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Open access journal adds visualization tools to capture and illuminate fast accumulation of data

ProQuest's peer-reviewed, open access e-journal Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy (SSPP) is introducing a new data discovery tool to its Researcher’s Toolkit that enables users to search more than 3,000 records containing information on tens of thousands of public datasets from the U.S. federal government via Now, the data, which is the output of more than 120 departments and agencies, will be easily discovered and integrated through SSPP.

"The process of identifying and structuring relevant datasets, and providing interactive access as a part of an e-journal, is becoming a critical and discriminating editorial function," said Jim McGinty, Vice Chairmen of Cambridge Information Group, ProQuest’s parent company, and advisor to SSPP. "Those who embrace this process will significantly enhance scholarly communications."

The objective of Featured Datasets is to make it easy for readers, researchers, and potential authors to better understand and investigate key data underlying specific sustainability issues. SSPP editors first identify relevant public datasets, then restructure and reformat the data to permit visualization and access by the journal’s readers. Each Featured Dataset – and its raw data – will be a permanent part of the Researcher’s Toolkit section of the SSPP e-journal, a highly valued component that provides the research and policy-making community with free data discovery resources and interactive analysis capabilities (

The first Featured Dataset utilizes a Motion Chart visualization tool (developed using Google Visualization API), which offers an interactive way to discover and visualize data by plotting up to four variables over time. This featured dataset, Recession Reduces Gridlock — Congestion Data for U.S. Urban Areas, mashes data from the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) with unemployment rates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A second Motion Chart presents additional TTI data in which, fourteen variables can be analyzed relating to the costs for automobile use, with further implications for Smart Growth and transportation policy.

Published by ProQuest, Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy (SSPP) is a peer-reviewed, open-access e-journal that provides a platform for the dissemination of new practices and dialog within the field of sustainability. The mission of SSPP is to disseminate relevant information on sustainability science issues and enhance scholarly communications among researchers, practitioners, and policy makers. While copyright in the journal’s articles is retained by their authors, the e-journal is available free online under a license allowing all to freely read, download, copy, and use the works for non-commercial purposes. No advance permission is necessary, but the source of the article must of course be clearly attributed.

About ProQuest (
ProQuest connects people with vetted, reliable information. Key to serious research, the company has forged a 70-year reputation as a gateway to the world's knowledge — from dissertations to governmental and cultural archives to news, in all its forms. Its role is essential to libraries and other organizations whose missions depend on the delivery of complete, trustworthy information.

ProQuest's massive information pool is accessible through the all-new ProQuest® platform, which moves beyond navigation to empower researchers to use, create, and share content—accelerating research productivity.

This energetic, fast-growing organization includes the Summon web-scale discovery service, the new ProQuest Dialog service, and business units ebrary®, Serials Solutions®, RefWorks-COS, and Bowker®.

22 April 2011

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