Aging Data: The National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging

Researchers increasingly recognize the value of public-use data for secondary research, thesis development, training and education and the development of independent research grants. As cutting-edge international studies are emerging across Asia, Latin America, Europe, and increasingly Africa, the opportunities for cross-national and comparative research are growing exponentially. This is a particularly exciting time to work, due to the large number of trained research professionals working within their home countries and providing culturally grounded interpretations of results. An ongoing barrier, however, is knowing where and what kind of data are available for secondary analysis. The creation and maintenance of sustainable data archives can be challenging but it offers clear advantages for a national and international research strategy. Data that is preserved can be used by multiple researchers, testing a variety of hypotheses and increasing the return on investment to the expensive process of data collection. Having an internally managed archival system also provides greater control and autonomy in the equitable distribution of data resources. This workshop, sponsored by IAFOR and NACDA will offer hands-on examples of how to discover data resources, obtain them and then implement them as part of a research strategy. Regardless of whether or not you are a student looking for a thesis topic, an instructor looking for research material for use in classroom teaching, or an established researcher looking for new opportunities, the wealth of publicly available data has created almost unlimited opportunities to explore new themes and to collaborate with other researchers worldwide.


James McNally
University of Michigan, United States

Dr James W. McNally is the Director of the NACDA Program on Aging, a data archive containing over 1,500 studies related to health and the aging life course. He currently does methodological research on the improvement and enhancement of secondary research data and has been cited as an expert authority on data imputation. Dr McNally has directed the NACDA Program on Aging since 1998 and has seen the archive significantly increase its holdings with a growing collection of seminal studies on the aging life course, health, retirement and international aspects of aging. He has spent much of his career addressing methodological issues with a specific focus on specialised application of incomplete or deficient data and the enhancement of secondary data for research applications. Dr McNally has also worked extensively on issues related to international aging and changing perspectives on the role of family support in the later stages of the aging life course.

Kathryn Lavender
University of Michigan, United States

Kathryn joined the National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging (NACDA) team in November 2017 as project manager. She is involved with day to day operations including data deposits, restricted-use data agreements, data user requests, as well as long-term planning of NACDA activities in the research community.
Before transitioning to NACDA, Kathryn Lavender came to the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) from the University of Michigan-Dearborn as a co-op student, and accepted a full-time position after graduating with her degree in economics. She has been involved in many areas of ICPSR, from curating data across different projects and supervising curation staff to event planning with the summer internship program. As of this April, Kathryn has been an official ICPSR staff member for 10 years.

About the Presenter(s)
-Dr James W. McNally is the Director of the NACDA Program on Aging
-Kathryn is a project manager at NACDA Program on Aging

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Posted by Kid Millie