Tuesday, 13 December 2011

New ESDS searchable interface opens library of case studies

Looking for ideas for how to use ESDS data?

Every day, data from the Economic and Social Data Service are used in leading-edge research and in university courses throughout the UK and beyond. Now, a new interface makes it easy to search and browse a growing library of ESDS case studies at the click of a mouse – a benefit to researchers, teachers, and others looking for ideas and collaborators. Each case study demonstrates how the data are being used, along with links to related resources and articles.

There are currently 62 case studies in the growing library, including examples from teaching modules to published research to ideas for future research in key areas. Users can browse the library using a variety of filters – for example topic, data type, and course type and level.  In this way, researchers can quickly find case studies of published research that uses longitudinal datasets to study health-related issues. Similarly, university teachers can find examples of how qualitative data are used to teach statistical methods to undergraduate students. There’s also a search function that allows users to find case studies by keyword, author, date, or any other criteria. 

The searchable interface is a pioneering project powered by Simile Exhibit, an open source application using semantic web technology. The interface includes a link to encourage users to share their feedback; comments will be used to improve both the case study interface and the application.

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