Academic Data Centre: Overview and Mandate

Overview

The Academic Data Centre acquires most of its data through university consortial arrangements with different levels of government and for-profit companies. We are members, for example, of the Data Liberation Initiative (DLI), the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), the Ontario Geospatial Data Exchange (OGDE), and DMTI Spatial. Some data is received as a result of the Leddy Library's full depository status with the federal and Ontario governments and other data is purchased on an as needed basis.

This data is available to University of Windsor faculty, staff, and students. Some data can be downloaded directly from this website, some data must be requested from the Academic Data Centre, and some is listed in the Library catalogue and circulates on cd-rom. In certain cases, usage agreements must be signed. All data is to be used for research and teaching purposes only.

Within the Academic Data Centre and the Leddy Library, there are workstations with spss, arcgis, cd burners, zip drives, and other software/hardware required for data manipulation and analysis.

Mandate

Goal One: Research Support

The Academic Data Centre will support ongoing research by faculty, staff, and students.

Research Support Objectives

  • Identify and acquire data to meet the University’s research needs
  • Provide access to a broad continuum of data from aggregrated statistics, to public use microdata files (pumfs), to the survey master file
  • Establish a Statistics Canada Research Data Centre (RDC) to allow for onsite access to survey master files
  • Provide, where possible, web-based access to data files in “ready-to-use” condition and “easy-to-use” formats
  • Maintain up-to-date workstations with statistical, GIS, and qualitative analysis software
  • Provide a centralized data consulting service including technical and statistical assistance from knowledgeable and experienced staff
  • Maintain a core collection of data codebooks, software manuals, and research methods resources for on-site consultation
  • Acquire and produce standardized metadata (e.g. ddi/xml and fgdc standards) and library cataloguing records to facilitate the identification and retrieval of data
  • Identity and produce research guides and other tools to facilitate the usage of data for research purposes
  • Establish a committee with campus-wide membership to advise on the ADC’s facilities and services, to help foster interdisciplinary collaboration, and to facilitate cooperation among other research support bodies on campus

Goal Two: Instructional Support

The Academic Data Centre will facilitate and enhance instruction in quantitative and qualitative research methods with the aim of raising data/statistical literacy levels on campus.

Instructional Support Objectives

  • Work with faculty to further integrate data and data usage into the curriculum, e.g. through course/assignment design Identify and produce data subsets and other teaching tools to facilitate the usage of data for instructional purposes
  • Promote the usage of data and data literacy on campus by providing in-house and in-class workshops
  • Organize data awareness initiatives, e.g. Data Day and market the ADC’s services and products on campus.

Goal Three: Archiving Support

The Academic Data Centre will help archive locally produced data and ensure its future accessibility.

Archiving Support Objectives

  • Implement Nesstar (“data archive in a box”) hardware and software
  • Encourage the depositing of locally-produced research datasets by outreach and awareness campaigns
  • Promote good data collection, documentation, and archive preparation habits during the actual research phase
  • Provide help in preparing and standardizing locally-produced datasets for long-term archiving and access