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Archive | February, 2014

Social Science Electronic Data Library: Sciences datasets


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The Social Science Electronic Data Library includes more than 680 health and social science datasets from more than 285 studies all chosen by an expert panel from Sociometrics for their technical quality, substantive quality, policy relevance and potential for secondary data analysis.

Nine topical data archives are in the collection: The American Family, Child Well-Being and Poverty, Maternal Drug Abuse, HIV/AIDS and STI, Adolescent Pregnancy and Pregnancy Prevention, Aging, Disability in the U.S., Complementary and Alternative Medicine and Contextual.

Each data set has been processed and documented in a standard way that facilitates use. Each dataset contains raw data files, SPSS & SAS command files, SPSS portable and SAS transport files, data dictionaries, frequencies files, detailed user’s guides and instruments where available. You may search for variables within and across studies by topic, type or keyword(s).

Researcher can use SSEDL to analyze quality secondary data for coursework or research.

Faculty will find well-documented data for research and grant writing, teaching research design and methods, including the use of statistical software, and integrating current research into lectures and assignments.

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By Margaret Henderson, director of research data management

Image: The Piper Report

ICPSR: Social science archive

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The Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research is a data archive of more than 500,000 files of research in the social sciences. It includes specialized collections of data in education, aging, criminal justice, substance abuse, terrorism and other fields.

VCU has an institutional membership to ICPSR which allows users to download most of the data sets. After setting up a personal MyData account on campus, users will be able to download data with just an email address and password.

Datasets archived at ICPSR are formatted for use with statistical software such as SPSS, SAS and Stata. Some datasets can be analyzed online through the Survey Documentation and Analysis (SDA) system.

Researchers and students use ICPSR to write articles, papers or theses using real research data and to conduct secondary research to support findings or current research, or to generate new findings. ICPSR data are also often used as introductory support material in grant proposals.

Data producers take advantage of ICPSR’s services to preserve and disseminate their primary research data and often to fulfill funder requirements for data management plans.

Instructors use ICPSR’s educational resources to introduce students to the principles and practices of data analysis in order to support quantitative literacy efforts.

Find out more in our ICPSR Research Guide.

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By Margaret Henderson, director of research data management

Image: ICPSR

Reliable Film Resources: Core film studies indexes

New in 2013: two comprehensive core film studies indexes with applications for film scholars and movie lovers alike.

  • Film Indexes Online: A scholarly alternative to the Internet Movie Database, Film Indexes Online provides descriptions for 120,000 films and 735,000 film personalities from 1893 to present. This database also adds a strong international focus to VCU Libraries’ online film and media resources with representation of more than 170 countries. It also includes unique search features like genre/subject/theme, film music and literary adaptations as well as cross-referencing to assist with pseudonyms, corporate consolidation and name changes. Find It
  • Film and Television Literature Index with Full Text: Maintaining international coverage with a North American focus, Film and Television Literature Index provides comprehensive indexing and abstracts for more than 680 academic journals, magazines and trade publications, with full-text entries for 120 journals. Also included are book chapters, industry reports, Variety movie reviews (1914-present) and more than 36,000 images and movie stills. Researchers can explore the spectrum of media scholarship from theoretical aspects and technical elements to critical reception and popular culture impact. Find It

Compiled by Nell Chenault, film and music research librarian

Image: Film Indexes Online