Welcome to Boot Camp!

The fifth annual Social Sciences Librarians Boot Camp will be held at the Tisch Library at Tufts University on Friday, June 5, 2015.

Tentative schedule:
8-9am registration and light breakfast

9-9:15am welcome and introductions

9:15-10:45am faculty panel on language and communication

  • Calvin Gidney: Talk of the ‘toons: Researching stereotypes in children’s animated televisual media presentation
  • Jennie Pyers: Understanding the specific nature of the relationship between language and theory of mind: Insights from Deaf populations
  • Ruth Grossman: Quantifying “awkward” in social communication of children with autism spectrum disorder presentation

10:45-11:15am break

11:15-12:30pm graduate student panel on library and data use

Presentations: Detzner | Houlihan | Johnston

12:30-1:45pm lunch

1:45-4:45pm afternoon workshops
Choose from one of two tracks. Track A workshops will run the entire afternoon. Track B workshops will repeat so you can select one during B1 and one during B2.

Track A (1:45pm-4:45pm)

This workshop is designed to help newcomers or those who have had minimal exposure to survey research get acquainted with the best practices in survey research methods. Participants will learn how to plan, design, and manage effective print and electronic surveys. Critical decision points along the lifespan of the survey will be discussed, including how to choose a sample, how to maximize response rates, and what to do with incomplete surveys. The workshop will also demonstrate how to implement techniques using an online survey platform. Upon completion, participants will be able to approach survey projects equipped with strategies to gather meaningful data for your library using surveys. Qualtrics account recommended but not required.

  • Workshop 2: Introduction to Data Cleaning, Analysis and Visualization with Christina Butler and Jessica Sharkness

Learn the fundamentals of cleaning and analyzing data and the tools that can be used to visualize data, from basic visualizations in Excel to more interactive visualizations using Tableau. For the hands-on aspects of our session, we will use Excel. We will also cover SPSS and Tableau but will not require attendees to have this software.

Track B1 Workshops (1:45pm-3:00pm)

  • Workshop 3: Visualizing Spatial Data using Online Tools with Carolin Ferwerda

Join us to explore several free, online tools for visualizing spatial data. These tools have relatively low entry barriers and are perfect for people who want to make a good-looking, interactive map without spending hours learning GIS or programming. During the workshop, you will work with a group on an example project using data from the humanities, social sciences, or sciences to visualize numeric data or to create a story map. Since no tool can do everything, the purpose of the workshop is to give you a basic working knowledge of several useful tools within a short period.

  • Workshop 4: Gathering and Analyzing Qualitative Data: For Assessment Newbies with Lisa Horowitz

Qualitative assessment explains why people act a certain way, and adds information to a picture that might be obtained from a broader quantitative study. Generally, the information gathered in qualitative studies either corroborates data from other sources, or it leads to new areas of questioning. In this workshop, through discussion and exercises, you’ll learn about qualitative assessment tools and how to use them to complement your quantitative data.

  • Workshop 5: Introduction to Quandl, a search engine for numerical data with Brian Risk presentation

Quandl structures data that is not otherwise structured; organizes it  and makes it searchable.  Quandl sources data from central banks, exchanges, brokers, statistical agencies, think-tanks, academics, and private companies. There are almost 500 high quality data sources at your fingertips at Quandl.com.  Datasets can be downloaded in any format: Excel, CSV, text, JSON or XML. The workshop will focus on data discovery and data access.

  • Workshop 6: American Community Survey with Alexandra S.V. Barker

Join U.S. Census expert Alexandra S. V. Barker for an overview of the American Community Survey. Her workshop will include an introduction to all of the tools available for accessing ACS data. Alexandra will also present on how the government has been working to make the ACS data better for users and give advice on how to keep your skills up-to-date. Please come ready to ask questions.

Track B2 Workshops (3:30pm-4:45pm)

  • Workshop 3: Visualizing Spatial Data using Online Tools with Carolin Ferwerda (see description above)
  • Workshop 4: Gathering and Analyzing Qualitative Data: For Assessment Newbies with Lisa Horowitz (see description above)
  • Workshop 5: Introduction to Quandl, a search engine for numerical data (see description above)
  • Workshop 6: American Community Survey with Alexandra S.V. Barker (see description above) Note: this session will only occur during Track B1

4:45-6pm light hors d’oeuvres and drinks reception