Washington and Lee University

Washington and Lee University Washington and Lee University The University Library

Data & Statistical Support Services

The University Library offers data manipulation and statistical support services to students, faculty and staff. Carol Hansen Karsch, the library's Data and Statistical Support Specialist, can provide assistance throughout the various phases of quantitative research projects.

Ms. Karsch works extensively with the Economics Department, helping students on their thesis, capstone and econometrics projects. Along with Professor Blunch, she co-authored an on-line resource, The W&L Guide to Stata, which economics students find invaluable while working on their projects. She helps Sociology students acquire data from sources such as ICPSR and helps them extract the observations pertinent to their survey analysis. Ms. Karsch welcomes the opportunity to help members of other departments as well.

In conjunction with the library's departmental liaisons, Ms. Karsch can assist members of the W&L community locate sources of data. Once a source has been identified, she can provide on-going support such as, but not limited to:
  • using documentation to verify the usefulness of data for a specific project
  • acquiring data from the internet, government agencies, databases subscribed to by the University Libraries, etc.
  • importing data into Stata, SPSS or Excel
  • converting data from one format to another, e.g., SPSS to Stata
  • merging files from various sources to create a research data file
  • manipulating file(s), such as reshaping panel data from horizontal to vertical
  • creating new variables, including dummy variables
  • recoding existing variables
  • running regressions
  • preparing tables, graphs and charts

Ms. Karsch has helped in lab settings, serving as an extra set of hands and eyes, while students learn new commands. She also presents a Stata Basics class that covers many of the commands students need during the course of their projects.

Ms. Karsch assists with the technical aspects of a quantitative project so researchers can focus on their topic and not get bogged down in software and/or programming issues. But, she won’t “do it” for students, rather she teaches them how to do it for themselves. When questions arise related to which statistical tests to employ, students are directed to discuss such matters with their professors.

Ms. Karsch can be reached at Leyburn Library in room M35, via email or by phone at extension 8980. Appointments may be made for extended conversations.

Working with Data

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