Monthly Archives: April 2010

Make the Most the Work Spaces in the DSSC

The DSSC is a workspace set up so students can work either in groups or on their own.  There is a variety of workstations and tables, each designed to meet a different need. The study tables are for those who are working either without a computer or on their laptops.

The different configurations of workstations in the DSSC are set up to serve different purposes. These uses are described on signs throughout the area and on our workstation policy page.  A policy worth noting at this busy time of year is that a workstation is available if it is logged off OR the screen is dark. Unattended belongings left at a workstation do not reserve a workstation.

For information about the workstations and the software applications they contain can be found on the DSSC Hardware page.

Global Views 2008 Survey Now Available

Data from the survey, Global Views 2008: American Public Opinion and Foreign Policy, is now available from the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR). It is the most recent in a series designed to investigate the opinions and attitudes of the general public on matters related to foreign policy, and to define the parameters of public opinion within which decision-makers must operate. It focused on respondents’ opinions of the United States leadership role in the world and the challenges the country faces internationally.  The 2008 survey was done in two parts. The first in July 2008 asked a wide range of questions on issues relating to international matters and the second, done in September 2008, was done to gauge whether any substantial changes in attitudes occurred due to the financial crisis.

To access the Global Views 2008, link to ICPSR and search for the title.  The study contains complete documentation on the survey and the data files in SAS, SPSS and Stata formats.

If you need assistance with this survey or any other data sources, visit the EDS Lab in the DSSC or send email to


Bill? What Bill?

Looking for legislative news and analysis? Try these two resources: provides user alerts to late-breaking news and updated Hill schedules, status of bills and bill summaries, committee coverage with votes and markups, and transcripts of all written submitted testimony, as well as votes analysis, member biographies, nonpartisan articles on policy topics, comparisons of competing versions of bills, and coverage of appropriations.

National Journal Group’s policy central provides Congressional markup reports and update reports on key legislation.  It also contains a collection of resources on U.S. politics and policy, including the National Journal, The Hotline, Congress Daily, Technology Daily, Poll Track, Ad Spotlight, and The Almanac of American Politics.


LibX for Columbia University Libraries

Have you used the Columbia University Edition of LibX?  It’s a Firefox extension, providing direct access to Columbia’s resources and allowing you to conveniently search the Columbia University Libraries online catalog, CLIO, and follow embedded visual cues in Google Scholar, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and The New York Times Book Review.  Just look for the crown!Picture 7

If you haven’t tried LibX, it’s a great time to start! This is a fantastic tool and will save you lots of time in searching. And if you have any questions, please feel free to drop by the Journalism Library or send email to

Installation instructions:

User guide:

Need to Scan something? You have options.

The Digital Social Science Center (DSSC) offers a variety of equipment for scanning.

For scanning pages up to 8.5" x 11" one page at a time there are:

  • scanners at 4 of the DSSC workstations,
  • 1 scanner at a dedicated scanning station near the CUIT consultant’s desk,
  • 1 scanner in EDS as describe in the next paragraph.

For scanning pages up to 12" x 18" either one page at a time or using a sheet feeder there is

  • one scanner on the lower level of the DSSC in the Electronic Data Service lab (available only during the hours EDS is open).

For scanning sheets larger than 12" x 18", Lehman has a scanning service.

  • Requests for scanning large format material can be made at the Lehman Circulation Desk. Because this is not self-service there is a turnaround time and a policy relating to the types of material accepted.  See the Large Format Scanner page  for details.

Beyond Lehman and the DSSC there are other options:

Open Data and the Future of Funded Research

acticseaiceareaA great talk from last November condensed down to ten minutes (or you can watch the whole thing) called Open Data and the Future of Funded Research, part of the Center for Digital Research and Scholarship (CDRS) Scholarly Communications Program.

Being a GIS librarian, much of what I focused on in the talk dealt with availability, access, acquisition, and licensing of data and geospatial data, both data that already exists and datasets created from your own research.

from the description:

The panelists discuss the advantages of sharing data openly as well as the practical implications for researchers, particularly those who work with confidential information or who plan to mine a data set for years to come.

the panelists are

  •    John Wilbanks, VP of Science at Creative Commons
  •    Bob Chen, the director of CIESIN
  •    Andrew Rundle, Associate Professor of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health