And IASSIST. I love my data peeps in the International Association for Social Sciences Information Services and Technology, even if the ridiculously long name almost got me turned away from the Canadian border (“Sorry, customs officer lady, it simply doesn’t roll off the tongue”). IASSIST’s annual conference was in the lovely city of Vancouver and it was simply the best IASSIST ever. I was pretty busy this year and didn’t have the concentration to take great notes. Plus, there is always SO MUCH information that it can be hard to process things quickly.
Here are some major ideas/take-away points:
- The conference kicked off with a kick butt workshop on survey creation with Tom Lindsay and Andrew Sell of the University of Minnesota. They started by reminding us we needed to step back from the creation of the survey instrument to think critically about the research question we have in mind. Only with that pre-thinking are we able to create an instrument that will be viable. It was an excellent workshop with lots of information. If you are interested in more information, email me and I can put you in touch with the masters!
- Joe Hurley from Georgia State University talked about his use of UN publications as gateway/intro resources for non-data savvy users. He trained other librarians at his university on UN resources and you can check out his great libguide.
- A group of data citation ninjas had a great session on data citation. I couldn’t capture everything, but I will link to their slides once they become available. Part of what made it a great session was the inclusion of a scientist in the mix, Heather Piwowar of DataONE, which aims to preserve access to science data. Hailey Mooney and Mark Newton did a fabulous study of the data citation practices and guidance in various citation style guides. Their matrix of specific elements was pretty complex so I’m looking forward to getting their slides.
- Our data guru, Chuck Humphrey, talked about the research data infrastructure and IASSIST’s place in that. One of his big points was that we need to explore better ways to collaborate with the stakeholders interested or involved with data (in whatever field). I liked his idea of having a data summit on campus that would bring together researchers, data archivists, sponsored programs, institutional research people, and more to talk about the institution’s goals and everyone’s needs. We do this at UNCG on an ad hoc basis, but something like a summit would make it more systematic.
- Richard Wiseman and Dave Rawnsley discussed the Mimas Census Dissemination Unit’s new project to update its interface for accessing UK Census data. Unfortunately, UK data files aren’t available to non-UK researchers, but it is always interesting to learn about how we disseminate data and how we think about data presentation and usability.
- Andrea Reimer is a Vancouver city councillor who was integral to the creation of the Open Data Catalogue. She gave a fabulous talk/ call-to-arms about the need for open government data and open source software. With the creation of the catalogue, others in the city have been able to create a variety of applications (and apps) for various needs. An example is recollect.net, a reminder service for when to put your trash at the street (apparently it is more complicated than our recycling service, which stills gets me sometimes). It was inspiring for all of us to hear a non-data person talk about the importance of government data and understand the need for it to be disseminated in innovative ways (even if that requires government-private company collaboration).
Our session, Teach This!:
- From Katharin Peter: She took a modified approach to the one-shot library workshop by creating a series of workshops called, Data in the Library. She found the most successful workshops had very specific names and covered a limited number of sources. She also had an interesting and successful collaboration with an OECD student ambassador. Even if the student isn’t sponsored by a global organization, peer collaboration is a great model for getting students interested in library instruction and resources. Katharin has another peer mentoring project in the works that I’m really excited to hear more about.
- From Nicole Scholtz: She created a series of GIS workshops at the University of Michigan. I so wish I could take this series myself! During all of their sessions they have a rover, or back-up, in the classroom. For the kinds of resources we teach this makes sense. It can be incredibly difficult to demo and conduct exercises when it is just you with the students, even working on an easier source (like SimplyMap). But of course the difficulty is having a back-up person with the same level of comfort as the teacher (or close to). This might be a job for some of our super interns!
- From Jackie Carter: Jackie joined our session from Mimas, a UK designated data center, at the University of Manchester. Mimas has some really interesting projects in development, but at the session she talked about data literacy and efforts to promote data literacy. Mimas has been involved with this project: http://www.esds.ac.uk/international/elearning/teaching-tools/index.asp to help create open educational resources (using real data) that could be adopted or modified by any instructor. Right now the focus of the site is mostly Economics, so I’m looking forward to seeing more disciplinary examples added.
- My paper was a bit more theoretical and focused on the idea of the embedded librarian. You can see the slides below. It was well-received, but I haven’t fully developed the idea of embedded data librarianship really. Ideas welcome!
We also had a pecha kucha (and many of us spent half of the time trying to remember how to say pecha kucha). My slides and notes are below. Everybody did a fantastic job and I think the audience enjoyed them all. I am really in love with the pk format. It requires a level of preparedness that most people don’t put into presentations (and sometimes I miss that!).