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The blog of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine Evaluation Office

Archive for November, 2014

Data Viz: free training and other fun stuff

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

Coming soon to a computer near you!  Chris Lysy of FreshSpectrum  is offering a free seven-part data visualization workshop.  Chris has provided data viz training for the American Evaluation Association. (His followers also love his cartoon-illustrated evaluation blog. ) He calls himself the Rachel Ray of data visualization, which makes his course description a nice feature for the OERC’s Thanksgiving blog post.

The workshop date is still TBA, but  you can join his mailing list now to get full details when they are released.

Fresh spectrum logo

Also, Thanksgiving activities often include movie-viewing. So here are some fun data visualizations of famous movie quotes by Flowingdata to help you through the last afternoon before  the holiday weekend.

Poster of chart depictions of famous movie quotes

Freebie Friday: Data Visualization Options Flowchart

Friday, November 21st, 2014

What would you like to show? Comparison, composition, relationship, distribution

Looking for an ‘at a glance’ single page to determine which type of data visualization chart is helpful in order to clearly communicate your results?

This PDF flowchart at  http://betterevaluation.org/plan/describe/visualise_data is a very handy reference! The flowchart guides you towards considering the appropriate data visualization chart options after your initial response to the question of “What would you like to show?” answers of comparison, distribution, composition, or relationship. There are brief descriptions of the charts at the Better Evaluation data visualization page that you can click through to get additional information such as a deviation bar graph that includes synonyms, a base definition, examples of how the chart is used, advice about their use, and links to resources for creating them.

Liberate conversations through Liberating Structures

Friday, November 14th, 2014

Nothing beats qualitative (non-numerical) data collection methods for getting a high volume of rich, interesting information from project participants and stakeholders. The downside is that these methods are resource intensive, so you usually are limited to involving a relatively small number of participants in conversation.

But what if you want to collect a lot of qualitative responses from a lot of people?

If you do, check out the Liberating Structures website. It provides step-by-step instructions for activities to engage large groups in conversations for planning and evaluation.  The website offers a menu of 33 activities with extensive planning details, plus ideas for combining activities into an almost unlimited number of group discussion formats.

I participated in a Liberating Structures activity in Denver last month when I attended the Quint*Essential Conference, hosted by five Medical Library Association chapters. Staff from National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) regional offices invited all conference attendees to generate and evaluate ideas for future network initiatives. It was a high-energy activity that engaged more than 100 people in providing bold ideas for future activities.

The beauty of Liberating Structures activities is that the guidelines include how to document conversations so meeting facilitators will end their exercises with actual data. In some cases, the data can be quickly analyzed. NN/LM facilitators were able to compile and report results from the Quint discussion in the exhibit hall later that day.

I want to thank Claire Hamasu, the Associate Director of the NN/LM MidContinental Region, for pointing me to the Liberating Structures web site and including me in the Quint Conference activity. I personally look forward to trying more of these activities and hope other readers are inspired to do so as well.

 

Liberating Structures logo

Literature Search Strategy Week at AEA

Friday, November 7th, 2014

We at the Outreach Evaluation Resource Center (OERC) have previously covered the American Evaluation Association’s (AEA) tip-a-day blog at http://aea365.org/blog as a helpful resource. This week posts about literature search strategies were shared on the AEA blog by Network member librarians from the Lamar Soutter Library at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Have you been involved in a similar collaboration? Please let us know, we’d love to feature your work in a future OERC blog post!

Literature Search Strategy Week

  1. Best Databases – learn the most effective starting points for biomedical, interdisciplinary, specialized, and a handy Top Ten list of literature databases.
  2. Constructing a Literature Search – learn the value of a vocabulary roadmap, and the difference between keyword and controlled vocabulary searching.
  3. Grey Literature – strategies for understanding these non-traditional but highly valuable information resources and starting points on where to find them.
  4. Using MyNCBI – learn how to sign up for your free account, save your PubMed search strategies, receive email updates, customize your display and more.
  5. Citation Management – featuring both freely available and other options you may have access to through your academic organizations.

Last updated on Monday, June 27, 2016

Funded by the National Library of Medicine under Contract No. UG4LM012343 with the University of Washington.