Workshop of Working Group 4

On 14-15 June 2015, the Center for Economic Demography in Lund, Sweden, hosted a workshop of Working Group 4 (Extraction software for IDS, Clearing Committee and Extended IDS).

The workshop welcomed three new members of the group: Wim De Mulder from Leuven, Hilde Leikny Sommerseth from Tromsö and Chris Dibben from Edinburgh (who was unable to attend this time). A long-time member of the working group, Annika Westberg from Umeå, had to withdraw. She will be replaced in the Clearing Committee by Luciana Quaranta from Lund.

The main purpose of the workshop was to discuss strategies on how to best increase the scientific output of EHPS-Net. Extraction software, and how to make this easily available to the scientific community, plays a key role in the visibility of the network. A number of scripts have been written: a Validation program for checking the IDS structure of a database, extraction scripts for Fertility, Mortality and Occupational structure, and a Transposer program for creating an IDS database from family reconstitutions. Also, an Extended IDS package, written in STATA, for the selection and extraction of variables from an IDS database and creating episode files.

The workshop decided - following the decision of the Steering Committee meeting in Amsterdam in May - that R is going to be EHPS-Net “official” software - that all scripts are going to be rewritten in order to produce Chronicle files as defined in the Extended IDS package. A generic R-package will then be written with which the end-user can create episode files for analyses as the output. It was also decided to create a script for Marriages.

Other key decisions were to plan one workshop in Lund 19-20 September, 2015 on IDS for Population Registers and a webinar (late October) on using the Transposer program for family reconstitution data. A suggestion to Working Group 7 (Education) to plan a hands-on workshop on family reconstitution techniques was also conveyed.

The Next meeting of Working Group 4 is planned for 27th and 28th of May, 2016 in Amsterdam.