News & Calendar


Graduate Student Job Opening: Statistical Consultant (Part-time) Summer 2015

The Odum Institute maintains a statistical consulting service, staffed by advanced graduate students, who are on call in the Odum Institute computer laboratories to answer routine statistical and programming questions.

We will have an opening for a part-time statistical consultant this spring. The position is for 4.5 hours per week. Any current graduate student with skills in statistics and statistical software is welcome to apply.

For more information, please contact

Odum Speaker Series: “Applications of Real-Time Data Capture for the Behavioral & Social Sciences"

Odum Fellow Speaker Series: “Applications of Real-Time Data Capture for the Behavioral and Social Sciences”

February 20: 3-4 p.m.
Davis Library Research Hub (2nd Floor)

1. Candice Odgers (Duke University, Center for Child and Family Policy)
2. Eric Hodges (UNC-CH, Biobehavioral Lab)
3. Brant Nix (UNC-CH, Biobehavioral Lab)

Event Highlights
Join us for the first presentation in our speaker series brought to you by the Odum Fellows. The speakers for this presentation are Candice Odgers, from Sanford School of Public Policy, Psychology, and Neuroscience at Duke University, and Eric Hodges and Brant Nix, from the School of Nursing and the Biobehavioral Lab at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. They will be presenting on their research and use of real-time data capture methods. A moderated panel discussion will take place following these presentations. The panelists will discuss the following:

• Impact of real-time data capture methods in social and behavioral science research,
• Opportunities, challenges, and best practices for using this type of methodology,
• Use of interdisciplinary collaborations to develop these technologies and their application

For more information about the speakers or directions to this event, please go to our event page

Part-Time Technical Support Position – Available Immediately

The UNC-Chapel Hill Office of Institutional Research and Assessment (OIRA) is looking for a part-time student assistant with excellent technical and people skills to help support the transition to a new online course evaluation system. Responsibilities include:

1. Learning the course evaluation software (Scantron’s Class Climate).
2. Serving as OIRA’s technical liaison to both the Scantron technical staff and UNC-Chapel Hill’s Information Technology Services (ITS) staff.
3. Providing technical support to OIRA staff and school/department staff who are implementing the system.
4. Helping course evaluation coordinators in the departments set up their evaluations using the software interface (e.g., creating instruments, scheduling the evaluations, uploading email messages that will be used as invitations and reminders, uploading course/instructor lists, designing reports)
5. Assisting in scanning their paper surveys.

15-20 hours a week during the spring 2015 semester, including some hours during the exam period. Work schedule is somewhat flexible, but the person in this role must be available to respond to urgent requests for assistance as issues arise in the administration of the evaluations. $25/hour

To apply, please send an e-mail message describing your interest in the job and availability, and attach a resume with references to: Garrett Hirth, Office of Institutional Research & Assessment (, 919.962.1500.

A Bridge from Publishing Words to Publishing Data

As data publishing technology and data management policies have evolved over the past decade, more academic journals are working with data repositories to disseminate the data associated with published articles. The Dataverse Project at Harvard University's Institute for Quantitative Social Science (IQSS) recently received a two year grant (2015-2017) from the Sloan Foundation, in partnership with the Odum Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, to collaborate with a variety of publishers, repositories and the international scientific community in order to integrate and automate data publication with more traditional scholarly communication, thus helping make data sharing and preservation an intrinsic and transparent part of the scholarly publication process.

This project is an expansion of a previous Sloan grant (2012-2014), which the Dataverse Project worked on with Stanford University and Simon Fraser University's Public Knowledge Project (PKP) to successfully implement automated data deposit integration (via an API using SWORDv2 protocol) between Dataverse and Open Journal Systems' (OJS) publishing platform (Dataverse plugin).

This new project will work with a wider group of journals, publishers and publishing systems (beyond OJS), including Sage, PLOS, Elsevier, F1000 Research, several economics journals (e.g., Econometrica, Review of Economics and Statistics), etc. Additionally, the focus will be on engaging more with the wider research community, including FORCE11, RDA, and FAIRport, to ensure that the data repository API is aligned with a common standard across disciplines, publishing systems and repositories. More specifically, project goals include: extending support for more metadata (beyond Dublin Core); evaluating moving from SWORD to a more generic and suitable data repository API that will allow for sharing data across a wider variety of publishing systems (beyond just journals); supporting more data review workflows; embedding dataset preview widgets into the article; along with automating data citation and bi-directional linking between articles and data.

Family History Research and Community Involvement

November 20, 2014

Today the Odum Institute released the findings of a study for which found that participation in family history research is correlated with volunteerism, civic participation, and charitable giving. The study screened members of an opt-in panel to identify those who had and had not engaged in family history research activities in the past 10 years. Respondents who were active in family history research (referred to as family history “Enthusiasts”) were significantly more likely to report doing volunteer work in the past 12 months, voting in the most recent election, holding public office, and belonging to a civic or veterans’ organization. In addition, Enthusiasts reported significantly higher levels of charitable giving and larger numbers of volunteer hours than Nonenthusiasts.

Teresa Edwards, Assistant Director for Survey Research at the Odum Institute for Research in Social Science, was the Principal Investigator for the study. “To our knowledge, this is the first study to explore the relationship between family history research and community involvement. As such, our findings are preliminary, but we found strong and broad correlation across all the activities we examined.”

All measures in the study were by self-report. The two samples from the opt-in panel were matched on demographic characteristics, and were designed to reflect the age distribution of the U.S. household population.

“While the correlation we found was quite remarkable, we can make no claims about causation,” Edwards said. “The design of this study does not allow us to say whether involvement in family history research motivated respondents to engage in their community at higher levels, or if certain types of individuals are simply more likely to engage in both types of activities. We hope a future study will shed light on this question.”

The study was commissioned by, but Odum Institute researchers independently designed and conducted the study according to best practices in the field. “We were pleased for the opportunity to partner with while still maintaining appropriate levels of academic rigor,” said Dr. Tom Carsey, Director of the Odum Institute. A copy of the report is available at

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