Survey Research Methods Webinars

The Survey Research Laboratory is offering six intermediate webinars on survey research methodology during the Spring 2015 semester. The webinars are free to University faculty, staff and students. A basic knowledge of survey research is recommended. All webinars begin at 12:00 p.m.

Pre registration is required. Register at

You will receive a reminder about the webinar shortly before the date. Webinar notes will be available at the following link shortly before the webinar:

The six featured webinars are:

Cognitive Pretesting of Questionnaires (February 11 at 12pm)
This webinar will provide an overview of methods used to pretest questionnaires that are based on a cognitive model of the process by which respondents answer survey questions. These methods include think-aloud and more structured cognitive interviews and behavior coding.

Sampling Hard-to-Reach Populations (February 18 at 12pm)
This seminar will provide an overview of available strategies for the survey sampling of hard-to-reach populations. Topics to be discussed include types of populations, probabilistic and non-probabilistic sampling techniques, and sample frame development and availability.

Nonresponse Bias Assessment (February 25 at 12pm)
This webinar will provide an overview of survey nonresponse. Specific topics covered will include the calculation and reporting of survey response rates, the definition and consequences of non-response bias, some commonly used strategies for assessing the degree of non-response bias, and a summary of correlates of survey non-response.

Ethics in Survey Research (March 4 at 12pm)
This workshop will provide an overview of ethical considerations in the conduct of survey research. Some of the topics to be discussed include informed consent, confidentiality, interviewer training & oversight, and secondary research subjects. Students, faculty and staff on the Urbana/Champaign and Chicago campuses may be able to receive IRB continuing education credit for taking this webinar.

Questionnaire Design Clinic (March 11 at 12pm)
This webinar is questionnaire design by example. Participants are encouraged to submit questions or questionnaires to be used to highlight principles of questionnaire construction. After registering, submit questions or questionnaires by March 4 to Allyson Holbrook at If you do not have a questionnaire to submit for review, your attendance is still welcome. Depending on the number of questionnaires received, not all of those received may be used as examples in the workshop.

Agree-Disagree Response Formats: Problems and Alternatives (March 18 at 12pm)
This webinar will cover issues related to the use of agree-disagree questions in which survey respondents are asked if or how much they agree or disagree with a statement. Specifically, the webinar will discuss possible reasons why agree-disagree questions are often used, ways in which these questions negatively affect the quality of the survey data collected and possible alternatives to such items.

Digital Humanities Symposium 2015: Explorations of Technology in Humanities Research

The University Library’s Scholarly Commons and the Institute of Computing in the Humanities, Arts, and Social Science (I-CHASS) are pleased to announce the 2015 Digital Humanities Symposium on February 27-28, 2015.

Hands-on workshops will be held on the evening of February 27th at the Main Library (Room 308), and will feature leading digital humanities practitioners from UIUC teaching on topics such as text analysis, geographical information systems, and data visualization.  This will be followed by a day-long research symposium featuring leading researchers in digital humanities presenting on current digital research and methodologies on February 28th at Lincoln Hall.

Learn about digital humanities tools and research methods from UIUC faculty and experts, and join us in building a research community for digital humanities practitioners at Illinois. Featured keynote speaker will be Jennifer Guiliano, assistant professor of history at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

Registration is FREE at:

For more information, visit

Digital humanities workshop exploring Emblematica Online

Our next Explorations in Digital Humanities workshop focuses on new developments with Emblematica Online.

Thursday, November 20, 2014
4:00 – 5:00 PM
308 Library

Presentations will provide a brief history and description of the project, its model of undergraduate research, and demonstrate sample searches within the OpenEmblem Portal and across international projects which employ Iconclass metadata indexing.

Presenters for this workshop include:
Mara R. Wade, PI
Co-presenters: Johannes Fröhlich, RA; Patricia Fleming, Heidi Heim, Melina Nunez, Undergraduate Emblem Scholars

Emblematica Online currently makes 1,388 digital facsimiles and ~22,000 individual emblems from rare Renaissance books at the University of Illinois Library and the Herzog August Bibliothek, Glasgow University, Utrecht University, Getty Research Institute Library, and Duke University Library, available for searching and browsing at various levels of granularity.

Emblematica Online is funded by National Endowment for the Humanities.

Help Obtaining Data is Available from the Library

This fall marks the fifth annual Data Purchase Program, where the University Library accepts applications from campus researchers for purchasing data that will be useful to them in their research.  The data must under $5,000, must be used for teaching or research, and it must be available to all of campus.  Some vendors are only willing to sell access for one person, but often we can negotiate campus access.

The library has purchased a large variety of data: from tax assessor’s data for the Chicago area to satellite imagery of a river in Argentina and the locations of villages in the state of Himachal Pradesh, India.  A full list of purchased data is on the program description page at

The deadline for first consideration is September 29, but the Data Services Committee will consider applications that come in later as long as we have funds available and can complete the purchase by the end of the fiscal year.

If you are interested in applying for the Data Purchase Program, the online application is at  If you have questions about the program or need help identifying data for your research, please contact Karen Hogenboom, Numeric and Spatial Data Librarian, at  We look forward to connecting you with the data you need!

Scholar Library, a new Google citation management service

Google recently deployed a citation management tool called Scholar Library that integrates with Google Scholar. Scholar is a web search engine that indexes the full text of scholarly literature of most peer-reviewed online journals of Europe and America’s largest scholarly publishers, plus scholarly books and other non-peer reviewed journals.

The new Library feature allows you to save articles directly from the Scholar search page, organize them by topic, and search your collection. If you have set up a public Scholar profile, you’ll be able to import references to all the articles you’ve written, plus all the sources you’ve cited in those articles.

Now that Scholar Library is active, each Scholar search result is equipped with an option labeled “Save” that will save the result to your Google account’s library. Access your account’s library by clicking the “My Library” option found in the left margin of the Scholar interface. See the circled examples of “Save” and the rectangular example of “My Library” in the image below.

There are also several other citation managers that you can use to organize your workflow – Mendeley, RefWorks, EndNote, and Zotero to name a few.

Digital image manipulation and scientific publishing

There is a growing trend among scientific journals to develop policies concerning the manipulation of digital images for publication.  Where editorial policies have tended to address issues of human subjects and quality, accessibility and preservation of digital images, more and more emphasis is being placed on addressing the ethical concerns of manipulation.

While policy details vary slightly among journals, there is a consensus that the final image must remain consistent with the original data.  Unacceptable manipulations generally include adding to, altering, moving or removing a specific feature of an image.  Acceptable manipulations generally include adjustments of contrast, brightness, or color that must be applied to an entire image equally.  Often, where figures are assembled from multiple images or non-concurrent portions of the same image, these separate parts must be indicated.  In many cases, authors will be asked to list all the tools used for image acquisition and processing, and to document key image-gathering settings and manipulation processes if any.  Overall, the general rule of thumb is that the final image for publication must correctly represent the original data and conform to community standards.

For an example of illegitimate digital image manipulation, see Mike Rossner’s analysis of a paper published on stem cell research that appeared in Science in 2005.

The following resources about digital image manipulation and scientific publishing provide further information.

Journal policies


Illinois Program for the Research in the Humanities Fall 2013 events

The Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities has released its Fall 2013 calendar of events (see below). Each semester the IPRH organizes lectures, symposia, and other events that are free and open to the public, and designed to stimulate conversations and scholarship on a wide variety of humanistic topics.

The IPRH provides support for individual scholars at the University of Illinois through their Faculty and Graduate Student Fellowships. Additional support is provided for faculty-driven, interdisciplinary public programs via the Event Grants Program, which awards funds that enable faculty teams to organize public events that will be of interest to the broader scholarly community at Illinois and beyond. All are encouraged to participate with the IPRH through their public events, funding opportunities, and other avenues of engagement, including their mailing list which disseminates announcements throughout the year.

IPRH Fall 2013 Calendar of Events and Deadlines

4 IPRH FALL Reception
7:00-9:00 p.m., IPRH, Humanities Lecture Hall
9 Scalar/Digital Scholarship Brownbag Information Session
Noon, venue TBD
Kevin Hamilton (Art + Design and IPRH Coordinator of Digital Scholarly Communication)
10 Scalar/Digital Scholarship Brownbag Information Session
Noon, venue TBD
Kevin Hamilton (Art + Design and IPRH Coordinator of Digital Scholarly Communication)
11 Lecture: Andreas Huyssen (Villard Professor of Germanic and Comparative Literature, Columbia University)
“The Metropolitan Miniature as Medium of Modernity”
7:30 p.m., Knight Auditorium, Spurlock Museum
Co-Sponsored by IPRH and the Spurlock Museum
18 Symposium: A New Deal for the Humanities: The Future of the Liberal Arts in the Public University
Hosted by the Trowbridge Office on American Literature, with co-sponsorship from IPRH. Organized by Gordon Hutner and Feisal Mohamed (English)
All-day symposium, Illini Union, Pine Lounge
19 Scalar/Digital Scholarship Brownbag Information Session
Noon, venue TBA
Kevin Hamilton (Art + Design and IPRH Coordinator of Digital Scholarly Communication)
26 Fourth Annual IPRH Distinguished Lecture in the Humanities: Kristin Hoganson (History)
“Colonialism, Postcolonialism, Pork and Corn: How Anglo-Saxonist Pigs Can Help Us Reconsider the Roots of the Modern American Empire”
4:00 p.m., Levis Faculty Center, Third Floor
Moderator: Leslie Reagan
A reception will follow the lecture
30 IPRH Event Grants Program submission deadline, 5:00 p.m.
2 Scalar/Digital Scholarship Brownbag Information Session
Noon, venue TBD
Kevin Hamilton (Art + Design and IPRH Coordinator of Digital Scholarly Communication)
7 Lecture: Dan Whaley (Founder of and Director of Sauce Labs and Getaround)
4:30 p.m., Location TBD
17 Body/Bodies Lecture Series: Toby Beauchamp (Gender and Women’s Studies, Oklahoma State University)
4 p.m., Knight Auditorium, Spurlock Museum
Series co-organized and sponsored by IPRH and the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies, with co-sponsorship by the Spurlock Museum.
A reception will follow the lecture.
21 SCALAR Workshop
9 a.m. to 12 noon
Venue TBD
Presenters: Tara McPherson (Gender and Critical Studies, University of Southern California, School of Cinematic Arts), Kevin Hamilton (IPRH, Art + Design, UI)
21 Inside Scoop Series: Cultural Dimensions of Media, A Conversation with Tara McPherson (Gender and Critical Studies, University of Southern California, School of Cinematic Arts)
5:00 p.m., Intersections Living Learning Community, Saundis Lounge, 131 PAR
22 Lecture: Tara McPherson (Gender and Critical Studies, University of Southern California, School of Cinematic Arts)
4:30 p.m. 1092 Lincoln hall
28 Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellowships in the Humanities application deadline (External competition)
5 Performance: Deke Weaver (Art + Design, UI), with Holly Hughes (Theatre and Drama, Art & Design, U. Michigan)
Time and venue: TBD, Chicago Humanities Festival
Co-sponsored by IPRH and the Chicago Humanities Festival
For program details and ticket information, visit the Chicago Humanities Festival website (
7 Body/Bodies Lecture Series: Dorothy Roberts (George A. Weiss University Professor of Law Sociology and the Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Professor of Civil Rights, University of Pennsylvania)
4:30 p.m., Knight Auditorium, Spurlock Museum
Series co-organized and sponsored by IPRH and the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies, with co-sponsorship by the Spurlock Museum.
A reception will follow the lecture.
14 Medical Humanities Series Lecture: Ron Schleifer (George Lynn Cross Research Professor of English and Adjunct Professor in the College of Medicine, University of Oklahoma)
7:30 p.m., Knight Auditorium, Spurlock Museum
Co-Sponsored by IPRH and the Beckmann Institute for Advanced Science and Technology
A reception will follow the lecture.
6 IPRH Faculty and Graduate Student Fellowship application deadline

MapLab, new Wired magazine blog about maps

Maplab screenshot

The popular technology & culture magazine Wired recently launched a new blog entitled MapLab to feature resources and ideas about maps.  MapLab’s scope includes learning about, using, making, and enjoying both analog and digital maps.

As staff commented in the initial post:

We’ll be exploring mapping software, hunting for data, and figuring out, step-by-step, how to make digital maps. We hope to make maps that tell interesting stories, answer important questions, reveal hidden relationships, and enhance the reporting we do at Wired.

Early posts have featured:

  • The Urban Observatory, a web application that provides geo-spatial comparisons between cities over multiple variables, including demographics, land use, and transportation.
  • A recent California Supreme Court ruling that local governments must release digital mapping files under the state’s public records law.
  • MapBox Satellite Live, a future service of that plans to provide immediate access to near real-time satellite imagery of anywhere in the world, in a standard format.
  • Maps and the Geospatial Revolution, a new MOOC (massive open online course) about digital mapping.

The blog is authored in part by GIS professionals and encourages feedback from readers.