2001-10-05: Fall 2001

CSU Social Science Research and Instructional Council


Minutes of the Meeting of October 5, 2001

Humboldt State University


Present:  Ted Anagnoson (Los Angeles), Elliott Barkan (Santa Barbara), Chris Bettinger (San Francisco), Nan Chico (Hayward), Bob Christie (Dominguez Hills), Don Dixon (Sonoma), Jon Ebling (Chico), JeDon Emenhiser (Humboldt), Jim Gerber (San Diego), Phil Gianos (Fullerton), Frank Gossette (Long Beach), Bruce Haston (guest), Tony Hernandez (SSDBA), John Korey (Pomona), Randy MacIntosh (Sacramento), David McCuan (Maritime Academy), Ed Nelson (Fresno), Jim Ross (Bakersfield), Dick Shaffer (San Luis Obispo), Rich Takata (San Jose).




1.  Old business and announcement of conference call and meeting agenda

  • New members introduced
  • Ed Nelson updated the group on developments in the Teaching Resource Directory.
  • Representatives were alerted that two conference calls with Richard Serpe, and Gerald Hanley and Mike McLean concerning the future of CSU funding of social science databases would be primary focus of meeting.
  • Spring 2001 minutes approved.


2.  Changes in ICPSR

·        John Korey reported that ICPSR Direct is up and functioning.  ICPSR Direct allows individual access to the complete online ICPSR holdings, thus doing away with the need for federations and controlled access.  Fees for ICPSR Direct are still being worked out.  More will be known after the upcoming OR meeting and discussed at the Spring 2002 SSRIC meeting.

·        ICPSR Direct is coinciding with the CSU Chancellor’s office reconsideration of centralized funding of social science (and other) databases.

·        John Korey, Jim Gerber, and Ed Nelson all suggested that data on use rates of ICPSR data among CSU faculty need to be gathered to make compelling argument for continued funding.

·        Responding to a question from Frank Gossette, Tony Hernandez updated the group on database costs:  ICPSR – $81,415; Field – $52,000; Roper – $6,250.

·        A discussion of the database costs and the merits of ICPSR Direct ensued.


3.  ICPSR Workshops

·        We regularly pay for 5 airfares for faculty (and sometime graduate students) to attend ICPRS workshops.  The priority list for funding in 2003 is as follows [note: this list is amended from a similar list actually discussed at the meeting]:

San Jose

San Bernardino


San Diego
San Francisco
Los Angeles
Long Beach
Monterey Bay
San Marcos
Dominguez Hills
Maritime Academy
Channel Islands


4.  Thirtieth anniversary celebration

·        The SSRIC meeting in April will be the 30th anniversary of the SSRIC.  A general consensus moved to mark the occasion with a special dinner.  Ed Nelson suggested inviting former SSRIC representatives.  Ideas for speakers were discussed.


5.  Winter meeting, February 8 and 9

·        Jim Ross announced that he would bring five laptop computers and appropriate wireless hardware to the meeting.

·        Various ideas for workshops including one on Census data were discussed.

·        Discussion segued to the student research competition in May.  Flyers with the details of deadlines and award values will be distributed shortly.  (Ed Nelson’s email list for the group was distributed for correction.)  Ideas for speakers were also discussed.


6.  Field Institute update

·        The SSRIC website will be updated to reflect the latest RFP from Field.

·        There has been confusion in the past about the difference between the Faculty Fellowship and the Question Credits.  The RFP has been modified to clarify that candidates can apply for either award.  The new RFP will be distributed shortly.


7.  Academic Information Resource Center

·        Ed Nelson updated the group on recent changes in AIRC which was rocked by recent deaths.  Gerald Hanley and Mike McLean are attending the Sacramento meeting of AIRC.  A discussion of how AIRC and COLD are linked ensued.  (COLD will make a recommendation for database funding to Hanley who will make the formal decision.)


8.  Social Science Database Archive

·        Tony Hernandez gave an overview of the SSDBA and the databases it manages.  SSDBA manages three databases – ICPSR, Field, and Roper.  The annual cost of ICPSR is $81,485, Field is $52,000, and Roper is $6,250.  These subscriptions are paid by the Chancellor’s office.  The SSDBA is funded by campus subscriptions.  Currently 17 campuses subscribe to the SSDBA.  Each campus’ subscription cost is based on campus enrollment.  Current funding for SSDBA is $157,000 per annum.  This money funds somewhat over two full-time positions.  SSDBA has recently moved to a SQL database, which should make searching and data retrieval easier.  The physical site is located on one server running on a Solaris (unix) platform.  The server has 218 GB available with 40 GB available in a separate FTP site.  Over 1500 studies currently reside online.  This, however, is only a fraction of the total studies available on CD-rom or other media at the SSDBA office.

·        Various questions about usage were raised.  Tony Hernandez will present a web analysis of hits and get a report from the ICPSR for 2000-2001 downloads and such.

·        SSDBA is moving in the direction of making data more accessible for teaching.  SDA datasets, which can be easily analyzed online, are one way of accomplishing this.  The American Election Studies, General Social Survey, Field polls and other studies are now available in SDA format.  Some Census data may also soon be available.  A discussion of SDA ensued.

·        Don Dixon raised the question of how SSDBA would justify its role given changes in ICPSR and other data sources.  A discussion about the myriad helpful functions of SSDBA ensued.  Elliot Barkan reported that the Chancellor’s office seems to be saying that the archive function of SSDBA is no longer enough justification for continued funding.  We need to make it clear why campuses should continue to fund SSDBA (which is separate from the issue of the CSU subscribing to the ICPSR).

·        A general discussion about the role of SSDBA, the value of the database subscriptions, and the approach to COLD ensued.  Consensus emerged that SSDBA and the subscriptions were two separate issues but that they were linked by virtue of SSDBA’s role in making data usable.  Discussion terminated when the conference call with Richard Serpe came through.


9.  Conference call with Richard Serpe

·        Elliot Barkan briefed Richard Serpe on the above.  Serpe advised that the strongest argument to the Chancellor’s office would be to (1) stress that these databases are an essential part of information competence to students and (2) that the SSDBA is essential to making the data accessible and usable by the broadest spectrum of students.

·        After the conference call, the group discussed the format for the next conference call with Gerald Hanley and Mike McLean.


10.  Conference call with Gerald Hanley and Mike McLean

·        Introductions

·        Elliot Barkan gave an overview of the history of SSRIC and the battle to continue funding of social science databases.  He emphasized the importance of ICPSR and the key role these datasets have in creating information competence throughout the CSU.

·        Hanley stated that the justifications given by Barkan were compelling.  He reported that his conversation with COLD indicate that the librarians are worried about supporting the use of these databases.  A subcommittee of COLD (Carl Bangston, Barbara Butler, and Tamara Trujillo) will meet with SSRIC and discuss these issues.  Hanley expects that SSRIC will be asked to present to COLD and to EAR before their April meeting.

·        A discussion of the unique nature of social science datasets and the problem of making them readily accessible to the general student population ensued.  Hanley emphasized that librarians must understand the utility of this data if they are to include it for funding.  Hanley then outlined the structure of the electronic core collection and PHAROS.





Union catalog                           Resource sharing                      Unified access

                                                system                                      interface

            Total collection             Requests for info                       Resources that are not

            of library                                   from other libraries                    part of library but

            resources                                                                                  nevertheless can be

                                                                                                            put on same place

                                                                                                            (at least for access)

unique to          duplicated

campus across



The standard for inclusion in the electronic core collection is that at least 15 campuses have high usage rates for the item.

·        A discussion ensued about what has already been included in the ECC and how it has been configured.  Hanley suggested that the social science databases may fit under the union catalog while the SSDBA might be part of the unified access interface.  A discussion of how best to approach COLD followed.


11.  Post-conference call discussion

·        General consensus was that the conference call was encouraging.  Representatives were encouraged to make meetings with their campus COLD representative to convey SSRIC position.

·        Elliot Barkan, Tony Hernandez, Ed Nelson and Ted Anagnoson will hold a conference call with the COLD taskforce on October 22nd.

·        Various alternate plans for worst case scenarios were discussed.


12.  Name change

·        In keeping with changes in SSRIC’s role, a name change to Council for Access to Resources and Information Technology in the Social Sciences (CARITS) was proposed.  Discussion was put off until the following morning.


13.  Adjournment

·        Ed Nelson asked members to email him with workshop proposals.

·        Meeting was adjourned for the day.