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Thoughts from attendees of e-Science Workshop and Mayden Lecture

On February 22, 2012, the University of Utah Eccles Health Sciences Library hosted an all-day event on E-Science. The morning session, Developing Data Services to Support eScience/eResearch was presented by Dr. Jian Qin, Associate Professor and Director CAS eScience Program, Syracuse University. In the afternoon, Bart Ragon, Associate Director for Knowledge Integration, Research, and Technology at the University of Virginia – Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, presented the Priscilla M. Mayden Lecture. This was followed by a panel discussion moderated by Bart Ragon. Panelists included: Bill Barnett, Ph.D., Indiana University; Steve Corbató, Ph.D., University of Utah; Donald McClain, M.D., Ph.D., University of Utah; Daureen Nesdill, MLIS, University of Utah; and Ellie Phillipo, New England Journal of Medicine.

E-Science Workshop Handouts:http://library.med.utah.edu/or/pmayden/20120222maydenworkshopescience.pdfMayden Lecture Home Page:http://library.med.utah.edu/or/pmayden/home.php

 The following comments on the day’s events are from people who received the Professional Development Award to attend this day-long session, from the National Network/Libraries of Medicine, MidContinental Region.

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I wanted to attend the Developing Data Services to Support e-Science/e-Research class and the Mayden Lecture in order to learn more about how e-Science is defined, what services could be offered by libraries, and how to facilitate conversations with faculty regarding e-Science and data management. I also wanted to network with colleagues from other health sciences libraries to learn about the types of research support they provide to their faculty, students, and staff.

I found the class and the lecture to be valuable. The case discussions highlighted the importance of clarifying the roles and expectations of those involved in data services, while the lecture confirmed to me that our focus here at KUMC on better understanding the research process of our faculty and staff is a good approach to continue. The lecture also offered several ideas for tools we can review for use by KUMC faculty, and share with others on campus who are active in data management issues.

Finally, this travel opportunity reminded me yet again of how important librarians are to our campus communities as “dot connectors” and facilitators. Thank you to the NN/LM MCR for this Professional Development Award!

Rachel Gyore
University of Kansas Medical Center
Dykes Library

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From my first day in my new position, there have been discussions about e-Science and how it will impact the library and in particular my role, which is the liaison for the research departments at my institution. Education for all and a focus on service were the most important concepts I took away from the presentations of that day. Education for all is not just my own education in what is data, but for researchers as well.

As Daureen Nesdill so greatly put it, “be a concierge.” You may not have the answer, but you know enough and have the connections to help service those researchers at your institution. From the library point of view, I know there is a willingness to assist. However, we also are cognizant of limitations. Continued awareness is going to be the key for me, as I develop a foundation of knowledge. The whole day was an excellent experience and in particular, the panel and the opportunity to hear from researchers about their needs, were especially noteworthy.

Alissa V. Fial
University of Nebraska Medical Center
McGoogan Library of Medicine

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I attended the e-Science workshop and lecture to get an understanding of how librarians are working with researchers and e-Science. From what I knew about e-Science, researchers have been collaborating, communicating, and sharing with each other, often without the structure imposed by digital repositories and journal publishing. I wondered how librarians could participate in this exciting venture.

The workshop gave me a new perspective regarding the collection, use, navigation, and sharing of data. In particular, joining forces with researchers to identify and apply metadata would be a valuable enterprise in my institution. Equally important would be working with researchers to develop policies and processes for sharing data. Either effort would be challenging as well as invaluable. The workshop with Dr. Qin provided wonderful scenarios with pertinent questions that can be used to develop a proposal to suggest new collaborations with researchers.

For me, an immediate pursuit involves bibliographic management. I was compelled by Bart Ragon’s discussion of Bibliographic Management 2.0. Introducing EndNote Web, Mendeley, Connotea, Zotero, etc. as tools for sharing and communicating, in addition to their functions for storing and citing, could provide an entrée into our e-Science arena. I look forward to learning more and sharing within this area.

Anne Huffman
University of Kansas Medical Center
Dykes Library

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Attending the e-Science symposium was definitely worthwhile. This is not a topic one can learn about in a day. I think of it as a kick-off to the next step of determining how my library’s research team can build upon the collaborations we are beginning to form with our research faculty.

There is an educational piece that must take place both on the part of the library staff and on the part of our University’s faculty to define just what and how librarians can deliver to meet the needs of our researchers.

My colleague, Rachel Gyore and I also met with Daureen Nesdill and Abby Adamczyk to learn more about how they serve as research and data librarians for the University of Utah.

Opportunities for librarians to work more closely with our researchers, who are creating the content and data we believe should be archived, shared, and distributed, require us to get out of the library and initiate contacts to form collaborations. And then keep moving.

Crystal Cameron-Vedros
University of Kansas Medical Center
Dykes Library

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I wanted to attend the e-Science workshop because I’d heard the term ‘e-Science’ but never a clear definition. My sense is that e-Science is a catchall phrase to capture how technology and computer networks have had an impact on the ways science and research are done. Eventually, e-Science will just be science as these processes and tools become more integrated. Another important take-away for me was the demystification of data and datasets. Numbers, acronyms, metadata schema — it all sounds overwhelming at first but it doesn’t have to be.

The library can play a vital role in cataloging these collections of data just as it’s historically done with books and other materials. It doesn’t require a comprehensive understanding of the subject or interpretation of data, just the application of established theory and practice can make this information discoverable, facilitate connections across institutions, and archive it for future use. For me, this broader understanding of e-Science will be helpful when working with faculty, as I’ll be more inclined to begin a discussion about their research, understand their processes, and feel more confident in identifying where the library can play a role.

Amy Ritterskamp
University of Kansas Medical Center
Dykes Library

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The e-Science workshop and lecture day at the University of Utah were inspiring. What a treat to attend a class by Dr. Qin who is a respected scholar in e-Science. Dr. Qin’s lecture included: the characteristics of e-Science, an overview of data format – the key component of e-Science, data management, preservation, repositories, and the implications of e-Science in the scholarly communication process. She spotlighted the need for librarians to understand scientific data formats support e-Science initiatives effectively. The lecturer Bart Ragon echoed the importance of structured data knowledge at the University of Virginia and how it is utilized in communicating with their programming staff. e-Science is enabled by the Internet, both Drs. Barnett and Corbató acknowledged cyber-infrastructure’s importance in providing capability resources and data management infrastructure.

Sheila Yeh
University of Colorado, Anshutz Medical Campus
Health Sciences Library
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