Data Curation Research Paper Competition

ICPSR invites original student submissions for a research paper competition on the topic of data curation. Archiving and sharing research data has received significant public attention. This competition has the purpose of encouraging and highlighting exemplary student research on data curation, including, but not limited to, such topics as data management planning, supporting the data curation lifecycle, metadata, data confidentiality, preservation, and cost modeling.

  • Awards: $1,000 for a single first-place award, $750 for a single second-place award.
  • Entrants must be current PhD, master’s, or undergraduate students, or recent graduates who graduated on or after April 1, 2013. (Students who graduated before April 1, 2013, are not eligible.)
  • Entrants may be from ICPSR member or nonmember institutions.
  • Entrants may be from the US or outside the US.
  • Deadline: All papers and corresponding entry forms must be received by midnight Pacific Time, May 30, 2014.

More information about this data curation research paper competition is available from the ICPSR website.

ICPSR White Paper Urges New Approaches to Assure Access to Scientific Data

Recommendations to encourage data stewardship and support sustainable repositories

According to ICPSR Director George Alter, this white paper aims to start a conversation with funding agencies about how secure and sustainable funding can be provided for domain repositories. Five recommendations are offered to encourage data stewardship and support sustainable repositories:

  • Commit to sustaining institutions that assure the long-term preservation and viability of research data
  • Promote cooperation among funding agencies, universities, domain repositories, journals, and other stakeholders
  • Support the human and organizational infrastructure for data stewardship as well as the hardware
  • Establish review criteria appropriate for data repositories
  • Incentivize Principal Investigators (PIs) to archive data

You can find more information about the recent announcement about this white paper:

You can also download a white paper (in PDF) from the following link:

ICPSR Webinar: Guidelines for OSTP Data Access Plans

Guidelines for OSTP Data Access Plans – Providing Public Access to Federally Funded Research, ICPSR recorded webinar now available

In February 2013, the Executive Office of the President’s Office of Science and Technology Policy published a memo entitled “Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Scientific Research,” which directs funding agencies with an annual R&D budget over $100 million to develop a public access plan for disseminating the results of their research. ICPSR strongly supports this memorandum and feels it will “promote re-use of scientific data, maximize the return on investments in data collection, and prevent the loss of thousands of potentially valuable datasets.”

Recently, on December 9th, ICPSR’s Director of Data Curation Services, Jared Lyle, talked about guidelines for OSTP Data Access Plans and recent activities related to the OSTP memo.

Guidelines for OSTP Data Access Plans, ICPSR Webinar

ICPSR Webinar on Guidelines for OSTP Data Access Plans – Providing Public Access to Federally Funded Research

This webinar will cover the data portion of the memo, explain the 13 elements for a public access plan, and discuss resources and options to successfully address the elements. A review of public access projects at ICPSR already meeting requirements will also be undertaken.

  • Date: Monday, December 9, 2013
  • Time: 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM EST
  • Presenters: Jared Lyle, Director of Curation Services, ICPSR ; Amy Pienta, Director, National Addiction & HIV Data Archive Program; Director of Acquisitions, ICPSR

This webinar is free and open to the public. Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

Scientific Data Repositories Issue Call for Change on Funding Models for Data Archives | ICPSR

Sustaining Domain Repositories for Digital Data: A Call for Change from an Interdisciplinary Working Group of Domain Repositories by ICPSR with Support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

Representatives of 25 organizations that archive scientific data today released a Call for Action urging the creation of sustainable funding streams for domain repositories — data archives with close ties to scientific communities.

The document was developed after a meeting of data repositories across the social and natural sciences June 24-25, 2013, in Ann Arbor. The meeting was organized by the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) at the University of Michigan and supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to discuss challenges facing domain repositories, particularly in light of the February 2013 memorandum from the U.S. Government’s Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) requiring public access to federally funded data.

Domain repositories in the natural and social sciences are built upon close relationships to the scientific communities that they service. By leveraging in-depth knowledge of the subject matter, domain repositories add value to the stored data beyond merely preserving the bits. As a result, repositories contribute to scientific discovery while ensuring that data curation methods keep pace as science evolves. “However, the systems currently in place for funding repositories in the US are inadequate for these tasks,” the document states.

The Call for Action argues that “Domain repositories must be funded as the essential piece of the US research infrastructure that they are,” emphasizing the importance of:

• Ensuring funding streams that are long-term, uninterrupted and flexible
• Creating systems that promote good scientific practice
• Assuring equity in participation and access

The document expresses concerns regarding current and future funding models in consideration of the OSTP rules. “The push toward open access, while creating more equity of access for the community of users, creates more of a burden for domain repositories because it narrows their funding possibilities.”

“We are memory institutions,” ICPSR Director George Alter said. “One of our missions is to ensure data will be available for a long time, yet we’re being funded by short-term grants. There is a mismatch between our mission and the way we are funded. Widening access to data is a good thing. Everyone agrees on that. But it has to be done in a way that provides sustainable funding to the organizations that preserve and distribute the data.”

Repositories may require varied funding models, based on their scientific domain, the document states. “But in every case, creating sustainable funding streams will require the coordinated response of multiple stakeholders in the scientific, archival, academic, funding, and policy communities.”

The statement is endorsed by 30 domain repository representatives. It can be viewed on the ICPSR’s website.

An Orientation to Accessing to the Measures of Effective Teaching Longitudinal Database | ICPSR

Webinar offered by ICPSR: An Orientation to Accessing to the Measures of Effective Teaching Longitudinal Database

MET LDB is ready for analysis! Join us for the first in a series of four webinars discussing the rich and complex quantitative and video data held within the Measures of Effective Teaching Longitudinal Database at ICPSR, available now for secondary analysis. This first webinar will offer an overview of the groundbreaking MET Project, a summary of the data files available at ICPSR, and a description of ICPSR’s specialized data access systems.

More on the MET LDB can be found here:

Teaching Students to Document Empirical Research | ICPSR Webinar

ICPSR Webinar on Teaching Students to Document Empirical Research

This webinar will present a protocol for documenting data management and analysis that has been developed specifically for use by students writing empirical research papers in the social sciences.

Title: Teaching Students to Document Empirical Research
Date: Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Time: 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EDT

This webinar will be presented by Richard Ball, Associate Professor of Economics, Haverford College, and Norm Medeiros, Associate Librarian, Haverford College.

The instructor will describe what the protocol entails, and as an example he will show the documentation that an economics major assembled for his senior thesis last year.

The webinar is free and open to all interested. Reserve your Webinar seat now at: