: The Art and Security of Letterwriting, Jana Dambrogio, Thomas F. Peterson (1957) Conservator, MIT Libraries Curation and Preservation Services
  • 4:00 pm    Thanks for the Memory: 50+ Years of Computing at MIT exhibit, 14N-130 Gallery visit led by Nora Murphy, Archivist for Reference, Outreach, and Instruction, MIT Institute Archives and Special Collections, Maihaugen Gallery  

  • 8:00 pm   The Monuments Men Movie Screening, 26-100 Enjoy a free screening of The Monuments Men. George Clooney portrays a local art conservation hero George Stout who saved cultural heritage from ruin during WWII.

Wednesday, April 30th, 11 am-3 pm

  • Our Marathon “Share Your Story” event, 10-105 Representatives from the Our Marathon online collection of Boston Marathon Bombing experiences will be on campus to document the personal experiences of the MIT community during and after the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing.

May 1st, 2-3 pm

  • Scrapbook Preservation webinar, 14N-132 Interested in preserving your own items? Join us for a free webinar about scrapbook preservation hosted by the American Library Association. Melissa Tedone, Conservator of the Parks Library Preservation Department at Iowa State University, will talk about older scrapbooks as well as how to identify the most stable materials for new scrapbooks.

All events are free and open to the public. For more information contact preservation-team@mit.edu, or see the Preservation Week website.

Learn About Socio-economic Data at the ACS Data Users Conference!

Posted March 20th, 2014 by Katherine McNeill

ACS logo

Use data from the American Community Survey (ACS), which measures social and economic trends in the U.S.?  Learn how to optimize your work by attending the inaugural ACS Data Users Conference!

Held May 29-30, 2014 in Washington, D.C., the program includes presentations by ACS data users, top Census Bureau staff, and a lunch presentation by John H. Thompson, director of the U.S. Census Bureau.

Space is limited, register now!

Can’t attend the conference but want to be part of the community?  Join the ACS Data Users Group.

Want to learn more about the ACS or other population data from the Census Bureau?  Check out the Libraries’ guide to Census and Demographic Data.

Be an OECD Student Ambassador: and have a chance to go to Paris!

Posted February 19th, 2014 by Katherine McNeill

OECD logo

Interested in the world economy or international relations?  Then become an OECD Student Ambassador!  Deadline: March 30th.

Student Ambassadors are undergraduates who engage with the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) and plan on-campus activities to raise awareness of the Organization and its work. Based on their performance, two outstanding Student Ambassadors will be selected to attend the OECD Forum in Paris in May 2015.

All Student Ambassadors attend an initial training in Washington, DC, May 31-June 1, 2014, and will receive a certificate of participation and a letter of recommendation.  Expenses for trips plus a budget related to promotional activities on campus will be paid by the OECD.

For more information see: the OECD Student Ambassador Program 2014-2015 Guidelines

Deadline for applications: March 30, 2014

Download the OECD Student Ambassador Program 2014-2015 Guidelines and Application

Email application materials to Elodie Turchi at washington.contact@oecd.org. For further questions, contact Ms. Turchi or Katherine McNeill, Economics Librarian, at mcneillh@mit.edu.

Learn quantitative methods at ICPSR this summer–registration opens today!

Posted February 10th, 2014 by Katherine McNeill

Need to expand your skills in statistical methods and quantitative analysis? Attend the ICPSR Summer Program! Each year, ICPSR provides a comprehensive, integrated program of studies in research design, statistics, data analysis, and social science methodology. Registration is now open for the 2014 session.  Note: MIT attendees can register at a discount and scholarships are available.

For a listing of course offerings and application information, see the ICPSR Summer Program web site.  Courses this year include:

Note that while most courses are held at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, some are held in nearby Amherst, MA or New York, NY.

———————————————

And don’t forget ICPSR as a source of quantitative data on a range of topics: from markets, election statistics, health, education, international relations, social attitudes and behavior, and more!  Recently added datasets include:

In other news, attend an upcoming Webinar: Resources for Health Research from ICPSR.

For further information, contact Katherine McNeill, Social Science Data Services Librarian, at mcneillh@mit.edu.

New and improved services you’ll <3

Posted January 30th, 2014 by Heather Denny

Heart made from book pagesWelcome back! While you were on winter break, the Libraries were working on some improvements we think you’ll like (possibly even love).

  • Extended borrowing periods Yes, you can keep books out longer! You asked, and we doubled the amount of time you can borrow library materials. 60 days for most MIT items, with up to 5 renewals.

If you like these services, let us know! Connect with us on Twitter or Facebook.

New guides to Social Science Data Services and Census and demographic data

Posted January 27th, 2014 by Katherine McNeill

CensusLogo-white       govslider_hdwk_acs_video      ICPSR logo

Looking for data for a research project?  Need to do quantitative analysis of social science topics?  Interested in understanding the human/social aspect of an engineering question?  Look no further than our new and improved guides to:

1. Social Science Data Services: http://libguides.mit.edu/ssds

Find:

  • Data on subjects across the social sciences, including economics, health, labor, political science, public opinion, and more
  • Micro-level data from data archives and repositories such as ICPSR and the Harvard Dataverse Network
  • Data on countries around the world
  • Guidance on how to use and cite data
  • And more…

2. Census and demographic data: http://libguides.mit.edu/census

Find:

  • Demographic and economic data from the U.S. Census Bureau and other sources
  • International census and demographic data about countries worldwide
  • Background and methodology information for understanding Census Bureau Surveys

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Have questions?  Need further help in finding data for a research project?  Contact Katherine McNeill, Social Science Data Services Librarian, at mcneillh@mit.edu.  For help in using data in a GIS, contact GIS Services.

OA research in the news: Medicaid increases visits to the ER

Posted January 21st, 2014 by Katharine Dunn

A study coauthored by MIT economics professor Amy Finkelstein shows that newly health-insured adults are more likely to visit emergency rooms than their uninsured peers. The study, published earlier this month, used data from a 2008 Medicaid expansion program in Oregon and found that the newly insured visited ERs about 40 percent more often. Researchers looked at emergency department records over an 18-month period for about 25,000 low-income adults, some of whom were randomly selected in a lottery to receive Medicaid.

Millions of Americans are now eligible for Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, and analysts have suggested that expanded coverage could reduce visits to urgent care—and thus overall healthcare costs—by giving more people cheaper access to primary care physicians and preventive care. This study opens the door to further work. “We should not view [use of] the emergency room as a failure of our health-care system,” economist Amitabh Chandra told the MIT News. “The big unanswered question is, ‘Which effect is causing them to go to the emergency room?’”

Explore Professor Finkelstein’s research in the Open Access Articles collection in DSpace@MIT, where it is openly accessible to the world.

Since the MIT faculty established their Open Access Policy in March 2009 they have made thousands of research papers freely available to the world via DSpace@MIT. To highlight that research, we’re offering a series of blog posts that link news stories about scholars’ work to their open access papers in DSpace.

Access shipping data–free with Import Genius!

Posted December 17th, 2013 by Katherine McNeill

import

Do you research international trade?  Interested in data on products shipped around the world?  Now MIT has access to Import Genius, a database built from shipping manifests in ports around the U.S. and selected countries. It includes information such as product shipped, vessel, country of origin, consignee, and more. U.S. data goes back to 2006.

First-time users must create an account with their MIT email address (but NOT their Kerberos password; use a different one).

To access Import Genius, free for MIT, go to https://www.importgenius.com/edu/mit and sign up for an account.

Webinar: Measure change over time with the American Community Survey

Posted December 6th, 2013 by Katherine McNeill

acs

Want to research change over time in social and economic trends for states and local areas across the U.S.?  Use the American Community Survey!

American Community Survey data are released in annual or multiyear estimates (depending upon geographic area) and measure citizens’ experiences in a wide range of social and economic issues.  However, assessing trends over time can be challenging when working with ACS multiyear estimates, so get tips in an upcoming Census webinar: Using the ACS to Measure Trends Over Time.

In this webinar, demographers, planners, and researchers will provide guidance for measuring trends with ACS data.

WHEN: Friday, December 13, 2013, 1–2 p.m. (EST)

Space is limited. Register.

Use data in your research and win a prize! Gain experience in data analysis via an internship!

Posted December 3rd, 2013 by Katherine McNeill

ICPSR logo

ICPSR Research Paper Competition

Using data from the ICPSR (Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research) data archive for one of your classes?  Submit your paper to the ICPSR Research Paper Competition and get a chance to win a $1,000 cash prize!

ICPSR sponsors the competition to highlight the best research papers using quantitative data from the ICPSR archive.  Special prizes are given for using data in their minority, fertility, or HIV data collections.  Note: Some competitions are limited to undergraduate or master’s students.

Deadline for submission: January 31, 2014.

For details on the competition and for help finding data in the ICPSR archive, see ICPSR’s page on the competition or contact Katherine McNeill, Social Science Data Services Librarian, at mcneillh@mit.edu.

ICPSR Summer Undergraduate Internship Program

ICPSR now is accepting applications for its 2014 summer internship program for undergraduates, an NSF-funded program.

  • Explore a research question from start to finish — including literature searches, data analyses, and creation of a conference-ready poster on your research findings
  • Work in small groups and with faculty mentors
  • Gain experience using statistical programs such as Stata, SAS, and SPSS
  • Stipend given

For an example, see a video of a past ICPSR intern presenting on his research project.

Applications are now being taken through an on-line application form. Two letters of recommendation are required, and can also be sent over the Web.

Deadline for application: January 31, 2014.

For more information, see ICPSR’s page on the program or contact Katherine McNeill, Social Science Data Services Librarian, at mcneillh@mit.edu

Get help with statistical software packages, statistics, and research technology

Posted December 2nd, 2013 by Katherine McNeill

Rlogo       stata        SAS_logo

Do you use statistical software packages, such as R, Stata, SAS, or SPSS?  Want to be more effective with statistical analysis, research technology, or social science research methods? No need to struggle with these issues on your own!

MIT has two new resources that can help:

1. Guide to Statistical Software

  • Learn how to access statistical software (e.g., R, Stata, SAS) at MIT
  • Find resources for learning and using these software packages

2. Research Technology Consulting

This service is available to help you individually with:

  • Learning or troubleshooting statistical software packages such as R, Stata, or SAS
  • Data analysis support and programming advice
  • Statistical methodology questions
  • For social science research projects:
    • Research project planning and guidance
    • Use of research technology (e.g., screen scraping, social network analysis, and more)

To make an appointment or ask for tips on a project:

This service, based at Harvard, is provided by the Harvard-MIT Data Center and available to the MIT community as a pilot.

Learn Statistical Software in Workshops
In addition, attend one of the upcoming workshops on statistical software.

The Harvard-MIT Data Center also provides: a data repository, research computing environment, and a specialized computer lab.

For questions about these services, contact Jennie Murack, Statistics Specialist, or Katherine McNeill, Social Science Data Services Librarian.

OA research in the news: Hard math for grade schoolers

Posted November 25th, 2013 by Katharine Dunn

Hard math for elementary schoolAfter a couple of years of coaching his daughter’s middle-school math team, MIT economist Glenn Ellison compiled his notes into a self-published book, Hard Math for Middle School. The book was intended for members of the math league his daughter participated in, but in the five years since it was published it has sold thousands of copies nationwide. Now (at the urging of his youngest daughter), Ellison has released a second book for third- to sixth-graders looking for a challenge beyond what they learn in the classroom. The goal is to keep math interesting for advanced students. “What would be great is if in 10 to 12 years my MIT students come up to me and say ‘I used your book when I was in fifth grade,’” says Ellison. “That would be really awesome.”

Ellison’s research has previously been inspired by his daughters: In 2010 he published a paper exploring the gender gap at high school math competitions.

Explore Professor Ellison’s research in the Open Access Articles collection in DSpace@MIT, where it is openly accessible to the world.

Since the MIT faculty established their Open Access Policy in March 2009 they have made thousands of research papers freely available to the world via DSpace@MIT. To highlight that research, we’re offering a series of blog posts that link news stories about scholars’ work to their open access papers in DSpace.

IMF publications now available online

Posted November 20th, 2013 by Katherine McNeill

imf_seal

Study international economics or finance?  Use publications from the International Monetary Fund (IMF)?  MIT now has access to all IMF publications online through the IMF e-Library.  Access publications, sometimes as far back as 1951, including:

  • books and analytical papers
  • periodicals and reports

IMF publications cover a range of topics, including macroeconomics, globalization, development, trade, aid, technical assistance, demographics, emerging markets, policy advice, poverty reduction, and much more.

Access the eLibrary at http://libraries.mit.edu/get/imf or via our research guide to economics.

Looking for statistical data from the IMF?  In addition to what you can get on the Data and Statistics section of the IMF web site, MIT subscribes to:

 

OA research in the news: Changes to auditing may help reduce pollution

Posted October 15th, 2013 by Katharine Dunn
Michael Greenstone

Michael Greenstone

Economists at MIT have co-authored a study that underscores a troubling aspect of the auditing industry, in which auditors, because they’re paid by the companies they scrutinize, have an incentive to not deliver bad reviews. The study looked at about 500 industrial plants in a western Indian state and found that when auditors were randomly assigned to plants and paid from central funds, their results were very different. For example, auditors in the study found that nearly 60% of the plants were violating India’s particulates emissions laws; previous audits had cited only 7%. The state is now using this information to help enforce pollution laws.

“There is a fundamental conflict of interest in the way auditing markets are set up around the world,” said Professor Michael Greenstone, an author on the paper with his colleague Esther Duflo. “The ultimate hope with the experiment was definitely to see pollution at the firm level drop,” said Duflo.

Esther Duflo

Esther Duflo

Explore Professor Greenstone’s research and Professor Duflo’s research in the Open Access Articles collection in DSpace@MIT, where it is openly accessible to the world.

Since the MIT faculty established their Open Access Policy in March 2009 they have made thousands of research papers freely available to the world via DSpace@MIT. To highlight that research, we’re offering a series of blog posts that link news stories about scholars’ work to their open access papers in DSpace.