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USIA Office of Research Surveys, 1952-99 NARA – Roper Center Collaboration: An Update . Lois Timms-Ferrara The Roper Center for Public Opinion Research and Margaret O. Adams National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) IASSIST Conference 2010, Ithaca, NY.

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usia office of research surveys 1952 99 nara roper center collaboration an update

USIA Office of Research Surveys, 1952-99NARA – Roper Center Collaboration: An Update

Lois Timms-Ferrara

The Roper Center for Public Opinion Research

and

Margaret O. Adams

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)

IASSIST Conference 2010, Ithaca, NY

common focus different perspectives
Common Focus, Different Perspectives
  • Focus of collaboration: recover, preserve, document and make accessible the U.S. Information Agency’s Office of Research surveys, 1952-1999
    • NARA preserves and makes accessible permanently valuable US federal government records, including data records
    • Roper Center (est. 1947) preserves and provides access to public opinion survey data
usia survey data collection
USIA Survey Data Collection
  • Estimate over 2,000 surveys conducted 1950s-1990s
    • Media surveys and attitude surveys
    • Subjects span wide range of international issues
  • Survey results contributed to formulation of US foreign and defense policy
  • Some represent the only available opinion surveys from specific countries
usia survey data collection1
USIA Survey Data Collection
  • Electronic data files containing the coded responses of individuals to survey questions
  • Questionnaires or codebooks that provide a type of ‘map’ to the data file contents
  • Methodological reports
  • Survey reports, summary tables, instructions and notes
  • Correspondence
usia survey data collection2
USIA Survey Data Collection
  • Over the years collection distributed to numerous places:
    • NARA
    • Roper Center
    • Academic research centers and libraries
    • Functions of former USIA Office of Research reverted to Dept of State in 2000
leveraging relative strengths
Leveraging Relative Strengths

NARA provides:

  • Structure for working with the State Department to identify and plan for the disposition of permanent federal records, incl. survey data
  • Permanent preservation, management, and file-level access for the data and documentation of USIA surveys
  • Access to other permanent, nonelectronic USIA records, reports, as well as related federal government records of all types and media
  • Roper Center provides:
  • Active migration and management of data
  • Exposure to academic researchers via membership
  • More streamlined access to data-based materials
  • Access to related public opinion survey data from the private sector and non-federal public sector
b asic outcome of the collaboration
Basic Outcome of the Collaboration

Both the Roper Center and the U.S. National Archives now preserve and make available a much more complete set of the USIA Research Data Collection than either institution had pre-Data-PASS.

slide9

Outcome: Discoveries within the Archives

Attention to reprocessing and reformatting early studies in Roper’s collection for NARA revealed missing/incomplete documentation resulting in 151 fewer studies in complete form than originally anticipated

after the collaboration
After the Collaboration:

Outcome: Archives’ Collaboration Exposes Metadata

  • 1,150 USIA Studies Catalogued at the Roper Center
    • Complete Documentation is download ready
    • 801 studies were provided to the Center by NARA
    • Another 112 survey parts identified through the exchange
  • 1,544 USIA Studies (includes media surveys) and their documentation are preserved, described, and available on removable media from NARA
    • 234 attitude studies were provided to NARA by Roper

Outcome: Archives’ Collaboration Locates Missing Pieces

The UC Data Archive at Berkeley provided data and documentation for 4 studies that did not exist at NARA or Roper and documentation for 4 others; better quality codebooks for 30+ other surveys

slide11

More than half of the 801 studies NARA has shared with Roper have been fully processed and are available for Roper Center members.

  • In addition to 112 parts of studies attained from NARA, the Center has another 308 stray pieces of either documentation or data.
slide12

The Roper Center members accessed 5 times as many USIA datasets in the last three years as in the prior six years.

  • Documentation downloads currently average 976 each year up from 109 in the years prior to Data-PASS.
going forward
Going Forward
  • Track-down Missing Pieces

420 Studies are identified in part

    • Continue search for other possible repositories
    • Consult with State Department concerning USIA data or doc not yet transferred
  • Process the USIA Collection More Completely
    • Continue reformatting of data upon request by members

3. Adding to the Collection

    • Cultivate contacts with State Department, encouraging transfer of post-2000 survey data
    • Encourage release of data by providing access services
conclusion
Conclusion
  • Enhanced access to multiple dimensions of the collection is the main advantage of the collaboration
  • Allows for stronger, richer and more complete collections then would otherwise be available
  • Provides opportunities for various synergies such as coordinated acquisitions, processing and upgraded electronic versions
  • Both institutions learned a great deal through the process