Objectives. In an age of data-driven research and competitive funding, libraries help their patrons acquire new skills. To do so, some offer workshops about knowledge discovery, analysis, and management of various kinds of data. The primary objective of this qualitative study was to explore the nature of workshops offered by libraries to support data-driven research in top NIH- and NSF-funded universities. Additionally, we developed a catalog of workshops, and indexed the resources and thematic content.
Methods. To identify top-funded universities, we used NIH Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools and the NSF Budget Internet Information System. From corresponding websites, we extracted information on 99 workshops offered by health sciences libraries (n=5) and main libraries (n=5) in schools funded by NIH and NSF, respectively. Workshop title, duration, and description were catalogued by library and source of federal funding for the university. We used NVivo 11 Pro (QSR International) for qualitative data analysis and TExtract® (TEXYZ) to semi-automate indexing the content of the catalog. Themes were first identified in textual patterns and then were refined by an analyst. Thematic overlap was described across funding source. Additionally, we identified themes unique to each subset.
Results. Main libraries in NSF-funded schools offered 36% more workshops than health sciences libraries in NIH-funded schools (57 vs 42). Overall workshop duration ranged from 1 to 16 hours in a bimodal distribution (1st mode = 1 hour; 2nd mode = 3 hours). The distribution of duration for NSF schools differed from the NIH distribution. We identified 15 main themes overall: statistical programming and data visualization occurred most often, and finding funds for research and open science least often. Thematic distributions varied with funding source. For example, bioinformatics occurred most often in the NIH-funded subset and statistical programming in the NSF subset. For each subset, 20 most informative indexing terms were identified after sorting and discretizing into 7 quantiles. Top indexing terms included: data visualization, pathway analysis, and data management (NIH schools); data analysis, data management plan (DMP), and Python (NSF schools).
Conclusion. A catalog of workshops organized by university funding source and library, along with 2 indexes (resource and subject), will be publicly available. The analytical results, as well as index content, yield insights regarding workshop coverage. Implications for strategic planning and development of library workshops in support of data-driven research will be discussed.
Keywords. Research libraries, data-driven research, library workshops, strategic planning, competitive advantage
TCB Research & Indexing LLC
Tanja Bekhuis, PhD, MS, MLIS, is a distinguished member of the Academy of Health Information Professionals. She is the CEO and founder of TCB Research & Indexing LLC and Principal Scientist of the EDDA Analytics Group™.
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