UH Libraries News

Data Visualization Day 2020

The Hewlett Packard Enterprise Data Science Institute and University of Houston Libraries will co-host the UH Annual Data Visualization Day 2020 to be held on March 16 at MD Anderson Library. Register

UH Annual Data Visualization Day 2020

UH Annual Data Visualization Day 2020

The event will feature presentations and demos on data visualization and interpretation in all fields of research and academia. Students may enter a data visualization contest.

Data Visualization Day 2020 Schedule

9 a.m.
Elizabeth D. Rockwell Pavilion
Opening Remarks

  • Claudia Neuhauser, associate vice president for research and technology transfer and director of the UH HPE Data Science Institute
  • Marilyn Meyers, interim dean of UH Libraries

9:15 a.m.
The Future of Data Visualization
Lindita Camaj, UH Valenti School of Communication

9:45 a.m.
Training Astronauts Using Hardware In-the-Loop Simulations and VR
Angelica Garcia, NASA
   
10:30 a.m.
The Human Body Project and the Anatomage Table
Lisa Ostrin, UH College of Optometry

11:00 a.m.
Interpretation of Machine Learning with Visualization and HPE AI Solutions
Soumyendu Sarkar, Hewlett Packard Enterprise

11:30 a.m.
The Sampled City – Visualizing Granularity and Connection in Health
Dan Price, UH Honors College and HPE Data Science Institute

1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Demonstration of Visualization Tools
Elizabeth D. Rockwell Pavilion

Introduction to Tableau
MD Anderson Library, Basement Level, Room 10-F

Register for Data Visualization Day 2020

Research Workshops Spring 2020

University of Houston Libraries announces its spring 2020 research workshop series for faculty, staff, and students, offering a variety of research tools and practices. Register

Tableau I – Introduction
Tuesday, January 28, 2020, 10:00am – 11:30am
MD Anderson Library Training Room 106-R
In this workshop, participants will use Tableau Public to create interactive data visualizations. It will cover an overview of the program and provide hands-on experience creating basic charts and maps, as well as creating interactive web-based visualization dashboards. It will also discuss publishing to the Tableau Public web server.

Core Data Management Practices for UH Researchers
Thursday, January 30, 2020, 10:00am – 11:30am
MD Anderson Library Training Room 106-R
This workshop presents the basic elements of data management that are essential for UH researchers in all disciplines. Topics include: Data management plans, file organization and documentation, storage and backup, security, compliance with funder and university policies, data preservation, and archiving.

Tableau II – Calculations and analytics
Tuesday, February 4, 2020, 10:00am – 11:30am
MD Anderson Library Training Room 106-R

In this workshop, participants will use more advanced features in Tableau to manage data, such as join, union and edit data. Participants will also use calculations and parameters to make views more interactive. It will cover analytics to help spot trends and forecast data. Taking Tableau I prior to this workshop is strongly encouraged.

Finding Social Science Data
Thursday, February 6, 2020, 10:00am – 11:30am
MD Anderson Library Training Room 106-R
Participants will be introduced to some library-subscription sources for social science data (including business and sales data) as well as some portals for open data (such as census and demographic data). Participants will also learn tips for finding data and discuss how to evaluate the quality of data sources.

Tableau III—Logical functions and customize dashboard
Tuesday, February 11, 2020, 10:00am – 11:30am
MD Anderson Library Training Room 106-R
In this workshop, participants will learn to use logical functions to determine if certain condition is true or false. It will also cover building customized dashboard to make your visualization more appealing. Taking Tableau I and Tableau II prior to this workshop is strongly encouraged.

Data Archiving and Sharing
Thursday, February 13, 2020, 10:00am – 11:30am
MD Anderson Library Training Room 106-R
Increasingly research funders and academic publishers request or require that we share a portion of our data. This workshop covers a spectrum of sharing and archiving options, discusses considerations for choosing an option, and presents tips and tricks for preparing data for sharing and archiving. The content will be focused on a broad understanding relevant for researchers of all disciplines and at all stages of their academic career.

Introduction to R for Absolute Beginners
Tuesday, February 18, 2020, 10:00am – 12:00pm
MD Anderson Library Training Room 106-R
R is an open source software for statistical computing and graphics. This workshop is for individuals who want to begin to learn this powerful analysis tool but have little or no experience in any programming languages. The first half of this 2-hour workshop will focus on some basic concepts of coding and the second half will feature hands-on activities to learn basic R skills, such as installing R packages, importing files, and exploring data. Some troubleshooting tips and R resources will also be provided.

Finding STEM Data
Thursday, February 20, 2020, 10:00am – 11:30am
MD Anderson Library Training Room 106-R
Participants will be introduced to some library-subscription sources for STEM-related data as well as some portals for open data. Participants will also learn tips for finding data and discuss how to evaluate the quality of data sources.

Selecting Journals for Publishing Your Research
Tuesday, February 25, 2020, 10:00am – 11:30am
MD Anderson Library Training Room 10-G
This hands-on workshop discusses factors that could influence your choice of journals for academic publishing, including journal impact, publish frequency, review process, and other factors. Participants will leave the workshop with resources, handy tools, and strategies for making a good choice for publishing your research.

Sponsored Projects Call for Proposals

The Digital Research Commons (DRC) invites members of the University of Houston community to submit proposals for sponsored projects to run for the calendar year 2020. The DRC collaborates with researchers on projects involving digital techniques across the humanities, social sciences, and experimental sciences.

This cycle, the DRC will offer grants at two levels, designed to address projects at different levels of development. The first level, designed to help projects at the seed stage of development, will offer funding up to $5000. The second, designed to develop projects that have already made demonstrable progress, will offer funding up to $12,500.

We are looking for teams or individuals, experts and novices alike, who have a project that they would like to develop. This can either be a project that is already underway or one not yet begun. Prior knowledge of digital tools and techniques is welcome but not necessary. We work with our project members to help them organize their information, analyze it, and produce compelling results.

The DRC team will help you craft your proposal and, if your project is accepted, will help find training for team members who need it. We welcome submissions from faculty, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows. Accepted applicants will work with the DRC to build their projects into working prototypes. We especially encourage applications focused on collections in UH Libraries Special Collections.

Contact DRC with questions at drc@uh.edu. Apply by December 8th.

How to Apply
Proposals, due via email to drc@uh.edu by December 8, should include:

    1. A 2-3 sentence abstract of the proposed project, including whether the proposal is for a seed or a development grant, and why
    2. A list of your project team members and brief descriptions of roles
    3. A budget for the calendar year, either up to $5000 or up to $12,500, depending on whether the proposal is for a seed or a development grant, and a rationale for each item
    4. A project description (no more than 1000 words) answering the following questions:
      • What is the primary research question driving this project?
      • What is the main contribution your project will make to scholarship?
      • Who is your intended audience?
      • What do you intend to be the final product completed under this grant?
      • If applying for a development grant, please describe your work on the project to date.

If you are a graduate student, please include a statement about how this project aligns with your thesis topic and research/writing schedule.

Open Access Week 2019

This week marks Open Access Week 2019 with the theme “Open for Whom? Equity in Open Knowledge.” According to the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), open access is the “free, immediate, online availability of research articles coupled with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment. Open access ensures that anyone can access and use these results – to turn ideas into industries and breakthroughs into better lives.”

Open Access Week 2019

Open Access Week 2019

University of Houston Libraries will host three events, and will introduce a new campus-wide open access service, to promote open access and to highlight University initiatives related to open access.

New Service

The new service from UH Libraries, the Assisted Institutional Repository Submissions Service, is an initiative to help faculty get more of their peer-reviewed journal publications, book chapters, and conference proceedings publicly available through Cougar ROAR. UH Libraries will process any UH faculty member’s CV or list of peer-reviewed publications for permission clearance and deposit all eligible works into the UH Institutional Repository. For more information, contact Taylor Davis-Van Atta.

Events

October 18: Open Educational Resources Discussion Group
University of Houston faculty are invited to join this informal gathering to meet and learn from others who are interested in open educational resources (OER). Brown bag lunch; snacks will be provided.

12 noon – 1 p.m., MD Anderson Library Training Room 10-G
Register here (walk-ins welcome)

October 23: Open Educational Resources
Do you want to reduce the cost of textbooks for your students? Do you want more flexibility with your course materials than is possible with a traditional textbook? Drop by the Faculty Cafe to learn about OER, freely available learning materials which can be legally used, shared, and adapted. In this session, we will address common questions about OER and provide information on how to apply for the UH Alternative Textbook Incentive Program. This event is in partnership with Faculty Engagement and Development and the CLASS Office of Educational Technology.

10 – 11 a.m., Faculty Café
Register here (walk-ins welcome)

October 24: Open Educational Resources
Do you want to reduce the cost of textbooks for your students? Do you want more flexibility with your course materials than is possible with a traditional textbook? Drop by the Faculty Cafe to learn about OER, freely available learning materials which can be legally used, shared, and adapted. In this session, we will address common questions about OER and provide information on how to apply for the UH Alternative Textbook Incentive Program. This event is in partnership with Faculty Engagement and Development and the CLASS Office of Educational Technology.

10 – 11 a.m., Faculty Café
Register here (walk-ins welcome)

DRC Hosts Research Clusters

This fall, the Digital Research Commons will host a series of events based on various digital research methods.

To offer a comprehensive introduction to each skill set, the DRC offers events in clusters. Each cluster will consist of three consecutive weeks with a lecture, a hands-on workshop, and a colloquium at which attendees can discuss their works in progress. Future clusters will cover topics including text mining and machine learning.

Cluster One: Network Analysis, October 29 at 12 noon

The first cluster begins with a lecture from assistant professor of management Kristin Cullen-Lester of the C.T. Bauer College of Business, who will discuss “Integrating Networks and Leadership Development: Opportunities and Challenges.” Cullen-Lester’s talk will cover various kinds of network visualizations and methods of network analysis.

The next two events in the network analysis cluster are a hands-on workshop, at 12 noon in the DRC on November 5, and the colloquium, at 12 noon on November 12. The workshop will be a walk-through using current datasets on pre-configured machines. Space at the workshop is strictly limited; please email drc@uh.edu by November 1 if you would like to attend.

Network Analysis
Talk, Kristin Cullen-Lester: 12 noon, October 29
Hands-on workshop: 12 noon, November 5
Colloquium: 12 noon, November 12

Research Workshops Fall 2019

Starting next week, University of Houston Libraries will offer a series of workshops for faculty, staff, and students to hone their skills on a variety of research tools and practices. Register

Finding Data Workshop
Wednesday, September 25, 2019, 10:00am – 11:30am
Participants will be introduced to commonly-used library data sources and open data portals, and will learn tips for finding data and discuss how to evaluate the quality of data sources.

Introduction to Network Analysis: Basic Concepts, Applications, and Tools
Thursday, September 26, 2019, 10:00am – 11:30am
Network analysis is a research method that scholars in disciplines from public health, to business, sociology and etc. use to explore and visualize relationships between objects, entities, or people. This workshop takes an introductory look at the components of the method and discusses ways that researchers are currently employing it.

Core Data Management Practices for Researchers
Thursday, October 3, 2019, 10:00am – 11:30am
This workshop presents the basic elements of data management that are essential for UH researchers in all disciplines. Topics include: Data management plans, file organization and documentation, storage and backup, security, compliance with funder and university policies, data preservation, and archiving. 

Tableau I – Introduction
Wednesday, October 9, 2019, 10:00am – 11:30am
Participants will use Tableau Public to create interactive data visualizations. The workshop will cover an overview of the program and provide hands-on experience creating basic charts and maps, as well as creating interactive web-based visualization dashboards. It will also discuss publishing to the Tableau Public web server.

Tableau II – Calculations and analytics
Wednesday, October 16, 2019, 10:00am – 11:30am
Participants will use more advanced features in Tableau to manage data, such as join, union and edit data. Participants will also use calculations and parameters to make views more interactive. It will cover analytics to help spot trends and forecast data. Taking Tableau I prior to this workshop is strongly encouraged.

Selecting Journals for Publishing Your Research
Wednesday, October 23, 2019, 10:00am – 11:30am
This hands-on workshop discusses factors that could influence your choice of journals for academic publishing, including journal impact, publish frequency, review process, and other factors. Participants will leave the workshop with resources, handy tools, and strategies for making good choice for publishing your research.

Tableau III – Logical functions and customize dashboard
Wednesday, October 30, 2019, 10:00am – 11:30am
Participants will learn to use logical functions to determine if certain condition is true or false. The workshop will also cover building customized dashboard to make your visualization more appealing. Taking Tableau I and Tableau II prior to this workshop is strongly encouraged.

Introduction to R for Absolute Beginners
Thursday, November 7, 2019, 10:00am – 12:00pm
R is an open source software for statistical computing and graphics. This workshop is for people who want to begin to learn this powerful analysis tool but have little or no experience in any programming languages. The first half of this 2-hour workshop will focus on some basic concepts of coding and the second half will feature hands-on activities to learn basic R skills, such as installing R packages, importing files, and exploring data. Some troubleshooting tips and R resources will also be provided.

Data Archiving and Sharing
Wednesday, November 13, 2019, 10:00am – 11:30am

Increasingly research funders and academic publishers request or require that we share a portion of our data. This workshop covers a spectrum of sharing and archiving options, discusses considerations for choosing an option, and presents tips and tricks for preparing data for sharing and archiving. The content will be focused on a broad understanding relevant for researchers of all disciplines and at all stages of their academic career.

Into the Archives: GCAM

University of Houston Libraries Special Collections hosted a class conversation with Judy Reeves from the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum of GLBT History (GCAM) this week. Reeves is a founding member and current curator of GCAM. She is a longtime activist in the community, having devoted many hours to organizations such as Pride Houston, Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church, and the Houston GLBT Caucus.

From left: Judy Reeves, Vince Lee, Leandra Zarnow

From left: Judy Reeves, Vince Lee, Leandra Zarnow

Assistant professor Leandra Zarnow of the UH department of History led her class, “Issues in Feminist Research: Into the Archives,” in a lively talk with Reeves and Vince Lee, archivist of the LGBT History Research Collection at UH Special Collections.

The GCAM Digital Archive is available online at the UH Digital Library. More than 30 years of Houston LGBTQ history is preserved and presented in this digital collection which contains over 100 LGBT newspaper issues from central Texas, the Dallas/Fort Worth area, and other Texas regions, from the 1970s through the early 2000s.

UH Libraries Hosts Inaugural Digital Scholarship Institute

Last month, University of Houston Libraries held the first Digital Scholarship Institute (DSI), hosted in the Digital Research Commons (DRC). Six participants comprising faculty, graduate/doctoral students, and undergraduates were selected to take part in the five-day intensive boot camp focusing on practical issues in digital research.

Digital Scholarship Institute

Digital Scholarship Institute

The DSI was funded through the Libraries’ microgrant program, which fosters new ideas in support of the Libraries’ Strategic Plan and the University’s goals. Facilitated by UH librarians, the DSI offered attendees the opportunity to plan their own digital scholarship projects through workshops, tailored consultations, and access to software. Topics included project management, finding data, data visualization, and open scholarly publishing.

“I had been hesitant to take a research project to the next level before conferring with digital humanities specialists on how to achieve the optimal form of data visualization,” said Richard Armstrong, PhD, associate professor in Modern and Classical Languages. “The possibilities and the professional standards concerning more complex forms of visualization were unknown to me, and I found it too daunting to just strike out on my own. The Institute provided a friendly, collegial atmosphere that helped me to think about the next phase of my research, and I was able to learn enough to commit more fully to heading in this direction. I was grateful for it, as it fell at a very good time in my own research development.”

PhD candidate in History Ela Miljkovic’s DSI project focused on text mining, specifically, compiling archival material, collected over the course of two years while researching for a dissertation in Mexico City and archives in the US, into a corpus. Transcriptions of the documents, including newspaper articles, policy documents and scientific reports, will be used in topic modeling and sentiment, in order to analyze a large volume of text and extract the mood or sentiment from each individual text.

“I came to the DSI with only a general knowledge of digital humanities, but with a deep appreciation for the ways it can enrich qualitative research,” Miljkovic said. “The DSI forced me to deconstruct my source base, thinking about each text beyond the content it provides, and ask more meaningful questions of my sources. I quickly came to realize that conducting a digital humanities project requires a very high level of organization, so a large portion of my time was spent working and reworking my dataset to reflect the questions I was asking, which, of course, evolved throughout the Institute.”

The Digital Research Commons is a physical and intellectual hub for digital research at the University of Houston, offering workshops, lectures, and guidance on digital projects in a flexible and well-equipped space. DRC specialists work with faculty and students on research projects large and small, from the earliest stages of formulating a research question, and choosing and finding materials, to publication in whichever format is most suitable. Contact the DRC

Presentation: Digitizing Archives in Russia

Alexey Golubev, assistant professor in the UH department of History, will present Digitizing Archives in Russia: Epistemic Sovereignty and Its Challenges in the Digital Age on Thursday, February 21 at 12 noon in the UH Libraries Digital Research Commons. The talk will be followed by a workshop on constructing and maintaining a corpus in digital projects. Sandwiches and coffee will be served.

Golubev will speak on the production of digital archives in a broader context of the political economy of historical knowledge in Russia. The archive is a key institution that asserts state sovereignty over history by defining the dominant forms of historical knowledge, its limits and silences, and establishing hierarchies of voices from the past. Modern information technologies represent a formidable challenge to maintaining this epistemic sovereignty as they have simplified to the extreme a precise reproduction of historical documents and production of digital archives. The talk will focus on several cases of digital archives to discuss this challenge and the measures that the Russian state implements to maintain its sovereign control over historical knowledge.

Golubev’s experience in digital humanities stems from his work on several digital collections and archives, including a digital archive of the Russian imperial newspaper News of the Olonets Governorate (1838-1917). He currently works on a project to create a corpus of Russian war letters, supported by a seed grant from the Digital Research Commons.