Poster Session

Accepted posters will be published here.
Poster Session

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Wednesday, April 6th
1:00 PM

Building an e-Science Portal for Librarians: A Model of Collaboration

Donna Kafel, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Myrna E. Morales, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Robert Vander Hart, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Sally A. Gore, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Andrew Creamer, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Javier Crespo, University of Massachuetts Medical School
Elaine R. Martin, University of Massachusetts Medical School

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Purpose: This poster focuses on the collaboration among science and medical librarians from multiple diverse New England research institutions in designing and aggregating content for an e-Science portal.

Brief Description: This project is funded through a subcontract with the National Network of Libraries of Medicine New England Region. It is based on a collaborative framework consisting of a project advisory board, an editorial board of content editors, and a web development technical team. This comprehensive portal, aimed at librarians, provides news, links to annotated e-Science resources, and a discussion forum. Members of the portal editorial board include science and medical subject librarians identifying and aggregating content on e-science news/events, tutorials, and current practice accessible through the portal. Editorial librarians are developing a virtual community using social tools to foster discussion and collaboration among New England librarians interested in e-Science. This poster describes the planning process and the roles of the editorial team, project coordinator, and portal design team.

Results/Outcome: The collaboration of biomedical and science subject and technology librarians is crucial to developing an e-Science portal that will provide the essential tools and knowledge for librarians to effectively engage in networked science.

Building as We Climb: The Data Working Group at the University of Massachusetts Amherst

Jessica Adamick, University of Massachusetts - Amherst
MJ Canavan, University of Massachusetts - Amherst
Steven McGinty, University of Massachusetts - Amherst
Rebecca C. Reznik-Zellen, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Maxine Schmidt, University of Massachusetts - Amherst
Robert Stevens, University of Massachusetts - Amherst

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Objective: To describe the activities of the University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries’ Data Working Group around the data management and curation needs of the campus community. These efforts include outreach to the campus regarding the recent NSF requirement for Data Management Plans.1

Participants: The Libraries’ Data Working Group is composed of seven members with expertise in project management, systems and web development, scholarly communication, archives and metadata, and science and social science librarianship. The Data Working Group is one of three subgroups of the Digital Strategies Group at the University Libraries.

Description: The University of Massachusetts Amherst claims 82 centers and institutes that are conducting research on some level, bringing in over $140 million in externally sponsored research each year, including 10 federally-funded research centers that “reflect national priorities and provide opportunities for breakthrough research, educational innovation, and technology transfer.” This research environment has earned the campus classification as a Research University with Very High research activity (RU/VH) by the Carnegie Foundation. ( As a key partner in teaching, learning, and research, the University of Massachusetts Libraries have begun extending services to include data management support. Specifically, the Libraries established the Data Working Group in early 2010 to explore the issues and on-campus needs around data management and to articulate the role that the Libraries will play in this arena.

Results: The Libraries’ Data Working Group is actively engaged in several parallel activities—such as faculty interviews, focus groups, and a web audit—to build meaningful services for faculty and graduate students with respect to their various data management needs, concerns, and infrastructure support scenarios. In addition, the Data Working Group has assisted the Libraries in communicating this commitment to data management support via a letter outlining services in support of the NSF mandate in December 2010.

1 See for example:

Data Curation and Management Competencies of New England Region Health Sciences and Science and Technology Librarians

Andrew Creamer, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Myrna E. Morales, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Javier Crespo, University of Massachuetts Medical School
Donna Kafel, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Elaine Russo Martin, University of Massachusetts Medical School

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM


To identify specific data curation and management competencies that would aid in the continued development of a data management curriculum and professional development supporting New England health sciences and science and technology librarians, and to gather data on the nature and progress of data services being provided by these librarians and those being demanded by their patrons.


Based on a content analysis of data services and e-science librarian job postings, selected library and information science schools¹ programs and curricula, and published case studies and related best practices, the team researched and developed questions for the survey. An assessment was created using SurveyMonkey. A small group of medical librarians tested the survey and offered feedback. The survey was revised and then disseminated to New England health sciences and science and technology librarians. After three weeks, the team collected and analyzed the results.

Results and Conclusion:

A quarter of respondents surveyed stated that they are already managing and curating data sets. This number has nearly doubled since the team's 2009 assessment of New England health sciences and science and technology librarians engaged in e-science. Almost half of respondents will be providing these services in the future; almost three quarters of respondents stated their library has or is in the process of creating a data management policy. Their responses to the competencies suggest that the portal curriculum focus on technical resources that would develop librarians¹ competencies in data literacy, curation and management by teaching skills such as scripting and programming languages and metadata and interoperability standards, as well as skills necessary to administer an institutional data repository. The data also suggest that a curriculum provide resources that address the non-technical competencies necessary to develop a data management policy, understand intellectual property and scholarly communication related to data. This research is helping the University of Massachusetts Medical School Lamar Soutter Library and National Network of National Libraries of Medicine New England Region (NN/LM NER) to develop its E-Science Portal data management curriculum and in-person professional development programming for its regional librarians engaged in e-science activities. In addition, this assessment illuminates the many challenges that health sciences libraries in New England are facing trying to engage in e-science. Thus, an area for future investigation is the strategies that libraries are using to deal with these challenges and overcome these obstacles.

Demystifying the Data Interview

Eugenia S. Kim
Jacob R. Carlson, Purdue University - Main Campus

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM


What would a “typical” librarian need to know before conducting an interview with a faculty member regarding his/her research data and associated needs in managing or curating this data?


Supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Purdue University Libraries and the Library School at the University of Illinois conducted research on “Which researchers are willing to share data, when, with whom, and under what conditions?”. The results led to the creation of the Data Curation Profiles (DCP) Toolkit, a semi-structured interview designed to assist librarians in identifying the data management needs of researchers. The authors analyzed the components of the DCP Toolkit to determine specific concepts, definitions, resources, and examples needed to provide a base level of knowledge for librarians to use the toolkit effectively.


The authors found that data concepts and terminology varied across, or even within, fields of study. Other concepts did not have an easily understandable example that could be readily referenced by librarians. Feedback collected from librarians about the DCP toolkit and working with data generally guided the selection process. The results informed the development of a workshop curriculum for training librarians in the use of the DCP Toolkit.


The results of this project will be further analyzed through assessing the impact of the training delivered in the DCP workshops, the effect of the workshop and DCP toolkit in enabling librarians to conduct data interviews, and from additional sources, such as the community forums on the DCP Toolkit website.

Description and annotation of biomedical experimental data sets: work in progress

Jen Ferguson, Harvard School of Public Health

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

OBJECTIVE: Collaborating with researchers and curators from The Harvard School of Public Health Bioinformatics Core (HSPH/HBC) to annotate experimental descriptions and data sets.

METHODS: ISATab is an open source software suite that can be used to annotate and apply metadata to experimental data. HSPH/HBC curators create ISATab records tying together information from PubMed papers and associated data sets (GEO files). Curators annotate and describe both raw and derived data files for each investigation, as well as supplying metadata for the investigation as a whole. Once annotated, the records are validated and sent to an internal data management system.

RESULTS: As of Jan. ’11, HBC has collected over 50 annotated public studies comprising 900+ assays in their internal data management system. The ultimate goal is to make curated, metadata-enriched data sets openly available in public repositories, allowing for further data analysis & integration.

CONCLUSIONS: Researchers & curators in this group grapple with many of the same issues around data curation and discovery that librarians do. For example, how much metadata is adequate to ensure discovery, and where’s the sweet spot between too much and too little? Where are ontologies necessary? Do all experiments comprising a published work need to be described, or just a selection? My experiences working as a curator with HSPH/HBC have given me some good insights into how librarians can be involved in e‐science in ways that can benefit all concerned.

Nanoinformatics 2010: Community-wide collaboration for the collection, curation, analysis, and dissemination of nanotechnology data

Rebecca C. Reznik-Zellen, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Mark Tuominen, University of Massachusetts - Amherst
Jeff Morse, University of Massachusetts - Amherst
Robert Stevens, University of Massachusetts - Amherst

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Objective: To describe the emerging disciplinary community of Nanoinformatics, of which the University of Massachusetts Amherst is a part, and Nanoinformatics 2010, a collaborative roadmapping workshop organized by this community to coordinate the existing but diverse efforts to collect, curate, analyze, and disseminate nanotechnology data.

Participants: InterNano1 and the National Nanomanufacturing Network2—funded by the National Science Foundation Center for Hierarchical Manufacturing3 and administered by the University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries4—were the primary organizing entities for Nanoinformatics 2010.

Description: Nanoinformatics is the science and practice of determining which information is relevant to the nanoscale science and engineering community, and then developing and implementing effective mechanisms for collecting, validating, storing, sharing, analyzing, modeling, and applying that information. Existing nanoinformatics initiatives have developed independently and in ad hoc manner within specific communities of practice, such as nanomanufacturing. While coordination and crossfertilization among projects would mitigate redundancy and enhance complementarity, there has been no overarching plan to coordinate these diverse efforts to date. Nanoinformatics 2010 began the process of coordinating activities to standardize practice and encourage data sharing across the community.

Results: Nanoinformatics 2010 was an important part of the process of articulating the comprehensive needs and goals for nanoinformatics, as included in the Nanoinformatics 2020 Roadmap. The Roadmap outlines major themes, describes cross-cutting issues, and projects several pilot activities in nanoinformatics. As a primary contributor to this Roadmap, InterNano demonstrates how the expertise and experience of libraries are making a positive impact on emerging communities of practice for Grand Challenge science.


Science Librarian Internship as a Way to Get Started in E-Science

Wanda Anderson, Boston College
Margaret Cohen, Boston College
Enid Karr, Boston College
Barbara Mento, Boston College
Kate Silfen, Boston College
Sally Wyman, Boston College
Becky Holzman, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Myrna E. Morales, University of Massachusetts Medical School

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

To demonstrate how a science librarian internship program can be used to jumpstart an e-sciences initiative in a university research library.

Current library science students were hired, as paid interns, to work with an established Science Librarian Bibliographers Group. While the position included exposure to the wide variety of activities undertaken by science librarians, the most recent intern, arriving with a strong interest in e-Science, was also tasked with assisting in specific assignments designed to further the Library’s understanding of and participation in the area of e-Science. Specifically, the intern was asked to design a brochure about e-Science, develop a faculty survey to gauge interest in library involvement in data management, assist Science Librarians in an environmental scan/best practices review of relevant e-science initiatives, to serve as a roadmap in this area for the Boston College Libraries, and, finally, to further the education of all library staff with a presentation on e-Science.

Building upon the intern’s extensive literature review, draft brochure and PowerPoint presentation/synthesis, the Science Bibliographers’ Group has continued work on next steps in e-Science, with the development of a Vision Statement and Action Plans, as well as draft faculty/student/staff survey. The intern was exposed to a wide variety of typical science librarian job functions.

An internship program can provide current knowledge and skills to educate and support a university research library through the early learning stage of developing an e-Sciences program, while simultaneously providing a valuable hands-on learning experience for a potential science librarian.

Teaching Research Data Management: An Undergraduate/Graduate Curriculum

Paul Colombo
Mary E. Piorun, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Donna Kafel, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Tracey Leger-Hornby, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Siamak Najafi, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Elaine Martin, University of Massachusetts Medical School

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Objective: With funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the University of Massachusetts Medical School Library and Worcester Polytechnic Institute Library collaborated on a plan to expand the scope of science library practices and promote, among medical and graduate/undergraduate science students, the preservation of scientific data in relevant repositories/archives. This poster identifies user requirements and interface design elements for a system that can host student research data; outlines curriculum frameworks and learning needs for research data management instruction that can be delivered through a variety of methods; and presents a communication plan to inform others about the curriculum planning process and results.

Methods: A steering committee and education board with representatives from each campus provided input into the new curriculum. Outside consultants also collected data from students at both schools via interviews, reviewed literature and course materials relevant to existing data management curricula, translated the findings into learning modules, and evaluated the planning process. Faculty with students doing research for capstone projects at both institutions will pilot the new curriculum in the spring of 2011. Student feedback will be recorded through pre- and post-testing and used to revise the curriculum prior to full scale implementation.

Results: The curriculum focuses in nine areas: the data life cycle, data sharing requirements, naming conventions, metadata, storage, data ownership, security, privacy, and long-term access. Learning objectives were identified for each focus area and modified for the appropriate audience (undergraduate, graduate). Course content has been revised to be delivered in person over fifteen weeks in a classroom setting and also online in short self-paced modules.

Conclusion: The need for research data management curricula was confirmed by students, literature review and external experts we spoke to. Collaboration pointed to a need for differing strategies as to how this curriculum and repository might be implemented successfully at the partner schools. Collaborative planning process can be strengthened via formative evaluation techniques.