Tag Archives: Events

A Boot Camp for Researchers: Successes in Systematic Review Support

On a Monday morning before the semester started in January 2024, members of the Systematic Review Interest Group gathered to prepare for a multi-day event. The Systematic Review & Evidence Synthesis Boot Camp, to be precise, took place over the course of three days, and was designed as an educational series of short workshops describing best practices for conducting systematic reviews, from idea formation through content screening (with many steps in between). Content sections were interspersed with opportunities for one-on-one, customized consultation sessions with a librarian, for working through questions and creating actionable takeaways.

A systematic review starts with a very specific question and then reviews a variety of empirical sources of literature that offer a response to that very specific question.

Systematic reviews are the most common and best-known type of systematized evidence synthesis methodologies. Originating in the field of medicine, they have spread across other disciplines such as education, engineering, sociology, criminal justice, public health, environmental sciences, and beyond. A systematic review starts with a very specific question and then reviews a variety of empirical sources of literature that offer a response to that very specific question. Because this review type attempts to be highly thorough (or systematic) in finding sources to include in the review, librarian assistance is often sought. The support offered can take on multiple forms, from advising on database selection and helping with search strategy development to recommending and training on tools to ease the steps in the process. If the librarian’s schedule and bandwidth permit, they may take on a request for more intensive assistance with a review project and be a co-author on the final published review. 

In the spring of 2021, the UT Libraries’ Systematic Review Interest Group offered a 6-part workshop series on evidence synthesis methodologies. Though the series offered thoughtful content that was well-received, discussions persisted about whether scholars were receiving adequate support, given the multiple weeks between sessions. We thought they may instead want to progress at a faster pace and need more individual time with librarians, so this more concentrated and intensive session was conceived. Teamwork was required to pilot the Boot Camp approach – with eight librarians working together to contribute content similar to what is on our shared library guide page, coordinate and present the prepared sessions, and provide the one-on-one breakout consultation sessions – in a “many hands makes light work” model.

On that opening morning, Boot Camp participants and providers consumed a welcome breakfast of tacos and enjoyed coffee in the new PCL Scholars Lab. Jenifer Flaxbart, one of the Boot Camp’s sponsors and UT Libraries’ Assistant Director for Research Support and Digital Initiatives, provided an official welcome to both the Boot Camp and the newly introduced Scholars Lab. The Scholars Lab turned out to be a great space for the event. On each of the three days, librarians offered presentation sessions and then we broke out into individual work sessions for one-on-one support. The flexibility offered by the multiple, yet nearby, spaces in the Scholars’ Lab made the transitions seamless. In addition, the spaces supported back-and-forth communication without causing strain to hear or be heard. 

This intensive Boot Camp method of delivery presents a unique opportunity for both librarians and scholars. The support offered falls somewhere in between having a few librarian consultations with a research team and serving as a co-author on a project. At a large campus like UT Austin, it is not feasible for librarians to support every request received at the co-author level. We need to budget our time and yet we also want to offer our expertise to scholars wherever we can. This method allowed us to deliver three days worth of content and one-on-one support. It is yet another mechanism in our toolbox to help meet the growing demand for evidence syntheses here on the UT campus. In addition, it was a rare pleasure to collaborate in building this experience with colleagues and learn from one another in the process.

At the end of the three days the participants, hopefully not too overwhelmed with information, took a survey to inform possible future Boot Camp planning efforts. The coordinators were pleased to see positive responses on the survey and an increase in knowledge about the concepts covered. Just a few quotes are evidence of the positive reception: 

  • THANK YOU for this amazing learning opportunity
  • Interaction with the amazing Librarians and their support [favorite part]
  • The small group session is really helpful to establish the appropriate search strategy which is the one the most important steps to do systematic review. [favorite part]
  • Learning about all of the tools available (e.g., searching, deduplication, and screening) which will make future literature reviews, including systematic and more general reviews much more efficient and comprehensive. [favorite part]

As illustrated through these comments, many participants gained the knowledge and confidence needed to go forward and conduct their planned review project. It will be exciting to follow these projects through to publication and track the impact made in future years by the results of the evidence synthesis collaborations resulting from the Boot Camp. 

Scholars Lab Newsletter – October 2023

Digital Humanities Workshop Series

Introduction to StoryMaps

When: Friday, October 13, 12-1 pm

Where:  Zoom

StoryMaps is a digital tool that enables you to craft a narrative using maps, images, videos, and text. This workshop session will provide an introductory overview of creating a digital exhibit with StoryMaps. Participants will learn to weave together data points, images, videos, and text to form engaging stories.

Zoom Registration


Data & Donuts

Customer Reviews Data

When: Friday, October 20, 12-1:15 pm

Where: Zoom

How much is a star really worth? This session will examine customer review data including how to use reviews effectively, how to spot fake reviews, and what consumers, companies and academic researchers do with customer review data.

Zoom Registration

Open Source Geographic Information Systems (GIS) 

When: Friday, October 27, 11-12 pm

Where: Zoom and Perry-Castañeda Library (PCL), Scholars Lab, Data Lab

This workshop will provide an explanation of key geospatial terms and concepts and an introduction to open source geographic information system (GIS) software for visualizing, analyzing, storing, processing, and managing geospatial data. By the end of this session you should have the core knowledge required to start working effectively with geospatial datasets using open source tools.

In-person &

Zoom Registration

More Information


OA Week 2023

Support for Open Access Publishing at UT

When: Tuesday, October 24, 12 – 1 pm

Where: Zoom

In this session we’ll talk about Libraries’ support for open access (OA) publishing, including support that eliminates article processing charges (APCs) for UT authors. We’ll discuss the main types of OA publishing business models (including OA book publishing), and how the Libraries is strategically investing in these options. Finally, we’ll show participants how they can share their work regardless of the publication model. This free session is open to anyone, but will be of most interest to faculty, students, and staff who publish scholarly content. Registration is required. 

Zoom Registration

Kids and Queens: Drag Queen Story Time Comes to the PCL

Drag Queen Tatiana Cholula visits the PCL to read children’s book in order to promote positive roles models in queerness and gender fluidity. (link from Daily Texan. Photo Credit: Dakota Kern | Daily Texan Staff)

Small children running around the PCL’s UFCU Room is not a normal sight on a Tuesday morning. Neither is a drag queen dressed up in a gown and full make-up. But on November 27, the Perry-Castañeda Library brought them together for a special story time event. Tatiana Cholula read picture books to a crowd of about 20 small children and their parents. UT faculty, staff, and students joined in and took a seat on the floor to hear Miss Tatiana’s stories.

Drag Queen Story Time is a national phenomenon, and it is exactly as the name suggests – drag performers read picture books aloud to groups of small children, their parents, and adult drag fans. It has been a huge hit at public libraries across the country, and when our friends at Austin Public Library hosted their own Drag Queen Story Time event, they had to turn folks away because their room was at capacity!

While Drag Queen Story Time is not a typical event hosted by an academic library, we thought it sounded like so much fun that we had to give it a try. The PCL has an extensive Youth Collection, including a lovely selection of new and notable picture books. Faculty and students use the Youth Collection for research in education, cultural history, and art, and many faculty and staff with children check out these books for leisure reading. Because November is National Picture Book Month, it was the perfect time to hold this event.

We partnered with UT’s Gender & Sexuality Center to find a drag performer, and they directed us to Tatiana Cholula, a former UT student, who is popular in the local Austin drag scene. Miss Tatiana immediately was enthusiastic about the event, and she picked out three picture books from the PCL’s Youth Collection that featured LGBTQ+ characters and characters of color.

We are proud to have brought visibility to gender diversity and the joy and fun of drag performance to the library. The event also encouraged young children to be themselves, no matter their gender, and showed them a glamorous, queer role model. We received enthusiastic feedback from parents and students who asked us to host the event again, and Miss Tatiana said, “Showing my art to a much younger audience made my heart so full.”

 

 

Science Study Break and Deborah Hay exhibit kick-start the home stretch

HAL 9000
HAL gets the once-over from Dr. Risto Miikkulainen in 2010's first Science Study Break "Machines Gone Wild"

As always seems the case, the Libraries are ratcheting up the post-Spring Break calendar with a slew of events.

After a brief hiatus, this week sees the return of the wildly popular Science Study Breaks series hosted by the Life Science Library. I won’t bother going into the background of this pop culture meets science program, but you can read about it in our most recent issue of the Libraries Newsletter.

At any rate, this first SSB of 2010 features Computer Science and Neuroscience faculty Dr. Risto Miikkulainen discussing “Machines Gone Wild” using Mr. Data from TNG and HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey as foils for discussion. The program gets underway at 6:30pm, Wednesday, March 24 in Wheeler Lecture Hall (4.102) in Robert Lee Moore Hall.

Also later this week, an exhibit of photos featuring post-modern dance maven Deborah Hay gets an opening reception at the Fine Arts Library. Twenty images Continue reading Science Study Break and Deborah Hay exhibit kick-start the home stretch