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GMR Data Science

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The blog of NNLM Greater Midwest Region
Updated: 1 hour 44 min ago

Save the Date: Midwest Data Librarian Symposium (MDLS) 2018

Wed, 2018-02-28 10:51

SAVE THE DATE! The Iowa State University Library in Ames, IA will be hosting the 2018 Midwest Data Librarian Symposium (MDLS) on October 8-9, 2018.

MDLS 2018 is intended to provide Midwestern librarians who support research data management the chance to network and expand their research data-related knowledge base and skill sets. It is open to all who wish to attend, including those from the Midwest and beyond as well as librarians in training.

Attendance to this event is capped and decided on a first-come, first-served basis. Stay tuned for more announcements, follow @MW_DataLibSym on Twitter, or check the MDLS webpage for updates as they become available

Questions should be directed to

Categories: Data Science

UC Libraries and IT@UC Host THIRD ANNUAL UC DATA Day

Tue, 2018-01-23 09:52

Data Day logoJanuary 22, 2018 – The University of Cincinnati Libraries and IT@UC announce the 3rd annual UC DATA Day. Scheduled for Tuesday, March 6 from 8:30 a.m. – 4:15 p.m. in Nippert Stadium West Pavilion on UC’s Main Campus (see directions), UC DATA Day 2018 offers a full schedule of engaging events that will reveal solutions to data challenges and foster a community of best practices around improved data management. All events are free and include lunch. The public is welcome.

Registration is now open at  Seats are limited, so register early.

The UC DATA Day 2018 keynote speaker is Patricia Flatley Brennan, RN, PhD, director of the National Library of Medicine (NLM). The NLM is the world’s largest biomedical library and the producer of digital information services used by scientists, health professionals and members of the public worldwide. Prior to her work at the NLM, she was the Lillian L. Moehlman Bascom Professor, School of Nursing and College of Engineering, at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

The day will include panel discussions on “Game Changing Data: How Data is being used to affect change,” “Big Data” and “Data Solutions: Your Questions Answered.”

In addition, attendees can participate in two technical sessions on data analysis and data visualization with Python. During lunch, service providers will speak on how they support researchers and research data management.

For more information, contact Tiffany Grant, interim assistant director for research and informatics, at (513) 558-9153 or

Categories: Data Science

Dr. Patricia Flatley Brennan to Headline UC Data Day Event!

Thu, 2018-01-04 09:10

Researchers producing big data and small data face unique challenges in data management, data sharing, reproducible research and preservation. Data Day is a daylong event that will highlight these challenges and showcase opportunities for all researchers. This event promises to engage audience members, reveal solutions to these data challenges and foster a community of best practices around improved data management. This year, the keynote address will be given by Patricia Flatley Brennan, RN, PhD, Director of the National Library of Medicine. Panel topics include: Game Changing Data: How Data is being used to affect change, Big Data and Data Solutions. The event features some phenomenal and engaging panelists to present these topics. In addition, this year, two technical sessions will be hosted on Data Analysis and Data Visualization with Python. Data Day is free and open to the public, but registration is required.

When: March 6, 2018

Where: University of Cincinnati Libraries

More Info:

Categories: Data Science

Seeing the Forest and the Trees: Why Librarians Can Make Valuable Contributions Working with Big Data

Fri, 2017-12-01 09:33

In the NNLM Big Data in Healthcare: Exploring Emerging Roles course, we asked participants, as they progressed through the course to consider the following questions: Do you think health sciences librarians should get involved with big data in healthcare? Where should librarians get involved, if you think they should? If you think they should not, explain why. You may also combine a “should/should not” approach if you would like to argue both sides. NNLM will feature responses from different participants over the coming weeks.

Written by: Heidi Beke-Harrigan, MLS, Health Sciences Librarian, Member Services Coordinator, OhioNET

There has been an explosion of conversation around the topic of big data. The potential for mining large sets of data in endless, customized combinations could revolutionize healthcare, patient outcomes and evidence-based medicine. At the same time, as with systematic reviews, effective data projects benefit from a collaborative environment and a team approach. One individual is not likely to possess the skills to formulate the right questions, write queries, extract the data, provide analysis and manage data storage/retrieval. Data without context is lifeless. Misused it can be exploited, misinterpreted and manipulated. Deriving meaning from data depends on someone’s ability to mine what’s there and make real connections to people’s lives. That’s where librarians excel. Our work has always been about cultivating connections, enabling access to raw information so that new ideas can ferment, providing access to those ideas and end products, and storing the results. Formats have come and gone, but it’s all data and librarians can play a key role in making data useful. Where individuals with specific expertise may focus on a very narrow aspect of data work (trees), librarians tend to see patterns, connections and possibilities (forest). Librarians like to create spaces where nuanced details and creativity can coexist and mingle in a place of infinite possibility.

What skills can librarians specifically bring to the table? Researchers have identified the need to recode data elements and challenges maintaining consistency of data over time as two barriers to big data work. Librarians with cataloging and metadata experience can work with teams to help bring about harmonizing of terminologies and standardize metadata descriptions. They are also able to ask important questions about storage and retrieval. Where will the coding that extracted the data live? Do the resulting data sets need to be stored? How can reproducibility or access points to the data be supported? What story does the data tell and who else might want to discover it?

Imagine further, a world where librarians are part of a new framework of front-line clinical teams and integral to using big data to improve patient outcomes. If we assist with research topic formulation, provide input regarding user experience design, help develop consult management tools, and support the creation of effective query forms and output displays, can we free up clinicians and partner with other colleagues to more fully explore the role of data in Practice Based Evidence (PBE)?

Librarians’ expertise in providing programming, informal learning opportunities and formal classroom instruction can serve us well to assist in citizen data scientist training and to prepare our students with critical skills for work in a data rich landscape. Part of that skill-set should also include an awareness for and appreciation for data literacy, data sharing, and transparency. As Dr. Brennan pointed out, there are certainly opportunities for data scientists and programmers in this information-rich world, but to give that data meaning, requires that we all bring the unique strengths and core values of our diverse professions to the table. In that realm, librarians have much to share.

Categories: Data Science