SRMS Newsletter: Summer 1995

The June 1st deadline has passed for drafts of ASA papers and August is just around the corner. So get those pre-registrations in for the 1995 Joint Statistical Meetings in Orlando and come on down! SRM has arranged a very full and exciting program -- see a summary of the highlights, below.

InterCASIC 96 is coming! A call is out for monograph papers. See full information on the latest SRM international conference.

An updated version of What is a Survey? will be released in Orlando. See more details on this new SRM series.

SRMSNET is Here!
After many promises, SRM is very pleased to announce that you can now join the Section in cyberspace! Thanks to the efforts of Bob Groves and the Maryland/ Michigan/ Westat Joint Program in Survey Methodology, an important new mechanism has been created to help Section members to stay in closer touch with what is happening in survey research. Called SRMSNET, it is a recently established electronic bulletin board, that will enable survey research methodologists and practitioners to share information of mutual interest.

Hopefully, SRMSNET will become an active vehicle for communications on such topics as:

How do you sign on? Well, the level of anticipated interest, as well as the design of the list server running SRMSNET, make it necessary at the outset to limit subscribership to Section members. Any member wishing to subscribe should send an e mail message to CS178@UMAIL. UMD.EDU, with "subscribe SRMSNET-LIST username" in the body of the message. ( For example, Bob Groves would send "subscribe SRMSNET-LIST Bob Groves" to the above address.) Once subscribed, members will receive a confirmation message indicating that they are on the subscriber roster. After that, mail can be sent to the bulletin board by addressing e mail messages to SRMSNET-LIST@ UMAIL. UMD.EDU.

This is your vehicle -- we hope you will access it to post useful information and seek out input from your colleagues. Remember, we're just getting started, so there may not be very much of interest right away. But check back in from time to time -- your participation can help make SRMSNET a real success!

Orlando, Here We Come!
SRM has a great program in store for you! With 39 sessions on the agenda, we certainly can't mention them all here -- see the Preliminary Program in the May issue of Amstat News for most of the details -- but we wanted to point out a few special events:

In addition to these featured events, there will be about 20 regular contributed paper sessions covering a full range of methodological issues -- from sample design and questionnaire development, to variance estimation and measurement errors -- on a broad range of topics -- from establishment surveys to customer surveys, the decennial census to state and local area health surveys, longitudinal studies to "hard to enumerate" populations. The Section is also co-sponsoring a host of sessions containing papers of interest to SRM members -- check, in particular, the Social Statistics Section and the Government Statistics Section programs for these jointly-sponsored events.

InterCASIC 96 ... Something to Remember!
Remember the Alamo? Well, San Antonio, Texas has been selected as the site for the International Conference on Computer-Assisted Survey Information Collection (CASIC), to be held December 11-14, 1996. The conference is the sixth in a series of meetings on survey methodology, organized and co-sponsored by the Section on Survey Research Methods. Given the rapid development in CASIC methods in recent years, this conference will give researchers and practitioners an opportunity to look at past accomplishments in the automation of survey data collection and related processes and to focus on future research and development needs. CASIC is defined broadly to include not only computer-assisted interviewing (CATI and CAPI) and other data collection methods (touchtone data entry, voice recognition entry, electronic data interchange, etc.), but also the more general application of computer technology to the entire process of collection, capture, and presentation of survey data.

The Organizing Committee is now soliciting monograph papers for InterCASIC 96. As in the past, monograph papers will be presented at the conference and will be published in an edited volume which will be distributed to all attendees. To have a paper considered, send a 500-700 word abstract no later than August 1, 1995, to Dr. Mick Couper, Joint Program in Survey Methodology, 1218 LeFrak Hall, College Park, MD 20742, USA. Please include the name, address, telephone number, and work affiliation of the author(s) and identify the contact person for communicating with the Organizing Committee. (A call for contributed papers will be issued shortly.)

Suggested topics for InterCASIC 95 include the following:

For more information, contact Mick Couper by phone at (301) 405-9523; by fax at (301) 314-7912; or by e-mail at

Upcoming Conferences

IRS Methodology Report Available
Statistics of Income (SOI), Internal Revenue Service is pleased to announce the release of Statistics of Income: Turning Administrative Systems into Information Systems -- 1994. The report contains 31 selected papers on methodological changes in Statistics of Income programs,most of which were presented at the 1994 Joint Statistical Meetings in Toronto. Two special features included this year are a reprinting of a 1963 paper by W. Edwards Deming, evaluating the design of the SOI sample, and a special memorial section, dedicated to a long-time friend and colleague of SOI, Roger Herriot.

The report can be ordered free from SOI -- by phone at (202) 874-0410; by fax at (202) 874- 0922; or by e-mail at

SSC Session at JSM
Can't make up your mind which session to attend? The Survey Methods Section of the Statistical Society of Canada invites you to their invited paper session on New Surveys - New Approaches, in which David Dolson, Marie Brodeur and Jean Louis Tambay will describe three new longitudinal surveys initiated recently by Statistics Canada. Howard Hogan, of the US Bureau of the Census, will discuss their papers. The session -- to be held Monday, August 14, from 8:30-10:20 AM, in the Dolphin, Oceanic 2 -- is guaranteed to make the early Monday morning rise worthwhile!

Roger Herriot Memorial Session
A memorial session in honor of Roger Herriot will be held at the Joint Statistical Meetings on Wednesday, August 16, from 10:30 AM-12:20 PM, in the Dolphin, Salon 3. The session, entitled Overcoming the Bureaucratic Paradigm, features presentations by William Butz and Leslie Kish. Timothy Smeeding will be the discussant. The session will also be the occasion for presentation of the first annual Roger Herriot Award for Innovation in Federal Statistics. Herriot's career, both at the Census Bureau and at the National Center for Education Statistics -- where he was Associate Commissioner for Statistical Standards and Methodology at the time of his accidental death -- was often marked by his unique and creative approaches to problems in the Federal statistical system. The Award is sponsored by the Government Statistics Section, the Social Statistics Section, and the Washington Statistical Society.

People in the News
Congratulations to Nanjamma Chinnappa for her election as President of the International Association of Survey Statisticians. Chinnappa, formerly Director of the Business Survey Methods Division, Statistics Canada, just recently retired.

All the best to Fritz Scheuren, who received the Julius Shiskin Award for Economic Statistics. The award, sponsored by the Washington Statistical Society, ASA, and the National Association of Business Economists, is presented in recognition of unusually original and important contributions to the development of economic statistics and for use of economic statistics in interpreting the economy. Scheuren was cited for his contributions to statistical uses of administrative data.

What is a Survey? Gets a New Look
Fifteen years ago the Section on Survey Research Methods and ASA joined forces to produce What is a Survey? -- a pamphlet on survey methods for the general public -- by Robert Ferber, Paul Sheatley, Anthony Turner, and Joseph Waksberg. Since then, the public's exposure to and familiarity with survey techniques has grown considerably and survey methods have changed immensely. So, we decided to take another look at the brochure and see what was needed to bring it up to date.

This year, at the Joint Statistical Meetings the Section will unveil the newly revised version of What is a Survey? -- updated by Waksberg and edited and coordinated by Fritz Scheuren, under the general direction of Seymour Sudman and Bill Kalsbeek. Special appreciation also goes to all of those in the statistical community who have helped review the material.

The new version has been divided into a series of pamphlets. As with the original, the audience is the general public. The overall goal of the series is to improve survey literacy among individuals who participate in surveys or use survey results. The series is designed to promote a better understanding of what is involved in carrying out sample surveys of human populations -- especially aspects that have to be taken into account in evaluating the results of surveys.

The first three pamphlets in the series are:

All members of the Section will receive copies of What is a Survey? Two more pamphlets are also in preparation. For more information or suggestions for potential future topics in the new What is a Survey? series, contact Fritz Scheuren at George Washington University (via e-mail :

Going to Orlando?
Stop by the SRM table at Sunday evening's mixer! Come to the Section's Business Meeting -- Wednesday, August 16, at 6:00 PM in the Dolphin, Salon 4! Refreshments will be served! Join the SRM Executive Committee for an informal social after the Business Meeting!

Newsletter Deadline...
Items for publication in the Fall 1995 SRM Newsletter should be submitted no later than September 29, 1995. Send items to Wendy Alvey at Statistics of Income CP:R:S:P, PO Box 2608, Washington, DC 20013-2608; phone: (202) 874-0455; fax: (202) 874-0922; or e-mail: .

SRM Proceedings....
Hot off the presses -- the 1994 Proceedings of the Section on Survey Research Methods are now available! In keeping with a joint effort begun for 1993, the collection includes papers from both the Joint Statistical Meetings in Toronto and the 1994 meetings of the American Association of Public Opinion Researchers (AAPOR). Once again, it is published in two volumes. The 1994 Proceedings can be ordered from ASA for $55 for members and $78 for nonmembers (plus $7 shipping and tax for Virginia residents).

Also, while you are thinking about it, why not sign up to get the 1995 Proceedings now, when you register for the Joint Statistical Meetings?! Just fill in PR 11 on page 2 of your blue registration form and you can obtain the 1995 two-volume set of Survey Research Methods papers for the pre-publication price of $45.00 -- a bargain which is only available for books ordered prior to August 17, 1995....

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