Author Archives: Brenda Ellis

New for the libraries – Roper Center’s Public Opinion Archives

The Middlebury Libraries recently subscribed to the Public Opinion Archives of the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research. This vast trove of data from public opinion surveys is one of the world’s leading archives of social science data, focused on surveys conducted by the news media and commercial polling firms. Most of the surveys in the Roper Center were conducted on national samples, but there are also some state and local surveys, as well as a number of surveys of special populations of interest.

You can easily search all of the data in the archive through the iPoll interface and even download complete datasets.  iPoll is organized at the question level, providing the tools to sift through nearly a half million questions asked on national public opinion surveys, 1935 to present.  Our subscription includes RoperExpress (offers downloads of over 20,000 datasets from over 100 countries to use with statistical software to conduct bivariate and multivariate analysis) and Roper Explorer (online analysis of several hundred studies allowing cross-tabulations without specialized statistical software).  More details on coverage.  To download datasets, register to create an account and agree to their terms about confidentiality, data reuse, and more.

There are some unique and important aspects of our license agreement that, If you are a researcher who may use entire datasets, you need to be aware of :

  • Neither the Member Institution nor Users may re-disseminate any Roper Center documentation or data obtained from the Roper Center outside of the Member Institution. However, researchers who are actively collaborating with individuals at non-member institutions may provide a copy of relevant data sets to their collaborators solely for their private use in connection with and for the duration of the project, after which they will return or destroy such material. Researchers are advised to obtain a written agreement from such collaborators to abide by the foregoing requirements.
  • Neither Roper Center data nor any tool, application or other application that works with such data may be placed on any web site without the prior express written permission, which the Roper Center may grant, deny or condition in its sole discretion.
  • Users may create aggregated analyses, compilations or derivative works using data available from the Roper Center for their own scholarly research and teaching purposes, but may not use any of the data to develop a database, database service (online or otherwise), automated data or text mining applications, or other information resource in any medium (print, electronic or otherwise, now existing or developed in the future) for use by others. Authorized Users who create such derivative works, subsets of data or applications and wish to share access should contact the Roper Center to archive their materials with the Center to make them available to the research community. The Roper Center may agree or decline to do so in its sole discretion.

Roper also provides educational material for using their tools and learning the basics about polling and analysis.

Developer Maps NY Public Library Photo Archives

Library Journal article about “the launch of OldNYC.org, a website that overlays photo locations on a Google Maps interface, enabling visitors to explore the collection by zooming, dragging, and clicking their way around an online map of the city.”  Not only is this interesting to see, it could be useful for students interested in seeing old NYC architecture.  Also discusses a similar project for San Francisco.

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Friday Links – January 23, 2015

NEH & Mellon Announce Pilot Grant Program to Digitize Out of Print Books in Humanities and Make Them Available With CC License  (From infoDOCKET / Library Journal)

Experimental Meadowhawk Module Featured in Mercedes-Benz’s CES Concept Car – Embedded into the console, Leap Motion’s Meadowhawk modules allow drivers to access an experimental natural user interface.

CES 2015: Five big 3D printing trends to shape the year ahead – When it comes to 3D printing, the theme of 2015 is simple: make it useful. The last couple years has been exciting for fans of the technology and people in the industry, as it has developed so rapidly it has been hard to keep up with.

Friday Links – October 17, 2014

Time for a Thesis – From the Senior Admissions Fellows Blog, a self-reflective essay by a History major on the impact of our annual message to seniors about thesis carrel signup and research support. His conclusion is quite nice: “When I think ahead to the books and research, I am not so much nervous as I am excited,” he says.

Practicing Collaborative Digital Pedagogy to Foster Digital Literacies in Humanities Classrooms – This article presents two case studies of classes who employed different techniques to “foster digital literacies in humanities students using distinct approaches for each course.” My key takeaway hinged on one student’s observation: “Through creating an infographic in Easel.ly, I learned that it is very important to develop skills in being able to pick out important information from the vast amounts that you can easily find online.”

How Stress Affects the Brain During Learning – A fight or flight reaction may be useful in some situations, but it is highly detrimental in the classroom. Whether anxiety stems from test taking or from an unstable home environment, the brains of students experiencing high levels of stress look different than those who are not — and those brains behave differently, too. In this article, we’ll take a look at the neural and hormonal responses that underpin a student’s stress response, and make a few suggestions for continuing to teach through the challenges it presents.

Upcoming Battery Will Charge Phones And Electric Cars in Minutes – It takes about an hour to fully charge a cell phone, and the battery lasts about two to three years over 500 charge cycles. However, a new design could reduce charge time to only a few minutes and the battery is expected to last for 10,000 charge cycles over a 20 year lifespan.

FireChat in Hong Kong: How an app tapped its way into the protests
(CNN) — The revolution will not be televised but it will be tweeted, instant messaged or, in the case of Hong Kong, broadcast on mesh networks like FireChat.

 

Friday Links – October 10, 2014

How tech is changing the way we think and what we think about – There are a myriad of arguments for and against the increased use of technology in everyday life. Futurists and technophiles encourage its use, sure that technology will welcome a new utopia, while luddites rail against the “destructive” nature of technology use.

The Next Wave of Tech Change | Self-Publishing & Libraries (from Library Journal)

Trust, Privacy, Big Data, and E-book readers “… the Amazon Kindle platform is as much a data ingest tool for providing end-user behavior data to Amazon as it is a sales platform for digital media content,…” … “It seems that counter to this trend, libraries and scholarly publishers are the exception to the rule. Whether our community will remain outliers and whether this status is a good thing or not over the long run, remains to be seen.”