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Case studies wanted


Teaching and Learning

ESDS International e-learning materials

 

ESDS International past news

Previous news items from 2003 - 2010

16 Dec 2010 - ESDS International reports on 6th Annual Conference - Global issues > Global data > Global thinking
16 Dec 2010 - A talk by Eric Swanson from the World Bank
25 Nov 2010 - ESDS International opens up access to World Bank data
28 Oct 2010 - ESDS International releases a new set of Teaching Tools
14 Oct 2010 - New case study - World Electricity Co-operation
13 Oct 2010 - UNIDO INDSTAT2 now available at ESDS International
07 Oct 2010 - Booking now open for ESDS International Annual Conference
07 Oct 2010 - Celebrating World Statistics Day: 20.10.2010
15 Sep 2010 - ESDS International presenting at 'ICT and e-Knowledge for the Developing World'
25 Aug 2010 - New case study - Real World: Real Data: Real Stories: Teaching Econometrics with ESDS International
05 Aug 2010 - New case study - Something about young people or something about elections?
21 Jul 2010 - Call for presenters: ESDS International Annual Conference 2010
19 Jul 2010 - User survey of ESDS
15 Jul 2010 - ESDS International reports on OECD Forum
06 Jul 2010 - Changes to Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Data
12 May 2010 - New case study - Reducing the Political Cost of Europe’s Dependence on Russian Gas
20 Apr 2010 - World Bank Opens Up Data
25 Mar 2010 - Third release of ESS round 4 data and documentation
23 Mar 2010 - Improved interface to OECD Main Economic Indicators
23 Feb 2010 - International data use tops 25,000!
28 Jan 2010 - Case studies on international data use wanted
09 Dec 2009 - ESDS International reports on 5th Annual Conference
27 Oct 2009 - ESDS International attending 3rd OECD World Forum in Busan, Korea
14 Oct 2009 - Booking now open for ESDS International's 2009 annual conference: Real Data - Real World
8 Oct 2009 - European Social Survey Round 4 data available
23 Sep 2009 - IEA World Energy Statistics and Balances Dataset Restructured
15 Sep 2009 - Launch of United Nation’s Commodity Trade Statistics Database (UN Comtrade)
03 Sep 2009 - Beyond 20/20 Web Data Server Upgraded
17 Aug 2009 - ESDS International users test version 8 of Beyond 20/20
13 Aug 2009 - ESDS International Annual Conference: Call for presenters
04 Aug 2009 - Where is Athens?
29 Jun 2009 - ESDS International reports on 2009 OECD Forum
19 May 2009 - Launch of World Bank Africa Development Indicators
08 May 2009 - IMF International Financial Statistics errors found in Dec and Jan data
06 Apr 2009 - IMF Government Finance Statistics reverts to December release
30 Mar 2009 - Problem accessing service through federated access
18 Mar 2009 - Round 2 data for Young Lives now available
10 Mar 2009 - Notification of withdrawal of ILO Key Indicators of the Labour Market from ESDS International
25 Feb 2009 - New case study: Puzzles in financial development and economic growth
25 Feb 2009 - Launch of United Nations Millennium Development Goals e-learning materials
25 Feb 2009 - Helpdesk queries not received from 9 February to 25 February
24 Feb 2009 - ESDS International reports on its fourth annual conference
20 Jan 2009 - New case study 'Home Bias in Foreign Direct Investment' now online
16 Dec 2008 - Online services will run unattended from 25 December 2008 to 4 January 2009
02 Oct 2008 - IMF World Economic Outlook CommonGIS updated with April 2008 data
29 Sep 2008 - Joint ESDS International and ESDS Government Workshop on Britain in a European Context
23 Sep 2008 - New case study 'Comparing Early Warning Systems for Banking Crises' now online
17 Sep 2008 - Socio-economic databanks available to House of Commons and Lords Libraries
17 Sep 2008 - Booking now open for ESDS International's 2008 annual conference
07 Aug 2008 - Take part in the JISC consultation exercise
31 Jul 2008 - ESDS International data access changes
21 Jul 2008 - ESDS International Annual Conference: Call for presenters
08 Jul 2008 - Changes to ESDS International data access
08 Jul 2008 - ESDS International reports on 2008 OECD Forum
26 Jun 2008 - Re-launch of Countries and Citizens e-learning materials
20 May 2008 - Case studies of international data use wanted!
12 May 2008 - ESDS International Course, Manchester 11 June
15 Jan 2008 - ESDS International reports on third annual conference
14 Nov 2007 - ESDS International releases IMF World Economic Outlook data
16 Oct 2007 - Access to Latinobarómetro now provided at ESDS International
10 Oct 2007 - CommonGIS interface to CIA World Factbook data updated
3 Oct 2007 - Access to ESDS International data at risk on 16th October
5 Sep 2007 - Booking now open for ESDS International Conference 2007
28 Aug 2007 - Launch of Linking Macro and Micro Data e-Learning materials
15 Aug 2007 - Thematic guide to Migration now available
30 Jul 2007 - Ipsos Mori International Survey
20 Jun 2007 - Scheduled downtime on 3 July for ESDS International service
19 Jun 2007 - Call for presenters for ESDS International Conference 2007
13 Jun 2007 - CommonGIS interface to UN Millennium Development Indicators
12 Jun 2007 - MIMAS Open Forum, 5 July 2007
24 May 2007 - ESDS International reports on OECD Forum 2007
23 May 2007 - Bringing statistics to life: Making the international data world more accessible
16 May 2007 - LIMMD project holds second workshop
27 Mar 2007 - CESSDA Data Portal now available on the new CESSDA web site
20 Mar 2007 - Possible disruption to international data access on 27th March
08 Mar 2007 - The 2nd Linking International Macro and Micro Data (LIMMD) workshop
20 Feb 2007 - Proposed change to National Statistics Time Series Data update
14 Feb 2007 - ESDS International features in ESRC Social Sciences
13 Feb 2007 - CommonGIS interface to IMF WEO updated with 2006 data
13 Feb 2007 - Staff vacancy at ESDS International
30 Jan 2007 - Thematic guide on CO2 Emissions now available
19 Jan 2007 - ESDS Releases OECD Education Statistics
17 Jan 2007 - ESDS International reports on its 2nd Annual Conference
20 Dec 2006 - IMF IFS and BOPS data now re-released
14 Dec 2006 - ***Problems discovered with IMF data***
13 Dec 2006 - Call for question design teams for the European Social Survey round 4
30 Oct 2006 - ESDS International releases OECD STAN and National Accounts
3 Oct 2006 - Book now for the ESDS International Conference 2006!
11 Sep 2006 - International data community in the UK over 10,000 users and still growing
25 Aug 2006 - Unido Industrial Statistics updated
16 Aug 2006 - IMF monthly updates shows a wealth of updated data values
10 July 2006 - UN Common Database and Eurostat New Cronos Database updated
10 July 2006 - Upgrade to new version of Beyond 20/20
28 Jun 2006 - Eurobarometer and ISSP now available online
27 Jun 2006 - ESDS International conference 2006 - Call for presenters
31 May 2006 - New arrivals at ESDS International
13 Apr 2006 - IMF decides to update GFS quarterly
04 Apr 2006 - ESDS International records new usage high!
14 Mar 2006 - Update on problems with IMF data
23 Feb 2006 - Problems with IMF Government Finance Statistics Historical data
09 Feb 2006 - Release of the OECD International Trade by Commodities Statistics
13 Jan 2006 - Staff vacancies at ESDS International
11 Jan 2006 - Special Conditions registration loop
01 Dec 2005 - ESDS International records highest monthly usage so far
29 Nov 2005 - ESS wins prestigious Descartes prize
15 Nov 2005 - ESDS International reports on their first annual conference
10 Nov 2005 - Publications Database updated with micro data publications
01 Nov 2005 - Notification of service downtime on 16 November 2pm-3pm
30 Sep 2005 - European Social Survey updated with round 2 data
14 Sep 2005 - Book now for the ESDS International Conference, London, 8 Nov 2005
8 Sept 2005 - Eurostat New Cronos Updated
20 Jul 2005 - CIA World Factbook 2005 data now available via CommonGIS
13 Jul 2005 - Thematic guide on educational outcomes now available
12 Jul 2005 - Changes to OECD MEI series codes and titles
27 Jun 2005 - IEA data released to UK academic community
14 Jun 2005 - ESDS International conference - Call for presenters
07 Jun 2005 - Review of Economic and Social Data Service
20 May 2005 - 'Accessing socio-economic data and resources' session at the MIMAS Open Forum
19 May 2005 - ESRC Review of international data resources and needs
07 Apr 2005 - IEA data to be released to UK Academia
05 Apr 2005 - ESRC World Economy and Finance Programme
30 Mar 2005 - Helpdesk email problems 23-30 March 2005
11 Mar 2005 - Commission for Africa report released
25 Feb 2005 - International data community doubles in 6 months to 4,000
21 Feb 2005 - Paper presented at Joint UNECE/OECD Work Session
18 Feb 2005 - ESDS International in Finnish Social Science Data Bulletin
17 Feb 2005 - ESRC review of international data resources and needs
03 Feb 2005 - ESDS Workshops in 2005
31 Jan 2005 - ESDS International course in London in February
18 Jan 2005 - Problem with course booking form
17 Dec 2004 - Latest UK Databytes now released - Issue 15
15 Dec 2004 - CommonGIS interface to IMF World Economic Outlook data
13 Dec 2004 - NS Time Series Data now delivered via Beyond 20/20
29 Nov 2004 - Beyond 20/20 Web Data Server upgrade complete
29 Nov 2004 - IMF Government Finance Statistics released
29 Nov 2004 - Upgrade to new version of Beyond 20/20 underway
19 Nov 2004 - NS Time Series Data online after major power failure
19 Nov 2004 - UNIDO 2004 data now available at ESDS International
17 Nov 2004 - Do you have a question for the IMF?
16 Nov 2004 - OECD Services Statistics released
15 Nov 2004 - Major power failure affects access to macro data
15 Nov 2004 - Beyond 20/20 WDS Upgrade - 29/30 November
09 Nov 2004 - Change to NS Time Series Data interface - 13 December
08 Nov 2004 - ILO Key Indicators of the Labour Market released
04 Nov 2004 - NS Time Series Data downtime notification
03 Nov 2004 - ESDS International Publications Database released
27 Sep 2004 - World Bank 2004 data loaded
06 Sep 2004 - Eurostat New Cronos released at ESDS International
02 Sep 2004 - International data community doubles - 2,000 users
01 Sep 2004 - 3 month notice of Beyond 20/20 WDS Upgrade
26 Aug 2004 - Chart error message
21 Jul 2004 - Problems accessing ESDS International data
07 Jul 2004 - CIA World Factbook 2004 available to all via CommonGIS
22 Jun 2004 - Release of IMF Balance of Payments Statistics
14 Jun 2004 - Changes to ESDS International Registration
07 Jun 2004 - UN Common Database released by ESDS International
03 Jun 2004 - Athens access problems resolved
03 Jun 2004 - Problems accessing ESDS International data
01 Jun 2004 - New ESDS one-stop registration system
17 May 2004 - Release of additional OECD databanks
11 May 2004 - Submit your 'Data Wishes'
10 May 2004 - New format of OECD MEI released
07 May 2004 - ESDS International Server problem resolved
07 May 2004 - Problems with ESDS International Server
20 Apr 2004 - New format for OECD MEI database - May 2004
08 Apr 2004 - NS Time Series Databank downtime on 20 April
29 Mar 2004 - Release of additional OECD databanks
15 Mar 2004 - ESDS International user community: 1,000 users +
05 Mar 2004 - New terms and conditions for ESDS International users
23 Feb 2004 - Helpdesk not staffed 24 - 25 February 2004
10 Feb 2004 - Access data following latest IE security patch
09 Feb 2004 - Release of World Bank databanks
04 Feb 2004 - Problem accessing data after latest IE security patch
02 Feb 2004 - NS Time Series Databank downtime notification
08 Dec 2003 - IMF DOTS and IFS now freely available
02 Dec 2003 - International databanks released to UK Academia
14 Nov 2003 - NS Time Series Databank downtime notification
12 Nov 2003 - User consultation on training courses
10 Nov 2003 - ESDS International CommonGIS pilot now available
05 Nov 2003 - UNIDO databases now freely available
24 Sept 2003 - European Social Survey (ESS) data available
04 Sept 2003 - Data acquisition newsflash
03 Sept 2003 - Guide to International data and resources
24 Jul 2003 - OECD Forum 2003 report now available
23 Jul 2003 - NS Time Series Databank unavailable 8:00am - 10:00am
23 Jun 2003 - ESDS International online registration implemented
09 Jun 2003 - Notification of downtime for users of the OECD MEI
09 Jun 2003 - OECD MEI and NS Databank data access changes
24 Apr 2003 - OECD MEI now available via Beyond 20/20 WDS
14 Apr 2003 - IMF Data agreement

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16 December 2010: ESDS International reports on 6th Annual Conference - Global issues > Global data > Global thinking

ESDS International, hosted by Mimas at the University of Manchester held their 6th annual conference on the 29 November 2010 at the Institute of Materials in London. The event 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 on the day can be found at ESDS International 2010 Conference: Global issues > Global data > Global thinking 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


16 December 2010: A talk by Eric Swanson from the World Bank

On Thursday 11 November 2010 Dr Eric Swanson, Senior Advisor to the DEC Development Data Group at the World Bank gave a talk on 'Working with International Development Data' at the University of Manchester as part of the methods@manchester initiative which showcases research methods in the Social Sciences.

The World Bank's World Development Indicators (WDI) is a comprehensive source of data of economic, social, and environmental indicators. The database is compiled from many sources, each having its particular sources in the work of international agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and national statistical offices. In progressing from the original source to the WDI database, data are standardized and revised to improve comparability over time and between countries. Working with these data and with data from other sources, it is useful to understand something of their lineage. Eric Swanson, previously program manager for Global Monitoring and now advisor to the director of the Development Data Group at the World Bank discussed the sources and methods used to compile the WDI and other databases maintained by the World Bank.

  • Working with International Data - slides with commentary:

This talk was part of a visit that Dr Swanson made to the University of Manchester in order to work collaboratively with ESDS International to build narratives of dataset use through case studies and real world stories to help further develop the international data service and communicate the benefits of the data in teaching and research across the community.  This visit has been funded by the Simon Industrial Fellowship (see http://www.humanities.manchester.ac.uk/research/simonhallsworth/ - founded in 1944 for the promotion of research and teaching in the Social Sciences)

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


25 November 2010: ESDS International opens up access to World Bank data

ESDS International is embracing the movement toward Open Data and as such is pleased to announce that World Bank data hosted by the service is now freely available to all and is no longer restricted to UK Further and Higher educational institutions.

This follows our newsflash earlier in the year when we reported that the World Bank Group had launched data.worldbank.org, a website that provides free, open and easy access to statistics and indicators about development hoping to inspire new ways of looking at the world and new opportunities to solve global problems.

ESDS International will continue to host World Bank data, providing access and support for the data to the UK FE/HE community. The World Development Indicators, Africa Development Indicators and Global Development Finance Statistics are available at ESDS International at http://esds80.mcc.ac.uk/wds_wb/ and supporting documentation can be found at http://www.esds.ac.uk/international/support/user_guides/wb/.

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 October 2010: ESDS International releases a new set of Teaching Tools

ESDS International introduces Teaching Tools for lecturers interested in using real international data in their teaching.

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. These Teaching Tools are designed for lecturers, initially in economics (though other disciplines will be included as the resource develops) who are using real data for the first time in their teaching. It is 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.

Developed as a result of the The Real World: Real Data: Real Stories project, the Teaching Tools include a Getting Started section with an e-tutorial on registering, a guide to registering and FAQs, a Teaching Tools section which includes sample course plans, step by step guides and examples of student work and a Hear from real lecturers section with video footage of lecturers talking about why it's so important to use 'real' data in teaching and their experience of using data from ESDS International in their Economics courses.

The Teaching Tools are being released as a Beta version, with more development planned based on user feedback and contributions. With this in mind, if you are successfully using international data in your teaching (not only in economics, but other discipline areas too) 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 team at international@esds.ac.uk to discuss.

Please let us know if these materials were of use to you or if you have any feedback about how they can be improved either by using the form provided at www.esds.ac.uk/international/elearning/teaching-tools/help/ or contacting the ESDS International team directly.

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


14 October 2010: New case study - World Electricity Co-operation

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

The new case study, World Electricity Co-operation describes a PhD thesis carried out at the University of Leicester. This study examines whether electricity co-operation (import and export) between countries can help redress the problem of high electricity prices. The case study uses data from the International Energy Agency's World Energy Statistics 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


13 October 2010: UNIDO INDSTAT2 now available at ESDS International 2010

ESDS International hosted by Mimas at the University of Manchester is delighted to announce the release of the UNIDO INDSTAT2 database.

This new database is derived from the two existing databases INDSTAT3 and INDSTAT4 by ISIC Rev2 and Rev3. INDSTAT2 2010 Edition combines historical time series data from 1963 to 2008 for 161 countries.

INDSTAT2 is the largest industrial statistics database of its kind. Unlike others presented by different classification standards for different time periods, INDSTAT2 provides data by a single classification standard for more than 40 years, which makes it particularly valuable for long-term structural analysis. As with INDSTAT4, INDSTAT2 presents data for seven principle indicators (number of establishments, employment, wages and salaries, output, value added, gross fixed capital formation and number of female employees). The value figures are presented in current prices. The database includes the index numbers of industrial production, which show the real growth of the volume of production by 2-digit of ISIC Rev. 3.

ESDS International provide the following guides for the UNIDO INDSTAT2 database:

All databases within the ESDS International 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 ESDS 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.

The UNIDO INDSTAT2 database can be accessed via federated access management authentication at http://esds80.mcc.ac.uk/wds_unido/

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


07 October 2010: Booking now open for ESDS International Annual Conference 2010

ESDS International is holding this year's annual conference on Monday 29 November 2010 at the Institute of Materials in London.

Booking now open.
Programme

The theme of the conference is Global issues > Global data > Global thinking 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.

The day will include a presentation by the International Monetary Fund on their 'Data Developments: New Concepts, New Tools ', a speaker from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development will describe the 'The Global Project: Measuring the Progress of Societies' and Professor Richard Rose from the University of Aberdeen will speak about the New Europe Barometer. The programme also includes an afternoon session focusing on 'Building Capacities and the Development of Statistical Literacies' which will include a presentation by Professor John MacInnes, Strategic Advisor to the UK ESRC on quantitative methods teaching.

The academic community is also well represented with a 'Meet the Researchers' Poster Presentation session during which users of ESDS International data will present their research on topics such as 'Myopic voter behaviour and limitations for development public policy' 'Policy Stability and Macroeconomic Policies' and 'Oil Prices, Exchange rate volatility and US Dollar-Pegged Currencies'.

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 2010 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!


07 October 2010: Celebrating World Statistics Day: 20.10.2010

The 20th October 2010 (20.10.2010) will mark the first ever World Statistics Day (WSD). The day, created by the United Nations Statistics Division is intended to acknowledge the service provided by the global statistical system at national and international level and to raise awareness of the many achievements of official statistics.

Secretary General of the UN, Ban Ki-moon stated "Let us make this historic World Statistics Day a success by acknowledging and celebrating the role of statistics in the social and economic development of our societies and by dedicating further efforts and resources to strengthening national statistical capacity"

On the day itself, activities at a national and international level will highlight the importance of official statistics and the work of statisticians. For example, in the UK WSD celebrations will include an exhibition and seminar on the importance of statistics at the Department for International Development (DfID) and the launch of the Royal Statistical Society’s 10-year statistical literacy campaign, ‘getstats.’

ESDS International is a key player in the burgeoning international data community as a provider of socio-economic data for UK academics. The service works to promote and facilitate increased and more effective use of international data in research, learning and teaching and will this year host its 6th Annual Conference with a theme of Global issues > Global data > Global thinking. The event, to take place on 29th November at the Institute of Materials in London will include an afternoon session on ‘Building Capacities and the Development of Statistical Literacies’ chaired by Dr Jackie Carter, Mimas Senior Manager: Learning and Teaching and Social Science Data Services.

Jackie Carter said of the event "The cutting edge of social science is reliant on use of real world datasets, and there is a great desire to improve research-led teaching in this area. The UK provides access to a rich set of social science data resources with ESDS regarded as a jewel in the crown for the UK’s social science data community. The challenge for educators in addressing quantitative literacies lies in promoting students' use of data, but the benefits in doing so can improve both academic performance and job prospects for students. ESDS International wholeheartedly supports this agenda and the annual conference will help us to understand this and our users further."

For further information on World Statistics Day and the ESDS International Annual Conference, see: 

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


15 September 2010: ESDS International presenting at 'ICT and e-Knowledge for the Developing World'


Image courtesy of kiwanja.net and Nathan Eagle (Nathan Eagle/MIT, 2006).
On the 25th and 26th September members of the ESDS International Team will be travelling to Shanghai, China to take part in a workshop on ICT and e-Knowledge for the Developing World. The joint UK-China workshop will explore the impact, benefits and challenges of emerging technologies in the fields of mobile banking, data dissemination, mapping, social media and e-infrastructures and will discuss how they can create better lives in the developing world.

Funded by RCUK China and the National Natural Science Foundation of China, Mimas has jointly organised the event with the Centre for Chinese Studies (CCS) at The University of Manchester and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Please see the Mimas news article on ICT and e-Knowledge for the Developing World for further information.



25 August 2010: Real World: Real Data: Real Stories: Teaching Econometrics with ESDS International

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

The Real World: Real Data: Real Stories project collates the experience of attempts to upskill students in data and its discipline-related usage, and provides an illustration of educational practice at both discipline and national level.

The project used a case study approach to bring to life the experience of the challenge faced by educators in attempting to improve the data skills of social science undergraduate and postgraduate study in the UK. Groups of teachers at several UK universities were interviewed; the interviews were written up to provide several case studies – or stories - and audio or video recordings of key issues were embedded into the stories.

The case study presented here provides details of attempts to make learning and teaching with data for econometrics at undergraduate level a less passive experience.

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

05 August 2010: New case study - Something about young people or something about elections?

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

 The new case study, Something about young people or something about elections? describes academic research published as Fieldhouse, E., Tranmer, M. and Russell, A. (2007) Something about young people or something about elections? Electoral participation of young people in Europe: Evidence from a multilevel analysis of the European Social Survey in the European Journal of Political Research 46 797-822. It addresses the concern that in an environment of declining turnouts in elections in Western democracies non-voting appears to be concentrated among the young.

Using the European Social Survey Round 1 data, the study employed a multilevel modelling approach, allowing the authors to simultaneously measure the effects on youth turnout of individual characteristics/attitudes/behaviour and the overall level of turnout for the country to which they belong. The authors found that variations in turnout among young people have both individual-level (micro) and contextual-level (macro) explanations.

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


21 July 2010: Call for presenters: ESDS International Annual Conference 2010

Date: Monday 29 November 2010
Venue: Institute of Materials in London, London

The theme of the 6th ESDS International Annual conference is Global issues > Global data > Global thinking and we are now looking for UK academics who have used ESDS International data to present their research in a 'poster presentation session'. During this session we will ask each presenter to briefly introduce themselves and their research and then make themselves available to discuss their work with the conference delegates. We would welcome submissions on any of the following topics, set out in the Economic and Social Research Councils (ESRC's) strategic challenges:

  • Global Economic Performance, Policy and Management
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Understanding Individual Behaviour
  • New Technology, Innovation and Skills
  • Environment, Energy and Resilience
  • Security, Conflict and Justice
  • Social Diversity and Population Dynamics

Previous years contributions have included research on 'Financial Dollarization and European Union Membership', 'Inequalities in Access to Health Care in Brazil and India: Closing the Gap for the Poorest-Poor' and Using International Energy Agency Data to Calculate the Environmental Impact of Connecting Maritime Ships to Shoreside Power'.

You may also be interested to know that other speakers at the conference will include representatives of 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 your proposed poster presentation title and brief abstract to ESDS International at international@esds.ac.uk by the 31st August 2010.

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


15 July 2010: ESDS International reports on OECD Forum

A big crisis, but was it big enough? The Road to Recovery at the OECD Forum 2010

After describing the causes of the 2007-2009 global economic crisis, the OECD’s Adrian Bundell-Wignall expressed his fear that this crisis may not have been severe enough to prompt the reforms to ensure there is no reoccurrence. This was one of the interesting topics discussed at the OECD Forum: Road to Recovery: Innovation, Jobs and Clean Growth, held on 26-27th May in Paris.

Members of the ESDS International team attended the event which brought together business and labour leaders, civil society personalities, government ministers, leaders of international organizations and academics in a ‘multi-stakeholder’ summit to discuss crucial issues on the international agenda.

Susan Noble, Paul Murphy and Celia Russell at OECD Forum 2010

From left: Susan Noble, Paul Murphy and Celia Russell.

These discussions feed into the annual ministerial meeting which immediately followed the Forum on 27-28th May and covered the new OECD Innovation Strategy and a preliminary report on a new Green Growth Strategy.

The focus of this year’s event was the emergence of the global economy from the financial crisis and what inclusive policies on innovation and green growth might look like. Sessions included: ‘How to avoid a jobless recovery’, ‘Green growth and innovation’, ‘Financing future growth’, ‘Future of capitalism’, ‘Business ethics: restoring trust’ and ‘Unleashing Innovation’.

The Economic Outlook

In the opening session Angel Gurria, Secretary-General of the OECD gave some cautiously optimistic news that the global economy had performed better than expected but added that the recovery rates differed, with strong performance from emerging markets, the US and Japan doing better than average but Europe growing only slowly. He argued that after emergency policy changes made in response to the crisis, now was the time to focus on “structural transformation” to ensure sustainable and green growth. He added that the subtext of the whole Forum was ‘Apply and Do’ paraphrasing Leonardo da Vinci’s observation that “knowing is not enough–we must apply”, and “willing is not enough, we must do.”

The global financial crisis has affected different economies in different ways. In Europe it has created the recent series of shocks in the sovereign debt markets of Greece, Spain and Portugal, whereas in the US unemployment has risen sharply. The graph shows how, for the first time in a generation, unemployment in the US is now higher that that of Europe.

Graphy showing unemployment figures using OECD MEI data.

The next session ‘Economic Outlook debate: How to avoid a jobless recovery?’ began with the launch of the 87th edition of the OECD’s Economic Outlook – a publication in which the OECD analyses the major trends and forces that shape the short-term economic prospects and provides in-depth coverage of the economic policy measures required to foster growth and stable prices in each OECD Member country.

Capitalism 4.0?

During the session on the ‘Future of capitalism’ Gideon Rachman, Chief Foreign Affairs Columnist a the Financial Times expressed his surprise at how few ideological discussions the financial, economic and social crisis had so far provoked and welcomed the chance to debate the outlook for capitalism.

Confidence in the globalised free-market economic model of capitalism has been undermined by the 2007-2009 crisis and during this session we heard Adrian Bundell-Wignall of the OECD’s concerns that we have not yet seen the fundamental changes necessary to prevent a return to ‘business as usual’ once the recovery is assured.

Sharan Burrow, President of the International Trade Union Confederation echoed these worries expressing deep concern that proposals for a financial transaction tax have been largely ignored, that discredited policy orthodoxies appear to be returning, and said she was “shocked that we are still waiting for new rules”. In conclusion she remarked that in a global economy, we should put aside national interest as there is a need for global rules and “a robust system of capitalism that benefits not just profit takers, but workers, who are the real wealth creators”.

Sharron Burrow, President ITUC

Sharan Burrow, President, International Trade Union Confederation Photo ©Andrew Wheeler/OECD

Anatole Kaletsky, Economics Commentator at The Times presented his view that the crisis was not just a lapse in banking regulation which minor rule changes would correct, but rather a failure of the free-market economic model of capitalism seen since the 1970s, which assumed that the market is always right. He talked about capitalism being an evolutionary system which has seen three main phases “recognizably similar, but recognizably different”; he argues that during the first phase the ‘laissez faire’ version of capitalism, the economy and politics were separate, in the second phase triggered by the Great Depression of the 1930s the idea developed that government is right and markets get things wrong and the third phase, which began in the 1970s, the opposite – markets are ways right and the government is wrong.

Anatole argues that we are entering a fourth phase which he labels Capitalism 4.0 which will be characterised by a perception that both government and markets get things wrong. He concluded that the challenge for Western thinking now is to create a fourth version of capitalism that incorporates the best elements of the models so far seen, whilst adapting to the needs of the 21st century.

Robert Skidelsky of the House of Lords largely agreed with Anatole that we were entering a new phase of capitalism, then spoke about his belief that “the dominance of finance will come to an end” and argued for a return to moral philosophy. Citing evidence that increasing wealth does not necessarily make people happier, he said it is an error to put the pursuit of wealth at the centre of everything we do and that we need to fix our societies, but not so that we’re richer or growing more than our neighbouring countries but that are societies become more equal.

We then heard from Avivah Wittenberg-Cox the CEO of 20-first France who called for a more equal distribution of gender within the structures that oversee our financial systems arguing that “If Lehman Brothers was Lehman Sisters, would we still be in this mess?”

Concluding the session academic Simon Tormey, Head of Social Sciences at the University of Sydney observed that because capitalism comes in the form of many systems, each underpinned by different values the financial crisis in Europe is not the same as that in the Asia-Pacific region, and both are different from the crisis in Africa. He spoke of the immense variety of systems, for example neoliberal capitalism, social democratic capitalism, Indian capitalism, micro-credit-based capitalism and particularly the nuances in Chinese capitalism – and believes there is much to be learnt from the study of these different systems.

ESDS International at the Forum

Whilst at the Forum, the ESDS International team took the opportunity to meet with colleagues at the OECD to discuss various topics of mutual interest, including data visualisation, citation and the Statistical Data and Metadata Exchange (SDMX) transition project. This collaborative project described in the July ESDS In the Spotlight feature has involved a great deal of effort from both ESDS International and the OECD to migrate all the OECD datasets hosted to the SDMX standard. Thanks to these face-to-face meetings a number of outstanding issues were resolved - for example clarity on the process of data update notifications and the whereabouts of some missing metadata.

The team also met with Martine Zaida and Angela Hariche to discuss the appointment of ESDS International as a Correspondent for the Global Project, a major initiative spearheaded by the OECD to foster the development of a set of comprehensive and diverse indicators to measure the progress and well-being of societies. Correspondent organisations form the focal points for their countries or subject areas for the Global Project and act as a formal part of the Project’s growing “network of networks”. ESDS International are pleased to announce that following this meeting, the service has been offered the role or Correspondent by the OECD.

OECD Innovation strategy and the role of universities

Of particular interest the OECD promoted the role of universities, colleges and vocational training centres as essential nodes in the innovation system as they produce and attract the human capital needed for innovation, act as bridges between businesses, governments and countries, contribute to the local quality of life and can become clusters of innovative activity. The OECD state that policy makers need to recognise the essential role of universes in the innovation enterprise ensuring independence, competition, excellence, entrepreneurial spirit and flexibility in universities. See the OECD Innovation strategy and the role of universities.

The Forum concluded with a Ministerial session on the accession of Israel and Estonia to the OECD, with the Prime Ministers of Italy - Silvio Berlusconi, Estonia - Andrus Ansip and Israel - Binyamin Netanyahu attending.

For more details on all the sessions at the OECD Forum, daily speeches, summaries and photos are available on the OECD Forum 2010 website.

06 July 2010: Changes to Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Data 

How will  this affect ESDS International users?
You'll continue to access OECD data via the ESDS International web interface in the same way as before. However, you should notice some positive changes to the way the data is structured making it easier to find and display the data you want. In addition, we are now able to update some of the OECD datasets more frequently, so the data you are using will be more up to date. We can do this because the data now comes to us in a more flexible Statistical Data and Metadata Exchange format (SDMX).  

But, what is SMDX?
It is an initiative, sponsored by a number of ESDS International's data providers, that aims to foster standards for the exchange of statistical data and metadata. It includes ISO standards for encoding and transmitting data, along with guidelines for how datasets should be structured.

What's happening?
For the past two years ESDS International has been working closely with the OECD on an SDMX project. The OECD have now begun sending their data to ESDS International in an SDMX format. During 2010 we'll be migrating all the OECD datasets we host to the SDMX standard, this is a significant technical change that requires many parts of the ESDS International data processing and publishing programs to be re-written.

If you want to find out more about SDMX, please visit http://sdmx.org/.  


12 May 2010: New case study - Reducing the Political Cost of Europe’s Dependence on Russian Gas

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

The new case study, Reducing the Political Cost of Europe's Dependence on Russian Gas describes a research project carried out at the Electricity Policy Research Group, University of Cambridge, funded by the ESRC (TSEC Programme) with additional support from the European Council on Foreign Relations.

The author states that even though there has been an impressive reduction in the relative dependence of the EU on Russian gas and the volumes imported from Russia have not grown since 2000, the perception that Russian gas presents Europe with one of its most pressing geopolitical challenges has spread and deepened. Aimed at understanding the political economy of the EU-Russia gas relationship after the EU enlargements of 2004 and 2007 this research tackles in particular the question of how the structure of the European gas market impacts on the political divisions of Europe vis-à-vis Russia.

The case study uses data from the 2008 edition of the International Energy Agency's Natural Gas Statistics obtained 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 2010: World Bank Opens Up Data

ESDS International is delighted to report that the World Bank Group announced today its new open data initiative, bringing global economic and development data to the web for the world to use. As part of this initiative, the World Bank today launched data.worldbank.org, a website that provides free, open and easy access to statistics and indicators about development. This includes access to its major databases including the World Development Indicators, Africa Development Indicators and Global Development Finance Statistics.

Making the announcement, World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick said. “It’s important to make the data and knowledge of the World Bank available to everyone. Statistics tell the story of people in developing and emerging countries and can play an important part in helping to overcome poverty.”

ESDS International will continue to host World Bank data, providing access and support for the data to the UK FE/HE community.

Best wishes,

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


25 March 2010: Third release of ESS round 4 data and documentation

Edition 3.0 of the ESS4 data and documentation is now available from the ESS Data Web Site, http://ess.nsd.uib.no

In this edition data from Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Latvia, Romania, Turkey and Ukraine have been added. The datafile now comprises of 28 countries. For further details please see
http://ess.nsd.uib.no/ess/round4/notes.html

In addition, the Parents' occupation files have been updated, and data from the Interviewers' questionnaire have been released.

Data from the three remaining countries Austria, Ireland and Lithuania will be published in the autumn of 2010.

Bibliography reminder:

Users of ESS data are required to register bibliographic citations of all forms of publications referring to ESS data in the ESS on-line bibliography database at http://ess.nsd.uib.no


23 March 2010: Improved interface to OECD Main Economic Indicators

ESDS International, hosted by Mimas at the University of Manchester is pleased to announce a new, improved interface to the OECD's Main Economic Indicators.

In the new interface, the data is broken down by periodicity and presented in three simple tables - Annual, Quarterly and Monthly. Within these new tables, you can choose your required data from just three dimensions - Country, Subject and either Year, Month or Quarter. A new step-by-step guide explaining how to find, display and download data using the new format is available and the MEI dataset user guide at has also been updated.

We intend to run the existing and new versions in parallel for one month, until the April edition of the data is released at which point only the new version will be available. Please take a look at the new version of the MEI and send us your comments at international@esds.ac.uk.

All databases within the ESDS International data portfolio are freely available to students, researchers and staff at UK Further and Higher education institutions via ESDS online registration and agreement to dataset specific Special Conditions of use. We cannot provide data to users outside of this community due to the data re-distribution license agreements we have with our data providers.

The OECD data can be accessed via our data delivery software Beyond 20/20 WDS at http://esds.mcc.ac.uk/wds_oecd/.

Best wishes,

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


23 February 2010: International data use tops 25,000!

ESDS International is delighted to report that usage of the ESDS International databanks has now topped twenty-five thousand. Records show that from the inception of the service in June 2003 to January 2010 over 25,000 unique users from 214 different UK educational institutions accessed international macro data via ESDS International over 510,000 times. The graph below shows the ever-increasing international data community and dataset release dates, the latest of which was the UN Comtrade data in Sept 2009.

Graph showing international dataset usage from 2003-2010

Of these 25,000 users 47% were postgraduates, 36% were undergraduates and the majority of others were staff at Higher or Further Education (FE) institutions with a very small percentage of FE student usage. This new generation of international data users came primarily from the fields of Economics and Econometrics, Business and Management Studies, Politics and International Studies, Accounting and Finance, Library or Data/Information Centre, but interestingly also included users from areas as diverse as Engineering, Media Studies, Mathematics, Anthropology, Psychology and Middle Eastern and African Studies. This gives an indication of the huge range of topics that are covered by ESDS International's data portfolio.

Graph showing breakdown of international data by dataset

The service hosts high quality international time series statistical databanks produced by international governmental organisations such as the International Monetary Fund, the International Energy Agency, the United Nations, the World Bank and OECD covering a wide array of topics, from finance, trade and industry to education, employment, health, migration, social expenditure, human development, energy and the environment. The graph above shows the breakdown of dataset usage by dataset, i.e. we can see that the World Bank datasets (which include the World Development Indicators, the Global Development Finance and the African Development Indicators) are by far the most popular for our users, followed by the OECD datasets and the IMF's International Financial Statistics.

All of this data is freely available to UK academics and researchers via Beyond 20/20 and ESDS International also helps users to locate and acquire international micro-level datasets, such as Eurobarometer. The service also supports the use of these macro and micro databanks through the provision of a helpdesk, user guides, training and learning and teaching resources.

Please let us know if you have any comments about the service or need any further information about what we do!

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 January 2010: Case studies on international data use wanted

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!


Photo by: 3mieszczanka, Creative Commons, Flickr.
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.

The current selection includes studies on:

  • The relationship between public attitudes and public knowledge about science
  • Gender Equality in the Labour Market in Central and Eastern Europe: Attitudes to Women's Work
  • When do people feel European? European identity, EU attitudes, and questionnaire design
  • Low emission European energy scenarios
  • Comparing Early Warning Systems for Banking Crises

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.

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


09 December 2009: ESDS International reports on 5th Annual Conference- Real Data: Real World

ESDS International, hosted by Mimas at the University of Manchester held their fifth annual conference on the 30 November 2009 at the Institute of Materials in London. The event 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 on the day can be found at ESDS International 2009 Conference: Real Data-Real World 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


27 October 2009: ESDS International attending 3rd OECD World Forum in Busan, Korea

Celia Russell and Paul Murphy of ESDS International attended the OECD's 3rd World Forum on 'Statistics, Knowledge and Policy' which included an international exhibition on 'Charting Progress, Building Visions and Improving Life' from the 27th to 30th of October 2009 in Busan, Korea. See their article 'Debating Global Progress' on the Talking globally – Mimas at international events feature on the Mimas website.

ESDS International have submitted a paper for the conference: What do academics want? Research requirements for cross-national data

For more information please visit the Forum Website: www.oecdworldforum2009.org



14 October 2009: Booking now open for ESDS International's 2009 annual conference: Real Data - Real World

ESDS International is holding this year's annual conference on Monday 30 November 2009 at the Institute of Materials in London.

The theme of the conference is Real Data - Real World 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.

The event will have a strong focus on Inter-Governmental Organisation data providers with speakers from the International Monetary Fund, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization and the International Energy Agency. The programme also includes a presentation on a longitudinal study of childhood poverty from the Young Lives international research project.

The academic community is also well represented with researchers using international data in their work speaking on topics such as 'Financial Risks and Banking Sector Performance' and 'Financial Dollarization and European Union Membership'. The final session of the day will include a presentation on 'International Collaboration', which will discuss access to and sharing of data resources to help understand and resolve complex challenges of the modern world.

This event is intended to appeal to 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 2009 programme, venue and booking details 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!


8 October 2009: European Social Survey Round 4 data available

Round 4 (2008-2009) data have recently been made available for the European Social Survey (ESS). Access to the data is via the ESS web site.


23 September 2009: IEA World Energy Statistics and Balances Dataset Restructured

The International Energy Agency (IEA) World Energy Statistics and Balances dataset has been restructured into the following six separate databases:

  • World Energy Balances
  • World Energy Statistics
  • Energy Balances of Non-OECD Countries
  • Energy Statistics of Non-OECD Countries
  • Energy Balances of OECD Countries
  • Energy Statistics of OECD Countries

Previously the IEA World Energy Statistics and Balances dataset comprised of the Energy Balances of Non-OECD Countries, Energy Statistics of Non-OECD Countries, Energy Balances of OECD Countries and Energy Statistics of OECD Countries databases.

The two new databases, World Energy Balances and World Energy Statistics are compilations of the existing databases. The World Energy Balances is compiled from the data in the Energy Balances of Non-OECD Countries database and the Energy Balances of OECD Countries database. The World Energy Statistics is compiled from the data in Energy Statistics of Non-OECD Countries database and the Energy Statistics of OECD Countries database.

All of these six databases are now published separately at ESDS International instead of being published as part of the World Energy Statistics and Balances dataset.

The IEA databases can be accessed via Beyond 20/20 WDS at http://esds.mcc.ac.uk/wds_iea/

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


15 September 2009: Launch of United Nation’s Commodity Trade Statistics Database (UN Comtrade)

ESDS International hosted by Mimas at the University of Manchester is delighted to announce the release of the United Nation’s Commodity Trade Statistics Database (UN Comtrade). This extensive database contains over 1.1 billion records and is considered to be the most comprehensive trade database available.

Topics covered by this vast commodities database include food and live animals, beverages and tobacco, crude materials, mineral fuels, chemicals, animal and vegetable oils, machinery and transport equipment. It contains time series data from over 140 reporter countries with series starting from 1962.

Unlike the other macro datasets in the ESDS International portfolio, access to UN Comtrade is via the UN’s own interface rather than Beyond 20/20. The UN interface provides several different methods for querying data, including the Express Selection feature which contains a wide range of options and is easy to use.

ESDS International provide the following guides for UN Comtrade:

All databases within the ESDS International 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, ESDS online registration and agreement to United Nations Special Conditions of use.

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.

The UN Comtrade database can be accessed via federated access management authentication at http://comtrade.mimas.ac.uk/db.

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


03 September 2009: Beyond 20/20 Web Data Server Upgraded

ESDS International hosted by Mimas at the University of Manchester are pleased to announce the upgrade to the new version of Beyond 20/20 Web Data Server is now complete.

The macro datasets at ESDS International are delivered using Beyond 20/20 software. To coincide with the new academic year, this software is being upgraded from version 7.3 to version 8.0 to include a more user friendly interface and some useful new features.

The new version is icon based rather than using an actions menu. The icons allow users to access all the same features as the actions menu, in addition to some new ones. There are separate ‘Table’ and ‘Chart’ tabs to enable users to switch easily between viewing the data in tabular or chart form and on each tab the icons allow you to select further options for saving, formatting or printing your data. Users can also now move from one dataset to another using the ‘Direct links to macro data’ drop down box without needing to leave the Beyond 20/20 interface.

Another useful new feature of the software is the profiling function. Profiles enable you to save your search criteria for later use when you return to the database. Selections are saved in the dimensions individually and refer to the particular database they are saved within. For example, you could save several countries or a range of years as a profile. The next time you log in to that database you can select the profile icon, choose the profile you previously saved and data matching that criteria will be displayed.

We hope the additional features in the new version of Beyond 20/20 will enable users to more quickly and easily access the data they require. A new software guide introducing the New Features in Beyond 20/20 WDS version 8.0 is available at: http://www.esds.ac.uk/international/support/user_guides/by2020v8.asp.

If you have any problems finding and accessing the data using the new interface or have any feedback on the service please contact us on international@esds.ac.uk


17 August 2009: ESDS International users test version 8 of Beyond 20/20

ESDS International, hosted by Mimas at the University of Manchester, is pleased to announce that the scheduled upgrade to Beyond 20/20 version 8 will take place in September 2009.

The new version of Beyond 20/20 WDS provides users with two major additional benefits:

  • a re-designed, more user-friendly interface  
  • the introduction of user profiles.

The improved interface

The new interface uses intuitive icons rather than the old actions menu for selecting dimensions, downloading the data, print options and re-arranging the table.

Beyond 20/20 interface

The Chart and Table views of the data can also now be toggled using the new chart tab.

Beyond 20/20 chart

User profiles

In addition to the improved look, the new version offers a new profiling functionality.

Profiles enable you to save your selections from each dimension (for example, country or series) of the database. When you return to the database you can re-activate your previously saved profiles even if the database has been updated in the meantime.

For example, say you wish to select data for a number of countries in a particular database. With the new profile feature, once you have selected your countries you can then save this selection as a named profile by clicking on the profile icon then choosing Save current selections as a profile option: Beyond 20/20 will then remember the countries you have selected and store this selection as a named profile for you to use in future sessions. The procedure can be repeated for any other dimension of the database. For example, you can also select the series you require and then save those selections as a profile in the series dimension in the same way.

Beyond 20/20 interface

Each time you log on, Beyond 20/20 will recognize who you are and can retrieve your previously saved selections for that database. This means that the next time you wish to run the same query you can click on the profile icon then select Activate profile to reopen your saved selections.

Beyond 20/20 interface

Selections in each dimension are saved individually so you can save selections in as many or few dimensions are you want. The profiles will be saved until you choose to delete them.

We would welcome any feedback you may have on the new interface. Please send your comments to international@esds.ac.uk by 31st August. Thank you very much for your help in improving the service.


13 August 2009: ESDS International Annual Conference: Call for presenters

Do you use ESDS international data as part of your research or teaching?

ESDS International is now issuing this call for presenters for the fifth ESDS international Annual Conference to be held on 30 November 2009 at the Institute of Materials in London. Researchers from any socio-economic discipline who have used ESDS International data in their research are invited to submit paper, presentation or poster abstracts for this event. We would also be interested to hear from anyone who would be interested in presenting on their use of the data in their teaching.

The ESDS International Annual Conference is a one-day, high profile ESRC–funded event which brings together speakers from inter-governmental organisations with the UK academic community, providing an ideal opportunity for the users and providers of international data to meet and share their ideas on issues relating to international data research. Previous years’ contributions have included presentations on ‘The Formation and Evolution of Childhood Skill Acquisition: Evidence from India’, ‘OECD Data in Teaching and Learning’ and ‘ Monitoring the Millennium Development Goals: measuring poor social conditions’. See full programmes and reports of previous conferences for other contributions from previous years.

Reasonable UK travel costs for speakers will be covered. There is no need to write a paper specifically for the conference but any papers submitted and presented will be published on the ESDS international website as conference proceedings.

If you would like to present or share your work at the conference, please send your proposed title and brief abstract to the ESDS International helpdesk at international@esds.ac.uk by 11 September 2009 (note the deadline for this call has been extended from 4 September). For consideration by the panel, each submission must be accompanied by the title(s) of the ESDS International databases used in the work.

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.

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

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4 August 2009: Where is Athens?

From 4 August 2009 access to the resources of ESDS International is available to users whose organisations have signed up to the UK Access Management Federation (UKAMF). This means that the Athens login option is no longer available.

The new login directs the user to the UKAMF institution list from which they select their institution. They then log in using their normal institutional username and password.

This change will have no significant effect for most users. Many organisations which continue to use Athens will have also joined the UKAMF (see the Federation’s current membership) and their users will simply use the new login option. Some users in this position may be asked for information before proceeding to access resources, but this will simply be to facilitate the identification of their record in the authentication database.

However, there are some organisations which have not joined the Federation and they will not be in the organisation list. If users cannot find their organisation in the list they should, in the first instance, contact their organisation's IT department, which will be able to confirm the position. If users still feel there may be a problem they can contact help@esds.ac.uk.

If an organisation switches from using Athens usernames and passwords to a different institutional login, their users, when attempting to access the resources of the UK Data Archive and ESDS with the new credentials, will be prompted to provide the First name, Family name, Institution, Email address and memorable word registered with us. This will allow existing user records to be updated with the new credentials.


29 June 2009: ESDS International reports on 2009 OECD Forum

On 23rd and 24th June 2009, Susan Anderton from ESDS International attended the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Forum on The Crisis and Beyond. The event took place at the OECD’s International Conference Centre on Rue Andre-Pascal in Paris and was attended by participants from all over the world.

The OECD Forum enables policy makers, experts, business and trade unions as well as stake-holders exchange ideas which then go on to influence the policy decisions at the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting following on when the forum ends. This year’s forum focused on how to make the world economy stronger, cleaner and fairer by tackling issues such as corruption, employment, water resources and protectionism. Sessions included: Restoring Confidence in Financial Systems; Fighting Corruption; Weathering the Jobs Crisis; Financing Development and Energy Solutions. The keynote panel comprised of Augustin de Romanet, the CEO of Caisse des Depots, Carolyn Ervin, Director of Financial and Enterprise Affairs at the OECD, Baldomero Falcones, Chairman and CEO of Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas and John Monks, General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation.


Korean Prime Minister Han Seung-soo at the opening session. Photo: ©OECD,

At the opening plenary session of the forum, Korean Prime Minister Han Seung-soo spoke about the importance of fighting climate change. He stressed the need for a new “green growth” paradigm based on low-carbon economic development and highlighted Korea’s vision of a “low-carbon, green-growth economy”. Mr Seung-soo noted this vision will create “higher growth, environmental sustainability, and contribute to global efforts to fight climate change” and proposed it as a model for the international community as a whole. Mr Seung-soo stressed that the “triple global crises” of high food and energy prices, climate change and the global financial crisis has challenged the international communities’ efforts to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The MDGs were agreed in 2001, with the aim to eradicate poverty, and should be completed by 2015.

In recognition of the importance of these goals, and of increasing awareness of the data available at ESDS International and how it can be used for research, ESDS International have created the UN Millennium Development Goals e-learning materials. They have been designed as an interactive learning and teaching resource which detail how the UN MDGs came about, provide a list of the goals, targets and indicators, identification of the sources of this data and how the progress towards the goals is measured. Whilst access to international macro data at ESDS International is available only to researchers and students at UK Further and Higher Education institutions, the e-learning materials are available to all and links to similar freely available data have been included where possible.

With unemployment still rising, a session on Weathering the Jobs Crisis discussed whether the already stretched governments would be able to cope. John Martin, Director of Employment and Social Affairs at the OECD, stated unemployment in OECD countries is expected to near 10% by 2010 and pointed out that while unemployment rises quickly it takes a long time to recover. After past recessions the United States took four to seven years to recover to previous unemployment levels and other countries, he noted, usually take longer. Mr Martin stressed that while it is critical to stabilise financial markets and raise aggregate demand, job losers also need support. However, he warned against repeating past mistakes, that we know do not work, such as opening pathways to early retirement.

The first day concluded with a session on the Future of Food: markets, prices and security which focused on whether food security can be guaranteed as the world’s population increases, considering the globalisation of the food commodity market and the effects of climate change on agriculture. Mark Adams, Professor at the University of Sydney, Australia pointed out that while there have been significant gains in yields over the past few decades this growth is not sustainable. He stated that “yield is now close to optimum in many areas” and that there are limits to the level of growth that is possible without negative effects on the environment.

The second day of the forum began with a session on Green Growth and Water which was moderated by Philippe Escande, columnist of Les Echos, France. Mr Escande opened the discussion by pointing out that while the world’s population only use 1% of the water available on earth over a billion people do not have access to drinking water and two billion do not have access to sanitation. Lorents Lorentsen, Director of Environment at the OECD, noted that whist water is not scarce it is mismanaged through unclean water sources, leaking pipelines and lack of pricing. He stressed that regulation in Australia, after droughts over the last eight to nine years, has managed to cut water consumption by 50% without any adverse affect on productivity. Mr Lorentsen warned that unless governments price their water there will be waste. Lifeng Li, Director of the Global Freshwater Programme for the WWF International spoke about the vast amounts of water that are used in industrial processes and pointed out that 3,000 litres of water are used to produce a single shirt. Mr Li suggested the concept of the “water footprint” as useful in setting water useage benchmarks for companies globally.

From looking at data from our new database, the World Bank's Africa Development Indicators (ADI), it is clear that the percentage of the population with access to improved sanitation is very low in several African countries. More information on the topics covered by the Africa Development Indicators can be found in our ADI dataset user guide.

Graph showing access to sanitation in African countries

The latest OECD Economic Outlook (No 85 June 2009) was released at the forum. Angel Gurria, Secretary General of the OECD advised that the economic slowdown in OECD countries is now reaching the bottom but the recovery will be weak and the damage long-lasting. Mr Gurria noted that this edition is the first in two years to have revised previous projections upwards for economic growth, however, in the euro area GDP is still expected to contract by 4.8% in 2009. Signs of recovery will be slow, especially as unemployment is still rising and consumers are not spending.

At a follow-on session on the Economic Outlook, Jacob Lew, Deputy Secretary of State for the United States claimed the small improvement in growth is largely due to the coordination of national governments and multilateral bodies globally in tackling the crisis and that this cooperation needs to continue going forward. Mr Lew stressed the importance of continuing stimulus packages in the short term and addressing fiscal discipline in the longer term. The US stimulus package currently amounts to 5.6% of US GDP.  Hur Kyung Wook, Vice Minister at the Ministry of Strategy and Finance in Korea, spoke of the need for bilateral swap arrangements to calm market nerves and increase confidence, a point with which Angel Gurria agreed. 

For more details on all the sessions at the OECD Forum, daily speeches, summaries and photos are available on the OECD Forum 2009 website.


19 May 2009: Launch of World Bank Africa Development Indicators

ESDS International, hosted by Mimas at the University of Manchester, is delighted to announce that the World Bank's Africa Development Indicators is now available through the service.

The Africa Development Indicators (ADI) provides a comprehensive source of economic and social data, providing annual time series data for over 50 African countries and 20 regional groups. A key feature of the database is the level of detail with over 1,200 indicators for each country. The ADI brings together in a single database operational data such as national accounts, balance of payments, trade, prices and government finance and external debt with data on household welfare (from the Survey-based Harmonized Indicators Program), demography, health, education, governance, natural resources, infrastructure, energy and the environment. Reported data of Africa can often be uneven or patchy, but the ADI uniquely overcomes this issue by compiling data from many different sources, including local World Bank staff, and economic and sectoral specialists. The ADI is an annual database updated once a year and with most indicators go back to the 1970's. The data is designed to be comparable between countries and so provides strong opportunities for cross-national research.

Graph showing mobile phone usage in East Africa

All databases within the ESDS International 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/ Athens authentication, ESDS online registration and agreement to World Bank Special Conditions of use.

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.

The Africa Development Indicators can be accessed via Beyond 20/20 WDS at http://esds.mcc.ac.uk/wds_wb/

A guide to the Africa Development Indicators including the topics and countries covered is available from the ESDS International website at http://www.esds.ac.uk/international/support/user_guides/wb/adi.asp

We are initially hosting this database within ESDS International on a trial basis with a 2 year licensing agreement which runs until 2011. We would therefore be very interested to hear your views on the longer term acquisition of this database for the ESDS International portfolio.


08 May 2009: IMF International Financial Statistics errors found in Dec and Jan data

The IMF have identified some errors in the data for Dec 2008 and Jan 2009 in the IMF IFS. The errors relate to series code: 112..RF.ZF.. Descriptor: MARKET RATE, PERIOD AVERAGE and Country: UK.

The IMF are revising the figures and will release them with the June 2009 update of the IFS.

Please get in touch if you have any questions about this, or any other query about the service.


06 April 2009: IMF Government Finance Statistics reverts to December release

ESDS International has identified an error in the data series for Austria in the March 2009 release of the IMF Government Finance Statistics (GFS). It is possible this error may be replicated elsewhere in the database. These problems have been reported to the IMF who plan correct the data in the next release (June 2009) of the database. In the meantime, we will be reverting the more reliable December 2008 GFS release.

**We would therefore recommend data downloaded from the March edition of IMF GFS be replaced with data from the December 2008 release.** The December 2008 release is now our current live version. Please get in touch if you have any questions about this, or any other query about the service.


30 March 2009: Problem accessing service through federated access (Shibboleth) after move to BST

Users were unable to access the service through federated access (Shibboleth) following the clock change to British Summer Time on the 29 March. This was due to Shibboleth requiring all servers to work on the same time. Unfortunately, the software used to enforce this did not change this correctly so causing the time skew problem. The problem has now been fixed.


18 March 2009: Round 2 data for Young Lives now available

ESDS International is pleased to announce that Round 2 data for the Young Lives study are now available for download via the study’s ESDS catalogue record. The study itself goes from strength to strength with the recent announcement of further Department for International Development funding, underwriting the project until 2017.


10 March 2009: Notification of withdrawal of ILO Key Indicators of the Labour Market from ESDS International

***Important*** The International Labour Organisations Key Indicators of the Labour Market Database at ESDS International is no longer updated. The October 2008 edition of this database was the last release via ESDS International as it has now been made available freely via the ILO's own interface at - http://www.ilo.org/public/english/employment/strat/kilm/.

ESDS International access to ILO KILM via Beyond 20/20 will be withdrawn on 31st July 2009. The ILO's KILM 5th Edition software contains the KILM manuscript and data for the 20 KILM indicators. The software operates in English, French and Spanish. It allows the user to build queries and export selected data in various formats. Both data and program are updated automatically via the Internet when you open the software so you will always view the most recent data.


25 February 2009: New case study- Puzzles in financial development and economic growth

ESDS International, a specialist data service of the Economic and Social Data Service has added to its selection of 'Case studies of international data use' with a new study 'Puzzles in financial development and economic growth'.


Photo by: rogiro, Creative Commons, Flickr
Presented as a poster at the ESDS International 2008 Annual Conference, this research tests the robustness of two important puzzles regarding the relationship of financial development and economic growth documented in a number of recent papers. The first puzzle relates to the finding that banks have a positive effect upon economic growth in the long run but a negative one in the short run. The second is about the positive effect of stock markets upon economic growth irrespective of time horizons.

The case study uses a selection of data from the April 2008 edition of the World Banks World Development Indicators obtained 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


25 February 2009: ESDS International launches United Nations Millennium Development Goals e-learning materials

ESDS International, hosted by Mimas at the University of Manchester is pleased to announce the launch of a set of e-learning materials based around a key socio-economic data topic – the United Nation’s (UN) Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).



Designed to help learners explore the UN’s MDGs, the materials will also guide users through using the international data service, providing an increased understanding of the data available at ESDS International and the potential of that data for use in their own research or teaching. The materials comprise four main sections:

  1. Guide to ESDS International - a comprehensive overview of the international data service.
  2. Guide to the MDGs - describes the background to the MDGs, the relationship between the goals, targets and indicators, identifies the data sources and how progress towards the goals is measured.
  3. Activities section - provides step-step activities available as e-tutorials enabling learners to, for example, search the ESDS International data portfolio or carry out a simple data visualisation task.
  4. Links and resources - contains links to relevant UN MDG related interfaces.

Accessible at www.esds.ac.uk/international/elearning/unmdg/ the materials are freely available to all though are aimed primarily at UK Further and Higher Education learners. Intended to be used either for self study or within taught courses, it is hoped the materials will help to develop a new generation of statistical data users with the ability to contribute to global debate on international issues such as poverty, climate change and globalisation.

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


25 February 2009: Helpdesk queries not received from 9 February to 25 February

Helpdesk queries to international@esds.ac.uk were not received from 9 February to 25 February. Please resend any queries sent during this period. We apologise for any inconvenience.


24 February 2009: ESDS International reports on its fourth annual conference

ESDS International, hosted by Mimas at the University of Manchester held their fourth annual conference on the 1 December 2008 at the Institute of Materials in London. The event 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 on the day can be found at ESDS International 2008 Conference: The Changing World and conference proceedings from all ESDS International conferences are available online.

The next ESDS International Conference will take place on 30th November 2009 at the Institute of Materials. 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


20th January 2009: New case study 'Home Bias in Foreign Direct Investment' now online

ESDS International, a specialist data service of the Economic and Social Data Service has added to its selection of 'Case studies of international data use' with a new study 'Home Bias in Foreign Direct Investment'.


Photo by: thinkpanama, Creative Commons, Flickr
Presented as a poster at the ESDS International 2008 Annual Conference, the subject of this research is 'home bias in corporate decision making in an international context'. The author states that there is a strong preference for corporate managers to invest in surrounding countries and places of social and cultural familiarity and investigates whether this tendency to invest in the familiar is also present in foreign direct investments. The case study uses the IMF's International Financial Statistics, the World Banks World Development Indicators and the OECD's International Development Statistics, all obtained 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


16th December 2008: Online services will run unattended from 25 December 2008 to 4 January 2009

ESDS International will be closed from 4pm on 24th December until service resumes at 9am on 5th January 2009. Online services will run unattended although operators will be on call to fix any detected problems during the holiday period. Users can submit queries to the ESDS International helpdesk via phone and email during this period but they will not be dealt with until Monday 5th Jan.

Season's greetings to all our users!


2nd October 2008: IMF World Economic Outlook CommonGIS updated with April 2008 data

ESDS International's CommonGIS data exploration and visualisation interface to the IMF's World Economic Outlook has now been updated with 2007 data downloaded from the April 2008 edition of the WEO.

Screen shot showing CommonGIS WEO interface

CommonGIS is an interactive web based geographical information system which provides standard GIS functionality and can be used as a tool for visualisation and exploratory analysis based on geographically referenced statistical data. It is an extension of the thematic mapping software Descartes and was developed through a European Commission funded project (ESPRIT Project nr.28983 'Information Access and Interfaces') undertaken by Team Spatial Decision Support (SPADE), the aim of which was to create an online GIS tool accessible and usable for expert and common users alike

The World Economic Outlook database contains selected macroeconomic data series from the statistical appendix of the World Economic Outlook report, which presents the IMF staff's analysis and projections of economic developments at the global level, in major country groups and in many individual countries. ESDS Internationals CommonGIS interface allows users to visualise the following selection of IMF World Economic Outlook attributes across the globe:

  • Current account balance (Billions of US Dollars)
  • Current account balance (% of GDP)
  • GDP based on purchasing-power-parity (PPP) per capita (US Dollars)
  • GDP based on PPP share of world total (Percent)
  • GDP based on PPP valuation of country GDP (Billions of US Dollars)
  • GDP per capita, current prices (US Dollars)
  • GDP constant prices (Annual percent change, %)
  • GDP current prices (Billions of US Dollars)
  • GDP deflator (Index)
  • Inflation Consumer Prices (Index 2000=100)
  • Inflation Consumer Prices (Annual percent change, %)
  • Population (Millions)

The CommonGIS interface to the IMF World Economic Outlook data is hosted by Intute: Science, Engineering and Technology, (formerly GEsource, the geography and environment hub of the Resource Discovery Network).

Access: Click on the 'IMF WEO 2008 [GIS Analysis]' link at - www.intute.ac.uk/sciences/worldguide/.

Access is free to all - the only requirement is a Java enabled web browser. Further details about CommonGIS are provided under the Visualisation interface section of the web site.

If you have any problems using the new interface or have any feedback on the service please contact us on international@esds.ac.uk


29th September 2008: Joint ESDS International and ESDS Government Workshop on Britain in a European Context

Britain in a European Context - Research Data Resources

Humanities Bridgeford Street, University of Manchester

Friday 7 November 2008

Registration: Hanson Room, Ground Floor
Practical: Computer Cluster 2.2, Second Floor

Understanding the UK increasingly requires an understanding of our place in Europe. This workshop will introduce participants to the major data resources that enable researchers to explore these relationships and influences.

The one day workshop, aimed at social science research staff and students, will discuss the data resources available for the analysis of the UK at a national level and within a European context. It will include presentations on accessing British survey data and international comparative data from surveys, including issues relating to accessing data from Eurostat, and will explore the range of international time series data available from intergovernmental organisations such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. We will also be looking at the methodological, statistical and technical issues associated with combining data from these different sources. In the afternoon, participants will have the opportunity to gain practical experience in accessing and exploring the data and related resources in hands-on sessions.


23rd September 2008: New case study 'Comparing Early Warning Systems for Banking Crises' now online

ESDS International, a specialist data service of the Economic and Social Data Service has added to its selection of 'Case studies of international data use' with a very topical new study 'Comparing Early Warning Systems for Banking Crises'.


Photo by: thehutch, Creative Commons, Flickr
The author of the study makes a case that despite the extensive literature on prediction of banking crises by Early Warning Systems (EWS), their practical use by policy makers is limited, even in the international financial institutions. She states that in today's global economy the use of EWS for informing policies aimed at preventing crises are more necessary than ever and goes on to assess different approaches for both global and country specific EWS. The case study uses the IMF's International Financial Statistics and the World Banks World Development Indicators - both obtained from ESDS International.

If you would like to read our current case studies or would like to submit a case study for possible publication (for which 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.


17th September 2008: Socio-economic databanks available to House of Commons and Lords Libraries

ESDS International recently announced that, following agreement with its data providers, access to its portfolio of high-quality socio-economic macro data has now been opened up to parliamentary researchers and statisticians at the House of Commons and House of Lords libraries.The ESDS International team is delighted that the data will feed directly into UK Government policy formation and welcomes this new group of users.

Find out more information about this exciting news from the following:

If you have any questions or comments about this news or the service in general, contact the ESDS International Helpdesk at international@esds.ac.uk.


17th September 2008: Booking now open for ESDS International's 2008 annual conference: The Changing World

ESDS International is holding this year's annual conference on Monday 1st December at the Institute of Materials in London.

The theme of the conference is The Changing World 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.

The event will have a strong focus on Inter-Governmental Organisation data providers with speakers from the World Bank, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and the International Labour Organisation. The programme also includes a presentation on the International Social Survey Programme and European Social Survey by a member of the National Centre for Social Research.

The academic community is also well represented with researchers using international data in their work speaking on topics such as 'Calculating the Environmental Impact of Connecting Maritime Ships to Shoreside Power' and 'The Formation and Evolution of Childhood Skill Acquisition: Evidence from India'. The final session of the day will include a presentation on 'International data in research for Parliamentarians' and a data surgery where you'll have the chance to interrogate the ESDS International team with dataset specific questions.

This event is intended to appeal to 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 2008 programme, venue and booking details 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!

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


7th August 2008: Take part in the JISC consultation exercise

Are you a researcher wanting to make use of e-research tools and technologies but don't know where to start?

If so you are not alone! The Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) is conducting a major set of studies throughout 2008 and early 2009 into the challenges researchers face in taking up e-research technologies, and how to overcome these.

Just one hour of your time would help make this study as representative of researchers as possible. You will discover a range of technologies that could help you in your day-to-day research. You will hear how other researchers are already making use of these technologies. You will also find out about new contacts and discover who to approach if you have further questions.

Taking part

Contact us at info@engage.ac.uk. We will then call you and arrange an interview at your convenience. The interview will cover your day-to-day experience of research and last no more than an hour

Visit www.engage.ac.uk for further information, workshops and events

Who are we?

We are three closely-connected projects, funded by JISC as a major strand of its e-research programme, and all based at organisations already established and active within e-science innovation.

e-Uptake aims to identify some of the barriers associated with the use of e-Infrastructure and to overcome them through community outreach and training.

Engage seeks to help researchers exploit the benefits of e-Infrastructure by developing and deploying new software solutions on available UK e-Infrastructure, such as the National Grid Service.

eIUS aims to publicise the successful use of advanced online technologies, such as data repositories, grid computing and visualisation tools, to support research within any discipline. e-Uptake, eIUS and Engage are all collaborative projects collectively involving many of the major, established players in the e-research world - including the UK National Centre for e-Social Science (NCeSS), the National e-Science Centre (NeSC), the Arts and Humanities e-Science Support Centre (AHeSSC), the Open Middleware Infrastructure Institute (OMII UK), and the National Grid Service (NGS), as well as the Universities of Edinburgh, Oxford, Southampton and Manchester, King's College London, and the Science and Technology Facilities Council.


31st July 2008: ESDS International data access changes

From 31st July onwards, there will be a change to the way you access data via ESDS International. This is because many universities will have now switched from Athens authentication to Federated Access (Shibboleth) in line with JISC's new access management infrastructure. Federated Access allows you to securely access external services using the same username and password as you do for local services at your institution.

What this means to you?

You will need to know if your institution has implemented Federated Access - to do this please check the list of Higher Education Institutions or Further Education Institutions with Federated Access.

If your university has switched from Athens to Federated Access, you will now need to carry out the following steps to access the macro data at ESDS International:

  • Click to access the data in the usual way (for example choose the IMF DOTS from the Direct Links to Macro Data drop down list):
  • A page is displayed offering two methods of data access - Athens or Federated Access. Choose Federated Access. (Users from institutions that haven't yet implemented Federated Access should choose Athens at this point and access the data as usual).
  • On the UK Access Management Federation Page that is displayed select your institution from the drop down list. (If you cannot find the name of your institution in the list, then your institution has not yet implemented Shibboleth.)
  • Login with your central/institutional username and password.
  • You will be prompted to provide your name, e-mail address, organisation and your memorable word (this is the memorable word you would have given when first registering with ESDS) - after which you should be allowed access to the data via Beyond 20/20.
    • If you cannot remember your memorable word, please proceed to re-register. We expect most users will need to re-register for the service.
    • Complete the registration form and click submit.
    • Click on 'I Agree' to abide by the End User License terms and conditions.
    • Wait for e-mail confirmation of registration named "ESDS Registration: final stage"
    • Click on the confirmation link within the e-mail
    • Wait for another email named "ESDS Registration: Complete"
    • Go back to the ESDS International website and select the dataset you require in the usual way (for example from the drop down list).
    • You will be prompted to agree to that dataset's special conditions and once you have done so, should be allowed access to the data via Beyond 20/20.

If you have any problems accessing the data using the new Federated Access method, please check our FAQs or alternatively contact our helpdesk at international@esds.ac.uk or +44 (0) 161 275 6109.


21st July 2008: ESDS International Annual Conference: Call for presenters

ESDS International will be holding their fourth Annual Conference on 1st December 2008 at the Institute of Materials in London.

We are now looking for UK academics to present research they have carried out using data from any of the databases in the ESDS international data portfolio - for example, the IMF Direction of Trade Statistics, the International Energy Agency data, the OECD Main Economic Indicators, the World Bank's World Development Indicators, the European Social Survey or Eurobarometer.

Previous years contributions have included presentations on 'Using ESDS International Data in Energy and Environment Models', 'Is inflation a fiscal phenomenon in Pakistan?' and 'Monitoring the Millennium Development Goals: measuring poor social conditions'. See full programme and reports of previous conferences

We are now issuing this call for presenters to users from any socio-economic discipline who have used international data in their research, but we'd also be interested in hearing from anyone who would be interested in presenting on their use of the data in their teaching at the conference. Submissions for the poster session are also welcome at this stage.

Presentations will need to be about 20 minutes long - there is no need to write a paper specifically for the conference but any papers submitted and presented will be published on the ESDS International website as conference proceedings. If you are interested, please send a proposed presentation title and brief abstract to the ESDS International Helpdesk at international@esds.ac.uk by the 31st August.

Reasonable UK travel costs for academic speakers will be covered and you may also be interested to know that other speakers at the conference will include representatives of the International Monetary Fund, the International Labour Organisation, the International Energy Agency and other publishers of international data.

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.

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


Login via Federated Access
9th July 2008: Changes to ESDS International data access

As reported in the ESDS News on 14th March 2008 there will be a change to the way you access any ESDS data as of August 2008. At present the ESDS data resources can only be accessed by users via the Athens authentication system but by August 2008 many universities will have switched from Athens authentication to Federated Access (Shibboleth) in line with JISC's new access management infrastructure. Federated Access allows you to securely access external services using the same username and password as you do for local services at your institution.

Trial of new access method

ESDS International has developed a trial version of the Federated Access interface prior to the official launch of Shibboleth on 1st August 2008. The aim of this trial is to allow users from institutions which have implemented Shibboleth to test the new system and to ensure all is working correctly. There is some development still to be done on the web pages but it should all be functioning correctly and we would appreciate any feedback you have.

To try out the new access method please follow the link to ESDS International Federated Access Trial and carry out the following steps:

  • You should be directed to a Federated Access page listing all the datasets ESDS International hosts > select the data you require, for example IMF Direction of Trade Statistics.
  • On the UK Access Management Federation Page that is displayed select your institution from the drop down list. (If you cannot find the name of your institution in the list, then your institution has not yet implemented Shibboleth.)
  • Login with your central/institutional username and password.
  • You will be prompted to provide your name, e-mail address, organisation and your memorable word (this is the memorable word you would have given when first registering with ESDS) - after which you should be allowed access to the data via Beyond 20/20.
    • If you cannot remember your memorable word, please proceed to re-register. We expect most users will need to re-register for the service.
    • Complete the registration form and click submit.
    • Click on 'I Agree' to abide by the End User License terms and conditions.
    • Wait for e-mail confirmation of registration named "ESDS Registration: final stage"
    • Click on the confirmation link within the e-mail
    • Wait for another email named "ESDS Registration: Complete"
    • Go to: http://esdsw2.mc.manchester.ac.uk/ and select your data
    • You will be prompted to agree to that dataset's special conditions and once you have done so, should be allowed access to the data via Beyond 20/20.

If you have any problems accessing the data via the Federated Access Trial, or have any comments please contact us at international@esds.ac.uk.

Note: Although the majority of institutions will have switched to Shibboleth Federated Access by August 2008, ESDS International will continue to provide access to the data via Athens until July 2009 for those that haven't.


8th July 2008: ESDS International reports on 2008 OECD Forum

On 3rd and 4th June 2008, Susan Noble, Paul Murphy and Richard Wiseman from ESDS International attended the Organisation for Economic Co-orporation and Development (OECD) Forum on Climate Change, Growth and Stability.  The event took place at the OECD’s impressive new International Conference Centre on Rue Andre-Pascal in Paris and was attended by 1600 participants from all over the world.

The OECD Forum brings together business and labour leaders, civil society personalities, government ministers, leaders of international organizations and academics in a ‘multi-stakeholder’ summit to discuss the hottest issues on the international agenda.  Sessions in this years Forum included: What Role for Biofuels?; Global Innovation; IPR and Growth, Innovation and Climate Change; Jobs and Growth; Education: A Good School for Every Community and Open Markets for Trade and Investment. Keynote speeches were given by Jean-Claude Trichet, President of the European Central Bank, Rodrigo de Rato, the Senior Managing Director at Lazard and Alain Hubert, Chairman of the International Polar Foundation. 

During his passionate and energetic speech in the opening session of the forum Angel Gurria, Secretary General of the OECD told participants that ‘if we don’t change climate change, we will not survive’.  He stressed that it was our generational responsibility to tackle climate change in order to save the lives of millions of people and asked that all forum participants should justify their trip to Paris by vigorously debating the issues around our changing climate and creating solutions. Angel informed us that current concentrations of greenhouse gas emissions have already reached 380 parts per million of carbon dioxide equivalent, exceeding the natural range of the last 650,000 years – and that if we do nothing this will rise to over 50% by 2050. Indeed looking at the World Bank statistics ESDS International provides freely to UK Further and Higher educational institutions we can see in the chart below the rise in CO2 emissions over the last 50 years.

Graph showing rising CO2 emissions since 1960

Angel admitted that one of the most difficult questions is that of the cost of fighting climate change and more specifically who should foot the bill, but he said the ‘cost of inaction is greater than the cost of action’.  He concluded his speech reminding us that ‘we are the environment’ and encouraged the audience to convince opinion makers and political leaders that there is no other greater global challenge than climate change.

David Eades from the BBC World News, who moderated the session asked if problems faced in today’s economic climate such as rising oil and food prices will distract us from the COP15 (United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in 2009).  Angel responded that the macro economic situation may be a good excuse to do nothing but we should not be distracted, advising us that action is not optional and that we must act collectively on climate change in order to survive.

The first day concluded with a session moderated by Doris Leuthard, Minister of Economic Affairs in Switzerland on Climate Change: Mobilising Political Will, which included  H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco, Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and Phil Goff the Minister of Trade from New Zealand.

For a case study showing how data provided by ESDS International feeds into policy decisions on global issues such as climate change, please see Mark Barretts work on Low emission European energy scenarios. Many countries face all of the three following environment and energy problems: reducing the impacts of air pollution on human health and ecosystems; controlling climate change and its impacts; and securing long term energy supplies adequate for providing services to people and the economy. This research describes work that explores policy measures for addressing this trinity of problems in the European Union.

In the opening key note speech on the second day of the forum, Jean-Claude Trichet, President of the European Bank, gave his reflections on the current turmoil in the financial markets.  In looking at the causes he talked about the sudden and widespread realization that financial risks were unsustainably high, something that has been common in other financial crises.  He also criticized credit rating agencies for their role in downplaying the risks of some investments.  In discussing the response of the central banks he commented on how, in an increasingly globalised world, with increasingly complex financial flows, there needs to be greater co-operation and information sharing between central banks.  He also discussed the importance of improving the risk analysis of financial institutions and improving the conduct of credit rating agencies.  On the topic of what governments should do, he stressed the need for transparency in improving credibility and trust.  Finally he mentioned how governments and central banks should examine and modify policies and regulations to remove the incentive for pro-cyclical reactions.

For more details on the rest of the sessions at the OECD Forum, daily speeches and summaries, photos and forum notes are available on the OECD Forum 2008 website.

The event also included a book launch for the OECD Work on Meeting the Climate Challenge. More details on OECD publications is provided at the OECD's Online Bookshop at www.oecd.org/bookshop. The OECD Factbook 2008 is available free online.


26th June 2008: Re-launch of Countries and Citizens e-learning materials

Countries and Citizens logoThe e-learning materials previously known as 'Linking International Macro and Micro Data' have now been updated, improved and re-launched with the new name 'Countries and Citizens: Linking international macro and micro data. This comprehensive set of e-learning materials, the development of which was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council's Researcher Development Initiative, is split into five units each written by a subject specialist:

  • Unit 1 - Macro and Micro data - the basics by Dr Celia Russell, ESDS International, Mimas.
  • Unit 2 - Making cross-national comparisons using macro data by Dave Fysh, University of Portsmouth.
  • Unit 3 - Making cross-national comparisons using micro data by Siobhan Carey, Department for International Development.
  • Unit 4 - Combining macro and micro data by Dr Steve Fisher, University of Oxford.
  • Unit 5 - Multilevel modelling using macro and micro data by Dr Mark Tranmer, Cathie March Centre for Census and Survey Research.

The materials are targeted specifically at post graduates and researchers but may also be of interest to undergraduates. The materials are open access although the macro data used which is available through ESDS International can only be accessed by users from Higher and Further Education Institutions. The newly updated Countries and Citizens e-learning materials will be showcased at the 3rd ESRC Research Methods Festival in Session 38 on Resources for Cross National Research.

View the Countries and Citizens e-learning materials at www.esds.ac.uk/international/limmd/.


20th May 2008: Case studies of international data use wanted!

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 has now launched its 'Case studies of international data use' feature. 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.

Image showing stem cell
Photo by: Abraxas3d, Creative Commons, Flickr
The current selection 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.

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/.


Introduction to ESDS International course, Manchester 11 June 2008

Book now on this half-day introductory course, providing an in-depth guide to the resources available through ESDS International. The course will emphasise the service's extensive data portfolio, and attendees will be introduced to the structure, content and research potential of the international databanks.

Users will also have the opportunity to gain hands-on practical experience in accessing, exploring and visualising the data using Beyond 20/20, Nesstar and CommonGIS.

A brief overview of the Economic and Social Data Service as a whole is also included on this course.

Where, When and Who?

  • Where is it taking place? Lascelles Williams Training Room*, Kilburn Building, The University of Manchester
  • When is it? Wednesday, 11 June 2008 (14:00–16:30)
  • Who is the course for? Postgraduate students, researchers, data librarians and teaching staff from the Social Sciences
  • Who are the course leaders? Celia Russell and Jack Kneeshaw (ESDS International)

*The Lascelles Williams Training Room is in the Kilburn Building on Oxford Road. A map is available showing how to get to The University of Manchester.

Booking

Booking is required for this free Mimas/ESDS course. If you'd like to attend, please book online via the Mimas Course Booking page.

Please Note: You must be a student or member of staff at a UK academic institution to attend Introduction to ESDS International Databanks course.

Further Information

ESDS International is a specialist data service of the Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS) and provides online access to the major databanks produced by international governmental organisations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank and United Nations. Access to the service is free for staff and students of UK academic institutions.

If you have any questions about this course, please contact the Mimas Helpdesk.


15 January 2008: ESDS International reports on its third annual conference

ESDS International, hosted by MIMAS at the University of Manchester held their third annual conference on the 3 December 2007 at the Institute of Materials in London. The event 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 on the day can be found at ESDS International 2007 Conference: Data Without Borders and conference proceedings from all ESDS International conferences are available online.

The next ESDS International Conference will take place on 1st December 2008 at the Institute of Materials. Further information on previous conference programmes, abstracts, slides and reports is available on the ESDS International Annual Conference page of the website.

Best wishes,

ESDS International Team

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


14 November 2007: ESDS International Releases IMF World Economic Outlook

ESDS International, hosted by MIMAS at the University of Manchester is pleased to announce the release of the IMF World Economic Outlook database.

The database contains selected macroeconomic data series from the statistical appendix of the World Economic Outlook report, which presents the IMF staff's analysis and projections of economic developments at the global level, in major country groups and in many individual countries. It can be used to find data on national accounts, inflation, unemployment rates, balance of payments, fiscal indicators, trade for countries and country groups (aggregates), and commodity prices whose data are reported by the IMF. The graph below charts the IMF WEO series 'Gross Domestic Product, constant prices, annual percentage change' from 1980 to 2008 and clearly shows the effect of the Asian Economic Crisis in the late 1990s.

Graph showing GDP, annual % change in Asia from 1980-2008

All databases within the ESDS International data portfolio are freely available to students, researchers and staff at UK Further and Higher education institutions via Athens authentication, ESDS online registration and agreement to Special Conditions of use. We cannot provide data to users outside of this community due to the data re-distribution license agreements we have with our data providers.

The IMF WEO data can be accessed via our data delivery software Beyond 20/20 WDS at http://esds.mcc.ac.uk/wds_weo/ and associated support materials are available at www.esds.ac.uk/international/support/user_guides/imf/.

Note: You will be automatically re-directed to the online registration and agreement to Special Conditions if this is your first visit.

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

Best regards,

Susan Noble

On behalf of the ESDS International team

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


16th October 2007: Access to Latinobarómetro now provided at ESDS International

Further to ESDS's recent announcement regarding the acquisition of a three-year licence to provide access to the Latinobarómetro, ESDS International is pleased to announce that access to this resource is now available to registered ESDS users via www.esds.ac.uk/international/access/I5712.asp.


10th October 2007: CommonGIS interface to CIA World Factbook updated with 2007 data and World boundaries

ESDS International's CommonGIS data exploration and visualisation interface to the CIA World Factbook has now been updated with data downloaded in Sept 2007. The interface has also been enhanced to include World rather than just European data.

Unclassified choropleth map showing worldwide deaths from HIV/AIDs

CommonGIS is an interactive web based geographical information system which provides standard GIS functionality and can be used as a tool for visualisation and exploratory analysis based on geographically referenced statistical data. It is an extension of the thematic mapping software Descartes and was developed through a European Commission funded project (ESPRIT Project nr.28983 'Information Access and Interfaces') undertaken by Team Spatial Decision Support (SPADE), the aim of which was to create an online GIS tool accessible and usable for expert and common users alike.

The Factbook is produced by the Central Intelligence Agency to provide comprehensive basic intelligence for the US Government. It was first published in August 1962 and in 1975 the information was made available to the public. Please visit the CIA Factbook home page for further information and a full list of attribute definitions.

At ESDS International users can access CommonGIS interfaces to the CIA World Factbook, the IMF World Economic Outlook and the UN Millennium Development Indicators - see the Visualisation interface section of the website.

A CommonGIS functionality guide and worked example have been developed for the web based data exploration and visualisation interface.

Note: The ESDS International CommonGIS interfaces are freely available - to access users only need a Java enabled web browser.


3rd October 2007: Access to ESDS International data at risk on 16th October

On the 16th of October between 08:00 and 08:15, the University of Manchester will be performing a resilience test on the core of the NNW network. There should be no noticeable disruption to service but all network connectivity, including access to all data accessible via Beyond 20/20 at ESDS International should be considered at risk between 8.00 - 8.30am.

We apologise for any inconvenience this causes and please do contact us at international@esds.ac.uk if you experience any problems accessing the data outside of this 'at risk' period.

Best wishes,

ESDS International


5th September 2007: Booking now open for ESDS International's 2007 annual conference: Data Without Borders

ESDS International is holding this years annual conference on Monday 3rd December at the Institute of Materials in London.

The theme of the conference is Data Without Borders 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.

The event will have a strong focus on Inter-Governmental Organisation data providers with speakers from the International Monetary Fund, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and the International Labour Organisation. The programme also includes presentations by academics using international data in their research on topics such as 'how external debt affects GDP per capita growth', 'cross-country convergence in manufacturing sectors' and 'the relationship between fiscal deficit, inflation and seigniorage in Pakistan.

This event is intended to appeal to 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 2007 programme, venue and booking details 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!


28th August 2007: ESDS International launches Linking Macro and Micro Data e-learning materials
LIMMD Logo

ESDS International, led by MIMAS based at the University of Manchester is please to announce the launch of the Linking International Macro and Micro Data (LIMMD) e-learning materials.

What are they?

The e-learning materials are a comprehensive course on linking macro and micro datasets. Each unit has been written by a subject specialist and has been designed as a self guided teaching resource containing extensive information on the topic, examples, teaching datasets and step-by-step hands on activities. The units are as follows:

  • Unit 1 - The basics. Written by Dr Celia Russell, MIMAS, The University of Manchester
  • Unit 2 - Making cross-national comparisons using macro data. Written by Mr Dave Fysh, University of Portsmouth
  • Unit 3 - Making cross-national comparisons using micro data. Written by Mrs Siobhan Carey, Department for International Development
  • Unit 4 - Combining macro and micro data. Written by Mr Steve Fisher, Trinity College, University of Oxford
  • Unit 5 - Multilevel modelling using macro and micro data. Written by Dr Mark Tranmer, CCSR, The University of Manchester

Who can use it?

The course is targeted specifically at post graduates and researchers but may also be of interest to undergraduates. It is freely available for all to use but access to any of the macro international datasets at ESDS International are restricted to those from UK Further and Higher Education Institutions.

How to access?

The LIMMD e-learning materials can be accessed from the ESDS International website under the Teaching and Learning section and are also available in Jorum, a free online repository service for teaching and support staff in UK Further and Higher Education Institutions.

LIMMD Project Background

The Linking International Macro and Micro Data (LIMMD) project was funded as part of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Researcher Development Initiative (RDI) to raise awareness, provide training and support for researchers and postgraduate students in the use of the inter-related survey and aggregate data resources that can be accessed through the Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS) International. The aim of the year long project was to develop a course on linking macro and micro datasets to be delivered in both online and face-to-face formats. The two workshops took place in Manchester on the 11th December 2006 and 25th April 2007. Both were well attended and provided useful feedback for the further development of the online materials.

For further information, please see the LIMMD Project website or contact the ESDS International Helpdesk.


15th August 2007: Thematic guide to Migration now available

ESDS International led by MIMAS at the University of Manchester has produced a Thematic guide on Migration. The guide provides advice on finding both macro and micro data sources on the subject of migration and some information about the cross country comparability of this data. The guide complements the existing thematic guides on CO2 Emissions, Financial Monetary Statistics and Educational Outcomes.

Please contact us at the ESDS International Helpdesk with any feedback about the guides or if you have any suggestions of themes for future guides.

Best wishes,

ESDS International team


30th July 2007: Ipsos Mori International Survey

Please help us to improve the ESDS International service by completing our short web survey - Ipsos Mori International Survey: Tell us more about you and why you are using this service (Now closed - Oct 2007).

The web survey has been designed by Ipsos MORI, the independent research agency, and is quick and easy to complete. The aim of the research is to find out more information about the people who are using the service both within the UK and overseas, why they use it, what they think of the service provided and whether they find all the information they are looking for. The survey is purely for research purposes and all your responses will be treated in the strictest confidence.

The survey has been tested and should take, on average, no longer than 10 minutes.

Thank you in advance for your participation, we look forward to receiving your feedback


20th June 2007: Scheduled downtime on 3rd July for ESDS International Service

There will be a short interruption to MIMAS services, including ESDS International between 07.30 and 08.00 on Tuesday 03 July 2007. The time is required to upgrade a router and is likely to take only 10 minutes, but may be up to half an hour.

Sorry for any inconvenience this causes.

Best wishes,

ESDS International Team


19th June 2007: Call for presenters for ESDS International's third Annual Conference

ESDS International will be holding their third Annual Conference on 3rd December this year at the Institute of Materials in London. 

The title of the conference is Data Without Borders and we are looking for UK academics to present research they have carried out using data from our international databank portfolio, for example, the IMF Direction of Trade Statistics, the International Energy Agency data, the OECD Main Economic Indicators and the World Banks World Development Indicators.

Previous years contributions have included presentations on ‘Using ESDS International Data in Energy and Environment Models’, ‘Do Host Country Factors Affect the Contribution of FDI to Economic Growth’ and ‘Monitoring the Millennium Development Goals: measuring poor social conditions’. See full details of the 2005 and 2006 conferences.

Presentations will need to be about 20 minutes - there is no need to write a paper specifically for the conference but any papers you would like to submit will be published on the ESDS International web site as conference proceedings. If you are interested, please send a proposed presentation title and brief abstract to myself (susan.noble@manchester.ac.uk) and my colleague celia.russell@manchester.ac.uk. Deadlines for submissions is August 17th 2007.
 
Reasonable travel costs for UK academic speakers will be covered and you may also be interested to know that other speakers at the conference will include representatives of the International Monetary Fund, the International Labour Organisation and other publishers of international data.
  
For further information on the conference please contact the ESDS International Helpdesk.


13th June 2007: CommonGIS interface to UN Millennium Development Indicators

ESDS International, hosted by MIMAS at the University of Manchester is pleased to announce the release of a CommonGIS data exploration and visualisation interface to a subset of the United Nation's Millennium Development Goal (UN MDG) indicators using ESRI's World boundary data.

The Millennium Development Goals come from the Millennium Declaration, signed by 189 countries, including 147 heads of State and Government, in September 2000 (www.un.org/millennium/declaration/ares552e.htm) and are intended to represent a partnership between the developed countries and the developing countries 'to create an environment - at the national and global levels alike - which is conducive to development and the elimination of poverty'. The eight MDGs are made up of 18 targets and 48 indicators which are used to measure progress towards the Millennium Development Goals.

Unclassified choropleth map showing slum population as a % of urban population in 1990

The CommonGIS interface to the UN MDGs developed by ESDS International uses the following indicators from Goal 7 to Ensure environmental sustainability:

  • Target 9: Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes and reverse the loss of environmental resources
    • 25. Proportion of land area covered by forest
    • 26. Ratio of area protected to maintain biological diversity to surface area
    • 27. Energy use (kg oil equivalent) per $1 GDP (PPP)
    • 28. Carbon dioxide emissions per capita and consumption of ozone-depleting CFCs (ODP tons)
    • 29. Proportion of population using solid fuels
  • Target 10: Halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation
    • 30. Proportion of population with sustainable access to an improved water source, urban and rural
    • 31. Proportion of population with access to improved sanitation, urban and rural
  • Target 11: By 2020, to have achieved a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers
    • 32. Proportion of households with access to secure tenure

For a full list of the UN MDGs please see the list of indicators on the MDG Indicators official site .

CommonGIS is an interactive web based geographical information system which provides standard GIS functionality and can be used as a tool for visualisation and exploratory analysis based on geographically referenced statistical data. It is an extension of the thematic mapping software Descartes and was developed through a European Commission funded project (ESPRIT Project nr.28983 'Information Access and Interfaces') undertaken by Team Spatial Decision Support (SPADE), the aim of which was to create an online GIS tool accessible and usable for expert and common users alike.

ESDS International's CommonGIS interface to the UN MDG Goal 7 indicators is hosted by Intute: Science, Engineering and Technology, (formerly GEsource, the geography and environment hub of the Resource Discovery Network).

Access: http://www.intute.ac.uk/sciences/worldguide/gis/CommonGIS/MDG.html

Access is free to all - the only requirement is a Java enabled web browser. Further details about CommonGIS are provided under the Visualisation interface section of the website.

If you have any problems using the new interface or have any feedback on the service please contact us on international@esds.ac.uk

Best regards,

ESDS International team

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


12th June 2007: MIMAS Open Forum to take place on 5th July 2007

The annual MIMAS Open Forum on Thursday 5 July 2007 at the University of Manchester will include a workshop featuring ESDS International and ESDS Government.

Please use the MIMAS booking form to reserve your place at the Forum.

The event is free of charge and open to all potential users of MIMAS services, i.e. library and IT support staff, teachers and students at UK universities and colleges.

Presentations will include:

  • MIMAS - looking ahead
  • MIMAS Web Policy, Standards, and Mobile Technologies
  • The effects of Web 2.0 technologies on learning, teaching and policy in Higher Education
  • Intute Repository Search - project overview
  • UK PubMed Central

There is a choice of two afternoon workshops; either Socio-economic data services (featuring amongst others Census Dissemination Unit, ESDS International and ESDS Government) or ISI Web of Knowledge - the new interface.

You will also have a chance to sign up on the day for service demonstrations.

Please see the full programme for more details on the days events.

For more information on this event please contact the MIMAS Helpdesk.


24th May 2007: ESDS International reports on OECD Forum 2007

On 14th and 15th May 2007, Celia Russell and Susan Noble from ESDS International attended the Organisation for Economic Corporation and Development (OECD) Forum on Innovation, Growth and Equity.  It took place at the Palais Brongniart, Place de la Bourse in Paris and was attended by 1400 participants from all over the world.

The OECD Forum brings together business and labour leaders, civil society personalities, government ministers, leaders of international organizations and academics to discuss the hottest international issues.  Sessions in this years Forum included: Innovation, Intellectual Property and Investment; Energy Security; Innovation and Access to Healthcare; Climate Change: From Words to Action and many more. Keynote speeches were given by the OECD's Secretary General Angel Gurria and Spain’s Minister of Public Administration Jordi Sevilla.

During the opening plenary speech Angel argued that innovation is the key to our collective success. The economic systems that developed after the Second World War relied on growing populations to sustain living conditions. As population growth declines, we are now reliant on innovation to defend our standards of living. He revealed that innovation spending in China has for the first time surpassed that of Japan making them second only to the USA. Looking at the OECD statistics ESDS International provides freely to UK Further and Higher educational institutions in the chart below, we can see that since 2000 there has been an astonishing growth in China's Research and Development Spending.

Graph showing R&D Spending in China, US, United Kingdom and Japan

In the session on ‘Water: How to Manage a Vital Resource’, we listened to the challenges of providing access to safe, clean and reliable water but heard a largely optimistic panel of speakers who stressed that there is enough water in the world to cope with increasing demands as long as effective water management strategies are implemented.  However a member from the audience questioned the optimism highlighting that even if the UN's Millennium Development Goals relating to water were achieved there will still be millions of people in Africa without access to water. The panel responded that although they are optimistic that enough water exists they are not so optimistic that the problems relating to water will be resolved. The chart below shows one of the MDG indicators from the UN Common Database - Water, percentage of population with access to improved drinking water sources, total, urban and rural/MDG [code 27910]. Interestingly it shows that in some countries, for example Algeria and Comoros, the amount of people with access to improved drinking water has decreased from 1990 to 2004.

Chart showing percentage of population with improved access to drinking water from 1990 to 2004

For more details on the rest of the sessions at the OECD Forum, daily speeches and summaries, photos and forum notes are available on the OECD Forum 2007 website.

The event also included a couple of book launches for the African Economic Outlook 2007  and the OECD Factbook 2007, both available to purchase from the OECD's Online Bookshop at www.oecdbookshop.org.  The OECD Factbook is also available free online.


23 May 2007: Bringing statistics to life: Making the international data world more accessible

There are a large number of potential international data users who, for a number of reasons have been reluctant to, or deterred from using the data. One explanation is undoubtedly the way the data is usually presented, for example in complex, seemingly unfathomable tables which the majority of people lack the statistical skills to unravel.

However, there are an increasing number of user-friendly ways to access data with the emergence of freely available software used to display and access the data.  For example Gapminder, a Stockholm-based non-profit venture provides and develops the software Trendalyzer which is used to animate global human development data. In March this year, Google bought the software from the Gapminder Foundation with the intention of making it available free of charge to all statistics producers who are prepared to make their statistics available free of charge on the Internet - for example the Organisation for Economic Coorporation and Development and the United Nations. The idea is to make the data more accessible and easier to use for instant visual analysis so bringing potentially dry statistics to life with animated graphs.

This graphical representation of international data allows quick and easy comprehension of human development statistics – an illustration of this is Gapminder World - found at www.gapminder.org/downloads/applications/. Using this graph, you can quickly plot one indicator against another to reveal very interesting results. For example in the screen shot below it is clearly shown that although Botswana’s Income per capita continued to rise year on year, the average life expectancy fell rapidly from 65 in the late 80s to only 35 in 2004. The decreasing Life expectancy is caused by the prevalence of HIV and AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Gapminder chart showing Botswana income per capita and life expectancy

ESDS International a specialist international data service for the UK academic community provides another example of viewing the international data world from a different perspective using it’s CommonGIS interfaces found at www.esds.ac.uk/international/access/commonGIS.asp . The IMF’s World Economic Outlook data and the CIA’s World Factbook data are presented geographically allowing quick and easy spatial analysis.  For example using a cross classification map plotting birth rate against death rate we can see that there is a broadly East/West split with the majority of the former soviet countries, for example the Ukraine, Lithuania and Latvia, have a high death rate and low birth rates. 

CommonGIS interface showing birth rate and death rates in Europe

Thanks to the growing interest and demand for gaining access to international data in a comprehensible format and a desire of some intergovernmental organizations which produce this type of data to become more transparent in their decision making by moving towards free data dissemination, it seems we’ll all be better equipped to understand the world we live in.

Useful websites:


16 May 2007: LIMMD Project holds second workshop

The second Linking International Macro and Micro Data (LIMMD) workshop took place on 25th April 2007 at the Cathie Marsh Centre for Census and Survey Research (CCSR) at the University of Manchester. The workshop explored concepts in units 4, 5 and 6 of the LIMMD course and followed on from the first workshop's units on 'The basics of macro and micro data', 'Content and research applications' and 'Making cross-national comparisons using macro data'.
Screenshot showing LIMMD e-learning materials


Siobhan Carey, Chief Statistician from the Department for International Development (DFID) began the workshop with a presentation on 'Making cross-national comparisons using micro data'. Siobhan's session concentrated on the issues researchers should consider when conducting cross national comparisons.  She stressed the importance of understanding the data and ensuring it is suitable for the analyses intended. She gave an example of the controversial results from the International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS) which led to a media outcry that the "French can't read" and Swedes are "practically British".  Theories about the survey result that 42% of French had only a Level 1 Literacy Level (Level 2 is defined as literate by the OECD) included the 'Club Med effect' and the most widely accepted idea that this literacy test did not travel. Siobhan emphasized the importance of documenting analyses and developing good habits in your research and made the valuable point that research is rarely unique and that existing analysis should be used to learn and build on.  The session ended with a hands-on activity exploring the European Social Survey data.

Siobhan Carey talks about making cross-national comparisons using microdata

During the next session on 'Combining macro and micro data' Stephen Fisher, Lecturer in Political Sociology and Fellow of Trinity College at the University of Oxford introduced the kinds of research questions that require linked micro and macro data. For example 'Does the level of turnout in an election depend on the electoral system in use?  He then described methods for addressing the challenges posed when linking these two data types such as preparing the datasets to ensure they both have the same macro-unit identifier and using applicable weighting methods for both macro and micro data.  He took us through the steps required to link macro and micro data in popular statistical applications such as SPSS and STATA and stressed the importance of checking the output of the data linking.  Assessing quality of the macro and micro data were discussed and during the practical session attendees got the chance to try out linking macro and micro data using STATA.  The final point made by Stephen was that analysing this linked macro and micro data was best done using multilevel modelling techniques.

Steve Fisher discusses the kinds of research questions that require linked micro and macro data

This led us smoothly into the afternoon session on 'Multilevel modelling using macro and micro data'  presented by Mark Tranmer, Lecturer in Social Statistics at the Cathie Marsh Centre for Census and Survey Research (CCSR). Mark described how a multilevel model provides a framework for combining individual level survey data with aggregate group level data, using micro data from the European Social Survey and macro data from the Eurostat New Cronos data. We heard how these models allow us to investigate how variations within countries compare with variations between countries to establish if the variation is between the people or the country. Also, how they allow us to consider the individual and group level in the same analysis and allows more sophisticated hypotheses to be tested, for example is the association of age with voter apathy or turnout stronger. Mark highlighted an important point that this approach makes better use of the available data and therefore produces increased statistical efficiency.  This session closed with a practical session based on MLwiN multilevel modelling software.

CCSR's Mark Tranmer explains the basics of multilevel modeling

This well attended workshop provoked some interesting discussion on the challenges posed by linking micro and macro data sources and brings the Linking International Macro and Micro Data (LIMMD) project funded as part of the  Economic and Social Research Council  (ESRC's) Researcher Development Initiative (RDI)  to a close. However, in the coming months the online learning materials that accompany this course will be made available on the Jorum Website and the ESDS International website. The materials will include all six self guided course units and hands on step-by-step activity guides.

LIMMD Project: mimas.ac.uk/limmd/
ESRC RDI: www.rdi.ac.uk
Jorum: www.jorum.ac.uk
CCSR: www.ccsr.ac.uk
ESDS International : www.esds.ac.uk/international/


27 March 2007: CESSDA Data Portal now available on the new CESSDA web site

The Council of European Social Science Data Archives (CESSDA) redesigned web site is now online at www.cessda.org. In addition to the new layout, the site has several new features including the CESSDA Data Portal which allows easy access to the catalogues of member organisations. Other pages provide a central news forum about CESSDA activities, links to official documents, contact details and other relevant information. The site's content will continue to be developed and will include a members' section. For full details on the new CESSDA web site and data portal please see the UK Data Archives CESSDA news item.


20 March 2007: Possible disruption to international data access on 27th March

On Tuesday March the 27th starting at 8:00am, there will be a disruption in network connectivity into and out of the University of Manchester campus network due to essential upgrade work. This is expected to take less than 15 minutes, but connectivity should be considered at risk until 9:00am.

This will affect access to all international macro data which is delivered via Beyond 20/20 Web Data Server.

Apologies for any inconvenience this causes.

ESDS International team

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


8 March 2007: Linking International Macro and Micro Data (LIMMD): Workshop 2

Date: Wednesday 25 April 2007, 9-30am – 4.15pm
Location: Training Suite, Cathie Marsh Centre for Statistical Research (CCSR), Manchester
Cost: Free, with funds available for travel expenses

Workshop Content:

This workshop is the second in a series covering the use of international survey and aggregate data sources.  This second session will cover making cross-national comparisons using micro data, combining macro and micro data and an introduction to multilevel modeling using macro and micro data. The workshop will be hands on and involve using recently developed online learning materials.

Speakers:

Ms Siobhan Carey, Department for International Development (DFiD)
Dr Steve Fisher, Trinity College, University of Oxford
Dr Mark Tranmer, Cathie Marsh Centre for Statistical Research (CCSR), The University of Manchester

Audience:

The workshops are specifically targeted at postgraduates and researchers but may also be of interest to undergraduates with specific research questions in mind. Students should be aware that this is the second workshop in the LIMMD series and that participant should already have an overview of macro and micro data sources and their use. Participants for the workshop will need a current ATHENS account and ESDS registration, previous experience of SPSS and MLwiN would also be advantageous but not essential. If you have any queries about the workshop, please contact katey.matthews@manchester.ac.uk.

To register for this workshop please complete the online booking form.

To find out more about the project please visit the LIMMD website.


20 February 2007: Proposed change to National Statistics Time Series Data update

ESDS International would like your views on a proposal to reduce the frequency of updates to the National Statistics Time Series Data from monthly to quarterly.

This would allow us to continue the current level of updates for data we purchase from data providers such as the IMF, World Bank, OECD and IEA which are not freely available elsewhere and also to allow for the addition of new datasets to our portfolio in the future (e.g. the IMF World Economic Outlook). The Time Series Data is freely available to users on the National Statistics Time Series Data website and although you cannot search across all releases as you can on the ESDS International interface to the data, you can obtain the most up-to-date data.

Before we do this, we would like to hear your opinions - would this change cause you any problems? Do you need the data updating on a monthly basis on the ESDS International interface?

Please let us know what you think by emailing the ESDS International Team on international@esds.ac.uk.


14 February 2007: ESDS International features in spring issue of ESRC Social Sciences

ESDS International features in the spring edition of the ESRC Social Sciences magazine. The article highlights the success of the service since its launch in 2003 and is titled 'International tools - equipping the UK's social scientists for international research'. It is available for viewing and download in Issue 65 on the ESRC Society Today website.


13 February 2007: CommonGIS interface to IMF World Economic Outlook statistics updated with 2006 data

ESDS International has updated their CommonGIS data exploration and visualisation interface to the IMF's World Economic Outlook (WEO) statistics with the September 2006 edition of the data.

CommonGIS is an interactive web based geographical information system which provides standard GIS functionality and can be used as a tool for visualisation and exploratory analysis based on geographically referenced statistical data. It is an extension of the thematic mapping software Descartes and was developed through a European Commission funded project (ESPRIT Project nr.28983 'Information Access and Interfaces') undertaken by Team Spatial Decision Support (SPADE), the aim of which was to create an online GIS tool accessible and usable for expert and common users alike.

CommonGIS interface to IMF World Economic Outlook

The World Economic Outlook database contains selected macroeconomic data series from the statistical appendix of the World Economic Outlook report, which presents the IMF staff's analysis and projections of economic developments at the global level, in major country groups and in many individual countries. ESDS Internationals CommonGIS interface allows users to visualise the following selection of IMF World Economic Outlook attributes across the globe:

  • Current account balance (Billions of US Dollars)
  • Current account balance (% of GDP)
  • GDP based on purchasing-power-parity (PPP) per capita (US Dollars)
  • GDP based on PPP share of world total (Percent)
  • GDP based on PPP valuation of country GDP (Billions of US Dollars)
  • GDP per capita, current prices (US Dollars)
  • GDP constant prices (Annual percent change, %)
  • GDP current prices (Billions of US Dollars)
  • GDP deflator (Index)
  • Inflation (Index 2000=100)
  • Inflation (Annual percent change, %)
  • Population (Millions)

The CommonGIS interface to the IMF World Economic Outlook data is hosted by Intute: Science, Engineering and Technology, (formerly GEsource, the geography and environment hub of the Resource Discovery Network).

Access: Click on the 'IMF WEO 2006 [GIS Analysis]' link at - www.intute.ac.uk/sciences/worldguide/.

Access is free to all - the only requirement is a Java enabled web browser. Further details about CommonGIS are provided under the Visualisation interface section of the web site.

If you have any problems using the new interface or have any feedback on the service please contact us on international@esds.ac.uk

Best wishes,

ESDS International team

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


30 January 2007: Thematic guide on CO2 Emissions now available

ESDS International has produced a thematic guide on CO2 Emissions. The guide provides advice on finding both macro and micro data sources on CO2 Emissions and some information about the cross country comparability of this data.

The guide is available from www.esds.ac.uk/International/support/other_guides.asp.

Please contact us with any feedback about the thematic guide or if you have any suggestions of themes for future guides.

Best wishes,

ESDS International team

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


19 January 2007: ESDS Releases OECD Education Statistics

ESDS International, hosted by MIMAS at the University of Manchester is pleased to announce the release of the OECD Education Statistics database.

This database contains an up-to-date array of comparative education statistics and indicators from OECD and non-OECD countries. It provides information on the human and financial resources invested in education, on access to, progression and completion of education, on how education and learning systems operate, and on the returns to educational investments.

All databases within the ESDS International data portfolio are freely available to students, researchers and staff at UK Further and Higher education institutions via Athens authentication, ESDS online registration and agreement to OECD Special Conditions of use. We cannot provide data to users outside of this community due to the data re-distribution license agreements we have with our data providers.

The OECD data can be accessed via our data delivery software Beyond 20/20 WDS at http://esds.mcc.ac.uk/wds_oecd/. Note: You will be automatically re-directed to the online registration and agreement to OECD Special Conditions if this is your first visit.

Associated support materials are available from the ESDS International web site at www.esds.ac.uk/international/support/user_guides/oecd/.

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

Best regards,

Nicole Baerg

On behalf of the ESDS International team

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


17 January 2007: ESDS International reports on its 2nd Annual Conference

ESDS International, hosted by MIMAS at the University of Manchester held their second annual conference on the 27 November 2006 at the Institute of Materials in London. The event 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 on the day can be found at ESDS International 2006 Conference: Measuring the World Around Us.

Conference abstracts, slides and audio files are available at www.esds.ac.uk/international/news/conf2006.asp as well as a podcast of the full event at www.esds.ac.uk/international/podcasts/conf2006.xml.

Best wishes,

ESDS International Team

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


20 December 2006: IMF IFS and BOPS data re-released

Following on from our newsflash on the 14 December warning that problems had been found with the December editions of the IMF's International Financial Statistics (IFS) and Balance of Payments Statistics (BOPS) data, we can now report that the December editions of both datasets have been re-released.

The problem in the December release was caused by the IMF's own data publishing program - the November edition of the IFS and BOPS files were published with an incorrect date stamp of December 2006, which were then published by ESDS International as the December edition. This meant that the data was not actually inaccurate but that the edition information was wrong, i.e. the November data was being shown as the December edition. The problem was fixed very quickly by the IMF and we now have the correct editions of the data.

As a separate issue, we have decided not to release the December edition of the IMF Direction of Trade Statistics (DOTS) as there are inconsistencies in the country labels. The IMF are working on correcting the problem ready for the January release.

We apologise for any inconvenience this caused and please get in touch if you have any questions about this, or any other query about the service.

Best wishes,

ESDS International Team

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


14 December 2006: Problems discovered with IMF data

***URGENT MESSAGE***

The IMF have reported problems with the data they have issued for December 2006. We have withdrawn the December editions of the IMF International Financial Statistics (IFS) and Balance of Payment Statistics (BOPS) and reverted to the editions published in November. Please disregard any data you have downloaded from the December editions of IMF IFS and IMF BOPS.

We we will re-publish the data as soon as the IMF have issued corrected editions of the BOPS and IFS. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause you and hope to have the revised version available as soon as possible.

Best wishes,

ESDS International Team

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


13 December 2006: Call for question design teams for the European Social Survey round 4

The call for question design teams for the European Social Survey round 4 has just been published in the Official Journal of the European Communities, with a deadline for applications of 23rd February 2007.


30 October 2006: ESDS International releases OECD STAN and National Accounts

ESDS International, hosted by MIMAS at the University of Manchester is pleased to announce the release of the OECD Structural Analysis database and the OECD National Accounts database.

The OECD Structural Analysis (STAN) portfolio includes four databases each useful at different units of analyses. The STAN indicators’ industry list is based upon ISIC revision 3 and covers 65 sectors where detailed information varies across country, indicator, and coverage: STAN fills the gap between Industrial survey data (microdata) and National level aggregate statistics (macrodata). You can use STAN to analyse industrial structure and the evolution of industrial performance (e.g. import penetration, investment per employee, export market shares) within and across countries. The databases are updated on an annual basis and run from 1970 onwards.

The OECD National Accounts presents a series of databases all containing data related to national accounts and its components including comparable statistics for key indicators. Countries covered vary but generally include OECD countries and a select group of non-OECD countries. The database is updated on a quarterly and annual basis and runs from 1955.

All databases within the ESDS International data portfolio are freely available to students, researchers and staff at UK Further and Higher education institutions via Athens authentication, ESDS online registration and agreement to OECD Special Conditions of use. We cannot provide data to users outside of this community due to the data re-distribution license agreements we have with our data providers.

The OECD data can be accessed via our data delivery software Beyond 20/20 WDS at http://esds.mcc.ac.uk/wds_oecd/. Note: You will be automatically re-directed to the online registration and agreement to OECD Special Conditions if this is your first visit.

Associated support materials are available from the ESDS International website at www.esds.ac.uk/international/support/user_guides/oecd/.

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

Best regards,

Susan Noble

On behalf of the ESDS International team

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


3 October 2006: Book now for the ESDS International Conference 2006!

ESDS International is holding their second annual conference on 27 November 2006 at the Institute of Materials in London.

The theme of the conference is Measuring the World Around Us 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.

The programme includes research papers presented by users of international data on subjects such as international investment, sub-Saharan infrastructures and global energy-environment-economy modelling. There will also be presentations from a couple of the service’s data providers – the International Monetary Fund will be talking about their transition to the web dissemination of their databanks and the International Labour Organisation will be speaking on the measurement of employment trends and issues.

This event is intended to appeal to 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.

We hope you can make it!

Programme and booking form


11 September 2006: International data community in the UK over 10,000 users and still growing

ESDS International, hosted by MIMAS at the University of Manchester, is pleased to announce that in August 2006, the service has been used by *10,000* unique users since its launch in June 2003.

Number of users up to August 2006

Users from a broad range of disciplines in the social and natural sciences from 166 different institutions have been attracted to the service by the extensive data portfolio. The portfolio includes 31 key international macro datasets containing data on a wide array of topics, from finance, trade and industry to education, employment, health, migration, social expenditure, human development and the environment.

Jointly-funded by the ESRC and the JISC, ESDS International, one of the Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS) specialist data services, hosts high quality international time series statistical databanks produced by International Governmental Organisations such as the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations, the World Bank, the International Labour Organisation and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. All data is freely available to UK academics and researchers via the recently upgraded data delivery software Beyond 20/20 Web Data Server.

The service is delighted at these figures which indicate a continuing demand for this type of data and the growth of an active international data community.

Please contact ESDS International if you have any queries about the service.


28 August 2006: Unido Industrial Statistics updated

ESDS International is pleased to announce an update to the UNIDO databases with the 2006 edition of the Industrial Statistics and Demand Supply data now available.


16 August 2006: IFS monthly updates shows a wealth of updated data values

ESDS International's IFS code specialist and data support officer, Nicole Baerg, spotted a large proportion of updated data values in the August release of the IMFs International Financial Statistics. The IMF have revised many data points since last month's release of the database. These data points have been highlighted by the IMF with the footnote indicating that the "data is new or has changed since previous cycles". IFS users, upon downloading the data, will see reports of such changes in cell footnotes. For example, the United Kingdom's ..REUZF REER BASED ON RNULC (Units: Index Number) quarterly series has new or updated data from 1978q1 onward. "Users, do not despair", says Nicole. "The July and August data are still highly correlated for this series, 0.999873785 to be exact! You may, however, want to check to see whether you should update your IFS data."



10 July 2006: UN Common Database and Eurostat New Cronos Database updated

ESDS International updates two key internationally comparable datasets: UN Common Database and Eurostat New Cronos Database. This data was released with the new version of Beyond 20/20.

10 July 2006: Upgrade to new version of Beyond 20/20

ESDS International hosted by MIMAS at the University of Manchester is pleased to announce the upgrade to the new version of Beyond 20/20 Web Data Server (WDS) from version 7 to version 7.3.

Version 7.3 offers several new features:

  1. New chart package: Dundas Charting provides enhanced colours and chart types with a modern 3D look. New Doughnut, Spline, and Pyramid charts.
  2. Improved SENDA compliancy: The Set Dimension Order screen, accessed from the Actions menu on report view pages and the item selection page, allows users to customise dimensions without dragging and dropping.
  3. Improved searching: Whole word searching on the Advanced Search page allows users to find only one form of a word, such as "Can" but not "Canada."
  4. Usable on Macintosh computers: Tested on Macintosh running Netscape browser, version 7.2.
  5. ActiveX not required for table viewing: Users who have disabled ActiveX in their browsers can still view reports with full scrolling capability. (Note that ActiveX is still required for some 3rd-party functions, such as viewing PDF files and Flash tutorials.)

Beyond 20/20 WDS runs on a standard web browser, is accessibility compliant and is used by many governmental and intergovernmental organisations for the dissemination of aggregated time series data. The new version of Beyond 20/20 WDS will make it easier for users to find, visualise and download the international data they require, while retaining the familiar Beyond 20/20 interface.

The upgrade was successfully completed on Monday 10th July. The service continued uninterrupted during the transition as users were seamlessly redirected to a new server cluster. Top level non-numeric bookmarks will remain the same, but you may need to update bookmarks to particular reports.


28 June 2006: Eurobarometer and ISSP now available online

ZA, the German data archive, have recently announced a new GESIS/Zentralarchiv (Central Archive) ZACAT service. Among other ZA study collections this data portal is making the complete Central and Eastern and Candidate Countries Eurobarometer series and a large number of standard Eurobarometer available for online retrieval, browsing and immediate data access. The standard series will be completed successively in the next months. All Studies in ZACAT can be accessed free of charge from any country. For the table and analysis functionalities users are asked to register with ZACAT - this is a quick online procedure.

ZACAT is based on Nesstar technology. A quick guide on the main ZACAT / Nesstar WebView functionalities and its use is in preparation.

ZA will continuously not only extend but also try to optimize this service.


26 June 2006: ESDS International Conference 2006 - Call for presenters

Date: 27 November 2006
Venue: Institute of Materials, London

We will be holding the second ESDS International conference on 27 November 2006 at the Institute of Materials, 1 Carlton House Terrace, London.

The theme of the conference will be - Measuring the World Around Us.

Possible topics include, but are not restricted to:

  • the production and dissemination of international databanks
  • research findings based on the international databanks
  • issues and methods in international data analysis
  • international data as a teaching and learning tool in the social sciences
  • spatial patterns, regional studies and cross-country comparisons

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. The ESDS International conference is an opportunity for users and providers of international data to meet and share their ideas on issues relating to international data research. It will appeal to members of the academic community using the international databanks in their research and teaching, data librarians and producers of international data resources. Last year's conference included speakers from the OECD, UNIDO and the academic community.

We are now issuing this call for presenters to users from any socio-economic discipline who have used international data in their research to speak at the 2006 conference. This year we will have two representatives of the IMF speaking at the conference and so would particularly welcome presentations for a session on research based on the IMF databanks. We would also be interested in hearing from anyone who uses the international databanks data in their teaching. If you are interested in presenting, please contact ESDS International, international@esds.ac.uk with your proposed presentation title and a brief abstract.

UK travel costs for speakers will be provided.

Best wishes,

ESDS International team

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

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31 May 2006: New arrivals at ESDS International

Baby Henry#

ESDS International is delighted to announce that on April 14, stalwart of the service Susan Noble had a beautiful baby boy, Henry James Cook (above). We are also pleased to welcome Nicole Baerg to the ESDS International team. Nicole is covering Susan's maternity leave and joins us from McGill University in Canada where she worked in the data library. She has research interests in Latin America exchange rate regimes and is looking forward to answering all your queries on IFS series codes.


13 April 2006: IMF decides to update GFS quarterly

According to the IMF, Government Finance Statistics (GFS) has now moved to a quarterly update cycle schedule. This new cycle began in March so the next release is forthcoming June 2006. In addition, we contacted the IMF about discrepancies between the metadata and data in the GFS Historical series. They responded by saying that they felt all pre-1972 and post 1989 values in the GFS Historical are unreliable. This applies to all IMF publications of the GFS Historical including CD-ROM, print and electronic versions. For data post-1989, please use the GFS and not the GFS Historical.


4 April 2006: ESDS International records new usage high!

ESDS International is delighted to report that March 2006 saw the highest level of usage of the international databanks since the launch of the service in June 2003. User records show that 1453 users from 89 different institutions accessed international macro data via ESDS International over 11,000 times during March, with the OECD, IMF and World Bank databases showing particularly intensive usage.

Monthly usage of ESDS International data service

Jointly-funded by the ESRC and the JISC, ESDS International, one of the Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS) specialist data services, hosts high quality international time series statistical databanks produced by international governmental organisations such as the International Monetary Fund, the International Energy Agency, the United Nations, the World Bank and OECD. The databanks cover a wide array of topics, from finance, trade and industry to education, employment, health, migration, social expenditure, human development, energy and the environment. The service also supports the use of these databanks in teaching and research through the provision of a helpdesk, comprehensive documentation and training.

All data is freely available to UK academics and researchers via the data delivery software Beyond 20/20 Web Data Server.


14 March 2006: Update on problems with IMF data published at ESDS International

You may have seen the announcement that problems were discovered with a number of data series in ESDS International's published version of the IMF's Historical Government Finance Statistics (GFS) (see previous news). The data processing problem arose following a mismatch between the documentation which accompanied the dataset - i.e. the raw data file contained more data than the documentation stated.

Following the discovery of this problem, we decided to carry out a full data checking audit on the ESDS International data portfolio to establish if any other datasets had been affected. We have now completed the audit and have found that only two datasets were affected:

1) IMF Government Finance Statistics (GFS) Historical (1972 - 1989): Approximately 4,800 of 22,000 data series were affected. See www.esds.ac.uk/international/news/gfsErrorSeries.txt for a full list.
2) IMF Balance of Payment Statistics (BOPS) Annual data: Approximately 2,800 of 174,000 data series were affected. See www.esds.ac.uk/international/news/bopsErrorSeries.txt for a full list. Quarterly data was unaffected.

The data processing programs for both of these datasets have now been re-written to correct the data and the new versions are available from our web site. Please get in touch if you have any concerns about data which you have downloaded from the historical GFS (between 29 November 2004 - 23 February 2006) or the BOPS (between 22 June 2004 - 9 March 2006).

We apologise for the error and any inconvenience this may cause you.

Best wishes,

ESDS International Team

MIMAS, Manchester Computing
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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23 February 2006: Problem with IMF Government Finance Historical data published at ESDS International

Following the discovery of a problem with a number of data series in ESDS International's published version of the IMF's Historical Government Finance Statistics (GFS), we have temporarily withdrawn the Historical version of the database, (i.e. the data running from 1972 - 2003) whilst we investigate the issue.

Update - 1 March 2006:

Further data checking of the IMF GFS published by ESDS International has revealed that data processing programs used to convert the GFS Historical data into a format suitable for delivery via Beyond 20/20 have produced some erroneous data - a number of data series which begin in 1970 have mistakenly been published on our interface as beginning in 1972.

Users who will be affected by this error are those who have used the following data series from the historical version of the IMF GFS downloaded from the Beyond 20/20 interface prior to February 23 2006. Please get in touch if you have any concerns about data which you have downloaded from the historical GFS.

Once we have corrected the problem and re-processed the IMF GFS Historical data we will make this available via our data delivery interface Beyond 20/20 WDS.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause you and hope to have the revised version available as soon as possible.

Best wishes,

ESDS International Team

MIMAS, Manchester Computing
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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9 February 2006: ESDS International releases OECD International Trade by Commodities Statistics

Following a number of user requests, ESDS International, hosted by MIMAS at the University of Manchester is pleased to announce the addition of an OECD International Trade by Commodities Statistics (ITCS) database to its portfolio.

The database contains annual time series data from 1961 onwards for OECD Member countries (plus China, Hong Kong and Chinese Taipei), on the quantity and value of foreign trade by commodity, in categories such as; food and live animals, beverages and tobacco, crude materials, mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials, animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes, chemicals and related products, manufactured goods and machinery and transport equipment.

Graph showing data from the International Trade by Commodity Statistics database

The ITCS is split into the following five databases, the second of which, the ITCS Standard International Trade Classification Revision 2 database is available at ESDS International:

1. International Trade by Commodity - Harmonized System 1988
2. International Trade by Commodity - Standard International Trade Classification (SITC) Revision 2
3. International Trade by Commodity - SITC Revision 3
4. International Trade by Commodity - Harmonised System 1996
5. International Trade by Commodity - Total Trade and Trade Conversion Factors

Also, the service is pleased to report that as a result of additional ESRC data acquisition funding the OECDs Structural Analysis (STAN) and National Accounts databases will be made available over the coming months.

All databases within the ESDS International data portfolio are freely available to students, researchers and staff at UK Further and Higher education institutions via Athens authentication, ESDS online registration and agreement to OECD Special Conditions of use. We cannot provide data to users outside of this community due to the data re-distribution license agreements we have with our data providers.

The OECD data can be accessed via our data delivery software Beyond 20/20 WDS at http://esds.mcc.ac.uk/wds_oecd/. Note: You will be automatically re-directed to the online registration and agreement to OECD Special Conditions if this is your first visit.

Associated support materials are available from the ESDS International website at www.esds.ac.uk/international/support/user_guides/oecd/.

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

Best regards,

ESDS International team

MIMAS, Manchester Computing
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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11 January 2006: Problems accessing ESDS International data - Special Conditions registration loop

A number of users have contacted ESDS International to let us know about a problem encountered when attempting to access international datasets, i.e. after agreeing to a datasets special conditions, they are still unable to access the dataset and are again redirected to the Special Conditions page.

We believe this problem is caused by incorrectly updated user profiles, i.e. the information that a user has agreed to the Special Conditions has not been recorded - so the system does not allow the user to access the data and continually redirects the user to the Special Conditions page.

Update - 17 January: Following the discovery of a problem with the Athens server the Special Conditions registration loop problem has now been resolved . Users should now be able to access all international macro datasets, but if you do still have a problem please contact us at international@esds.ac.uk or telephone us on +44 (0) 161 275 6109.

Best regards,

ESDS International team

MIMAS, Manchester Computing
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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1 December 2005: ESDS International records highest monthly usage so far!

November 2005 has seen the highest level of usage of the ESDS International data service since its launch in June 2003. Usage logs have shown that during November 1,236 unique users from 84 different institutions accessed international macro data via ESDS International 9,061 times.

Monthly usage of ESDS International data service

Since June 2003 up until the end of November 2005, data at ESDS International has been accessed 100,192 times by 7,041 unique users from 153 different institutions. Users have been attracted to the service by the extensive data portfolio which includes 30 key international macro datasets containing data on a wide array of topics, from finance, trade and industry to education, employment, health, migration, social expenditure, human development, energy and the environment.

Jointly-funded by the ESRC and the JISC, ESDS International, one of the Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS) specialist data services, hosts high quality international time series statistical databanks produced by Inter-Governmental Organisations such as the International Monetary Fund, the International Energy Agency, the United Nations, the World Bank, Eurostat, the International Labour Organisation and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. All data is freely available to UK academics and researchers via the data delivery software Beyond 20/20 Web Data Server.

The service is delighted at these figures which indicate a continuing demand for this type of data and the growth of an active international data community.

Best wishes,

ESDS International team

Email: international@esds.ac.uk
URL: http://www.esds.ac.uk/international


15 November 2005: ESDS International reports on the success of its first Annual Conference

ESDS International, hosted by MIMAS at the University of Manchester held their first ever annual conference on the 8 November at the Royal Statistical Society in London. The fully booked event was well received by delegates who came from a wide range of educational, research and inter-governmental organisations. Comments from the day included:

‘This was an excellent and well planned event especially for a first time’.
‘Interesting combination of researchers using the data and providers of ESDS International datasets’.
‘Chance to network, to see how data is used in the ‘real world’’

The conference opened with a session on international data research which included presentations by Professor Roy Car-Hill on ‘Evidence and Development: Poverty, Literacy, HIV’ and Dr Terry Barker from the University of Cambridge on ‘Developing a panel database 1970-2003 for global energy-environment economy modelling of climate change mitigation’.

Terry Barker, University of Cambridge

In addition Tanvi Desai from the London School of Economics gave the preliminary results from the ESRC Review of International Data Resources and Needs and presentations were given by research students; Paul Adams from the University of Manchester, Tao Xing from the University of Bath and Nicole Baerg from McGill University in Canada.

The afternoon international data provider session began with Eileen Capponi from the OECD outlining the process of adding value to statistics in her presentation ‘From raw data to rich data’, followed by Toby Green, Head of Dissemination & Marketing at the OECD, who presented the argument ‘You get what you pay for? Why free access may put limits on dissemination.’

Toby Green, OECD

The conference closed with a presentation on the ‘Relevance and Applicability of the UNIDO Industrial Statistics Database for Research Purposes’ by Tetsuo Yamada, Chief Statistician of UNIDO.

Tetsuo Yamada, UNIDO

The ESDS International team were very pleased with the positive feedback about the conference and already have some ideas about themes for next years event!

Conference abstracts and slides are available at www.esds.ac.uk/international/news/conf2005.asp.


10 November 2004: ESDS International Publications Database updated with micro data publications

The ESDS International Publications Database has been updated to include articles citing the following international micro data surveys:

  • European Values Study
  • European Social Survey
  • Eurobarometer Survey Series
  • International Social Surveys Programme
  • World Values Survey

The system, developed by ESDS Government at the Cathie Marsh Centre for Census and Survey Research (CCSR) allows users to carry out dataset specific searches on publication information sourced from the ISI Web of Knowledge. Results can be narrowed by inputting keywords and can be ordered by date or author.

Using the ESDS International Publications Database

Carrying out a search on a specific dataset, for example, the European Values Study will result in a list of articles which have referenced this survey dataset. The Publications Database provides the title, author name(s) and key words for each article and users can then log on to the Web of Knowledge (WoK) at http://wok.mimas.ac.uk/ in order to search for, and view the abstract.

The ESDS International Publications Database will be updated annually with information from the WoK and it is anticipated that the presence of freely available international data for UK education communities via the ESDS International data service will result in more and more articles citing the datasets within our portfolio.

The Publications Database can be accessed at www.esds.ac.uk/international/citations/

Please let us know if you have any problems using the Publications Database or any other feedback about the ESDS International data service.


1 November 2005: Notification of service downtime on 16 November 2pm-3pm

As a result of routine maintenance of the Athens authentication system used in the ESDS online registration process, there will be between 20 minutes and one hour of ESDS International service down-time on Wednesday 16 November from 2pm onwards.

This will effect users of all the macro international databanks - World Bank, UN Common Database, UNIDO, Eurostat, IMF, OECD, ILO, National Statistics Time Series Data and International Energy Agency data.

Please let us know if this will cause you problems, for example if you are teaching a class using the data at that time and we may be able to re-schedule the downtime.

Best wishes,

ESDS International team

Email: international@esds.ac.uk
URL: http://www.esds.ac.uk/international


30 September 2005: European Social Survey updated with round 2 data

The European Social Survey (ESS) is a biennial multi-country survey which aims to measure and explain trends in attitudes, beliefs and values across countries in Europe and its close neighbours.

The project, directed by a Central Co-ordinating Team led by Roger Jowell at the Centre for Comparative Social Surveys, City University, London and funded by the European Commission, the European Science Foundation, academic funding bodies and National Science Foundations in each participating country has now announced that the ESS has been updated with round 2 - 2004/2005 data.

In addition, the web site interface has been improved and includes the latest version of the online browsing and analysis system Nesstar WebView (http://ess.nsd.uib.no/files/IntroNesstar3.0.pdf) and the latest contribution to the ESS project is the European Social Survey Education Net. (ESS EduNet) which is an internet-based analysis-training programme aimed at facilitating and enriching access to and usage of empirical data in the social sciences. The topics currently available are Social and political trust and Human values from ESS round 1.

Please visit the ESS Data Web Site, http://ess.nsd.uib.no for further information.

ESDS International team

Email: international@esds.ac.uk
URL: http://www.esds.ac.uk/international

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14 September 2005: Book now for the ESDS International Conference, 8 November 2005

ESDS International is holding their first annual conference on 8 November 2005 at the Royal Statistical Society in London.

The theme of the conference is – ‘the use of international data in research and teaching’ 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.

The programme includes research papers presented by users of international data on subjects such as international trade and business cycles, monitoring the UN’s Millennium Development Goals and global energy-environment-economy modelling. There will also be presentations from a couple of the service’s data providers – the Organisation for Economic Corporation and Development (OECD) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) on data collection and dissemination.

This event is intended to appeal to 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.

If you have any questions about the conference or the service in general, please contact us at international@esds.ac.uk

We hope you can make it!

Best wishes,

ESDS International team

MIMAS, Manchester Computing
The University of Manchester
Tel: +44 (0) 161 275 6109
Email: international@esds.ac.uk
URL: http://www.esds.ac.uk/international

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8 September 2005: Eurostat New Cronos updated at ESDS International

Holland

ESDS International, hosted by MIMAS at the University of Manchester is pleased to announce the Eurostat New Cronos database has now been updated and is available at http://esds.mcc.ac.uk/wds_eurostat/.

Eurostat has not yet provided us with all the necessary supporting documentation. If you cannot find it on our site, try looking for it on Eurostat's own site: http://europa.eu.int/comm/eurostat/. Our intention is to put the supporting documentation on our own site as soon as it is made available to us. If you do have any problems finding the associated metadata, please get in touch via our helpdesk email address international@esds.ac.uk.

Associated support materials, including comprehensive dataset user guides and a guide to accessing Eurostat data using Beyond 20/20 WDS, are available from the ESDS International website at www.esds.ac.uk/international/support/user_guides/eurostat/.

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20 July 2005: CIA World Factbook 2005 data now available via CommonGIS

The CommonGIS data exploration and visualisation interface to the CIA World Factbook has now been updated with 2005 data.

Unclassified choropleth map showing Life expectancy in Europe

CommonGIS is an interactive web based geographical information system which provides standard GIS functionality and can be used as a tool for visualisation and exploratory analysis based on geographically referenced statistical data. It is an extension of the thematic mapping software Descartes and was developed through a European Commission funded project (ESPRIT Project nr.28983 'Information Access and Interfaces') undertaken by Team Spatial Decision Support (SPADE), the aim of which was to create an online GIS tool accessible and usable for expert and common users alike.

At ESDS International users can access a cut down teaching version of CommonGIS which has a selection of pre-loaded European country level data from the CIA World Factbook.

Note: The ESDS International CommonGIS interface to CIA World Factbook data is freely available to anyone. To access the visualisation interface users only need a Java enabled web browser.

Further details and access to CommonGIS is provided under the Visualisation interface section of the website.

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13 July 2005: Thematic guide on educational outcomes now available at ESDS International

ESDS International has produced a thematic guide on educational outcomes. The guide is intended to provide advice on finding both macro and micro international data sources on educational outcomes; information about the cross country comparability of this data and also some additional sources of education data.

The guide is available from http://www.esds.ac.uk/International/support/other_guides.asp.

Please contact us with any feedback about the thematic guide or if you have any suggestions of themes for future guides.

Best wishes,

ESDS International team

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

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12 July 2005: Changes to OECD Main Economic Indicators series codes and titles

Following a major review of data collection and presentation the Organisation for Economic Corporation and Development (OECD) has made changes to series codes and titles of over a thousand Real Indicators data series in the July 2005 release of the Main Economic Indicators (MEI) data.

The Real Indicators data series cover topics such as Production, Retail trade, Car registrations, Dwelling permits etc. and have been changed for this release and future editions of the MEI. The changes are explained in detail in the July 2005 article 'Changes to the MEI Real Indicators series' and the Real_indicators_changes.xls excel spreadsheet contains the following information:

  • A list of existing series whose codes have been changed from July 2005, (801 series – see worksheet ‘series with code changes’)
  • A list of series newly introduced in MEI publications from July 2005, (163 series – see worksheet ‘new series’ )
  • A list of series deleted from MEI publications from July 2005, (64 series – see worksheet ‘series deleted’)

If you have any questions regarding the changes to series codes and titles please let us know.

Best wishes,

ESDS International team

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

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27 June 2005: International Energy Agency data released to UK academic community

ESDS International, hosted by MIMAS at the University of Manchester is pleased to announce the release of International Energy Agency (IEA) databases on energy production, trade, stocks, transformation, consumption, prices and taxes and greenhouse gas emissions. The release of this data represents a significant contribution by the ESRC to the work of the cross council UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) and the development of the Towards a Sustainable Energy Economy (TESC) Programme.

Keith Cole, Director of ESDS International at MIMAS, said: "Access to the IEA databases will substantially increase the capacity of the UK academic community to contribute to the UK, European and global level debates regarding energy, sustainable development and the environment. ESDS International is delighted to be able to host this important resource on behalf of the UK academic community. The addition of the IEA databanks consolidates the University of Manchester's position as a leading provider of electronic data and information services to the UK academic community.”

Jim Skea, Research Director of UKERC, said “the IEA databases represent the most authoritative and comprehensive source of information on energy supply and demand at the international level. Having ready access to this data will significantly help UKERC’s work. UKERC enthusiastically supports the initiative to make this data available to the UK energy research community.”

Graph showing Total CO2 emissions from transport fuel combustion

The IEA's objectives include improving the world energy supply and demand structure, more efficient use of energy, and developing alternative energy sources to reduce dependence on any one source. The data the IEA collects covers 30 OECD Member countries and over 100 non-OECD countries world-wide and are published in the following databases:

  • CO2 Emissions from Fuel Combustion
  • Coal Information
  • Natural Gas Information
  • Electricity information
  • Oil Information
  • Energy Prices and Taxes
  • World Energy Statistics and Balances
  • Renewables Information
  • Energy Technology Research and Development

The software used to deliver the IEA data at ESDS International is Beyond 20/20 Web Data Server (WDS). It is accessibility compliant, runs on a standard web browser and is used by many governmental and inter-governmental organisations for the dissemination of aggregated time series data.

All databases within the ESDS International 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 Athens authentication, ESDS online registration and agreement to IEA Special Conditions of use.

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.

The IEA data can be accessed via Beyond 20/20 WDS at http://esds.mcc.ac.uk/wds_iea/

Associated support materials (including comprehensive dataset user guides and a guide to accessing IEA data using Beyond 20/20 WDS) are available from the ESDS International website at http://www.esds.ac.uk/international/support/user_guides/iea/.

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

Best wishes,

ESDS International team

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

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14 June 2005: ESDS International Conference 2005 - Call for presenters

Date: 8 November 2005
Venue: Royal Statistical Society, London

We will be holding the first ESDS International data conference on 8 November 2005 at the Royal Statistical Society in London.

The theme of the conference will be - The use of international data in research and teaching.

Possible topics include, but are not restricted to:

  • Cross national comparisons
  • World economy and finance
  • Millennium Development Goals
  • Environment and energy
  • Regional studies

The increasing importance of cross-national research has resulted in an astonishing growth in the usage of international data over recent years reflected by ESDS International’s user community of over 5000 from 150 institutions, and this 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. It will appeal to members of the academic community using the international databanks in their research and teaching, data librarians and producers of international data resources.

We are issuing this call for presenters to users from any socio-economic discipline who have used international data in their research, but we’d also be interested in hearing from anyone who uses the data in teaching and who would be interested in presenting at the conference. If so, please contact Susan Noble and/or Celia Russell at ESDS International with your proposed presentation title and a brief abstract by the 29 July if possible.

Reasonable travel costs for UK academic speakers will be covered.

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.

Best wishes,

ESDS International team

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

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07 June 2005: Review of the Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS)

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), in collaboration with the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), is reviewing the services provided by ESDS and would like to hear from its users.

ESDS is contracted to promote the wider and more informed use of data for research and teaching in the social sciences, and to ensure that these data continue to be available over time. ESDS approaches this goal through the delivery and development of its five main services - Access and Preservation, ESDS Government, ESDS International, ESDS Longitudinal and ESDS Qualidata.

ESDS has been co-located at the Universities of Essex and Manchester and co-funded by ESRC and JISC since 1 January 2003. The current review aims to evaluate the performance of ESDS to enable ESRC/JISC to decide whether or not their grant should be renewed beyond September 2007.

ESYS plc, the independent strategic consultancy, has been commissioned by ESRC to undertake a user survey as part of the review to seek the views of ESDS users/suppliers. The survey will include an online questionnaire, targeted telephone interviews and a series of Focus Groups. The findings from the survey will be submitted to ESRC at the end of July 2005 in the form of a report which will then be referred to ESDS for a formal response to feed into the Review.

Users of ESDS are invited to participate in the online survey which was launched on 6th June 2005.

Further information about the User Survey can be obtained from:

Oliver Greening, ESYS plc, 1 Occam Court, Occam Road
Surrey Research Park, Guildford, Surrey GU32 2HY

Telephone: 01483 304545
greening@esys.co.uk

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20 May 2005: 'Accessing socio-economic data and resources' parallel session at the MIMAS Open Forum

Online booking is now open for the MIMAS Open Forum 2005, to be held on Wednesday 29 June 2005 in Crawford House at the University of Manchester.

The Open Forum brings together users, teachers and support staff interested in online information and learning resources, in UK higher and further education, and presents news of current and future developments at MIMAS and in the academic information environment. There are workshops and opportunities to meet staff.

The Accessing social-economic data and resources hands-on afternoon session will provide participants with the opportunity to explore how data sources held by the Census Dissemination Unit at MIMAS, Samples of Anonymised Records (SARs) at CCSR and the Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS) can be used in research, teaching and learning. Resources include the 2001 UK Census Standard Tables, 2001 and 1991 SARs, ESDS International macro databanks produced by intergovernmental organisations such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and the United Nations, and ESDS Government surveys, such as the General Household Survey and the Labour Force Survey.

Hands-on exercises and tailored demonstrations will allow participants to explore Census and ESDS resource discovery systems and online data access systems, such as Casweb, Beyond 20/20, Nesstar and ESDS Qualidata Online.

Further information on the full MIMAS Open Forum programme and online booking form can be found at: http://mimas.ac.uk/.

Note: There is no charge for the day.

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19 May 2005: ESRC Review of international data resources and needs

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) has commissioned a ‘Review of International Data Needs and Resources’ which is being carried out by a team from the London School of Economics.

The Review team are looking for users of international data who could help them to gain an understanding of the opportunities and the obstacles presented by international data resources, thereby enabling them to recommend strategies for improving international research and collaboration.

  • Do you use international data?
  • Do you think international data resources can be improved?

The team carrying out the review are interested in hearing your views on any issues relating to international data.

Please email your comments to the project team:

and/or register for a questionnaire at the London School of Economics ESRC Review of International Data Resources and Needs website

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07 April 2005: International Energy Agency data to be released to UK Academia

ESDS International, hosted by MIMAS at the University of Manchester has signed an agreement with the International Energy Agency (IEA) which will give UK academics free access to high quality macro international datasets on energy production, trade, stocks, transformation, consumption, prices and taxes and greenhouse gas emissions.

Renewable Energy - image of wind farm

This agreement will make it easier for UK academics wanting to use international data in research or teaching to obtain access to reliable and continuously updated statistics relating to energy markets and greenhouse gas emissions. It also represents a significant contribution by the ESRC to the work of the cross council UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) and the development of the Towards a Sustainable Energy Economy (TESC) Programme.

The IEA's objectives include improving the world energy supply and demand structure, more efficient use of energy, and developing alternative energy sources to reduce dependence on any one source. The data the IEA collects covers 30 OECD Member countries and over 100 non-OECD countries world-wide and are published in the following databases:

  • CO2 Emissions from Fuel Combustion
  • Coal Information
  • Natural Gas Information
  • Electricity information
  • Oil Information
  • Energy Prices and Taxes
  • World Energy Statistics and Balances
  • Renewables Information

The data dissemination agreement, which has been brokered by Databeuro, is for a two-year period and access to the IEA databanks will be given to authorised academic users via Athens authentication and registration with the Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS). The ESDS is a national data archiving and dissemination service which came into operation in January 2003 is a jointly-funded initiative sponsored by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC).

Keith Cole, Director of ESDS International at MIMAS, said: "Access to the IEA databases will substantially increase the capacity of the UK academic community to contribute to the UK, European and global level debates regarding energy, sustainable development and the environment. ESDS International is delighted to be able to host this important resource on behalf of the UK academic community. The addition of the IEA databanks consolidates the University of Manchester's position as a leading provider of electronic data and information services to the UK academic community.”

Jim Skea, Research Director of UKERC, said “the IEA databases represent the most authoritative and comprehensive source of information on energy supply and demand at the international level. Having ready access to this data will significantly help UKERC’s work. UKERC enthusiastically supports the initiative to make this data available to the UK energy research community.”

Free access to the IEA databanks will be provided to UK further and higher education users via the service’s online data delivery software Beyond 20/20 Web Data Server. It is anticipated the data will be made available over the coming months.

Notes for Editors:

  1. MIMAS is a JISC/ESRC supported national data centre providing the UK higher education, further education and research community with networked access to key data and information resources to support teaching, learning and research across a wide range of disciplines. MIMAS is part of Manchester Computing at the University of Manchester. More at http://mimas.ac.uk/.
  2. Databeuro specialise in the supply of data and publications from intergovernmental organisations (IGO's) such as IEA, OECD, IMF, World Bank, UN and Eurostat to the academic, government and corporate sectors. Databeuro has particular expertise in working with these organisations for access to online data and e-books and in the provision of customer support for their online services. A full range of their services can be found at http://www.databeuro.com.
  3. The ESRC is the UK's largest funding agency for research and postgraduate training relating to social and economic issues. It provides independent, high-quality, relevant research to business, the public sector and Government. The ESRC invests more than £76 million every year in social science and at any time is supporting some 2,000 researchers in academic institutions and research policy institutes. It also funds postgraduate training within the social sciences to nurture the researchers of tomorrow. More at http://www.esrc.ac.uk.
  4. JISC is an independent advisory body that works with further and higher education by providing strategic guidance, advice and opportunities to use ICT to support learning, teaching, research and administration. More at http://www.jisc.ac.uk.
  5. The Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS) is a new national data archiving and dissemination service which came into operation in January 2003. The service is a jointly-funded initiative sponsored by the ESRC and the JISC. The ESDS has been established as a distributed service, based on a collaboration between four key centres of expertise: UK Data Archive (UKDA), University of Essex; UK Longitudinal Studies Centre (ULSC), University of Essex; Manchester Information and Associated Services (MIMAS), University of Manchester; and Cathie Marsh Centre for Census and Survey Research (CCSR), University of Manchester. More at http://www.esds.ac.uk.
  6. The UK Energy Research Centre carries out whole-systems energy research and is charged with bringing coherence to UK energy research activities more broadly through the establishment of a National Energy Research Network. It forms part of the £28m “Towards a Sustainable Energy Economy” (TESC) Programme which is supported by three research councils: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Economic and Social Research Council, and Natural Environment Research Council. The outcomes of the programme will inform energy policy, helping the UK to meet the targets set out in the 1993 Energy White Paper and creating a better interface with industry. More at http://www.nerc.ac.uk/funding/programmes/sustenergy/ and http://www.ukerc.ac.uk.

For more information on this release, please contact ESDS International Helpdesk on 0161 275 6109 or email international@esds.ac.uk.

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05 April 2005: ESRC World Economy and Finance Programme- 2nd call closed 24 May 2005

The ESRC World Economy and Finance Programme has issued its 2nd call.

The main objective of this £5 million programme is to promote and support world-class theoretical, empirical and policy-oriented research focusing on the interrelationship between finance and the world economy under the following two related areas:

  • To advance understanding of ways in which financial markets and financial policies influence major global issues, such as poverty, development, growth and transition
  • To analyse policy issues in a variety of institutional and cultural settings in an era of low inflation, increasingly integrated financial markets, changing demographics and trade patterns.
Sixteen projects were funded under the first call. To ensure the overall balance and intellectual coherence of the programme, the ESRC now wishes to invite proposals under Phase 2 that will complement and add synergy to projects already funded under Phase 1 of the programme as well as those that will address questions and topics set out above that are not covered by the Phase 1 projects. The closing date for outline proposals was 24 May.

Please view the ESRC's World Economy and Finance Programme Phase 2 Specification document for further information.


30 March 2005: Help desk email problems 23 March - 30 March 2005

Please note that emails sent to the ESDS International helpdesk (international@esds.ac.uk) between Wednesday 23 March and Wednesday 30 March may not have been received.

If you sent a query to the help desk during that period and the help desk has not yet responded to your query, you are advised to re-send the email.

Also, if you attempted to book a place on the Introduction to ESDS International course, on Tuesday 19th April, 2-5pm at the University of Edinburgh via the same email address and have not received confirmation of your booking, please get in touch.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused to you.

With best regards,

ESDS International team

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


11 March 2005: Commission for Africa report released

The report of the Commission for Africa was released on Friday 11 March in London and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The Commission for Africa, launched in February 2004, set out to analyse Africa’s problems and present solutions for change. The commission report examines issues such as economic development, fair trade, debt relief, education, conflict resolution, health, the environment and HIV/Aids across the continent.

Children in Soweto, Johannesburg

Data on these topics can be found in a number of datasets at ESDS International including the World Bank's World Development Indicators, the UN Common Database, the OECD and IMF databases. See the data portfolio for a full list of available datasets.

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25 February 2005: International data community doubles in 6 months to 4,000 users

Following our report from September 2004 when the service doubled its usage figures to 2,000 in less than 6 months, ESDS International, hosted by MIMAS at the University of Manchester is pleased to announce the trend continues with the 4000th unique user logged on 24 February 2005.

Graph showing climbing usage of ESDS International service

Users from a broad range of disciplines from 144 different institutions have been attracted to the service by the extensive data portfolio which includes 21 key international macro datasets containing data on a wide array of topics, from finance, trade and industry to education, employment, health, migration, social expenditure, human development and the environment.

Jointly-funded by the ESRC and the JISC, ESDS International, one of the Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS) specialist data services, hosts high quality international time series statistical databanks produced by Inter-Governmental Organisations such as the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations, the World Bank, Eurostat, the International Labour Organisation and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. All data is freely available to UK academics and researchers via the recently upgraded data delivery software Beyond 20/20 Web Data Server.

The service is delighted at these figures which indicate a continuing demand for this type of data and the growth of an active international data community.

Please contact us if you have any queries about the service.

Best regards,

ESDS International team

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

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21 February 2005: ESDS International presents paper at UNECE/OECD Work Session

Dr Celia Russell of ESDS International presented a paper - Delivering the world: The establishment of an international data service at the Joint UNECE/OECD Work Session on Statistical Dissemination and Communication held on the 14-15 February 2005, Henley-on-Thames, United Kingdom. See ESDS International publications.

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18 February 2005: ESDS International in Finnish Social Science Data (FSD) Bulletin

ESDS International has featured in the January edition of the Finnish Social Science Data Archive Bulletin, Issue 15. The FSD Bulletin is the electronic newsletter of the Finnish Social Science Data Archive. The Bulletin provides information and news related to the data archive and social science research.


17 February 2005: ESRC review of international data resources and needs – call for tenders

The UK's Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is looking to commission a Review of International Data Resources and Needs. Please see their Invitation to Tender for further information.

Note: Call closed 5 p.m. on 11 March 2005.


03 February 2005: Economic and Social Data Service Workshops in 2005

ESDS are holding a series of workshops on creating, depositing and using social science data. The workshops consider the creation and depositing of qualitative and quantitative data. Issues relating to research planning, consent and confidentiality, and data management will be addressed.

Participants are provided with the opportunity to explore how archived data sources held by ESDS can be used in research, teaching and learning: resources include the large-scale government surveys, such as the General Household Survey and the Labour Force Survey, academic surveys, qualitative in-depth interviews and international macro databanks produced by intergovernmental organisations such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and the United Nations.

These overall ESDS workshops include information about each of the ESDS specialist data services; ESDS Government, ESDS Longitudinal, ESDS Qualidata and ESDS International, and are being held in Loughborough, Swansea and Reading. Details, including programmes and booking forms, can be found on the ESDS pages of the website.

Please see the course programme on the ESDS International pages for further information on courses concentrating specifically on international macro data.

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31 January 2005: Reminder - ESDS International course in London in February

There are still places available on the following course in London on February 15th:

Introduction to the ESDS International Databanks (Half day)

This course, aimed at postgraduate students, researchers, data librarians and teaching staff from the social sciences, provides an in depth guide to the resources available through ESDS International. ESDS International is a specialist data service of the Economic and Social Data Service and provides online access to the major databanks produced by international governmental organisations such as the World Bank and United Nations. Access to the service is free for staff and students of UK academic institutions.

This introductory course has a particular emphasis on the service’s extensive data portfolio. Attendees will be introduced to the structure, content and research potential of the international databanks and gain practical experience in accessing, exploring and visualising the data using Beyond 20/20 and CommonGIS in hands-on sessions.

A brief overview of the Economic and Social Data Service as a whole is also included on this course.

Programme: Tuesday 15th February 2005 (2pm to 4.30pm)

Location: Kings College London in the Maughan Library & ISC, room lg66.

This course is free to participants but booking is required. Please note you must be a student or member of staff at a UK academic institution to attend this course.

If you wish to attend this course please send an email with your name, department and institution to: international@esds.ac.uk.

Best regards,

ESDS International team

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

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18 January 2005: Problem with course booking form

As a result of a problem with the MIMAS course booking form, a number of course bookings may have been lost.

We ask all users who have booked onto the Introduction to ESDS International course at Kings College in London, Tuesday 15 February 2005, 2-5pm and not yet received confirmation of their course booking to contact us on international@esds.ac.uk.

Please provide your name, department and institution, and your email address and/or telephone number so that we can contact you.

The MIMAS course booking form will be back online as soon as the problem is resolved.

Sorry for any inconvenience this causes.

Best regards,

ESDS International team

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

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15 December 2004: CommonGIS interface to IMF World Economic Outlook data

ESDS International, hosted by MIMAS at the University of Manchester is pleased to announce the release of a CommonGIS data exploration and visualisation interface to the IMF's World Economic Outlook 2004 data using ESRI's World boundary data.

CommonGIS is an interactive web based geographical information system which provides standard GIS functionality and can be used as a tool for visualisation and exploratory analysis based on geographically referenced statistical data. It is an extension of the thematic mapping software Descartes and was developed through a European Commission funded project (ESPRIT Project nr.28983 'Information Access and Interfaces') undertaken by Team Spatial Decision Support (SPADE), the aim of which was to create an online GIS tool accessible and usable for expert and common users alike.

CommonGIS interface to IMF World Economic Outlook

ESDS International's new CommonGIS interface allows users to visualise the following IMF World Economic Outlook attributes globally:

  • Current account balance, Billions of $US
  • Current account balance % of GDP, Ratio
  • GDP based on purchasing-power-parity (PPP) per capita, $US, Units
  • GDP based on PPP share of world total, %
  • GDP based on PPP valuation of country GDP, Billions of $US
  • GDP per capita, current prices, $US, Units
  • GDP, constant prices, annual percent change, %
  • GDP, current prices Billions of $US
  • GDP, deflator, Index
  • Inflation, Index, 1995=100
  • Inflation, annual percent change, %
  • PPP US dollar exchange rate $US

ESDS International's CommonGIS interface to the IMF World Economic Outlook data is hosted by Intute: Science, Engineering and Technology, (formerly GEsource, the geography and environment hub of the Resource Discovery Network).

Access: www.intute.ac.uk/sciences/worldguide/gis/CommonGIS/WEO2004.html

Access is free to all - the only requirement is a Java enabled web browser. Further details about CommonGIS are provided under the Visualisation interface section of the website.

If you have any problems using the new interface or have any feedback on the service please contact us on international@esds.ac.uk

Best regards,

ESDS International team

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

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13 December 2004: NS Time Series Data now delivered via Beyond 20/20 Web Data Server

On Monday 13 December 2004 the SearchNS interface to the National Statistics Time Series Data was replaced by Beyond 20/20 Web Data Server (WDS).

Beyond 20/20 WDS is a fully accessible application specifically designed for data dissemination which runs in a standard JavaScript enabled web browser and is widely used by governmental and intergovernmental organisations to deliver aggregated time series data. Users can subset and manipulate the reports to obtain the required views of data, and a graphical representation of the data can be instantaneously produced, with several chart options available. The report can then be downloaded to the desktop in various formats including *.xls and *.csv for further analysis.

NS Time Series Data in Beyond 20/20 interface

Help pages are available from within the application and our step-by-step guide provides easy to follow instructions helping users to find, visualise and extract data from the NS Time Series Databank.

The December release of the data is available at http://esds.mcc.ac.uk/wds_natstats/

To access the NS Time Series Data, users will need an Athens user name and to be registered with Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS). Please see Access Requirements on the ESDS International website for further information.

Produced by the Office for National Statistics, the Time Series Data is a collection of 40 major data publications containing over 40,000 time series relating to economics, trade, employment and industry. The datasets include Labour Market Statistics, Monthly Digest, Consumer Trends, The Pink Book and The Blue Book. ESDS International provides a comprehensive Time Series Dataset user guide providing details of the dataset content, geographical coverage, periodicity and useful links.

If you have any problems finding and accessing the data using the new interface or have any feedback on the service please contact us on international@esds.ac.uk

Best regards,

ESDS International team

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

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29 November 2004: Beyond 20/20 Web Data Server upgrade complete

ESDS International hosted by MIMAS at the University of Manchester are pleased to announce the upgrade to the new version of Beyond 20/20 Web Data Server (WDS).

Beyond 20/20 WDS runs on a standard web browser, is accessibility compliant and is used by many governmental and intergovernmental organisations for the dissemination of aggregated time series data. In the new version of Beyond 20/20 WDS the user interface has been redesigned to make it easier for our users to find, visualise and download the international data they require.

Screenshot of new Beyond 20/20 WDS interface

The upgrade was successfully completed on Monday 29 November and service continued uninterrupted during the transition as users were seamlessly redirected to a development environment.

At the same time as the upgrade to version 7 of Beyond 20/20 WDS, the following datasets have been updated or released for the first time:

  • The IMF Government Finance Statistics have been released. The database provides internationally comparable annual time series data on the finances and fiscal policies of over 150 countries from 1972 onwards. Further information on the release is available.
  • The existing format of the IMF Direction of Trade Statistics (DOTS) has been replaced by a country table based format.
  • The DOTS historical data has been made available for the first time in the live environment.

Note: The URL addresses for accessing OECD, IMF and Eurostat data have changed following the upgrade:

Guides to accessing international macro data using the new version of Beyond 20/20 WDS have been provided under the User Support section of the ESDS International website, please see http://www.esds.ac.uk/International/support/software_guides.asp.

For further information on the software, including system requirements, please see http://www.esds.ac.uk/international/support/software.asp.

If you have any problems finding and accessing the data using the new interface or have any feedback on the service please contact us on international@esds.ac.uk

Best regards,

ESDS International team

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

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29 November 2004: IMF Government Finance Statistics released at ESDS International

ESDS International, hosted by MIMAS at the University of Manchester is very pleased to announce the release of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Government Finance Statistics. This release completes the services compliment of four IMF databases and coincides with the upgrade of the data delivery software Beyond 20/20 Web Data Server (WDS) from version 6 to 7.

The IMF Government Finance Statistics (GFS) provide internationally comparable annual time series data on the finances and fiscal policies of over 150 countries from 1972 onwards. Topics covered include deficit/surplus or total financing, revenues or grants, expenditures, lending minus repayments, domestic financing, foreign financing, domestic debt or total debt, and foreign debt.

All databases within the ESDS International data portfolio are full versions of the data and are freely available to the UK FE and HE user community via Athens authentication and ESDS online registration.

The IMF databases are updated monthly and can be accessed via Beyond 20/20 WDS at:

Associated support materials, including comprehensive dataset user guides and dataset specific Beyond 20/20 WDS worked examples are available from the ESDS International website, http://www.esds.ac.uk/international/support/user_guides/imf/.

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

Best regards,

ESDS International Team

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

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29 November 2004: Upgrade to new version of Beyond 20/20 Web Data Server currently underway

ESDS International are currently upgrading the data delivery software Beyond 20/20 Web Data Server (WDS) to version 7.

During this upgrade users should be re-directed to the ESDS International development environment where they will be able to access all datasets using Beyond 20/20 WDS version 7. Once the upgrade on the live server is complete, users will be re-directed back to the live environment. This switch-over should be seamless, but there may be a small amount of downtime as the transition between the two servers takes place – we apologise in advance for any inconvenience this may cause.

Guides to accessing international macro data using the new version of Beyond 20/20 WDS are provided under the User Support section of the ESDS International website, please see http://www.esds.ac.uk/International/support/software_guides.asp.

If you have any questions or comments for the ESDS International data service please contact us.

Best regards,

ESDS International team

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


19 November 2004: NS Time Series Data back online following major power failure at the University of Manchester

The National Statistics Time Series Data came back online at approximately 13.40pm on 19 November 2004. The databank had been unavailable since 12.10pm on 15 November following a major power failure at the University of Manchester.

The full ESDS International service should now be running as normal so please do let us know if you continue to have problems accessing the NS Time Series Data.

ESDS International would like to apologise for this break in service and for the inconvenience caused to our users.

Best regards,

ESDS International team

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


19 November 2004: The 2004 release of UNIDO databases are now available at ESDS International

The service is pleased to announce and update to the UNIDO data within its portfolio - the 2004 release of the Industrial Statistics and Demand Supply data is now available at http://esds.mcc.ac.uk/wds_unido/

The UNIDO Industrial Statistics 2004, presented in three annual databases covering up to 179 countries worldwide from 1963 onwards contain data on employment, wages, output, value added, gross fixed capital formation, number of female employees, number of establishments and production level broken down by industrial sector.

The two UNIDO Demand Supply 2004 databases cover up to 79 countries from 1981 onwards and contain data on domestic output, apparent consumption, imports from the world, developing countries and industrialized countries, and exports to the world, developing countries and industrialized countries.

The delivery software used by ESDS International is Beyond 20/20 WDS which is accessibility compliant, runs on a standard web browser and is used by many governmental and intergovernmental organisations for the dissemination of aggregated time series data.

The databases are available freely to UK academics and researchers via Athens authentication and ESDS online registration. The database and associated support materials can be accessed from the ESDS International website at http://www.esds.ac.uk/international/support/user_guides/unido/.

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

Best regards,

ESDS International Team

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

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Do you have a question for the IMF?

Do you use the IMF databanks? Do you have a question for the IMF?

We have a delegation from the IMF coming to visit us at ESDS International at the beginning of December. As part of the day they will be answering questions from databank users on any aspect of their statistical services. Would you like to know more about the data they collect or their future strategies? Do you have a specific question about the data you use? We will be recording the session and putting a transcript on the ESDS International website so email in your questions to international@esds.ac.uk with the heading ‘Question for the IMF’.

Best regards,

ESDS International team

MIMAS, Manchester Computing
The University of Manchester
Tel: +44 (0) 161 275 6109
Email: international@esds.ac.uk

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16 November 2004: OECD Services Statistics released

ESDS International, hosted by MIMAS at the University of Manchester is pleased to announce the release of the OECD Services Statistics.

The OECD Services Statistics running from 1970, are made up of two databases Statistics on Value Added and Employment which includes annual national accounts statistics on output (gross value added) and employment in service activities and Statistics on International Trade in Services which covers trade in services.

The delivery software used by ESDS International is Beyond 20/20 Web Data Server (WDS) which is accessibility compliant, runs on a standard web browser and is used by many governmental and inter-governmental organisations for the dissemination of aggregated time series data.

All databases within the ESDS International data portfolio are full versions of the data and are freely available to the UK FE and HE user community via Athens authentication and ESDS online registration.

The OECD data can be accessed via Beyond 20/20 WDS at http://esds.mcc.ac.uk/wds_oecd/

Associated support materials (including comprehensive dataset user guides and Beyond 20/20 WDS worked examples) are available from the ESDS International website at http://www.esds.ac.uk/international/support/user_guides/oecd/.
Please let us know if you have any problems finding and accessing the data or have any feedback on the service.

Best regards,

ESDS International team

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

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15 November 2004: Major power failure affects access to international macro data

Following a major power failure at the University of Manchester, the ESDS International macro datasets were unavailable from approximately 12:10PM until 13.50PM.

The majority of the service is now running as normal (19 of 20 datasets now available), but access to the National Statistics Time Series Data is still affected. We will advise as soon as the NS Time Series Data is again available.

ESDS International would like to apologise for the inconvenience this causes our users.

Best regards,

ESDS International team

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

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15 November 2004: Beyond 20/20 WDS Upgrade to take place 29/30 November

ESDS International, hosted by MIMAS at the University of Manchester are pleased to announce that the upgrade of the data delivery software Beyond 20/20 Web Data Server (WDS) to version 7 will take place on Monday 29 and Tuesday 30 November 2004.

In order to minimize disruption to the service, users will be re-directed automatically to the ESDS International development environment during the upgrade where they will be able to access all datasets using Beyond 20/20 WDS version 7. Once the upgrade on the live server is complete, users will be re-directed back to the live environment. This switch-over should be seamless, but there may be a small amount of downtime as the transition between the two servers takes place – we apologise in advance for any inconvenience this may cause.

Thanks to the following improvements, it is hoped this new, more user friendly interface of Beyond 20/20 WDS will make it easier for our users to find, select, visualise and download the international data they require:

Redesigned User Interface

  • Updated look and feel, with intuitive menus and tab-style controls
  • Footnotes and missing values appear in pop-ups
  • Large, scrollable data area - no more paging, row and column headers are always onscreen
  • Improved drag-and-drop for positioning dimensions
  • New Actions menu holds all commands which frees up screen space for data
  • Scrollable item selection area
  • Controls for expand all, collapse all, to speed up item selection
  • Shift-click for range selection
Improved Print Setup, Print Preview, Download
  • Print Setup separates reports into pages and adds a heading to every page. Footnotes go at the end
  • Download to SSV (semicolon-separated values) as well as CSV
  • Enhanced Help and Searching

Beyond 20/20 Default help

  • Direct links to Beyond 20/20 Dataset specific worked examples
  • Search across all tables
Guides to accessing international macro data using the new version of Beyond 20/20 WDS will be provided under the User Support section of the ESDS International website, please see http://www.esds.ac.uk/International/support/software_guides.asp.

If you have any questions or comments for the ESDS International data service please contact us on international@esds.ac.uk

Best regards,

ESDS International Team

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


09 November 2004: Announcing change to National Statistics Time Series Data interface - 13 December 2004

ESDS International, hosted by MIMAS at the University of Manchester are pleased to announce that the National Statistics Time Series data will be delivered via Beyond 20/20 Web Data Server (WDS) from Monday 13 December 2004. This will replace the current SearchNS interface and will bring the NS Time Series Data into line with the rest of the datasets included in the ESDS International data portfolio.

Beyond 20/20 WDS is a fully accessible application specifically designed for data dissemination which runs in a standard JavaScript enabled web browser and is widely used by governmental and intergovernmental organisations to deliver aggregated time series data. Users can subset and manipulate the reports to obtain the required views of data, and a graphical representation of the data can be instantaneously produced, with several chart options available. The report can then be downloaded to the desktop in various formats including *.xls and *.csv for further analysis. Beyond 20/20 WDS help pages are available from within the application and a step-by-step guide provides easy to follow instructions helping users to find, visualise and extract data from the NS Time Series Databank. For more information on Beyond 20/20 go to http://www.esds.ac.uk/international/support/software.asp.

Produced by the Office for National Statistics, the Time Series Data is a collection of 40 major data publications containing over 40,000 time series relating to economics, trade, employment and industry. The datasets include Labour Market Statistics, Monthly Digest, Consumer Trends, The Pink Book and The Blue Book.

To access the NS Time Series Data, users will need an Athens user name and to be registered with Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS). Please see Access Requirements on the ESDS International website for further information.

An announcement with the new URL where the data can be accessed will be released on Monday 13 December.

If you have any questions or comments for the ESDS International data service please contact us on international@esds.ac.uk.

Best regards,

ESDS International team

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

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08 November 2004: ILO Key Indicators of the Labour Market released at ESDS International

ESDS International, hosted by MIMAS at the University of Manchester is pleased to announce the release of the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) frequently cited database on labour market statistics – Key Indicators of the Labour Market.

The ILO launched the Key Indicators of the Labour Market (KILM) in 1999 to complement existing data collection programmes and to improve dissemination of data on the key elements of the world’s labour markets. It provides annual time series data for 20 key indicators of the Labour Market, running from 1980 onwards for over 250 countries, areas and territories. Key topics covered include: labour force participation, employment, unemployment, educational attainment, hours of work, wages and earnings, productivity, labour costs, poverty and income distribution. The example below identifies Norway as having lowest annual number of hours worked per person in the year 2000 in this range of countries.

Graph showing the average annual hours data from the ILO KILM

The software used to deliver the KILM at ESDS International is Beyond 20/20 Web Data Server (WDS). It is accessibility compliant, runs on a standard web browser and is used by many governmental and inter-governmental organisations for the dissemination of aggregated time series data.

All databases within the ESDS International data portfolio are full versions of the data and are freely available to the UK FE and HE user community via Athens authentication and ESDS online registration.

Associated support materials (including comprehensive dataset user guides and Beyond 20/20 WDS worked examples) are available from the ESDS International website at http://www.esds.ac.uk/international/support/user_guides/ilo/.

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

Best regards,

ESDS International team

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

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04 November 2004: NS Time Series Databank downtime notification

The National Statistics Time Series Databank will be unavailable from 7:00AM - 9:00AM on Tuesday 16 November 2004, due to server maintenance. We apologise for any inconvenience this causes.

Note: All other databanks within the ESDS International portfolio should be available as normal.


 
03 November 2004: ESDS International Publications Database released

ESDS International, hosted by MIMAS at the University of Manchester have now released a searchable Publications Database for articles which cite datasets included in the ESDS International data portfolio.

The system, developed by ESDS Government at the Cathie Marsh Centre for Census and Survey Research (CCSR) allows users to carry out dataset specific searches on publication information sourced from the ISI Web of Knowledge. Results can be narrowed by inputting keywords and can be ordered by date or author.

Using the ESDS International Publications Database

Carrying out a search on a specific dataset, for example, the World Bank’s World Development Indicators will result in a list of articles which have referenced this dataset. The Publications Database provides the title, author name(s) and key words for each article and users can then log on to the Web of Knowledge (WoK) at http://wok.mimas.ac.uk/ in order to search for, and view the abstract.

The ESDS International Publications Database will be updated annually with information from the WoK and it is anticipated that the presence of freely available international data for UK education communities via the ESDS International data service will result in more and more articles citing the datasets within our portfolio.

The database can be accessed at http://www.esds.ac.uk/international/citations/

Please let us know if you have any problems using the Publications Database or any other feedback about the ESDS International data service.

Best wishes,

ESDS International Team,

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

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27 September 2004: World Bank World Development Indicators and Global Development Finance 2004 loaded at ESDS International

ESDS International, hosted by MIMAS at the University of Manchester is pleased to announce April 2004 release of the World Development Indicators and Global Development Finance is now available at http://esds.mcc.ac.uk/wds_wb/

The World Bank’s World Development Indicators contain statistical data for over 570 development indicators. The extensive collection of development data includes social, economic, financial, natural resources and environmental indicators covering the period 1960 - 2003 for over 200 countries and 18 country groups.

New for the 2004 release are the following World Development Indicators.

  • Living on less than $1 a day (PPP) (% of people)
  • Living on less than $2 a day (PPP) (% of people)
  • Poverty gap at $1 a day (%)
  • Poverty gap at $2 a day (%)
  • Apparent intake rate in grade 1, female (% of relevant age group)
  • Apparent intake rate in grade 1, male (% of relevant age group)
  • Apparent intake rate in grade 1, total (% of relevant age group)
  • Literacy rate, adult female (% of females ages 15 and above)
  • Literacy rate, adult male (% of males ages 15 and above)
  • Literacy rate, adult total (% of people ages 15 and above)
  • Literacy rate, youth female (% of females ages 15-24)
  • Literacy rate, youth male (% of males ages 15-24)
  • Literacy rate, youth total (% of people ages 15-24)
  • Ratio of young literate females to males (% ages 15-24)
  • School enrollment, tertiary, female (% gross)
  • School enrollment, tertiary, male (% gross)
  • Energy use per PPP GDP (kg of oil equivalent per constant 1995 PPP $)
  • GDP per unit of energy use (constant 1995 PPP $ per kg of oil equivalent)
  • CO2 emissions (kg per 1995 PPP $ of GDP)
  • GDP per capita, PPP (constant 1995 international $)
  • GDP, PPP (constant 1995 international $)
  • Insurance and financial services (% of commercial service exports)
  • Insurance and financial services (% of commercial service imports)
  • Ratio of commercial service exports to merchandise exports (%)
  • Multilateral debt service (% of public and publicly guaranteed debt service)
  • Public and publicly guaranteed debt service (% of exports)
  • Public and publicly guaranteed debt service (% of GNI)
  • ICRG composite risk rating (0=highest risk to 100=lowest)
  • Arms exports (constant 1990 US$)
  • Arms imports (constant 1990 US$)
  • Telephone faults (per 100 mainlines)
  • Internet users (per 1,000 people)
  • Trademarks, nonresidents
  • Trademarks, residents

The World Bank's Global Development Finance database contains more than 200 debt and financial flows indicators for over 130 countries that report public and publicly-guaranteed debt to the World Bank Debtor Reporting System. The database covers external debt stocks and flows, major economic aggregates, and key debt ratios as well as average terms of new commitments, currency composition of long-term debt, debt restructuring, and scheduled debt service projections. These data run from 1970- 2002.

The software used to deliver the World Bank data at ESDS International is Beyond 20/20 Web Data Server (WDS). It is accessibility compliant, runs on a standard web browser and is used by many governmental and inter-governmental organisations for the dissemination of aggregated time series data.

All databases within the ESDS International data portfolio are full versions of the data and are freely available to the UK FE and HE user community via Athens authentication and ESDS online registration.

Associated support materials (including comprehensive dataset user guides and a guide to accessing World Bank data using Beyond 20/20 WDS) are available from the ESDS International website at http://www.esds.ac.uk/international/support/user_guides/wb/.

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

Best regards,

ESDS International Team

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

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06 September 2004: Eurostat New Cronos release at ESDS International

ESDS International, hosted by MIMAS at the University of Manchester is pleased to announce the release of the Eurostat New Cronos database.

In order to give our users a preview of the new Beyond 20/20 Web Data Server version 7 interface, the Eurostat New Cronos has been made available on a trial basis in the ESDS International development environment and work will continue on improving the presentation of the Eurostat New Cronos.

It is hoped this release will provide a useful opportunity for our users to give us feedback on the usability of the interface and therefore contribute to the development of the new Beyond 20/20 WDS user interface prior to the upgrade taking place in the live environment - currently scheduled for November 2004.

The Eurostat New Cronos database contains high quality macroeconomic and social statistics time series data from 1960 onwards for the 25 European Union (EU) Member states and in many cases for the central European countries, Japan, the United States and the main economic partners of the EU. The data are monthly, quarterly, bi-annual or annual data, depending on the variable and country selected and are organised into nine statistical themes; General Statistics, Economy and Finance, Population and Social Conditions, Industry, Trade and Services, Agriculture and Fisheries, External Trade, Transport, Environment and Energy, Science and Technology.

The graph below uses data from the Environment and Energy theme to show the level of greenhouse gas emissions of the US and Japan compared to a selection of EU countries.

Graph showing level of greenhouse gas emissions

All databases within the ESDS International data portfolio are full versions of the data and are freely available to the UK FE and HE user community via Athens authentication and ESDS online registration.

The Eurostat New Cronos data can be accessed via the newly upgraded Beyond 20/20 WDS version 7 interface in the development environment at http://esds.mcc.ac.uk/wds_eurostat . We would appreciate any feedback you have on either the presentation of the New Cronos or on the usability of the interface itself so that we can work towards improving our service.

Note: In order to access the data you will need Internet Explorer 5.0 (version 6.0 or later recommended), Netscape 7.0 or later (version 7.1 recommended) and the browser must be Javascript enabled.

 

Associated support materials (including comprehensive dataset user guides and a Guide to accessing Eurostat New Cronos using Beyond 20/20 WDS version 7) are available from the ESDS International website at http://www.esds.ac.uk/international/support/user_guides/eurostat/

Best regards,

ESDS International Team

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

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02 September 2004: International data community doubles in under 6 months - 2,000 users now logged

Following our report in March earlier this year that service had recorded just over 1000 users, ESDS International, hosted by MIMAS at the University of Manchester is pleased to announce the service has now doubled that usage figure in less than 6 months, logging it’s 2000th unique user on 24 August 2004.

Graph: climbing usage of International Data

Users from a broad range of disciplines from 136 different institutions have been attracted to the service by the extensive data portfolio which includes a wide array of topics, from finance, trade and industry to education, employment, health, migration, social expenditure, human development and the environment.

Jointly-funded by the ESRC and the JISC, ESDS International, one of the Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS) specialist data services, hosts high quality international time series statistical databanks produced by Intergovernmental organisations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the United Nations (UN), the World Bank and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Recent additions to the portfolio include the UN Common Database, the IMF Balance of Payments Statistics and seven more OECD databases including International Migration Statistics, International Development Statistics and Social Expenditure Statistics. Further releases in the next few months will include the International Labour Organization’s Key Indicators of the Labour Market, the IMF Government Finance Statistics and the Eurostat New Cronos data.

The service is delighted at these figures which indicate a continuing demand for this type of data and the growth of an active international data community.

Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any queries about the service.

Best regards,

ESDS International Team

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

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01 September 2004: Three month notice of Beyond 20/20 WDS Upgrade

ESDS International, hosted by MIMAS at the University of Manchester are pleased to announce the upgrade to the data delivery software Beyond 20/20 Web Data Server to version 7 is scheduled to take place in November 2004.

The new Beyond 20/20 WDS interface provides the following improvements:

Redesigned User Interface
  • Updated look and feel, with intuitive menus and tab-style controls
  • Footnotes and missing values appear in pop-ups
  • Large, scrollable data area - no more paging, row and column headers are always onscreen
  • Improved drag-and-drop for positioning dimensions
  • New Actions menu holds all commands which frees up screen space for data
  • Scrollable item selection area
  • Controls for expand all, collapse all, to speed up item selection
  • Shift-click for range selection

Beyond 20/20 v. 7 interface

Improved Print Setup, Print Preview, Download

  • Print Setup separates reports into pages and adds a heading to every page. Footnotes go at the end
  • Download to SSV (semicolon-separated values) as well as CSV

Enhanced Help and Searching

  • Beyond 20/20 Default help
  • Direct links to Beyond 20/20 Dataset specific worked examples
  • Search across all tables

Beyond 20/20 WDS v.7 Help

In order to give our users the opportunity of commenting on, and contributing to the development of the new user interface prior to release, a trial version of one of our new datasets - the Eurostat New Cronos will shortly be made available in the ESDS development environment via Beyond 20/20 WDS Version 7. The release will be accompanied by a ‘guide to accessing the Eurostat New Cronos using Beyond 20/20 WDS v.7’.

It is hoped this new, more user friendly interface of Beyond 20/20 WDS will further enhance the ESDS International data service, making it easier for our users to find, select, visualise and download the international data they require.

More detailed information on the planned upgrade will follow, but if you have any comments on this announcement or any other aspect of the ESDS International data service please contact us on international@esds.ac.uk.

Best regards,

ESDS International Team
Help desk: international@esds.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)161 275 6109
Fax: +44 (0)161 275 6071


26 August 2004: Chart error message

9:40am - The chart tool should now been working correctly. The problem was caused by a missing directory which once recreated, resolved the issue. Again, apologies for any inconvenience this caused.

8:45am - We are currently experiencing a problem with the charting tool on Beyond 20/20 Web Data Server. When clicking on the View Chart option the following message is displayed:

'Chart Error: Ensure that the chart temp directory is accessible with write privileges. To return to the previous page, use your browser's 'Back' button'.

The chart problem is being investigated and will be corrected as soon as possible. The rest of the application is functioning normally and you should still be able to download data.

Apologies for any inconvenience this causes and please let us know if you experience any further difficulties with the software.

Best regards,

ESDS International Team
Help desk: international@esds.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)161 275 6109
Fax: +44 (0)161 275 6071

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21 July 2004: Problems accessing ESDS International data

We experienced a problem with the availability of Beyond 20/20 WDS on the ESDS International server yesterday which prevented access to all data except NS Time Series Databanks from 15:00 20 July until 05:00 21 July. The problem has now been resolved and will be closely monitored.

Apologies for any inconvenience this caused and please do contact us if you have any further difficulties accessing the data.

Best regards,

ESDS International Team
Help desk: international@esds.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)161 275 6109
Fax: +44 (0)161 275 6071


07 July 2004: CIA World Factbook 2004 data available to all via CommonGIS

ESDS International, hosted by MIMAS at the University of Manchester has now expanded and updated it's CommonGIS data exploration and visualisation interfaces to include People and Communication data from the CIA World Factbook 2004.

Unclassified choropleth map showing number of Internet users across Europe.

CommonGIS is an interactive web based geographical information system which provides standard GIS functionality and can be used as a tool for visualisation and exploratory analysis based on geographically referenced statistical data. It is an extension of the thematic mapping software Descartes and was developed through a European Commission funded project (ESPRIT Project nr.28983 'Information Access and Interfaces') undertaken by Team Spatial Decision Support (SPADE), the aim of which was to create an online GIS tool accessible and usable for expert and common users alike.

At ESDS International users can access a cut down teaching version of CommonGIS which has a selection of pre-loaded European country level data from the CIA World Factbook.

Note: The ESDS International CommonGIS interface to CIA World Factbook data is freely available to anyone. To access the visualisation interface users only need a Java enabled web browser.

Further details and access to CommonGIS is provided under the Visualisation interface section of the website.

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22 June 2004: Release of IMF Balance of Payments Statistics

ESDS International, hosted by MIMAS at the University of Manchester is very pleased to announce the release of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Balance of Payments Statistics.

The IMF Balance of Payments Statistics (BOPS) is a statistical statement containing over 100,000 quarterly and annual time series data for over 200 countries that summarize, for a specific period (typically a year or quarter), the economic transactions of an economy with the rest of the world. When the data are available, the annual entries generally begin in 1967 and quarterly entries begin in 1970. It covers:

  • All the goods, services, factor income and current transfers an economy receives from or provides to the rest of the world
  • Capital transfers and changes in an economy's external financial claims and liabilities

The software used by ESDS International to deliver the IMF BOPS is Beyond 20/20 Web Data Server (WDS) which is accessibility compliant, runs on a standard web browser and is used by many governmental and inter-governmental organisations for the dissemination of aggregated time series data. The databases are freely available to UK academics and researchers via Athens authentication and ESDS online registration.

The IMF BOPS will be updated monthly and can be accessed via Beyond 20/20 WDS at http://esds.mcc.ac.uk/wds_bops/

Associated support materials (including a comprehensive IMF BOPS dataset user guide and a Beyond 20/20 WDS IMF BOPS worked example) are available from the ESDS International website at www.esds.ac.uk/International/.

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

Best regards,

ESDS International team

Email: international@esds.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)161 275 6109
Fax: +44 (0)161 275 6071

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14 June 2004: Changes to ESDS International Registration

ESDS One-Stop Registration Service: Social Science week, 21-25 June 2004 will see the launch of the new Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS) one-stop registration service. This means that after registering with the ESDS, you will not only have access to ESDS International data, but to ALL ESDS data services, including the UK Data Archive (UKDA) through the one-stop Athens Single Sign On.

ESDS International Special Conditions: In order to comply with our data re-distribution license agreements a number of datasets within our portfolio will have special conditions associated to their use. The implementation of the online agreement to special conditions will coincide with the implementation of the ESDS one-stop registration system to minimize disruption to our users.

How will this affect ESDS International users?

It is anticipated that the new registration system will be implemented on Monday 14 June 2004. As a result there will be a short period of downtime which will affect users of the ESDS International data portfolio.

If you are already registered with ESDS International there is no need to register again to be entitled to all ESDS data services. However, the first time you login following implementation of the new one-stop registration system you will be re-directed to the new ESDS registration pages and given the option to enter your UKDA username and password (if you previously had one). If provided this will link up your previous UKDA order history with your ESDS account.

If you have not already done so, you will be prompted to agree to the new End User Licence and if accessing the UNCDB, OECD, IMF or World Bank data for the first time following implementation, data provider specific special conditions will be displayed for agreement. Once agreed, access in future sessions will be automatic.

Any enquiries concerning the procedure should be directed to the ESDS International helpdesk.

ESDS International Team
MIMAS, Manchester Computing
The University of Manchester
Tel: +44 (0) 161 275 6109
Helpdesk Email: international@esds.ac.uk

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07 June 2004: UN Common Database released by ESDS International

ESDS International, hosted by MIMAS at the University of Manchester is very pleased to announce the release of the United Nations Common Database.

As the largest compilation of United Nations and agency statistics, the UN Common Database (UNCDB) is a major international databank that contains hundreds of key human development indicators for over 280 countries from 1970 onwards. Topics covered include:

  • Agriculture, forestry and fishing Balance of payments
  • Communication and culture
  • Construction
  • Development assistance
  • Economically active/not economically active population
  • Education and learning
  • Energy
  • Environment
  • Financial statistics
  • Health, health services; impairment, disabilities; nutrition
  • Households and families, marital status, fertility
  • Human settlements, housing, geog. distribution of pop.
  • Income, consumption and wealth Industrial production
  • International finance
  • International tourism
  • International trade
  • Mining and quarrying
  • National accounts
  • Population composition and change
  • Prices
  • Public order and safety
  • Science and technology, intellectual property
  • Services industries
  • Social security and welfare services
  • Socio-economic groups and social mobility
  • Transport
  • Women and men

The software used by ESDS International to deliver the UNCDB is Beyond 20/20 Web Data Server (WDS) which is accessibility compliant, runs on a standard web browser and is used by many governmental and inter-governmental organisations for the dissemination of aggregated time series data. The databases are freely available to UK academics and researchers via Athens authentication and ESDS online registration.

The UNCDB can be accessed via Beyond 20/20 WDS at http://esds.mcc.ac.uk/wds_un/

Associated support materials (including a comprehensive UNCDB dataset user guide and a Beyond 20/20 WDS UNCDB worked example) are available from the ESDS International website at www.esds.ac.uk/International/.

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

Best regards,

ESDS International team

Email: international@esds.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)161 275 6109
Fax: +44 (0)161 275 6071

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03 June 2004: Athens access problem resolved

We experienced an Athens related problem when accessing the ESDS International data in the early hours of this morning. This affected access to the ESDS International CommonGIS application and all databanks within the data portfolio.

As of 9.20am this morning, the problem was corrected and access to the ESDS International data services via Athens authentication should have returned to normal. Please let us know if you have any further problems accessing the data.

We apologise for any inconvenience this caused.

Best regards,

ESDS International Team
Help desk: international@esds.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)161 275 6109
Fax: +44 (0)161 275 6071

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03 June 2004: Problems accessing ESDS International data via Athens

(8:50am) We are currently experiencing an Athens related problem when accessing the ESDS International data. This will affect access to the ESDS International CommonGIS application and all databanks within the data portfolio.

The problem is currently being investigated and a message will be posted to the website as soon as we discover the cause of the problem and the likely resolution time.

We apologise for any inconvenience this causes.

Best regards,

ESDS International Team
Help desk: international@esds.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)161 275 6109
Fax: +44 (0)161 275 6071

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01 June 2004: Announcing the new ESDS one-stop registration service and ESDS International special conditions

ESDS One-Stop Registration Service: Social Science week, 21-25 June 2004 will see the launch of the new Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS) one-stop registration service. This means that after registering with the ESDS, you will not only have access to ESDS International data, but to ALL ESDS data services, including the UK Data Archive (UKDA) through the one-stop Athens Single Sign On. The UKDA provides access to data supported by the ESDS Government, ESDS Longitudinal, ESDS Qualidata and ESDS International (micro data) data services, AHDS History and a large range of other survey data.

ESDS International Special Conditions: In order to comply with our data re-distribution license agreements a number of datasets within our portfolio will have special conditions associated to their use. Assuming successful testing, the implementation of the online agreement to special conditions will coincide with the implementation of the ESDS one-stop registration system to minimize disruption to our users.

How will this affect ESDS International users?

It is anticipated that the new registration system will be implemented on the morning of Monday 14 June 2004. As a result there will be a short period of downtime which will affect users of the ESDS International data portfolio.

If you are already registered with ESDS International there is no need to register again to be entitled to all ESDS data services. However, the first time you login following implementation of the new one-stop registration system you will be re-directed to the new ESDS registration pages and given the option to enter your UKDA username and password (if you previously had one). If provided this will link up your previous UKDA order history with your ESDS account.

If you have not already done so, you will be prompted to agree to the new End User Licence and if accessing the OECD, IMF or World Bank datasets (and the UNCDB when released) for the first time following implementation, data provider specific special conditions will be displayed for agreement. Once agreed, access in future sessions will be automatic.

Any enquiries concerning the procedure should be directed to the ESDS International helpdesk – international@esds.ac.uk.

ESDS International Team
MIMAS, Manchester Computing
The University of Manchester
Tel: +44 (0) 161 275 6109
Email: international@esds.ac.uk
Web site: http://www.esds.ac.uk/International

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17 May 2004: Release of additional OECD databanks

ESDS International, hosted by MIMAS at the University of Manchester is pleased to announce the further expansion of the ESDS International data portfolio with the release of the following OECD databases:

Published annually by the OECD's Development Assistance Committee (DAC) the International Development (Debt and Aid) Statistics provide up to date comparative statistics and information on international development.

The OECD's International Direct Investment database provides detailed annual statistics on international direct investment to and from the OECD area. Data are broken down by geographical zone and industrial sector for direct investment flows and stocks.

The OECD's annually updated International Migration Statistics contain data on foreign and immigrant populations, foreign workers, migration flows and naturalisations for OECD and other countries for a variety of periods from 1980 onwards.

The databases are freely available to UK academics and researchers via Athens authentication and ESDS online registration. The OECD data can be accessed via Beyond 20/20 Web Data Server at http://esds.mcc.ac.uk/wds_oecd/

Associated support materials (including comprehensive dataset user guides and Beyond 20/20 WDS worked examples) are available under the User Support section of the web site.

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

Best regards,

ESDS International team

Help desk: international@esds.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)161 275 6109
Fax: +44 (0)161 275 6071

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11 May 2004: Submit your 'Data Wishes' to ESDS International

A 'Data Wishes' section has been added to the web site to enable users of the service to have a say on what data becomes available via ESDS International in the future.

Simply send us an email with the name of the desired dataset, your user details, i.e. name of Institution, user type (teaching staff, support staff, UG/PG etc) and the required use of dataset (teaching, research etc). This information will be recorded and used to shape ESDS International’s future data acquisition strategy.

If you have queries or comments on the data wishes section, please contact us at the ESDS International helpdesk.

Best regards,

ESDS International Team
Help desk: international@esds.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)161 275 6109
Fax: +44 (0)161 275 6071

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10 May 2004: New format of OECD Main Economic Indicators released

The May 2004 release of the OECD Main Economic Indicators in Beyond 20/20 WDS has a new and improved format. The benefits of the new format include the addition of footnotes, better handling of missing data values and improved browsing using either subject or country groups. User support documentation has been updated and can be found at http://www.esds.ac.uk/International/support/.

If you have any comments on the new MEI database format or any other queries about the service, please contact us on international@esds.ac.uk.

Best regards,

ESDS International Team
Tel: +44 (0)161 275 6109
Fax: +44 (0)161 275 6071

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07 May 2004: ESDS International Server problem resolved

We experienced problems with the ESDS International server whilst attempting to add a Beyond 20/20 Web Data Server site. The site has now been removed which has resolved the problem.

We apologise for any inconvenience this caused and please contact us if you have any further difficulties accessing the data.

Best regards,

ESDS International Team
Help desk: international@esds.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)161 275 6109
Fax: +44 (0)161 275 6071

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07 May 2004: Problems with ESDS International Server

We are currently experiencing an intermittent problem with the ESDS International server which will affect access to the ESDS International CommonGIS application and all databanks within the data portfolio except the NS Time Series Data.

The problem is currently being investigated and a message will be posted to the website as soon as the problem is resolved.

We apologise for any inconvenience this causes.

Best regards,

ESDS International Team
Help desk: international@esds.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)161 275 6109
Fax: +44 (0)161 275 6071

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20 April 2004: New format of OECD Main Economic Indicators to be released May 2004

The existing format of the OECD Main Economic Indicators is to be replaced by a new and improved format in May 2004. A preview of the new database format using the April release of the data can be seen within the OECD MEI > New format folder at http://esds.mcc.ac.uk/wds_oecd/ . The improvements include the addition of footnotes, better handling of missing data values and improved browsing using either subject or country groups.

If you have any comments on the new MEI database format or any problems or queries, please contact us on international@esds.ac.uk.

Best regards,

ESDS International Team
Help desk: international@esds.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)161 275 6109
Fax: +44 (0)161 275 6071

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08 April 2004: NS Time Series Databank downtime notification

The National Statistics Time Series Databank will be unavailable from 8.00 - 10.00am GMT on Tuesday, 20 April 2004, due to server maintenance. We apologise for any inconvenience this causes.


29 March 2004: Release of four additional OECD databanks

ESDS International, hosted by MIMAS at the University of Manchester is pleased to announce the further expansion of the ESDS International data portfolio with the release of the following OECD databases:

The OECD Main Science and Technology Indicators contain 149 main data series selected from the OECD Scientific and Technological Indicators database for 30 OECD member countries and 8 non-member countries from 1981 onwards. The majority of these series provide information on research and experimental development resources with additional series providing measures of output and the impact of scientific and technological activities. A number of economic series are also included to calculate indicators such as growth rates at fixed prices, R&D expenditures as a percentage of GDP or industrial value added, and to convert data into a common currency using comparisons at purchasing power parities.

Data on the short-term evolution of the major components of the labour force and employment by sector are provided in over 1600 series of the OECD Quarterly Labour Force Statistics database. A set of Standardised Unemployment Rates (SUR) by gender and broad age groups and total population figures are also provided. The database has time series from 1965 covering the 23 OECD member countries that compile these data on a monthly or quarterly basis and for some series country groupings for OECD-Total, Euro area and EU15 are also available.

The OECD Measuring Globalisation Statistics database contains figures on foreign affiliates (inward investment) by investing country in the manufacturing sector covering variables such as number of enterprises, total employees, gross output, imports/exports, gross fixed capital formation and Research and Development expenditures and also presents data on inward and outward investment for services. Data for 21 countries runs from 1983 to 1999.

The OECD Social Expenditure Database covers 29 OECD member countries from 1980-99 and includes internationally comparable statistics on public and private social expenditure at programme level. The 13 Social policy areas covered include; Old age cash benefits, Disability cash benefits, Occupational injury and disease, Sickness benefits, Services for the elderly and disabled people, Survivors, Family cash benefits, Family services, Active labour market programmes, Unemployment, Health, Housing Benefits, Other contingencies.

The delivery software used by ESDS International is Beyond 20/20 Web Data Server (WDS) which is accessibility compliant, runs on a standard web browser and is used by many governmental and inter-governmental organisations for the dissemination of aggregated time series data. The databases are freely available to UK academics and researchers via Athens authentication and ESDS online registration.

The OECD data can be accessed via Beyond 20/20 WDS at http://esds.mcc.ac.uk/wds_oecd/

Associated support materials (including comprehensive dataset user guides and Beyond 20/20 WDS worked examples) are available from the ESDS International website at www.esds.ac.uk/International.

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

Best regards,

ESDS International team

Help desk: international@esds.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)161 275 6109
Fax: +44 (0)161 275 6071

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15 March 2004: ESDS builds new user community for international data: 1,000 users and rising

Press release:

ESDS International, hosted by MIMAS at the University of Manchester is pleased to announce the service has logged its 1000th unique user.

Analysis of Athens user logs show that since the official launch of the service in June 2003 just over 1000 users from 120 UK HE and FE institutions have successfully accessed the international datasets via Beyond 20/20 Web Data Server with the 1000th user login recorded on 12 March 2004.

The service is delighted at these figures which indicate there is demand for this type of data across the whole of the community and that the negotiation of UK wide academic redistribution agreements, provision of a common user interface and a simple to use Athens based registration system has removed significant barriers to use.

Jointly-funded by the ESRC and the JISC, the Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS) is a new national data service for UK HE and FE. As one of the ESDS specialist data services, ESDS International hosts international statistical databanks produced by Intergovernmental organisations such as the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations, the World Bank and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. Together these databases chart over 50 years of global social and economic change and includes topics such as the environment, human development, social expenditure, education, employment, trade, industry, demography and economic performance.

More information on the service, which is freely available to UK HE and FE, is provided at http://www.esds.ac.uk/international

Notes for Editors:
  1. MIMAS is a JISC/ESRC supported national data centre providing the UK higher education, further education and research community with networked access to key data and information resources to support teaching, learning and research across a wide range of disciplines. MIMAS is part of Manchester Computing at the University of Manchester. More at http://mimas.ac.uk.
  2. The ESRC is the UK's largest funding agency for research and postgraduate training relating to social and economic issues. More at http://www.esrc.ac.uk.
  3. JISC is an independent advisory body that works with further and higher education by providing strategic guidance, advice and opportunities to use ICT to support learning, teaching, research and administration. More at http://www.jisc.ac.uk.
  4. The Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS) is a new national data archiving and dissemination service which came into operation in January 2003. The service is a jointly-funded initiative sponsored by the ESRC and the JISC. The ESDS has been established as a distributed service, based on a collaboration between four key centres of expertise: UK Data Archive, UK Longitudinal Studies Centre, MIMAS and Cathie Marsh Centre for Census and Survey Research. More at http://www.esds.ac.uk
  5. Intergovernmental organisations (IGOs):

For more information on this release, please contact ESDS International Helpdesk on 0161 275 6109 or email international@esds.ac.uk.

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05 March 2004: Terms and conditions for ESDS International users

Following recent negotiations between the ESRC and data suppliers, the terms and conditions of the Census Registration Service End User Licence have now been revised. All registered users will have to agree to these new terms and conditions.

This will be achieved by a straightforward and automated process built into the login procedure when using any of the Census Data Support Units. The system will automatically notify you of the new terms and conditions online, once you have logged in. If you accept them, you will be able to gain access to all the CRS resources (including ESDS International), in the same manner as before. (It will not be necessary to complete the registration form again - it will be a simple 2-click procedure).

In accordance with the End User Licence, an updated document containing metadata and citation guidelines will be available on the CRS web site.

The above changes are scheduled to take place on Monday 8 March at 6pm. We would advise users not to try to access the system between 6 and 7pm.

Any enquiries concerning the procedure should be directed to the CRS helpdesk: census-registration@essex.ac.uk or telephone: 01206 872013.

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23 February 2004: ESDS International helpdesk not staffed 24 - 25 February 2004

The Association of University Teachers (AUT) is holding strike action on pay, grading and related conditions from Tuesday 24 February – Wednesday 25 February 2004. As a result the ESDS International helpdesk will not be staffed during this period.

If you do have a problem or enquiry, please leave your contact information on the helpdesk answer machine (0161 275 6109) or send your query as an email to international@esds.ac.uk and we will contact you as soon as possible upon our return.

Best regards,

ESDS International Team

MIMAS
Manchester Computing
Kilburn Building
University of Manchester
Oxford Road
Manchester M13 9PL

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10 February 2004: Access data following latest Internet Explorer (IE) security patch - issue resolved

Further to our previous message on 4 February concerning problems accessing ESDS International Athens-protected services after installing the latest Microsoft Internet Explorer security upgrade, we are pleased to announce the issue is now resolved.

It was discovered that the IE security patch caused a conflict with the Athens IIS plug-in used on ESDS International's server. The Eduserv Athens team have provided a new version of the plug-in which has been implemented and successfully tested.

Sorry for any inconvenience this caused and please let us know if you have any further problems accessing the data.

Best regards,

ESDS International Team
Help desk: international@esds.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)161 275 6109
Fax: +44 (0)161 275 6071

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0 9 February 2004: Release of World Bank databanks

ESDS International, hosted by MIMAS at the University of Manchester is pleased to announce the release of the following World Bank databases:

  • World Bank World Development Indicators 2003
  • World Bank Global Development Finance 2003

The World Bank’s World Development Indicators contain statistical data for over 570 development indicators. The extensive collection of development data includes social, economic, financial, natural resources and environmental indicators covering the period 1960 - 2002 for over 200 countries and 18 country groups.

The World Bank's Global Development Finance database contains more than 200 debt and financial flows indicators for over 130 countries that report public and publicly-guaranteed debt to the World Bank Debtor Reporting System. The database covers external debt stocks and flows, major economic aggregates, and key debt ratios as well as average terms of new commitments, currency composition of long-term debt, debt restructuring, and scheduled debt service projections. These data run from 1970- 2001.

The delivery software used by ESDS International is Beyond 20/20 Web Data Server (WDS) which is accessibility compliant, runs on a standard web browser and is used by many governmental and inter-governmental organisations for the dissemination of aggregated time series data. The databases are freely available to UK academics and researchers via Athens authentication and ESDS online registration.

The World Bank data can be accessed via Beyond 20/20 WDS at http://esds.mcc.ac.uk/wds_wb/.

Associated support materials (including comprehensive dataset user guides and Beyond 20/20 WDS worked examples) are available from the ESDS International website.

We hope you enjoy using this valuable addition to our data portfolio and please contact the ESDS International team to let us know if you have any problems finding and accessing the data or any feedback on the service.

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04 February 2004 - Problem accessing data following installation of the latest Internet Explorer (IE) security patch

A problem has been discovered with the latest security patch for Internet Explorer (KB832894, Microsoft Security Bulletin MS04-004) and access to certain Athens-protected services. This includes ESDS International’s Beyond 20/20 Web Data Server sites and CommonGIS application.

We are unsure at this stage which Operating Systems are affected, but if you do encounter the problem an error message similar to the one shown below will be displayed:

Page cannot be displayed error message

Athens have been notified of the problem and are working on a fix but as an interim solution please use Netscape to access the data or remove the Internet Explorer patch (using Control Panel > Add or remove programs).

Please let the ESDS International team if you have any further problems accessing the data.

ESDS International Team
Help desk: international@esds.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)161 275 6109
Fax: +44 (0)161 275 6071

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02 February 2004: NS Time Series Databank downtime notification

The National Statistics Time Series Databank will be unavailable from 9.00 - 11.00am GMT on Tuesday, 3 February 2004, due to emergency server maintenance work. We apologise for any inconvenience.

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08 December 2003: IMF DOTS and IFS databases now freely available from ESDS International

ESDS International, hosted by MIMAS at the University of Manchester is pleased to announce the release of the following International Monetary Fund (IMF) databases:

  • IMF Direction of Trade Statistics (DOTS) 2003
  • IMF International Financial Statistics (IFS) 2003

The Direction of Trade Statistics database covering over 180 countries, contains over 100,000 monthly, quarterly and annual time series data on the value of merchandise exports and imports between each country and all its trading partners. The period for which data are available varies from country to country, but most countries’ data extend from the 1980’s to the present.

Published monthly since 1948, International Financial Statistics is the International Monetary Fund’s principal statistical publication and is the standard source for all aspects of international and domestic finance. It reports, for most countries, time series data on exchange rates, balance of payments, international liquidity, money and banking, interest rates, prices, production, international transactions, government accounts, national accounts and population. Most annual data begin in 1948; quarterly and monthly data generally begin in 1957; most balance of payments data begin in 1970.

The delivery software used by ESDS International is Beyond 20/20 WDS which is accessibility compliant, runs on a standard web browser and is used by many governmental and intergovernmental organisations for the dissemination of aggregated time series data.

The databases are freely available to UK academics and researchers via Athens authentication and ESDS online registration. The database and associated support materials can be accessed from the ESDS International website at www.esds.ac.uk/International.

Please let us know if you have any problems or feedback on international@esds.ac.uk.

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02 December 2003: International macro databanks released to UK Academia

Press release issued by MIMAS at the University of Manchester.

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14 November 2003: NS Time Series Databank downtime notification

The National Statistics Time Series Databank will be unavailable from 8.00 - 10.00am GMT on Monday, November 17 2003, due to server maintenance. We apologise for any inconvenience.

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12 November 2003: User consultation on training courses

ESDS International, hosted by MIMAS at the University of Manchester is developing a programme of courses intended to introduce users to time series data analysis techniques and to the data portfolio provided by the service.

Following the ESDS end user consultation exercise carried out in March 2003, we would like to gather further feedback from users of social and economic data on whether the courses planned by the International data service will meet the needs of the UK Academic community.

The proposed courses will be delivered in Manchester and other UK institutions by arrangement.

If you have any feedback on the proposed courses or think your institution would be interested in hosting any of the above courses please contact us on international@esds.ac.uk

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10 November 2003: ESDS International CommonGIS pilot now available

ESDS International, hosted by MIMAS at the University of Manchester is pleased to announce the release of their CommonGIS pilot web based data exploration and visualisation interface to a set of freely available CIA World Factbook 2002 socio-economic data.

CommonGIS image showing Net migration rate figures

CommonGIS is an interactive web based geographical information system which provides standard GIS functionality and can be used as a tool for visualisation and exploratory analysis based on geographically referenced statistical data. It is an extension of the thematic mapping software Descartes and was developed through a European Commission funded project (ESPRIT Project nr.28983 'Information Access and Interfaces') undertaken by Team Spatial Decision Support (SPADE), the aim of which was to create an online GIS tool accessible and usable for expert and common users alike.

At ESDS International users can access a cut down teaching version of CommonGIS which has a selection of pre-loaded European country level data. To access the software user only need a Java enabled web browser.

A functionality guide and a worked example using Net migration rate figures have been developed to introduce users to the CommonGIS software.

Access the ESDS International CommonGIS pilot under the Access > Visualisation interface section of this site.

We hope this will prove a valuable and interesting resource for International data users. Please send us any feedback or comments on the pilot and let us know if there is any specific data you would like to see on future CommonGIS applications.

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05 November 2003: UNIDO databases now freely available from ESDS International

ESDS International, hosted by MIMAS at the University of Manchester is pleased to announce the release of the following United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) databases:

  • Industrial Statistics Database 2003 at the 3-digit level of ISIC Code, Rev. 2
  • Industrial Statistics Database 2003 at the 4-digit level of ISIC Code, Rev. 2
  • Industrial Statistics Database 2003 at the 3 and 4-digit level of ISIC Code, Rev. 3
  • Industrial Demand Supply Balance Database, 4-digit level of ISIC Code, Rev. 2 and 3

The UNIDO Industrial Statistics, presented in three annual databases covering up to 175 countries worldwide from 1963 onwards contain data on employment, wages, output, value added, gross fixed capital formation, number of female employees, number of establishments and production level broken down by industrial sector.

The two UNIDO Demand Supply databases cover up to 80 countries from 1981 onwards and contain data on domestic output, apparent consumption, imports from the world, developing countries and industrialized countries, and exports to the world, developing countries and industrialized countries.

The delivery software used by ESDS International is Beyond 20/20 WDS which is accessibility compliant, runs on a standard web browser and is used by many governmental and intergovernmental organisations for the dissemination of aggregated time series data.

The databases are freely available to UK academics and researchers via Athens authentication and ESDS online registration. The database and associated support materials can be accessed from the ESDS International website at www.esds.ac.uk/International.

Please let us know if you have any problems or feedback on international@esds.ac.uk.

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24 September 2003: European Social Survey (ESS) data available

The European Social Survey (ESS) is a biennial multi-country survey covering over 20 nations. The first round was fielded in 2002/2003. The first data release from fifteen of the participating countries can now be accessed from the ESS data web site.

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04 September 2003: Data acquisition newsflash

The UK wide academic redistribution licence for the Key Indicators of the Labour Market (KILM) database has now been signed with the International Labour Organisation (ILO). This is the first of a series of data redistribution licence agreements that will be signed with a number of International Governmental Organisations (IGOs) over the next few months thanks to additional funding provided by the ESRC.

The datasets will include the UN Common Database, the World Bank World Development Indicators and Global Development Finance databanks, the ILO Key Indicators of the Labour Market (KILM) and eight extra OECD datasets (including International Migration Statistics and Measuring Globalisation Statistics).

It is estimated that by the end of the year, ESDS International at MIMAS will have secured access to over £5 million pounds worth of data for approximately £500,000. In some instances, this is the first time that some of the IGOs have agreed to country wide data redistribution agreements for academic access to their databases.

It is hoped that the additional data will become available online during the 2003/04 academic year.

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03 September 2003: Guide to International data and resources

ESDS International has released a structured Guide to International data and resources. The guide is intended to be used as a resource discovery tool and is split into six sections:

  1. Selected Sources of freely available international data
  2. National data archives
  3. National statistics institutes
  4. International organisations
  5. Regional organisations
  6. Resources on methodology, standards and good practice in international data

We hope this will prove a valuable resource and if you do have any feedback or comments on the guide, please contact us.

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24 July 2003: OECD Forum 2003 report now available

Dr Celia Russell of ESDS International, MIMAS attended the Organisation for Economic Corporation and Development (OECD) Forum held at the Centre de Conférences International in Paris on 28-29 April 2003. A summary report of the event is now available.

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23 July 2003: NS Time Series Databank unavailable 8:00am - 10:00am

Due to emergency maintenance work to be carried out at MIMAS, the NS Time Series Databank will be unavailable from 8:00am - 10:00am on Wednesday 23rd July.

We would like to apologise for the short notice and any inconvenience this may cause you.

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23 June 2003: ESDS International online registration has been implemented

Athens authentication and ESDS online registration is now in place for access to the NS Databank and OECD Main Economic Indicators. This is the first step towards the development of the central registration service which will operate across the whole of ESDS resources.

When accessing the databanks, you will first be asked for your Athens username and password. If you have not already registered with the ESDS you will automatically be transferred to the online registration form. Following this initial registration each time you access the databanks you will only need your Athens username and password.

To obtain an Athens username, contact your local Athens administrator listed at http://auth.athensams.net/orglist.php

To access the OECD MEI, please go to: http://esds.mcc.ac.uk/wds_oecd.

To access the NS Databanks, please go to: http://mimas.ac.uk

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09 June 2003: Notification of downtime for users of the OECD Main Economic Indicators

The new Athens authentication and ESDS online registration process is due to go live on 23 June. As a result there will be a short period of downtime on our ESDS International server which may affect users of the OECD Main Economic Indicators. This will take place on the morning of 23 June and should only last a few minutes. If you do experience any problems accessing the data during this time, please wait a few minutes and then try again.

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09 June 2003: Changes to OECD MEI and NS Databank access and registration

From 23 June 2003, online ESDS registration will be required in order to access the OECD MEI and NS Databanks. Following this initial registration, each time you access the databanks you will be prompted for your Athens username and password which can be obtained from your local institution. For more information about Athens authentication, please see Athens for education.

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24 April 2003: OECD Main Economic Indicators are now available via Beyond 20/20

Beyond 20/20 does not require any plug-ins, complies with accessibility legislation and is the software used to deliver many governmental and inter-governmental datasets. Beyond 20/20 replaces the previous interface Timeweb.

 

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14 April 2003: IMF Data agreement

The University of Manchester has now signed an agreement with the IMF which will give UK academics access to the statistical databanks produced by the IMF. A press release regarding the agreement was posted on the MIMAS news site on April 14th.

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Here are some links to get started with the new service:

ESDS Home Page > ESDS International Home Page > News > ESDS International past news
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