ICSTI 2009 Conference, June 9-10, 2009, Ottawa, Ontario.

  • <odesi>, eScience in Action. Paula Hurtubise (Carleton University). Abstract: Research success (i.e. discovery and innovation) and enhanced learning (i.e. interdisciplinary understanding and quantitative analysis) rely on access to a diverse collection of high quality numeric-data resources. Today, fiscal realities encourage the exchange of data and technology, the leverage and re-purposing of existing resources, and the development of partnerships in order to broaden intellectual offerings. Creating a community of users and facilitating resource sharing through technological design facilitates access and understanding, satisfying the increasing expectations of an ever-more sophisticated community of academic users. This presentation will look at a project called Ontario Data Documentation, Extraction Service and Infrastructure Initiative (http://odesi.ca) the product of an innovative partnership between university libraries, business, and government. It is a tool designed to enhance and stimulate social scientific inquiry by enabling researchers to share data and documentation, leading to new and unanticipated discoveries. Through distributed access, it also addresses the significant disparity in the availability of data resources across Ontario's academic institutions. is part of a collaborative effort to produce better data, support accountability, and improve research quality by changing the way statistical research data are managed and disseminated.

IASSIST 2009 Conference, May 26-29, 2009, Tampere, Finland.

  • Unlocking Public Opinion Poll Data in Canada. Michelle Edwards, Ph.D. (University of Guelph) and Jane Fry (Carleton University). Abstract: A best practice for creating persistent metadata, an infrastructure housed and managed by the Ontario Council of University Libraries, and a dissemination service available to Ontario universities, have lead to the success of <odesi>, the Ontario Data Documentation, Extraction Service and Infrastructure Initiative. As <odesi> begins to evolve into a Trusted Data Repository, data providers, such as Gallup Canada, Ipsos-Reid, Goldfarb and the Canadian Opinion Research Archive are looking to <odesi> as the key to unlocking their data. This paper will discuss how the infrastructure, management and collaborative nature of <odesi> have encouraged and unlocking and increasing data access in Canada.

Queen's University, Sociology Seminar Presentation

IFLA 2008 Conference , August 10-14, 2008, Quebec City, Quebec

  • <odesi>: A Voyage in Data Discovery. Michelled Edwards, Ph.D. (University of Guelph) and Paula Hurtubise (<odesi> Project Manager).

IASSIST 2008 Conference , May 27-30, 2008, Stanford University

  • Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow: Data on the Web, from Vision to Practice to Sustainability . Wendy Watkins (Carleton University), Co-ordinator and Moderator.  Abstract: This session will address the growing practice of placing DDI-marked-up data on the web. We have one presenter from Canada, one from Europe and one from the US to focus on the three topics. Bo Wandschneider, University of Guelph one of the authors of the vision document which led to the <odesi> project in Canada, will talk about the process of defining and finding funding for the project. Ekkehard Mochmann of GESIS-ZA Central Archive for Empirical Social Research in Cologne, will present their experiences with useage of the ZA data portal which houses a wide variety of European social science data. Finally, Mary Vardigan of ICPSR will address the topic of sustainability.
    We feel that putting the three topics together will present a coherent picture which focuses on creation, operation and preservation of DDI-compliant, web-data services.
  • Best Practices Documents - Are they Really Necessary? Michell Edwards, Ph.D. (University of Guelph), Jane Fry (Carleton University), Alexandra Cooper (Queen's University). Abstract: In Ontario, there is a movement afoot to mark up surveys in DDI and put them in an interface that allows them to be shared with other universities. A noble exercise, indeed! Our project, <odesi> (Ontario Data Documentation, Extraction Service and Infrastructure Initiative) provides university researchers with unprecedented access to a significant number of datasets in a web-based data extraction system. 
    Access to the data with its accompanying standardized metadata is key to our project. However, the staff marking up these surveys do not necessarily think alike, so the formats used in marking up the surveys can and do vary across institutions. And <odesi> is taking place in only one province so this begs the question of what the formatting looks like when the marking up is done nationally.
    In this presentation, we will discuss the five Ws of a Best Practices Document: why we need one; when it happened; where it was put together; what the process was; and who will benefit from it.
  • <odesi>: Creation of a Web-Based, Data Exploration Portal. Paula Hurtubise (<odesi> Project Manager). Abstract: Through standards, design and technology, <odesi> the Ontario Data Documentation, Extraction Service and Infrastructure project has created a web portal for university researchers, academics and students, which render them discriminating and informed users of a vast collection of social research data. This sophisticated data portal, with supporting DDI compliant metadata, houses microdata, such as Gallup Polls and Statistic’s Canada census files, which can be searched, browsed, analysed and downloaded. It eliminates the steep learning curve associated with the use of microdata files. The <odesi> exploration tool facilitates investigation and creative data intervention making even the novice an autonomous and innovative researcher.
    This paper provides an overview of the <odesi> project from its inception three years ago to implementation today. Acquisition of budget, informatics architecture, communications strategies and the development of key partnerships will all be discussed. <odesi> inspires, develops and supports research excellence in the academic environment.

CLA 63rd Annual Conference , May 21-24, 2008, Vancouver, British Columbia

  • See a live demonstration of <odesi> at Booth Number T9, at the 2008 Canadian Library Association Conference, May 22 and 23 2008, Vancouver Conference and Exhibition Centre, Vancouver, British Columbia. Jane Fry (Carleton University) and Paula Hurtubise (<odesi> Project Manager).

Carleton University Library Away Day

University of Guelph Friday Afternoon Seminars

  • <odesi>: A Voyage in Data Discovery. A. Michelle Edwards (DRC Coordinator, University of Guelph). Abstract: Who says women are better drivers than men? Who believes men should have first pick at jobs over women? Do women REALLY prefer receiving large and small appliances as Christmas gifts? Has smoking cigarettes decreased in the past 50 years? Curious questions with easily accessible answers? Join me for a tour of the fascinating data collections now available online to the 20 institutions of the Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL). In this presentation I'll discuss the <odesi> project, funded by OCUL and OntarioBuys, and show you how to access this wonderful resource.

First Year in Focus at Canadian Colleges and Universities, February 20-22, 2008, Carleton University

  • First Year in Focus at Canadian Colleges and Universites. Paul Hurtubise (<odesi> Project Manager). Abstract: The <odesi> data portal facilitates investigation and creative data manipulation making even the first year student an autonomous and innovative researcher. Through standards, design and technology, <odesi> the Ontario Data Documentation, Extraction Service and Infrastructure project has created a data exploration tool for university researchers, academics and students, which render them discriminating and informed users of a vast collection of social research data. This sophisticated data portal, with supporting DDI compliant metadata, houses microdata, such as Gallup Polls and Statistic’s Canada census files, which can be searched, browsed, analysed and downloaded. <odesi> eliminates the steep learning curve associated with the use of microdata files.

OLA SuperConference 2008 , February 1, 2008, Toronto, Ontario

  • Breaking News on the Data Front. Jeff Moon (Head, MADGIC, Queen's University). Abstract: Learn a new and innovative way of accessing Statistics Canada survey data. Ontario's Universities have just embarked on a co-operative data project to provide Web-based survey analysis and extraction tools using a system called Nesstar. Come and see what all the hype is about. No experience necessary. You'll be amazed at what you can do with the numbers and what the numbers can do for your patrons!

Carleton University EDC Technology Showcase Series, January 25, 2008, Ottawa, Ontario.

  • Take the Madness out of Methods: the <odesi> Project. Wendy Watkins (Carleton University). Abstract: Recently Carleton University has been working in close partnership with the University of Guelph on a $1.04 million dollar project called the Ontario Data Documentation, Extraction Service and Infrastructure initiative <odesi>. The <odesi> initiative is an innovative new way for instructors and researchers to access large comprehensive datasets, like Statistics Canada’s surveys and Canadian National Election Surveys. In addition, 55 years of Canadian Gallup Polls are also part of the project. Instructors can demonstrate research practices and easily bring real data into their classes and teaching activities. Students will also be able to examine and manipulate detailed, comprehensive survey and poll data easily and quickly.
    Previously these types of large datasets were spread out across many different institutions, and were extremely time consuming to access, search and then find pertinent information. In comparison, <odesi> features an easy-to-use interface, as well as simple data interpretation and central information storage.
    The research potential for this project is exciting because of the possibilities for collaboration. It will allow for unprecedented access to materials across academic institutions, using Scholar’s Portal – an ideal for research and collaboration of teaching tips and tools for educators. Additional Notes.

Technology, Science, and Environment Course, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario

Scholar's Portal Day, December 14, 2007, Trinity College, University of Toronto

DINO Group Meeting, December 12, 2007, Ryerson University, Toronto

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