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The Charts are Off: Approaches to Ethical Decision-Making in Data Visualization

Class Details

Many of us work in environments filled with "data-driven" decision-making and regular reporting of data to justify our budgets and planning. Data Visualization can be a powerful tool for telling our story and presenting the facts on the ground, but how can we make ethically informed decisions when visualizing our data? This talk will discuss different ethical frameworks and how they can inform the decisions we make in data visualization. We aim to go beyond discussion of avoiding misleading charts and into the ethical decision-making frameworks that inform how to present our data.


Nicole Contaxis, MLIS is the Project Lead for the NYU Data Catalog at the NYU Health Sciences Library. Nicole develops the vision and strategy for the future of the NYU Data Catalog, including software development, curation, and partnerships with allied departments at the institutions. She leads NYU's participation in the Data Discovery Collaboration, a national effort to improve institutional data discovery. Her areas of interest include data sharing, data ethics, and community engagement. Nicole is a former National Digital Stewardship Resident at the National Library of Medicine. She received her MLIS from UCLA and is currently working on her M.A. in Bioethics at NYU.

Fred LaPolla, MLS is a Research and Data Librarian and Lead of Data Education at NYU Health Sciences Library. He works with the library's Data Services team and serves as liaison to the Departments of General Internal Medicine and Clinical Innovation (DGIMCI) and Radiology. Fred also teaches Rigor and Reproducibility and R Programming in the Grossman School of Medicine Sackler Institute of Graduate Biomedical Sciences. He is passionate about professional education and finding ways to facilitate learning around data collection, management, visualization and analysis. Fred holds a Masters of Library Science (MLS) from Queens College, CUNY.

Thursday, October 22, 2020
2:00pm - 3:00pm
Region/Office: National
Oct 22, 2020
2:00PM - 3:00PM ET
Kirsten Burcat, MLIS, Data & Evaluation Coordinator

The NNLM Research Data Management (RDM) webinar series is a collaborative, bimonthly series intended to increase awareness of RDM topics and resources.  The series aims to support RDM within the library to better serve librarians and their institutional communities. Topics include, but are not limited to, understanding a library’s role in RDM, getting started, data management planning, and different RDM tools.

Several NNLM Regional Medical Libraries will collaborate and combine efforts to feature experts from the field for this national webinar series. Each session will include separate objectives based on the featured webinar presenter. Attendee participation will be possible through the WebEx platform chat features and other electronic methods designed by the guest presenter. Sessions are recorded, closed captioned, and posted for later viewing.

Each session will last approximately 1 hour and 1 MLA CE contact hour will be offered per session. CE contact hours will only be available during the live presentations of the webinar.

  • Explain how a tool or resource can be utilized within Research Data Management
  • Illustrate and discuss potential role(s) in which librarians or libraries can support Research Data Management
  • Facilitate the creation of RDM plans and programs