Need Assistance With Financial Planning?

Not sure where to start? Next Tuesday, March 18th, there will be two Savvy Researcher Workshops geared to help guide students through the first steps in the creation of a future financial plan. The two workshops will be held in room 314 on the third floor of the Main Library. The first session will run in the morning from 11:00am-11:50am and the second session will take place in the afternoon from 1:00pm-1:50pm.

The Scholarly Commons and the Student Money Management Center (SMMC) have partnered to create: “Steps Toward Financial Planning.” These workshops will address ways to handle issues such as unburying yourself from undergraduate student loans, securing a brighter financial future after graduate/professional school, and implementing a smart financial plan for your future dreams. The sessions will also cover the ins and outs of necessary financial documents, important questions to ask a financial planner, and how to set realistic future financial goals. Both sessions are free to attend, so you’ll already be taking a step in a fiscally responsible direction.

If you have any questions or require any special accommodations, please contact SMMC at To register for one of these sessions, or for more information on this and other Savvy Researcher Workshops, take a look at the schedule. You can also check out the Savvy Researcher’s Twitter account @learnlibrary. We hope to see you there!


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Google Developers Introduction to R Series

R is an open source software programming language that is widely used among data miners for data analysis. The popularity of R has grown exponentially in the last couple of years and, if you are new to the R language, Google Developers has created a series that will help you get started with R.  Each video is relatively short, ranging from 2 to 4 minutes. The entire series is split up into 4 sections. Videos have feature captions that can be translated into any language to make them easy to follow. These videos are a gateway to both the R language and the fundamentals of programming.

The programming concepts that appear in this series are listed below:

  • Variables are storage locations that contain information. This concept is introduced in video 1.2.
  • Control structures (also called control flow) are blocks of code that decide how a program will respond when given certain conditions and parameters. An example of a common control structure is “if-else” statements. They are introduced in video 2.3.
  • Data structure is a way of organizing data so that the program can use the data in an efficient way. An example of a data structure is a Variable. For larger sets of information R uses particular types of data structures which are unique only to the R language. There are vectors (1.3), Matrices (1.6), and data frames (2.1) all of these types of data structures are objects that can be stored and manipulated.
  •  Syntax is the set of rules and arrangements that can be correctly interpreted in that language. This concept is covered through the entire series.

The following is a synopsis of the beginner introduction to R videos from Google:

Section 1 Basics:

The initial install of R on your computer includes a tour around the R environment and practice entering commands. This section also has an overview of working with vectors; they are the heart of R. It also teaches you about other object structures of R such as data frames and matrices.

Section 2 and 3 Control and Data Structures:

This portion of the series deals with the process of creating data structures from your own data. It also teaches how to manipulate the data structures you have created by using control structures.

Section 4 Functions:

The final section of the R series uses the skills that you learned in sections 1-3 in order to create your own custom R functions.

Overall this series is a good way to get started with R if you are an absolute beginner.

Here the link to the Google’s Introduction to R series so you can get started:

More Resources:

20 free tutorials for R

Free interactive tutorial on R

R syntax cheat sheet

More information about programming concepts

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The Thinking Eye: a presentation by Edward Tufte

This April Edward Tufte, a statistician and professor emeritus of political science, statistics, and computer science at Yale University, will be giving a presentation at the University of Illinois in Foellinger Auditorium. Topics of the presentation include evidence and inference, strategies for identifying excellence, and practical advice for seeing better in the real world and on the glowing flat rectangle of the computer screen.

Edward Tufte, or ET as he is commonly called, is a man who has dedicated his life to the complex understanding of the important connections between science, technology, and art. As a data theorist and visualization pioneer, he is interested in demonstrating what happens in the place where art meets science to create awe-inspiring displays of data sets. As an expert in informational graphics and design, his work varies from data-rich illustrations to sculpture, and even entire landscape pieces such as his 243-acre landscape sculpture park and tree farm in Woodbury, Connecticut. He has also written and designed 4 books: Visual Display of Quantitative Information, Envisioning Information, Visual Explanations, and Beautiful Evidence. The vastness and beauty of his work has prompted such publications as The New York Times and Business Week to call him “The Leonardo da Vinci of Data” and the “Galileo of Graphics.”

An incredible example of his ability to visually convey an understanding of data sets is his art exhibit, “The Cognitive Art of Feynman Diagrams.” Feynman diagrams, named after Richard Feynman, are diagrams that show what happens when elementary particles collide. Though these diagrams already represent a visual display of data sets, Tufte brings the diagrams into a three-dimensional optical experience using stainless steel that completely alters the ways in which we communicate with and understand the data they represent. These stainless steel sculptures hanging from the walls represent the space-time paths taken by all subatomic particles in the entire universe using just 120 diagrams. It’s safe to say that he takes the word “visionary” to a whole new level. ET’s art exhibit, “The Cognitive Art of Feynman Diagrams,” will be at the Fermilab Art Gallery in Batavia, Illinois (near Chicago) from April 15 to June 26.

For more information on this and his many other projects you can visit his website and you can check out his twitter.

You can also take a look at all 4 of his books in the Data Presentation and Visualization Collection in the Scholarly Commons. If you would like to get hands on experience with your own data visualization projects, check out the Savvy Researcher Workshop, “Visualizing Your Data” on April 9th. For more information and to register take a look at the Savvy Researcher Calendar.

April 10, 2014 7:00 pm
Foellinger Auditorium, UIUC
This event is sponsored by NCSA and is free and open to the public.

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ABBYY FineReader

What is ABBYY FineReader?

ABBYY FineReader is an optical character recognition (OCR) system. It is used to convert scanned documents, PDF documents, and image files into editable formats.

In ABBYY Fine Reader 11 you can:

  • Create e-books
  • Work with additional languages such as Arabic, Vietnamese, and Turkmen
  • Use Business Card Reader to quickly convert paper business cards into electronic contacts.

Getting Started

Open your Abby Finder Reader 11 program.

When you first start the program you will see a window like this:

This is the main window. There is a new task window inside the main window. In the new task window, you can set up and launch a built-in task or custom automated task.

In this example, we will be scanning pages from a book into a searchable PDF.

Click the task tab common (this is usually the default) and click the task button, “Scan to Searchable PDF.”

A pop up window with scanner settings will appear.  Make sure to click the “Preview” button in the lower left-hand corner to make sure that you are scanning the complete image. When you are satisfied with the preview, click “Scan.”

A progress bar will keep track of progress.

When you have scanned all the pages that you want, click “Cancel.”

The green highlighted section represents text. While the pink highlighted section represents images. Sometimes, text is incorrectly recognized as an image. In order to delete incorrect images, simply click on the pink areas and press “Delete” on your keyboard. This will remove the false image recognition. (Make note about rescanning for text after removing incorrect images.)

The pages highlighted blue in the text windows means that ABBYY FineReader is unsure of characters used on those pages. You can verify the symbols by clicking on the page and…(demonstrate how to verify or change, if need be, ABBYY’s uncertainties).

When you are done with your verification, you can save this page as a searchable PDF.

Click the “Send” button in the main tool bar in order to save the document(s) you have created. Another way to do this is by going to the File menu and the sub menu, “Save Document As…”


ABBYY will then generate a searchable PDF document.

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Using EZID to Obtain DOIs for Data: Creating strong links for strong research

In order for librarians to best execute their mission of connecting patrons to information, the librarians’ access to that information must first be reliable not only in its credibility but also in its findability. The University Library’s eResearch Implementation Committee is beginning a mission to do just that. Starting spring 2014, we will be launching a pilot project to work with campus researchers in order to assign DOIs to their databases.

DOIs or, “Digital Object Identifiers,” are human-readable character strings used to uniquely identify objects such as electronic documents, journal articles, etc. The DOI string is made up of two elements: the “prefix” and the “suffix.” They are separated by a forward slash. For example, a DOI string could look like this: 10.000/182. The prefix, “10.000,” represents the registry and registrant and the suffix,”182,” represents the item ID assigned to an exact object. This character string would appear in the URL associated with this item.

DOIs originate from the publishing world for the widespread use of journal articles. Metadata and location information about the object is stored in association with the DOI name. This makes them unique, in that, they carry permanent and unambiguous forwarding information even when there is a change in the physical location or ownership of the object. Thus, referring to an online document by its DOI provides a more reliable linking method than referring to a URL. The DOI can also be used in conjunction with OpenURL in order to connect articles with databases for a dependable information transaction.

The University of Illinois will be using DataCite’s registry to create DOIs, and those DOIs will then be managed by EZID (easy-eye-dee). EZID, developed by the California Digital Library, is a web API that makes it easy to create and manage unique, long-term identifiers.

The Scholarly Commons will act in partnership with the eResearch Implementation Committee to provide a “hub” of Library eResearch support services for the pilot. Students, faculty, and staff are welcome to participate.

For more information and a link to the application form go to:

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Announcements from the ATLAS Statistics, GIS, Data, and Survey Research Group for the start of the new semester!

Do you need help understanding what statistics to use in your research, Do you want to create a map? Are you interested in working in a space with onsite consultants to answer your questions?

Registration for the ATLAS workshop series is now open!  These workshops are available only to the University Illinois community and are being offered at no cost.  To register or to learn more information, please visit:

ATLAS.ti workshops

  • 3/6/2014  – ATLAS.ti Introduction – ATLAS.ti
  • 3/19/2014 - ArcGIS 1: Introduction to ArcCatalog and ArcMap
  • 4/2/2014 - ArcGIS 2: Introduction to ArcToolbox

SPSS workshops

  • 2/19/2014 - SPSS 1: Getting Started with SPSS
  • 2/26/2014 - SPSS 2: Inferential Statistics with SPSS

Stata workshops

  • 3/3/2014 - Stata 1: Getting Started with Stata
  • 3/10/2014 - Stata 2: Inferential Statistics with Stata

SAS workshops

  • 3/5/2014 - SAS 1: Getting Started with SAS
  • 3/12/2014 - SAS 2: Inferential Statistics with SAS

R workshops

  • 2/20/2014 - R: Getting Started with R
  • 2/27/2014 - R 2: Inferential Statistics

Survey research workshop

  • 3/13/2014 - Survey Research

The ATLAS Statistics/GIS Open lab (2043 Lincoln Hall) spring schedule:

Monday 9am-5pm
Tuesday 9am-5pm
Wednesday 9am-10am, 11am-5pm
Thursday 9am-5pm
Friday 9am-2pm

Are you unsure if there is data available for a project or thesis?  Do you need help getting your data prepared for analysis?  In collaboration with the University Library, ATLAS is holding Data Service hours in the Scholarly Common.  For more information please visit:

For more information about our services, please visit:

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What is Reval.js?

We first showed you the basics of Markdown, now we will use that beginner’s knowledge to use Reveal.js.  Reveal.js is a JavaScript library that allows you to create beautiful slideshows for your scholarly presentations. Here is an example of Reveal.js in action

Getting Started


1. Go to the github page of Reveal.js and download the zip folder.



The essential directories are css folder, js folder, lib  folder, and the plugin folder. The test folder will be helpful to have in order to see examples of different templates and plugins work in reveal.js.

2. Click on the following link. This is a simple template file to help you get started: Markdown File

Reveal.js syntax

In order to create a new slide use the html5 tag section.

<section><h1>This is a slide</h1></section>

The heading tags determine the size of the headings.

To create slides that are in vertical sequence, you will need to put a section tag with a section like this.

            <h1>Best Public Universities to Attend</h1>

              <h2> University of Illinois</h2>

               <h2> University of Michigan</h2>

There are two ways to include Markdown in your presentations. The first way is to add an inline script inside of your index.html file. The second way is to create a link to an external markdown file in your directory. The second way is a complicated process that involves using node.js and the details can be found in this page.,

In order to put markdown in your Reveal.js file you must  follow the GitHub Flavored Markdown version and the syntax for it can be found

Here is an example of a slide with markdown syntax

<section data-markdown>
      <script type="text/template">
        ##Page Title

        A paragraph with some text and a [link](

        ###Grocery List

         *   Goat
         *   Lamb
         *   Ginger
         *   Milk


Few Tips about Reveal.js

  • Its best to use in google chrome and it will not work on internet explorer
  • F11 to go into Presentation mode in google chrome
  • B- to fade into a black to pause
  • esc – shows all of your slides at once

This is just the tip of the iceberg for what you can do with reveal.js and Markdown. For more information, look at the reveal.js documentation. Here is an online course that will teach you more about reveal.js:

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Event: Heather Piwowar and the Scholarly Impact of “Altmetrics”

As scholars are completing doctoral programs and vying for tenure and promotion, it becomes necessary to explore and review the reverberations of their scholarly voices. The methods used to do so tend to be incredibly slow and it can become a struggle to find the most efficient and effective method to uncover and share a scholar’s research impact.

Heather Piwowar of ImpactStory

Biometric practices such as peer-review, citation counting, and determining an h-index, have been the traditional method of tracking scholarly impact. A new method of tabulation is spreading like wildfire, just as information involved in the mosaic of the 21st century digital environment are wont to do. Altmetrics is a method that is recreating the ways in which scientists and scholars share and reuse research data. Altmetrics allows the exploration of personal and scholarly presence through an alternative medium– social media tools. Social media tools, such as twitter, blog posts, online reference managers such as Mendeley and Zotero, and even institutional repositories provide incredibly quick feedback on scholarly presence and impact when compared to the traditional methods of review. Through the daily use and involvement in open source, social media outlets, scholars and critics are expanding their opinion of what it takes to make an impact and how that impact is interpreted. Some critics of altmetrics worry that using this method leaves too much room for gaming (manipulation of citations) and could create a false representation of the impact factor of an academic. Supporters acknowledge the risks but point out that any metric calculation is vulnerable to corruption as has been proved evident in past instances.

ImpactStory, a non-profit funded by the NSF and the Sloan Foundation, is an example of an altmetric tool that allows researchers to view their scholarly impact across an array of digital data channels in one web space. Heather Piwowar, co-founder of ImpactStory, is a postdoctoral research associate with DataONE and the Dryad digital repository at NESCent. She has 10 years of experience as a software engineer and a PhD in biomedical Informatics from the University of Pittsburgh. She has measured the citation benefit of publicly archiving research data, variation in journal data sharing policies, patterns in public deposition of datasets, and is currently investigating patterns of data reuse and the impact of journal data sharing policies. For more information about Heather, you can follow her research blog and her twitter account.

The Scholarly Commons, with thanks to the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics, extends an invitation to the campus and community to attend Heather Piwowar’s lecture about her research in altmetrics and involvement with ImpactStory. The lecture will be held at:

Alice Campbell Alumni Center
Thursday, February 6, 2014 from 9-10:30AM
Opening remarks from Dean of Libraries and University Librarian, John Wilkin.
Join us for refreshments before the talk at 8:30AM.

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Getting started with Markdown

What is it? And who is it for?

Markdown is a markup language created by John Gruber. It was designed to be easy to create readable scripts that can be converted to HTML. The only thing you need is a simple text editor such as notepad for Windows or TextEdit for Mac. Text files are easy to use editors because they are simple and to the point thus eliminating most, if not all, distractions making the user a force for productivity. Plus, all text files can be read using any computer system without a glitch. Markdown is also perfect for writing a blog post without the hassle of learning HTML. People have also used Markdown for organizing their notes, creating to-do lists, creating presentations and much more.

Here are a few basic rules in order to get started:


# This is a First-level heading

## This is a Second-level heading

### This is a Third- level heading

#### This is a Fourth-level heading

##### This is a Fifth-level heading

###### This is a Sixth- level heading


<h1>This is a First-level heading</h1>
<h2>This is a Second-level heading</h2>
<h3>This is a Third-level heading </h3>
<h4>This is a Fourth-level heading</h4>
<h5> This is a Fifth-level heading</h5>
<h6>This is a Sixth-level heading</h6>


A paragraph is one or more consecutive lines of the text separated by one or more blank lines. Normal paragraphs should not be indented with spaces or tabs.

O serpent heart, hid with a flowering face!

Did ever dragon keep so fair a cave?

Beautiful tyrant! fiend angelical!


<p> O serpent heart, hid with a flowering face!
    Did ever dragon keep so fair a cave?
    Beautiful tyrant! fiend angelical! </p>

Unordered List

Bullet List/unordered list can be created using *asterisk, +plus signs or -minus signs interchangeable as well.

(Note: Place three spaces from the *, + or -)


*   Goat

+   Milk

-  Banana

*   Eggs


     <li> Goat   </li>
     <li> Milk   </li>
     <li> Banana </li>
     <li> Eggs   </li>



Ordered list

(Note: Similar to the unordered list, items need to be at least three spaces from their respective numbers in order to be able to format correctly.)

1.   Eggs

2.   Ham

3.   Milk


      <li> Eggs </li>
      <li> Ham  </li>
      <li> Milk </li>

 Bold and Italics

*hello, world* italicized text

<i>hello, world</i>

**hello, world** boldface

 <b>hello, world</b>


Markdown Resources:

Here is an online converter and more syntax rules from the creator of Markdown

The Official website for Markdown:

More on the basics of Markdown:

Using Markdown with WordPress:

Markdown Editors:

Here is a list of markdown converters. There are 75 of them listed here.


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