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At this year’s Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) Fall 2017 Membership Meeting, Bonnie Tijerina spoke about the implications of using data science in libraries.

“Data science approaches may shed light on otherwise hard-to-see problems in the library.”  — D&S researcher Bonnie Tijerina


D&S affiliate Seeta Peña Gangadharan writes about defending digital rights of library patrons.

If this sounds complicated and scary, that’s because it is. But confronted with this matrix of vulnerabilities, the library—with its longstanding commitment to patron privacy—also offers an impressive plan of action.


D&S fellow Anne L. Washington discusses her previous research as a digital government scholar and her upcoming work examining US open data policy, funded through a five-year National Science Foundation Early Faculty Research Career grant.

“We use a secret language in academia sometimes,” [Washington] says, laughing. “‘Technology management’ is about how organisations leverage digital assets for strategic business goals. My doctorate is in management information systems.  On the other side of that is ‘informatics’, which comes from the library science tradition. Over centuries, librarians have refined how to store and retrieve knowledge so people can find what they need and walk away smarter. Informatics takes this basic idea and scales it up for massive digital collections.”


D&S researcher Bonnie Tijerina discusses the development of a “hands-on professional training program on data and privacy literacy in hopes of showing how this knowledge can positively impact their service to library patrons.”


In the era of big data, how do researchers ethically collect, analyze, and store data? danah boyd, Emily F. Keller, and Bonnie Tijerina explore this question and examine issues from how to achieve informed consent from research subjects in big data research to how to store data securely in case of breaches. The primer evolves into a discussion on how libraries can collaborate with computer scientists to examine ethical big data research issues.


D&S researcher Bonnie Tijerina offers an overview of the work undertaken by the Supporting Ethics in Data Research project.

Complex data sets raise challenging ethical questions about risk to individuals who are not sufficiently covered by computer science training, ethics codes, or Institutional Review Boards (IRBs). The use of publicly available, corporate, and government data sets may reveal human practices, behaviors, and interactions in unintended ways, creating the need for new kinds of ethical support. Secondary data use invokes privacy and consent concerns. A team at Data & Society recently conducted interviews and campus visits with computer science researchers and librarians at eight U.S. universities to examine the role of research librarians in assisting technical researchers as they navigate emerging issues of privacy, ethics, and equitable access to data at different phases of the research process.


Excerpt: “[D&S fellow] Bonnie Tijerina: ‘Right now I am working on creating resources for digital privacy literacy, helping to ensure our communities are aware of the rights they give up when they are online and empower them to choose what makes sense for them with the right knowledge. I am also talking with various stakeholders about an increased role for libraries to play in storing and making accessible open data and providing support for citizen scientists’ participation in the big data movement.'”


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