Floor Replacement Project Continues August 8th and 9th

The floor replacement project continues. The Scholarly Commons will be closed Monday August 8th and Tuesday the 9th due to floor replacement outside of our space.  We will reopen on Wednesday the 10th at 1 pm.

If you would like a consultation, during this time, please feel free to contact us by email or consultation request form.

Intersession Hours: 1 – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday
E-mail: sc@library.illinois.edu
Consultation request form
Phone: 217-244-1331

Those planning on visiting the Main Library or Undergraduate Library, and any individual spaces within these buildings, are encouraged to contact departmental libraries and units before their visit to make sure these spaces are accessible during the renovation projects. For a list of library locations and their contact information, visit www.library.illinois.edu.

Thanks for your patience and understanding as we work to make your experience more pleasurable in the fall. Enjoy your summer!

Travel Funds Available for Open Access Conference — OpenCon 2016

Dear Students and Earlier Career Researchers–

As you likely already know, the last academic year saw the passage of a Open Access policy here at the University of Illinois [more info]. Are you interested in the broader national and international conversations regarding open access to research and research data? Would you like an opportunity to network with other scholars and to learn more about present efforts and future developments in Open Educational Resources, funding mandates?

If so, consider applying to be a participant in OpenCon 2016 (link to application).

OpenCon is a three day event held (this November) in Washington, DC. In past years, it has drawn participants from 40 countries across five continents. OpenCon is also a vital community of researchers committed to maintaining the integrity of academic research while lowering the boundaries to robust scholarly communication. The conference is well-funded and travel scholarships are available for most participants.

The deadline is swiftly approaching (July 11 @ noon). If you’re not interested but know someone who might be, please pass this invitation along.

Floor Replacement Scheduled for July 25 through July 29

A few of the library’s facilities will undergo renovations this summer which may result in brief closures of—and disruptions within—some departmental libraries and units.
Those planning on visiting the Main Library or Undergraduate Library, and any individual spaces within these buildings, are encouraged to contact departmental libraries and units before their visit to make sure these spaces are accessible during the renovation projects. For a list of library locations and their contact information, visit www.library.illinois.edu.

The Scholarly Commons would like to draw your attention to one project in particular which will affect physical access to our offices. The floor outside of Scholarly Commons is scheduled to be replaced during the week of July 25- July 29. (The actual time frame depends on work conditions.) During this time, those specialists who would normally be in Scholarly Commons if it not for construction will be available at other locations in the library.

If you would like a consultation, during this time, please feel free to contact us by email, consultation request form, or by phone, and we will meet you at another location.

Thanks for your patience and understanding as we work to make your experience more pleasurable in the fall. Enjoy your summer!

Looks Do Matter: Data.Gov’s User Friendly Information Portal

Why would it matter to a serious researcher whether an information portal has a well-designed interface? In most research circles, interfaces to collections of databases don’t need to be pretty. In fact, pretty might raise suspicions that the data is sub-standard: “What are they trying to cover up?” It’s all about the data, right? Yes, it’s about the data. But a pleasing and useful interface is no small matter. Researchers, app designers, and concerned citizens all know that the government is a source of important information, but I imagine more than a few have had unpleasant experiences trying to find and apply particular data.

As a portal to the U.S. government’s open data, Data.Gov is noteworthy. There, you’ll find “data, tools, and resources to conduct research, develop web and mobile applications, design data visualizations, and more.”

CaptureWhat is the scope of the data? You can search 192,917 data sets of U.S. government data related to agriculture, business, climate, consumer, ecosystems, education, energy, finance, health, local government, manufacturing, ocean, public safety, and science & research. Data.Gov includes databases from 77 agencies and sub-agencies as well as 492 non-governmental publishers.

How easy is it to navigate the site? The design is simple, clean, and intuitive. If you click a tab, expecting something like “X,” you’ll probably get something like “X” and more beside.

Perhaps the most helpful features are the search functions which are front and center on the home page. If you know what you’re looking for (sort of), just use the search box. Otherwise, you can use their browse topic feature which uses clear, picturesque icons. These topics are helpful to non-researchers exploring public affairs related issues, and they will also help seasoned researchers explore general topics of interest.

In the top right corner of every subsequent page, you’ll find the same search functionality as on the home page: a search text box and links to each of the major subareas below it. The browse topics feature (with its attractive icons) is readily accessible from the same area, using a drop down menu.

Browse TopicsNow, there’s no guarantee that you’ll find exactly what you want. But it’s a good place to start. If you’re a data geek you’ll enjoy the exploration and perhaps discover something you didn’t know. Browse. Give it a try. You don’t need a blog to find your way.

 

[Scholarly Commons has two services that might be of use to those interested in government related data and/or usability.  Data Services provides assistance with finding and formatting digital numeric and spatial data. The Usability Lab provides a space with two workstations for conducting usability studies.]

 

CITL Data Analytics

Sometimes institutional life stumbles onto stage a bit disheveled. And there are other times when a fruitful collaboration happens…

At the Scholarly Commons, we strive to partner with members of the UIUC community to support their scholarly work. When it comes to more substantial questions about statistical analysis, we do this by referring members of our community to our partner CITL Data Analytics (formerly ATLAS Open Statistical Consulting Lab).

Their spring training schedule is now online and we thought you might like to know about it. There are workshops on Stata, SAS, SPSS, Qualitative Coding and Questionnaire Design. The courses are grouped in sets of two with a basic course followed by a more advanced one.  (Click the hyperlink below for registration.  Workshops are listed on the second screen.)

Spring Training Schedule [Grouped by Topic]
02/23/2016 – Stata 1: Getting Started with Stata
03/01/2016 – Stata 2: Inferential Statistics with Stata

02/24/2016 – SAS 1: Getting Started with SAS
03/02/2016 – SAS 2: Inferential Statistics with SAS

03/08/2016 – ATLAS.ti 1: Introduction – Qualitative Coding
03/09/2016 – ATLAS.ti 2: Data Exploration and Analysis

03/15/2016 – SPSS 1: Getting Started with SPSS
03/29/2016 – SPSS 2: Inferential Statistics with SPSS

03/16/2016 – R 1: Getting Started with R
03/30/2016 – R 2: Inferential Statistics

04/05/2016 – Questionnaire Design

These are short evening workshops and are available free of charge to University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign faculty, instructors, staff, and students. These courses are offered every semester, so if you miss a course this semester keep your eyes open for next semester’s schedule.

Their Open Statistical Consulting Lab is housed in 2043 Lincoln Hall. Its hours are Monday to Thursday from 10 am – 4 pm and Friday from 10 am – 2 pm.

All members of the UIUC community are welcome to use the lab space. The first hour of consulting is free of charge. Some charges may apply for consulting beyond the first hour based on one’s affiliation and the nature of the project.  If you are referred to the lab from the Scholarly Commons, charges may be waived depending on the extent of assistance that you need.

For more information about any of their services, please visit:
http://www.atlas.illinois.edu/services/stats/consulting/