Georgia State University Documents the Women’s Marches

On January 21, 2017, the Women’s March on Washington took place in the nation’s capital, and sister marches were held across the nation and worldwide. A concerted effort is underway to document the marches in every state, and Georgia State University’s Special Collections is committed to collecting materials from the Atlanta March for Social Justice and Women, the Women’s March on Washington, and any other march that Georgians attended.  Already, more than 20 people have volunteered to conduct oral history interviews with marchers, and individuals have begun donating their photographs, audio and video files, ephemera and records. Research Guides are now available to inform the public and potential donors about the collections:

 

Atlanta March for Social Justice and Women Guide

Women’s March on Washington Guide

Women’s Marches Guide

The oral histories, photographs, audio and video can be accessed via the Women’s Marches 2017 Collection in the GSU Library’s Digital Collections.  Digital content will also be shared with the national Women’s March on Washington Archives Project, which is the brainchild of the Women Archivists Section of the Society of American Archivists.

If you or someone you know would like to be interviewed or make a donation, please contact the Women and Gender Collections archivist, Morna Gerrard ((404) 413-2888 / mgerrard@gsu.edu) or simply read the instructions on the Research Guides, complete the donation form, and make your donation.

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Posted in Communication, Digital Collections, English, For Faculty, For Graduate Students, For Students, General News, History, Oral Histories, Political Science, Primary Resources, Research Guides, Special Collections & Archives, Uncategorized, Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | 1 Comment

What Do “the People” REALLY Think?

We are bombarded from social media, the press, and politicians with statements like “The people of the U.S. think [this or that],” but they often are not backed up with any statistics or data. The next time you see a claim like this and think to yourself, “I wonder where I can find some data to support or refute that…” the General Social Survey, or GSS for short is a time-honored and trusted place to look.

What’s the General Social Survey (GSS)?

Conducted approximately every other year since 1972, the GSS tracks hundreds of trends in social characteristics and attitudes over the past four decades. While not a survey of the entire U.S. population, it is a full-probability, national-level sample survey – in layman’s terms, that means you can be pretty confident that the opinions of the ~2,000 people surveyed in any given year generally reflect those of the U.S. population at that time.

Sounds legit! So how do I use the GSS to find data to support or refute something I heard or read?

There are a couple of tools for exploring GSS data online: the SDA (Survey Documentation and Analysis) tool and the GSS Data Explorer. I’m going to use the SDA in this post – I provide various visuals below to illustrate the steps in using it, and here are some short video tutorials on using the SDA.

Case scenario: Someone you follow tweeted this:

Fake tweet: "People in the U.S. think that immigrants are BAD FOR THE ECONOMY."

Fake tweet from fake person – but, let’s face it, this easily could be real.

First, you’re curious to see if the GSS data backs up this statement. Second, you’d also like to explore if opinions about this differ depending upon whether someone thinks of themselves as liberal vs. conservative.

First you have to find GSS survey questions (aka variables) that asked about immigrants. On the SDA main page, click the Search button (top center, next to Standard Codebook link), type immigrants in the Variable search term(s) search field, and click the Search button next to that field. You’ll then get a Results list of the 37 different questions asked across the years that had the word ‘immigrants’ in it and what the questions specifically asked. You decide that this one looks good for your purposes:

IMMAMECO – IMMIGRANTS GOOD FOR AMERICA: How much do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Immigrants are generally good for America’s economy.

Click the Select button next to it, and you’ll see it shows up at the left in the Variable Selection section’s Selected field. Below is a visual of the above steps to help you out:

Now click the Analysis button (top left of SDA window), and click the Row button in the Variable Selection area to have the IMMAMECO question added to the Row field for your table you’re going to generate to look at this variable. To see only the most current data from year 2014, in the Selection Filter(s) field type year(2014), and right underneath that change the Weight dropdown to No Weight. Click the Chart Options dropdown, and in the General Chart Options area checkbox the Show percents option. Finally, click the Run the Table button at the bottom of the screen. A visual of the above steps:

Another browser tab will open with: (1) a table containing the percentages (in bold) and counts broken down by question answer for the 1,226 surveyed people who answered this question, and (2) a stacked bar chart with the percentages broken down by question answer. Below are the table and stacked chart that I marked up a little bit (in red) to help us interpret the results:

My interpretation is that the GSS data for 2014 *do not support* the tweeted statement that “People in the U.S. think that immigrants are bad for the economy” – in fact, the majority (54.2%) agreed strongly or agreed that immigrants are generally good for America’s economy, whereas 26.9% were neutral and only 18.9% disagreed strongly or disagreed with the statement.

Now you want to explore whether this opinion is influenced by whether someone thinks of themselves as liberal vs. conservative. Or, in statistics language: you want to see if your independent variable of “liberal vs. conservative” has an effect on your dependent variable of “immigrants are generally good for America’s economy.” Like before, we’ll use the Search capability to find a variable/question that asks whether the people being surveyed think of themselves as liberal or conservative. I used the search terms liberal conservative and identified this variable that seems good for our purposes:

POLVIEWS – THINK AS SELF AS LIBERAL OR CONSERVATIVE: I’m going to show you a seven-point scale on which the political views that people might hold are arranged from extremely liberal – point 1 – to extremely conservative – point 7. Where would you place yourself on this scale?

Click the Select button next to it, and you’ll see it shows up at the left in the Variable Selection section’s Selected field. Now click the Analysis button (top left of SDA window), and click the Col button in the Variable Selection area to have the POLVIEWS question added to the Column field for your table. Keep all the other stuff as is and click the Run the Table button at the bottom of the screen. A visual of the above steps:

Another browser tab will open with: (1) a cross-tabulation table with percentages (in bold) and counts of those within each POLVIEW variable category broken down by their answer to the IMMAMECO question, and (2) a stacked bar chart with percentages broken down the same way. To save space I’m just going to include the stacked chart below for our interpretation (with some mark up by me in red and blue):

So what does this chart seem to tell us about the relationship of these variables?

  1. As we move across the horizontal axis from respondents saying they were ‘extremely liberal’ to those saying they were ‘extremely conservative’ and we focus on the combined green (‘agree strongly’) and purple (‘agree’) sections of the bars marked in red, we see that the sections stay pretty much the same size for ‘extremely liberal’ and ‘liberal’ (each about 64%), get progressively smaller for ‘slightly liberal’ (58%) and ‘moderate’ (50%), spike up again for ‘slightly conservative’ (60%), then get progressively smaller again for ‘conservative’ (52%) and ‘extremely conservative’ (42%). In other words, generally the more conservative a respondent rated themselves (with a bit of an anomaly for those considering themselves ‘slightly conservative’), the less likely they were to agree with the statement that “immigrants are generally good for America’s economy.”
  2. Similarly, moving across the liberal-to-conservative scale and focusing on the combined orange (‘disagree strongly’) and pink (‘disagree’) sections of the bars marked in blue, we see that the sections while pretty close in size do get progressively bigger moving from ‘extremely liberal’ (13%) to ‘slightly conservative’ (18%), then do a bit bigger jump in size at ‘conservative’ (23%) and a comparatively bigger jump in size at ‘extremely conservative’ (38%). So, generally the more conservative a respondent rated themselves, the more likely they were to disagree with the statement that “immigrants are generally good for America’s economy.”
  3. Now, before we conclude that conservatives think immigrants are bad for the U.S. economy, we should still note that a majority (60%) of those rating themselves as ‘slightly conservative’ strongly agreed or agreed that immigrants are generally good for America’s economy, and 52% of ‘conservative’ respondents did as well. And, while less than the majority (42%) of ‘extremely conservative’ respondents strongly agreed or agreed that immigrants are generally good for America’s economy, it was still more than those that strongly disagreed or disagreed with the statement (38%). So, while comparatively smaller than their liberal-leaning counterparts, a larger proportion of the conservative-leaning respondents still felt that immigrants were generally ‘good’ for America’s economy over ‘bad’ for it.

If we downloaded this data into a statistical software package like SPSS, SAS, or R to run tests of statistical significance, we could make more definitive conclusions about the relationship between these two variables. But even without doing complex statistical analyses, we still get a basic sense that liberals and conservatives are not as polarized on this particular immigrant issue as some would have us think.

The GSS is pretty cool! How might I use it for things other than disproving tweets? And what other data is just out there waiting for me?

Great question! The GSS has hundreds of questions on all kinds of topics and all kinds of social characteristics, so the sky’s the limit on its uses. Similar to what I did in this post, you might use some basic statistics from it to illustrate a point in a paper or presentation for one of your classes. If you’re interested in doing more thorough analysis of GSS or other data, you might consider taking a statistics class to get the necessary statistical knowledge to perform in-depth analyses.

Interested in learning more about data and statistics? Explore the Library’s guide for finding statistical information and data, come to a data-services workshop, or contact a member of our Research Data Services Team. We want to arm you with data for success in your academic life and beyond!

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Workshop: Consumer and Market Data for Entrepreneurs

Need data to make informed decisions about that new business venture? Come to this workshop!

simplymapimageIn this workshop Joel Glogowski, Business, Entrepreneurship and Data Services Librarian, will help entrepreneurs find consumer data, demographics, market share, and industry data to help them make informed decisions about their business venture.

Dates:

  • Wednesday, March 8, 2017, 11:00am – 12:30pm, Library North Classroom 2 (2nd floor above Saxby’s) – REGISTER HERE
  • Thursday, April 6, 2017, 2:00pm – 3:30pm, Library North Classroom 2 (2nd floor above Saxby’s) – REGISTER HERE

Questions? Ask Joel Glogowski.

Learn more about upcoming data-related workshops and the Library’s other data services & support offerings here!

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Workshop Series: Using SAS for Data Analysis

Need to learn the foundations of using SAS data analysis software? Come to this workshop series!

sas_logoSAS 1 – Introduction to SAS Statistical Software

Wednesday, March 8, 2017, 3:00pm – 4:00pm, Library North Classroom 2 (2nd floor, above Saxby’s) – REGISTER HERE

SAS 1 will give a foundation for using SAS statistical software. Participants will learn:

  • how to navigate inside SAS enterprise,
  • how to use the control panel,
  • where to find datasets offered by SAS,
  • how to import and read raw data into SAS, and
  • how to create a SAS table from a CSV file.

Prerequisites: Understanding of basic statistical concepts and procedures is assumed.

sas_logoSAS 2 – Data Manipulation

Wednesday, March 29, 2017, 3:00pm – 4:00pm, Library North Classroom 2 (2nd floor, above Saxby’s) – REGISTER HERE

SAS 2 will explore data manipulation in SAS statistical software. Participants will learn:

  • how to create new columns,
  • how to edit tables,
  • how to format values of different data types,
  • how to filter data, and
  • how to merge tables.

Prerequisites: SAS 1 workshop or equivalent experience. Understanding of basic statistical concepts and procedures is assumed.

sas_logoSAS 3 – Data Analysis and Visualization

Wednesday, April 12, 2017, 3:00pm – 4:00pm, Library North Classroom 2 (2nd floor, above Saxby’s) – REGISTER HERE

SAS 3 will explore data analysis and visualization in SAS statistical software. Participants will learn:

  • where to find different statistical analysis tools in SAS, and
  • how to generate different graphs.

Prerequisites: Both the SAS 1 and SAS 2 workshops, or equivalent experience. Understanding of basic statistical concepts and procedures is assumed.

Presenter: Ximin Mi, our Business Data Services Librarian

Questions? Ask Ximin Mi.

DISCLAIMER: This workshop series is for only the mechanical understanding of doing analysis in SAS. You will not receive advice on what statistical tests to run, statistical training, etc.

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New Publications: The Devil’s Riches: A Modern History of Greed and Migrations in the German Lands, 1500-2000

cover, The Devil's Riches: A Modern History of Greed, Jared PoleyProf. Jared Poley of the History Department has recently published The Devil’s Riches: A Modern History of Greed (2016). A broadly ranging topical history, The Devil’s Riches focuses on the evolution of the concept of greed over the past five hundred years.

A seeming constant in the history of capitalism, greed has nonetheless undergone considerable transformations over the last five hundred years. This multilayered account offers a fresh take on an old topic, arguing that greed was experienced as a moral phenomenon and deployed to make sense of an unjust world. Focusing specifically on the interrelated themes of religion, economics, and health—each of which sought to study and channel the power of financial desire—Jared Poley shows how evolving ideas about greed became formative elements of the modern experience. (from publisher’s information)

cover, Migrations in the German Lands, 1500-2000, edited by Jason Coy, Jared Poley, and Alexander SchunkaProf. Poley is also the co-editor of another recent volume, Migrations in the German Lands, 1500-2000 (2016), which is a collection of essays on immigration to, from, and within Germany over the last five hundred years.

Migration to, from, and within German-speaking lands has been a dynamic force in Central European history for centuries. Exemplifying some of the most exciting recent research on historical mobility, the essays collected here reconstruct the experiences of vagrants, laborers, religious exiles, refugees, and other migrants during the last five hundred years of German history. With diverse contributions ranging from early modern martyrdom to post–Cold War commemoration efforts, this volume identifies revealing commonalities shared by different eras while also placing the German case within the broader contexts of European and global migration. (from publisher’s information)

Prof. Poley’s publications also include:

 

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Workshop: Statistics in the Real World

Ever thought in your statistics classes: “When and how am I ever going to use this in the real world?” Come to this workshop for those answers!

PrintIn this workshop Brittany Taylor, SPSS/Excel Graduate Research Assistant, will address the importance of using a combination of SPSS and Excel for applied research and related settings. It is designed as an introduction to creating simple graphs (such as Excel Pivot Tables) for reports, as well as writing analyses that are accessible to a general, non-academic audience. She will reference a study conducted in 2015 by the GSU Sociology department as well as recent reports from state agencies as major examples.

Date:

  • Tuesday, March 7, 2017, 10:00am – 12:00pm, Classroom 2 (Library North building, 2nd floor, corner area above Saxby’s coffee shop) – REGISTER HERE
  • Tuesday, April 11, 2017, 10:00am – 12:00pm, Classroom 2 (Library North building, 2nd floor, corner area above Saxby’s coffee shop) – REGISTER HERE

Questions? Ask Mandy Swygart-Hobaugh.

Learn more about upcoming data-related workshops and the Library’s other data services & support offerings here!

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US Census Data, An Essential Open Resource

The American Community Survey (ACS) and Decennial Census are essential demographic data resources for a multitude of academic scholarship, non-profit organizations, and business market research analyses.  The United States Census Bureau provides free and open access to the datasets from these surveys from a host different platforms such as American Fact Finder and Census Business Builder.

As this demographic data is free and open it means that other entities can reuse it and provide other means of accessing and engaging with it.  One essential project that repackages census data is The National Historical Geographic Information System (NHGIS) from the Minnesota Population Center, housed at the University of Minnesota.  This phenomenal (and also free) resource provides GIS-ready current and historical census data going back to the very first US census in 1790.

Building on the open data produced by NHGIS, a sociology professor and student from Queens College created the highly useful census data mapping platform called Social Explorer.  The University Library provides access to our students, faculty, and staff to this amazing resource.  With Social Explorer, visualizing census data has never been easier.  This map that depicts where concentrations of certain ethnic and racial groups live was quickly easily made with Social Explorer.

American Fact Finder, Census Business Builder, NHGIS, and Social Explorer are all possible because the federal government provides open access to the census data that it produces.  And it is essential that this data remain open.

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Workshop: Using NVivo for Literature Reviews

Organizing and writing research literature reviews got you down? Come to this workshop!

NVivo for Literature Reviews

Monday, March 6, 2017, 10:30am – 12:00pm, Classroom South 403 – REGISTER HERE

nvivo-for-litreviewsWriting a literature review involves reading text sources, pulling out or “coding” themes in those sources, exploring and analyzing the patterns among those themes, and then presenting a narrative of the insights that the existing research lends your own original research. This can be a pretty daunting task. Fortunately, tools like NVivo can help you find connections and organize your thoughts.

In this session, learn how NVivo can help you improve your literature review writing workflow. You’ll learn how to:

  • Import references from Zotero or EndNote
  • Organize and classify the literature by source types
  • Code the literature for major themes
  • Do text and coding queries to explore themes

Presenter: Mandy Swygart-Hobaugh, Sociology, Gerontology, and Data Services Librarian.

Need help with search strategies for collecting relevant research literature? Consider attending these other workshops:

  • Literature Reviews for the Humanities – Wednesday, March 1, 2017, 12:00pm – 1:00pm, Library North Classroom 1 (1st floor, near Saxby’s) – REGISTER HERE
  • Literature Review for the Social Sciences – Wednesday, March 8, 2017, 12:00pm – 1:00pm, Library North Classroom 1 (1st floor, near Saxby’s) – REGISTER HERE

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Workshop Series: Creating Dynamic Web Maps

Looking to jazz up a presentation or digital project with map points annotated by pop-up text, images, and multimedia? Come to this two-part workshop series!

map

Creating Web Maps, Part 1 – Using ArcGIS Online

Tuesday, March 7, 2017, 10:00am – 11:00am, CURVE (Library South 2nd floor) – REGISTER HERE

This workshop will cover how to create online maps that can display point locations with pop-up text and images, such as this example. Participants will also learn how to easily add to and update your map. We will use the free version of ArcGIS Online and Google Sheets. All participants will need to have a Gmail account.

esristorymapCreating Web Maps, Part 2 – Using Esri’s Story Maps

Thursday, March 9, 2017, 10:00am – 11:00am, CURVE (Library South 2nd floor) – REGISTER HERE

This workshop builds on the skills learned in the Creating Web Maps, Part 1 – Using ArcGIS Online workshop. Participants will learn how to combine multiple forms of digital media and ArcGIS Online maps by using the Esri Story Maps platform to tell stories where spatial dimensions play important roles, such as this Story Map.

Presenter: Joe Hurley, our Data Services and GIS Librarian.

Questions? Ask Joe Hurley.

Learn more about upcoming data-related workshops and the Library’s other data services & support offerings here!

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Data Literacy

When data is properly collected, analyzed and presented it can help us understand complex systems and improve decision making. Conversely, bad data will mislead us and distort our perception of the world around us. Given that we are constantly inundated with data, the ability to critically evaluate arguments based on data is essential. The good news is that you don’t need a degree in statistics to become an informed consumer of data. The Georgia State University Library has several books that deal with the subject of data literacy (i.e, the knowledge of what data is, and an understanding of how it’s collected, analyzed, and presented). The books listed below can help readers learn how to critically evaluate data-related stories on the news, and can help people make day-to-day decisions involving data at work, school and in the marketplace.

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Posted in Books, Data Services, For Faculty, For Graduate Students, For Students, General News | 1 Comment