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DataONE welcomes its 25th Member Node: The Minnesota Population Center

Monday, December 22, 2014

We are pleased to announce that the Minnesota Population Center (MPC) joins DataONE as its 25th Member Node. MPC is initially exposing metadata from Terra Populus (TerraPop), with plans to add more data from the vast MPC corpus. TerraPop is a major project within the MPC funded by the National Science Foundation and is the second DataNet project to join the DataONE network as a Member Node, strengthening the collaborative relationships that exist across the DataNet federation. Another DataNet, SEAD: Sustainable Environment through Actionable Data, has also established a DataONE Member Node for their Virtual Archive.

In collaboration with the University of Minnesota's Institute of the Environment and University Libraries, CIESIN (Columbia University), and ICPSR (University of Michigan), the TerraPop project is creating a framework for locating, accessing, and integrating data on the world's population and environment in time and space. The TerraPop metadata exposed in the MPC Member Node is primarily census data, which combined with environmental, ecological, and other scientific data provides opportunities to foster new socio-ecological science.

More broadly, MPC disseminates integrated census and survey data from the U.S. and around the world. These resources describe the populations of more than 70 countries and are designed to be interoperable for spatiotemporal comparisons. MPC currently disseminates census microdata--data describing individuals and households--from 79 countries for the period 1960 to the present; for nine countries, census microdata from the nineteenth century are available. It disseminates integrated versions of four high-value demographic and health surveys from the United States. It also disseminates small-area summary data from the United States for places such as tracts and counties, and boundary files describing these places within the U.S. for the period 1790 to present. MPC also disseminates additional small-area summary data as well as environmental data, such as land cover, land use and climate information, for the whole globe. MPC data resources are described at www.popdata.org.

MPC disseminates 5 kinds of data: textual metadata, microdata (describing persons and households), aggregate summary data (describing places), GIS boundary files, and raster data. MPC plans to disseminate metadata and selected boundary and raster data through DataONE. For other data, users will be directed to MPC websites.

MPC policy is to keep data access as open as possible. Metadata for all of its projects is freely available. All projects require user registration to download data. For some projects registration is automatic upon agreeing to common terms and conditions. Some projects must restrict usage to approved research projects and teaching applications.

Through tools like ONEMercury, DataONE provides users with discovery and direct access to over 50,000 packages of diverse data curated by institutions across North America, Africa, and Asia. More information about MPC and other DataONE Member Nodes can be found at http://www.dataone.org/current-member-nodes

About DataONE: DataONE enables universal access to data and also facilitates researchers in fulfilling their need for data management and in providing secure and permanent access to their data. These needs are filled by offering the scientific community a suite of tools and training materials that cover all aspects of the data life-cycle; from data collection to management, analysis and publication.

About MPC: The Minnesota Population Center (MPC) is a University-wide interdisciplinary cooperative for demographic research. The MPC serves more than 80 faculty members and research scientists from eight colleges and institutes at the University of Minnesota. As a leading developer and disseminator of demographic data, it also serves a broader audience of some 60,000 demographic researchers worldwide.