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ESDS International e-learning materials

ESDS International latest news

23 Jan 2013 - Announcing the new UKDS.Stat interface (beta release)
08 Nov 2012 - Economics Network publish Volume 11 of International Review of Economics Education
17 Oct 2012 - Addition of IEA Projections database to international data portfolio
13 Sept 2012 - Coming changes to the data portfolio
24 Jul 2012 - Announcing the UK Data Service
06 Jul 2012 - A new data delivery interface and changes to the international data portfolio
28 Jun 2012 - The importance of citing data
02 May 2012 - Collaborating to improve statistical systems
26 Apr 2012 - Two new ESDS International teaching case studies
17 Apr 2012 - A world class data infrastructure for social sciences
22 Feb 2012 - Adapting to an Open Data World: talk at the World Bank
17 Jan 2012 - Unlocking data potential - Linked Data at ESDS International
13 Jan 2012 - Service interruption at 7am, 17th Jan 2012
13 Dec 2011 - Report on the ESDS International Annual Conference 2011
31 Oct 2011 - European Social Survey Round 5 data
28 Oct 2011 - Open Access Week (24th - 30th October 2011)
11 Oct 2011 - Booking now open for ESDS International 7th Annual Conference
21 Sept 2011 - Launch of integrated data citation tool
26 Aug 2011 - Beyond 20/20 Web Data Server Upgrade - 21 September 2011
16 Aug 2011 - Teaching Economics at Nottingham Trent University
27 July 2011 - Teaching Tools receives e-learning commendation from HEA Economics Network
14 July 2011 - New case study - Fertility and Pension Systems
07 July 2011 - Improvements to the Beyond 20/20 Data Delivery interface
22 June 2011 - Call for Presenters: ESDS International's 7th Annual Conference
08 June 2011 - ‘Your Better Life Index’ launched at 2011 OECD Forum
04 May 2011 - Comtrade downtime
26 Apr 2011 - New case study - Investigating Macroeconomic Determinants of Happiness
20 Apr 2011 - World Bank announces winners of the Apps for Development competition
30 Mar 2011 - Working to improve data citation
16 Mar 2011 - We need your contributions: Case Studies and Teaching Tools
21 Jan 2011 - Institution and Growth: The East Asian Development

View previous news items from 2003 onwards


23 Jan 2013: Announcing the new UKDS.Stat interface (beta release)

Announcing the new UKDS.Stat interface (beta release) for accessing international macrodata! This exciting new platform uses OECD data warehousing technology to provide an enhanced user experience and many new features. In addition to improved browsing, searching and downloading, UKDS.Stat users will be able to:

  • View animated time series charts
  • Display data as choropleth maps
  • Search across all datasets
  • View metadata alongside data

Currently, only the World Bank’s datasets are available via this interface, though over the next two years we will be migrating the entire international data portfolio to UKDS.Stat, including over twenty additional databases from the IMF, OECD and IEA. This beta release allows you to preview the World Bank datasets and help us to improve the interface.

We’d love to hear from you if you have any feedback, technical questions, or find bugs in the interface. Please send any comments to international@esds.ac.uk.

Access the UKDS.Stat beta release and for support, please see the UKDS.Stat user guide.

Screenshot of UKDS.Stat interface

The development of the UKDS.Stat platform has been made possible thanks to the University of Manchester and the OECD signing a Memorandum of Understanding to collaboratively develop improved statistical systems for aggregate data use. Similar agreements have been signed by several other statistics publishing organisations, such as the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission, Australian Bureau of Statistics and UNESCO. This collaborative approach allows these organisations to use established standards and modern technologies to significantly improve their data infrastructures and also to benefit from each other’s extensive experience.


8 NOv 2012: Economics Network publish Volume 11 of International Review of Economics Education

The Economics Network have released the International Review of Economics Education, Volume 11 Issue 2, an international journal that promotes research into effective learning and teaching practice in economics higher education. The journal is dedicated to enhancing learning and teaching in the higher education economics community. It provides a forum for high quality research in the areas of curriculum design, pedagogy, assessment, innovation and evaluation. The journal seeks to promote critical dialogue on educational theory and practice in economics and to demonstrate the relevance of research to good professional practice.

This issue includes articles on the following topics:

  • Determinants of Malaysian and Singaporean Economics Undergraduates' Academic Performance, Chang Da Wan and Roland Cheo
  • Performance Determinants in Undergraduate Economics Classes: The Effect of Cognitive Reflection, Alexei Orlov and John Roufagalas
  • How Much is Students’ College Performance Affected by Quantity of Study?, Hans Bonesrønning and Leiv Opstad
  • Teaching Profit Seeking as the Source of Growth, David Kauper
  • Bringing the ‘Dismal Science’ to Life: Teaching Economics Through Multimedia, Wayne Geerling
  • An Interactive Computer Model of Two-Country Trade, William Hamlen and Kevin Hamlen
  • Toward Teaching Markets as Complex Systems: A Web Based Simulation Assignment Implemented in Netlogo, Tim Kochanski
  • Review: The Heart of Teaching Economics: Lessons from Leading Minds (Simon W. Bowmaker), Sandra Odorzynski

Posted by the ESDS International Team
Mimas, The University of Manchester
Tel: +44 (0) 161 275 6109
Email: international@esds.ac.uk
URL: www.esds.ac.uk/International


17 Oct 2012: Addition of IEA Projections database to international data portfolio
Oil refinery

The service is delighted to announce the addition of the IEA Projections – Energy Policies of IEA countries database to the international data portfolio.

Produced by the International Energy Agency, this dataset contains projections for 28 IEA countries. Energy balances are provided for supply and consumption in million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe). Definitions of products and flows, explanatory notes on the individual country data, indicators (including GDP and population) are included. Where available, data are given for 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000, 2010, 2020, 2030, 2035 and 2040.

For further information and to access the data:

All databases within the international macro data portfolio are full versions of the data and are freely available to students, researchers and staff at UK Further and Higher education institutions via federated access management authentication and online registration.

Note: We cannot provide data to users outside of this community due to the data re-distribution license agreements we have with our data providers.

Please let us know if you have any problems finding and accessing the data or have any feedback on the service.

Posted by the ESDS International Team
Mimas, The University of Manchester
Tel: +44 (0) 161 275 6109
Email: international@esds.ac.uk
URL: www.esds.ac.uk/International


13 Sept 2012: Coming changes to the international data portfolio

A reminder for our international data users that a number of changes to the data portfolio will take effect on 1st October 2012

The National Statistics Time Series Data and UN Common Database will be removed from the data portfolio; these data are freely available elsewhere at the UN Data portal and the Office for National Statistics Time Series Data.

From 1st October 2012 to 30th September 2014, access to the UN Comtrade database will be as a 'Guest user' via the UN's own interface at http://comtrade.un.org/db/. The UN's interface allows free access to all of the Comtrade data, but there is a download limit of 50,000 per data query (without limitation on number of queries). From the 1st October 2014, the international data team will begin processing this data for delivery via the UKDS.Stat interface - due to be launched in November this year.

These changes also include the addition of twenty-one new datasets which will be made available as soon as possible over the next two years. These new datasets include the OECD’s Banking, Patent, Tax and Health Statistics, the IMF’s Financial Soundness Indicators, Primary Commodities, Coordinated Portfolio Investment Survey and also a new IEA Energy Projections database. Full details of changes to the international data portfolio can be found on our New data web page.

As always contact us at international@esds.ac.uk or 0161 275 6109 if you have questions or feedback.

Posted by the ESDS International Team
Mimas, The University of Manchester
Tel: +44 (0) 161 275 6109
Email: international@esds.ac.uk
URL: www.esds.ac.uk/International


6 Jul 2012: A new data delivery interface and changes to the international data portfolio

Following the news in April, that Mimas at the University of Manchester has been awarded £1.88 million to renew and enhance UK wide data redistribution agreements with key Inter Governmental Organisations, we are now able to announce its plans to deliver this data in a brand new data delivery interface. Integrated into the website from October/November 2012, the new interface UKDS.Stat uses OECD data warehousing technology will provide an improved user experience and many new features, including animated time series charts, the ability to display data as choropleth maps and once all data is migrated to the new interface you will be able to search across all datasets in the portfolio.

What does this new integrated interface mean for you?

Over the next two years we will run two delivery interfaces in parallel – this transition period will allow us to move all existing databases from the existing Beyond 20/20 Web Data Server over to UKDS.Stat as well as processing and publishing twenty-one new datasets.

In practice this will mean that once a dataset, for example the OECD’s Main Economic Indicators, is made available within the integrated UKDS.Stat interface, it will no longer be available in Beyond 2020. In order to keep disruption to the service to a minimum, notification will be given via the website and in the Beyond 20/20 interface when a dataset move is imminent.

What are the changes to the data portfolio?

The twenty-one new datasets include the OECD’s Banking, Patent, Tax and Health Statistics, the IMF’s Financial Soundness Indicators, Primary Commodities, Coordinated Portfolio Investment Survey and also a new IEA Energy Projections database. Full details of changes to the international data portfolio can be found on our New data web page.

Another new addition to the service is the IMF eLibrary Text Collections: books and periodicals going back to 1951.

The National Statistics Time Series Data and UN Common Database will be removed from the data portfolio from October 2012; these data are freely available elsewhere at the UN Data portal and the Office for National Statistics Time Series Data.

From 1st October 2012 to 30th September 2014, access to the UN Comtrade database will be as a 'Guest user' via the UN's own interface at http://comtrade.un.org/db/. The UN's interface allows free access to all of the Comtrade data, but there is a download limit of 50,000 per data query (without limitation on number of queries). From the 1st October 2014, the international data team will begin processing this data for delivery via the new integrated interface which does not have a 50,000 download limit.

Let us know what you think

The first group of the datasets to be migrated to a beta release of UKDS.Stat will be the World Bank’s 3 datasets: World Development Indicators, Global Development Finance and the Africa Development Indicators. User documentation will be provided within the interface to help you, but we would also value any comments which may help us to improve the usability of the interface.

As always contact us at international@esds.ac.uk or 0161 275 6109 if you have questions or feedback.

Posted by the ESDS International Team
Mimas, The University of Manchester
Tel: +44 (0) 161 275 6109
Email: international@esds.ac.uk
URL: www.esds.ac.uk/International


28 Jun 2012: The importance of citing data

Following the successful launch of ESDS International's integrated data citation tool and the ESDS Catalogue Persistent Identifier Project, the Economic and Social Data Service has continued its work promoting the importance of citing data correctly - see the ESDS citing data web page.

In addition, for more information about the importance of data citation and the role of Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs), see the ESRC data citation webpage. A brochure Data Citation: what you need to know has been produced in collaboration with the ESRC.

To cite international data using the data citation tool integrated into Beyond 20/20 WDS, please see the guide to citing international data.

Posted by the ESDS International Team
Mimas, The University of Manchester
Tel: +44 (0) 161 275 6109
Email: international@esds.ac.uk
URL: www.esds.ac.uk/International


02 May 2012: Collaborating to improve statistical systems

As part of the service’s commitment to improve the user experience, ESDS International, through the University of Manchester, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the OECD to collaboratively develop improved statistical systems for aggregate data use.

In addition to the Economic and Social Data Service, similar agreements have been signed by several other statistics publishing organisations, such as the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission, Australian Bureau of Statistics and UNESCO. Together, these organisations will use established standards and modern technologies to significantly improve their data infrastructures and by working collectively will also benefit from each other’s extensive experience.

Paul Murphy and Rob Dymond-Green from Mimas
Paul Murphy and Rob Dymond-Green from Mimas - at the Statistical Information System Collaboration Community Workshop at the OECD in March.
Staff from across the collaborating organisations, along with representatives from influential statistics users such as Google, attended a workshop at the OECD in March to agree on a work-plan and to discuss a range topical data issues and emerging data technologies. The ESDS International team are currently working on implementing OECD data warehousing technology, which users will benefit from later this year when the service introduces an improved data interface.

Posted by the ESDS International Team
Mimas, The University of Manchester
Tel: +44 (0) 161 275 6109
Email: international@esds.ac.uk
URL: www.esds.ac.uk/International


26 April 2012: Two new ESDS International teaching case studies

ESDS International is pleased to announce the addition of two new international data teaching case studies featured in Case studies using ESDS data on the Economic and Social Data Service website:

  • Showing students that economics is more than just theory - highlights the use of the World Bank’s World Development Indicators and the International Monetary Fund’s International Financial Statistics in a Development Economics course given by Dr Peter Smith , a University Director of Education for the University of Southampton and Associate Dean (Education and Student Experience) within the Faculty of Social and Human Sciences.
  • Allowing students to understand the world mining industry - Professor Phillip Crowson teaches an intensive postgraduate module on Mineral Resources Policy and Economics at the Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy at The University of Dundee. A wide range of international data are used in this class, including the International Monetary Fund's International Financial Statistics, the World Bank's World Development Indicators and databanks produced by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and the International Energy Agency.

Mineral Specimen. CC License - Kotomicreation
Photo by: Kotomicreation, Creative Commons, Flickr
Every day, ESDS data are being used in leading-edge research and in university courses across the UK and beyond. This library of teaching and research case studies can be used to learn more about the impact of ESDS data, to gather ideas for research projects and teaching modules, or to find collaborators.

As well as highlighting the diverse use of data in research and teaching, these case studies allow ESDS users to showcase their work and enable others in the data community to see interesting examples of current research.

Posted by the ESDS International Team
Mimas, The University of Manchester
Tel: +44 (0) 161 275 6109
Email: international@esds.ac.uk
URL: www.esds.ac.uk/International


17 April 2012: A world class data infrastructure for social sciences

Mimas at the University of Manchester has been awarded £1.88 million in Department of Business, Innovation and Skills e-Infrastructure funding via the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to renew and enhance UK wide data redistribution agreements with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the United Nations.

Shanghai

As well as allowing the UK academic community continued access to a huge range of socio-economic time series data, this award has enabled the international data service based at Mimas - ESDS International, to negotiate access to the IMF’s eLibrary and to acquire the full complement of OECD databanks which will significantly enhance the portfolio of international macro data and resources available to students and staff in UK FE/HE institutions up until the end of Sept 2017.

Keith Cole, Director of Mimas said: “These licenses give the UK academic community unique access to the entire data resources of the OECD, IMF and IEA, enabling global issues such as financial crises, international development, energy and the environment to be addressed using authoritative, benchmark, real-world data. Access to the data also provides educators with opportunities to include actual events and their impact in their teaching and learning materials”

The new databanks include; IMF Financial Soundness Indicators, IMF Coordinated Debt Investment Survey, OECD Economic Outlook, OECD Banking Statistics (Bank Profitability), OECD Structural and Demographic Business Statistics, OECD Tax Statistics, OECD Pensions Statistics and the IEA Energy Projections for IEA countries. Work will start on processing these databanks in Oct 2012.

This award is part of the effort being led by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills to improve the national 'e-infrastructure' – the integration of digitally-based technology, resources and communications across a whole range of fields.

Further information:


22 February 2012: Adapting to an Open Data World: talk at the World Bank

Following on from Dr Eric Swanson's visit to ESDS International in November 2010, Dr Jackie Carter of Mimas was invited to give a presentation at the World Bank on 16 February 2012 on 'Adapting to an Open Data World: Delivering International Data for Education and Research in the UK'.

The presentation focussed on how the ESDS International data service is adapting to important, policy-related changes. The first is the growing demand for ‘statistical literacy,’ a term used by the Royal Statistical Society’s getstats campaign to describe what they identify as a ‘lifeskill.’ The talk covered a response to this at the undergraduate level, describing work undertaken through a fellowship project with the UK Open University that has sought to encourage sharing of good practice within the UK. Also discussed was how the opening up of data sources – including those from the World Bank – has required ESDS International to adapt to a new data environment. Open data brings opportunities and challenges and ESDS International is exploring existing and emerging technologies, such as Linked Data, SDMX and APIs, to exploit these. Slides from the talk are available.


17 January 2012: Unlocking data potential - Linked Data at ESDS International

spider web
Photo by: cybershotking, Creative Commons, Flickr
Statistical data are an indisputably valuable research resource. However, they are usually contained in discrete datasets, disconnected from the people, places and things they describe. This can make finding, accessing and using statistical data a difficult and time-consuming process.

As Tim Berners-Lee explained in his 2009 TED talk ‘on the next Web’, in order to make the most of the data we all create and hold, we need to unlock this data and reframe the way we use it together. ESDS International has made a contribution toward this work, by using semantic technologies to expose the World Bank’s World Development Indicators as Linked Data. This is a term that describes a method of structuring and publishing data so that it can be interlinked and therefore more useful. It combines several standard web technologies that together allow datasets to be structured in a way that makes them understandable by machines and linkable to other data sources. This enables data users to discover information related to the data but published elsewhere, or search across previously unconnected sources.

ESDS International has made the World Bank WDI data (DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5257/wb/wdi/2011-10) available as Resource Description Framework (RDF) flat files. RDF is one of the key ingredients of Linked Data providing a generic graph-based data model for describing things, including their relationships with other things.

Funded under the jiscEXPO programme, this work has been carried out as part of the MimasLD project which aims to expose Mimas hosted content as Linked Data. It has allowed the ESDS International team to understand how aggregated data can be made available as Linked Data and the team will endeavour to support users who wish to use this type of data and will consider making further ESDS International datasets available in this way in the future.

Other datasets made available as Linked Data by Mimas are the Landmap building classes, building heights, and thermal images datasets and the Copac and Archives hub data. In addition, the methods developed at ESDS International are also being applied by the Census Dissemination Unit to make the census aggregate statistics available as Linked Data. More information about this project is available at the CDU blog.

Further information:

Posted by the ESDS International Team
Mimas, The University of Manchester
Tel: +44 (0) 161 275 6109
Email: international@esds.ac.uk
URL: www.esds.ac.uk/International


13 January 2012: Service interruption at 7am, 17th Jan 2012

Due to essential maintenance, all databases hosted by ESDS International will be unavailable for approximately 10 mintues from 7.00am on 17th January 2012.

Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Posted by the ESDS International Team
Mimas, The University of Manchester
Tel: +44 (0) 161 275 6109
Email: international@esds.ac.uk

URL: www.esds.ac.uk/International


13 December 2011: Report on the ESDS International Annual Conference 2011

ESDS International, hosted by Mimas at the University of Manchester held their 7th annual conference on the 28 November 2011 at the Institute of Materials in London. The event with a theme of Understanding the world: evidence and impact was well received by delegates who came from a wide range of educational, research and inter-governmental organisations to meet and share their ideas on issues relating to international data research.

A full report of the day is available and conference proceedings from all ESDS International conferences are available online.

Further information on previous conference programmes, abstracts, slides and reports is available on the ESDS International Annual Conference page of the website.

Posted by the ESDS International Team
Mimas, The University of Manchester
Tel: +44 (0) 161 275 6109
Email: international@esds.ac.uk

URL: www.esds.ac.uk/International


31 October 2011: European Social Survey Round 5 data

The dataset for Round 5 (2010) of the European Social Survey (ESS) is now available to download free of charge via ess.nsd.uib.no. The site also offers data users the options of carrying out simple analyses online.

All rounds of ESS have covered a core set of topics, which include: political engagement; trust in institutions; moral and social values; social capital; social exclusion; national, ethnic and religious identity; well-being, health and security.

In addition, Round 5 examined the following two topics in particular detail:

  • Work, family and well-being. Areas covered include: the impact of the recession on households and work; job security; housework; wellbeing; unemployment; work-life balance.
  • Trust in criminal justice. Areas covered include: confidence in the police and the courts; cooperation with the police and the courts; contact with the police; attitudes towards punishment.

The full questionnaire can be seen here:
www.europeansocialsurvey.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=63&Itemid=356

ESS is carried out to the highest quality standards. 28 countries took part in Round 5, including the United Kingdom (UK sample size: 2400). This first release of data from Round 5 includes 20 participating countries, including the UK. In addition to allowing users to download the full dataset, the ESS data archive site also offers users the options of carrying out simple analyses online.

ESS has an excellent web-based training tutorial, ESS EduNet, which is available to help the less experienced user.

Further information about ESS can be found at:
www.natcen.ac.uk/series/european-social-survey
www.europeansocialsurvey.org


28 October 2011: Open Access Week (24th – 30th October 2011)

A global event now in it’s 5th year, Open Access Week is an opportunity for the academic and research community to continue to learn about the potential benefits of Open Access and Open Data, 'to share what they’ve learned with colleagues, and to inspire wider participation in making Open Access the new norm in scholarship and research.'

ESDS and The UK Data Archive have joined a growing list of UK organisations that are committed to supporting a new set of open metadata principles designed to enhance the impact of knowledge resources to further scholarship and innovation.

In addition, ESDS International has been involved in the movement toward Open Data and provides access to the World Bank’s World Development Indicators, Africa Development Indicators and Global Development Finance freely, with no registration or authentication barriers.

Further information:


11 October 2011: Booking now open for ESDS International 7th Annual Conference 2011

ESDS International is holding this year's annual conference on Monday 28 November 2011 at the Institute of Materials in London.

Booking now open.
Programme

The theme of the conference is Understanding the world: evidence and impact and the event will be an opportunity for users and providers of international data to meet and share their ideas on issues relating to international data research.

This half day event will include a presentation by Gareth McGuinness from the International Monetary Fund on 'Understanding the world economy using Principal Global Indicators and other international data', Toby Green from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development will tell 'The story behind the OECD's Your Better Life Index' and we will also hear NatCen speaking about the 'European Social Survey'.

The programme also includes two 'Meet the Researcher' sessions:

  • The poster presentation session is an opportunity for researchers using international data to introduce their work on topics such as 'Are Oil Revenue Funds effective in oil rich countries?', 'The curse of tourism?', 'Openness, Economic Growth, and Human Development: Evidence from South Asia' and 'Impact of Green Energy Policies on Electricity Market: An Econometric Analysis'.
  • The second session includes talks on the following subjects - 'The Yield Curve as a Predictor of Economic Performance in Asia', 'The Effects of Economic Reforms on Manufacturing Dualism: Evidence from India', 'Electricity Co-operation and Decarbonisation: The Role of Import and Export in CO2 Reduction' and 'A Comparison of the EU-15 Countries Based on the Stiglitz Report’s Recommendations'

This event is intended to appeal to policy makers, members of the academic community using the international databanks in their research and teaching, data librarians and producers of international data resources. The event is free and open to all but capacity is limited, so booking is essential.

See the ESDS International annual conference 2011 programme for further information. If you have any questions about the conference or the service in general, please contact us at the ESDS International Helpdesk.

We hope you can make it!


21 September 2011: Launch of integrated data citation tool

ESDS International is pleased to announce the launch of a new data citation tool which has been fully integrated into the data delivery software, Beyond 20/20. This coincides with a performance enhancing upgrade from version 8.0 to 8.2 of the Beyond 20/20 application .

Why cite international data?

Citing international data in the scholarly record is essential for several reasons; i) it enables easy reuse and verification of data, ii) citation allows the level of usage and therefore impact of data to be tracked and iii) it creates a scholarly record that recognises and rewards data producers. Toby Green, Head of Publishing at the OECD is a key proponent of data citation and author of the OECD white paper We Need Publishing Standards for Datasets and Data Tables. He has said of ESDS International's implementation of a data citation system;

"Datasets are a significant part of the scholarly record and need to be recognized and cited alongside articles and books so readers can verify and reproduce results easily and quickly. So, I welcome ESDS International's initiative to provide data citations and I encourage authors to cite data just as they cite journal articles and book chapters and thus help bring datasets into the mainstream scholarly ecosystem.”

How to cite international data

In order to make it easier for our users to cite data, each time data is now downloaded from Beyond 20/20, bibliographic citation information will be included in the download file. For example, if a user chooses to download a selection of data from the September 2011 edition of the IMF Direction of Trade Statistics, the following text will appear at the top of the download file:

This information can then be copied and pasted into the References section of any research paper in which the academic/student has used this data - see the Guide to citing international data for step-by-step instructions.

The Digital Object Identifier (DOI) included in the citation is a string of numbers and letters which provide a means of persistently identifying an object on a digital network - thus allowing subsequent researchers to find the identical data used in that research. They would simply need to input '10.5257/imf/dots/2011-09' into a DOI resolver (e.g. http://dx.doi.org/) and would then be taken to a web page providing information about the IMF DOTS at ESDS International and how to access it.

ESDS International has been working with DataCite UK, the pilot service run by the British Library to obtain Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) for datasets hosted by ESDS International. DOIs are emerging as the international standard for identifying objects (or information about them) in the digital environment. DataCite is an international consortium to: i) establish easier access to scientific research data on the Internet, ii) increase acceptance of research data as legitimate, citable contributions to the scientific record and iii) to support data archiving that will permit results to be verified and re-purposed for future study.

See also, news about the Persistent Identifier Project for the ESDS Catalogue highlighted in the Data citation is about to get easier article in ESDS's 'In the Spotlight'.

What's new with Beyond 20/20 WDS?

As well as the integrated data citation tool, version 8.2 of the software includes:

  • enhancements to searching - users now have the option to search from within their current folder,
  • printable versions of tables,
  • improved performance.

For further information on the data delivery software, please see systems requirements and our software guides.

Please get in touch if you have any comments on the new data citation system or need any help in citing international data!

Best wishes,

ESDS International Team


26 August 2011: Beyond 20/20 Web Data Server Upgrade - 21 September 2011

The data delivery interface 'Beyond 20/20 Web Data Server' used by ESDS International for disseminating international macro data will be upgraded on 21 September 2011.

We are not expecting any downtime, but the service should be considered at risk on that day.

As well as improving the performance of the application, a key new feature available with the upgrade to version 8.2 is the bibliographic data citation tool. Each time data is downloaded from Beyond 20/20, citation information will be included in the download file. For example, if a user chooses to download a selection of data from the July 2011 edition of the IMF Direction of Trade Statistics, the following text will appear at the top of the download file:

  • Bibliographic citation: International Monetary Fund (2011): Direction of Trade Statistics (Edition: September 2011). ESDS International, University of Manchester. DOI: 10.5257/imf/dots/2011-09

This information should be included in the References section of any research paper in which the academic/student has used this data. The Digital Object Identifier (DOI) included in the citation is a string of numbers and letters which provide a means of persistently identifying an object on a digital network - thus allowing subsequent researchers to find the identical data used in that research. They would simply need to input '10.5257/imf/dots/2011-09' into a DOI resolver (e.g. http://dx.doi.org/) and would then be taken to a web page providing information about the IMF DOTS at ESDS International and how to access it.

Best wishes,

ESDS International Team.


16 August 2011: Teaching Economics at Nottingham Trent University


Photo by: Uniinnsbruck, Creative Commons, Flickr
ESDS International is pleased to announce an addition to the 'Case studies of international data use' featured on its website. The new case study, Teaching Economics at Nottingham Trent University describes how the author, a Senior Lecturer in Economics at Nottingham Trent University (NTU), uses international data from the ESDS International portfolio in her taught courses. Teaching on a range of undergraduate modules, including Economics Theory, Public Issues, and International Trade the author's current research interests include; the determinants of trade, the trade effect of Regional Trade Agreements and foreign direct investment in Central and Eastern Europe.

If you would like to read our current case studies or would like to submit a case study for possible publication (if published you would receive a £50 Amazon voucher), please visit www.esds.ac.uk/international/casestudies/.

As well as highlighting the diverse use of international data in research and teaching, these case studies allow ESDS International users to showcase their work and enable others in the international data community to see interesting examples of current research.

27 July 2011: Teaching Tools receives e-learning commendation from HEA Economics Network

The Higher Education Academy's Economics Network has now announced the winners of its Learning and Teaching Awards for 2011. ESDS International have been awarded an e-learning commendation for the ESDS International Teaching Tools as it was felt by the judging panel that they displayed all the qualities of commitment, enthusiasm, innovation and evident success that represent excellent teaching materials.

Launched in Oct 2010, the Teaching Tools are designed for lecturers, initially in economics who are using real data for the first time in their teaching. The materials include the following sections:

  • Getting Started - with an e-tutorial on registering, a guide to registering and FAQs,
  • Teaching Tools - which includes sample course plans, step by step guides, training course information, and examples of student work
  • Hear from real lecturers - with video footage of lecturers explaining why it's so important to use 'real' data in teaching and their experience of using data from ESDS International in their Economics courses.

Using real-life, regularly updated data in teaching adds interest and relevance to courses, and helps to prepare students for using statistics in the real world. The Teaching Tools are intended to support and encourage lecturers' use of real world data in their courses - by seeing examples of how this is already done in UK institutions and hearing actual lecturers speak about their experience of using this type of 'messy' real-world data in their teaching.

ESDS International is delighted to have received the commendation from the HEA Economics Network and a member of the team will be presented with the commendation winner certificate at the Developments in Economics Education (DEE) Conference dinner at the LSE in London on 6th September.

Susan Noble and Celia Russell will also be presenting at the DEE 2011 Conference on 'Using international data in teaching and learning'.

For further information about the Teaching Tools please contact the ESDS International Helpdesk at international@esds.ac.uk, tel: +44 (0)161 275 6109.

Best wishes,
ESDS International Team
Mimas, The University of Manchester
URL: www.esds.ac.uk/International


14 July 2011: New case study - Fertility and Pension Systems


Photo by: kh1234567890, Creative Commons, Flickr
ESDS International is pleased to announce an addition to the 'Case studies of international data use' featured on its website. The new case study, Fertility and Pension Systems notes that the decline of fertility observed in the last centuries may be an effect of the progressive deterioration of family ties, which reduces the expected old-age economic support from children. However, the decline of fertility reduces the profitability of pay-as-you-go pension systems, therefore the political support toward such systems. The thesis suggested a voting model that incorporates these effects in order to investigate the relationship between family ties and political support toward pension systems. The case study uses data from the World Bank's World Development Indicators from ESDS International.

If you would like to read our current case studies or would like to submit a case study for possible publication (if published you would receive a £50 Amazon voucher), please visit www.esds.ac.uk/international/casestudies/.

The current selection also includes a study on the relationship between public attitudes and public knowledge about science, a piece investigating the changing sources of finance for development, a research project exploring low emission energy scenarios for Europe and an examination of European identity and attitudes to the EU.

As well as highlighting the diverse use of international data in research and teaching, these case studies allow ESDS International users to showcase their work and enable others in the international data community to see interesting examples of current research.

Posted by the ESDS International Team
Mimas, The University of Manchester
Tel: +44 (0) 161 275 6109
Email: international@esds.ac.uk
URL: www.esds.ac.uk/International


07 July 2011: Improvements to the Beyond 20/20 Data Delivery interface

The data delivery interface 'Beyond 20/20 Web Data Server' used by ESDS International for disseminating international macro data will be upgraded during the 2011 summer break.

As well as improving the performance of the application, a key new feature available with the upgrade to version 8.2 is the bibliographic data citation tool. Each time data is downloaded from Beyond 20/20, citation information will be included in the download file. For example, if a user chooses to download a selection of data from the July 2011 edition of the IMF Direction of Trade Statistics, the following text will appear at the top of the download file:

  • Bibliographic citation: International Monetary Fund (2011): Direction of Trade Statistics (Edition: July 2011). ESDS International, University of Manchester. DOI: 10.5072/imf/dots/2011-07

This information should be included in the References section of any research paper in which the academic/student has used this data. The Digital Object Identifier (DOI) included in the citation is a string of numbers and letters which provide a means of persistently identifying an object on a digital network - thus allowing subsequent researchers to find the identical data used in that research. They would simply need to input '10.5072/imf/dots/2011-07' into a DOI resolver (e.g. http://dx.doi.org/) and would then be taken to a web page providing information about the IMF DOTS at ESDS International and how to access it.

The upgrade should involve minimal disruption to the service and we will notify users of any possible disruption nearer to the time of the upgrade.

Best wishes,

ESDS International Team.


22 June 2011: Call for Presenters: ESDS International's 7th Annual Conference

ESDS International Seventh Annual Conference 2011: Understanding the world: evidence and impact

***NOTE: THIS CALL FOR PRESENTERS HAS NOW CLOSED***

Date: Monday 28 November 2011
Venue: Institute of Materials, London.

The theme of the 7th ESDS International Annual conference is Understanding the world: evidence and impact and we are now looking for UK academics who have used ESDS International data to present their research. We would welcome submissions on the key issues and topics, set out in the Economic and Social Research Councils (ESRC's) strategic priorities (see http://www.esrc.ac.uk/news-and-events/news/key-issues-and-topics.aspx):

  • Economic Performance and Sustainable Growth
  • Influencing Behaviour and Informing Interventions
  • Vibrant and Fair Society

Last years submissions included research on ‘Job insecurity and the local economic climate across Europe’, ‘World Electricity Cooperation' and ‘The Dynamic of Institutions and Economic Growth: The Asian Experience'.

Other speakers at the conference will include representatives from Inter Governmental Organisations such as the International Monetary Fund, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the International Energy Agency and other publishers of international data. See our Annual Conference page for links to previous conference programmes, reports and proceedings.

There is no need to write a paper specifically for the conference but any papers submitted will be published on the ESDS International website as conference proceedings. If you are interested, please send a title and brief abstract (max 200 words) to ESDS International at international@esds.ac.uk by the 31st August 2011.

Reasonable UK travel costs (i.e. standard class rail travel) for academic speakers will be reimbursed but we are unable to cover accommodation costs.

As a specialist data service of the ESRC/JISC funded Economic and Social Data Service, ESDS International provides the UK academic community with free access to the high quality socio-economic data sets produced by inter-governmental organisations such as the International Monetary Fund, the International Energy Agency, the United Nations and the World Bank. We also help users to locate and acquire international micro-level datasets, such as Eurobarometer, ISSP and the World Values Surveys.

For further information on the conference please contact the ESDS International Helpdesk at international@esds.ac.uk, tel: +44 (0)161 275 6109.

Best wishes,
ESDS International Team
Mimas, The University of Manchester
URL: www.esds.ac.uk/International

Submit a case study on international data use and receive a £50 Amazon voucher - see www.esds.ac.uk/international/casestudies/ for further details.


08 June 2011: ‘Your Better Life Index’ launched at 2011 OECD Forum


Photo by: x+y, Creative Commons, Flickr.
At the OECD’s 50th Anniversary Forum, held on 24-25th May 2011 in Paris, the OECD launched ‘Your Better Life Index’ as part of it’s Better Life Initiative.  The Better Life Initiative and the work programme on the Global Project: Measuring Progress of Societies help to answer questions about what drives the well-being of people and nations and what needs to be done to achieve greater progress for all. Mimas, through ESDS International is a Subject Correspondent for the Global Project.

The Better Life Index is an interactive tool which enables users to rate countries according to the things which are important to them. The index allows users to compare well-being across 34 OECD Member countries, based on the following 11 dimensions - housing, income, jobs, community, education, environment, governance, health, life satisfaction, safety, work-life balance.  In this way users can see how countries perform according to the importance they give to each of 11 topics that make for a better life.

The index aims to provide an opportunity for all citizens to get involved in the debate about the well-being of societies, i.e. is wealth all that matters or should we be looking at other things. Each time a user shares their own ‘Better Life Index’, it will enter a publicly accessible database which will help the OECD to build up a picture of what citizens from across the world believe shape a good life. Using this tool citizens are able to become more informed and engaged in the policy-making process that shape all of our lives.

For further information:


04 May 2011: Comtrade downtime

Due to a technical problem, users of ESDS International were unable to access the UN's Comtrade database from April 7th - May 4th. 

This issue has now been resolved and users should be able to access the database as usual at http://comtrade.mimas.ac.uk/db/.

Please do let us know if you have any problems obtaining the data you require and apologies for any inconvenience this has caused.

Best wishes,

The ESDS International Team
Mimas, The University of Manchester
Tel: +44 (0) 161 275 6109
Email: international@esds.ac.uk
URL: www.esds.ac.uk/International


26 April 2011: New case study - Investigating Macroeconomic Determinants of Happiness

ESDS International is pleased to announce an addition to the 'Case studies of international data use' featured on its website.


Photo by: Path, Creative Commons, Flickr.
The new case study, Investigating Macroeconomic Determinants of Happiness in Transition Countries: How Important is Government Expenditure? combines the data from surveys about happiness and macroeconomic data and analyzes the effects of macroeconomic variables on self-reported happiness in transition countries, focusing particularly on the impact of government size in the economy. The case study uses data from the World Bank's World Development Indicators and World Values Survey from ESDS International.

If you would like to read our current case studies or would like to submit a case study for possible publication (if published you would receive a £50 Amazon voucher), please visit www.esds.ac.uk/international/casestudies/.

The current selection also includes a study on the relationship between public attitudes and public knowledge about science, a piece investigating the changing sources of finance for development, a research project exploring low emission energy scenarios for Europe and an examination of European identity and attitudes to the EU.

As well as highlighting the diverse use of international data in research and teaching, these case studies allow ESDS International users to showcase their work and enable others in the international data community to see interesting examples of current research.

Posted by the ESDS International Team
Mimas, The University of Manchester
Tel: +44 (0) 161 275 6109
Email: international@esds.ac.uk
URL: www.esds.ac.uk/International


20 April 2011: World Bank announces winners of Apps for Development competition

The Apps for Development Competition was opened following the launch of the World Bank's Open Data Initiative in April 2010 and challenged the public to create innovative software applications that could contribute toward solving some of the world's most pressing problems.

It aimed to inspire both the software developer and the development practitioner communities to create innovative apps using the now freely available World Bank data. Participants were asked to develop applications (for any software platform widely available, e.g. web, personal computer, mobile handheld devices, SMS) related to one or more of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) using one or more of the World Banks datasets.

Applications submitted had to address at least one of the following objectives:

  1. Raise awareness of at least one of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs),
  2. Contribute to progress toward meeting one of the MDGs by 2015.

The winners of this first Apps for Development competition have just been announced at an event at the World Bank offices in Washington DC. They include:

  • StatPlanet World Bank (Australia):  This app, helps visualize and compare country and regional performance over time. The user can select from among the 3000+ indicators covering virtually every dimension of economic, social, and human development. See www.statplanet.org/.
  • Development Timelines (France): Development Timelines puts global development data into historical context to better understand how events such as war, education reforms, or economic booms and busts, affect progress towards the Millennium Development Goals. See devtimelines.appspot.com/.
  • Yourtopia - Development beyond GDP (Germany): This interactive app allows one to sum up human development according to one’s criteria and, through a short quiz, select how important different dimensions of development are. See www.yourtopia.net/

For further information, please see the World Bank's press release: 'Using World Bank Data, Developers from 36 Countries Harness Technology to Improve People’s Lives'


30 March 2011: Working to improve Data Citation

As data becomes increasingly accepted as a necessary part of the scholarly record there is widespread recognition of the need to improve data citation so that academics can easily identify data used in previous research, quickly verify and reproduce results and build upon that research.

DataCite is an international consortium to: i) establish easier access to scientific research data on the Internet, ii) increase acceptance of research data as legitimate, citable contributions to the scientific record and iii) to support data archiving that will permit results to be verified and re-purposed for future study.

ESDS International is currently working with DataCite UK, the pilot service run by the British Library to obtain Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) for datasets hosted by ESDS International. DOIs are emerging as the international standard for identifying objects (or information about them) in the digital environment. A DOI is a string of numbers and letters which provide a means of persistently identifying an object on a digital network; information about a digital object may change over time, including its URL , but its DOI name will not change.

We are also working towards generating the correct citation for each data download from Beyond 20/20. So, in the future, when for example, you download data from the World Bank World development Indicators, the correct data citation including the DOI will be downloaded alongside the data. This DOI will always point to the database, even if is updated or moved to another server.


16 March 2011: We need your contributions: Case Studies and Teaching Tools

Teaching Tools: www.esds.ac.uk/international/elearning/teaching-tools/index.asp.

 You may have seen the recent launch of the Teaching Tools at ESDS International (see newsflash at http://www.esds.ac.uk/international/news/news.asp#28oct10). These materials have been developed for lecturers interested in using real international data in their teaching.

The Teaching Tools were released as a Beta version and we are now planning more development and would appreciate your help. If you are successfully using international data in your teaching (particularly for those in non-economics discipline areas) and would be happy to share information on teaching methods which have worked for you and your students we would be delighted to hear from you.

If you would like to contribute to these Teaching Tools, either by providing course plans, a video interview or a case study of your use of international data, please contact the ESDS International help desk.

Case Studies: www.esds.ac.uk/international/casestudies/

 Are you using data from ESDS International as part of your research or study? If so, you may be able to collect a £50 Amazon voucher and have your work published on the ESDS International website!

ESDS International, a specialist data service of the Economic and Social Data Service wishes to enhance its 'Case studies of international data use' feature with further studies. As well as highlighting the diverse use of international data in research and teaching, it allows ESDS International users to showcase their work and enables others in the international data community to see interesting examples of current research.

If you would like to read our current case studies or would like to submit a case study for possible publication, please visit www.esds.ac.uk/international/casestudies/casestudies.asp for further information or contact the ESDS International team.

Posted by the ESDS International Team
Mimas, The University of Manchester
Tel: +44 (0) 161 275 6109
Email: international@esds.ac.uk
URL: www.esds.ac.uk/International


21 January 2011: New Case Study - Institution and Growth: The East Asian Development

ESDS International is pleased to announce an addition to the 'Case studies of international data use' featured on its website.

The new case study, Institution and Growth: The East Asian Development describes part of a PhD thesis carried out at the University of Leicester. This study investigates the East Asian growth experience in the past three decades from an institutional perspective and offer additional evidence that the institution is able to explain economic performance. The case study uses data from the World Bank's World Development Indicators from ESDS International.

If you would like to read our current case studies or would like to submit a case study for possible publication (if published you would receive a £50 Amazon voucher), please visit www.esds.ac.uk/international/casestudies/.

The current selection also includes a study on the relationship between public attitudes and public knowledge about science, a piece investigating the changing sources of finance for development, a research project exploring low emission energy scenarios for Europe and an examination of European identity and attitudes to the EU.

As well as highlighting the diverse use of international data in research and teaching, these case studies allow ESDS International users to showcase their work and enable others in the international data community to see interesting examples of current research.

Posted by the ESDS International Team
Mimas, The University of Manchester
Tel: +44 (0) 161 275 6109
Email: international@esds.ac.uk
URL: www.esds.ac.uk/International

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