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SLA 2018 Data Caucus Events and more

Data Caucus Reception
Sunday, June 10, 2018

The Data Caucus Reception is a time for members to get together and network in a festive atmosphere.

You must register and/or RSVP to attend ticketed events. Details on how to register for ticketed events can be found here.


Tuesday, June 11, 2018

“Data Rescue: What Is Happening to Environmental Datasets?”

The European Union and the United States now have mandates to share research data; in other words, any data resulting from research supported by the government must be archived to permit their use by other researchers and the public. What about all the research data collected before these mandates-In print and electronic? In ecology and environmental sciences, “longitudinal” or “old” data are especially important. Researchers in these areas need to know what happened in the past to determine what changes are happening now and project what may happen in the future. Come learn about data rescue of government and non-government environmental data and how librarians and citizen scientists are coming to the rescue.

“Data Management, Data Analysis, and Visualization using Excel”

Almost everyone uses Excel, and almost everyone can use some help with data management. This session will focus on best practices for making your own spreadsheets more usable by others, and techniques for cleaning up imported data. We will cover some of the data analysis capabilities of Excel and some visualization options, along with pitfalls to avoid. Attendees will learn how these techniques can be applied to the analysis of journal usage and citation statistics. This session is for those who already know how to use formulas and can apply basic math functions in Excel.

“Data Management Planning: Case Studies”
3:30-5:00 PM
This hands-on session will cover aspects of data management planning including types of data, responsibilities for/ownership of data, backup, storage, and preservation. Cases will be used to highlight various aspects of data. Participants will reverse engineer a data management plan (DMP) for the projects that might have generated the data. No prior knowledge of data management planning is required. The participants should be able take the knowledge they gain from this session to help patrons develop their DMPs.

CE Courses

Sunday, June 10, 2018

“Library Carpentry: Building Skills for Data Savvy Librarians”
Full Day (9:00 AM – 4:30 PM)

CE Class: Library Carpentry is a volunteer community of instructors and lesson developers who teach workshops using crowdsourced, open access lesson materials and according to the Software Carpentry pedagogy. Library Carpentry is made by librarians (informed by Software Carpentry and Data Carpentry) for librarians to: 1. better understand the use of software in research; 2. create, maintain and/or analyze sustainable and reusable data; 3. automate repetitive, error-prone tasks; 4. work effectively with IT and systems colleagues. Power searchers know how to use operators, wildcards and truncation; however, those techniques have been database-specific or software-specific. Library Carpentry teaches you how to harness the power of similar functions and apply them to textual data, any body of text, regardless of size. Workshop attendees will learn to: 1. Understand benefits, how to work with, and how to clean data using command line, Bash/Shell, and OpenRefine; 2. Recognize how regular expressions can be applied to investigate bodies of text and applied to research in competitive intelligence, business, legal, as well as academic contexts; 3. Access a platform for further self-directed learning and an active community of fellow learners.

Pricing: $225 for SLA members / $415 for non-members

“Introduction to Data Analysis and Visualization with R”
Half Day (8:00 AM – 12:00 PM)
Information Technology Division

CE Class: Librarians increasingly need data literacy skills to be successful in today’s data-intensive information environment. Many users within the scientific community are turning to R for their data analysis, organization, and visualization needs. R is a free and open source scripting language that provides users ways to work with data in highly customized ways to accomplish tasks that would be difficult or impossible with point-and-click software like Excel. R is easy to learn, even if you’ve never written a line of code before, and is a great way for librarians to get started with working with their own data, or assisting their patrons with their data needs. Many scientific researchers have embraced R as a simple and effective solution for their data needs, and librarians who provide support for such groups will find it useful to be conversant in using R. Librarians who can master R and provide training for their patrons will undoubtedly find that their skills are much sought-after; the instructor for this CE course offers monthly R workshops and has trained hundreds of researchers at her institution. Even after a year of providing these monthly workshops, classes continue to have waitlists of dozens of researchers who want to learn. Librarians may find also R helpful in working with their own data, including bibliometric data, library stats, or budget data.

Pricing: $125 for SLA members / $200 for non-members

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SLA 2017 Data Caucus Events at the Annual Conference in Phoenix

DATA CAUCUS events at SLA 2017

SLA 2017 Annual Conference in Phoenix, Sun-Tue Jun 18-20, 2017


Sunday, June 18, 2:15-3:30 (CC-224 B)

Beyond the Impact Factor with Bibliometrics and Altmetrics: Building a Case with New Research Metrics Tools


Presenters: Elaine Lasda Bergman, SUNY Albany; Richard Hulser


Identifying the ways to measure scholarly influence and research impact remains a vital skill for those who work with researchers. Attendees will hear about the latest developments in the rapidly changing area of scholarly metrics, and learn how these tools can be best applied. This session will provide an overview of advances in bibliometrics and altmetrics, and present case study examples to show how these tools help provide data analysis and value of research to senior executives at institutions, potential funders and the general public. Those with a need in proving the value of scholarly research who also have a basic understanding of traditional bibliometric indicators will benefit from this session as will others with interest in the topic.

Led by the Data Caucus in partnership with the Physics, Astronomy, and Math Division

Stream: Metrics, Analytics and Assessment; Intermediate



Monday, June 19, 3:30-5pm (CC-225 A-B)

Search: The Next Generation: AI, Aggregators, and Language Generation


Presenters: Laura Gordon-Murnane; JP Ratajczak, Director, Intelligence Systems, Aurora WDC; Ethan Redrup, Analyst, The Martec Group


The role of the information professional will change as info services and automated processes become increasingly sophisticated and able to take on more work. What if AI could fine tune an aggregator service? Could natural language generation bots hit a sweet spot and create relevant content summaries that would turn up on your aggregator? Are these systems ready to handle the workload without human intervention? Learn what the future holds for information professionals from a panel of experts.

Led by the Competitive Intelligence Division in partnership with the Data Caucus

Level: Master Class


Monday, June 19, 7-8:30 pm (Sheraton Laveen A)



Tuesday, June 20, 9-10 am (CC-226 B-C)

Creating a Window into Data Resources


Presenters: James King, Information Architect, Branch Chief, NIH Library; Delia Sawhney, Director, Economic Research Information Center, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston


In today’s world, with the availability of data continuing to increase at phenomenal speeds, it is not enough to point to the resources your clients have available to them. Instead, it is critical to help customers understand what datasets can be used to answer the questions they are facing. As part of the data management cycle, we use data visualization tools, like Tableau, to create a window into data resources, so that our clients can interact with the data immediately, instead of having to pore over documentation in order to glean insight into the content. If you are managing data, come see how we are using data visualization to help customers better understand the information they have at their fingertips.

Led by the Information Technology Division in partnership with the Data Caucus

Stream:  Data Management; Level: Intermediate


Tuesday, June 20, 1:30-2:30 pm (CC-224 A)

Information Security for Libraries


Presenter: Tracy Maleeff, Sherpa Intelligence LLC


Get basic instruction on the threats, cyber and physical, that could harm your library. Understand the terminology that is in the headlines these days: 2FA, ransomware, and more. Then, receive a broader understanding of policies and action plans that can be implemented to protect valuable resources like patron data and library servers. Attend this session to get a foundation for how to educate your library staff and patrons about being safety-savvy and to create a culture of security within your organization.

Led by the Data Caucus in partnership with the Legal Division

Stream: Data Management; Level: Fundamental


Tuesday, June 20, 1:30-2:30 pm (CC-229 B)


Open Science Framework


Presenters: Daureen Nesdill, Marriott Library, Univ of Utah; Matt Spitzer

Session attendees will learn about Open Science Framework (OSF)—a free, open access service of the Center for Open Science (COS), a non-profit technology company based in Charlottesville, Virginia. Rather than providing support at the end of a research project, OSF provides data management during the project. Discover how to keep all your files, data, and protocols in one centralized location. Explore useful functionality including the ability to connect your favorite third party services directly to the Open Science Framework, and the ability to control which parts of your project are public or private—making it easy to collaborate with the worldwide community or just your team.

Led by the PAM Division in partnership with the Data Caucus

Stream: Data Management; Level: Fundamental



ALSO look for DATA CAUCUS on Main Street SLA in the exhibit hall!


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ASEE – ELD Presentations on Data management

ASEE – Engineering Libraries Division (ELD) Presentations (Data management)

ASEE Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA, June 26-29, 2016

Susan Boyd, Santa Clara University

Sapp Nelson, M. (2016, June) A proposed scaffolding for data management skills from undergraduate education through postgraduate training and beyond. Lightning talk presented to the Engineering Libraries Division of the American Society for Engineering Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA. (slides available from the her presentation at the IASSIST conference, Bergen, Norway, May 31 – June 3, 2016)

Three gaps were identified in efforts to scaffold training for data management skills throughout a student’s college years from their undergraduate to graduate years. 1) There needs to be systematic way to track and measure these skills. 2) A communication tool must be used to keep track of what has been taught, who taught it, and the level of the data literacy concepts that were taught. 3) How are the goals of becoming data literate assessed, and what is the evidence for reaching these goals?

To build a framework for DIL education:

Find out what has been taught, and to whom.

Integrate the parts into one, whole curriculum.

Communicate the goals of the integrated program to students, faculty and staff.

Use assessment to see if the goals of the program has been reached.

Scaffolding is a technique to follow the learner through these domains: personal, team and research. In each domain, there are characteristics the individual will possess that will enable him or her to move on to the next domain. Learning new skills is dependent on having learned the ones from the previous domain. Scaffolding includes instructional technology, hands-on exercises and in-person/online instruction.

A pilot to do scaffolding with 35 competencies identified was customized for Purdue. These were narrowed down to 12 competencies. The pilot scaffolding is available for download (no editing) at:

Sapp Nelson, M. and Phillips, M. (2016, June) Consulting with research groups to create project-specific data management training and protocols. Unconference presentation at the Engineering Libraries Division of the American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA. Slides at:

This presentation helps identify individuals and groups who need assistance developing research protocols. Questions are given for: 1) Interviewing the individuals and groups identified. 2) Focusing on the data management lifecycle.

Recommendation: Audio record the interviews with verbal permission from the participants. This allows you to form a more complete picture of the viewpoints of faculty and research assistants.

What to look for when listening to the transcripts so you can go back later to clarify and recommend best practices are: file naming conventions, file structure, storage, versioning, backup, and documentation procedures and submission.

After analysis and clarification, write a document that highlights what data management practices the group agreed upon and give it to the faculty member for approval, then distribute to the research group.

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