Publications

2012
Altman M, McDonald MP. Technology for Public Participation in Redistricting. In: Moncrief G Redistricting and Reapportionment in the West. Lexington Books ; 2012. pp. Forthcoming. Publisher's Version Technology For Public Participation
2011
Altman M. Computational Modeling. In: Kurian GT The Encyclopedia of Political Science. CQ Press ; 2011. pp. 291–292. Publisher's VersionAbstract
In political economy, computational models are used to simulate the behavior of institutions or individuals. Researchers use these models to explore emergent patterns in the behavior of individuals and institutions over time. Computational models are used as a complement to mathematical models -and as a form of independent theory construction in their own right.
Altman M. Heuristics. The Encyclopedia of Political Science [Internet]. 2011 :723. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Heuristics (or heuristic algorithms) are problem-solving procedures that, while may yield acceptable results in practice, provide no guarantees of yielding "good" solutions in theory.
Altman M. Data-PASS. In: Walters T, Skinner K New Roles for New Times: Digital Curation for Preservation. Association of Research Libraries ; 2011. pp. 51–53. Publisher's VersionAbstract
The Data Preservation Alliance for the Social Sciences (Data-PASS) (http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/icpsrweb/ DATAPASS/) is a broad-based voluntary partnership of data archives dedicated to acquiring, cataloging, and preserving social science data, and to developing and advocating best practices in digital preservation. Collectively, the founding partners have over 200 years of combined experience in social science data archiving.
Altman M, Jackman S. Nineteen Ways of Looking at Statistical Software. Journal Of Statistical Software [Internet]. 2011;42 :1–12. Publisher's VersionAbstract
In this paper we reflect on on the crucial contributions that innovations in statistical software have made to political methodology, and we identify principles for writing statistical software with maximum benefit to the scholarly community.
Christian T-mai, Crabtree J, McGovern N, Altman M. Overview of SafeArchive : An Open-Source System for Automatic Policy-Based Collaborative Archival Replication, in iPres. Vol 02. Singapore ; 2011. Publisher's VersionAbstract
We provide an overview of the SafeArchive system and describe how a curator can use the tools to generate an archival policy schema and monitor compliance. Poster
Altman M, Crabtree J. Using the SafeArchive System : TRAC-Based Auditing of LOCKSS, in Archiving 2011. Society for Imaging Science and Technology ; 2011 :165–170. Publisher's VersionAbstract
The goals of SafeArchive are to make distributed replication easier, and to automate compliance with formal replication and storage policies. In this article, we describe the process of automated archival policy auditing in detail. First, we provide an overview of the SafeArchive system and we describe how a curator can use the tools to generate an archival policy schema and monitor it, simply. Second we identify specific TRAC criteria that can be verified automatically, and additional criteria that can be supported through integrated documentation. Third, we discuss the technical implementation of the system including the policy schema; how information used in the auditing process is obtained from a set of LOCKSS peers without modifying the LOCKSS trust model or configuration; and how the software is organized into components. Link to issue.
Altman M, McDonald MP. The Dawn of Do-It-Yourself Redistricting?. Campaigns & Elections [Internet]. 2011 :38–42. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Collaborative mapping has the potential to fundamentally change redistricting. A state’s redistricting authority—be it the legislature or a commission—can solicit public input to draw lines that are in communities’ stated interests. And, if a member of the public creates a redistricting plan that exceeds a state redistricting authority’s plan in meeting the legal requirements, the media and the courts may take a jaundiced view of the state’s original plan.
Altman M, Fox J, Jackman S. An Introduction to the Special Volume on Political Methodology. Journal Of Statistical Software [Internet]. 2011;42 :1–5. Publisher's VersionAbstract
This special volume of the Journal of Statistical Software on political methodology includes 14 papers, with wide-ranging software contributions of political scientists to their own field, and more generally to statistical data analysis in the the social sciences and beyond. Special emphasis is given to software that is written in or can cooperate with the R system for statistical computing.
Altman M, Bachman E, Crabtree J, McGovern N, Sone A. SafeArchive – A System for Policy Based Archival Replication. [Internet]. 2011. Publisher's VersionAbstract
The SafeArchive system provides a TRAC based auditing and monitoring layer for LOCKSS and DVN.
Altman M, McDonald M, Jennings A, Shephard K, Zwarg D. DistrictBuilder. [Internet]. 2011. Publisher's Version
Novak K, Altman M, Broch E, Carroll JM, Clemins PJ, Fournier D, Laevart C, Reamer A, Meyer EA, Plewes T. Communicating Science and Engineering Data in the Information Age. National Academies Press; 2011. Publisher's VersionAbstract
The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) of the National Science Foundation (NSF) communicates its science and engineering (S&E) information to data users in a very fluid environment that is undergoing modernization at a pace at which data producer dissemination practices, protocols, and technologies, on one hand, and user demands and capabilities, on the other, are changing faster than the agency has been able to accommodate.
communicatingscience.pdf
Altman M. Research Design. In: Kurian GT The Encyclopedia of Political Science. CQ Press ; 2011. pp. 1473–1474. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Research design is the process of creating a scientific plan for answering research questions through sampling, measurement, and analysis. Research design is both a formal and creative process which involves comparing competing theories, enables one to make inferences, and yields discoveries about the world. The hallmark of social-scientific research design is a rigorous attention to inference, sampling, and measurement.
Altman M, McDonald MP. BARD: Better automated redistricting. Journal Of Statistical Software [Internet]. 2011;42 :1–28. Publisher's VersionAbstract

BARD provides a set of open source tools to automatically create and analyze redistricting plans. These tools support both scientific analysis of existing redistricting plans, and citizen participation in creating new plans. Version .83 was first released to CRAN in 2007,

Altman M, Fox J, Jackman S, Zeileis A. An Introduction to the Special Volume on "Political Methodology". Journal of Statistical Software. 2011;42 (1) :1-5.Abstract

This special volume of the Journal of Statistical Software on political methodology includes 14 papers, with wide-ranging software contributions of political scientists to their own field, and more generally to statistical data analysis in the the social sciences and beyond. Special emphasis is given to software that is written in or can cooperate with the R system for statistical computing.

2010
Altman M, Mann TE, McDonald MP, Ornstein NJ. Principles for Transparency and Public Participation in Redistricting. [Internet]. 2010. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Scholars from the Brookings Institution and the American Enterprise Institute are collaborating to promote transparency in redistricting. In January 2010, an advisory board of experts and representatives of good government groups was convened in order to articulate principles for transparent redistricting and to identify barriers to the public and communities who wish to create redistricting plans. This document summarizes the principles for transparency in redistricting that were identified during that meeting.
Altman M, McDonald MP. The Promise and Perils of Computers in Redistricting. Duke J Const Law Pub Poly [Internet]. 2010;5 :69–159. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Since the 1960's, computers have been regularly promoted as both the salvation of redistricting and as a strong corrupting force. On one hand, computing has been proposed as a way to remove human bias from the process of drawing electoral lines through automation and to detect gerrymanders through geographical and statistical analysis. On the other hand, computers have been accused of enabling redistricting authorities to effortlessly achieve any nefarious goals. The reality is more complex.
2009
Altman M, Beecher B, Crabtree J. A Prototype Platform for Policy-Based Archival Replication. Against the Grain [Internet]. 2009;21 :44–47. Publisher's VersionAbstract
This work is conducted by the Data Preservation Alliance for the Social Sciences (Data-PASS). We seek to acquire and preserve data at-risk of being lost to the research community, such as opinion polls, voting records, large-scale surveys, and other social science studies; develop joint best practices for data preservation; and develop open shared infrastructure for digital preservation.
Gutmann M, Abrahamson M, Adams MO, Altman M, Arms C, Bollen K, Carlson M, Crabtree J, Donakowski D, King G, et al. From Preserving the Past to Preserving the Future: The Data-PASS Project and the challenges of preserving digital social science data. Library Trends [Internet]. 2009;57 :315–337. Publisher's VersionAbstract
The importance of long-term access to and preservation of data for research and educational use is now widely recognized. In addition, the Federal Records Act covers data records created by federal agencies or their contractors, and requires a plan for their long-term disposition. Good practice is clear – data producers should plan for archiving of data early, so that data are available for future research and policy analysis. The successes of the Data-PASS project reflect the importance of building a partnership that drew together experienced digital archives to identify, acquire, curate, and preserve a broad range of digital content. The partnership enabled us to agree on standards, work together on technology, and share the responsibility for identifying, acquiring, and preserving the content in our field of activity. The tangible result is a significant amount of digital content preserved, which constitutes one of the core goals of the NDIIPP program. Perhaps more importantly, the partnership showed a way toward the future of digital preservation, which has been an even more fundamental goal of NDIIPP. Data-PASS demonstrated how to preserve an ever-larger share of digital social science data, and to do so in a structure that is sustainable for the very long term.

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