Laupus Health Sciences Library observes Love Data Week

Laupus Health Sciences Library at East Carolina University is observing Love Data Week, which is highlighted by topics ranging from ethical considerations for data collection to developing a data dictionary.

Love Data Week is marked nationally by academic libraries that support their campus through research resources and programming. Laupus’s programs are presented by faculty, staff and students representing Laupus, the Brody School of Medicine, ITCS, computer science and biomedical engineering, among others.

Laupus Health Sciences Library is hosting Love Data Week this week to provide resources and information on research data collection and management.

Laupus Health Sciences Library is hosting Love Data Week this week to provide resources and information on research data collection and management. (ECU file photo)

A full list of Love Data Week events is detailed on Laupus’s website.

Love Data Week is a resource for those interested in delving into research data topics.

“It’s critically important to provide a local Love Data Week so that ECU faculty and staff have the opportunity to add their voices to conversations about research data,” said Kerry Sewell, research librarian for the health sciences and systematic review service coordinator at Laupus Library. “I first proposed Love Data Week for Laupus in 2019 because I believed that faculty here at ECU have unique expertise and project-specific data issues that deserve a forum for discussion.”

Laupus Director Elizabeth Ketterman said data-gathering methods and proper data management are critical components to research and scholarship, and that many funders now require that data is shared publicly as part of funded research.

“So, there’s that practical need to know how to comply by learning what repositories for data exist, how to use them for public sharing, what software helps with surveys and data collation,” Ketterman said. “I think there’s also this great opportunity to connect our community with ECU researchers who are applying data in interesting ways which, when they have this platform to talk about what they’re doing, can inspire students and other learners on campus with their own research data projects.”

The week’s events are geared toward exploring some of the more complex considerations that go into data collection.

“Many of the difficult decisions and activities involved in creating, collecting, analyzing and presenting data are siloed and may not be widely discussed. This prevents meaningful conversations that can lead to improved critical thinking about the thorny issues involved in research data,” Sewell said. “Inviting students, faculty and staff to hear about the issues involved in research data provides opportunities for education, research discussions and potential collaboration in future research projects. We hope that the discussions benefit everyone who participates—both the speakers and the attendees.”

Sewell and Mary Roby, assistant director for user services at Laupus, have been instrumental in ensuring that Love Data Week becomes a tradition for those on ECU’s Health Sciences Campus and beyond. Sewell said this year’s topics are informative, timely and relevant.

“We really have a fantastic array of speakers and topics this year, spanning the central issues related to data in research and practice,” she said, “from ethical considerations to policy considerations, public communication practices and the realities of COVID data collection and reporting.”