E-Science Day, a day-long program organized by the University of California, Davis, and funded by the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Pacific Southwest Region, was held on Tuesday, December 6, 2011, at the Medical Education Building of the UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, California. The event was conducted in a blended format—available both in-person and via web conference, featuring a keynote address and panel presentation; lightning rounds, and afternoon break-out sessions. The aim of the event planners was to educate regional librarians in the subject of e-science, why librarians should care about it, and how they can begin supporting it at their own libraries and institutions. Over 100 attendees participated in the event either virtually or in-person.
Mike Conlon, PhD, spoke on “Some Thoughts on Data and eScience.” He talked about “What does data look like?”, the massive amounts of data that are available from computers nowadays, and the world scale benefits of reusing data. He spoke specifically about VIVO: Enabling National Networking of Scientists. “VIVO is an open, online interlinked collection of data and tools for research discovery and scholarship. VIVO represents information about scholars and scholarship–people, grants, scholarly work, resources, events, interests, activities and accomplishments–and their interconnections.”1
Panel presentations included “dataweb” and e-science, libraries and technology using VIVO, preparing librarians for roles in e-science, and a case study of e-science in a hospital library. Speakers included Mike Hogarth, MD; Kristi Holmes, PhD; Elaine Martin, DA; and Elizabeth Schneider, MLIS, AHIP. One interesting point raised was that in a university the library is seen as a neutral partner, “a Switzerland.” The New England Region has had e-science symposiums and boot camps for a number of years. They have an excellent portal. Check it out!
The links to the slide presentations are on the E-Science Day website. All the biographies of the speakers are also linked from the site.
The Lightning Rounds were very brief presentations by various speakers. Limited to ten slides, speakers had to speak quickly to get their points across. Some topics were the electronic health record, the Journal of eScience Librarianship, REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture) – a web application and coordinating data from multiple burn centers. These slides are also available on the E-Science Day website.
In the afternoon, groups broke out to discuss e-science and how it could be applied to library environments. Among the topics discussed were interest in more training for science topics for non-scientists, a toolkit for conducting environmental scans, an e-science portal similar to the one at the University of Massachusetts, and job descriptions and skill sets for e-science librarians.
Raquel Abad, Librarian, UC Davis Blaisdell Medical Library, was the Project Chair for the event. For more information, visit the E-Science Day website.