More information will be posted as it becomes available.

Haiti: Before and After the Earthquake

Nickerson One Small NGO’s Ongoing Efforts to Strengthen Health Systems in Northern Haiti: Meeting the Challenges of the Earthquake and the Cholera Epidemic - Konbit Sante ( had been working in partnership with the public healthcare system in Northern Haiti for over nine years when the earthquake of January 2010 struck.  This presentation will describe that work, and how it was foundational to assisting the Haitian health system in their efforts to respond to the great health challenges of the past year and a half.  I will also discuss some of the lessons learned, and how they may impact future directions.

Suggested reading: Haiti in the Balance: Why Foreign Aid Has Failed and What We Can Do About It, by Terry F. Buss (2008)

Sewell The field of ‘crisis mapping’ has become an interdisciplinary approach to crisis response using a variety of technological solutions. This talk examines the challenges and benefits of this technology using the case study of the Haiti earthquake response. On January 12, 2010, two hours after the earthquake in Haiti, Patrick Meier, of Ushahidi along with the Ushahidi Tech and volunteers at Tufts University set-up the Ushahidi Haiti crisis map. Due to the large amount of digital information, plus the eventual SMS-messages coming from the Haiti texting-number 4636, the Ushahidi Haiti project had a volunteer base of over 300 people mapping and geo-locating the reports with over 1,000 Haitian American volunteers translating the messages. Despite these innovations, Ushahidi Haiti was a source of information for a limited number of actors within Haiti to include the U.S. Marine Corps, the U.S. Coast Guard, and NYC Medics. Many of the reasons include distrust of unverified information, inability to add another information flow to already overtaxed organizations, and a lack of understanding as to what this information was. Since this response, the volunteer technology community has learned from these set-backs, but the major take away from this response was not that the technology was truly innovative but that the technology facilitated the interaction and mobilization of a network capable to react in an innovative and beneficial way.


Florance Intro to GIS for Social Science Librarians – This hands-on workshop will introduce Geographic Information Systems (GIS) applications for the social sciences.  The workshop will focus on geospatial librarianship and introduce GIS software, data types, and data sources.  We will also discuss relevant issues in GIS librarianship.

Understanding and Working with Data

Barlow Helping Students Who Need Help With Data – With so many social science datasets now available online, faculty are increasingly expecting students to locate datasets for small assignments, as well as research papers. In her talk, Barlow will describe the standard structures for social science datasets and how she works with faculty to teach students about how quantitative datasets get used in research.  She will also discuss strategies for getting students excited about using quantitative data in their work and locate datasets in national data archives. This talk should assist librarians who may have find themselves working both with faculty and students who are looking not only for datasets, but also the literature to support the analyses that arise from these datasets.

Pienta Elements of Data Management Plan – Many federal funding agencies, including NIH and most recently NSF, are requiring that grant applications contain data management plans for projects involving data collection. To support researchers in meeting this requirement, ICPSR provides a set of tools and resources for creating data management plans.  In her talk, Pienta will cover the elements of a data management plan and examples for researchers of how to respond to those elements.

Social Sciences Research Methods

Barboza From Gatekeeper to Active Participant: How Libraries Can Help Overcome the Problems and Pitfalls of Traditional Research Using A Community-Based Participatory Framework – Traditional research paradigms contribute to increasing social, economic and health disparities by failing to reflect community input as a critical space for social change. In this talk, I begin by describing the multiple ways that data are misused in the social sciences and how research is manipulated, albeit unconsciously, to perpetuate a status quo. I argue in favor of an alternative research paradigm for academics who are interested in implementing relevant and sustainable policies that are reflective of and needed by the local community with a social justice agenda. Finally, I discuss some ways that research libraries can go from being gatekeepers of local knowledge to gaining a more active role in helping academics overcome the problems and pitfalls of traditional research by engaging the community in every phase of the research process – from formulating the problem to analysis and interpretation of the results.

Schildkraut Is political science a science? That is a question that animates many discussions among political scientists. Indeed, some department names in universities reflect the controversy: Department of Politics (ex: Princeton) vs. Department of Government (ex: Harvard) vs. Department of Political Science (ex: Tufts). Evidence of this dispute can also be found in the range of methods and approaches by used by political scientists in their own research. Perhaps one of the biggest divides currently on display in the discipline is among whether one prefers primarily qualitative or primarily quantitative approaches to investigating political phenomena. My talk will focus on the latter (including public opinion research, large election and political datasets, experiments, and content analysis), since it represents the bulk of my own research, though it will cover a range of other methodologies as well (such as interviews and archival work).

Open Access for Social Scientists

Peck Open Access publishing is an opportunity that many academics need to recognize.  A vigorous social justice argument lies at the heart of the issue, but there are also practical reasons why scholars should consider this format.   Many promotion and tenure committees now recognize the value and stature of open access journals, and even traditional vendors of scholarly material are now beginning to compromise on open access. This presentation will address some of the major issues that are typically debated by authors considering publication, and will use a case study of one journal to demonstrate the unique value of open access publication.