Archive for September, 2012

User survey: Help define the UK Data Service identity

By Kieron L Jones, on 13 September 2012

As you may know, the ESRC are establishing a new UK Data Service which integrates several existing services including the Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS), the Census Programme and the Secure Data Service.

Work is now underway to establish an identity for the new service. To make it a cohesive and meaningful brand, we’d like to hear from data users – those who currently use digital research data, and those who might use it in the future.

Below is a link to a short survey designed just for data users. It’s a quick and fun questionnaire – not a research study, but a way to get some initial indications of what you think should characterise the UK Data Service’s ‘brand’. It should take less than 10 minutes of your time, and all responses are anonymous.


If interested, please complete the questionnaire by Sunday evening, 16th September.

Measures Beyond Money

By Kieron L Jones, on 13 September 2012

UCL Public Policy, UCL Grand Challenges, and Z/Yen are pleased to announce the autumn 2012 Long Finance Conference on Measures Beyond Money.

The Long Finance Autumn Conference 2012 will combine elements of the Long Finance and Grand Challenges agendas to focus on how to address development challenges in straitened economic times. It will draw particularly on the themes of the Green Growth and Global Health challenges. The event will provide a platform for informed and robust discussion to highlight the most important issues and to offer possible solutions that can have an impact at a policy level. This conference will consider how the challenge of achieving sustainable global prosperity impacts on developing nations, extending the discussion around sustainable growth beyond the economic issues of GDP and a low-carbon economy and engaging with some of the fundamental questions concerning societal infrastructure, what prosperity means and how we can evaluate and measure well-being in a meaningful way.


Dr Stephen Fries, Department for Energy and Climate Change
Dr Paul Ekins , UCL Energy Institute
Dr Balazs Magyar, Bank Sarasin
Fiona Woolf CBE, Alderman, City of London
Professor Stephen Smith, UCL Economics
Professor Michael Mainelli, Z/Yen Group

2pm, 14 November 2012

A V Hill Lecture Theatre
Medical Sciences Building
Gower Street

Followed by a drinks reception in the South Cloisters

To register for this event or to read more about UCL Public Policy, please see our website.

EU-SILC survey

By Kieron L Jones, on 10 September 2012

“Eurostat is currently evaluating the usefulness of EU-SILC, and examining the options for the future of the survey.  They have commissioned a small team at ISER to write a report on one aspect of the EU-SILC, namely the design of the longitudinal component of the survey.

As part of this exercise, we have prepared a survey for the research community, asking researchers about their experiences with the EU-SILC data, and what they think about the different options for changing the design.

I would be extremely grateful if you could complete the survey – we have tried to keep it short and simple.  It may be found at https://essex.eu.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_eQC5D4XtnOmzE0t

Dr Maria Iacovou (maria@essex.ac.uk)
Director of Graduate Studies
Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER), University of Essex

IMF videos

By Kieron L Jones, on 6 September 2012

The IMF have produced outreach videos to add visual content to the data they generate and to help students understand current issues.  One of the latest videos deals with defining recessions:


and youth unemployment:


All current videos are available through:


The YouTube version (if you prefer):


And, are downloadable:


New databases

By Kieron L Jones, on 4 September 2012

For those interested in US political history, we now have (via our list of databases: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/Library/database/index.shtml):

Congressional Research Digital Collections  This resource combines Reports from the Legislative Reference Service and the Congressional Research Service from 1916 to present and Congressional Committee Prints (from 1830 to present).

Digital National Security Archive  The database includes more than 60,000 of the most important declassified documents regarding critical US policy decisions.

National Archives timeline of foreign offices

By Kieron L Jones, on 3 September 2012

The UK National Archives have created a useful visualisation of name changes and responsibilities of UK Foreign Affairs government departments from 1945 onwards on their labs website.  Click here.  The links go through to the Discovery catalogue where you can trace information and lists of records held by the archives for the individual department.