College of LAS Survey Research Tools

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) has recently purchased licenses for the online survey research tools Surveygizmo and Qualtrics. Both tools offer users the ability to create online surveys.

Who is eligible to use this software?

Only LAS faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates registered in a LAS course are eligible to use this software. These accounts are free to those faculty and students. To request an account please use this link:


For questions on how to use these tools, or if you need assistance in selecting the right tool for your needs, please contact Or, drop by their open lab hours Monday – Thursday 9am – 5pm and Friday 9am – 3pm in 2043 Lincoln Hall.

ATLAS also offers:

– A free questionnaire design workshop and assistance with programming online surveys:

– An open computer lab with knowledgeable staff ready to answer you questions about quantitative and qualitative research and programs: 2043 Lincoln Hall, Monday – Thursday 9am – 5pm, and Friday 9am – 2pm.

– Classroom demonstrations for programs such as SPSS 20, SAS 9.2, Stata 12 SE, ArcGIS 10, R 2.15.1, MS Excel, and others. Visit this page to request a tutorial:




Save the Date! HathiTrust Research Center UnCamp

The HathiTrust Research Center (HTRC) is hosting its third annual HTRC UnCamp in March at the University of Michigan Palmer Commons. The UnCamp is part hands-on coding and demonstration, part inspirational use-cases, part community building, and part informational, all structured in the dynamic setting of an un-conference programming format. It has visionary speakers mixed with boot-camp activities and hands-on sessions with HTRC infrastructure and tools.

When: March 30-31st, 2015, 8:00am – 5:00pm

Where: University of Michigan Palmer Commons

100 Washtenaw Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2218

Who should attend? The HTRC UnCamp is targeted to digital humanities tool developers, researchers, librarians of HathiTrust member institutions, and graduate students. Attendees will be asked for their input in planning sessions, so please plan to register early!

Registration will be open the first week of February.

As it becomes available, additional information about the UnCamp will be posted to

Questions? Contact Ryan Dubnicek, HTRC Executive Assistant, at

Hope to see you in Ann Arbor!

2015 University of Illinois Digital Humanities Symposium: Explorations of Technology in Humanities Research

The University Library’s Scholarly Commons and the Institute of Computing in the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (I-CHASS) are pleased to announce the 2015 Digital Humanities Symposium.

When: February 27-28, 2015

Where: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Learn about digital humanities tools and research methods from UIUC faculty and experts, and join us in building a research community for digital humanities practitioners at Illinois. Featrued keynote speaker will be Jennifer Guiliano, assistant professor of history at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis.

Registration is free!

More details to come at



The 2015 Digital Humanities Symposium will feature a poster session and we invite submission of poster proposals from students, researchers, and faculty on any aspect of digital humanities.

This could include:

  • Humanities research enabled through digital media, data mining, software studies, or information design and modeling;
  • Computer applications in literary, linguistic, cultural, and historical studies, including electronic literature, public humanities, and interdisciplinary aspects of modern scholarship;
  • Digital arts, architecture, music, film, theater, new media, digital games, and related areas of creation and curation of humanities digital resources;
  • Social, institutional, global, multilingual, and multicultural aspects of digital humanities and digital humanities in pedagogy and academic curricula.

Submitted poster abstracts (100 to 250 words) may describe work on any relevant topic and are intended to be interactive, with the opportunity to exchange ideas one-on-one with attendees.

Deadline for Submission: December 20, 2015, 11:59pm Central

Submit your online abstract here:

Presenters will be notified of acceptance by January 10, 2015.

Questions? Contact Harriett Green at or Sarah Christensen at



Tableau Day at UIUC

Tableau allows you to tell the story of your data by helping you to create beautiful, rich, interactive data visualizations. See the latest version of Tableau 8.2 which includes a Mac OS for desktop, Story Points for sharing the narrative of your data, and much more.

Students, faculty, and staff are invited to discover the ways in which using Tableau could help them to gain new insights into their data. During Tableau Day you can expect to connect with Tableau users, share best practices, and learn new approaches to working with data.

When: Thursday, December 11, 2014 10:30-3:00pm

The day will be split between a morning and afternoon session with a free lunch from 12-1pm. Check out the full agenda for the day when you register at the WebStore.

Where: 1304 W Springfield, Urbana, IL (Map Link). The event will be held in the Digital Computer Lab Room L410 DCL

Registration is free and required. You can register at the WebStore.

If you’re interested in sharing your Tableau work during the User Group or have general questions, you may contact Greg Lyons ( from Tableau Software or Judi Geistlinger ( from the U of IL WebStore/CITES team.

THAT Camp – Chicago

Interested in attending a THAT Camp? Now is your chance! The camp meets on Thursday, November 6th, 2014 at the Gleacher Center in downtown Chicago. It will last from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. The cost is $20 (collected at the door), which helps cover some of the costs of holding the event. There are still some seats available! All are invited, but the attendance is capped at 50 people, so please sign up early and make proposals!

For those not familiar with them, The Humanities and Technology Camps (THAT Camps) are open, welcoming meetings where participants learn and build together in sessions proposed on the spot. Anyone who is working on a digital humanities project, or who wants to learn about starting one, is welcome. You can learn more about how they work at the About THATCamp page.

THATCamp HSS 2014 is held in conjunction with the History of Science Society meeting this fall in Chicago. People of all skill levels and humanities interests are encouraged to attend. You can register here.

Sponsors include the IsisCB and the University of Chicago Press – Journals Division.

Follow updates for the camp on Twitter @THATCampHSS. Please use the hashtag #thatcampHSS.

Docear – The Visual Citation Manager

Citation managers are incredibly helpful tools for organizing the work that we do as researchers. The ability they give us to search, sort, arrange, annotate, and create bibliographies serves as a great time-saver when it comes to the research process. We spend a lot of time carefully highlighting and annotating our resources, so wouldn’t it be nice if we could easily extract those annotations as we begin drafting our papers? Earlier this month, a patron alerted us to a new citation manager that allows you to do just that!

Born from a PhD project and supported by the University of California, Berkeley, and the DKE Group of the OvGU, Docear helps users organize, create, and discover academic literature. Docear was first officially released to the public in 2012 and its latest update included a new Microsoft Word add-on.This open-source (FREE) software is the first of its kind to offer a feature that allows you to begin drafting your paper right in the user interface.


There are three main features that distinguish Docear from other citation managers.

Single-section user-interface While it does offer a classic three-section interface, Docear’s single-interface setting is what sets it apart. This interface allows users to browse multiple documents of multiple categories at the same time as well as multiple annotations of multiple documents at the same time. This could allow users to locate particular annotations very quickly rather than scrolling through an entire list of annotations for one document. Users can also create sub-categories within PDFs in order to search “key terms” within annotations. The downside to this approach is that it is not very intuitive and could take some time to master.

Literature suite concept (academic suite) Docear combines several tools into a single application by useing a technique called “Mind Maps.” This unique approach to organizing references and PDFs is a visual learner’s dream.

Here is a break down of the hierarchy of a Mind Map: The root node typically represents the title of your work > Nodes in the first level represent chapter headings > then follow sub-headings > paragraphs > finally users may create a node for each sentence. Here is an example of a Mind Map.

The enhanced formatting capabilities of Docear allow users to format text, add icons, change colors of the categories, and add visual links between papers in order to better distinguish between sources.

Docear also offers a “recommender system” (similar to the Mendeley’s recommendation feature) that suggest papers that may be relevant to your research. All papers that Docear recommends are available for free in full-text.

Document Drafting and Outlining — Drafting your own papers, assignments, books, theses, etc. is the defining feature of Docear. To get started with this, users have the option to copy PDFs, annotations, and references to drafts. As users write, this will enable them to click over to the PDF they need and immediately access the page and annotation they wish to use.

Keep in mind that Docear is a very new product with a few bugs to work out. For example, there is not currently a web-importer. Click here for some instructions from Docear on how to import documents. It also doesn’t have the capability for integrated synchronization of data, but it does allow for users to synchronize data with 3rd party tools such as Drobpbox. As it grows, it could be the tool you’ve been waiting for to help streamline your workflow. Docear is free to download, so give it a try! There are constant improvements and updates being made to Docear. You can track those on the Docear blog to stay up-to-date. There is no such thing as the perfect citation manager, but there is such a thing as the perfect citation manager for you. Docear could be the one!

Panel: “The Future of Scholarly Communication”

Next Wednesday, September 18th, the Scholarly Commons along with IPRH, GSLIS, and the Spurlock Museum will be sponsoring a panel on Scholarly Communication.

The ubiquity of digital technology and networked communication, in parallel with changing dynamics and economics of scholarship and the academy have led to rapid change in scholarly communication. While it appears clear that sharing scholarship and engaging in scholarly dialogue will remain central to the academic enterprise, the best ways to share and to conduct that dialogue are less clear. Libraries, scholarly societies, and, of course, scholars themselves are all assessing both present and future modes and methods of communication. This panel discussion will be conducted by those on the front lines of that assessment and of innovations in response.
Presented in collaboration with the Scholarly Commons of the University Library and the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, with co-sponsorship by the Spurlock Museum.

The panel consists of: Kathleen Fitzpatrick the Director of Scholarly Communication of the Modern Language Association and Visiting Research Professor of English, New York University, Seth Denbo the Director of Scholarly Communication and Digital Initiatives at the American Historical Association, and Maria Bonn from the Graduate School of Library and Information Sciences and the Editor of the Journal of Electronic Publishing.

Date: Sep 17, 2014
Time: 4:30 pm
Location: Knight Auditorium, Spurlock Museum (600 S. Gregory Street, Urbana)
Sponsor: IPRH, GSLIS, Spurlock Museum, and the Scholarly Commons of the University Library

This event is free and open to the public.
For more details click here.

The Image of Research Gallery

Behold! All image entries from the very first Image of Research Contest are now viewable in the online gallery!

The Image of Research is a multidisciplinary competition celebrating the diversity and breadth of student research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Inspired by the contest at the University of Chicago graduate college, this spring was the first edition for the students at Illinois. Both graduate and undergraduate entrants were asked to submit an image along with a brief abstract articulating the ways in which the image relates to their research. The entries were then judged by an interdisciplinary panel and monetary awards were given to the top contestants.

The graduate Image of Research contest was held in February and the winners were announced during graduate student appreciation week in April at a showcase in the Illini Union. There were an impressive 64 entries this year! The winners included: Keith Cassidy in first place, Marissa Brooke Siebel in second place, Lauren Fields in third place, and Aron Katz and Nico Brown with honorable mentions. The people’s choice award (voted on at the showcase) also went to first place winner, Keith Cassidy. The images have since been archived in the institutional repository (IDEALS) and they have been organized into collections and exhibits using a platform called Omeka, making them accessible long-term for those who are interested.

The undergraduate edition of the contest was held in the Illini Union this year and showcased the works of 23 participants. This year’s contestants of special recognition included: JunYoung Gwak in first place, Aimee Gottlieb in second place, Le Wang in third place, and Tayana Panova of honorable mention. This year’s student contributions illustrated some of the creative and exciting research that undergraduates are involved in at the University of Illinois. All entries have also been put into IDEALS as well as Omeka.

You can navigate through each image and read each abstract submitted by the contestants in the gallery. Browse the winners in the 2014 Winners Exhibit! Go take a peek at this great demonstration of the scholarly research being done by the students at Illinois.

ICPSR 2014 Summer Program in Quantitative Methods of Social Research

Still making a list of summer plans? As you gear up for summer, keep in mind that the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan is offering a wide range of classes on quantitative data-analysis. Whether you are a beginner or you are ready to study more advanced techniques, the program has something unique to offer each individual. Course instruction is centered around interactive, participatory data-analysis within a broader context of substantive social research.

Courses for the summer 2014 program are offered in two four-week sessions, May through August. These sessions include lecture, seminar, and workshop formats with participants from a diverse range of departments, universities, and organizations.

The following are a few examples of courses that will be offered:

Basic Foundation
Introduction to Statistics and Data Analysis
Introduction to Regression
Introduction to Computing

Linear Models and Beyond
Regression Analysis
Hierarchical Linear and Multilevel Models
Categorical Data Analysis

Substantive Topics
Race and Ethnicity
Curating Data & Providing Data Services
Designing, Conducting, and Analyzing Field Experiments

Advanced Techniques
Applied Bayesian Modeling
Advanced Time Series
The R Statistical Computing Environment

Multivariate Techniques
Multivariate Statistical methods
Scaling and Dimensional Analysis
Intro & Advanced Network Analysis

Formal Modeling
Game Theory
Rational Choice
Empirical Modeling for Theory Evaluation

Registration is now open. There are also a few free workshops that will be offered over the summer, but registration for those sessions ends May 15, 2014 and seats are limited!

For a full list of courses, fee and discount information, and to fill out an application visit the website.

Call: (734) 763-7400

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!