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Discussion Question for subscribers of Statistical Insight

by Alesia McManus on Thu, Jul 12, 2012 at 08:27 am

The Statistical Abstract advisory board is meeting this afternoon. Here is a question for the group "For those of you who subscribe to Statistical Insight, how would you like the Stat Ab results to display?….Just as though the 2013 Stat Ab was another publication in the database, or would you want to run a Stat Insight search and view Stat Ab results in isolation from all other content?"

Discussion Questions from ProQuest advisory board meeting

by Alesia McManus on Thu, May 24, 2012 at 12:24 pm

Here are some questions via the advisory board:

How specific should the source URL be at the bottom of every table? The Census staff who had worked on the Abstract have told us that they lacked a firm policy on this issue. Do users want a specific URL for the publication that served as a source for a table? Or do users want a broader URL to a page where the actual source and related sources can be browsed?

Here are some questions via the advisory board:

How specific should the source URL be at the bottom of every table? The Census staff who had worked on the Abstract have told us that they lacked a firm policy on this issue. Do users want a specific URL for the publication that served as a source for a table? Or do users want a broader URL to a page where the actual source and related sources can be browsed?

We plan to update the XLS tables found on the Census Bureau Stat Ab site. Those tables often include hyperlinked footnotes within a spreadsheet cell. The drawback of such footnotes is that the cell is configured as a text cell rather than a numeric cell, so any user calculations on the data will be skewed. We could treat those notes as comments, but such comments are less prominent than footnotes. Thoughts?

While we believe our prices to be reasonable, the user community is accustomed to getting this content for free. How should ProQuest respond? Is there anything we can do to provide some measure of free access without undermining our revenue?

Like its predecessors, the ProQuest Stat Abstract will include 40-50 new tables on topics that have gotten “hot” in the past year. What new data would you like to see us cover?

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Discussion Meeting with ProQuest Statistical Abstract of the United States Team

by Alesia McManus on Mon, May 14, 2012 at 01:43 pm

I had a good meeting at the offices of the ProQuest Statistical Products division in Bethesda, MD.  I met with Dan Coyle, Product Manager, ProQuest Statistical Products and Bruce Samuelson, Director, Library and Marketing Services, Bernan as well as other members of the ProQuest Statistical Abstracts of the United States team.

I had a good meeting at the offices of the ProQuest Statistical Products division in Bethesda, MD.  I met with Dan Coyle, Product Manager, ProQuest Statistical Products and Bruce Samuelson, Director, Library and Marketing Services, Bernan as well as other members of the ProQuest Statistical Abstracts of the United States team.

In 2011, I created a Save the US Statistical Abstract Facebook group to try to raise awareness of the impending closure of the US Census Bureau's Statistical Compendia Branch which published the venerable Statistical Abstract of the United States.  One of the outcomes was a discussion held with ProQuest and Bernan at the 2012 American Library Association Midwinter Meeting in Dallas, TX. Subsequently, ProQuest announced that they would continue publication of the ProQuest Statistical Abstracts of the United States online and Bernan would continue to publish it in print.  I was invited to meet with team and to serve on virtual advisory board for the newly reborn product.

I wanted to share most of the information I learned today.  We did discuss pricing but this information is confidential until released by the vendors which should be soon.  The 2013 ProQuest Statistical Abstract of the United States will have the same scope, subject coverage, and tables as the 2012 edition.  Tables will be updated but no tables will be added or deleted until the following year. The print edition will be like the editions currently published by Bernan so the format will be the larger 8.5 x 11 size. There are twin goals: (1) Enhanced functionality for the online product (2) The print edition will be as close to the former Statistical Abstracts of the United States in print as we knew it.

Regarding content, the ProQuest team has met twice with former Statistical Compendia Branch staff.  They are currently working on licensing non-government content. The online version will link from the product to the source websites and the print product will have footnotes to the source data.  

They are looking for a librarian who works in a public library to serve on the advisory board so please let me know if you are interested.

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A Facebook group, Save the US Statistical Abstract, was created in 2011 to publicize the elimination of the US Census Bureau's Statistical Compendia Branch and the potential loss of the Statistical Abstract of the United States, published since 1878.  This important reference tool for finding and locating statistical information will continue to be published by ProQuest (online) and Bernan (print).  The ALA Connect community is established so non Facebook users can participate in the dialogue. 

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