Microgrant Report: Vasilevsky Nov.2017

The OHSU Library Data Science Institute Promotes Biocuration and the ISB to Librarians and Researchers
By Nicole Vasilevsky

The Oregon Health Science University Library in Portland, Oregon hosted the “OHSU Library Data Science Institute” (GitHub repo) from November 6-8, 2017 in downtown, Portland.

The event was targeted towards researchers, librarians and information specialists with an interest in gaining beginner level skills in data science. The goal was to provide face-to-face, interactive instruction over a  three-day workshop. The learning objectives for the training were:

  • Increase awareness of key skills in data science and how these can be applied to the participants own daily practices, such as research or serving patrons
  • Increase confidence with using data science techniques
  • Increase the ability of participants to use or apply data science techniques in problems outlined in the course

Over 75 participants attended this event, which was held over the 3 days. Participants came from within and outside Portland,  Washington, Idaho, California, British Columbia and Kansas. The topics for the workshop included topics relevant to the biocuration community such as biomedical data standards; data description, sharing and reuse; and data cleaning and preparation. All of the  materials are openly available on our website. I gave a brief talk on the “Trials and Tribulations of a Biocurator” and described the lessons learned as a biocurator and how she wished she knew the things she knows now when she was a bench researcher (and how her biocuration skills can be applied in her current role as well). We hope that we instilled the value of biocuration and proper data management on researchers and librarians alike, and hope that they will apply the skills they learned to better manage and curate their data. We informed participants about efforts that are currently underway at the International Society for Biocuration, and distributed ISB stickers as well. Funds from the micro-grant were used to provide coffee each morning for attendees, which was greatly appreciated, and the ISB is listed as a sponsor on our website.

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