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Tag: Data (page 1 of 8)

Openness and the BTAA Geoportal

October 19-25, 2020 marks the tenth year of Open Access Week, an international event highlighting the potential benefits of openness in research and scholarship. Open Access Week is organized by the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, or SPARC. To quote from their Who We Are page, SPARC “works to enable the open sharing of research outputs and educational materials in order to democratize access to knowledge, accelerate discovery, and increase the return on our investment in research and education.”

In the spirit of SPARC’s mission and Open Access Week more generally, I want to briefly highlight a collaborative project that the University Libraries is involved in and that also helps to advance the goals of openness for research and education, the Big Ten Academic Alliance Geoportal. The BTAA Geoportal provides discoverability and facilitates access to geospatial information resources, including GIS datasets, web services, and scanned historical maps from multiple data clearinghouses and library catalogs. The resources in the geoportal are selected and curated by librarians and geospatial specialists at 13 research institutions across the BTAA. Our collective efforts as contributors to this project advance openness in a number of ways, but I want to call out three that I think are particularly important:

Open data – Geospatial data assets are produced and made publicly available by many different entities, at different administrative levels (e.g., city, county, state), and often through different platforms, across the region comprising BTAA institutions. By centralizing regional geospatial data discovery into a single interface, the BTAA Geoportal saves time and makes it easier for researchers, educators, and other stakeholders to find and use these data to advance their work.

Open collections – As research libraries undertake projects to scan maps within our collections, the BTAA Geoportal provides us with an opportunity to make this content more discoverable, accessible, and usable in support of research and education. In the words of our University Libraries strategic directions, it allows us to “open content for expanded access.”

Open educational resources – Finally, I want to call attention to one of the latest initatives of the BTAA Geoportal team, our first series of tutorials that were just released earlier this month. These tutorials highlight the BTAA Geoportal in the context of teaching and learning about topics such as types of geospatial information, finding and evaluating geospatial data, using GIS web services, and more. Licensed under Creative Commons, these tutorials are openly available, reusable, and adaptable, and we hope they will support the teaching needs of librarians and disciplinary faculty in in-person, hybrid, and fully online instructional contexts.

It has been extremely rewarding for me to be a collaborator on the BTAA Geoportal team and to participate in these efforts that help to advance a philosophy of openness in our work and in supporting research and education. I hope that you will take some time to explore the BTAA Geoportal to identify how these geospatial information resources might advance your own work too.

If you have questions about the BTAA Geoportal or geospatial information resources more generally, please feel free to email me at If you are interested in learning more about the ongoing work and progress of the BTAA Geoportal team, check out our five-year project impact report, which was released in May 2020.

Your Guide to Black Lives Matter Data

With the death of George Floyd and increased visibility of the Black Lives Matter movement, The Research Commons in collaboration with our African American and African Studies Librarian, Leta Hendricks, has put together a list of resources for researchers interested in looking further into issues of policing, the Black Lives matter movement, racial discrimination, health information and issues of educational access. Please see the list below for data and reporting resources at the university, state and national level.

United States

PolicyMap: Available data includes demographics, home sale statistics, health data, mortgage trends, school performance scores and labor data like unemployment, crime statistics and city crime rates. Allows you to display data visually through custom demographic maps, tables, reports and an analysis tool

Social Explorer: provides quick and easy access to current and historical U.S. census data and demographic information. The easy-to-use web interface lets users create maps and reports to illustrate, analyze, and understand demography and social change. Social Explorer includes over 40 billion data elements; 500,000 variables; and more than 25,000 interactive maps

Mapping Police Violence: A interactive map of police killings in the United States, with downloadable data. Tools allows researchers to compare states, cities and national trends

Bureau of Justice Statistics: The Bureau of Justice Statistics’ Law Enforcement Unit maintains more than a dozen national data collections, covering federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies and special topics in law enforcement. Most data collections are conducted every two to four years and focus on aggregate or agency-level responses, meaning the information that is collected pertains to units, such as police departments, training academies, and crime labs. The data from law enforcement agencies provide national estimates for personnel, equipment, operations, agency policies, budgets, and job functions across agencies

Washington Post’s Fatal Force (Police Shootings Database): includes downloadable data for police-involved shootings of a civilian from 2015 – present, as well as an interactive map. The database can be searched for different demographic data such as race, gender, history of mental illness and more

Black Lives Matter four-year anniversary report: The Black Lives Matter movement was started in 2013 after the acquittal of George Zimmerman, the man who shot Trayvon Martin. The movement has put together a 4-year anniversary report outlining the history of the movement, guiding principles, advocacy work, a call to action and more

Use of Force Project: a database that provides the use of force policy for over 100 police departments across the United States

Pew Research Center: provides a number of datasets for secondary analysis on topics such as U.S. policy, social and demographic trends, journalism/media and more

Racial Equity for GIS Hub: Esri’s racial equity hub is an ongoing, continuously expanding resource hub to assist organizations looking to address racial inequities. The hub includes data layers, maps, applications, training resources, articles on best practices, solutions and examples of how Esri users from around the world are leveraging GIS to address racial inequality.


Ohio Department of Education Data Query Tool: This tool allows researchers to pull data on K-12 disciplinary action, enrollment data, attendance, graduation, testing and more. Reports can be disaggregated based on demographic selections, including race.

Using this data, The Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity provides reports and analysis of Ohio K-12 school discipline actions, with breakdowns that look at race, ability and other categories

The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections Bureau of Research: provides data, statistics and reporting on prison population projections, jail reports, DRC census data and more

The Ohio Department of Health: provides data and statistics on health in Ohio that can be broken down into different demographics, such as race. Includes:

  • Ohio Public Health Information Warehouse: A self-service online tool where researchers can obtain most recent public health data. Researchers can create custom reports, charts and maps from a variety of data sources
  • 2019 Online State Health Assessment: The 2019 SHA is a comprehensive and actionable picture of health and wellbeing in Ohio. This interactive website displays state and county-level data on topics such as demographic trends, leading causes of death, population health, healthcare spending, access to health care, public health and prevention, social and economic environment, and physical environment.

The Office of Criminal Justice Services: Provides Ohio data on crime statistics (by county and city), hate crimes (2005- 2018), policing, prisoners and more.

Vice News: provides downloadable standardized and raw data on killings by police in the nation’s 50 largest police departments. Includes data for Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati police departments


The Ohio State University

Office of Enrollment Services Analysis and Reporting: Provides a variety of reports and data on students enrolled at Ohio State, with breakdowns by race. OESAR’s standard reports include:

  • The New First Year Student Profile provides a quick overview of recent incoming classes by highlighting characteristics such as ACT and SAT score averages, high school graduating class rank, and residency and minority student counts
  • The Admissions Comparison and Summary Report is the university’s only all term, all student admissions report. The Course Distribution by Academic Program Report summarizes enrollment for each term by course subject and catalog number
  • Each term, OESAR publishes the Official 15th Day Enrollment Report. This report serves as a census of student enrollment and includes breakdowns by a number of academic and demographic categories, including academic program, and counts by gender and ethnicity. These census reports support a number of trend reports available on the site

Researchers can also initiate a specific data request regarding enrollment or admissions data on OESAR’s website. Responses typically take 2-4 weeks. OESAR also provides reports focusing on graduation and retention rates for:

The OSU Bias Assessment Response Team (BART) and campus climate reports: For researchers interested in looking at the climate on The Ohio State University’s campus, the Bias Assessment and Response Team releases its yearly reports on bias-related incidents on Ohio State’s campus. You can view incidents of racial bias, and bias related to religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and more.

Reports from the Center for the Study of Student Life (CSSL): CSSL provides data on the student experience at Ohio State. The following reports provide information that include breakdowns by race.

Status on Women at Ohio State Report: The Women’s Place provides their 2020 and list of previous reports since 2002, which include information about women of color who hold tenure-track faculty positions, and breakdowns of professional (non-faculty) staff and department chairs by race.

Department of Public Safety: The annual security report provides data for conduct referrals and crimes reported both on-campus and off-campus as defined by the Clery Act; report also includes information about reported hate crimes.

The Office of Human Resources: Provides data and reports about employees, salary/earnings and also reports that provide diversity data (gender and race) for faculty and staff by unit:

Your Guide to COVID-19 Data

Earlier in May, my colleague Lee-Arng Chang published an interesting post discussing a number of different COVID-19 data visualizations, which many of us have become increasingly familiar with over the last couple of months. With the number of COVID-19 data visualizations being produced, it should come as no surprise that there has been an equally marked increase in the number of COVID-19 datasets available to university researchers, public health professionals, and administrative officials to support critical work related to overcoming this pandemic and planning for what lies ahead.

Within the University Libraries, a number of my colleagues and I noticed that we were receiving questions from researchers across the university about COVID-19 datasets (primarily geospatial data, in my case) that could support their work, and at the same time, we were frequently learning about new datasets becoming available. We needed a place to gather this information and make it easily accessible to the Ohio State research community and beyond.

The result of this work is the new Data Sources page on the Health Science Library’s COVID-19 LibGuide. This resource provides links to, and short descriptions of, data sources that we’ve encountered that are openly available, on either a permanent or temporary basis. We’ve categorized the data to make browsing easier, with categories including Ohio, Public Health, Geospatial, Business & Socioeconomic, and General & Interdisciplinary, which includes links to a number of scholarly literature datasets available for text mining and other curated lists of data sources known to us. As we become aware of new datasets that could support ongoing work around COVID-19, the guide will be periodically updated.

OGRIP has developed the Ohio COVID-19 GIS Data Portal, a platform for accessing verified and authoritative data, maps and dashboards pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic in Ohio.

Check out OGRIP’s Ohio COVID-19 GIS Data Portal, which provides access to verified and authoritative geospatial data to assist with Ohio’s COVID-19 response and recovery efforts. This is one of the many data sources included in the COVID-19 LibGuide.

But don’t stop at the Data Sources page. The team of Health Sciences librarians has done a great job collecting other relevant information on topics connected to COVID-19, including clinical guidance and articles, basic science articles, telemedicine resources, and available funding opportunities. And if you can’t find what you’re looking for on the guide, don’t hesitate to ask a librarian!

Want to suggest a COVID-19 dataset or other resource to add to the guide? Fill out this short form with your recommendation.

A big “Thank You” to Stephanie Schulte and Anna Biszaha for creating and maintaining the COVID-19 LibGuide, and to Hilary Bussell, Danny Dotson, and Ash Faulkner for recommending additional data sources to include on the guide.

New CADRE Fellowship Program for Coronavirus Research

The Collaborative Archive & Data Research Environment (CADRE) project has announced a new fellowship program in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The fellowship program, called the Research Cohort for the Study of Coronaviruses (RCSC) will accept researchers who are performing work related to COVID-19 or coronaviruses. There is currently no deadline for proposal submissions, and accepted researchers and research teams can begin their work immediately. See here to submit an RCSC research proposal form.

As an RCSC researcher, you can:

If you have questions about CADRE or the RCSC fellowship program, contact the team at

The Ohio State University Libraries is a partner institution on the CADRE project, which means that all Ohio State researchers can access the platform to work with the Web of Science, Microsoft Academic Graph, and U.S. Patent and Trademark Office datasets. Visit the Getting Started page on the CADRE website to learn more.

To sign in to the CADRE platform using your Ohio State credentials, follow these steps:

  1. Visit the CADRE gateway site, and click “Login.”
  2. Choose the option to “Sign in with your corporate ID” by clicking the “cilogon” button.
  3. Under “Select an Identity Provider,” choose “Ohio State University” in the dropdown menu. Check the box to “Remember this selection” (so you can bypass this step in the future), and click “Log On.”
  4. You will be redirected to the familiar Ohio State single sign-on screen, where you can log in with your name.# and password.
  5. Once logged in, you will land on the CADRE dashboard, with access to the Query Interface and Jupyter Notebook environments.

GIS for the Rest of Us (Workshop)

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) has revolutionized our ability to visualize and display information connected to locations. Whether you have used Google’s free tools to find aerial photos of your neighborhood, have searched for a friend’s address using the county auditor’s website, or researched the likelihood of your business flooding during a major storm event, GIS tools are at work. This half-day workshop is designed for:

– Researchers from All Disciplines New to GIS
– K-12 Educators
– Informal Educators
– Members of the Non-Profit Community
– Community Members Who Want to Learn More

A team of instructors will provide an overview of GIS and mapping tools from Google, Esri, and Tableau and showcase examples of how GIS can be used for research and education. Breakout sessions will provide training for various levels of experience. Participants are highly encouraged to bring their own devices.

Direct questions to Josh Sadvari at or 614-292-5828. This program is offered through a partnership between the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center, the Center for Urban and Regional Analysis, and the University Libraries at The Ohio State University.

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