Thank you for visiting the “eScience Portal for Librarians.” The “eScience Portal” is no longer being maintained by the University of Massachusetts. This regional resource has been adapted by the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, and is sustained by the network of regional medical libraries across the country. Please visit for up-to-date data services and resources supported and vetted by the National Libraries of Medicine. We look forward to your continued involvement in the programming in the New England Region and beyond. If you have questions, please contact

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2017 Science Boot Camp — Register Now!

e-Science Portal blog - Fri, 05/12/2017 - 12:00
Registration for 2017 New England Science Boot Camp is open!
Please register before May 19th!

This year’s Science Boot Camp will be held June 14-16, 2017 on the campus of University of Massachusetts Amherst, in Amherst, Massachusetts. At Science Boot Camp you will explore key concepts and research in select subject areas, and engage faculty in their disciplines. This year’s topics are: Geosciences, Mathematics & Statistics, Biomedical Research. All session speakers are still being finalized. This year’s Capstone will cover Scholarly Communications topics in a session called “A Week in the Life of a Scholarly Communications Office.”

Science Boot Camp provides librarians with valuable continuing education at a low cost, and offers three options for attendees–full registration with overnight lodging, commuter registration, or a one day registration option. Registration fees:

Full Registration: $275  (Includes 2 nights lodging, all meals & breaks,3 days instruction)

Commuter Registration: $225  (Includes all meals & breaks,3 days instruction)

One-Day Registration: $125  (Includes 1 day instruction, all meals & breaks, no lodging)


Preliminary Schedule for Science Boot Camp (subject to change):

What can you expect to get out of Science Boot Camp?

For each of the focus topics covered at Science Boot Camp’s science sessions, Science Boot Campers will be able to:

  • Explain the structure of the field and its foundational ideas
  • Understand and be able to use terminologies for the field
  • Identify the big questions that this field is exploring
  • Discuss new directions for research in this field
  • Discuss what questions research in this field is addressing
  • Understand how research is conducted, what instrumentation is used, and how data is captured
  • Identify how researchers share information within their fields beyond publications
  • Share insights into what current research in the field is discovering and implications of these discoveries
  • Share insights into how researchers in specific fields collaborate with librarian subject specialists now and how they might collaborate in the future.
  • Identify new ways that librarians can support their research communities

If you’ve never been to Science Boot Camp, visit the e-Science Portal’s Science Boot Camp page at where you’ll find descriptions, links to past SBC LibGuides, and links to SBC videos!

For further information and to register:

Let us know you are coming on Twitter with #SciBoot17!

We look forward to seeing you in June!

The New England Science Boot Camp for Librarians Planning Committee

For General Inquiries: Ellen Lutz (

JeSLIB Special Issue: Call for Papers

e-Science Portal blog - Tue, 05/09/2017 - 12:00
Call for Papers in JeSLIB Special Issue: “Visualizing the (Data) Future”

Journal of eScience Librarianship Special Issue to be published December 2017!

“Visualizing the (Data) Future”
Guest Editor: Jian Qin, Syracuse University
Expert Commentary: Sally Gore, University of Massachusetts Medical School

Data Visualization is an increasingly important research area due to its wide range of applications in many disciplines. Visualizations provide a visual overview in order to explore, analyze, and present something often difficult to understand.

In the field of data science, librarians have emerged to help address this challenge. In this Special Issue, we are looking for articles on how you are telling stories, using tools, or creating best practices in data visualization.

All submissions are subject to peer-review based on article type.

Please see About this Journal and Author Guidelines for more information.

To submit an article to “Visualizing the (Data) Future”:

Areas of focus include, but are not limited to:

  • Case studies describing the use of data visualization (e.g., healthcare, bioinformatics, sciences)
  • Data visualization and research impact
  • Institutional collaborations in data visualization
  • Visualization as a tool for data science education and explanation
  • Evaluation methods for assessment
  • Reviews of data visualization books, tools or other resources
  • How data visualization fits into the research lifecycle
  • History of visualization throughout science (STEM)

Timeline for Publishing Special Issue:

Submission Deadline: August 1, 2017
Acceptance Notification: September 15, 2017
Final Manuscripts Due: November 1, 2017
Issue Publication: December 15, 2017

Questions? Contact Editor, Regina Raboin,

9th eScience Symposium Video Recordings and Event Materials are Online!

e-Science Portal blog - Fri, 05/05/2017 - 12:00

The video recordings of the presentations from the April eScience Symposium are now available on the New England Region eScience Program YouTube page.

Kristi Holmes, Director, Galter Health Sciences Library, Feinberg School of Medicine, gave the keynote address on “An Impact Agenda for Biomedical Libraries.”

Shea Swauger, Department Head of Researcher Support Services, University of Colorado — Denver, gave a phenomenal breakout talk on data education titled “Sex, Lies, and Data.”

The 2016 e-Science Symposium conference page has also been updated with links to slide decks from the presentations and the PDFs of the presented posters.

Mount Holyoke College Research and Instructional Support team’s poster, “Building Research Data Services at Mount Holyoke College” was awarded “Best Poster Overall.”

Check out the great materials from the eScience Symposium!

Supporting Researchers with the Research Bazaar

e-Science Portal blog - Tue, 04/25/2017 - 12:50

Submitted by guest author, Jennifer T. Nichols, Digital Scholarship Librarian, University of Arizona Libraries,

Every day at universities around the world, researchers are looking for answers to problems. Sometimes those problems are about how to write a script to efficiently accomplish a task, how to share code with other collaborators, or how to work with geo-spatial data. Now that computing is integral to how we accomplish our research, we often find ourselves alone and struggling to find someone with the expertise to assist us.

Research Bazaar Arizona (ResBazAZ) debuted at the University of Arizona to address this issue. A two-day, free conference, ResBazAZ combined individual lightning talks, spontaneous unconference style meetups and more focused, in-depth workshops. We learned from the open model of Research Bazaar (ResBaz), the global festival originating in Australia at the University of Melbourne, which aims to “equip researchers from all career stages with the digital skills and tools required to do their research better, faster and smarter.”

Most ResBaz events were in universities in Australia and New Zealand, but this year expanded globally to include three North American universities. Other global sites include Oslo, Norway, and Cuenca, Ecuador. While most events around the world were held during the month of February, the Tucson event was March 31 and April 1.

The principal organizers at the University of Arizona (UA) were a loose group of software developers, programmers and post-docs, many of whom have volunteered to teach Software Carpentry to research scientists on campus. They started to realize that more support was needed beyond the weekend workshops, where people would get their initial start but afterwards find there was little to no ongoing support. After one of the developers met Research Bazaar founders at SXSW, they were inspired to implement their model and create Thursday evening Hacky Hour events at a nearby campus bar, coupled with Tuesday early morning PhTea events, both designed to be drop-in help for any sort of research computing needs.

Meanwhile at the UA Libraries, we had been hosting a Friday Tech Talk series, inviting faculty and students to present on the tools they use in their research and teaching. The goal of this program is to connect people to others across disciplines who may be using the same tools, and support the formation of a learning community. Eventually we found one another, and joined forces to plan the larger two-day ResBazAZ.

Intrigued by the first Australian events, with Moroccan style tents and outdoor lounges for social gatherings, we thought our Tucson weather would allow us the perfect opportunity to host an equally appealing event. The University of Arizona has a beautiful sprawling mall of grass through the center of campus. We set up shop in the middle of the mall with two pop-up tents, Mexican blankets, a few chairs, one monitor, and lots of coffee. In Tucson, late March weather can be unpredictable. And as Murphy’s law would dictate, we welcomed our event with an unseasonably cool 60 degrees, 25 mile/hour winds and just a tease of rain.

Participants were invited to give short lightning talks on Friday. Software engineers, research faculty, librarians, computer science students, geneticists, social scientists, and journalists converged to discuss a wide range of topics, including high-performance computing, data rescue efforts, and gender equity in the STEM fields.

Saturday workshops were hosted in a large collaborative classroom in the Science-Engineering Library to accommodate more focused learning. Throughout the day, 19 workshops were taught by organizers and participants alike. Everyone came together midday for a rich conversation with the Open Science and Reproducible Research panel. This panel featured faculty at the University of Arizona (Uwe Hilgert, Bonnie Hurwitz, Nirav Merchant and Jeff Oliver), and Hao Ye, a Mozilla Science Lab Open Project lead and post-doc from Scripps.

Though planning was a weekly affair for several months, we were able to fund this event on a shoestring. CyVerse was our principal sponsor, supporting tents and coffee; the University’s Office of Research, Discovery and Innovation sponsored lunch; the Libraries provided facilities; and our corporate sponsor Overleaf funded drinks, swag, and trial access to their service for all participants.

As a first time event, we were thrilled to have 73 participants join us, 32 of which were walk-ins who either discovered us incidentally when they passed by, or did not register in advance.

For the coming year we hope that participants will continue to attend our weekly events and to grow our grassroots learning community. Enough time has passed that we are finally looking forward to next year, where we hope to double attendance, and widen our reach across disciplines.

Connect to the Research Bazaar community.

Learn more about the birth of Research Bazaaar on Dejan Jotanovic’s blog post.

Save the Date: 2017 Midwest Data Librarian Symposium

e-Science Portal blog - Tue, 04/18/2017 - 12:00

Posted on behalf of Heather Coates, Digital Scholarship and Data Management Librarian, IUPUI University Library – Center for Digital Scholarship

The 2017 Midwest Data Librarian Symposium will be held at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana on October 9 – 10, 2017.

The Midwest Data Librarian Symposium (MDLS) is intended to enable midwestern librarians who work with research data management issues the chance to network; however, it is open to all who wish to attend, including future data librarians and data librarians situated outside the Midwest.

Details forthcoming! More information:

Tag the conference and join the conversation with hashtag #MDLS17!


Notes from the March New England RDM Roundtable Discussion

e-Science Portal blog - Wed, 04/12/2017 - 12:00

The fifth New England Research Data Management Roundtable was held March 2, 2017 at the University Massachusetts Amherst. These series of roundtable discussions are targeted for New England librarians who are engaged in research data management services or who want to learn more about data librarianship. Sponsored by the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, New England Region, the NE RDM Roundtables provide opportunities for New England librarians to compare notes, ask questions, share lessons learned, explore new working models, acquire fresh ideas for their workplaces and develop new partnerships.

The theme of March’s event was “Breaking Down RDM Instruction.” The day featured a workshop taught by Brian Baldi, UMass Amherst Institute for Teaching Excellence and Faculty Development. Brain’s presentation “Transparency in One-Shot Library Sessions” built upon the Transparency in Learning & Teaching (TILT) project developed by Mary-Ann Winkelmes (University of Nevada, Las Vegas). Workshop participants were given time to design transparent assignments for one-shot sessions, and to discuss and evaluate their examples with their peers. This workshop was a great follow up to the discussion held at the RDM Roundtable last June at Boston College.

The roundtable discussions were held in the morning and in the afternoon.

To start the day off, a panel of Research Data Management librarians talked about developing learning objectives, and best practices for creating RDM instruction learning objectives.

Moderator: Patti Condon
Panelists: Thea Atwood, Megan Bresnahan, Zac Painter

Moderator Panel Questions:

  • Why do you think it’s important to create learning goals/objectives (for workshops, one-shots, etc.)?
  • Have you received formal training on teaching, lesson plans, or learning? goals/objectives? (If so, how did you receive this training? If not, how have you acquired the skills?)
  • Can you walk us through your process for creating lessons plans and learning goals/objectives?
  • How has your process for creating learning goals/objectives changed over time?
  • Is teaching RDM different than other subjects?
  • Can you share an example?

The following Roundtable focused on experiences creating RDM instruction learning objectives.

Learning Objectives

  • Based on the strategies used by the panelists, do you think there are things you can use in your own practice?
  • Think about any of your workshops or classes. What learning objectives do you use, and how effective do you think they are?
  • What do you still want to know? In what areas do you still need help?
  • What makes you uncomfortable about creating lesson plans and learning goals/objectives?
  • From what you have heard today, how can you change your practices?

Takeaways from the panel:

  • Framing outcomes in Bloom’s taxonomy, how to teach is a long term learning process; progression not perfection
  • Similar experience trying to do everything, can’t make everybody happy because there are still some people who are looking for more on a particular topic
  • Asking for what people want covered during the beginning of the class, Team has good structure but not any RDM classes but we are not a graduate institution, who are we going to teach to? Undergraduate doing thesis work?
  • Teach concepts not tools
  • A lot of material focused on grad students and not undergraduates but would love to move into that area
  • Focused on what to teach/ have to present
  • LO gets you to focus on what you want people to hear
  • Use concept mapping in RDM classes – have students draw research process, circle points where products/uses data, ID points on process where struggled, pair up to discuss mini RDM plans

Other feedback on Learning Objectives:

  • How many objectives can you cover in a class, ultimately more than 2-3 is too muc
  • Can we build a community to keep ourselves honest and posting learning objectives, then coming back after and saying how it went?
  • Trying to think what is the next step for learners afterwards when making objectives
  • Find other words than “understand” in objectives
  • Insurmountable chore
  • Approach as presentation us as education lesson plan template helps
  • Use ACRL info literacy- read regularly here is more- accept and be ok
  • Feedback from data librarians on active librarians and other learning strategies

The final roundtable of the day focused on assessing and reflecting on RDM teaching.


  • How do you evaluate the success of your courses?
  • Would you consider giving a quiz, test, or assignment (graded, if appropriate) during your instruction session or workshop?
  • How would your assessment results influence your teaching (how can you tie them into reflective practice)?
  • Would you find it useful to incorporate assessment as a component of your own lessons?
  • What questions do you ask yourself and reflect upon when you have completed a teaching session?

Current examples of evaluation practices:

  • General feedback survey in Qualtrics
  • Muddiest point (ex: Online or on paper – students put name, contact, and muddiest point)
  • No uniform way of collecting feedback on sessions
  • Pre-assessment to find out if students are all on the same page
  • Reflections at the end of the class (What did you learn; Interactive reflection; Active listening)

Evaluation strategies to apply:

  • No to quizzes, yes to assignments
  • There is an online quiz that is RDM Jeopardy
  • Visually see them (students) walk away with object reflective assessment
  • Experiment with assignments – constantly updating based on quality of assessment (self-assessment)

Questions to consider:

  • Collect data but then what? No point collecting if not using…
  • How do you do assessment outside of surveys, quizzes, grades?
  • How do we change the culture of assessment? Why do we collect bad data?
  • What do you do with the feedback you get? Especially with standardized courses taught by multiple people?


Webinar: Emerging Trends in Visual Science Communication

e-Science Portal blog - Wed, 04/05/2017 - 12:30
Emerging Trends in Visual Science Communication: How to create informative and inspiring graphics for journals and presentations

More information:

Effective science communication is highly dependent on clear, effective and eye-catching visuals. However, most scientists or research organizations do not have the resources to hire professional studios nor have an on-staff design team. Additionally, some research may involve proprietary information that make it difficult to bring on external team members on a whim. Luckily, there are ways to obtain or create an effective image to communicate complex science topics, whether it’s for a journal figure, a keynote presentation, internal team discussions, or the general public.

This webinar will cover a few key design and rendering techniques that any non-artist can implement when approaching graphics, schematics, or general presentation of scientific information (including proper layout, basic color or font choices, and when to include images). We’ll also discuss a few useful and free (or affordable) alternatives to the current option of spending hours in MS Word or Paint.

Instructor: Shiz Aoki, MA, CMI
Shiz Aoki graduated from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine through the Art as Applied to Medicine program after obtaining a B.Sc. in pre-medical sciences, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Illustration from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. In 2010, she was hired straight out of school as a science illustrator for National Geographic Magazine at their HQ in Washington, DC. Shiz is now Lead Science Artist at National Geographic, and Founder and Lead Illustrator at Anatomize Studios and, a scientific graphics production studio that services hospitals, journals, pharma and biotech companies. She has serviced other renowned clients including Scientific American, HHMI, NIH, McGraw Hill, Stanford University, and many others.

Aoki hopes to democratize the process of visual science communication to scientists at all stages of their careers. Her team is currently creating new tools and resources for scientists to create science visuals (such as graphical abstracts, journal figures, presentation slides).

Follow her on Twitter: @ShizAoki
Learn more at

Register for this free webinar:

In Review: Data Rescue Boston@MIT

e-Science Portal blog - Mon, 04/03/2017 - 12:30

Submitted by Guest Author Howard Silver, Head of Data and Specialized Services, MIT and NER eScience Advisory Board Member,

Data Rescue Boston is part of a national effort inspired and coordinated by the combined organizing efforts of Data Refuge and Environmental Data and Governance Initiative (EDGI).  These efforts are creating avenues for scientists and citizens to constructively engage in supporting science and research at a national level.

Since the start of 2017 a community-of-action has formed in the New England region dedicated to identifying and capturing government-generated data that may be at-risk. Data Rescue Boston has brought together students, scientists, community members and librarians to organize data gathering efforts.  Since the beginning of February there have been organized events at Harvard, UNH, MIT and Northeastern.

The Data Rescue Boston@MIT hackathon took place on Saturday, February 18. It was a student-led event with considerable institutional support from the Libraries, MIT Center for Computational Engineering, MIT Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative, and the MIT Graduate Student Council Initiatives Fund. 130 participants spent the day researching and harvesting URLs and data, and mapping Federal agency data profiles.


“Data Curation for Reuse” at the ACRL 2017 conference

e-Science Portal blog - Tue, 03/28/2017 - 13:12

Submitted by Portal Editor Laura Palumbo, Chemistry & Physics Librarian/Science Data Specialist, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) biannual conference, held last week in Baltimore, Maryland, presented a variety of informative sessions for academic librarians. There were several on data management topics, and I wished that I could have seen all of them. One that I attended was “Data Curation for Reuse: (Why Open is Not Enough)”, presented by Jared Lyle, Linda Detterman, and Elizabeth Moss, all of the Interuniversity Consortium for Political  & Social Research, at the University of Michigan, better known as ICPSR. The following synopsis includes only some of the interesting information presented during this session.

ICPSR is one of the oldest data repositories, and is operated by a consortium of over 750 institutions (ICPSR, 2017). The presenters discussed the curation activities undertaken by ICPSR, that enable their data to be discoverable and usable. Although dealing exclusively with social science data, the curation activities discussed are applicable to repositories in other areas as well. Some of the problems that can be encountered when datasets aren’t curated are a lack of metadata, which could render data unintelligible or hide possible biases; exposure of sensitive or personal data; and a lack of connection from the data to the published paper containing the analysis.

Ensuring good metadata is an important part of the curation process at ICPSR. Some of the significant metadata fields for social science data involve capturing the specifics of the population, the scope of the research, geographies, time periods, the number of respondents, and links to the survey instrument and codebook. Subject keywords are also important for discovery; and an indication of the existence of funders in order to uncover any biases that might be present. Provenance and versions need to be carefully maintained for accurate reuse. Links to publications, and data citation with DOIs are best practices that ICPSR uses and promotes.

In addition to making sure that the data is discoverable an intelligible, ICPSR also reviews and cleans the data it receives, to ensure that there is no risk of exposure of sensitive data through triangulation. In addition, it scans data deposits for personal information, such as social security numbers. Some sensitive data or data containing personal identifiers may be used with permission, and measures such as secure downloading, and virtual or even physical enclaves can be employed. ICPSR also has legal counsel and professional staff who oversee data security and related legal issues.

ICPSR, while doing all of these curation activities behind the scenes, allows for self-deposit of data. Depositors are encouraged to fill in some required metadata fields, and are reminded to review and clean their data before submitting it. Depositors have the ability to restrict access to sensitive data, and to share data through secure measures. Curation at ICPSR is quite an undertaking, and not one that everyone can replicate. Librarians who don’t have institutional repositories equipped to deal with this kind of data, were told that their efforts in research data management services such as planning, best practices, referrals to appropriate repositories, and help with metadata can benefit researchers as well as repositories receiving their researchers’ data.



Library Carpentry, Boston

e-Science Portal blog - Fri, 03/24/2017 - 12:30

MIT, NEASIST and NNLM NER are teaming up to bring Library Carpentry to Boston!

What is Library Carpentry?

Library Carpentry is made by librarians, for librarians to help you:

  • automate repetitive, boring, error-prone tasks
  • create, maintain and analyse sustainable and reusable data
  • work effectively with IT and systems colleagues
  • better understand the use of software in research
    and much more…

This Library Carpentry, one-day, hands-on workshop will cover jargon busting, data structures, using regular expressions for pattern matching, use of the Bash shell (aka the command line) to speed up and automate tasks, and using OpenRefine for data cleanup.

Who: The course is for librarians and information workers. You don’t need to have any previous knowledge of the tools that will be presented at the workshop –  beginners are welcome!

Where: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Building 14N-132

When: 15 May, 2017

Cost: $30 – $45 per registration

Apply for a NNLM NER Sponsorship and attend the workshop for free! 5 spots available!
Fill out this quick form with information about your background and interest.
NNLM NER will cover the registration fee and travel to the workshop. Sponsored attendees will be required to submit a blog post about the workshop and their experience to the eScience Community Blog.

Check out more details about Library Carpentry Boston.


Belinda Weaver
Belinda Weaver organised the 2016 global sprint that took Library Carpentry from a single London workshop to a growing global community. A former librarian and repository manager, she now provides eResearch infrastructure to researchers at Queensland universities. Based in Brisbane, Australia, she is a certified Software Carpentry instructor and instructor trainer and serves on the Software Carpentry Steering Committee. She runs local skills and outreach events such as Research Bazaar and Hacky Hour and tweets as @cloudaus.

Juliane Schneider
Juliane Schneider has had a long, weird library career, with data and discovery as the common thread. She has worked as an insurance librarian, a medical librarian, as a database designer for EBSCO, a research data curator and is now the Lead Data Curator for Harvard Catalyst, and In 2016, with fellow UCSD librarian Tim Dennis, she organized and taught the first Library Carpentry workshop in the United States, and is a certified Data Carpentry instructor.

Library Carpentry
National Network of Libraries of Medicine, New England Region
New England Chapter of the Association for Information Science and Technology

The Best of #LYD17

e-Science Portal blog - Fri, 03/03/2017 - 12:30

Posted by Portal Editor Julie Goldman, eScience Coordinator, National Network of Libraries of Medicine, New England Region, University of Massachusetts Medical School,

Love your Data Week 2017 was a great!

Here’s a look at the week through some our our favorite tweets!

#loveyourdata is a 5-day int’l event to help researchers take better care of their data. #LYD17 starts on Feb 13: — Paperpile (@paperpile) January 16, 2017

  Cookies + Data = Love

Not sure why I thought baking for #Lyd17 was a good idea… — Patricia Herterich (@PHerterich) February 12, 2017

Day 1 LYD17: Defining Data Quality

Will it be geoscience, physical chemistry or film studies? Find your perfect #data match with Data Dating! #lyd17

— ANDS (@andsdata) February 13, 2017

  Snow in New England didn’t stop Love your Data Week!

Find your data match #LYD17! Perfect way to spend a #UNH snow day during #loveyourdata week @unhlibrary @UNH_GradSchool — Patricia Condon (@pattibcondon) February 13, 2017

It’s not Love your Data Week without Data himself!

It’s here! #LYD17 #data #StarTrek

— Michelle Bass (@mbbassdrlib) February 13, 2017

Please don’t kick your computer…

Welcome to #loveyourdata week 2017! #LYD17 Theme = Data Quality @UMassMedical @umassmemorial — UMMS Library (@UMMSLibrary) February 13, 2017


Love your data week! Data quality #Monday: what would you add to the list? #lyd17 #LoveYourData

— DataCite (@datacite) February 13, 2017

Insufficient data…

Bad or insufficient data quality affects the execution of your analysis and your results #LYD17 #Loveyourdata #insufficientdata — Drexel Libraries (@drexellibraries) February 13, 2017


All you need is love (+ a data management plan!). #LoveYourData #YaleLovesData #LYD17

— MJ (@MarieGarambois) February 13, 2017

More cookies! 

Happy Love Your Data Week! Join us at Hunt Library for cookies + giveaways 1-3pm today. Follow @CMULibraries all week! #LYD17 — Ana Van Gulick (@anavangulick) February 13, 2017


What’s one thing you can do this week to improve the quality of your data? Reply with your answer & get something special!

— CMU Libraries (@CMULibraries) February 13, 2017

Love to see Portal Editor Laura advocating LYD!

Check out our brand new bookmarks for #LoveYourData week! @RULibraries @ryandata #LYD17 — Laura Palumbo (@LauraBPalumbo) February 13, 2017

Good vs Bad Data

Learn how to tell the difference between good and bad data. #LoveYourData week: #LYD17

— ASU Library (@ASULibraries) February 13, 2017

Data quality sound much better in French… Love to see the national recognition of LYD!

Pour l’amour des données de recherche… guide de bonnes pratiques de gestion par @bibudem #umontreal #lyd17 — Natalie Clairoux (@natalieclairoux) February 13, 2017

Collaborations & partnerships are great for advocating good data management.

It’s #LoveYourData week! Did you know the library partners with @NUITResearch to offer data mgmt workshops? #lyd17

— Northwestern Library (@NU_LIBRARY) February 13, 2017

Of course, lovable data isn’t just about the data you produce. How do you know you’ve found the right dataset for you? #LYD17 #loveyourdata — U of I RDS (@ILresearchdata) February 13, 2017

Do you know the FAIR Principles?

Quality data should be Re-usable—the R from FAIR #LYD17 #loveyourdata

— NNLM MAR (@NNLMMAR) February 13, 2017

Great to see more and more researchers adopting open data practices.

The amount of researchers already making their data open is increasing #LYD17 #loveyourdata — ScHARR Library (@scharrlib) February 13, 2017

Are you Indiana Jones?

Today’s #LYD17 theme is data quality. AKA “Artifacts are for Indiana Jones, not your data”: — Kristin Briney (@KristinBriney) February 13, 2017

Quality data has certain characteristics. Does your data match up to these? How can you find data that does? #loveyourdata #LYD17 — Scholarly Commons (@ScholCommons) February 13, 2017

Happy Valentines Day for LYD!

Is your data accurate and consistent, or “good enough? Join the conversation. #LYD17

— Magrath Library (@MagrathLibrary) February 13, 2017

So many resources for improving your data!

Love your data week! Documentation #Tuesday: Improve your doc with all these resources! #lyd17 #LoveYourData — DataCite (@datacite) February 14, 2017

Day 2 LYD17: Documenting, Describing, Defining

#LoveYourData Day 2: Documenting, Describing, Defining. See our guide on making the most out of your metadata #LYD17

— figshare (@figshare) February 14, 2017

  Data Humor

A codebook provides the information the article leaves out. Learn more with @ICPSR‘s guide: #LoveYourData #LYD17 — Alicia Hofelich Mohr (@ajhmohr) February 14, 2017

Metadata: Love Note to the Future

Show your data you’re the one who *really* knows it…

— U of I RDS (@ILresearchdata) February 14, 2017

  Document all the things!

Need to document your work? Here’s a guide to get started! #LYD17

— U of MN Libraries (@umnlib) February 14, 2017

Always great visuals from University of Wisconsin-Madison Research Data Services

happy v-day from @UWMadRschSvcs! #LYD17 — Brianna Marshall (@notsosternlib) February 14, 2017

Need a good video?

Our colleague @KristinBriney has created an AMAZING demo to help you get off the ground w/ data dictionaries: #LYD17

— Data Services (@nyudataservices) February 14, 2017

  Great to see many disciplines interacting in LYD!

It’s ‘#LoveYourData Week’ & #GVSUHTM students in HTM452 Hosp Mkting just happened to be covering #BigData today by coincidence! #LYD17 #GVSU — GVSU HTM Department (@GVSUHTM) February 14, 2017

Love your data week! Rescuing unloved data #Friday: resources and examples to handle legacy or at-risk data

— DataCite (@datacite) February 17, 2017

Yes, more Data.

Data that has been recorded by hand or on outdated technology or using proprietary formats is at risk. #LYD17 #loveyourdata #trlndata — NCSU Lib Research (@ncsulibresearch) February 17, 2017

‘Good Data’ applies to all different kinds of data

It’s Love Your Data Week, and at NCEI, our work revolves around data from the ocean to the sun. Gain access:

— NOAA NCEI Climate (@NOAANCEIclimate) February 17, 2017

Always provides a teachable moment

#LYD17 is almost over, but we don’t want it to end without sharing one of our fav videos on the topic: #LoveYourData — Northwestern Library (@NU_LIBRARY) February 17, 2017


Research takes a lot of time & resources–it needs TLC! Tho we try, every now & again our data need rescuing! #LYD17

— Data Services (@nyudataservices) February 17, 2017

Is “data” singular or plural? Check out xkcd’s strategy: / #LYD17 #loveyourdata #trlndata — NCSU Lib Research (@ncsulibresearch) February 17, 2017

Love your data…forever (forever)!

Finish your research? Data continues to need care & love. Secure your legacy data to enable future research.

— Regenstein Library (@UChicagoReg) February 17, 2017

The end of Love your Data Week 2017…until 2018!

As we wrap up #lyd17 our heartfelt thanks to everyone who participated! We’ll post feedback form next week. Rmbr to #loveyourdata everyday ❤ — Heather Coates (@IandPangurBan) February 17, 2017

3D Printing in the Academic Health Sciences

e-Science Portal blog - Mon, 02/20/2017 - 15:58

Submitted by guest author, Michelle Halla, Library Information Associate, Senior, University of Arizona,

3D printing is an additive manufacturing process that creates a physical object from a computer model.
While the technology itself isn’t new, it’s seen a recent resurgence thanks to lower cost, consumer grade printers.  Makerspaces are popping up in schools, communities, public libraries, and academic libraries.
Academic health sciences libraries are no exception.

It’s not hard to find 3D printing applications in medicine.  It’s being used in the field of prosthetics, to create low cost, easily scalable prosthetics for growing children (Birrell, 2017).  3D printing is being used for surgical planning, from broken bones to congenital heart conditions (Yang et al., 2016; Valverde et al., 2015).  In the world of pharmaceuticals, 3D printing is being explored as a way to precisely adjust dosing in medication (Sanderson, 2015).  The National Institute of Health has a 3D Print Exchange [], a library of printable 3D models that includes a molecule of the month and a cardiac library.  Given the breadth of applications, 3D printing is equally as home in the academic health sciences library as the public library.

In February 2015, The University of Arizona (UA) Libraries started a 3D Printing service after recognizing a need in their user base.  While 3D printing is available elsewhere on campus, students have to be enrolled in specific programs or courses, and may not have ongoing access.  The majority of students did not have access to this technology, but by offering a 3D printing service at the library students in all disciplines could benefit.  In response to growing demand and the overall direction of 3D printing, that service expanded and 3D printing was offered at a second location, the UA Health Sciences Library, in March 2016.  To date, we’ve had over 400 submissions at the Health Sciences Library.

Below are some of the ways we’ve seen our student utilize this service.

Rapid prototyping

3D printing an item can take anywhere from a few minutes to several days, depending on size, complexity, and resolution of the model.  For example, a highly complex 3D printed brain model that we’ve printed (discussed more below) runs around 36 hours.  However, most of the items we print take just a few hours.  From submitting a design to picking up the print, our typical turnaround time ranges from 72 hours to two weeks.  This means that students can design, print, and test their device in real world settings very quickly.  Since the service is low cost to students, it is also low risk for students to submit multiple prototypes.  When items fail to print properly, we offer the failure to students free of charge, which many students have taken to redesign their item to print better.

One such project that’s taken advantage of this rapid prototyping is an ovary spoon designed by Davis McGregor.  An undergraduate student working in the Tissue Optics Lab. McGregor designed a device to hold the ovary of a mouse outside the body during imaging: “The tissue needs to remain stationary during the long image acquisition, thus isolation from the breathing mouse body is essential. The overall goal of the research project is to search for precancerous tissue abnormalities. Extrapolating this data to humans, this would allow us to use an endoscope to scan the ovaries and fallopian tubes of high risk women for any precancerous indicators, and hopefully reduce the number of preventative hysterectomies in young women. The use of 3D printing has allowed us to test and tweak designs at an extremely low cost.”

To date, McGregor has submitted seven different designs for his ovary spoon, and each individual spoon costs less than a dollar.

Custom parts

Necessity is the mother of invention, and the need for custom parts is a contributor to the original designs we print.  We’ve had several students submit designs based on modifying medical devices and imaging machines to work when doing research with rodents or other animals.  Retrofitting parts designed to work for humans is a challenge, and several students have found that 3D printing offers the opportunity to design a part for their exact need.

Anatomical & educational models

Prior to the expansion of the 3D Printing service to the Health Sciences Library, Andrew Demarco submitted a 3D model of a human brain.  His own brain, in fact.

Demarco, then a PhD candidate in neuroaudiology and now a post-doctoral trainee at the Cognitive Recovery lab in Georgetown University Medical Center’s Department of Neurology, was doing research that used functional MRIs to study how strokes affect the language centers in the brain after stroke.  He submitted a 3D model of his own brain, created from an MRI scan, which he intended to use as a teaching model.  Traditional brain models can cost hundreds of dollars, while his model costs just $40-50 in material.


Many students find the entry point to 3D printing through available, free 3D models on sites such as  After expanding the service to the Health Sciences Library, our first submissions wasn’t anatomical heart models or original, creative applications.  Our first submissions included multiple Pokemon characters and a Harry Potter wand.  However, even these so called “non-educational” applications pique the interest of student and offer learning opportunities on the mechanics of 3D printing. One of our most frequently asked questions is, “why doesn’t my completed item look exactly like the model?”, which allows us to elaborate on the way 3D printers build objects from the ground up and need support structures in order to properly print steep overhangs.  Student may try modifying an existing design- adding personal touches by changing text, size, or other features.  Students don’t need to already have working knowledge of CAD programs in order to use the service, but we’ve heard from students that printing designs created by others encouraged them to learn design, too.

You can learn more about the 3D printing service offered at UA Libraries here:


Birrell, I. (2017).  3D-printed prosthetic limbs: the next revolution in medicine.  The Observer.  Retrieved from

3D printing: the future of manufacturing medicine?  The Pharmaceutical Journal, 6 June 2015,
Birrell, I. (2017).  3D-printed prosthetic limbs: the next revolution in medicine.  The Observer.  Retrieved from

Sanderson, K. (2015).  3D printing: the future of manufacturing medicine?  The Pharmaceutical Journal, 6 June 2015, Vol 294, No 7865.

Valverde, I., Gomez, G., Suarez-Mejias, C., Hosseinpour, A.-R., Hazekamp, M., Roest, A., Vasquez-Jimenez, J. F., El-Rassi, I., Uribe, S., & Gomez-Cia, T. (2015). 3D printed cardiovascular models for surgical planning in complex congenital heart diseases. Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance, 17(Suppl 1), P196.

Yang, L., Shang, X.-W., Fan, J.-N., He, Z.-X., Wang, J.-J., Liu, M., Zhuang, Y., Ye, C. (2016). Application of 3D Printing in the Surgical Planning of Trimalleolar Fracture and Doctor-Patient Communication. BioMed Research International, 2016, 2482086.




Reflection: ACRL Data Management Roadshow in Boston

e-Science Portal blog - Thu, 02/16/2017 - 12:30

Submitted by Guest Author Tom Hohenstein, Research Data Management Librarian, Boston University and NER eScience Advisory Board Member,


On January 13, 2017 Boston University, the Boston Library Consortium, the National Library of Medicine – New England Region sponsored the Association of College and Research Libraries Research Data Management Roadshow (ACRL RDM Roadshow). The one-day workshop was lead by Abigail Goben, Assistant Professor and Liaison Librarian at the University of Illinois – Chicago, and Megan Sapp Nelson, Associate Professor and Liaison Library at Purdue University. 80 librarians from the New England area attended to learn about “Building Your Research Data Management Toolkit.”

The workshops goals were to help participants

  • identify their existing skills and how they can transfer those abilities to support researchers throughout the data life cycle
  • locate on-campus offices to partner with to support researchers needs
  • learn the common parts of data management plan
  • identify the data management requirements of the various disciplines each liaison supports


After the welcome and introduction we started the day’s first session on “Situating Libraries in Data.” This topic focused on helping librarians understand the data life cycle and the potential roles that libraries can have providing data management services. During a breakout session participants brainstormed interactions they might have with researchers about their data. Each of the small-group discussions were shared with the larger group by posting our thoughts on a large notepad and reviewing each groups’ conclusions.

Our next session highlighted the existing skills librarians have and how they apply to data management. This excellent session helped participants appreciate that as subject liaisons we are well positioned to help our disciplines with data management because we not only have subject knowledge but also have training in reference interviews, making referrals, providing instruction, and marketing our services. All of these skills are essential to being an excellent provider of data management services.

The final morning session increased our knowledge about the data management needs and best practices of the disciplines we support. Topics included how to speak with researchers about their data and how to gather information prudently to maximize the outcomes of our time. We broke into small groups for a think-pair-share to talk about the data librarians create and analyze as well as the disciplinary norms of our profession. This was a particularly great exercise as it reflected the ways we do and don’t practice good data management within our field and that we should be understanding of the difficulty other researchers have as well.


The afternoon began with the various parts of a data management plan and its role in helping researchers manage their data. By understanding the products of research, potential data formats, policies for reuse and sharing, and the importance of archiving and providing long-term access to data sets we learned how our existing skills could be put into practice. During this session we also reviewed practical resources like the DMPTool and Data Curation Profiles and how we can make use of them to support researchers.

The fifth session highlighted the various partners librarians might have on their respective campuses. The importance of finding campus partners is critical to building a culture of data management at any institution. We learned about when it is best to build a relationship when it is best to simply refer researchers to an campus resource. We also developed an elevator pitch about the library’s resources to support data management on campus and how to effectively communicate our services to key stakeholders.

The day ended with an open discussion of some of the instructors successes and failures. This was not only insightful but also effective at detailing some of the real challenges and rewards librarians have had starting data management services. It also highlighted the instructors experiences and knowledge in an effective manner. It was a great way to end the day.

The ACRL RDM Roadshow was a great event for New England librarians interested in learning more about data management and how to support researchers on their campuses.

For more information about the presenters and the ACRL RDM Roadshow please visit:

Upcoming eScience Event: Breaking Down RDM Instruction

e-Science Portal blog - Thu, 02/09/2017 - 12:30

5th Research Data Management Roundtable Event
Breaking Down RDM Instruction
Thursday, March 2, 2017 10:00am – 4:00pm
University of Massachusetts Amherst
W.E.B Du Bois Library, Room 2601

 Morning session: RDM Learning Objectives

  • A panel of your colleagues will talk more about developing learning objectives, and best practices for creating RDM instruction learning objectives. Panelists include: Thea Atwood (UMass Amherst), Megan Bresnahan (UNH) & Zac Painter (UMass Dartmouth)
  • The following Roundtable will focus on your experiences creating RDM instruction learning objectives.

Afternoon session: RDM Assignment Building

  • Presentation and hands-on workshop from Brian Baldi, UMass Amherst Institute for Teaching Excellence and Faculty Development. This interactive workshop will help you frame an assignment for a one-shot session, whether you are a seasoned one-shot instructor or someone who is just beginning to think about instructional design.
  • The following Roundtable will focus on assessing and reflecting on RDM teaching.

For more information and registration:
FYI: Registration is open until March 1st!

Join us for an eScience Advisory Board meeting!

e-Science Portal blog - Tue, 02/07/2017 - 12:30

A message from Linda Plunket, Associate University Librarian for Graduate & Research Services, Boston University and NER eScience Program Advisory Board Chair,

Join us for an eScience Advisory Board Meeting

Would you like to participate in an eScience Advisory Board meeting? If so, feel free to join us for our next virtual meeting on Wednesday, February 15, 11am – 12pm EST. Contact Julie Goldman ( for call-in information.

As chair of the New England eScience Advisory Board, I thought it might be helpful to describe briefly the purpose and activities of the Board in supporting many of the activities and programs sponsored by the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) in the New England Region (NER).  I’ve also included a link to a webpage of Board members and listed some of the opportunities that exist for members of our community to become more involved.

Purpose and Activities

The Advisory Board acts as a liaison between the funding agency (NN/LM) and the committees and groups in New England that are carrying out the goals of the grant proposal. The Advisory Board facilitates communication among the committees and groups working on developing tools and resources, such as the eScience Librarian Portal, and creating programs, such as the upcoming Science Boot Camp 2017. Julie Goldman, eScience Coordinator, is an invaluable asset for the Board, keeping us organized and on track.

Board Membership

A listing of the Advisory Board members (current and past) may be found on the eScience Librarian Portal.

Opportunities for Greater Involvement


We hope you’ll join an Advisory Board call on February 15!

Registration is Now Open for the 9th Annual NE eScience Symposium April 6, 2017

e-Science Portal blog - Fri, 02/03/2017 - 12:30

To continue to enhance collaborative New England Region libraries’ support of e-science initiatives for their research institutions, the NNLM New England Region is hosting the 9th Annual University of Massachusetts and New England Area Librarian e-Science Symposium. This day-long event will serve as an educational and collaborative opportunity for science and health sciences librarians to discuss e-science resources, in addition to future roles that libraries and librarians might take on to support their institutions.

The 2017 Symposium theme “Libraries in Data Science: Addressing Gaps and Bridges” will focus on collaborations and opportunities for librarians becoming involved in data science at their institutions.

Attendees will hear a keynote from Kristi Holmes, Northwestern University. Kristi is Director, Galter Health Sciences Library, Feinberg School of Medicine; Associate Professor, Preventive Medicine (Health and Biomedical Informatics); and Director of Evaluation, Northwestern University Clinical and Translational Sciences (NUCATS). Her keynote will focus on her library’s success involved in Northwestern University’s NIH Clinical and Translational Science Award. We hope this session will inspire and motive attendees to “think outside” the library and identify potential bridges for data services.

Breakout sessions are back this year! Participants will be able to attend 2 of 4 planned sessions featuring collaborations libraries are currently involved in. See complete descriptions.

  • Data Repositories Interactive Workshop: Andrew Creamer and Hope Lappen, Brown University
  • Education & Training Interactive Workshop: Sophie Hou, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research and Nancy Hoebelheinrich, Knowledge Motifs, LLC
  • Education & Training Presentation: Sex, Lies, and Data with Shea Swauger, University of Colorado – Denver
  • Institutional Models Presentation: Christine Malinowski and Phoebe Ayers, MIT

In the afternoon, there will be a moderated panel discussing the ways librarians and libraries can work with institutional partners (either on/off campus) to enhance data science. The panel will be moderated by Sally Gore, Research Evaluation Analyst, University of Massachusetts Center for Clinical and Translational Science. Participants on the panel include:

  • Daina Bouquin, Head Librarian, John G. Wolbach Library, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
  • Audrey Mickle, Data Librarian, Marine Biological Laboratory Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Library
  • Yvette N. Woell, Manager, Argonne Research Library, Argonne National Laboratory

Additionally, as with previous symposia, a poster session will be held, to highlight work in e-science that has been accomplished at various libraries in the region while also encouraging discussion and networking among event participants. This year’s symposium will again feature a poster competition with three different competition categories. You are invited to submit a poster abstract; we are still accepting submissions until February 8th!

The symposium will be held on Thursday, April 6th, 2017 in the Faculty Conference Room at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, Massachusetts. The event is free of charge, but advance registration is required; due to strict space limitations, attendance will be capped at 100 people.

For further details & registration, please visit the symposium website:

Please direct any questions to:

Julie Goldman, MLIS
eScience Coordinator
National Network of Libraries of Medicine, New England Region
University of Massachusetts Medical School
55 Lake Avenue North
Worcester, MA  01655
(508) 856-3048

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