Data, Science, & Librarians, Oh My!

My thoughts as I navigate the world of data librarianship.


I just got back from the most BEAUTIFUL two week vacation in France with my S.O., Rémi! It was my first time in France, and my second time in Western Europe -- backstory: I did an extensive trip of Eastern Europe in 2014, but only have been to Ireland in the West (I lived there).

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So. Many. Conferences.

My first two weeks of May have been just explicitly devoted to conferences. Planning, executing, attending, surveying -- you name it, I've been doing it in relation to some event or another. It's actually been great, but so exhausting. I am definitely giving a lot of props to event planners for doing this as their day-to-day.

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So, I kind of am in love with the FORCE conference I just went to. FORCE2016 is the annual conference from an organization called FORCE11 (ha, the year they started the org.). This year, 500 people came from around the world: researchers, librarians, software developers, large scale repositories, open science advocates, and everyone in between. It was not only a very diverse conference in terms of home country and job, but also in the way the conference and program was run.

First, one of the coolest things I have ever seen: in addition to the MULTITUDE of tweets around the event (seriously everyone was so active, it was amazing), they hired a company to take visual notes!! While everything was going on!! Everyone, the gist of their talks, panels, lightning talks, EVERYTHING! Such a great idea and it produced a great visual overview of the con!

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Getting Use Cases is Hard

One of my big tasks since coming into NYU last August was to work on the ReproZip project. My role is largely outreach and education: I was tasked with teaching ReproZip and general reproducibility principles, gathering use cases in a wider variety of disciplines (when I arrived, the use cases were largely in computer science), and supporting users in general.

ReproZip kind of blew my mind when I arrived; it's an open source software tool that simplifies the process of creating reproducible experiments. Basically it tracks operating system calls and creates a package that contains all the binaries, files, and dependencies required to reproduce the experiment. A reviewer can then extract the experiment on their own machine using ANY operating system (even if it's different from the original one!!) to reproduce the results. As a librarian, I was like "OH MY GOD. THE DIGITAL PRESERVATION GAME JUST GOT UPPED." Anyway, here's basically how ReproZip works -- in 2 steps:

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#LYD16 Recap

This past week, February 8-12th, was Love Your Data Week!! Is there a more perfect holiday for data librarians, especially right before Valentine's Day??

#LYD16 was a social media event coordinated officially by 27 academic and research institutions, of which both NYU Data Services and NYU Health Sciences Library were a part. The idea behind this social media blitz was to raise awareness of research data management and the support/resources for RDM at each individual institution.

Although just under 30 institutions officially were a part of the team, MANY MORE ended up joining the conversation on social media and jumping in, sharing their own thoughts and resources. We saw input from commercial organizations, researchers, faculty members, librarians, non-profits, and even academic journals! It was really great to see a conversation started around data stewardship and the importance of loving your data as much as it loves you!

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