Department Blog

H/SS & Gov Info Services

Database trial – Statista

May 28th, 2014 by

The Library has a trial for a new database called Statista for a short time.

Access Statista   (http://www.statista.com)

Statista is a portal that includes data from government agencies, business and associations.  It integrates data on over 60,000 topics from over 18,000 sources onto a single  platform. Categorized into 21 market sectors, Statista.com provides companies, business customers, research institutions, and the academic community with direct access to quantitative data on media, business, finance, politics, and a wide variety of other areas of interest or markets.  One of the features of Statista is the infographics – data can be visualized in charts, and can be downloaded in a variety of formats.

While historical and time series data are not a focus of Statista, the metadata about each table provides all the necessary information to go to the table’s source, where historical information may be available.

Comments?  Please let me know what you think.

Marcia Meister, mlmeister@ucdavis.edu

PolicyMap trial ends soon

November 20th, 2013 by

The library has a trial for a newish product called PolicyMap until Nov 30.

PolicyMap is an online (no software installation needed) US national data and mapping tool and analytics platform with varied applications for college students and faculty.  It is used in undergraduate and graduate curriculums and research related to social sciences, urban studies, real estate and housing analysis, community and economic development, public administration, public health, policy and political science, education, business, economics, statistics, and geography, among others.    In the academic environment, PolicyMap enables students to concentrate on their subject matter rather than having to spend time learning a GIS tool.   PolicyMap is web-based and geared toward users who may not be GIS experts but want to be able to analyze large amounts of data quickly and produce maps, tables, charts and reports with a minimal learning curve for the application itself.

Please give it a spin.  Let me know if this is something we might want to license.

The Book as Social Form: On the Value of Peer-Review and Editorial Critique

July 22nd, 2013 by David Michalski

As the information environment shifts, and new publishing opportunities are presented to researchers, librarians and scholars planning on how to move forward need to reflect on the relationship between the research library, the scholar/author, and the functions of the academic press.

Having sheparded to publication some of the most remarkable academic books of recent years, Ken Wissoker, the editorial director at Duke University Press, is in a good position to explain the added-value the academic press provides to this relationship. And in an insightful blog post, he does just that, focusing on the work behind the scenes that has helped to make Duke University Press as successfull as it has become.

In a world a-buzz over the technologies of self-publishing and research data repositories, Wissoker reminds us of the importance peer review and editorial guidance have on the shape of the humanities and qualitative social sciences. Questioning arguments which herald the demise of university press book, he articulates a key difference between a report on one’s research and the proper work of the book.

Publication in the humanities and social sciences isn’t the reporting of research. It’s the production of a compelling argument, based on a combination of research and interpretation.”

By drawing our attention to this process, Wissoker contributes to a wider critique of an industry that too often sees knowledge as the direct result of the exchange of information, and libraries and publishers simply as the machinery of information transfer. By opening up the labor of the editorial and review process, he reveals the social form of the book. Rather than seeing it simply as a physical or digital vessel for content, one that serves as an obstacle between the reader and her or his access to pure research, the book is reimagined as dialogue between facts, interpretations and critical arguments, a conversation that is aided by the work of external reviewers and editors. In this light, the best books in the humanities and social sciences, not only transport facts, but take the reader through the construction of those facts by unfolding both the research process and the relationships which affect its trajectory.

Wissoker’s argument in favor of a broader recognition of the social relationships of knowledge production may positively influence the way we imagine libraries too. It may help us to better organize the information environment of tomorrow by bringing into focus one the library’s most essential roles, its function as a generator and facillitator of compelling arguments.


See Ken Wissoker’s article posted on Scholarly Kitchen here:
http://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2013/07/22/the-relationship-between-research-and-publication-or-why-libraries-should-buy-more-first-books-than-any-others/

For more of Ken Wissoker’s thoughts, see the interviews Adeline Koh has conducted with him for the Chronicle of Higher Education, beginning with “On Monographs, Libraries and Blogging”. See:
http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/what-is-the-future-of-the-monograph-a-conversation-with-duke-university-press-part-one/48263

Mapping the Republic of Letters

April 29th, 2013 by Michael Winter

A collaborative, interdisciplinary, and international project in the digital humanities, Mapping the Republic of Letters, centered at Stanford University, presents visualizations that analyze “big data” relating to the world of early-modern scholars, with a focus primarily on their correspondence, travel, and social networks. The project makes use of quantitative metrics while retaining a committment to the qualitative methods of the humanities.

All That is Solid Does Not Melt in the Cloud: Founding a Postcolonial Digital Humanities

March 18th, 2013 by David Michalski

Postcolonial Digital Humanities is an initiative seeking to bring critiques of colonialism, imperialism, and globalization to bear on the digital humanities. Questioning the neutrality of digital codes and systems, this project asks how historic and contemporary colonial relations of race, class, gender, sexuality and disability influence the digital world, the digital archive and libraries of the future.

Led by post-colonial scholars Roopika Risam and Adeline Koh, the Postcolonial Digital Humanities initiative positions itself as “an emergent field of study invested in decolonizing the digital, foregrounding anti-colonial thought, and disrupting salutatory narratives of globalization and technological progress.”
To learn more about this interesting and important work read the group’s FOUNDING PRINCIPLES
http://dhpoco.wordpress.com/founding-principles/

Social Explorer license

January 12th, 2012 by

The library has licensed a new resource which provides easy access to current and historical census data and demographic information.

Social Explorer : http://www.socialexplorer.com/pub/home/home.aspx

From the description:

The easy-to-use web interface lets users create maps and reports to better illustrate, analyze and understand demography and social change. In addition to being a comprehensive data resource, Social Explorer also offers features and tools to meet the needs of both demography experts and novices. From research libraries to classrooms to the front page of the New York Times, Social Explorer is helping people engage with society and science.

Key content
  • Provides easy access to current and historical demographic data:
    • Including over 40 billion data elements, 200,000 variables and more than 18,000 interactive maps from 1790 to 2010.
    • The entire US Census from 1790 to 2000, plus the first 2010 census data release.
    • All annual updates from the American Community Survey.
    • InfoGroup data on religious congregations for the United States for 2009, including maps for counties, and special census areas, as well as point maps of the actual congregation locations (to be updated yearly).
    • The Religious Congregations and Membership Study (RCMS) from 1980 to 2000. (To be updated in 2012.)
    • Carbon Emissions Data for 2002 from the Vulcan Project.
  • Creates thematic and interactive maps that make it easy to visually explore all historical and modern US census data across the centuries and even down to street level detail where available.
  • Creates reports at all geographic levels including the state, county, census tract, block group, zip code and census place (where the data exist).

Digital Humanities Resource Guide

January 10th, 2012 by David Michalski
This guide presents resources for exploring the digital humanities, ranging from the computational study of texts to the transformation of art and humanities through the use of digital media.

http://ucdavis.libguides.com/digital_humanities

American Factfinder redesigned

December 22nd, 2011 by

The familiar version of American Factfinder will be discontinued January 20, 2012.

Data from the 2005-2010 American Community Survey, 2005-2010 Puerto Rico Community Survey, 2006-2009 Annual Population Estimates, and 2004-2010 Economic Census and Annual Surveys are available at factfinder2.census.gov. Datasets for earlier years will be available in an archived format.

The new version of American Factfinder will become the “official” source for the latest Census data.

factfinder2.census.gov

Factfinder2 is quite a bit different in looks and functionality from the original American Factfinder Census data delivery system.

We’ll try to help you with Census data from the new and legacy American Factfinder.  Please contact us:

Marcia Meister,  mlmeister@ucdavis.edu or Juri Stratford, jtstratford@ucdavis.edu

Factfinder2 home page image below: