Spokane University Library adds research center – WSU Insider


Data management is a major issue for university researchers.

Increasingly, grant applications request detailed plans for how the researcher will handle data generated by the study, such as spreadsheets, software, text, algorithms, or images.

These plans should specify how the data will be organized, shared and protected. How it will be backed up and stored for the long term. And how it will be described so that others can use it in an open science environment, or to replicate the results of the study.

In response, academic libraries across the country have taken a lead role in providing training, software and services for research data management (RDM) – including the Spokane University Library of WSU Health Sciences.

The library recently established a research center offering technology spaces, software, information programs, web resources and one-on-one consultation. It is available to faculty, students, and staff at WSU and Eastern Washington University who are engaged in research.

“It seemed like a lot of people needed help with their data processes, and we wanted to give our campus more support,” said Kathryn Vela, Health Sciences Librarian.

The Spokane University Library used a grant from the Pacific Northwest Region National Network of Medical Libraries and WSU Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine to create the center on the third floor of the library. Groups can book the space, which includes whiteboards, whiteboard tables, a video wall, and data analysis and visualization software.

Vela said the library has long offered many resources to researchers, but until the research center was established, they were not in a central location.

Vela and Electra Enslow, head of library research and education at Spokane University Library, hope the research center will become a model for other libraries in the WSU system.

“The goal is to have a more systematic way to manage data across all of WSU’s campuses,” Enslow said.


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