Data Friday: Tidbits 1

Sorry to have ducked out on you last Friday, I keep finding that entire weeks are sliding past me and I’m utterly baffled how it’s mid-August when I could swear the summer just started.  At least the Philosopher and I have made it up to Ravinia once already–that was a summer goal.

Data Tidbits

  • Glorious Coworker sent me a link to the National Information Center on Health Services Research and Health Care Technology, specifically the Health Services and Science Research Resources , with the suggestion that I might want to add it to my LibGuides as a resource for my researchers.  I want to take a deeper look before I send them to it.  It’s a searchable database of resources, not the actual data sets themselves and on first glance it is unclear who is compiling the datasets or evaluating what should be included and the duration of inclusion.  Because it’s a metadata database only, I’m concerned about datasets disappearing, equalling broken links, but as long as the data sets are maintained and there is funding to support new entries, it could be a useful resource.  This certainly could be of great value for longer term research or to give students at a teaching hospital or university medical program a dataset to work with without needing to actually hand over patient data.  Free, for now, from the National Institutes for Health.
  • One of the things I mentioned two weeks ago was the concern about the preparedness of public libraries to receive, store, handle and work with data–if for no other reason than their budgets have been slashed beyond the painful point and it can be quite difficult to move into a new area with neither funds nor people.  I did want to point you towards a presentation that Dorothea Salo was supposed to give, did give, something like that. It’s about the emerging change we are seeing in libraries, moving away from purchasing materials to helping our patrons create and work with their own materials, which we then present out to the world.  Check out her quick and thoughtful slide deck and lecture about Turning Collection Development Inside Out.
  • Pretty Data!  Check out the Flowing Data Blog.  They have fun and cool data visuals.  I particularly liked the US Post Office Establishment one from 1700-1900 (see August 9th).  Hat tip to @jambina for the link!
From Whom am I Learning Data Things? 

I name checked Dorothea Salo earlier and I can’t suggest that you start reading her Twitter stream highly enough.  Dorothea is always bookmarking great articles and frequently having thoughtful data/open access/preservation/repository/etc related conversations.  Check in with her at least once a day, it’s always worth it.

Also, I recommend reading Eric Hellman’s blog.  I’ll link here to the Liking Library Data post. Eric is behind GlueJar, whose mission statement is “building a place for individuals and institutions to join together to liberate specific ebooks and other types of digital content by paying rightsholders to relicense their works under Creative Commons licenses.”

Want to Work in Data? 

Iowa is hiring a  Data Services Librarian

And I’m already nearly up to 700 words.  Sheesh. You sit down to write a quick little blog post, just one or two links and look what happens. I called today’s post Tidbits 1 because I have a feeling in between long essays, you’re more likely to get posts like this.  Many of these don’t need hugely long write ups and I’d rather spare you hundreds of extra words when a shorter presentation will do. 🙂