Time to get busy!

Fall semester is here and you need to ramp up your reading! Browse some of our new acquisitions in the Popular Reading Collection listed below. Fiction, historical fiction, mystery, suspense, non-fiction, current affairs, politics–you name it–are some of the subjects represented. Our collection is on the first floor of Mullen Library in the Reference Reading Room.

Marianna (giphy.com)

Hold your cursor over the Title to see a short description of the book, or click to view the catalog record. The status of the book is shown beside the call number.

Title Author Status
A Song Everlasting Jin, Ha
Intimacies Kitamura, Katie
Don’t Let It Get You Down: Essays on Race, Gender, and the Body Nolan, Savala
Nice Racism: How Progressive White People Perpetuate Racial Harm Diangelo, Robin
The Life-changing Science of Detecting Bullshit Petrocelli, John V.
Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment Kahneman, Daniel / Sibony, Olivier / Sunstein, Cass R.
Leaving Breezy Street: A Memoir Myers-Powell, Brenda & Reynolds, April
A Quantum Life: My Unlikely Journey from the Street to the Stars Oluseyi, Hakeem & Horwitz, Joshua
Geniuses at War: Bletchley Park, Colossus, and the Dawn of the Digital Age Price, David A.
Shoulder Season Clancy, Christina
Letters to My White Male Friends Ross, Dax-Devlon
Drunk: How We Sipped, Danced, and Stumbled Our Way to Civilization Slingerland, Edward
Amazon Unbound: Jeff Bezos and the Invention of a Global Empire Stone, Brad
Technically Food: Inside Silicon Valley’s Battle to Change What We Eat Zimberoff, Larissa
The Personal Librarian Benedict, Marie & Murray, Victoria Christopher
Lady Sunshine Doan, Amy Mason
The Other Black Girl Harris, Zakiya Dalila
The Woman in the Purple Skirt Imamura, Natsuko / North, Lucy
Objects of Desire: Stories Sestanovich, Clare
Last Summer in the City Calligarich, Gianfranco; Trans by Howard Curtis
In the Country of Others Slimani, Leila
The Debt Trap: How Student Loans Became a National Catastrophe Mitchell, Josh
Disasterology: Dispatches from the Frontlines of the Climate Crisis Montano, Samantha
Out on a Limb: Selected Writing, 1989–2021 Sullivan, Andrew
The Reading List Adams, Sara Nisha
Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals Burkeman, Oliver
Billy Summers King, Stephen
Songs for the Flames Vasquez, Juan Gabriel

For more great information from CUA Libraries, follow us on Facebook and Twitter: Mullen Library Facebook; @CUAlibraries

Popular Reading is back!

As we move into the fall semester, let us remember those sunny days of summer past. Okay, done? Then come and browse some of our new acquisitions in the Popular Reading Collection listed below. Fiction, non-fiction, current affairs, and politics, are some of the categories represented. Our collection is on the first floor of Mullen Library in the Reference Reading Room.

Summer vacation (giphy.com)

Hold your cursor over the Title to see a short description of the book, or click to view the catalog record. The status of the book is shown beside the call number.

Title Author Status
The Second: Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America Anderson, Carol
Phosphorescence: A Memoir of Finding Joy When Your World Goes Dark Baird, Julia
It’s Elemental: The Hidden Chemistry in Everything Biberdorf, Kate
Beautifully Organized at Work: Bring Order and Joy to Your Work Life So You Can Stay Calm, Relieve Stress, and Get More Done Each Day Boyd, Nikki
Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead Austin, Emily
Joker Moon Martin, George R. R.
Such a Quiet Place Miranda, Megan.
Hell of a Book Mott, Jason
Together We Will Go Straczynski, J. Michael
Trejo: My Life of Crime, Redemption, and Hollywood Trejo, Danny / Logue, Donal
Inside Comedy: The Soul, Wit, and Bite of Comedy and Comedians of the Last Five Decades Steinberg, David
After the Fall: Being American in the World We’ve Made Rhodes, Ben
Forgetting: The Benefits of Not Remembering Small, Scott A.
Love People, Use Things: Because the Opposite Never Works Millburn, Joshua Fields & Nicodemus, Ryan
The Burning Blue: The Untold Story of Christa Mcauliffe and NASA’s Challenger Disaster Cook, Kevin
Living Brave: Lessons from Hurt, Lighting the Way to Hope Dingle, Shannon
Bring Your Baggage and Don’t Pack Light: Essays Ellis, Helen
An Ugly Truth: Inside Facebook’s Battle for Domination Frenkel, Sheera & Kang, Cecilia
The Director: My Years Assisting J. Edgar Hoover Letersky, Paul/ Dillow, Gordon L.
How to Survive America Hughley, D. L. & Moe, Doug
Islands of Abandonment: Nature Rebounding in the Post-human Landscape Flyn, Cal
Americanon Mchugh, Jess
How to Love Animals: In a Human-shaped World Mance, Henry
Carry on: Reflections for a New Generation Lewis, John Robert
Don’t Let It Get You Down: Essays on Race, Gender, and the Body Nolan, Savala

For more great information from CUA Libraries, follow us on Facebook and Twitter: Mullen Library Facebook; @CUAlibraries

New Research Guide for Dissertations and Theses

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Trying to locate a dissertation or thesis? Start with our new research guide: Dissertations and Theses. This guide will assist graduate students in locating dissertations, and writing their own dissertation. The guide has information on:

  • specific instructions for locating dissertations at Catholic University of America
  • locating dissertations at other American institutions
  • locating foreign and open access dissertations
  • procedures for requesting dissertations through interlibrary loan
  • guidelines for writing and submitting your dissertation or thesis.

What is Fair Use Week?

This week is Fair Use Week (February 22 – 26, 2021). The mission of Fair Use Week is to celebrate “the important doctrines of fair use and fair dealing. It is designed to highlight and promote the opportunities presented by fair use and fair dealing, celebrate successful stories, and explain these doctrines.” Events are scheduled and the latest blog titled “We are All Fair Users Now” highlights the ways we have moved online during the COVID-19 pandemic. What is Fair Use? Check out the infographic below.

Other infographics include: Fair Use in a Day in the Life of a College Student; Fair Use Myths & Facts; Fair Use Promotes the Creation of New Knowledge; and How Fair Use Helps in Saving Software.

Enjoy the week!

What is Love Data Week?

Love Data Week (Feb. 8-12) is an international celebration of data hosted by the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR). Love Data Week is a project to raise awareness of the importance of data in our daily lives and to build a community to engage on topics in data analysis, preservation, curation, dissemination, sharing, and reuse. This year’s theme is “Data: Delivering a Better Future.” You can follow LDW on social media with the hashtag #LoveData21. Check out the events happening internationally. There are some useful website links on working with data at the end of this blog.

About the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research

This is the first year that ICPSR is sponsoring Love Data Week. The ICPSR is an international consortium of more than 780 academic institutions and research organizations that provides “leadership and training in data access, curation, and methods of analysis for the social science research community.” You can find data, share your data (for free!), use their resources to teach about data, and take courses in their summer program.


Digital Scholarship Workshops

This semester, the Libraries are offering Digital Scholarship workshops with a focus on data. Our theme is “Working with Our Data.” Please RSVP through the Events page (the Nest) or email Kevin Gunn, Coordinator of Digital Scholarship.

Using OpenRefine for Cleaning Data          Wed., Feb. 17, 12:00pm – 1:30pm
When working with your dataset, have you wondered how to remove ‘null’ or ‘N/A’ from fields, handle different spellings of words, or determining whether a field name is ambiguous? For this workshop, we will use the open access software, OpenRefine, to clean, manipulate, and refine a dataset before analysis (https://openrefine.org/).

Basic Text Analysis using AntConc          Mon., March 1, 3:00pm – 4:30pm
Computational analysis of textual data can aid in reading and interpreting large corpora. Exploring a large number of texts can uncover linguistic patterns for future exploratory analysis. Participants will gain hands-on experience analyzing textual data with AntConc (http://www.laurenceanthony.net/software/antconc/). No coding experience necessary.

Working with Tableau          Thur., April 1, 1:00pm – 2:30pm
Learn the basics of Tableau Public (free service) to create interactive visualizations of your data. This workshop will focus on the structure of the program and the terminology used. Students and faculty can download a one-year renewable license (https://www.tableau.com/academic).

ArcGIS Basics          Wed., April 14, 12:00pm – 1:30pm
Learn all about Geographical Information Systems by acquiring an understanding of the fundamentals of mapping your data using ArcGIS (https://www.arcgis.com/home/signin.html). We will use ArcGIS public account and not ArcGIS Online.

Note: Each workshop will require the attendee to download and install the software before the workshop.

Register through the Events page at libraries.catholic.edu or email Kevin Gunn (gunn@cua.edu). All workshops will take place on Zoom, recorded, and made available on the University Libraries’ web site or YouTube Channel.

Useful Links

The Open Data Handbook

List of File Formats

U.S. Government (Data.gov)

Google Dataset Search

Open and Equitable Scholarly Communications

University Research Day — Abstracts Needed

We encourage you to submit an abstract for The Catholic University of America’s sixth annual University Research Day (URD). The date for this year’s URD is Thursday April 15, 2021. Much more information and guidelines for submissions are available on the URD website (http://researchday.cua.edu/).

To apply to present a paper or poster at URD 2021, please complete the abstract submission form available on the URD Abstract Submissions page. Abstracts must be received by 5 p.m. on Feb.19, 2021, to be considered. 

There will be a second URD Abstract Workshop Feb 2 at noon for students who need assistance in writing an effective abstract. Please see the announcement on the Nest: https://nest.cua.edu/event/6669680.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact researchday@cua.edu.

We look forward to another exciting University Research Day!

The URD 2021 Planning Committee

Research Data Services (RDS): Opportunities and Challenges

Every two years, the ACRL Research Planning and Review Committee publishes in College & Research Libraries News an article on the top trends and issues affecting academic libraries and the change our institutions are experiencing. We will be highlighting some of these trends through a number of blog posts over the next few weeks.

Research data management (or RDM) refers to the organization, storage, preservation, and sharing of data collected and used in a research project. Many academic libraries offer research data services (RDS) that cover all aspects of the data management lifecycle (figure 1). Examples include assisting researchers with data management plans, using file naming conventions, and exploring data repository options. Specific issues may cover the type of data collected and its format, backup policies for the storage of data, accessing and sharing data, and the issues of privacy, consent, intellectual property, and security that pervade RDM.

Figure 1: https://guides.library.ucsc.edu/datamanagement

Research data management is important for several reasons. First, data is a scholarly product and yet is a fragile commodity easily lost. An investment in RDM saves time and resources over the course of the data lifecycle. Good managers increase the quality and accessibility of the data to ensure valid reproduction and replication of results. Last, easing the sharing of data allows other researchers to make valuable discoveries.

Recent trends have focused on these themes: awareness and education initiatives, implementation of data standards, and training the next generation of librarians and data specialists.

Awareness and Education Initiatives

Governments and organizations are coordinating efforts toward open access, open data, and open science. Examples include the Canadian Government (Canada’s 2018-2020 National Action Plan on Open Government), the European platform OpenAIRE, and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (Open Science by Design). All are striving to shift scholarly communication toward transparency and openness in communicating and monitoring research; specifically, “coordinate open science and research data efforts, to align science with societal values and strategically plan for public access of data” (ACRL Research Planning and Review Committee).

The State of Open Data Report 2019 by Digital Science discusses the trend for adopting and accepting open data, with the point that “the research community is now demanding more enforcement of the mandates that have been adopted by many governments, funders, publishers and institutions around the world.” The report even states that “the majority of researchers want funding withheld and penalties for a lack of data sharing.”

Open Science by Design: Realizing a Vision for 21st Century Research is a report by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine published in 2019. As the report says: “Open science aims to ensure the free availability and usability of scholarly publications, the data that result from scholarly research, and the methodologies, including code or algorithms, that were used to generate those data.” The benefits of open science can include new standards that support reliability, reproduction, and replication; addressing new questions from multiple perspectives and expanding interdisciplinary collaboration; disseminating knowledge quickly and inclusively; and public-funded research available to everyone.

Implementation of Data Standards

Courtesy: Scott Graham

The maturation of guidelines illustrates how data standards are permeating the scholarly communication process. The FAIR data principles (findability, accessibility, interoperability, and reuse) were created in 2016 by GO-FAIR and have been widely adopted in research data management. Most researchers are unaware of the FAIR principles although this is changing slowly.

Solutions include inter-institutional collaboration with a focus on networks for data curation. Organizations such as the Data Curation Network have developed workflows and checklist resources to educate librarians and establish best practices. These resources were founded by data curators, data management experts, data repository administrators, disciplinary subject experts, and scholars, many with professional librarian training. National initiatives such as the Canadian Data Curation Forum held in 2019 is designing a national data curation network. Ethical data management and curating data for reproducibility were just some workshops given. CODATA is the Committee on Data of the International Science Council (ISC) and coordinates a wide variety of initiatives, task groups, and working groups.    

Responsible RDS is maturing slowly and adoption remains slow. Barriers to developing RDS at academic institutions include long term financing, a shortage of qualified staff and specialists, an extensive array of data science skills across the institution, and researcher indifference in general. An examination of 114 Association of Research Libraries (ARL) institutions by the Data Curation Network found that while 44% had an established data repository, very few websites had information about data curation support.

Training Next Gen Librarians and Data Specialists   

Besides the broad efforts made by institutions listed above, professional library school programs have taken it upon themselves to implement their own programs. Data science courses have expanded the LIS curriculum in the last two years. Full-fledged online courses have been introduced. The Research Data Management Librarian Academy (RDMLA) started in 2018 and offers a complete overview of RDM best practices.

Courtesy: Gert Altmann

The course was developed by a team of librarians and LIS faculty at several U.S. universities and the publisher Elsevier in order to promote RDM best practices. Modules include navigating research culture, advocating for RDM in libraries, launching data services, project management and assessment, data analysis, data visualization, coding tools, and platform tools. The curriculum will expand in fall 2020 with two new modules: “Data Copyright, Licensing, and Privacy,” and “Delivering Data Management Training: A Guide to DataONE.” In late 2021, a Chinese version of the Academy will be released.

Even for trained data librarians, there are still gaps as the National Library of Medicine determined in a 2019 workshop. Developing the Librarian Workforce for Data Science and Open Science identified seven skill categories data librarians needed to improve including “data skills, computational skills, research and subject matter knowledge, traditional library skills, skills for developing programs and services, interpersonal skills, and skills for lifelong learning.” It is a given that one data librarian cannot master all of these skill sets.


While the obstacles of uneven open access, skill shortages, knowledge deficits among practitioners, and the maturing of best practices and standards are acknowledged as impediments to progress, there is an overall optimistic trend of growing understanding of the vital importance of Research Data Services for the scientific enterprise. Effective management of our data resources is occurring among researchers, data managers, and librarians, with cooperation and collaboration among institutions, organizations, and networks, with this perspective seen as an integral part of research data management.

The Catholic University of America offers a Master’s degree and a certificate in data analytics in the School of Engineering and courses in data science in the Department of Library and Information Science. These courses have appeared in the last couple of years to address the data skills gap in the workforce. Students, faculty, and researchers interested in discussing Research Data Services for their projects can check the library’s Digital Scholarship website for additional information.

Suggested Readings

Cox, A. M., Kennan, M. A., Lyon, L., Pinfield, S., & Sbaffi, L. 2019. Maturing research data services and the transformation of academic libraries. Journal of Documentation. Retrieved from: https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/JD-12-2018-0211/full/pdf?title=maturing-research-data-services-and-the-transformation-of-academic-libraries

FAIR Principles: https://www.go-fair.org/fair-principles/

Federer, Lisa, Sarah C. Clarke, and Maryam Zaringhalam. 2020. “Developing the Librarian Workforce for Data Science and Open Science,” January 16, 2020, https://doi.org/10.31219/osf.io/uycax.

Johnston, Lisa R., and Liza Coburn. 2020. “Data Sharing Readiness in Academic Institutions.” Data Curation Network. https://datacurationnetwork.org/data-sharing-readiness-in-academic-institutions

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Open Science by Design: Realizing a Vision for 21st Century Research. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/25116.

Wilkinson, Mark D., et al. 2016. ‘The FAIR Guiding Principles for Scientific Data Management and Stewardship’, Scientific Data, 3. https://doi.org/10.1038/sdata.2016.18

Webinar Recordings: Introduction to the Open Science Framework and Raising Your Scholarly Digital Profile

The recordings and slides for our two webinars held this month are now available.

Introduction to the Open Science Framework, April 24, 2020

The Open Science Framework (OSF) is a platform for research project management and collaboration. See how to use the OSF for your entire project lifecycle (e.g. discovering research, work with other researchers at other institutions, and share your research and datasets). The OSF is great for Humanities and Social Science researchers! Instructors: Lea Wade, STEM Librarian, and Kevin Gunn, Coordinator of Digital Scholarship

Recording | Slides

Developing Your Scholarly Digital Profile, April 8, 2020

Promoting your scholarly presence online can be an arduous task. You’re not alone! With such diverse platforms as Google Scholar, Humanities Commons, Academia.edu, Linkedin, ResearchGate, ORCiD, institutional repositories, and more, the options for online promotion can be daunting. This workshop discusses the best ways to build your scholarly digital profile and the advantages and disadvantages of certain tools and platforms. Instructor: Kevin Gunn, Coordinator of Digital Scholarship

Recording | Slides

Spring Break Reading Extravaganza

Heading someplace warm? Take one of our Popular Reading books with you! Our most recent additions by Thomas Picketty, Jon Meacham, and works on George Washington, lost diaries, and football, are listed below. You can browse the rest of our collection on the first floor of Mullen Library in the Reference Reading Room.

Romance Book (giphy.com)

Hold your cursor over the Title to see a short description of the book, or click to view the catalog record. The status of the book is shown beside the call number.

Title Author Status
Franklin & Washington: The Founding Partnership Larson, Edward J.
The Scientist and the Spy: A True Story of China, the FBI, and Industrial Espionage Hvistendahl, Mara
You Never Forget Your First: A Biography of George Washington Coe, Alexis
The Lost Diary of M Wolfe, Paul
The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis Figueres, Christiana & Rivett-Carnac, Tom
The Lost Book of Adana Moreau Zapata, Michael
The Age of Football: Soccer and the 21st Century Goldblatt, David
The Opposite of Fate McGhee, Alison
Weather Offill, Jenny
The Storm Before the Calm: America’s Discord, the Coming Crisis of the 2020s, and the Triumph Beyond Friedman, George
Broken Faith: Inside the Word of Faith Fellowship, One of America’s Most Dangerous Cults Weiss, Mitch & Mohr, Holbrook
The Hope of Glory: Reflections on the Last Words of Jesus from the Cross Meacham, Jon
Yellow Bird: Oil, Murder, and a Woman’s Search for Justice in Indian Country Murdoch, Sierra Crane
Capital and Ideology Piketty, Thomas. Trans by Arthur Goldhammer
1774: The Long Year of Revolution Norton, Mary Beth

For more great information from CUA Libraries, follow us on Facebook and Twitter: Mullen Library Facebook; @CUAlibraries