Archive for May, 2011


By Kieron L Jones, on 23 May 2011

“Zanran (http://www.zanran.com/q/) helps you to find ‘semi-structured’ data on the web. This is the numerical data that people have presented as graphs and tables and charts. For example, the data could be a graph in a PDF report, or a table in an Excel spreadsheet, or a barchart shown as an image in an HTML page. This huge amount of information can be difficult to find using conventional search engines, which are focused primarily on finding text rather than graphs, tables and bar charts.

Put more simply: Zanran is Google for data.”

Survey Skills

By Kieron L Jones, on 23 May 2011

“The Survey Skills Programme is a unique training programme for career-young social researchers to gain a first-hand insight into how the data they analyse was collected, or to understand more fully the issues faced by survey organisations when trying to provide high quality data. A prestigious collaboration of academic institutes and professional research organisations, including the National Centre for Social Research, the Office for National Statistics, TNS – BMRB and IpsosMORI have joined together to offer a wide range of training opportunities covering all stages of the survey research process.

Survey Skills, funded by ESRC since 2009 as part of the Survey Resource Network, is targeted at early-career social researchers whether studying for postgraduate degrees or working in central and local Government, the public, voluntary or charity sectors. It is a low cost practical training programme comprising an introductory workshop followed by tailored placements. The cost to enter the programme is on a sliding scale between £20 and £50 depending on your research sector. In addition we do have a small resource available to help fund travelling to ensure this programme is accessible to everyone.

The workshop provides an overview of the survey process from the practitioner’s viewpoint. It considers quality in relation to the decisions made at each stage of the process, with an emphasis on how participants can recognise quality in survey data. It also provides an introduction to other resources available to social researchers. In the afternoon we showcase a national social survey and discuss related methodological issues. The workshops offer a great opportunity to network with fellow researchers from across the social research community and act as a gateway into a range of other Survey Skills and ESRC activities & resources.

Participants can then move onto up to four days of placement activity which provides hands-on experience of the process of running a survey. Placements are free of charge and have included activities such as accompanying an interviewer during a household ‘face to face’ interview, visiting the UK Data Archive, visiting a telephone unit, attending a workshop on analysing longitudinal data, and shadowing a survey team working in one of the survey organisations.”

For more information visit: http://www.surveynet.ac.uk/ssp/workshops/scheduled.asp

New acquisitions

By Kieron L Jones, on 18 May 2011

Hybrid organizations and the third sector : challenges for practice, theory and policy / edited by David Billis. 
Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.

Human rights in the twentieth century / edited by Stefan-Ludwig Hoffmann.
Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2011.

Backhouse, Roger, 1951-
The puzzle of modern economics : science or ideology? / Roger E. Backhouse. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2010.

Institutional microeconomics of development / edited by Timothy Besley and Rajshri Jayaraman.
Cambridge, Mass. ; London : MIT Press, c2010.

Marr, Bernard.
More with less : maximizing value in the public sector / Bernard Marr, James Creelman.
Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.

Charity Trends

By Kieron L Jones, on 9 May 2011

A new site created by the Charities Aid Foundation which provides free access to charity statistical data using sources supplied monthly from the Charity Commissioner. All registered charities in England and Wales are available to search. View charts and graphs on top charities by income, sector, expenditure and number of employees or use the online tools to generate tailored graphs on specific charities. These can then be downloaded in Excel format. Information on sources and methodology is provided on the website.

About My Vote

By Kieron L Jones, on 4 May 2011

About My Vote is a public site maintained by the UK Electoral Commission.  It provides information on the forthcoming referendum on the voting system used to elect MPs to the House of Commons, and how to vote.   See Victor the Vote Counter for an explanation of different voting systems.