Monday, February 8, 2016

Love Your Data Week, Day 1: Keep Your Data Safe

Welcome to Day 1 of Love Your Data Week! We're going to kick off the week by talking about the 3-2-1 rule:
  • Keep 3 copies of any important file (1 primary, 2 backup copies)
  • Store files on at least 2 different media types (e.g., 1 copy on an internal hard drive and a second in a secure cloud account or an external hard drive)
  • Keep at least 1 copy offsite (i.e., not at your home or in the campus lab)
Things to Avoid: 
  • Storing the only copy of your data on your laptop or flash drive
  • Storing critical data on an unencrypted laptop or flash drive
  • Saving copies of your files haphazardly across 3 or 4 places
  • Sharing the password to your laptop or cloud storage account

TODAY’S ACTIVITY

Data snapshots or data locks are great for tracking your data from collection through analysis and write up. Librarians call this provenance, and it can be really important. Errors are inevitable. Data snapshots can save you lots of time when you make a mistake in cleaning or coding your data. Taking periodic snapshots of your data, especially before the next phase begins (collection or processing or analysis) can keep you from losing crucial data and time if you need to make corrections. These snapshots then get archived somewhere safe (not where you store active files) just in case you need them. If something should go wrong, copy the files you need back to your active storage location, keeping the original snapshot in your archival location. For a 5-year longitudinal study, you might take snapshots every quarter. If you will be collecting all the data for your study in a 2-week period, you will want to take snapshots more often, probably every day. How much data can you afford to lose? Oh, and (almost) always keep the raw data! The only time when you might not is it’s easier and less expensive to recreate the data than keep it around.
Instructions: Draw a quick workflow diagram of the data lifecycle for your project (check out our examples on Instagram and Pinterest). Think about when major data transformations happen in your workflow. Taking a snapshot of your data just before and after the transformation can save you from heartache and confusion if something goes wrong.

TELL US 

Where do you store your data? Why did you choose those platform(s), locations, or devices?
Twitter: #LYD16 or @IandPangurBan
Instagram: #LYD16
Facebook: #LYD16

RESOURCES

Check out the resource board & the changing face of data on Pinterest, or email the UW Libraries Data Services Team with questions.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Love Your Data week, 8-12 February 2016

Next week, the University of Washington Libraries will be participating in Love Your Data, a nationwide event designed to raise awareness about research data management, sharing, and preservation, along with the support and resources available at our university. For five days, Feb. 8 - 12, we will share related tips and tricks, stories (both success and horror!), resources, and point you to local experts. In return, we ask that you share your own experiences and results from the daily activities to keep the conversation lively. You can also follow the national conversation on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook via #LYD16

In the meantime, check our NPR's "Will Future Historians Consider These Days The Digital Dark Ages?" and Raiders of the Lost Web from the Atlantic for a glimpse into the implications of data loss.


Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Announcing the 2016 eScience Data Science for Social Good summer program

DSSG_logo.png
The University of Washington eScience Institute, in collaboration with Urban@UW and Microsoft, is excited to announce the 2016 Data Science for Social Good (DSSG) summer program. The program brings together data and domain scientists to work on focused, collaborative projects that are designed to impact public policy for social benefit.

Modeled after similar programs at the University of Chicago and Georgia Tech, with elements from our own Data Science Incubator, sixteen DSSG Student Fellows will be selected to work with academic researchers, data scientists, and public stakeholder groups on data-intensive research projects. Graduate students and advanced undergraduates are eligible for these paid positions.

This year’s projects will focus on Urban Science, aiming to understand and extract valuable, actionable information out of data from urban environments across topic areas including public health, sustainable urban planning, crime prevention, education, transportation, and social justice.

For more program details and application information visit:

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

UW Data Science Poster and Networking Session - Register now!


Are you engaged in research or teaching involving data-intensive discovery — either advancing the methodologies, or putting these methodologies to work in any field of discovery?  Does your work require extracting knowledge from large, noisy, or complex datasets? Do you use advanced statistical techniques, advanced data management platforms, or advanced visualization methods in your work? Are you involved in inventing these advanced methods? If so, please register to present your work in this poster session!

This two-hour event is an opportunity for the University of Washington campus community and regional partners to present their activities and connect with others engaged in data-intensive discovery.

Date: Feb 10, 2016 | 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Location: Mary Gates Commons

Refreshments will be provided for all attendees … the costs of poster production will be covered … easels will be provided … how can you say no?

This is an incomparable opportunity to network with others who are advancing the forefront of data-intensive discovery.
  • Posters must be roughly 32″ x 40″
  • Posters must be mounted on posterboard or foamcore (easels will be provided for displaying them – they will not be tacked to the wall)
  • You must be present at the poster session (although you’re encouraged to bring someone along so you can simultaneously staff your poster and network with others)
  • You must register by Wednesday February 3
Various off-campus printshops (e.g., FedEx) can assist, as well as UW Creative Communications, UW Posters (in the Health Sciences), and (for their members) many major departments. Save your receipts – we’ll reimburse your expenses up to $100!

Please register here by Wednesday February 3rd to present a poster!
We’ll see you on February 10 at 3:00pm (setup beginning at 1:00pm) in the Mary Gates Commons!

Questions? Contact manager@escience.washington.edu

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Just in time for Valentine's Day: Love Your Data Week!

The University of Washington Libraries will be participating in Love Your Data week, a nationwide event designed to raise awareness about research data management, sharing, and preservation, along with the support and resources available at our university. We believe research data are the foundation of the scholarly record and crucial for advancing knowledge of the world around us. Visit this blog during the week of February 8, 2016: each day will we will share daily tips and tricks for managing research data, stories (both success and horror!), examples and resources. 

You can also join the national conversation on Twitter via #LYD16. The main site for Love Your Data Week will also be a good source of information for the week, and you can see other participating institutions listed there as well.

Monday, November 30, 2015

A Day of Library Conversation on Open Public Data


[Note: this article appears concurrently in the ACRL-WA/OR newsletter for Fall 2015, n76]

On October 13, Seattle Public Library hosted a day of library conversation on open public data. Attendees came from around the Puget Sound area and included libraries such as Seattle Public Library, Pierce County Libraries, King County Libraries, Sno-Isle Libraries, the University of Washington and the UW Libraries, the City of Seattle, and OCLC. Representatives from Socrata, a company that provides solutions for governments to put their data online, were also in attendance. The idea behind the workshop was to facilitate a discussion regarding the role of the library in open and government data initiatives. The hope was to brainstorm ways in which public libraries can partner with local data initiatives, how to provide library staff with the skills and resources they need to participate in local data, and how to support the library's community of users.

The session included folks from Socrata presenting examples of some of the government data they provide solutions for, as well as a brainstorming session on what a library's potential role is regarding open data. In the Puget Sound there is already a bounty of online government data available (for example, http://data.kingcounty.gov/, https://data.seattle.gov/, https://data.wa.gov/, http://www.census.gov/data.html, and many, many more), and libary user communities are accessing that data from library computers. The question is: could or should libraries be doing more to support what users are doing?

Though no magic-bullet solutions were found, everyone involved agreed it was a good initial conversation -- it was the first time all of us had collected together to learn about how we are or would like to be supporting open data, what our staff needs to be able to continue or begin supporting open data initiatives, and what the future might look like as far as library support for these endeavors goes.

I'm sure this was the first of many meetings on the topic, and everyone looked forward to potential collaboration on future projects, and/or to more discussion on particular concepts.

Some additional open data-related resources that were highlighted at the event included OpenSeattle (a civic technology group, including weekly civic hacking nights), Municipal Research Services Center (has a data request service for municipalities), Puget Sound Regional Council (also has a data request service), NextDoor (private social networks connecting neighborhoods).

Following the afternoon workshop, an evening event at SPL was held. Titled "From Data to Action: Open Data and You," the event included a panel presentation and audience discussion. Panelists were:
  • Ryan Biava, ‎Senior Policy Advisor, Mayor's Office of Policy & Innovation
  • Abe Diaz, Mobile Program Manager at NBC-Universal, Inc. and Independent Developer
  • Amy Laurent, Assessment, Policy Development and Evaluation Unit, Public Health, Seattle & King County
  • Domonique Meeks, Masters of Science Information Management graduate student at the University of Washington and the co-organizer of Hack The CD
  • Jenny Muilenburg, Data Curriculum and Communications Librarian, University of Washington Libraries Research Commons
Facilitated by Jim Loter, Director of Information Technology at SPL, discussion topics included resources for open data (with a focus on data.seattle.gov), best ways to learn about data if you're starting out on a project, where to acquire data-related skills, and examples of the creative ways people have used open data. The best part of the night was the Q&A, with questions ranging from Seattle policy decisions, skill training, ideas for how to use open data, and more.

The presentation was recorded, and will be available online via SPL soon.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

November 18 = UW GIS Day

Campus GIS Users:

Wednesday, November 18th is GIS Day and the University of Washington will highlight and celebrate the transformational role of Geographic Information Science (GIS) by hosting a day-long event in the UW Libraries' Research Commons.


UW GIS Day Agenda:

10:15 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.Welcome & Light Refreshments (coffee and doughnuts)
10:30 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.Lightning Talks 1: Non-Students - Submit a Proposal!
11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.Speaker Session #1: Mapping for Social Good
·         Marty Schnure, mapsforgood.org
·         Andrew Powers & Christy Heaton, MaptimeSEA
11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.: Lunch
1:15 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.: Lightning Talks 2: Students - Submit a Proposal!
2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.: Speaker Session #2: The State of GIS Education Today
·         Nick Chrisman, RMIT University
·         Michael Goodchild, UC Santa Barbara/UW

Interested in presenting at GIS Day? We could still use a few more people to give lightning talks. There are going to be two sessions: one for student presenters and one for non-students. Submit your proposal for a lightning talk here: http://www.lib.washington.edu/commons/events/gisday/2015/proposal

UW Students: Win a $75 UW Bookstore gift card at this year’s UW GIS Day! All you need to do is give a 5 minute lightning talk at UW GIS Day. Audience members will vote on their favorite based on style and content. The winner will receive a $75 UW Bookstore gift card!

Contact Matt Parsons at parsonsm@uw.edu for more information.

We hope you will join us!

-Matt Parsons, on behalf of the GIS Day Planning Group

Friday, October 30, 2015

UW Students: Win a $75 UW Bookstore gift card at this year’s UW GIS Day!

UW GIS Day is coming up fast, with a full day of events planned for Wednesday, November 18. GIS Day is an international event that showcases how GIS can be used to make a difference in society. UW students have the chance to win a $75 UBookstore gift card by participating in the student presentation session.

All you need to do is give a 5 minute lightning talk at UW GIS Day. We're looking for 8 students who have used GIS in a project or as part of their undergraduate research to give lightning talks. Audience members will vote on their favorite based on style and content. The winner will receive a $75 UW Bookstore gift card!

Submit your proposal for a lightning talk here: www.bitly.com/uwgisdaytalks.

Wednesday, November 18th is GIS Day and the University of Washington will highlight and celebrate the transformational role of Geographic Information Science (GIS) by hosting a day-long event in the UW Libraries' Research Commons. Updated event information is posted here: www.bitly.com/2015uwgisday. It's a fun and fast-paced day of GIS goodness that covers a wide variety of disciplines.

Contact Matt Parsons at parsonsm@uw.edu for more information.

We hope you will join us!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Data Sharing Issue of Journal of Librarianship & Scholarly Communication

Hot off the presses: a new special issue of the Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication (Vol 3, Iss 2, September 2015) is dedicated to research data sharing. Articles include topics such as accessible research data, institutional data polices, data sharing practices, data citation and data management plans, as well Amanda Whitmire's write up "Implementing a Graduate-Level Research Data Management Course: Approach, Outcomes and Lessons Learned." In addition, data from the article is included in the JLSC's dataverse. Looking forward to checking out many, if not most of these articles in the very near future.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Data Webinars, Live and Recorded

Needing a refresher on data your data reference skills? Looking for background information on a particular type of data? Check out the following webinars focused on data and data reference:

On August 18, data librarians Hailey Mooney and Jen Darragh will present a webinar aimed at helping you answer patrons' data and statistics questions. "Data for the Non-Data Librarian" will be held from 11PST/2EST, and will hit topics such as the difference between data and statistics, search strategies for both, ways of finding local area data, and how to leverage free and paid data resources. Register at http://ow.ly/QMAOR.

Earlier today, the Government Resources Section of the North Carolina Library Association hosted the latest in their "Help, I'm an Accidental Government Information Librarian" webinars. Kristin Partlo presented "Accessing Datasets for the Data Curious," which included information on helping patrons download data, exploring the relevance of a dataset, and alerting patrons to common pitfalls and patterns. This series of webinars is archived online: other webinars covered court records, environmental data, the National Archives, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, geocoding, and many (many!) more, most of which have the slides and recorded session available.