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Updated 4:00 PM January 24, 2007
 

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  Research
New resource streamlines access to data on minority issues

A new online Minority Data Resource Center at the Institute for Social Research (ISR) provides easy analysis of a wide range of topics related to racial and ethnic minority populations in the United States.

Topics range from comparative data on crime, education, health and political opinions to how emergency waiting room times, rates of capital punishment and substance use vary by race and ethnic origin.

According to historian Myron Gutmann, director of the ISR Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), the new center is designed to be a resource for teachers as well as researchers.

"Our holdings and the way we provide access to them usually favor sophisticated users," says sociologist Felicia LeClere, who developed the new archive in collaboration with a team of ICPSR staff. "This is a more user-friendly gateway that includes new tools to help with online analysis. We also feature findings and data sets on a rotating basis to encourage users to go into the site."

One of the recent featured findings used a simple bar chart to show emergency room waiting time for different ethnic groups. (See graphic.)

The graph illustrates racial and ethnic differences in the mean waiting times to see attending physicians in U.S. emergency rooms in 2004. Blacks wait on average 254 minutes, or four and one-fourth hours, to see a physician once they register at the admitting desk. This is longer than any other racial group listed by between a half hour and two and a half hours. The data for this graph come from the 2004 National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NHAMCS).

Access to the new online archive is available at www.icpsr.umich.edu/MDRC to anyone affiliated with hundreds of member universities or institutions. (See www.icpsr.umich.edu/membership/ors.html for a list of members.)

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