Frequently Asked Questions


Click on a question to see the answer. If you have any questions regarding this information, or cannot find what you are looking for, please email us at oduminstitute@gmail.com.

About the Institute

The Odum Institute is a research institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Originally founded as a social science institute in 1924 by renowned sociologist Howard W. Odum, the institute has expanded greatly in the last century and now acts as a campus resource for research support services. You can read more about our history here.
Our team provides a variety of services to students, faculty, and staff to assist with academic research. Services include:

  • Consultations in various research methods and data analyses
  • Shorts courses and workshops
  • Access to a digital archive
  • Multimedia production and audio transcription
  • Survey data collection
Howard W. Odum was an accomplished Jersey cow farmer who believed dairy farming was a viable, sustainable solution to the South’s economic crisis at the time. You can read more about it here.

Contacting the Institute

You can contact us either by phone or email.

    • Phone: (919) 962-3061
    • Email: oduminstitute@gmail.com
We are located on the second floor of Davis Library on UNC-Chapel Hill campus.

      • Address: 228 Davis Library
        CB #3355
        208 Raleigh Street
        Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3355


The Institute is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., except on university holidays.

Consultations

 

Quantitative analysis

      • We host walk-in hours for basic statistical consulting every day in the ResearchHub on the second floor of Davis Library. If you cannot make it to walk-in hours, email odum.lab.consultants@unc.edu.
      • For more in-depth consultations you can contact one of our full-time statistical experts, Cathy Zimmer (crzimmer@unc.edu) or Chris Wiesen (919-357-3583).
      • To find consultant specializations and determine which consultant is best suited to answering your questions, please visit the quantitative analysis page on our website. There you will also find a schedule for our ResearchHub statistical consultants.

Qualitative research

      • Our qualitative expert Paul Mihas (Paul_Mihas@unc.edu) is available by appointment for consultations on qualitative research design, data collection, and strategies for analysis. He can also provide resources or guidance for researchers conducting ethnographic, phenomenological, grounded theory, or pragmatic qualitative research.
      • Odum also provides specialized computer programs QSR NVivo, ATLAS.ti, and MAXQDA via our machines in the computer lab on the second floor of Davis Library. Training and consultations in their use, and in the use of the web application Dedoose, are also available. See our short course schedule to find dates for future trainings, and check out our qualitative research page for more information on these software packages.

Mixed methods analysis

      • Due to our expertise in both quantitative and qualitative research analysis and methods, the Odum Institute is uniquely suited to providing support and guidance for mixed methods research. Contact Paul Mihas (Paul_Mihas@unc.edu) to schedule an appointment, and visit our mixed methods page to see common consultation topics.

Survey Research

      • Our survey research expert Teresa Edwards (Teresa_Edwards@unc.edu) is available for brief consultations on various aspects of survey research, including questionnaire design, data collection modes and methods and pretesting and cognitive interviewing. Our statistical expert Chris Wiesen (919-357-3583) is also available for consultations on sampling, weighting, and estimation.
      • Walk-in consulting hours are hosted twice a week week in the Odum office (Davis Library room 229G). If you are seeking assistance with this powerful online survey tool, drop in on either:
        • Mondays (9 a.m. – 12 p.m.), or
        • Thursdays (2 p.m. – 5 p.m.)
      • If you cannot attend walk-in hours, feel free to email our consultant, Paige Ottmar, at qualtrics@unc.edu. There are also resources available on the Qualtrics page of our website.

Data Science

      • This year the Institute brought data scientist Bill Shi onto our team, and are now able to offer consultations on a variety of data science topics, including:
        • General online data collection through web scraping or public API’s
        • Database setup and uses
        • Network analysis
        • Big data analysis (incl. text analysis, recommendation systems, machine learning techniques
        • Software help (incl. general Python programming, R, Gephi)
      • For more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact Bill Shi at bill10@email.unc.edu.

Data Management

      • Our research data archive team is available for brief consultations on data management at all stages of the research data life cycle, including:
        • Data management plan reviews
        • Assistance with data archiving solutions
        • Data curation
        • Data replication strategies
      • As the host of UNC Dataverse, our archivists also offer consultations on use of this free data archiving tool. Further resources are available on our data archive page
      • For more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact assistant director of digital archives Thu-Mai Christian (thumai@email.unc.edu) or research data archivist Mandy Gooch (agooch@unc.edu)

Cyberinfrastructure

      • Our assistant director of cyberinfrastructure Jonathan Crabtree (jonathan_crabtree@unc.edu)is available for consultations on the following topics:
        • Technology solutions and infrastructure design
        • Complex data storage needs
        • Information systems auditing
      • Our systems programmer/analyst Don Sizemore (dls.email.unc.edu)is available for consultations on the following topics:
        • Linux installation and support
        • Ansible Automation script designs
        • Python data manipulations
        • R package management and installations
You can contact our consultants through email or by phone. Here is a quick list of contact information and areas of expertise for our consultants (please see the “What areas does Odum offer consultations in?” for more detailed information):
TopicConsultant

Quantitative Analysis

Cathy Zimmer
Email: cathy_zimmer@unc.edu
Chris Wiesen
Phone: (919) 357-3583

General Statistics Help

ResearchHub Statistical Consultants
Email: odum.lab.consultant@unc.edu
Walk-in hours: M-F, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Schedule and directions available here

Qualitative Research

Paul Mihas
Email: Paul_Mihas@unc.edu

Mixed Methods Analysis

Paul Mihas
Email: Paul_Mihas@unc.edu

Survey Research

Teresa Edwards
Email: Teresa_Edwards@unc.edu

Qualtrics Online Survey Tool

Paige Ottmar
Email: qualtrics@unc.edu

Data Science

Bill Shi
Email: bill10@email.unc.edu

Data Management

Thu-Mai Christian
Email: thumai@email.unc.edu
Mandy Gooch
Email: agooch@unc.edu

Cyberinfrastructure

Jonathan Crabtree
Email: jonathan_crabtree@unc.edu
Don Sizemore
Email: dls@email.unc.edu
Brief consultations in every topic listed above are available to UNC students, faculty, and staff free of charge. More extensive consulting is available on a cost-reimbursement basis – contact the appropriate consultant from the table in the “How do I contact consultants?” tab above to obtain a pricing estimate.

Statistical consulting at the ResearchHub and Qualtrics walk-in hours are always free.

Training & Education

A short course is just what it sounds like – a short standalone course on a specific topic. The duration of courses vary – some take place over a lunch break, while some occur as a series spanning three-to-five days. Short courses provide a lot of information in a very short amount of time, giving participants the opportunity to discover or delve deeper into a broad range of topics without having to commit the time, money, or energy required for a long-form course.
You can find upcoming short courses on our short course page, our calendar, or our short course catalog Google doc.
Most short courses are free for UNC students, faculty, and staff. Exceptions are courses included in our Certificate Program in Survey Methodology (CPSM), courses included in our summer program with Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), and the two annual short course series we co-sponsor, Qualitative Research Summer Intensive (QRSI) and Data Matters.

Course costs are indicated in all course descriptions posted on our website.

Our free short courses are open to all current UNC students, faculty, and staff. Short courses that require a registration fee are open to anyone.
The Qualitative Research Summer Intensive is a 5-day short course series cosponsored by the Odum Institute and ResearchTalk, Inc., which takes place at the Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill, NC, every July.

To get a better idea of the course offerings and registration pricing, please visit last year’s QRSI event page on our website.

A Certificate in Survey Methodology is a 17-hour graduate program which includes coursework in sampling, questionnaire design, data collection methods, and computing, as well as hands-on experience working as a survey specialist in a local survey data collection facility. The Program is designed for individuals currently enrolled in a graduate degree program at UNC, and for individuals who have completed a bachelor’s degree, are currently working, and may have no immediate plans to pursue a graduate degree.

For more information about this program, please visit the CPSM page on our website.

Sponsored by the National Consortium for Data Science (NCDS), the Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI), and the Odum Institute for Research in Social Science, the Data Matters: Data Science Summer Workshop Series is a week-long series of classes for researchers, data analysts, and other individuals who wish to increase their skills in data studies and integrate data science methods into their research designs. Individuals from all disciplines and industries are welcome. Both one- and two-day courses will be offered; participants are welcome to register for one, two, or three classes. Classes will run from 10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.

For more information about this series, please visit the Data Matters website.

Other Services

Odum offers video production services for a range of projects, including broader impact videos, online courses, and promotional materials. Video services can be tailored to any particular project, and can include assistance at any stage, from brainstorming and storyboarding, to filming, to the final post-production stage of editing.

We also offer audio transcription services for researchers looking to transcribe interviews or focus groups.

For more information, including pricing and examples of past work, please visit our website here or email our visual arts specialist Kasha Ely at mammone@ad.unc.edu.

If you are looking for someone to conduct your mail, Web, or mixed-mode survey, members of our survey group are available on a cost-reimbursement basis. As their time permits, our staff can develop your survey, conduct data collection, and provide a data file in your choice of format.

For more information about our data collection services or to obtain a cost estimate for your project, please email our assistant director of survey research Teresa Edwards at Teresa_Edwards@unc.edu.

We can perform network analysis, including measuring node centralities, predicting network links, clustering network nodes, statistical network modelings, etc. Besides networks, consultations on “big data” analysis are also available, including topics such as text analysis, recommendation systems, and various machine learning techniques.

For more information about our data analysis services, please email our data scientist Bill Shi at bill10@email.unc.edu.

To accommodate the varying data management needs of the research community, the Odum Institute Data Archive offers three tiers of data repository support.

For more information or to get a pricing estimate on your project, please contact either our director of digital archives Thu-Mai Christian (thumai@email.unc.edu) or our research data archivist Mandy Gooch (agooch@unc.edu)

 Self-Service
$0
Guided Service
$3,000 + per dataset fee*
Lifecycle Service
$5,000 + per dataset fee*
UNC Dataverse tool accessXXX
Data citation generationXXX
Persistent identification (DOI)XXX
Basic utilization reportingXXX
Long-term preservationXXX
Standardized metadataXXX
User supportlimitedstandarddedicated
Introductory Dataverse software trainingXX
Dataset collection arrangementXX
Metadata template developmentXX
Data Management Plan implementationX
File format normalizationX
Data file reviewX
Access policy enforcementX
Education and training program developmentX
The Odum Institute Data Archive, working with the Cyberinfrastructure Group, offers specialized services for research projects that require special provisions for data handling. These services include:

  • Data de-identification
  • Data security strategies support
  • Research impact materials development
  • Replication data verification

For more information or to get a pricing estimate on your project, please contact either our director of digital archives Thu-Mai Christian (thumai@email.unc.edu) or our research data archivist Mandy Gooch (agooch@unc.edu)

To download a PDF outlining our data curation and verification services, please click here.