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Data Science

Registration Open: Biomedical and Health Research Data Management for Librarians!

GMR Data Science - 3 hours 59 min ago

Course Title: Biomedical and Health Research Data Management for Librarians

An asynchronous online National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) Moodle course that will take place from September 9 – November 8, 2019. Enrollment will be limited to the first 100 who register!

Description: The course provides basic knowledge and skills for librarians interested in helping patrons manage their research data. Attending this course will improve your ability to initiate or extend research data management services at your institution. There are eight self-paced modules and students may customize their experience by completing the modules of most interest and use to them.

The course topics include:

  • An overview of research data management
  • Choosing appropriate metadata descriptors or taxonomies for a dataset
  • Addressing privacy and security issues with data, and
  • Creating data management plans

CE Credits

Upon successful completion of this course, participants will be eligible to claim up to 32 continuing education credits from the Medical Library Association (MLA). Credit will be dependent on the number of modules completed. To receive credit, components must be submitted by November 8.

What does it cost?
There is no charge for participating in this course.

For more information and to Register for this course go to the Biomedical and Health Research Data Management for Librarians course page

Questions about the course?
Please contact

Categories: Data Science

Data Flash: New RDM Moodle Course for Librarians!!!

PNR Data Science - 4 hours 18 min ago

An Upcoming Online Course Opportunity for Librarians Interested in Research Data Management! There is no application deadline as enrollment will be limited to the first 100 who register!

 Course Title: Biomedical and Health Research Data Management for Librarians

An asynchronous online National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) Moodle course that will take place from September 9 – November 8, 2019.

Description: The course provides basic knowledge and skills for librarians interested in helping patrons manage their research data. Attending this course will improve your ability to initiate or extend research data management services at your institution. There are eight self-paced modules and students may customize their experience by completing the modules of most interest and use to them.

The course topics include:

  • An overview of research data management
  • Choosing appropriate metadata descriptors or taxonomies for a dataset
  • Addressing privacy and security issues with data, and
  • Creating data management plans

CE Credits

Upon successful completion of this course, participants will be eligible to claim up to 32 continuing education credits from the Medical Library Association (MLA). Credit will be dependent on the number of modules completed. To receive credit, components must be submitted by November 8.

What does it cost?
There is no charge for participating in this course.

For more information and to Register for this course go to the Biomedical and Health Research Data Management for Librarians course page

Questions about the course?
Please contact


Categories: Data Science

Upcoming Beyond the SEA Webinar: Improving Your Spreadsheets Using Art Principles

SEA Data Science - Thu, 2019-07-18 14:20

Date: Tuesday, August 6th, 2019

Time: 2:00PM – 3:00PM ET

Presenter: Jonah Calinawan, an accountant turned artist. Jonah holds a Bachelor of Mathematics from the University of Waterloo, Canada, and an MFA from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.

Description: One day at work, Jonah realized he was composing his spreadsheets as if they were photographs. That moment was a springboard for Jonah’s signature presentation on Improving Spreadsheets Using Art Principles.

In this webinar, Jonah will share simple ideas and guidelines for presenting and formatting spreadsheets (and Tableau dashboards) for maximum impact and understandability. To make this presentation as tailored as possible to your needs, Jonah is looking for examples that he could use during the webinar. If you are willing, please send a redacted spreadsheet or Tableau dashboard snapshot that you normally would circulate to your users and audiences to

Registration: Registration is free and can be accessed through the NNLM class instance.

For additional information, please contact Kiri Burcat.

Categories: Data Science

Midwest Data Librarian Symposium Call for Proposals

GMR Data Science - Mon, 2019-07-15 14:54

Midwest Data Librarian Symposium (MDLS) invites session proposals for its 5th symposium taking place at University of Illinois at Chicago (Chicago, IL) on September 30 – October 1, 2019.

MDLS is a low-cost, 2-day, hands-on, unconference style event for Midwesterners who support research data management and research data services (RDS) at their institutions. The greater data community, not limited to data librarians, is invited to present interactive sessions at this year’s event. Presenters from all disciplines and regions are encouraged to apply.

Proposals are due on July 31, 2019.

Full details and the application form can be found on the MDLS website.

Questions?  Contact us at

Follow us on Twitter: @MW_DataLibSym

Categories: Data Science

Register for the July MCR Monthly Webinar, Data Management Education Needs: Identifying Signposts for Graduate Student Researchers

MCR Data Science - Thu, 2019-06-20 12:54

Register for the NNLM MCR’s free monthly webinar on Wednesday, July 17 at 2 -3 pm MT!

Presenter: Dr. Judy Pasek, STEM Liaison Librarian with the University of Wyoming Libraries, will present on research conducted at the Universities of Wyoming and Northern Colorado about the data management needs of graduate students.

Register for this webinar

About the Session: Effectively managing research data is a skill set that graduate students need to acquire along their pathway to becoming competent researchers. Librarians can help guide learning by establishing instructional signposts for relevant data management concepts, including data sharing practices. To be effective, librarian guides need to be familiar with the knowledge and skill gaps of the novice researchers. Surveys were conducted at two medium-sized universities to assess perceived importance and knowledge of 12 research data management competencies, with a goal of informing education planning. Graduate students provided insight into sources of learning about research data management. Study results set the foundation for identifying approaches to research data management education

When: Jul 17, 2019   from 1 – 2PM (Pacific)  | 2 – 3PM (Mountain) | 3 – 4PM (Central) | 4-5 PM (Eastern)

Categories: Data Science

Call For Participants: Data Thesaurus Advisory Board

SEA Data Science - Thu, 2019-06-20 10:06

The Research Data Management Workgroup of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine is actively recruiting Data Thesaurus Advisory Board members to be part of a committee that reviews terms, adds new terms, and suggest connections between terms.

If you are interested in being part of the Data Thesaurus Advisory Board send you name to Mary Piorun at by July 1st with a brief description (less than 300 words) explaining your interest.

To learn more about about the Data Thesaurus and other resources for data-driven discovery at NNLM, visit


Categories: Data Science

NNLM Recruiting Data Thesaurus Advisory Board Members

GMR Data Science - Tue, 2019-06-18 16:19

The Research Data Management Workgroup of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine is recruiting Advisory Board members to be part of a committee that reviews terms, adds new terms, and suggest connections between terms. If you are interested in being part of the Data Thesaurus Advisory Board send your name to Mary Piorun (select hyperlink to find Mary’s e-mail address) by July 1st with a brief description (less than 300 words) explaining your interest.

Categories: Data Science

Data Flash: Introducing the NNLM PNR’s Research & Data Engagement Award!

PNR Data Science - Thu, 2019-06-06 18:18

Growing plants.

The NNLM PNR is happy to announce the Research & Data Engagement Award.  The primary purpose of the Research & Data Engagement Award is to support projects and build partnerships that demonstrate engagement in research data services through the sharing of expertise and resources.

Eligible applicants must be from institutions that are members of the NNLM PNR; if you don’t have a membership, membership is free and open to institutions interested in improving equitable access to health information.  To apply for membership, submit an online membership application.  Encouraged to apply are applicants who have not previously received NNLM funding or have only received funding once before.

Some ideas of potential projects range from an interdisciplinary collaboration to implement clinical data management services to developing knowledge and skills of librarians, students, researchers, clinicians, or public health workforce about best practices for organizing, managing, visualizing, and sharing data.  Up to two awards valued at up to $19,000 will be awarded this year for the funding period beginning May 1st, 2019 and ending April 30th, 2020.

For those interested in this exciting award, applicants should inform NNLM PNR of their intent to apply by submitting a Letter of Intent, including the type of award and a brief description of the proposed project, by Thursday, July 11th, 2019 to Potential applicants should also submit their completed applications by Wednesday, August 7th, 2019 as an email attachment to  For more information about this award and for tips on writing your proposal check out our NNLM PNR Funding Opportunities page and our Proposal Writing Toolkit respectively.

Good luck and we look forward to your exciting applications!!!

Categories: Data Science

New NNLM PSR Education and Outreach Librarian: Zoe Pettway Unno!

PSR Data Science - Thu, 2019-05-30 18:46

Greetings! I am excited to have joined the NNLM PSR RML as an Education and Outreach Librarian. I look forward to working with network members and health professionals through training that promotes electronic access to health information from the NLM.

My library training and experience has included exposure to public, special, and academic libraries. I started my library career in the healthcare sector as a medical librarian and then the manager of Library Services and Physician Education at Kaiser Permanente South Bay Medical Center; followed by roles as Science Librarian at California State University, Fullerton, and Science and Engineering Librarian and Head, Science and Engineering Library, at USC. You’ll find more information about my background via my ORCID iD.

As an Education and Outreach Librarian my focus areas will include outreach to health professionals and research data management education. In addition, I will work with my PSR RML colleagues on other education areas, exhibits, and evaluation activities in the region.

I want to learn about your interests and encourage you to reach out to me with your emerging information needs. Feel free to send communications to my email address!

Smiling woman in front of animated library facade

Zoe Pettway Unno, Education and Outreach Librarian

Categories: Data Science

Intersections of Informatics and Librarianship: Tisha Mentnech Reports from the AMIA Informatics Summit

MCR Data Science - Thu, 2019-05-30 09:38

I was Tisha fortunate to be a part of the inaugural cohort RDM 101 Research Data Management for Biomedical and Health Science Librarians in Spring 2018 . That experience continued my learning about RDM practices in librarianship. One aspect that particularly stuck with me are the multitude of roles for librarians to be involved with data. The announcement for the funding came at an opportune time. I had recently been accepted to teach a workshop on reproducibility at the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) Informatics Summit in San Francisco in March. Initially, I was only going to attend the workshop because of the cost of the full conference but the call for funding provided me with the ability to attend and focus on their data science track.

I wanted to attend the data science track of AMIA Informatics Summit because I was also going to be a student in the RDM 102: Beyond Research Data Management for Biomedical and Health Sciences Librarians cohort focusing on data science practices for librarians. I knew this introduction would be a chance to see the intersections of librarianship and informatics as it relates to data science.  The workshop I taught, “Innovative Tools for Research Reproducibility and Data Sharing” was a kickstart to my learning at the conference. Questions that I was getting during the workshop about some of the information included things about ontologies, metadata, and repositories, much of which was a part of the RDM 101 course. Seeing the informaticists looking for discipline specific information on these needs began to lay the groundwork of connections between the 2 fields and demonstrated the similarities that informaticists and librarians.

The sessions that stood out to me were ones on open data and data science. One session that I took the most away from was: “Patients, Populations and Data Science.” The different talks within the session that were stand outs for my connection of information professionals were: “On the Role of Question Summarization and Information Source Restriction in Consumer Health Question Answering”,  “Extracting Biomedical Terms from Postpartum Depression Online Health Communities”, and “Modeling Depression Symptoms from Social Network Data through Multiple Instance Learning.” Each of these sections highlighted something about using open data or known data mining and data ethics. For me, one aspect of data librarianship that is most important is data literacy and ethics. Many people that were a part of the corpus of the data collected for these were not made aware that the data would be used in these ways, which brings up the question of using public data and how informed are the users creating the data. I think that as someone who teaches data literacy, this opened my eyes to things that need to be reinforced in the communities we support. This also brought up more ethical data questions that I have for research overall. I will not go into too much detail but this session opened my eyes and piqued my interest more in why having a data librarian involved in the IRB process is an avenue that I personally want to explore.

Overall, I was expecting to learn more about the intersections of informatics and librarianship. The Summit gave me more an overview of how the two disciplines could benefit each other. There are similarities in the theory of both library science and informatics. Data librarians could definitely benefit from partnering with the informatics departments if they are interested in taking their skills more technical. A symbiotic benefit for informaticists and librarians is with ontology, metadata, thesauri, and/or index development. One thing that I noticed and that was mentioned in the opening keynote from Greg Simon, President, Biden Cancer Initiative, is that there are so many home grown solutions to problems that are capitalized on and not enough creation with our peers.  This really hit home to me and is something that I am still thinking about today.

I am truly grateful for the experience that the NTO funding provided me. Learning about the ways in which librarians can support data outside of a traditional library role is something that I think needs to be discussed in more library and information programs and throughout library careers. There is not a one size fits all for librarians and the settings they work and exploring the intersections of librarians and informaticists helped remind me of that.

Tisha Mentnech (Tee-sha Mint-Nitch) she | they Research Librarian for Life Sciences and Research Impact Research Engagement North Carolina State University Libraries

Categories: Data Science

RDM Working Group Webinar Series_ Using Data for Decision-Making: An Environmental Scan Case Study

MCR Data Science - Fri, 2019-05-24 15:31

This introductory-level webinar session will walk you through the process of planning and conducting an environmental scan while demonstrating a data tool and strategies for using data for decision-making. This webinar will provide a jump-start opportunity to explore the concept of data and introduce an easy-to-use data analysis tool (Voyant Tools).

When: June 7, 2019 at  11AM -12PM (Pacific)| 12 – 1PM (Mountain) | 1-2PM (Central) | 2-3 PM (Eastern)
For more information and to register for this webinar go to the webinar session webpage

The case study findings will be presented and show how this approach can be applied to other entry level data projects so that participants will walk away with the confidence to jump in and start exploring their own data. This is a live session but it will be recorded.

Categories: Data Science

Richland County Public Health Continues to Make Data FAIR

GMR Data Science - Tue, 2019-05-21 11:49

Richland County Public Health has received funding from the GMR for a second year to continue its project to make important public health data FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable). Last year, Richland County Public Health received funding to pull together, clean, and make available raw public health data from multiple health assessments. This year, Richland County Public Health will take the raw data and establish and sustain an interactive web tool for librarians and local health professionals to access FAIR local community health assessment data.

The interactive and user-friendly web interface embedded onto the Richland Public Health website will support health care professionals, public health professionals, and librarians who do not have analytical or financial support to produce meaningful and interpretable results from raw, local-level health data. Funding for this proposal will also provide this initiative the opportunity to fully complete the achievement of making county-level health data FAIR to health professionals and librarians in the North Central Ohio area.

Categories: Data Science

Purdue University Funded to Provide RDM Training

GMR Data Science - Fri, 2019-05-17 11:40

The GMR is excited to announce that Purdue University has received funding through the Research Data Award to provide research data management training to students. Training workshops will include FAIR Data Principles, Research Data Management Basics: Finding and Organizing Data, Cleaning and Formatting Data with OpenRefine, General Tips for Visualizing Biomedical Data, Biomedical Data Visualization with Tableau, and Useful R Packages for Analyzing and Visualizing Biomedical Data.

The workshops will be part of a larger project that seeks to study and understand rates of attrition in biomedical data challenges. In this context, researchers at Purdue will also host a Biomedical Data Challenge and conduct focus group sessions with individuals who drop out to better understand the reasons why. In addition to presenting results of their research at conferences throughout the year, a digital open education resource toolkit will be developed to help guide librarians in recruiting for and retaining diversity in data hacking challenges.

This projects supports Goal 3 of the NLM Strategic Plan, to build a workforce for data driven research and health, and supports the aligning objectives to expand and enhance research training for biomedical informatics and data science, to assure data science and open science proficiency, to increase workforce diversity, and to engage the next generation and promote data literacy.

Categories: Data Science

Data Flash: Can Librarians Hack it for Health? Yes!!!

PNR Data Science - Tue, 2019-05-14 19:13

Opened book with code in the background

Can librarians hack it in a hackathon?  The answer to that question is a resounding yes!!!  As a former hackathon librarian participant, I can confidently give you my word that librarians are an asset to any hackathon team.

From April 12th-14th, 2019, I, a health sciences librarian, flew out to Spokane, WA from Seattle, WA to participate in the 2nd Annual Med Hackathon at Washington State University’s (WSU) Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine (ESFCOM).  ESFCOM’s 2nd Annual Med Hackathon was a community health hackathon that drew people from all kinds of disciplines from computer engineering to medical librarianship!

The WSU Med Hackathon was a three-day event whose theme this year was tackling behavioral health challenges in rural Washington state with the intent of destigmatizing mental illness.  On the first day/night, we listened to a couple of keynote speakers talk about the need for mental health services especially in Washington State and we ended our night with participants pitching their problems and respective solutions to behavioral health challenges.  I was going to pitch my idea about creating a mobile app that would deliver cognitive and dialectical behavioral therapy (CBT and DBT) to mental health patients, but I heard someone else pitching a similar idea to mine.  As a result, I ended up meeting up with this mental health counselor to discuss and develop our overlapping idea even more at the networking event later that evening.  Our initial team of two organically grew into a dynamic team of five people; my team had computer engineers, a mental health counselor, a graphic designer, and a health sciences librarian, me!

The beauty of the WSU Med Hackathon is the skill diversity that it encourages and promotes with each participating hackathon team!  As someone who knows very little about computer programming compared to a computer engineer, I was able to really leverage my research skills and health sciences background in order to make a meaningful team contribution.  Although, I was not able to contribute directly to the computer programming of the CBT/DBT mobile app, our team’s final and competitive product, or to the visual design of the app itself, I was able to contribute in other meaningful ways.  For example, in addition to doing all of the product and patent research for my team’s app, I was also able to provide feedback about the overall usability and design of our team’s mobile app.  As well, I was able to really apply my instructional and presentation skills by co-authoring a presentation script and co-presenting a 3-minute product pitch, which ultimately determined my team’s fate in this hackathon.

My team worked all day Saturday and into the early morning Sunday on our product.  On Sunday, we pitched for three minutes our final product, the CBT/DBT mobile app, to the three hackathon judges.  Mid-day, the hackathon winners were announced; it was announced that my team, Project Hope, had won third place for our CBT/DBT mobile app at WSU’s 2nd Annual Med Hackathon.  Our third place finishing is proof that librarians as an integral part of a team or in any collaboration is an invaluable asset!

Categories: Data Science

Cultivating Data-Savvy Services, Bit by Bit

SCR Data Science - Thu, 2019-05-02 15:34

We’re back after a brief hiatus, and our guest author for today’s post is Sheila Green, Health Science Center – Bryan Campus Librarian with the Medical Sciences Library, Texas A&M University Libraries. At the beginning of this year, she was awarded a professional development award to advance her skills in research data management from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine Training Office (NNLM NTO). As part of her award, she was encouraged to share lessons and outcomes from her experience. We are proud to have her in our region!

Sheila GreenI’m a subject liaison to a College of Medicine. I identify points of pain for faculty and provide library services to ease that pain. I knew research data management (RDM) services had potential, but I needed to understand researcher data processes and how they differed from my private industry background. I needed to know the questions to ask, how to listen for the pain points in their answers, and offer services within my capacity.

My first professional development course from the NNLM NTO resulted in a workshop for graduate students, faculty, and staff based on the Research Data Management Teaching Toolkit. Adapting existing tools helped me focus on issues at my institution and not the mechanics of building a workshop.

Feedback from the workshop and informal conversations unearthed interest in reproducibility and lab data processes. A casual email inquiry about RedCap support generated a response with bolded sentences from a research director – another unmet need identified. I wanted to know more to grow more services – again.

The next professional development opportunity from the NNLM NTO funded a trip to New York University Health Sciences Library to meet with the Data Services Team, observe RDM and visualization classes, meet with NYU Data Services, and attend a Columbia University Symposium Promoting Credibility, Reproducibility and Integrity in Research.

I’ve planted more RDM service seedlings since my return. The incoming College of Medicine graduate students will attend an adapted Research Data Management Hands on Workshop at orientation. The exploratory meeting with researchers about RedCap workshops is next week. Postdoc and Student Research directors are going to be exposed shortly to ways we can insert reproducible processes into their training programs.

“Data ready” isn’t just about gathering knowledge. It’s also about plowing new ground, planting ideas with researchers and leadership, cultivating opportunities that pop up, and sharing the harvest with each other.

Categories: Data Science

Highlights of Funding Collaboration Between NNLM PSR and the Public Library Association on Project Outcome Activities

PSR Data Science - Mon, 2019-04-29 19:09

by Samantha Lopez
Program Officer
Public Library Association,
a division of the American Library Association
Chicago, IL

The Public Library Association (PLA), a division of the American Library Association, has added another collaborative project to its ongoing partnership with the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM), a program of the National Library of Medicine (NLM). Through this partnership with NNLM, PLA has expanded its performance measurement toolkit, Project Outcome, with the addition of standardized health surveys designed to help public libraries measure the impact of their health programming and services. Funding for the creation of the new surveys was provided by three of NNLM’s eight regional medical libraries: MidContinental, Pacific Southwest, and South Central.

Project Outcome is a free online toolkit that helps public libraries measure the impact of their programs and services by providing standardized surveys and an easy-to-use process for measuring and analyzing outcomes. Measuring outcomes helps libraries demonstrate their effectiveness beyond attendance and door counts. By using standardized surveys, participants of Project Outcome can aggregate their outcomes data consistently across different programs, locations, and time, as well as compare their aggregate data at regional, state, and national levels. Since launching in 2015, Project Outcome has collected over 200,000 patron surveys from nearly 1,500 public libraries across the U.S. and Canada.

Icons representing early childhood literacy, digital learning, education/lifelong learning, health, job skills, economic development, civic/community enagement and summer reading

Project Outcome provides standardized outcome surveys in these eight library service areas. Photo Credit.

Project Outcome’s standardized surveys measure four key outcomes: knowledge, confidence, application and awareness. The new health surveys, developed by NNLM, will help public libraries better understand how their programs and services are helping patrons learn more about being healthy, feel confident about taking care of their or their family’s health, adopt or maintain a healthier lifestyle, and increase their awareness of health-related resources and services provided by the library.

Libraries have the option to select from two types of health surveys: immediate and follow-up. The immediate survey gauges patrons’ intent to change a behavior, while the follow-up survey captures whether patrons did change as a result of the library program or service. For instance, the immediate health survey asks patrons if they feel more confident taking care of their or their family’s health and the follow-up health survey asks patrons if they are better able to take care of their or their family’s health. The combination of these two surveys will help libraries demonstrate their impact on health services more effectively to their communities and beyond.

With funding support from the NNLM, Pacific Southwest Region, PLA was able to quickly integrate the health surveys into Project Outcome’s online toolkit, training resources, and data dashboards and reports. These tools help libraries get free access to standardized outcome measures and visualizations, helping them save time and resources in their data collection. In addition to the health surveys, libraries receive training and resource support to increase their understanding of the importance of providing community health programs and services.

The goal of this collaborative project between PLA and NNLM is that public libraries will use the new health surveys to measure their impact, make strategic decisions around programming to help create healthier communities, and better advocate for the public library as a trusted health information resource. To learn more about how PLA’s Project Outcome is helping turn better data into better libraries, please visit the website or contact us.

Categories: Data Science

Chock-a-Block Full – Learning from the NYUHSL Research Data Management Team!

PSR Data Science - Thu, 2019-04-25 18:40

by Andrea Lynch, MLIS
Scholarly Communication Librarian
City of Hope Lee Graff Medical & Scientific Library
Duarte, CA

The announcement about the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) Training Office Data Management Professional Development funding opportunity was in my email inbox. I wasn’t going to apply initially, but was reminded via email about this opportunity by Alan Carr, associate director of the NNLM PSR Network office, and thought I should apply. I reached out to Dr. Alisa Surkis and Kevin Read to see if a visit to New York University (NYU) was possible. Given the highlights at the 2018 NNLM Research Data Management (RDM) Course Capstone Summit of the New York University Langone Health’s Research Data Management Training for Information Professionals, I knew spending time with the dynamic duo would be impactful. Good news for me, I wasn’t alone since there were three other librarians who were already working on and planning with Alisa and Kevin for a research data management intensive couple of days in late March (Jennifer Chaput of University of Connecticut, Sheila Green of Texas A&M University, and Kathryn Anne Vela of Washington State University). And then, the NYU RDM gurus shared with the librarian group that a research reproducibility symposium at Columbia University was happening the Friday after our potential two-day NYU visit. I applied for the NNLM Training Office professional development opportunity and was lucky enough to be one of the awardees, leading to three full and wonderful days with the NYU Health Sciences Library RDM experts!

Alisa and Kevin planned two days of activities and meetings at NYU (March 27-28, 2019). The agenda was a well planned collection of experiences in order for us to be fully immersed in their environment and to get a sense of their RDM outreach, consultation, and educational program. Our first day set the tone for the visit. Jeff Williams, director of the NYU Health Sciences Library, provided the context and some history so that we could see how their RDM activities fit into the larger library and overall institutional efforts. Jumping right into the overview and history of how RDM started at the NYU Health Sciences Library, Alisa and Kevin, along with Fred LaPolla and Nicole Contaxis, shared their successes and lessons learned along their RDM journey. Next on the first day’s schedule was an overview of their data catalog project and how they are collaborating with eight other institutions to implement their open source system. The data visualization program was highlighted by Fred LaPolla, with more to come the second day seeing him in action. Then we were off to Kevin’s RDM class with NYU basic sciences graduate students. The class was a wonderful recap of the concepts presented during the NNLM RDM 101 course, and ended with an alien brain scan data scenario that got the students excited about winning a very special tool.

The second day began with Fred’s Microsoft Excel and data visualization class. I learned something new about Excel, Sparklines. Fred provided a great example of a clear and concise teaching approach with tips and tricks for thinking of Excel in a new way. We were then treated to lunch by Jeff Williams (Thank you, Jeff!). Next, we enjoyed a walking tour of NYC with a brief stop at the best little store with just about every hot sauce, spice, and tea option available! The last stop was at NYU’s main campus to hear highlights from two members of the NYU RDM team; Scott Collard and Vicky Steeves. Three things that stayed with me from that afternoon:

  1. They organize their classes along the research cycle. Great idea!
  2. Responsible conduct of research requirement is tied to the library.
  3. They hire graduate students to provide RDM assistance and teach classes.

The third day, March 29th, we attended the all-day A University Symposium: Promoting Credibility, Reproducibility, and Integrity in Research at Columbia University and co-sponsored by a number of institutions, including NYU. Attending this symposium was a perfect way to spend the third RDM learning day in NYC. Hearing the initiatives and efforts focused on research reproducibility and transparency-related tenure and promotion practices gave me additional reasons why libraries and librarians should be engaged in RDM initiatives. It is about education, advocacy, and collaboration. The symposium session that really got me going, and started off the day, was the keynote about implicit and perception bias by Dr. Brian Nosek, professor at the University of Virgina. Check out this one-hour video on the topic, presented by Dr. Nosek at the University of California, San Diego.

What hosts the NYU Health Sciences Library RDM team members are! The visit was the ideal mix of seriousness and fun, and broke down the barriers of starting and maintaining a RDM program. Below are just a few of the gold nuggets from my time with the NYUHSL RDM team. These tidbits are paraphrased and some are combined statements from multiple NYUHSL RDM team members; Alisa, Kevin, Fred, and Nicole.

  • Find the research data pain points and turn them into use cases in the educational and outreach threads of your RDM program.
  • Collaboration is key. RDM lynchpins and champions are critical.
  • The gems are the people who show up for classes and share their experiences and can connect you with others for assistance or additional learning.
  • It takes time and presence to build up these programs.
  • Do something…get started!
  • Get the word out…and be relentless.
  • Obtain stories about impact; then share those stories.
  • “You asked me to!” This is the reason people were contributing to our data catalog.
  • Start with what you have. Have PRISM or Excel? Start there. Offer a class!

I hope my next guest blog post on Latitudes will be an overview of our library’s initial educational and service RDM offerings, assessment of our inaugural RDM program, and next steps for future activities. It won’t be for a while, but it will happen…because I will do something with all I’ve learned and will get started with RDM at my library. Thanks again to NNLM NTO for this opportunity and to the awesome team at NYUHSL for sharing so much!

Categories: Data Science

The University of Cincinnati Mentors the University of Louisville in Developing Research Data Management (RDM) Services

GMR Data Science - Thu, 2019-04-25 10:12

This guest post is written by Rebecca Morgan, Clinical Librarian & Assistant Professor at the University of Louisville

Last year, I completed the NNLM’s inaugural RDM 101: Biomedical and Health Research Data Management (RDM) Training for Librarians course, conducted by the National Training Office (NTO). As a member of the RDM 101 cohort, I was given the opportunity in early 2019 to apply for a professional development award for RDM, also provided by the NTO. This award connected recipients to a data mentor who could provide personalized, hands on guidance on initiating or expanding data services. The provided funds would support travel to and from the mentor and/or mentee’s respective institutions.

This type of formal mentorship was exactly what my institution needed. The University of Louisville, currently has no data services program or the resources available to hire a data librarian or transition an existing staff member into a more data-centric role. Although we’ve discussed our desire to provide some degree of RDM services for some time, our lack of institutional expertise has stymied us. Having an experienced mentor to guide us might be just what we needed to get off the ground.

I am happy to say I was selected as an award recipient and that Amy Koshoffer, Assistant Director of Research and Data Services at University of Cincinnati (UC), agreed to serve as my mentor. I had met Amy during RDM 101, so I knew she was not only very knowledgeable, but also fully dedicated to helping others become more skilled and successful in providing data-related services.

On March 4th, 2019, the University of Louisville welcomed Amy to our campus to present on initiating and sustaining research data management services in academic libraries. In addition to our own faculty and staff, several colleagues from regional institutions such as the University of Kentucky, Norton Healthcare, and Sullivan University also attended.

Amy’s visit was comprised of two presentations. The first was an overview of how UC started their data services program and what services they are currently offering today. She was very candid about discussing what worked, what didn’t, and what lessons were learned along the way. This presentation not only showed attendees where and how RDM services could start, but also gave us a taste of what we could eventually build to in the future. The second presentation was a demonstration of the kind of workshop Amy and her team might provide to researchers interested in learning more about how to manage their data. This practical demonstration helped attendees conceptualize the kind of programs we might be able to someday develop at our own institutions.

The discussions after each presentation were especially valuable in helping clear up some common misconceptions about what it means to provide RDM services. Many attendees assumed that you had to manage your own data repository or be an expert in R, Python, or REDCAP to provide adequate RDM support. Amy assured attendees that building data services can be a slow and steady process that should be scaled to whatever each institution can manage or maintain.

The benefit gained from Amy’s visit was immediately apparent. Within a couple weeks of her visit, UofL established a task force to write a strategic plan for providing data services at our own institution. We are also in contact with some of our counterparts at the University of Kentucky to explore ways to work cross-intuitionally to build up a community of practice in our state. Without the knowledge and direction gained by Amy’s visit, I doubt we would have advanced in these areas as quickly as we have. Having access to someone with expertise in this field who can provide practical answers and guidance was exactly what we needed to get the ball rolling.

As part of this award, I was also able to visit Amy at the University of Cincinnati for their fourth annual Data Day. Fellow RDM 101 alum Elena Azadbahkt, who was also being mentored by Amy, also attended. To learn more about our experiences at Data Day and about our experiences at the UC, please read Elena’s wonderful report here:

Categories: Data Science

Citizen Science Day Megathon Promotes Alzheimer’s Disease Research!

PSR Data Science - Mon, 2019-04-22 15:33

To celebrate Citizen Science Day 2019, the Stall Catchers Megathon took place around the world on Saturday, April 13th. Citizen Science Day is an annual event to celebrate participation and engagement in real science by members of the general public. On April 13th, libraries in many parts of the country hosted the Megathon, a worldwide event for anyone to join in to analyze real research data in a game format. Local teams gathered in many locations, including public libraries, enabling this global project to have a small town feel while regular people did real science.

To build community engagement through citizen science projects in public libraries, NNLM PSR partnered with SciStarter, an online citizen science community, and Arizona State University, which had been working with public libraries in the Phoenix area on citizen science projects for over a year. The project focused on building relationships and capacity in public libraries across the country as community science centers, culminating in a common Citizen Science Day event. Citizen science projects can fall into many different scientific disciplines, including medical research. The Stall Catchers online game was created by the Human Computation Institute to support Alzheimer’s research being conducted at Cornell University; participants watch short video clips displaying blood flow in the research mice’s brains and determine if the blood is flowing or stalled.

Dan Stanton, Arizona State University librarian and Director of Library Programs at SciStarter:

I feel like I’ve been working on this since Citizen Science Day 2018! So for me, the amazing thing about Citizen Science Day 2019 was the progress made in getting the word out about the critical role libraries can play in Citizen Science. In the past year we’ve gone from localized displays and other programming, to a national campaign for libraries that included weekly open planning calls; quality promotional resources including bookmarks, posters, and a detailed Librarian’s Guide to Citizen Science; and a project focused on a topic that touches everyone, and includes cool science and a clear explanation of how participating contributes to ongoing scientific research. I want to thank NNLM PSR, and especially Kelli Ham, for being such important partners in the movement to connect Citizen Science and libraries!

The Los Angeles Public Library hosted multiple Megathon sites, and was declared the “winner” of the points challenge during the event. Here are some of the winning citizen scientists who participated at the Los Angeles Central Public Library composed of staff from NNLM, SciStarter, and LAPL, as well as other local citizen scientists:

participants of Citizen Science Day holding up laptops and mobile devices displaying the stall catchers app

Citizen Science Day participants at Los Angeles Public Library

The EyesOnAlz blog posted an early peak at the #Megathon research results. The post indicates that the research question addressed on Saturday was whether stalls occur more frequently in the brains of mice that have high blood pressure, and if that stalling can be reversed.

“Despite a slightly rocky road, we broke some serious records during the Megathon weekend! Never before have we done so much research in a single Stall Catchers event, and had so many people playing at the same time. We were featured on Science Friday, and Alzheimer’s Speaks Radio! Plus, we were thrilled to have Australia & Asia join us in a last minute self-organized pre-Megathon event, as well as a group of students from Dickson County High School who were keen to do their part on Monday, and help us finish up analysis of the Megathon dataset!!”

Darlene Cavalier, Founder of SciStarter and Professor of Practice at the School for the Future of Innovation in Society at ASU, added, “The collective accomplishments of Citizen Science Day would not have been possible without the support of NNLM PSR. The support enabled libraries and others to host community-centered events and promote ongoing citizen science programs in ways that transcend a single day.”

Categories: Data Science

Apply to be NNLM MAR’s Academic Coordinator

MAR Data Science - Thu, 2019-04-18 09:55

The University of Pittsburgh Health Sciences Library System (HSLS) invites applications for the position of Academic Coordinator for the Middle Atlantic Region of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM MAR). We are looking for an energetic, creative, innovative, and service-oriented individual interested in being part of a collaborative team that works together to improve access to, and sharing of biomedical and health information resources, with an emphasis on resources produced by the National Library of Medicine.

Funded by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) through a cooperative agreement, HSLS serves as the regional medical library headquarters for the Middle Atlantic Region, one of eight regions in the NNLM nationwide program. NNLM MAR comprises Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. The NNLM mission is to ensure health professionals, researchers, the public health workforce, patients, families and the general public have access to quality health information.

The Academic Coordinator has primary responsibility for designing and evaluating outreach and education programs aimed at library staff working in academic institutions, with a special focus on community colleges, research universities and colleges/universities with programs in the health sciences, health and science education, library science, emergency management, and environmental health. The position has an expanded role in aligning NNLM MAR programs for academic libraries with new and changing NLM initiatives. This position is NNLM MAR’s liaison to initiatives aligned with NLM’s call for a new generation of “data-savvy librarians”.

For a complete job description and application details please see the full job posting.

Application review will begin May 15, 2019.

NNLM MAR Executive Director Kate Flewelling will be at the Medical Library Association conference and would be happy to speak with anyone interested in the position. Please email her ( to set up a time.

Categories: Data Science