2005-2006 Annual Usage and Service Report

July 1, 2005 to June 30, 2006

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Data
  • Roper
  • Field
  • Student Research Conference
  • Workshops
  • Web site


Founded in 1972, the Social Science Research and Instructional Council (SSRIC) is the oldest of the disciplinary councils in the California State University system. With representatives from each of the CSU campuses, the Council is dedicated to assisting students and faculty in their learning, teaching, and research by:

  • Facilitating access to social science data and computer-related instructional and research materials
  • Promoting quantitative social science research by students via the annual SSRIC student research conference
  • Initiating and conducting training programs
  • Recommending computerized social science projects in the CSU curriculum
  • Providing a forum for sharing information about social science data and computer products
  • Advising CSU administrators on policies related to providing quantitative social science data for research and instruction
  • The SSRIC is the CSU systems’ clearinghouse for social science data, notably data from the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) and the Field and Roper polling centers. These data sources provide data to support quantitative social science teaching, research and service by students, staff and faculty, and well as sponsored programs and grant development by CSU research centers.

    All the functions described above are performed by faculty representatives as a service. Dues requested of individual campuses primarily defray data subscription costs.


    The Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) is the largest social science data repository in the world. It is the primary source of social science data for every research oriented university and nearly every other university and college in the United States. Over the past few years, data access from the ICPSR has gone online and interactive under the ICPSR Direct system. During academic 05-06, 7,872 datasets were downloaded from ICPSR by CSU students, faculty, and staff. This is an increase of 126 percent from the previous academic year. Additionally, 482,681 megabytes of data were downloaded, an increase of 429 percent from the 2004-05 academic year. The following table summarizes utilization by campus for the 2004-05 and the 2005-06 academic years.

    Usage data always requires one important proviso. A single download may be used in a class with many students, but only shows on the usage chart as a single download. Additionally, a single faculty member may download a study to be used for research by multiple faculty members.

    ICPSR maintains a series of topical archives that allow the user to analyze data using the Data Analysis System (DAS) which was written at UC Berkeley. DAS is an online program that allows individuals to access particular studies that have been set up for this program. Information is only available for the system and is not broken down by campus. There was a very substantial increase in the number of times that CSU students, faculty, and staff accessed data through the DAS online program.

    ICPSR also offers an extensive summer program in quantitative analysis. Our membership in ICPSR allows us to distributed $3,000 in travel funds to participants in the summer program to help defray their costs. The following table summarizes the number of faculty and students (primarily faculty) that were enrolled in the ICPSR’s summer program in 2005 and 2006. The number of CSU students and faculty attending in 2006 almost doubled compared to the previous year.

    Roper Center for Public Opinion

    The Roper Center provides public opinion data for the nation and the world. More than half of the Roper holdings are international. Studies go back many decades providing the opportunity to do longitudinal research. The CSU established a system wide membership in the Roper Center in October, 2004. From October, 2004 through September, 2005 the CSU was limited to 50 data sets per year and data had to be ordered through one individual. Starting in October, 2005, CSU students, faculty, and staff could download Roper data directly to their desktop through Roper Express (similar to ICPSR Direct). This resulted in a large increase in utilization of Roper data. The following table summarizes the number of data sets that were downloaded from the Roper Center archive during 2004-05 (starting in October, 2004 when we established a systemwide membership in the Roper Center) and 2005-06. During academic 05-06, 354 datasets were downloaded from the Roper Center by CSU students, faculty, and staff. This is a 622% increase from the previous academic year. The Roper Center also offers iPOLL which is a data base of survey questions which can be used for trend analysis and to select data sets for downloading. This table also reports the number of times that students, faculty, and staff used iPOLL. During academic year 05-06, students, faculty, and staff accessed iPOLL 496 times which was a 259 percent increase from 2004-05. The following table summarizes utilization by campus for the 2004-05 and the 2005-06 academic years.

    The Field Institute

    The CSU maintains a membership in the Field Institute which provides our students, faculty, and staff access to both current and past Field polls. The Field Institute is one of several state polls that provide current political opinion data for the state on issues of interest to policy makers, researchers, and students. In addition to access to these polls, our membership in The Field Institute provides faculty with the ability to place up to 18 questions per year on the Field Polls. When work demand allows, we can also place student interns at The Field Institute which has proven to be a very valuable work experience for many students. Field hosts an annual Field Workshop in San Francisco which provides information on many topics of current interest to the state.

    The CSU contracts with UC Berkeley to provide access to the data sets we receive from The Field Institute. The following table provides information on the number of times that students, faculty, or staff accessed the Field archive at Berkeley. This refers to the number of times that a person logged onto the Field archive to look for or download data for the 2004-05 and 2005-06 academic years. During academic year 2005-06, 2,862 Field data sets were accessed, an increase of 415 percent from the previous academic year.

    Student Research Conference

    The SSRIC sponsors an annual student research conference for both undergraduates and graduates where students can present their research in a supportive setting. For many students, this is their first opportunity to present their research at a professional conference. The 2006 conference was held in Northridge with 36 student presentations from 13 CSU campuses. The 2007 conference will be in East Bay. The following chart shows the number of student presentations by campus at the 2005 and 2006 conferences.

    Training Workshops

    Volunteer SSRIC representatives led ten training workshops on eight campuses during academic 05-06. The number of participants increased from 71 in 2004-05 to 92 in 2005-06. These workshops are intended to promote the use of data and teaching modules and to instruct participants in how to access these resources. Most of those attending were faculty although there were some graduate students. The table below shows campuses, dates and attendance:


    The SSRIC Web site is online at www.ssric.org. The site consolidates and expands information previously scattered on servers at the Bakersfield, Los Angeles, and Pomona campuses. The new site makes it much easier to communicate information about resources, events, and services provided to students, faculty, and staff through the Council. The site offers among other things:

  • Announcements of upcoming events
  • A contact list of Council representatives from each campus
  • Information for research oriented social science faculty throughout the CSU
  • Comprehensive information about the annual SSRIC Student Research Conference
  • Instructions for ordering ICPSR, Field, and Roper data
  • Information about the Field Fellowship and Question Credits program
  • Information about the ICPSR Summer Program
  • Curriculum materials contained in the SSRIC Teaching Resources Depository, including various modules and exercises, an SPSS primer, and an online textbook/Web site on research methods
  • Curriculum materials contained in POWERMUTT, an online text for teaching research methods in political science and cognate disciplines