RDAP Summary: Renee Walsh

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This year we were able to use the proceeds from our annual conference to help three professionals attend the Research Data Access & Preservation (RDAP) Summit. Held in conjunction with the Information Architecture (IA) Summit, RDAP explores themes such as open data, data infrastructure, metadata, and data preservation. The RDAP community brings together a variety of individuals, including data managers and curators, librarians, archivists, researchers, educators, students, technologists, and data scientists from academic institutions, data centers, funding agencies, and industry who represent a wide range of STEM disciplines, social sciences, and humanities.

The attendees wrote up their experiences to share with our readers. This account is written by Renee Walsh of University of Connecticut:


Attending the RDAP summit in Chicago was a great experience for me. I appreciated the diversity of speakers and viewpoints. As a new data management outreach librarian, it was valuable for me to be able to speak with my fellow librarians who have similar positions at other institutions.  Having worked previously as an intern with the City of Boston’s Department of Innovation and Technology on their open data website redesign and communication, I was very interested to hear from Tom Schenk, Chief Data Officer from the City of Chicago. His talk was very engaging and he told many interesting data stories that stem from the development of a vibrant and engaged civic technology community in Chicago.

One of the goals with collecting large amounts of municipal data is to use data analytics to improve problems in the city that stem from infrastructure and also to improve the lives and health outcomes of Chicagoans.  The goal of much of the data analysis is to predict future problems more quickly and with greater accuracy. Another goal is to prevent problems from occurring in the first place. For example, Tom Schenck said that underground city infrastructure is hit on average every 60 minutes.  A 3D model of underground city infrastructure helps to decrease and prevent contact damage to underground infrastructure like pipes and wiring. The city has also created a heatmap of rodent complaints. Using data analytics comprised of 31 different factors that correlate with rodent complaints over a seven day period, the city can predict where in the city the next increase in rodent complaints will occur.  In a similar way the city can also use data analytics to find the food establishments with the highest possibility of risk of food poisoning. Using data analytics, the city is able to speed up the rate at which they can predict food violations by 7 days, which is important in preventing food poisoning in food customers. Schenck also mentioned that the computer code for this model is open source and available on Github.  Other projects tackled by the cities data analytics include predicting where West Nile virus may occur, predicting where e-coli may occur on city beaches, and the Lead Safe project which aims to reduce children’s exposure to residential lead paint. The Clean Water project was created thanks to about 1000 hours of volunteered time from Chicagoans involved in the civic tech community. According to Schenk, the project used open science that is fully reproducible and available on BiorXiv.

In addition, I enjoyed many of the talks from university data management librarians.  Andrew Johnson from the University of Colorado talked about defining the role of the library in an institution’s research data management.  He referenced SPEC Kit from the ARL on data curation. He asked the question, “are we doing things because we can or because we have a good reason to be doing them ?”  He cautioned against preservation for preservation’s sake. Finally, Andrew thought the library plays a unique role in the university, because it is the only place that understands the big picture of scholarly communication.

There were also many talks about FAIR data, which is an acronym for Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Re-usable.  In talking about big data, Ayoung Yoon mentioned the 3 Vs: volume, variety, and velocity that characterize big data sets.  Wendy Kozlowski from Cornell University’s ITS, talked about the development of a usable and interactive data storage finder.  I thought their website was very impressive and well thought-out.

On my last day at RDAP, I particularly enjoyed the workshop titled, Building with the Carpentries.  It was an overview of how to get involved with the carpentries at your local institution. I also had the opportunity to meet and talk with Tess Grynoch and Julie Goldman about the New England Library Carpentry community.  In conclusion, I really enjoyed my trip to the RDAP summit in Chicago. I particularly enjoyed speaking with fellow research data librarians from other university institutions. It was interesting to observe and ask about how the roles vary at each institution depending upon its needs, priorities, and organizational structure.

RDAP Summary: Allison Gofman

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This year we were able to use the proceeds from our annual conference to help three professionals attend the Research Data Access & Preservation (RDAP) Summit. Held in conjunction with the Information Architecture (IA) Summit, RDAP explores themes such as open data, data infrastructure, metadata, and data preservation. The RDAP community brings together a variety of individuals, including data managers and curators, librarians, archivists, researchers, educators, students, technologists, and data scientists from academic institutions, data centers, funding agencies, and industry who represent a wide range of STEM disciplines, social sciences, and humanities.

The attendees wrote up their experiences to share with our readers. This is the first of those accounts written by Allison Gofman of Tufts University:


Thank you NEASSIST for supporting my attendance at RDAP 2018! This was my first time attending RDAP. I graduated Simmons SLIS this August and began as Social Science Data Librarian at Tisch Library at Tufts shortly afterwards. As I talked to new colleagues about how to learn more about different aspects of my job and pursue professional development and engagement, my coworker Kristin Lee immediately mentioned RDAP. She described it as an opportunity to learn a huge amount about supporting research data in a short period of time, and a welcoming, collaborative group of people who were enthusiastic about collaboration.

It was as great an experience as I had hoped. The keynote by Tom Schenk, the Chief Data Officer of Chicago, was an excellent perspective on the value and use of data. Since I support our Urban and Environmental Planning department as a Liaison, I took copious notes of content and websites to bring to my department, and also joined the entire room in laughing at struggles that unite folks working on sharing and reusing data across disciplines and jobs. “Please cite us! (DOIs help.) We need to track impact. People don’t cite online data for some reason…”) [https://www.instagram.com/p/BgluLUHhpAZ/]

Many panels and discussions between sessions discussed the role of libraries in research data services. It was illuminating to see the many projects and strategies different institutions are taking with different resources available. There was a range of options from “I’m one person with a few hours a week among 10,000 other tasks” to “we have a team of 6 people doing this full time.” One lightning talk that stood out was Jamene Brooks-Kieffer from the University of Kansas Libraries, who talked about “Playing in the Sandbox: A Year of Data, Tools, and Analysis Inside the Library.” I really appreciated the idea of playing as a research methodology for exploration with an openness to failure and wrong paths. The acknowledgement of the role of power and hierarchy in collaborations felt crucial, and the talk left the audience enthusiastic about building empathy with our researchers.

By far the stand-out session for me was “Underserved Data Communities: Understanding Access & Preservation Bias”. Reid Boehm talked about transgender medical data, Siân Evans and McKensie Mack talked about gender and race in Wikipedia through their initiative Art + Feminism, and Jaquelina Alvarez & Hilda T. Ayala-Gonzalez talked about data access and preservation in the face of disaster, discussing their experiences at the University of Puerto Rico. I was shocked to hear that only 3% of RAPID funding after Hurricanes Maria and Irma went to Puerto Rican researchers. While the lessons discussed about backups are relevant to folks everywhere, there is a definite urgency and responsibility to address unequal distribution of resources. During the semi-structured breaks, many attendees gathered to discuss how to build social justice into work as data librarians and related positions. I look forward to seeing discussions of access, justice, race, gender and more become integrated into all work at future conferences.

I had the opportunity to meet with colleagues from New England who are also members of New England Software Carpentry Library Consortium or NESCLiC [https://nesclic.github.io/home/]. The Carpentries is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide researchers with “the computing skills they need to get more done in less time and with less pain” NESCLiC is composed of 15 library folks who have been trained as instructors in Data and Software Carpentry through a consortium. Building capacity for services through collaboration was a clear theme throughout the conference.

I encourage other folks who are involved in research data in libraries, whether or not data librarian is their title, to attend! Thanks NEASIST for the support.

NE-ASIS&T Annual Travel Award 2018 Winners!

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The results are in and we are pleased to announce the winners of the 2018 NE-ASIS&T Annual Travel Awards! This year’s ASIS&T Annual theme is Building an Ethical & Sustainable Information Future with Emerging Technology and it will be held in Vancouver, BC, Canada, Saturday, November 10 – Wednesday, November 14, 2018.

In the category of Student, we would like to congratulate Alyson Gamble, PhD student at Simmons College’s School of Library and Information Science! Gamble’s research is focused on biomedical informatics and UX testing, with the goal of improving access to medical information. At this year’s ASIS&T, Gamble looks forward to learning more about ethical issues in the field, meeting others who are working on related initiatives, and continuing to serve in leadership roles within the organization.

In the category of Professional, we would like to congratulate Tina McAndrew of the Westborough Public Library! Tina is the Technology and Technical Services Librarian for the Westborough Public Library. In this position Tina hopes to identify new trends in technology that she can offer to the people she serves. At the conference, Tina’s goal is to meet and create partnerships with other information professionals to learn more about how new technologies will provide equitable access to information.

A special thanks goes out to the team of volunteers who read through the essays for this year’s award. They are:

Catherine Dixon, Wolters Kluwer (NEASIS&T Webmaster)
Kate Nyhan, Yale University (NEASIS&T Co-Chair)
Sylmarí Burgos Ramírez, Simmons College (Winner of the 2017 ASIS&T Annual Student Travel Award)
William Lundmark, Worcester State University (NEASIS&T Treasurer and winner of the 2017 ASIS&T Annual Professional Travel Award)
Julie Goldman, Harvard Medical School (NEASIS&T Secretary)

To Alyson and Tina, congratulations and enjoy the ASIS&T Annual Conference!

2017 ASIS&T Annual Travel Award Recipients Recount Their Experiences — Sylmari Burgos Ramirez

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Last year we sent four New Englanders to the ASIS&T Annual Conference in Washington, DC (October 27 – November 1) with travel awards paid for out of the proceeds from our regional winter conference. We had awards for one practitioner, one student, and two awards for services to the local chapter awarded to the program committee co-chairs from last year. In this four-part series, they share their experiences at the conference with us.

This week, Sylmari Burgos Ramirez, recipient of the 2017 NEASIS&T Student Travel Award recounts her experience. If you are interested in traveling to Vancouver this fall to attend ASIS&T Annual 2018, check out our blog post explaining how to apply!


Hello all! I attended the ASIS&T 2017 Annual Meeting: Diversity of Engagement: Connecting People and Information in the Physical and Virtual World as part of the Northeast Chapter Student Travel Award. As a doctoral student at Simmons College, it was my first time attending the conference and visiting wonderful Washington, DC. The conference was extremely meaningful for me. Not only did I have the chance to attend various presentations around my topic of interests but I had the opportunity to meet and get to know different leaders in the field.  It was very exciting to meet in person the people who have shaped my knowledge in LIS and people I read in library school, like Marie L. Radford, Lisa M. Given, Nicole Cooke, among others. Continue reading 2017 ASIS&T Annual Travel Award Recipients Recount Their Experiences — Sylmari Burgos Ramirez

2017 ASIS&T Chapter Service Award Recipients Recount Their Experiences — Louisa Choy

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Last year we sent four New Englanders to the ASIS&T Annual Conference in Washington, DC (October 27 – November 1) with travel awards paid for out of the proceeds from our regional winter conference. We had awards for one practitioner, one student, and two awards for services to the local chapter awarded to the program committee co-chairs from last year. In this four-part series, they share their experiences at the conference with us.

This week, Louisa Choy, recipient of the 2017 NEASIS&T Chapter Service Award recounts her experience. If you are interested in traveling to Vancouver this fall to attend ASIS&T Annual 2018, check out our blog post explaining how to apply!


As a practicing academic librarian at college that is very focused on professional majors and the practice of those professions, I’ve always identified more with the “library” portion of my M.L.I.S and the “information science” portion was something I engage in when I have time. Pretty much all the conferences I’ve attended have been focused on best practices within academic libraries and finding out ways to improve my day-to-day work. It was exciting to have won the Chapter Service Award which allowed me the opportunity to attend the ASIS&T Annual Meeting last fall – a conference that had a very definite information science and research bent. It was a fascinating experience to see the breadth of work information professionals do, the global network, and the implications of the research on so many disciplines and even on the government.  Continue reading 2017 ASIS&T Chapter Service Award Recipients Recount Their Experiences — Louisa Choy

Announcing the Travel Award for ASIS&T Annual 2018! Apply by April 1!

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Application Deadline: Sunday, April 1
Notification of Award Winners: Monday, April 16

About the Awards: Professional/Practitioner and Student

The Association for Information Science & Technology, New England Chapter (NEASIS&T) is pleased to announce two awards to support participation in the ASIS&T Annual Meeting.  Our goals are to support scholarship and connect research and practice, bringing new voices to the chapter. There is one student award and one practitioner award of $750 each.  Each award will support your year-long membership in ASIS&T as well as your conference registration and part of your travel costs. What does that mean for you?

  • As an ASIS&T member, you’ll receive up to $750 for ASIS&T Annual.
  • As a student non-member, you’ll receive up to $710 for ASIS&T Annual; NEASIS&T will pay the $40 dues for your student ASIS&T membership.
  • As a non-member new information professional, you’ll receive up to $685 for ASIS&T Annual; NEASIS&T will pay the $65 dues for your transitional professional ASIS&T membership.
  • As a non-member professional, you’ll receive up to $610 for ASIS&T Annual; NEASIS&T will pay the $140 dues for your professional ASIST membership.

The ASIS&T Annual Meeting will take place in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada from Saturday, November 10 – Wednesday, November 14, 2018 and will be focused “building an ethical and sustainable information future with emerging technology.”  For more information, you can visit the annual meeting webpage.  It is still 9 months out from the annual meeting, so the schedule has not been fixed yet.

Benefits of ASIS&T membership include:

  • Membership in our New England regional chapter
    • Mentorship and networking with experienced NEASIS&T members
    • Opportunities to build professional skills (including project management, budgeting, marketing, etc.)
  • Discounted conference registration for ASIS&T and NEASIS&T events
  • Webinars and discounts on other publications
  • A year’s subscription to the Journal of ASIS&T and the Bulletin

Eligibility & Applications

Applicants must be either current college or graduate students or practitioners in the field of information science at the time of their application and living and working in New England (ME, NH, VT, MA, RI, or CT) or New York. We define information science broadly: librarians, archivists, data/knowledge managers, information architects, web developers, etc., are all encouraged to apply. Applicants do not need to be current NEASIS&T members. However, award winners are expected to participate (in person or remotely) in NEASIS&T programming committee meetings in 2018-19.

Here is the application link: https://goo.gl/forms/h5bPn9nJjO6RlfO93

Terms of Awards

Each award winner will be welcomed into our New England regional chapter by participating in events in person or remotely. As a travel award winner, you will:

  • Meet with a NEASIS&T representative at the conference
  • Share your conference experience with the NEASIS&T chapter via a blog post due December 1st, 2018.
  • Participate in a NEASIS&T meet-up based on the winners’ professional interests
  • Review award applications for the 2019 Travel Awards
  • Submit receipts documenting travel- and conference-related expenses, such as registration, airfare, food, and lodging, up to the value of the award

*If a winner is unable to meet all of the terms due to a relocation, NEASIS&T should be notified immediately.

 

Questions? Contact Catherine Dixon at neasist@gmail.com

RDAP ‘Pre-Conference’ Happy Hour: Sponsored by NEASIS&T

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‘Pre-Conference’ Happy Hour: Sponsored by NEASIS&T

Join NEASIS&T for a Happy Hour prior to the start of the RDAP conference! Unwind from a day of travel and meet your colleagues for a drink right in the Hilton Hotel!

ASIS&T supports many diverse communities, including Data Librarians. Join the New England Chapter for drinks and apps, and learn about other ways to support and become involved in the ASIS&T community. We welcome all conference attendees (not just those from New England) in hopes to facilitate and build regional connections to the larger association.

NEASIS&T Board Members Joshua and Julie will be there to talk about benefits of local chapter communities, and answer any questions you have.

We hope you join us for this pre-conference event! Drink and apps on us!

Where: Kitty O’Sheas (right in the Hilton Hotel!)

When: Tuesday March 20, 4:00-8:00 pm

Let us know if you plan to stop by on our Eventbrite!

(This registration is not required, it is only to provide us with a general headcount!)

Supported by Association for Information Science & Technology, New England Chapter

2017 ASIS&T Annual Travel Award Recipients Recount Their Experiences — William Lundmark

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Last year we sent four New Englanders to the ASIS&T Annual Conference in Washington, DC (October 27 – November 1) with travel awards paid for out of the proceeds from our regional winter conference. We had awards for one practitioner, one student, and two awards for services to the local chapter awarded to the program committee co-chairs from last year. In this four-part series, they share their experiences at the conference with us.

In this installment, William Lundmark, recipient of the 2017 NEASIS&T Practitioner Travel Award recounts his experience. If you are interested in traveling to Vancouver this fall to attend ASIS&T Annual 2018, keep an eye out for this year’s travel award, which will be announced within the week!


Attending the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Association for Information Science & Technology (ASIS&T) was a most instructive and enjoyable experience for me, and I thank the New England chapter for supporting my travel expenses to Washington, D.C.  As is true of professional conferences I’ve attended in the past, it is often difficult to choose among the sessions offered, and this year’s ASIS&T was no exception. Continue reading 2017 ASIS&T Annual Travel Award Recipients Recount Their Experiences — William Lundmark

Travel Stipends Available for RDAP Summit 2018!

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About the Stipends:

The Association for Information Science & Technology, New England Chapter (NEASIS&T) is pleased to announce three stipends to offset some costs of participation in the Research Data Access & Preservation (RDAP) Summit.  Our goals are to support scholarship and connect research and practice, bringing new voices to RDAP and to our chapter.

NEASIS&T is offering three stipends of $300 each. What does that mean for you?

  • As an ASIS&T member, you’ll receive $300 for RDAP.
  • As a student, you’ll receive $260 for RDAP; NEASIS&T will pay the $40 dues for your student ASIS&T membership.
  • As a new information professional, you’ll receive $235 for RDAP; NEASIS&T will pay the $65 dues for your transitional professional ASIS&T membership.
  • As a professional, you’ll receive $160 for RDAP; NEASIS&T will pay the $140 dues for your professional ASIS&T membership.

ASIS&T supports many diverse communities, hosting events such as the Research Data Access & Preservation (RDAP) Summit. Held in conjunction with the Information Architecture (IA) Summit, RDAP explores themes such as open data, data infrastructure, metadata, and data preservation. The RDAP community brings together a variety of individuals, including data managers and curators, librarians, archivists, researchers, educators, students, technologists, and data scientists from academic institutions, data centers, funding agencies, and industry who represent a wide range of STEM disciplines, social sciences, and humanities. The RDAP Summit will take place in Chicago, IL from March 21 – 23, 2018. For more information, you can visit the RDAP meeting webpage.

The benefits of the ASIS&T membership include:

  • Membership in our New England regional chapter
    • Mentorship and networking with experienced NEASIS&T members
    • Opportunities to build professional skills (including project management, budgeting, marketing, etc.)
  • Discounted conference registration for ASIS&T and NEASIS&T events
  • Free webinars and discounts on other publications
  • A year’s subscription to the Journal of ASIS&T and the Bulletin

Eligibility & Applications

Applicants must be graduate students, researchers, or practitioners in the field of information science and living and working in New England at the time of their application. We define information science broadly: librarians, archivists, data/knowledge managers, information architects, web developers, etc., are all encouraged to apply. Applicants do not need to be current NEASIS&T members.

To apply, please send an e-mail to neasist@gmail.com and include your name, employer, city, and state.

Terms of Stipends

Each stipend winner will be welcomed into our New England regional chapter. As a travel stipend winner, you must:

  • Live and work in New England
  • Meet with a NEASIS&T leader at RDAP
  • Share your conference experience with the NEASIS&T chapter through a blog post due by April 15th, 2018
  • Participate in a NEASIS&T meet-up based on the winners’ professional interests
  • Submit receipts documenting travel- and conference-related expenses, such as registration, airfare, food, and lodging, up to the value of the award

NEASIS&T will send stipends to the recipients after receiving the blog post and receipts.

*If a winner is unable to meet all of the terms due to a relocation, NEASIS&T should be notified immediately.

Questions? Contact Catherine Dixon at neasist@gmail.com

Understanding and Using APIs NEASIS&T Winter Conference Schedule

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Looking forward to seeing so many of you at our conference on Monday, January 8, 2018! If you haven’t had a chance to register, go to our Eventbrite!

Here is the schedule of events:

Understanding and Using APIs
Finding ways to connect information is one of our biggest challenges. Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are sets of requirements that govern how one application can talk to another and share data. These capabilities are great for library users and researchers, as well as librarians and staff! Our morning speakers are experts in APIs, and through them you’ll understand what APIs are and learn the practical uses of how APIs can enhance your data. In the afternoon session, you’ll see hands-on demonstrations and learn about API tools you can bring back to your organization.

Beginners are welcome and encouraged! This is a great chance to see how other librarians are using APIs, and to figure out which applications are useful for you in your organization. And if you already use APIs, here’s a great chance to find a community of practice.

Program
8:00 | Coffee and Networking

Morning Keynotes

9:00 | Getting Started with APIs

Amber Stubbs, Assistant Professor, Simmons College

10:15 | Enhancing Content Discovery through APIs

Rob O’Connell, Director of Discovery and Access, Smith College Library

Rob O’Connell has been the Director of Discovery and Access at Smith College since 2013. He was previously the Head of Technical Services at Higher Colleges of Technology in the United Arab Emirates. Rob has been working with APIs and discovery systems for the past 10 years and has created several tools based on their architecture including Smith College’s new bento box interface.

11:15 am | Fun & Games with APIs

Jeff Steward, Director of Digital Infrastructure and Emerging Technology, Harvard Art Museums

Jeff Steward directs the museums on the use of a wide range of digital technology. He oversees the collections database, API, and photography studio. For the opening of the new Harvard Art Museums in November 2014, he helped launch the Lightbox Gallery, a public research and development space. Steward has worked at museums with museum data since 1999. Areas of research include visualization of cultural datasets; open access to metadata and multimedia material; and data interoperability and sustainability.

Lunch, provided by NEASIST (Noon – 1:00 pm)

API Demonstrations (1:00 pm – 4:00 pm)
Brad Coffield – APIs for Librarians and Saint Francis University Library

Eben English – Digital Commonwealth

Kayla Hammond – formerly of the Boston Open Data Project

Doug Loynes – OCLC

Martha Meacham – E-utilities from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (the people behind PubMed)
We’re sorry to announce that this E-utilities demo is canceled, as of 1/5/18. For people who are interested in this resource, there will be some self-guided activities to explore.

Whitney Christopher & Ian Callahan – Harvard Art Museum

David Moore – WBUR and the NPR API

Bill McKinney, Ellie Collier, David Podboy – EBSCO