2014 STS Conference Poster Session

Entering the Fray: Strategies for Beginning Research Data Management Services

Kathleen Gregory

University of Denver

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Many academic libraries see the need to develop research data management services (RDMS) but face a host of practical challenges, ranging from a lack of funding and technical infrastructure to a lack of skills and confidence among librarians1. These are complex challenges that take time to fully solve. Unfortunately, academic libraries do not have the luxury of time as they decide how best to implement research data services to meet their researchers’ immediate needs. A targeted approach using existing resources can enable libraries to address the most pressing needs while buying time to more fully develop RDMS.

The University of Denver does not currently have the technical or personnel infrastructure necessary to fully implement its vision of research data services. While developing this infrastructure, DU has decided to focus on the data needs of a selected group of researchers. We surveyed data management plans submitted by our researchers to the National Science Foundation (NSF) between January 2011--February 2013.

We also conducted interviews with faculty who had received funding from either the NSF or one of the agencies implicated in the OSTP memorandum of February 2013. As a result, we have implemented data consulting services and created workshops for faculty applying for or receiving NSF funding. We plan on using survey feedback collected from this targeted group as we expand our services to researchers at every point in the data lifecycle, allowing us to position the library as an authority in research data management. 


More than just Yoda: The role of 3D printing in the research and teaching mission of the library

Sara Russell Gonzalez & Denise Beaubien Bennett

University of Florida

Poster available at: http://ufdcimages.uflib.ufl.edu/IR/00/00/41/30/00001/STS_Poster_SRG_DBB.pdf


3D printers are a popular addition to library makerspaces yet retain the perception of lacking serious academic purpose and only suitable for trivial uses.   Many sci-tech librarians would like to purchase a 3D printer but are unsure how to justify the cost or the added service.  We will present use cases that highlight the exciting opportunities that 3D printing in the library provides to STEM researchers and students.  These examples range across engineering to mathematics and the hard sciences and include both opportunities for incorporation into class assignments as well as visualization for research purposes.   We will also give strategies for gathering institutional support that include contacting faculty who teach design-based courses that could include a 3D printed project;  identifying researchers in key disciplines that benefit from custom-made tools; and locating student groups that will benefit from the 3D printing service.  Identifying faculty and researchers in advance can strengthen funding proposals as well as “elevator pitches” to library and university administrators by demonstrating that a 3D printer supports research and teaching as well as tinkering. Adding a 3D printing service can strengthen the library’s role as a center for creative thinking and collaboration that serves the entire academic community.


STEM Students & E-books

Lee A. Cummings

Binghamton University

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For many institutions, the direction in acquiring books for the STEM fields is moving toward an e-preferred model, and for good reason: e-books do not suffer physical damage, they take up no shelf space, and they often allow multiple concurrent users. But do students have a preference? And if so, how can libraries match that preference while balancing budgets, network resources, and space?

At Binghamton University research into this question began with a survey of students in the Engineering and Applied Science disciplines. In the past few years several universities, domestic and abroad, have conducted similar surveys, including York University (Nariani, 2009), the University of Denver (Levine-Clark, 2006), and Universiti Putra Malaysia (Letchumanan & Tarmizi, 2011). Like these studies, the survey at Binghamton, conducted in the Fall of 2013, sought input from students on multiple topics, such as frequency of e-book usage, and desirable platform features.

An initial review of the data indicates some noticeable differences between disciplines and between academic ranks. For example, students in computer science seem to have more of a preference for electronic books than other disciplines, and students further along in their studies, not surprisingly, show more concern about research materials and formats.

As libraries need to meet the unique needs of their users, one of the primary goals of this project was to provide guidance in collections activities. The information presented in this poster will highlight important considerations when making collections decisions regarding e-books for STEM students.

Short Bibliography

Letchumanan, M., & Tarmizi, R. (2011). Assessing the intention to use e-book among engineering undergraduates in Universiti Putra Malaysia, Malaysia. Library High Tech, 29(3), 512-528. doi: 10.1108/07378831111174459

Levine-Clark, M. (2006). Electronic book usage: A survey at the University of Denver. Portal: Libraries and the Academy, 6(3), 285-299. doi: 10.1353/pla.2006.0041

Nariani, R. (2009). E-books in the sciences: If we buy it will they use it? Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship, 59. Retrieved from http://www.istl.org/09-fall/article3.html



Recommended Library Contributions to STEM Retention Based on an LIS Interpretation of the Landmark Study, Talking about Leaving: Why Students Leave the Sciences

Erin O’Toole

University of North Texas

Poster available at: http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc304844/


Talking about Leaving: Why Students Leave the Sciences is a landmark study of STEM undergraduates at seven institutions of higher education that was published in 1997 by Elaine Seymour and Nancy M. Hewitt. The team interviewed 460 students about why they either stayed in or switched out of a STEM major. All interview transcripts were coded to identify issues that lead to a switching decision and issues in STEM education that cause concern for both switchers and non-switchers. However, the coding did not touch on issues specific to academic libraries. 

The current research study is a secondary data analysis of the ~1500 transcript excerpts and identified issues in Talking about Leaving, and has two purposes:  1) to interpret the data from the perspective of academic librarianship, and 2) to generate potential library initiatives to contribute to STEM retention. After review of the excerpts and issues, one or more service areas of academic librarianship that could potentially improve the STEM educational experience will be assigned to the issues. For example, the issue, “Inadequate advising [academic and career] or help with academic problems” would be assigned “Collaboration with student support services” and “Information access.”  In the final stage of the study, specific examples of initiatives in the service areas will be brainstormed to create a menu of librarian activities recommended to increase retention of STEM undergraduates.


No Bluffing—The New Nursing Information Literacy Competency Standards are on the Table!

Loree Hyde

Oregon Health & Science University

Julie Planchon Wolf

University of Washington Bothell and Cascadia Community College

Poster available at: http://library.uwb.edu/guides/ala2014/Poster2014_ALA_STS_FINAL.pdf


The ACRL Health Sciences Interest Group Nursing Information Literacy Standards Sub-group is sharing with other librarians documents about nursing and information literacy (IL) so that in the future new nursing librarians, especially those without medical backgrounds, will not have do the work of understand IL in nursing, in isolation.

This group has created materials to support new and experienced librarians working with nursing programs, faculty, nursing students, and practicing nurses by translating the ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education (ACRL-ILCSHE) into nursing specific terms. Preparation for the writing of the document was based on two years of research on the information literacy needs of nurses and nursing students. This process included an extensive review of library and nursing literature; study of nursing standards used for accreditation; examining documents respected by nursing professionals and academics; consultation with nursing faculty and library colleagues; as well as gathering data from nursing students tasked with applying and reflecting upon the ACRL-ILSCHE in their coursework. The qualitative data indicated a need for a more nursing focused approach to IL with a specific set of knowledge, skills and abilities applicable to nursing.

The recently published "Information Literacy Competency Standards for Nursing," are located online at http://www.ala.org/acrl/standards/nursing. This unique set of standards was authored specifically for a nursing audience, and nothing like it existed previously. Nursing librarians now have a tool kit/document to use when approaching faculty, practitioners, and curriculum committees regarding providing library services. Two authors of the standards document are presenting this poster.


An Effective Library Approach for Increasing Diversity in the STEM Community

Nicole Barajas, Thura Mack & Ingrid Ruffin

University of Tennessee

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This poster is a follow-up to a peer-reviewed article “A Taste of STEM: Connecting High School Students across Disciplines: Big Orange STEM Symposium (B.O.S.S.) High School Outreach” published in Tennessee Library Association (TNLA) in 2013. The Big Orange STEM Symposium is a college preparedness initiative and one-day event that occurred in 2013 and 2014. The goal of the program is to provide an interdisciplinary opportunity for local high school students to look at the STEM fields in a holistic way, interacting with various STEM disciplines from the campus and local community.

Working with external groups such as Project Grad we were able to reach diverse high school audiences. By partnering with groups such as the National Society for Black Engineers (NSBE) and Student Government Association researchers were able to support the development of collegial relationships between current STEM undergraduates and potential students.  Allowing undergraduates to participate in an outreach experience encourages them to become more invested in the campus community and allows budding leaders to guide newcomers in the STEM fields. The symposium also showcases opportunities for scholarship and engagement, and networks for support. Research has shown that freshman retention is likely to increase when students arrive on campus already familiar with the resources available to them.

This poster will illustrate the results of the surveys received from attendees in the previous year; share this year’s survey results; provide a program development outline and highlight lessons learned for future development.


Choosing the proper database(s) for dental researchers: Web of Science vs. Scopus vs. Medline (PubMed)

Helen He

University of Toronto

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Literature searching is essential to evidence-based dentistry. Dental researchers who rely solely on Medline could miss out on some valuable information.


This project addresses the question: should I only search Medline for my research?

Literature review

Medline has been compared with other databases; however, the only study in dentistry was a citation analysis using Web of Science, Scopus and Google Scholar. No research has been performed either to identify the unique dentistry titles or to compare the content coverage for important dentistry journals.

Target group

The results will help dental researchers and health science librarians to select the proper database(s) for their research.


The focus is to compare Medline with Scopus and Web of Science by identifying the unique titles and comparing the content coverage for selected important journals. The important title list was compiled based on the top 50 impact factor, Eigenfactor, SJR, and MLA recommend for first or priority subscription dentistry titles.

Basic findings

Each database covers unique journals not found in the other; Scopus has the definite advantage of broader coverage. The unique titles tend to be internationally oriented open access journals. PubMed is suitable for checking newest articles. For some titles, the database that indexed the least total articles might index more articles in some years than the others.


To conduct a comprehensive search, researchers should check Scopus or Web of Science in addition to PubMed. The results will guide the researchers to perform search efficiently and effectively. It demonstrated librarians can have positive impact on the researchers’ work. 


Peer to peer tutoring and Library student employees improve retention in Math

Annie Zeidman-Karpinski

University of Oregon

Poster available at: http://blogs.uoregon.edu/annie/math/


The Math Library is a small branch in a large academic library system. When the building was gutted for a retrofit, we worked with the co-located Math department to offer drop-in homework help. We now hire undergraduate students with strong math and teaching skills to help with library services and help patrons with homework.  We created a dynamic community of learning in the redesigned space that has revitalized the Math Library.

The popularity of the homework help service exceeded our wildest expectations, we’ve also created an intellectual community beyond that.

The impact on the campus is at least three fold.

1. First, the undergraduates who are taking math classes have another place to get help free of charge. We maintain our services helps student retention and it improves morale.

2. The students working in the Math Library are getting meaningful employment in the library system. They practice teaching a range of material to students. They also learn what libraries do, by helping with interlibrary loans, shelving and getting books for patrons.

3. Thirdly, the Math Library has seen a tremendous boom in space use and the resources. Data from before the renovation is mostly anecdotal, we know useage was low. During the 2012 Fall academic term, approximately one in seven students enrolled in lower-division math classes used the service.

The model has been so successful that other science departments want to duplicate the same kind of program and we hope to provide more opportunities of this kind.


Empowering Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics: Librarians Leading the Way

Laura Palumbo & Connie Wu

Rutgers University

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This poster will present a new one credit seminar for freshmen being offered in the Fall of 2014 entitled “Empowering Women in STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics” as part of a special seminar program taught by faculty members who wish to share their research interests and introduce new students to the research process. This seminar  has been proposed and designed by two Rutgers University librarians, both with engineering degrees, who will not only share their perspectives as women in STEM, but who will also teach information literacy and good research skills to students. During this seminar the students will look at the sometimes little known contributions to STEM made by women, and investigate the reasons for the underrepresentation of women in the STEM fields, both past and present. Career opportunities will be explored, guest speakers will share their experiences, and field trips to faculty research labs will be offered to see firsthand the work being done by female scientists and engineers. Students will also be given the opportunity to participate in innovative classroom activities, such as designing their own computer game, or editing Wikipedia to create entries for women in STEM. A final project will allow students to interview women scientists, and investigate and propose methods to empower women in the STEM fields.


Shifting the Paradigm: A New Framework for Information Literacy in the Sciences

Elizabeth Berman

University of Vermont

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ACRL’s Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education has been an influential document for nearly 15 years, defining and codifying the concept of "information literacy," not just for librarians, but across the higher education landscape. It has also served as the foundation document for numerous discipline-specific standards, including the Information Literacy Standards for Science and Engineering/Technology.

For the first time since 2000, the ACRL Information Literacy Standards are undergoing extensive revision and transformation, shifting away from information literacy competencies and towards a new pedagogical framework that introduces information literacy concepts, dispositions, knowledge practices and metaliteracy learning objectives.

This poster will present this new framework, situating the changes within the larger complex and dynamic information ecosystem and highlighting specific scenarios for information literacy in the sciences. This poster will also provide a conceptual framework to consider in revising the Information Literacy Standards for Science and Engineering/Technology.


Utilizing Curriculum Mapping to Identify Information Literacy Needs and Opportunities in Chemistry Courses

Cherie Turner

University of Houston

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In a large scale curriculum mapping project librarians at the University of Houston analyzed syllabi for every undergraduate course offered in the years 2011 and 2012. While the primary goal was to improve programmatic information literacy instruction, liaison librarians now have access to data correlating course outcomes and assignments to a list of core information literacy skills. Data on information literacy in outcomes and assignments for chemistry, chemical engineering, and biomedical engineering will be analyzed to identify relationships between specific information literacy skill needs and different types and levels of courses. Information literacy skill needs for each program and track will be compared, as well as correlating these visible skill needs to those outlined in the discipline’s accreditation materials. Through this project we hope to discover any gaps in our current instruction, and to identify courses that could support future information literacy instruction.


Not Merging with the Others: The Tale of Modernizing a Stubborn Math Library

Nastasha E. Johnson

Purdue University

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Since it was originally built in 1964, the Mathematical Sciences Library of Purdue University Libraries has not undergone significant structural or cosmetic changes.  Three librarians later, there is an opportunity to enhance and modernize the Math Library, with University renovation funds.  However, change does not come without two major considerations.  The first major consideration is the brand new Active Learning Center that will be built in less than 3 years.  Six of the other libraries are moving into the new building, which will overshadow any changes that the Math Library undergoes.  Secondly, an invested and active discipline faculty have demonstrated their resistant to changes to the collection and the space. 

This poster will showcase the results of a survey of the users of the library about their uses and desired services and spaces in the library, and the resulting floor plan. For the week of November 18-22, 2013, a four question survey was conducted to assess faculty and student satisfaction.  Questions were also asked about the current services and potential new services of the Math Library.  The results were used to draft a floor plan to be implemented in Spring and Summer 2014. The proposed floor plan a) minimize changes to the collection footprint, b) increase the number of collaborative spaces, c) infuse technology into existing collaborative spaces, d) modernize the existing space by creating a more open floor plan, while increasing the sightline , and e) increase the number of computing stations in the Math Library.


Dual Credit Programs: Challenges for Academic Librarianship in the Sciences

Shannon Johnson

Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne

Poster available at: https://www.dropbox.com/s/r9mohw946kkjl06/DualCreditPoster.pdf


Dual credit programs allow high school students to earn college credit for courses that are delivered in school by existing teachers.  These programs are gaining popularity nationality and present unique challenges to information literacy instruction in academia, where emphasis is typically placed on freshman composition courses.   Composition faculty report that many duel credit students do not demonstrate the same comprehension and skill level as students from conventional university courses. (Bruch & Frank, 2011).  Little research has been done on the effect this has on information literacy instruction.  The Hoosiers and Information Literacy project's (HAIL) Dual Credit Working Group has been working with school media specialists and academic instruction librarians to explore this subject.  The following issues have been noted: dual credit courses are often combined with AP, honors, or other advanced students; schools offer classes from multiple academic institutions which complicates access to electronic collections; little understanding of the differences between high school and academic standards; few academic libraries preform outreach to students and teachers involved in dual credit programs.  One common concern shared by academic librarians is the effect this will have on students entering their programs without having benefited from the first two years of academic IL instruction.  Science and health undergraduates could potentially graduate without having experienced a significant literature search or writing assignment at their degree awarding institution.  This poster will discuss the challenges presented by this movement and outline strategies to address them.

Bruch, C., & Frank, K. (2011). Sustainable Collaborations: Libraries Link Dual-credit Programs to P-20 Initiatives. Collaborative Librarianship, 3(2), 90-97.


A Pilot Project to Connect STEM Students to the Library and Support Services

Zoe Pettway Unno

California State University, Fullerton

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California State University, Fullerton offers a comprehensive program to support community college transfer STEM students through mentoring, academic advising, and workshops.  The library provides a one­shot library orientation to this diverse group of students.  During the Spring 2014 semester, the science librarian piloted a project to increase interactions with the students beyond the orientation session by offering ongoing communications about services and resources to a cohort of transfer STEM students. The objective is to ensure that this student population has access to a consistent resource to support their specific information literacy needs; thereby, contributing to their academic success and retention.


The science librarian met with the STEM students in a one­hour orientation session and introduced relevant library resources and services through a game.  At the end of the session, the students completed a survey and were offered the opportunity to participate in a project to receive ongoing communication from the science librarian.  Over the course of the spring semester the librarian communicated with the students who elected to participate.


Presenting Science: Preparing and Delivering Effective Scientific Posters

Nirmala Gunapala

New Mexico State University

Poster available at: [no file available yet]


This project supports the development of a specific STEM skill in students that is closely aligned with educational standards, promoted by scientific societies, and linked with information literacy: the effective communication of information through the scientific poster presentation. This is an important STEM skill that students need to develop early on. At the New Mexico State University, we have seen many challenges that undergraduate students in STEM fields have in designing and presenting research in scientific posters at poster competitions. The Science Librarian and colleagues at the NMSU Library partnered with faculty in Biology, University’s STEM Outreach Center and the region’s Public Schools to develop this project that is funded by the New Mexico Library Association’s STEM Innovation Grant Award, 2014 to provide hands-on training to undergraduate students in STEM majors (component 1), and teachers and librarians in regional middle and high schools who in turn will teach their students (component 2, ‘Training the trainers’), in designing and developing compelling scientific posters and effectively presenting to an audience. This short paper will discuss the results obtained from component 1 along with evaluation of student learning during the training, and will present the planned approaches to component two.