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Our Impact

In 2021, the Odum Institute staff provided 2750+ consultations to 860+ UNC students, faculty, staff and external clients. Our short courses attracted 1750+ attendees from across the state, country and world. Staff were awarded $807,000 in new grant funding, and continued work on a variety of ongoing grant-funded projects, with a total budget of $2.5 million.

To find out more about what we’ve been up to, check out our 2021 Annual Report.


Use the accordion below to learn more about our new and ongoing projects:

This is the home for Odum-developed, Open Sourced software projects:
Scientific progress today requires multi-institutional and cross-disciplinary sharing and analysis of data. Many disciplines, such as social and health-related sciences, face a web of policies and technological constraints on data due to privacy concern over, for example, Personal Health Information (PHI) or Personally Identifiable Information (PII). Issues of privacy, safety, competition, and ownership have led to regulations controlling data location, availability, movement, and access.

Compliance poses obstacles to traditional data-processing practices and slows research; yet, increasingly, pressing scientific and societal problems demand collaborative efforts involving data from multiple stakeholders.

Project ImPACT (Infrastructure for Privacy-Assured CompuTations) will free researchers to focus more fully on science by supporting the analysis of multi-institutional data while satisfying relevant regulations and interests.

This project is funded by the National Science Foundation.

Given current constraints and the need for iterative review, data curation and successful verification of a replication package for a single manuscript requires six hours of labor on average.With CoRe2 (Confirmable Reproducible Research Environment), we hope to make the process more efficient and effective, so researchers can spend more time doing science.

This project is funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

The emergence of massive data collections (i.e. “Big Data”) has ushered a paradigm shift in the way scientific research is conducted and new knowledge is discovered. Traditional observe-hypothesis-test model of small-scale scientific endeavor is increasingly augmented and, in some cases, supplanted with collaborative scientific research applying complex patterns of data integration and analysis involving multi-disciplinary teams from distributed organizations brought together to solve a common problem.

Emerging cyber-infrastructure solutions necessitate addressing the needs of domain scientists from multiple angles, including data access, metadata management, large-scale analytics and workflows, data and application discovery and sharing, and data preservation.

The aim of the CyberCarpentry workshop is to make it easier for participants to learn all aspects of the data-intensive computing environment, and more importantly, to work together with other researchers with complementary expertise: domain scientists with computer and information scientists.

This program is funded by the National Science Foundation.

The Global Dataverse Community Consortium (GDCC) is dedicated to providing international organization to existing Dataverse community efforts and will provide a collaborative venue for institutions to leverage economies of scale in support of Dataverse repositories around the world.

International collaboration to promote the replicability of research findings and the sharing of research data has never been more important. For decades, IFDO – the International Federation of Data Organizations – has been at the center of these conversations in the social science community.

IFDO was founded in the mid 1970’s in response to evolving research needs of the international social science community. The founders felt it would be beneficial to coordinate worldwide data services and thus enhance social science research. Through the foresight and planning of the late Stein Rokkan, IFDO became a reality in November 1977.

In the decades that followed, IFDO was led by Ekkehard Mochmann, who retired as president in 2009. IFDO maintains associate memberships in the International Science Council of UNESCO and participates regularly in the International Science Information Services and Technology (IASSIST). IFDO’s membership spans the globe, and it currently has 35 social science archives on its roster. Jonathan Crabtree is currently serving as president.

We are leading a Social Sciences & Humanities Research Data (SSHRD) Interest Group under the auspices of the Research Data Alliance (RDA), to foster diverse professional exchange on issues particular to data originating from the social sciences and humanities.

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Data cover many disciplines, appear in many data types, deal with multiple objects and levels, and are very distributed – coming from various sources. It could be described as a patchwork quilt, lacking a grand design or focus. On the other hand, it is a way to cover the whole spectrum, to be flexible in collecting data.

There is a huge potential reuse of SSHRD – for researchers, but also for professionals outside universities, for companies, governments, and for citizens.

National and international funders are increasingly mandating open data and data management policies that call for the long-term storage and accessibility of data. If we want to be able to share data, we need to store them in a trustworthy data repository. Odum’s participation in the CoreTrustSeal facilitates the certification of repositories around the world increasing trust, quality, and access to valuable research inputs that our community requires.

The Odum Institute Data Archive has partnered with the American Journal of Political Science and State Politics & Policy Quarterly to implement and enforce their data policies, which require authors to submit their data and code to a designated repository for independent verification of computational reproducibility of reported findings prior to final article acceptance and publication.

The Odum Institute Data Archive is a founding member of the Curating for Reproducibility (CURE) Consortium, which is sponsored in part by the Institution of Museum and Library Services. CURE supports curation of research data and review of code and associated digital scholarly objects for the purpose of facilitating the digital preservation of the evidence base necessary for future understanding, evaluation, and reproducibility of scientific claims.

With generous support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, this project sought to identify the most effective and efficient methods for implementing journal-based data policies that incorporate review and verification.

The Odum Institute Data Archive is home to one of the largest catalogs of social science research data in the U.S. that includes the Harris Polls, North Carolina Vital Statistics, and the most complete collection of 1970s U.S. Census data. We actively seek donations of data that complement the scope of our collection, in particular those datasets that focus on topics related to the Southern region of the United States and state-level public opinion polls. The Data Archive also prioritizes data considered to be at risk of being lost.


Listed below are some of the publications members of our staff have produced over the last 5 years.

Books & Book Chapters:

BenDor, Todd K. and Jürgen Scheffran. 2019. Agent-Based Modeling of Environmental Conflict and Cooperation. Boca
Raton, FL: CRC Press.

Mihas, P. (2019). Qualitative data analysis. In G. Noblit (Ed.). Oxford Encyclopedia of Qualitative Research Methods in Education. Forthcoming.

Mihas, P. (2019). Qualitative data analysis. In G. Burkholder, K. Cox, L. Crawford, and J. Hitchcock (Eds.). Research Design and Methods: An Applied Guide for the Scholar-Practitioners (Ch. 8). SAGE. Forthcoming.

Ahalt, S., Aikat, J., Bedard, D., Burchinal, M., Carsey, T., Christian, T., Crabtree, J. … Whitton, M. (2016). VISR: The 3 virtual institute for social research. In P. Bantin (Ed.), Building trustworthy digital repositories: Theory and implementation (pp. 292–306). London, UK: Rowman & Littlefield.


Adynski, H., Zimmer, C., Thorp, J., & Santos, H. P. (2019). Predictors of psychological distress in low-income mothers over the first postpartum year. Research in Nursing & Health, 42(3), 205–216.

Frerichs, L., Smith, N. R., Lich, K. H., BenDor, T. K., & Evenson, K. R. (2019). A scoping review of simulation modeling in built environment and physical activity research: Current status, gaps, and future directions for improving translation. Health & Place, 57, 122–130.

Shi, F., Teplitskiy, M., Duede, E., & Evans, J. A. (2019). The wisdom of polarized crowds. Nature Human Behaviour, 3(4), 329–336.

Sterling, E. J., Zellner, M., Jenni, K. E., Leong, K., Glynn, P. D., BenDor, T. K., Bommel, P., Hubacek, K., Jetter, A. J., Jordan, R., Olabisi, L. S., Paolisso, M., & Gray, S. (2019). Try, try again: Lessons learned from success and failure in participatory modeling. Elem Sci Anth, 7(1), 9.

Whittemore, A. H., & BenDor, T. K. (2019). Reassessing NIMBY: The demographics, politics, and geography of opposition to high-density residential infill. Journal of Urban Affairs, 41(4), 423–442.

Agala, C. B., Thomas, J. C., Fried, B. J., Lich, K. H., Morrissey, J., Zimmer, C., Whetten, K., & Reynolds, H. W. (2018). Organizational network strengthening effects on antiretroviral therapy initiation and adherence. Translational Behavioral Medicine, 8(4), 585–597.

BenDor, T., Shandas, V., Miles, B., Belt, K., & Olander, L. (2018). Ecosystem Services and U.S. Stormwater Planning: An Approach for Improving Urban Stormwater Decisions. Environmental Science and Policy, 88, 92–103.

Christian, T.-M. L., Lafferty-Hess, S., Jacoby, W. G., & Carsey, T. (2018). Operationalizing the Replication Standard. International Journal of Digital Curation, 13(1), 114–124.

Curiel, J. A., Sanders, A. E., Christian, T.-M. L., Lafferty-Hess, S., Carsey, T. M., Lampiris, L. N., & Slade, G. D. (2018). Fluoridation advocacy in referenda where media coverage is balanced yet biased. The Journal of the American Dental Association, 149(4), 273-280.e3.

Gray, S., Voinov, A., Paolisso, M., Jordan, R., Bendor, T., Bommel, P., Glynn, P., Hedelin, B., Hubacek, K., Introne, J., Kolagani, N., Laursen, B., Prell, C., Olabisi, L. S., Singer, A., Sterling, E., & Zellner, M. (2018). Purpose, processes, partnerships, and products: Four Ps to advance participatory socio-environmental modeling: Four. Ecological Applications, 28(1), 46–61.

Heroy, Samuel., Taylor, Dane., Shi, F. Bill., Forest, M. Gregory., & Mucha, P. J. (2018). Rigid Graph Compression: Motif-Based Rigidity Analysis for Disordered Fiber Networks. Multiscale Modeling & Simulation, 16(3), 1283–1304.

Jordan, R., Gray, S., Zellner, M., Glynn, P. D., Voinov, A., Hedelin, B., Sterling, E. J., Leong, K., Olabisi, L. S., Hubacek, K., Bommel, P., BenDor, T. K., Jetter, A. J., Laursen, B., Singer, A., Giabbanelli, P. J., Kolagani, N., Carrera, L. B., Jenni, K., & Prell, C. (2018). Twelve questions for the participatory modeling community. Earth’s Future, 6(8), 10461057.

Voinov, A., Jenni, K., Gray, S., Kolagani, N., Glynn, P. D., Bommel, P., Prell, C., Zellner, M., Paolisso, M., Jordan, R., Sterling, E., Olabisi, L. S., Giabbanelli, P. J., Sun, Z., Page, C. L., Elsawah, S., BenDor, T. K., Hubacek, K., Laursen, B. K., … Smajgl, A. (2018). Tools and methods in participatory modeling: Selecting the right tool for the job. Environmental Modelling and Software, 109, 232–255.

Whittemore, A. H., & BenDor, T. K. (2018a). Exploring the Acceptability of Densification: How Positive Framing and Source Credibility Can Change Attitudes: Urban Affairs Review.

Whittemore, A. H., & BenDor, T. K. (2018b). Rhetorical Framing in Planning: An Empirical Investigation of How Planners Discuss Density. Journal of Planning Education and Research, 0739456X18774824.

Woodruff, S., BenDor, T. K., & Strong, A. L. (2018). Fighting the inevitable: Infrastructure investment and coastal community adaptation to sea level rise. System Dynamics Review, 34(1–2), 48–77.

BenDor, T. K., Moody, A., Welsh, M. E., & Vitro, K. A. (2017). Ecological Theory Explains Why Diverse Island Economies Are More Stable by Kristen A. Vitro, Miranda E. Welsh, Todd K. BenDor and Aaron Moody. Retrieved January 17, 2020, from

BenDor, T. K., Spurlock, D., Woodruff, S. C., & Olander, L. (2017). A research agenda for ecosystem services in American environmental and land use planning. Cities, 60, 260–271.

Galik, C., BenDor, T., DeMeester, J., & Wolfe, D. (2017). Improving habitat exchange planning through theory, application, and lessons from other fields. Environmental Science & Policy, 73, 45–51.

Lafferty-Hess, S., & Christian, T.-M. (2017). More Data, Less Process? The Applicability of MPLP to Research Data. IASSIST Quarterly, 40(4), 6.

Vitro, K. A., BenDor, T. K., Jordanova, T. V., & Miles, B. (2017). A geospatial analysis of land use and stormwater management on fecal coliform contamination in North Carolina streams. Science of The Total Environment, 603–604, 709–727.

Cutcher-Gershenfeld, J., Baker, K., Berente, N., Carter, D., DeChurch, L., Flint, C., Gershenfeld, G., Haberman, M., King, J., Kirkpatrick, C., Knight, E., Lawrence, B., Lewis, S., Lenhardt, W., Lopez, P., Mayernik, M., McElroy, C., Mittleman, B., Nichol, V., Thompson, C., … Zaslavsky, I. (2016). Build It, But Will They Come? A Geoscience Cyberinfrastructure Baseline Analysis. Data Science Journal, 15(0), 8.

Woodruff, S., & BenDor, T. (2016). Ecosystem services in urban planning: Comparative paradigms and guidelines for high quality plans. Landscape and Urban Planning, 152, 90–100.

BenDor, T. K., Livengood, A., Lester, T. W., Davis, A., & Yonavjak, L. (2015). Defining and evaluating the ecological restoration economy. Restoration Ecology, 23(3), 209–219.\

BenDor, T., Lester, T. W., Livengood, A., Davis, A., & Yonavjak, L. (2015). Estimating the Size and Impact of the Ecological Restoration Economy. PLOS ONE, 10(6), e0128339.

Berry, M., & BenDor, T. (2015). Integrating sea level rise into development suitability analysis. Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, 51.

Bryant, A. L., Smith, S. K., Zimmer, C., Crandell, J., Jenerette, C. M., Jr, D. E. B., Zimmerman, S., & Mayer, D. K. (2015). An Exploratory Path Model of the Relationships Between Positive and Negative Adaptation to Cancer on Quality of Life Among Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Survivors. Journal of Psychosocial Oncology, 33(3), 310–331.

Carsey, T. M., Crabtree, J., & Schmitt, C. P. (2015). The Virtual Institute for Social Research (VISR). 3(3), 9.

Widis, D. C., BenDor, T. K., & Deegan, M. (2015). Prioritizing Wetland Restoration Sites: A Review and Application to a Large-Scale Coastal Restoration Program. Ecological Restoration, 33(4), 358–377.

Woods-Giscombé, C. L., Lobel, M., Zimmer, C., Cené, C. W., & Corbie-Smith, G. (2015). Whose Stress is Making Me Sick? Network-stress and Emotional Distress in African-American Women. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 36(9), 710–717.

Woodruff, S. C., & BenDor, T. K. (2015). Is Information Enough? The Effects of Watershed Approaches and Planning on Targeting Ecosystem Restoration Sites. Ecological Restoration, 33(4), 378–387.

Acknowledging the Odum Institute

Acknowledging the Odum Institute’s consulting services in posters, publications, and presentations helps demonstrate the value of our resources and can help strengthen institutional support, including support from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research. You can help us in this effort by acknowledging Odum’s contribution to your research, such as assistance from Odum staff, use of data from the Odum Data Archive, or use of the Odum RDIS computing systems.

1. Add a citation acknowledging Odum in your work

Please acknowledge Odum’s services and resources by using the following text:

“This research was conducted with support and resources provided by the Odum Institute for Research in Social Science at UNC-Chapel Hill.”

2. Notify us about research products to which Odum contributed

Please send information about your posters, publications and presentations to so we can link to the research source and expand your research network and dissemination efforts.