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  1. 1. ICPSR BULLETIN Volume XXX, No. 2 Spring 2010 Reflecting on Years of Leadership Myron Gutmann is an assistant After six months away from ICPSR, Dr. Myron director at the Gutmann considers his time as director National Science Foundation in After spending most of the 2000s as a meeting of education researchers charge of the ICPSR’s director, Myron Gutmann ... it was great because the chair of Social, Behav- left last November to lead the the session and then one of the other ioral and Eco- National Science Foundation’s Social, presenters actually spent a lot of time nomic Sciences directorate. He was Behavioral and Economic Sciences talking about ICPSR. It showed ICPSR director of ICPSR from August 2001 directorate. Gutmann visited Ann as this unique place in the research to October 2009. He has authored Arbor this spring and reflected on his world. and edited numerous books and time at ICPSR. articles; his research interests include When you’re in the middle of it, it interdisciplinary historical popula- Question: With the benefit of some seems like that’s just everything in the tion studies, the preservation and distance, what is your perspective on world. But when you step back from sharing of digital material, and the your time at ICPSR and the place of it, it’s still in the middle of everything most effective ways to protect the the organization in the social science that happens in the social science confidentiality of research subjects. community? research community. It’s everyone’s He has a Ph.D. from Princeton point of reference about data. University. Answer: It’s an extraordinary place to work with an extraordinary impact. What I took away from that experience A few weeks ago I was on a panel at is that ICPSR is still the place where Q: What do you consider some of interesting things happen and where, your greatest accomplishments during whatever we believe may not be perfect your time at ICPSR? In this issue [at ICPSR], it’s still way ahead of every other place. And that goes from A: I think that confirming ICPSR’s Q & A with Dr. Myron Gutmann 1 how people get along to cutting-edge place as the most forward-looking data RCMD acquires new data on 4 activities in support of research and archive is certainly something that all Mexican Americans data. of us should be really proud of. Over News and Notes 5 See Gutmann, p. 2
  2. 2. A partner in social science research Gutmann (cont. from page 1) the eight and a half years that I was DataNet competition at NSF ... Q: Can you think of any missed here, that’s very much something Activities that span social science opportunities or unfinished business that we established. and the environment, or that span from your time at ICPSR? the social sciences and health are key A second thing would be broadening areas for the future and data that are A: There are always missed the subject matter by adding to the the seeds of leading-edge things that opportunities, many of which arise topical archives. We added the topical will take ICPSR into the future. out of our accomplishments, as well archive in demography, we added the as the fact that the world is changing topical archive in minority data, we Q: What implications for ICPSR very rapidly. ICPSR needs to position added the topical archive in child care, do you see in the trend toward itself really well for a world that is we added the Data-PASS partnership. interdisciplinary research? not going to look the same in two Continuing to broaden the collection years as it does now. That’s both the is a really important thing. A: In the area of the things that biggest opportunity and challenge. ICPSR does, [there are] lots of Q: What fields are ripe for further opportunities to capitalize on the At the same time, so much of ICPSR’s expansion of the collection here? trend toward interdisciplinary work involves providing services research. There are big challenges to government agencies. That’s A: I think that the next area in moving in this direction because unlikely to change, but the federal certainly needs to be education, it’s not necessarily clear that ICPSR government’s new emphasis on open both because there is a lot of work should hold all the environmental government and access to information going on in that area and because, data or all the biomedical data. may complicate ICPSR’s role, both as a policy-related issue, the federal Rather, [ICPSR needs] to find ways to by bringing new competitors and by government is investing massively partner with other collections to make increasing the volume of information now in improving education. the most of the environmental and that needs to be distributed. I’m health data that will support research convinced that ICPSR’s staff and [ICPSR is] not going to wind up together with the social science leadership is more than adequate to necessarily holding all of those data data in ICPSR’s collections. [ICPSR stay ahead of these challenges. collections. There’s a big investment needs] to visualize a mechanism for being passed along to the states to interchange. Q: When you were director, grant systematize their educational data. funding grew significantly while Essentially, they want to do what a The same thing goes for national membership revenue was stable. Is few states like Florida have already boundaries. Internationalization there much more room for growth done: to collect data about children will stretch the social sciences, and in that area, or any danger of from the time they enter preschool ICPSR needs to stay at the forefront. devaluing the membership side of it? until they finish university, in order If you think about the traditional to have a systemic body of data that social science data and survey data, A: This is an old question. I raised tells us how well students are doing most samples are national or involve this to Council every year I was and how well schools are doing. parallel surveys replicated in different ICPSR director. Is there room for countries. Some of the newest more growth? That links back to the ICPSR has a really important role to social and behavioral research these last question about open government. play potentially in terms of collections, days goes beyond those sources, to I believe that there will be continued but also in terms of being a resource use information from commercial opportunities for substantial growth on how to maintain the collections transactions or the events in online in sponsor revenue from grants that are in public hands, and for the multiplayer games or from Facebook and contracts, both because there’s tools and techniques that are needed to pages. If that’s the case, how do you an increasing recognition in the manage them for research. define national boundaries in an science community that data need archive of Facebook pages? to be redistributed, and ICPSR has The second area would be some of a unique capacity to support that; the things that we’re doing as part and because of the recognition in of the pending proposals for the See Gutmann, p. 3 2
  3. 3. Gutmann (cont. from page 2) the government data community that students or their faculty contribute to scientific challenges. I’m involved there is now going to be a permanent the curation process? in science policy at the federal level expectation, no matter which party to make sure that we identify those is in power, that data will be made challenges and then select the best scientists with the most creative ideas to work on them. I’m also an advocate for the social and behavioral sciences, in order to make sure that the broader scientific community is including the human sciences in everything they do. The current moment is wonderful because the social and behavioral sciences are part of what almost everyone in the scientific world is thinking about. ICPSR taught me to think very broadly about areas of research. That preparation allows me to bring a well-informed approach to what I’m now doing on the science policy side. We’re working on subjects like research into behavior and education, research about human decision-making as it applies to the ICPSR Grant/Contract Revenue vs. Membership Revenue environment and energy use, and about how human behavior matters as available for widespread use. Q: Considering ICPSR’s new we roll out more and more technology partnership with Thomson-Reuters, in our schools, in health care and ICPSR’s membership needs to be do you see much potential for health records, and in our lives sensitive to the changing structure of partnerships with the private sector? more generally. With good science the revenue stream. will come better knowledge about A: In an environment that is ourselves and our society, and better Just before I started as Director in increasingly integrated, there’s a ways to develop policy to serve our 2001, membership and Summer strong role for partnerships with country. Program revenue combined were the private sector, especially if they about equal to sponsored revenue. provide ICPSR with opportunities Now it’s about half as much, and I and content that were not otherwise believe the trend is going to continue available. But I don’t see them as a For more information in that way ... If the membership can’t major way of generating revenue. keep up financially, it may need to find Financial figures on grant and other ways to contribute. Are there Q: Tell us a bit about what your job contract revenue vs. membership ways they can contribute in kind as at NSF is like. are available in our Annual opposed to money, and what would Report. those in-kind contributions be? In a A: My job, on top of the day-to-day world of distributed computing, are management role, is to make sure A listing of all grants and they contributing on the computing that NSF’s investment in the [social, contracts secured by ICPSR side? In a world of distributed behavioral, and economic] sciences researchers was recently added to curation, could their staff or their is appropriate and moving forward to our Web site. solve the most important public and ICPSR Bulletin Spring 2010 3
  4. 4. A partner in social science research RCMD acquires data on Mexican Americans that were lost for decades and rediscovered at UCLA By John Garcia Director, Resource Center for Minority Data In the early 1990s, construction They then combined the findings workers at the University of to construct a 35-year analysis of John Garcia, California, Los Angeles, discovered Mexican American integration into director of the a box full of papers and magnetic American society. Resource Center tapes. The material turned out to for Minority be a decades-old study of the social, ICPSR will process, archive, and Data, has a Ph.D. economic, and political conditions disseminate not only the original from Florida of Mexican Americans living in the MASP files, but also the new data State University southwest known as the Mexican collected by Telles and Ortiz. and holds a American Study Project (MASP). professorship at the University of Now, with processing of the data Generations of Exclusion measures Arizona. His relationship with under way at ICPSR for inclusion Mexican American integration ICPSR dates back to attending the in our data collection, the MASP across a number of dimensions: Summer Program as a graduate will add another dimension to its education, English and Spanish reinvigorated status. language use, socioeconomic student in 1969 and includes roles as status, intermarriage, residential visiting researcher and instructor. MASP was a three-year study of segregation, ethnic identity, His primary areas of research include more than 3.5 million Mexican and political participation. The minority group politics, and political Americans from the mid-1960s. study provided some encouraging behavior and mobilization. Acquisition of the data fits with the findings, but many more that mission of ICPSR, and specifically are troubling. Linguistically, the pursuit by the Resource Center Mexican Americans assimilate expanding its accessibility for into mainstream America quite further examination by the larger for Minority Data (RCMD) of a well — by the second generation, research community. In addition, more pro-active posture in the nearly all Mexican Americans the extension of the MASP into a identification of important studies achieve English proficiency. In many multi-generational study of more focusing on minority populations domains, however, the Mexican and their experiences in the United contemporary relevance allows the American story doesn’t fit with possibility of linking the findings States. traditional models of assimilation. to more recent outcomes. The The majority of fourth-generation subsequent research by Telles and RCMD contacted UCLA researchers Mexican Americans continue to Ortiz has provided a troubling in the fall about depositing the study, live in Latino neighborhoods and glimpse of what other immigrant and this spring received the data to marry other Latinos. They continue groups may experience in the future. begin processing. UCLA archivists to think of themselves as Mexicans. Elizabeth Stephenson and Charlotte Economic mobility was notable from Brown rediscovered the MASP. Two the first to second generation, but RCMD seeks to serve as a portal UCLA sociologists, Vilma Ortiz economic progress halts beyond the to explore minority groups in and Edward Telles, designed a new second generation and poverty rates America by assisting in the public project based on the data, resulting remain high for later generations. dissemination and preservation of in the book Generations of Exclusion: Educational achievement also peaks quality data to generate more “good Mexican Americans, Assimilation, and among the second generation, science” for years to come. This Race (Sage Foundation Press, 2008). but degenerates for subsequent acquisition hopefully represents one This study located the surviving generations. of many more discoveries by RCMD respondents of the MASP and re- to make possible the broadest interviewed them and their children RCMD’s role in this discovery chain scope of research endeavors and and grandchildren, if applicable. lies in insuring the preservation examinations. of this important study and
  5. 5. INTER-UNIVERSITY News and Notes ... CONSORTIUM FOR Search begins for new IFSS releases harmonized POLITICAL AND director dataset SOCIAL RESEARCH With the appointment of Myron The Integrated Fertility Survey George Alter, Acting Director Mary Vardigan, Assistant Director Gutmann to a position at the Series (IFSS) project at ICPSR National Science Foundation, is pleased to announce the ICPSR has begun the search release of a harmonized dataset. Council Members process for a new director. The data, consisting of more Ann Wolpert, Chair than 90 sociodemographic Massachusetts Institute of Technology A search committee has been variables spanning 10 studies, formed, chaired by Pamela five decades, and more than Francine Berman Smock of the Population Studies Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 71,000 respondents, have Center at the Institute for Social been harmonized to facilitate G. Sayeed Choudhury Research at the University of easy comparisons between the Johns Hopkins University Michigan. ICPSR is one of five component surveys. Online Paul N. Courant research centers within ISR. analysis functionality is available University of Michigan Other members of the search for this first release. Catherine A. Fitch committee include five ICPSR University of Minnesota Council members and two ICPSR researchers. With funding from the Eunice Thomas LaVeist Kennedy Shriver National Johns Hopkins University Institute of Child Health and The services of J. Robert Scott Jeffrey Moon Executive Search of Boston have Human Development, the IFSS Queen’s University also been enlisted. project seeks to 1) develop Gregory Price a harmonized data file and Morehouse College ICPSR seeks candidates who can accompanying metadata for Rogelio Saenz provide innovative leadership users interested in changes in Texas A&M University in all aspects of the institute’s fertility and the family; 2) create, mission. Candidates must have archive, and distribute clean, Barbara Schneider Michigan State University significant experience with standardized electronic data files quantitative social science and documentation for the 10 Lori M. Weber research and instruction, and a component surveys; 3) equip California State University, Chico strong record of peer-reviewed IFSS studies with online data Christopher Zorn publications and grant funding. analysis tools to allow for quick Pennsylvania State University analyses; and 4) offer complete Aletha C. Huston, Past Chair For more information, see our documentation, tutorials, and University of Texas, Austin Careers and Internships page. other user support. Bulletin Staff Feedback sought on download process In the next few months, ICPSR will begin an evaluation Editor: Dan Meisler dmeisler@umich.edu of its download mechanism. Specifically we want to look (734) 615-7904 at how the data download can be improved/streamlined. To that end, we’d appreciate your feedback. Please take a moment to let us know what you think of our data download mechanisms, and suggest areas for improvement. You can either email us your suggestions at web-support@icpsr.umich.edu or fill out a simple Web form. ICPSR Bulletin Spring 2010 5