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University of Michigan

Lead institution: University of Michigan Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research

Partners: The Roper Center for Public Opinion Research at the University of Connecticut; the Howard W. Odum Institute for Research in Social Science at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; the Henry A. Murray Research Archive and the Harvard-MIT Data Center (both members of the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard University); and the Electronic and Special Media Records Service Division of the National Archives and Records Administration.

Subject: These institutions will create a partnership to identify, acquire and preserve data used in the study of social science to ensure that future generations of Americans have access to this vital digital material that will allow them to understand their nation, its social organization and its policies and politics. Surveys have done more than predict the outcomes of elections or tell us when presidents gain or lose popularity. They inform us about aging, health and health care, race relations, women's rights, employment, and family life—the full story of the social and cultural tapestry that makes up our nation. They provide the data necessary for sound, empirically based policy-making. Yet a huge quantity of this data is missing or at-risk. Examples of data that will be preserved by this project include opinion polls, voting records, large-scale surveys on family growth and income, and focused studies on effects of events such as factory closings or the need to care for aging parents. Together the partners will build a shared catalog, adopt a common standard for describing survey data and develop strategies for ensuring that the data remains available for analysis. (See: www.umich.edu/~urecord/0405/Oct04_04/04.shtml)