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ICPSR: Consortium for Political and Social Research

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Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) is an international consortium of more than 750 academic institutions and research organizations. It provides leadership and training in data access, curation and methods of analysis for the social science research community.

ICPSR maintains a data archive of more than 250,000 files of research in the social and behavioral sciences. It hosts 21 specialized collections of data in education, political and social behavior, aging, criminal justice, substance abuse, history, terrorism, economics and other fields.

ICPSR collaborates with a number of funders including U.S. statistical agencies and foundations, to create archives organized around specific topics. Thematic collections and the new services created for them bring a dynamism to ICPSR from which the broader social science research community benefits. The funders provide new data, in most cases free to everyone, and this stimulates more research. The funded archives and ICPSR collaborate to build additional infrastructure for effective data use and discovery.

For a breakdown of some of the types of data collected

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by Pattie Sobczak, business and public policy collections librarian

Image: Measures of Effective Teaching Database

Social Work Center: Resources for clinical practice

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Social Work Reference Center supports clinical practice for social workers, nurses, allied health professionals, mental health professionals and inter-professional health care teams. Content is organized into core areas such as: Diseases and Conditions, Practices and Skills, Assessment Tools, Drugs, Patient Education, Practice Guidelines, and Current Legislation

Located within those areas are

  • Evidence-based quick lessons summarize common conditions, causes and risk factors; contraindications and precautions; assessment and care plans; desired outcomes and outcome measures; best practices and prevention.
  • Evidence-based care sheets detail the best and most current clinical data for specific diseases and conditions. All evidence is evaluated according to a seven-step methodology to ensure the best and most current evidence is presented.
  • Clinical assessment tools are designed for assessing a client through devices used for measuring a given phenomenon (e.g., pain or coping). These can include interviewing, research tools, a questionnaire or a set of guidelines for observation.

Social Work Reference Center also provides access to free continuing education modules that offer CE credits online. Each module includes course material, an interactive review and a competency test along with a certificate of successful completion. New VCU users can pre-register online.

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By Nita Bryant, behavioral and social sciences research librarian

Image: Generations by Christopher Michel