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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
Fair use and fair dealing are essential limitations and exceptions to copyright, allowing the use of copyrighted materials without permission from the copyright holder under certain circumstances.
Fair use and fair dealing are flexible doctrines, allowing copyright to adapt to new technologies. These doctrines facilitate balance in copyright law, promoting further progress and accommodating freedom of speech and expression.
While fair use and fair dealing are employed on a daily basis by students, faculty, librarians, journalists, and all users of copyrighted material, Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week is a time to promote and discuss the opportunities presented, celebrate successful stories, and explain the doctrines.
What is Fair Use?
Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act (Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use) provides four factors in determining fair use as you balance your needs with that of the copyright holder:
In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include—
(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;
(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.
Determining Fair Use
CUA students, faculty, staff, and librarians should be aware of the concept of fair use and its many applications to creating, building, and writing original works. There are a number of sites that can walk a person through the quagmire of determining fair use:
The Scholarly Communications & Copyright Office at the Penn State Libraries has a checklist for balancing the pros and cons of fair use.
The Copyright Advisory Services at the Columbia University Libraries has a roadmap for determining fair use.
How one obtains permission from an author to use a copyrighted work can be daunting. The Library of Congress has provided a handout to address some concerns. Also, there is a great post on knowing when to use a copyrighted work.
Fair Use and Open Educational Resources (OER)
Open Educational Resources (OER) is a growing trend in education. Students can save money by using open access textbooks and faculty can create books for courses using OER. Consequently, having a solid grasp of fair use practices is essential for conforming to the law. One way to evaluate whether something is fair use or not is to use the Fair Use Evaluator mentioned above. The evaluator will walk the instructor through the process and provide an explanation at the end. This explanation can be put in the OER to notify everyone that a fair use evaluation took place. For background information on OER, check out our recent blog posts here and here.
Association of College & Research Libraries webinar
The U.S. Copyright Office has an index that follows judicial decisions on fair use. ACRL is offering a free webcast celebrating Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week. Join the webinar on Tuesday, February 25, at 2:00 pm EST, for “Understanding Fair Use Through Case Law,” presented by Sandra Aya Enimil, Assistant Professor and Copyright Services Librarian, and Maria Scheid, Copyright Services Coordinator, both at The Ohio State University.
No snow outside? We have you covered with this lovely picture! Stay warm, dry, and inside with one of our books from the Popular Reading Collection. Our most recent additions are listed below. You can browse the rest of our collection on the first floor of Mullen Library in the Reference Reading Room.
The Catholic University Libraries are offering a number of Digital Scholarship Workshops this semester. Can’t make it? We are available for individual consultations (students and faculty) and we can provide in-class workshops on a variety of tools and methodologies that can be tailored to your particular course needs. Come have a conversation with us! The workshops are co-sponsored by the Department of Library and Information Science.
Location: Mullen Library Instruction Room
R.S.V.P. for all workshops: Kevin Gunn, firstname.lastname@example.org
Text Analysis with Voyant Tools and AntConc Thurs., Feb. 13, 12:30pm – 2:00pm
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 and some Voyant Tools. No coding experience necessary. Instructor: Kevin Gunn, Coordinator of Digital Scholarship
Data Cleaning with Excel Wed., March 4, 12:10 pm – 1:40 pm
Continuing with our series on manipulating data, we will do some basic data cleaning using Excel. We will show you some tricks, formulae, and tools in working with datasets in Excel. Identifying and treating blank cells, removing duplicates, identifying errors, removing formatting, and converting data into more flexible formats, are just some of the skills imparted. Basic Excel experience is recommended. Instructor: Kevin Gunn, Coordinator of Digital Scholarship
Amplifying Your Research Impact Mon., March 23, 2:10 pm – 3:10 pm
Learn how to effectively promote and share your research online. We will discuss best practices for using social media, depositing research in disciplinary repositories, and working with tools and platforms that can help authors expand their readership. Instructor: Kevin Gunn, Coordinator of Digital Scholarship
Visualizing Network Data with Gephi Fri., April 3, 12:10 pm – 1:40 pm
See your data from a fresh perspective through network analysis and visualization. Using Gephi, we will create some network graphs from sample datasets. Basic concepts of network analysis will be covered while we learn to use Gephi to explore, analyze, and visualize network data. Instructor: Kevin Gunn, Coordinator of Digital Scholarship
Introduction to the Open Science Framework Tues., April 7, 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
The Open Science Framework (OSF) is a platform for research project management and collaboration. Come and 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). Humanities and Social Science researchers are welcome. Instructors: Lea Wade, STEM Librarian and Kevin Gunn, Coordinator of Digital Scholarship
Enjoy your well deserved Christmas break with some books from our Popular Reading collection. You can browse the rest of our collection on the first floor of Mullen Library in the Reference Reading Room.
Enjoy the Thanksgiving break with some spicy offerings from our Popular Reading collection. You can browse the rest of our collection on the first floor of Mullen Library in the Reference Reading Room.
Building on the previous OpenRefine workshop, we will work with regular expressions and construct a script from scratch and run some basic recipes for solving common problems. We will construct a simple API call to search for our data.
Instructors: Christian James, Web Application Librarian, and Kevin Gunn, Coordinator of Digital Scholarship