Our Reports


Managing University Research Microdata Collections by Lynn Woolfrey and Jane Fry

This article examines the management of microdata collections in a university context. It is a cross-country analysis: Collection management at data services in Canada and South Africa are considered. The case studies are of two university sub-contexts: One collection is located in a library; the other at a Faculty-based Data Service. Stages in the management of microdata collections in the two settings are presented through a Microdata Service Model. The case studies inform best practices in the handling of the microdata life-cycle. Best practices require relevant expertise, and the authors also attempt to define relevant skills-sets for microdata collection managers.

UCT Research Data Management Policy Project: Report by Lynn Woolfrey

The University of Cape Town Research Committee (URC) initiated the process of institution-wide data curation planning at the University of Cape Town (UCT). This arose from URC meeting discussions concerning research support at UCT. The URC wanted to follow international best practice and develop policy to archive and manage the data collected by UCT researchers in the process of their research. Creation and implementation of Research Data Management (RDM) policies at universities has become a prerequisite for research integrity and research efficiency at these institutions.

 

South African Labour Market Microdata Scoping Study by Lynn Woolfrey

This study investigates sources of data available for analysis of the South African labour market. It is a data discovery exercise to determine what data is available for policy research and to assist policy analysts to locate data sources relevant to their research needs. Therefore information is also provided on the means of accessing this data. Most of the microdata identified here is in the public domain, although some data sources are for research use only. The project elicits data sources from 1993 to February 2013.

 

Criticisms of the Adcorp Employment Index by Martin Wittenberg and Andrew Kerr (2012a)

In November 2011 we wrote to Business Day expressing concerns about the claims made by Adcorp in the Adcorp Employment Index (AEI) and the lack of transparency of the methods used in the AEI. Unfortunately the methods used in the AEI have still not been set out transparently on the AEI website. Instead our understanding of it comes from a series of emails sent by Loane Sharp of Adcorp to the authors setting out the methodology behind the Index. In this paper we set out several criticisms of the methodology used in the Adcorp Employment Index and respond to some of the criticisms Adcorp has made about the Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) employment estimates.

 

Science and nonsense: Further criticisms of Adcorp by Martin Wittenberg and Andrew Kerr (2012b)

In this paper we deal with some of the criticisms levelled at us and DataFirst. We also produce some new and more detailed critiques of the Adcorp methods (as we understand them). In particular we show that the Adcorp Employment Index has to be less accurate than the Statistics South Africa employment series for the simple reason that Adcorp actually tries to mimic that series. This runs counter to the many grandiose claims that Adcorp makes for it. The combination of zero detail on what Adcorp does, wildly in‡flated claims about the power and reputability of the techniques and the neglect of statistical measures of accuracy are all hallmarks of non-science.

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