Social Sciences

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

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

Posted April 11th, 2014 by Mark Szarko

Samip MallickPlease 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.

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.

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.

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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.

What we did on your summer vacation!

Posted August 30th, 2013 by Heather Denny

Welcome back! The MIT Libraries have been working hard during your summer vacation.  Here are some of the new things you can look forward to this fall:WhatWeDidgraphic

New Resources

  • New search tool  Finding library resources just got easier with BartonPlus. It brings together many library collections in one search interface–searching most MIT-licensed e-resources like e-books and full-text articles, as well as collections in the classic Barton catalog like books, theses, music, DVDs, and more. 
  • More options for borrowing  Borrow Direct, a partnership that allows library materials to be shared between member institutions, has expanded to include the University of Chicago. MIT users can search over 50 million volumes owned by Borrow Direct libraries through MIT’s WorldCat.
  • New guide to APIs for scholarly resources  Many scholarly publishers, databases, and products offer APIs to allow users with programming skills to more powerfully extract data to serve a variety of research purposes. With an API, users might create programmatic searches of a citation database, extract statistical data, or dynamically query and post blog content. Learn more in the APIs for Scholarly Resources guide.
  • Music Oral History Project  For over 100 years music has been a vibrant part of MIT’s culture. A new website features in-depth interviews with faculty, staff, and former students about their musical experiences at the Institute, as well as their professional careers in music or other fields.

Improved study spaces

  • Upgrades to Hayden Library  The window bays in Hayden have gotten a facelift! The windows have been cleaned, frames painted, and new shades have replaced the curtains. Also check out the  new artwork by Dennis Oppenheim that adorns the first floor wall. Additionally, a number of tables and study carrels in Hayden were refinished this summer. Coming up – we hope to reupholster some of the comfy seating on the 1st floor.

Upcoming events

  • Music & Theater Arts Composer Forums  During the fall term the Lewis Music Library will host MTA Composer Forums. Stop by the library at 5pm on Oct. 9, Oct. 23, Nov. 6, Nov. 20 to hear from featured musicians.
  •  Fall workshops Throughout the month of October the Libraries will offer a series of workshops on subject-specific resources. See the event calendar for details.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for all the latest news!

 

OA research in the news: Fighting crime with math

Posted August 21st, 2013 by Katharine Dunn
Cynthia Rudin

Cynthia Rudin

Crimes like burglary often go unwitnessed, which makes it difficult to predict and prevent a criminal’s future acts. Police analysts scour reports and databases for patterns in criminal activity, but the work is labor and time intensive. Two Sloan School of Management researchers, including associate professor Cynthia Rudin, have teamed up with Cambridge police crime analysts to develop an algorithm that quickly detects patterns including where, when, and how a crime happened. “You’re trying to find the [modus operandi] of the suspect,” Rudin told the Boston Globe. “If you can do this really effectively it can lead to an accurate suspect description.” The algorithm, called Series Finder, is built on data from nearly 5,000 housebreaks in Cambridge over a decade.

Explore Professor Rudin’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.

New Energy Statistics Database from the U.N.

Posted July 5th, 2013 by Katherine McNeill

UNSD

Need to compare data on energy production and use across countries over time?  Try the United Nations Energy Statistics Database, available for download from the Harvard-MIT Data Center.  This new dataset covers the historical period of 1990-2005 and provides comprehensive energy statistics on more than 215 countries on topics such as:

  • production
  • trade
  • transformation
  • consumption

Note: this dataset comes as a fixed-field dataset that can be understood utilizing the accompanying documentation.  For questions about using this or other research datasets in the social sciences, contact Katherine McNeill, Social Science Data Services Librarian, at mcneillh@mit.edu.

For updated data covering more recent years, see the Energy Statistics Database via UNdata.

Looking for more energy statistics or other available datasets? See:

Access data on banks in the U.S. and beyond

Posted June 11th, 2013 by Katherine McNeill

Need data on banks and banking?  Try these databases from the MIT Libraries:

OECD Banking Statistics logo

For banks in OECD-member countries, from the OECD: http://libraries.mit.edu/get/oecdbank
Access data since 1979 on classification of bank assets and liabilities, income statement and balance sheet and structure of the financial system for OECD-member countries.   This is just one of many statistical databases you can access from the OECD.

WRDS logo

For U.S. banks, from Wharton Research Data Services:

  1. Bank Regulatory Database: http://libraries.mit.edu/get/bankreg
    Provides accounting data for bank holding companies, commercial banks, savings banks, and savings and loans institutions.
  2. FDIC: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Datasets: http://libraries.mit.edu/get/fdic
    Historical financial data for commercial banks, savings banks, and savings and loans.
  3. Federal Reserve Bank Reports: http://libraries.mit.edu/get/wrds-frbr
    Includes: Foreign Exchange Rates (H.10 Report), Interest Rates (H.15 Report), and FRB-Philadelphia State Indexes.

For more Libraries’ guides related to banking, see: