In its effort to reduce expenditures while making materials more available to the public, the federal government has committed to disseminating information, data and records through the world wide web. In keeping with this mandate, the National Center for Education Statistics, a subordinate agency to the U.S. Department of Education, has posted a Data and Surveys web site. The aim of the site is to provide data from the following seven areas of study: Elementary/Secondary Surveys; Postsecondary Surveys; Longitudinal Surveys; Education Assessments; Libraries; International Comparisons; and information from the School District Data Book.
Links to each of these areas provide the reader with a synopsis of the study and a contact person from whom interested individuals may receive more information about the research. Seven of the surveys can be used with the Data Analysis System (DAS), a Windows software tool that allows access to Department of Education survey data. The DAS generates tables specified by users who 'tag' row and column variables of interest to them. The DAS is available at the following web site: http://www.pedar-das.org/htm/about.htm
This site is archival with data dating as far back as 1972 (National Longitudinal Study of the High School Class of 1972 (NLS-72)). The bulk of information on this site, however, dates from the mid-1980s forward.
This site is useful for librarians serving schools with undergraduate and graduate programs in education and for researchers whose focus is education. Those interested in research covering financial aid will also find this site useful for its coverage of the National Postsecondary Students Aid Study (NPSAS) which contains data for academic years 1986-87, 1989-90, and 1992-93. The Libraries section presents data on academic, public, school and state library agencies - this may be useful to the researcher focusing on these types of libraries and students of library and information science.
Attempts to contact this site's webmaster to determine future plans for the site were unsuccessful.
Timothy E. McMahon
Regional Library System
Date of review: 13 August, 1997