Centralizing Canadian data

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1971 - Canada Council considers data clearing house for the social sciences

By the 1970s, the Social Science Research Council of Canada (SSRCC) recognizes the need to establish a system to deal with large amounts of social science data. The Data Clearing House employs computers to handle “machine readable data.” A 1971 SSRCC Data Clearing House Feasibility Study raises issues about the nature of data and translation. The study influences discussions on bilingualism in the councils. How will they translate the data into French? The study charges the council for always translating into French rather than into English. Many questions also arise about representing data in computers. For instance, it is not clear what “data” means. To that point, the council has only mailed and received surveys.