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Dean of Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies and Professor Beth McNeil

Dean of Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies and Esther Ellis Norton Professor of Library Science Beth McNeil

The Purdue University Board of Trustees on Thursday (Oct. 10) ratified the appointment of Beth McNeil as the Esther Ellis Norton Professor of Library Science.

McNeil is dean of Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies. She is a nationally known scholar of management practices in libraries and leadership development. She is the author of “Fundamentals of Library Supervision,” which is in its third edition, as well as numerous articles, edited works, and book chapters.

She rejoined the Purdue faculty in July 2019, having previously been at Purdue from 2007-15 as associate dean in Libraries.

Read the entire BOT release at www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2019/Q4/purdue-trustees-approve-faculty-appointments.html.

October is National Medical Librarians Month, and Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies (PULSIS) Assistant Professor and Health Sciences Information Specialist Bethany McGowan, who has close to ten years of academic medical librarian experience, notes that 2019 brings medical librarians two years into the current U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) Strategic Plan, 2017-2027. Below, she shares the kind of work she does as a medical librarian at Purdue and in the field of library science.

Bethany McGowan, Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies

Bethany McGowan

by Bethany McGowan

The NLM Strategic Plan, 2017-2027, focuses on three goals:

  • accelerating discovery and advancing health by providing the tools for data-driven research,
  • reaching more people in more ways through enhanced dissemination and engagement pathways, and
  • building a workforce for data-driven research and health.

The NLM strategic plan, along with the PULSIS strategic plan, guide my work as a medical librarian. As assistant professor and a health sciences information specialist, I focus on information literacy and data literacy instruction. This includes working with health sciences faculty to scaffold information literacy (IL) instruction throughout curriculums, through course design programs, such as IMPACT (Instruction Matters: Purdue Academic Course Transformation), and by establishing collaborations with the health sciences faculty who influence curriculum development, at the individual course level and across curriculums at a programmatic level.

Relatedly, I co-chair an Association of College and Research Libraries working group to redesign the outdated Information Literacy Competency Standards for Nursing into a Framework for Information Literacy for Nursing. After a comprehensive literature review and surveying nursing faculty across nine research and teaching colleges and universities, our working group has concluded that scaffolding information literacy throughout course and program curriculum provides the most comprehensive means to disseminate information literacy instruction and engage students. We are working hard to develop a practical tool that will make it easier for librarians to build connections with nursing faculty, to better understand strategies for integrating information literacy instruction across course and program curriculums, and to better understand student-centered approaches for information literacy instruction.

I support data-driven research and believe that libraries are the perfect place to teach data literacy via extracurricular data challenges like “hackathons” and “datathons.” My research focuses on strategies for engaging participants who might not otherwise compete in data challenges, like health sciences students, women, and minorities.

I was recently awarded an NLM grant to explore why students participate in and drop out of data challenges, and I will use my findings to create an open educational resource that librarians can use to recruit and retain diverse participation in these events.

I’m also leading the team planning the 2020 Purdue Women in Data Science (WiDS) datathon and conference, events focused on highlighting the contributions of women in data science.

Finally, I’m interested in the global impacts of the open data and open access movements. I have been active with the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) Health and Biosciences Section for the past few years, and this year, I was elected information officer for the section. As our section collaborates with the Association for Health Information and Libraries in Africa (AHILA) to plan the 2021 AHILA Congress in South Africa. I plan to use the experience to consider how my expertise might support the data and information interests and needs of librarians in African countries. I hope it will be a launchpad for future collaborations.

Ultimately, the work I do is incredibly fulfilling, and I’m proud to be a part of such a supportive community. Happy National Medical Librarians Month to all my fellow medical librarians!

October is Health Literacy Month, and to commemorate it, we asked Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies Health Sciences Information Specialist and Assistant Professor Jason Reed to share what he does in his work to support Purdue University faculty, students, and staff.

Jason Reed, Assistant Professor and Health Sciences Information Specialist, Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies

Jason Reed, Assistant Professor and Health Sciences Information Specialist, Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies

What Does a Health Sciences Information Specialist Do?

by Jason Reed, Health Sciences Information Specialist and Assistant Professor

Regularly, I collaborate with faculty, staff, and students to support research and learning in health sciences disciplines. My assigned areas include the Purdue Department of Health and Kinesiology, the Purdue College of Pharmacy‘s Professional Program, and the Purdue Department of Public Health.

A key component of my work involves supporting evidence-based practice (EBP). EBP is a framework that encourages health practitioners to use scientific evidence to guide decisions, along with patient preferences and their own acquired knowledge, and focuses on how students will continue to discover, evaluate, and implement new information throughout their health careers.

A few examples of how I collaborate with my liaison units to support EBP through teaching include:

  • working with athletic training students to teach them how to discover information for use in Critically Appraised Topics, a type of EBP that focuses on using a literature review to answer clinical questions.
  • In health and kinesiology I provide instruction to students on searching for intervention studies guided by behavioral theories to support creating/starting a public health initiative.
  • In the College of Pharmacy Professional Program, I teach lab sessions for the first- and second-year students. In these labs, we discuss the importance of EBP and how to determine the best resource to use for answering questions and how to best use those resources to find evidence supporting their clinical questions.

In all of these examples, I include in class activities to provide an opportunity for the students to engage with and practice the skills discussed in class, not only to help them develop a mastery of the skills, but also to provide opportunities for the students to seek clarification on aspects they don’t fully understand.

On the research side, I have been very active in working on systematic reviews. High-quality systematic reviews and meta-analyses are considered the highest levels of evidence in evidence-based practice and are guided by a set of guidelines, PRISMA Checklist.

Systematic reviews strive to discover and assess all materials relating to a specific research question, with the goal of answering that question within the limits of the available evidence. One of the recommendations for completing a systematic review is including a database expert on the team. That is the role I have filled on several systematic reviews from multiple colleges and departments on campus including the Professional Program in the College of Pharmacy, Purdue Department of Public Health, Purdue Department of Health and Kinesiology, and Purdue Department of Nutrition.

This work on systematic reviews has led to an opportunity to co-instruct, with Bethany McGowan, a course on systematic reviews offered to graduate students as a Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies’ designated course. This course was offered for the first time in the spring 2019 semester, we had 10 students from four different programs on campus.

The instruction focuses on teaching students how to prepare their review projects to meet the standards of a systematic review by teaching them the best practices for designing a search strategy, identifying the people and tools they will use in their review, and considering any potential biases in the project.


Learn more about other areas of Jason Reed’s work at http://blogs.lib.purdue.edu/news/2019/02/08/climate-change-game-reed/.

Benefits of Open AccessPurdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies will kick off International Open Access Week (October 21-27) with the announcement of the Leadership in Open Access Award from Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies (PULSIS) and Purdue University Office of the Provost.

During the week, PULSIS and the Purdue University Press (PUP) will also host a panel discussion, three Open Access information installations on campus, and an Open Access content campaign via the PULSIS website and PULSIS and PUP social media.

From 10:30 a.m.-noon Tuesday, Oct. 22 PULSIS and PUP are sponsoring the panel discussion, “What Open Access Means to You.” Purdue University Press Director Justin Race will serve as moderator of the panel discussion, which will be held in Stewart Center, room 202. Panelists include:

  • Kris Bross, associate dean for research and creative endeavors, Purdue Honors College;
  • Gaurav Chopra, assistant professor, Purdue Department of Chemistry;
  • Michael Witt, interim associate dean for research, associate professor, and head of the Distributed Data Curation Center, PULSIS; and
  • Wayne Wright, Barbara I. Cook Chair of Literacy and Language and associate dean for research, graduate programs, and faculty development, Purdue College of Education.

Leadership Award and Information Installations

According to Dean of Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies Beth McNeil, the Leadership in Open Access Award recognizes an individual (or individuals) at Purdue University who make an exceptional commitment to broadening the reach of scholarship by making publicly funded research freely accessible online through Purdue e-Pubs repository.

What Is Purdue e-Pubs?In addition, Scholarly Publishing Specialist Nina Collins will be available via three Open Access “information installations” on campus that week, including:

  • 1-4 p.m. Monday, Oct. 21, Horticulture Building (HORT), room 217;
  • 9 a.m.-noon Wednesday, Oct. 23, Knoy Hall of Technology (KNOY), KNOY Lobby; and
  • noon-3 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 24, Mechanical Engineering, Railside Station area.

The PULSIS and PUP content campaign will feature blog and social media posts about the benefits of Open Access. Blog post authors include:

  • Darcy Bullock, Lyles Family Professor of Civil Engineering and Director of the Joint Transportation Research Program;
  • Sandi Caldrone, data repository outreach specialist, Purdue University Research Repository (PURR);
  • Erla Heyns, head, Humanities, Social Science, Education, and Business (HSSEB) Division and associate professor, PULSIS;
  • Senay Purzer, director of assessment research at the INSPIRE Institute for Pre-college Engineering Research and associate professor, School of Engineering; and
  • Beth McNeil, dean, PULSIS.

For more information, contact Collins at nkcollin@purdue.edu.

About Open Access Week

Open Access Week, a global event now entering its eleventh year, is an opportunity for the academic and research community to continue to learn about the potential benefits of Open Access, to share what they have learned with colleagues, and to help inspire wider participation in helping to make Open Access a new norm in scholarship and research. Learn more about Open Access Week at www.openaccessweek.org.

Every year, Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies hosts the Purdue GIS (Geographic Information Systems) Day Conference. During it, Purdue students demonstrate how they have applied GIS in their individual areas of study and research. Nicole Kong, PULSIS associate professor and GIS specialist at Purdue, heads up the conference, along with a team of collaborators from across Purdue, all who are involved in GIS work in some way. This year, the Purdue GIS Day Conference is set for Thursday, Nov. 7 in Stewart Center. (More information about research and project submission deadlines is available at lib.purdue.edu/gis/gisday/gisday_2019_college_program.)

Nicole Kong, associate professor and GIS specialist, Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies

Nicole Kong, associate professor and GIS specialist, Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies

In addition to planning the Purdue GIS Day Conference and her teaching duties, Kong serves as a principal investigator (PI) or co-PI for various GIS and data-science research projects at Purdue. Recently, she was awarded funding in Purdue’s Integrative Data Science Initiative (IDSI) for the project, “Integrating Geospatial Information Across Disciplines.” In addition, she is co-PI for two more GIS-related projects, both which were recently funded through U.S. government agencies. The projects include:

  • 2019 – 2020: “Leveraging Soil Explorer for Soils and Ecological Training.” USDA (U.S. Dept. of Agriculture), NRCS (Natural Resource Conservation Service), Soil Science Collaborative Research Proposals Notice of Funding Opportunity (NFO). PI: D. Schulze (agronomy) and co-PI J. Ackerson (agronomy): $52,295.49.
  • 2018 – 2019: “IndianaView Program Development and Operations for the State of Indiana.” AmericaView program, U.S. Geological Survey. Co-PI, with L. Biehl, (ITaP), J. Shan (civil engineering): $23,000.

Kong’s important work on the two government-funded research projects has implications for soil research, conservation efforts, and the training of soil scientists, as well as remotely sensed data collections that contribute to the AmericaView project. Data from this project can help inform national and international economic, environmental, social, health, and geopolitical decisions.

“The AmericaView Consortium is charged with helping each state overcome these difficulties and helps the university, secondary-education, and public sectors in each state identify, develop, and distribute the kinds of applications each state needs most. In light of our nation’s current focus on achieving a secure and stable digital infrastructure, never has this task been more relevant,” Kong explained.

Below, Kong provides more background about both projects and how the research in both contributes to soil mapping across the globe, as well as the mapping, monitoring, and management of natural and environmental resources.

Q. How did the “Leveraging Soil Explorer for Soils and Ecological Training” project come about and how will you and your team use the grant funds?

Kong: This project was developed based upon the success of our previous award of “Integrating Spatial Education Experience (Isee)” funded by NRCS. In the previous award, we successfully collaborated with several other states to develop soil property maps for education purposes.

In this project, we will further develop the soil maps for the conterminous U.S., Alaska, Hawaii, and U.S. territories, as well as provide training materials about how to use the new maps to improve soil and ecology training. Part of the funds will be used for Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies to assist in creating and sharing the maps, as well as for GIS server improvement.

Q. Who else is involved with “Leveraging Soil Explorer for Soils and Ecological Training” project?
Kong: This project is led by Dr. Darrell Schulze in the agronomy department. Dr. Jason Ackerson and I are co-PIs on the project.

Q. How will the data you gather be used in the future?
Kong: Detailed soil surveys across U.S. have been conducted and well documented by the Soil Survey Geographic Database (SSURGO). This database contains very rich information about soil properties, but often requires extensive knowledge in related fields to understand. On the other hand, maps are models of our world that allow us to make sense of a space that is too large and too complex for us to comprehend in any other way. Digital maps are inherently scalable and can show both the details and the overview seamlessly. Soil maps can help researchers to understand how soils and soil properties are distributed across landscapes at various scales. They can be critical resources for training scientists in the disciplines of soil science, ecology, agronomy, geology, and other natural sciences. The results of the maps will be delivered via SoilExplorer webpage, as well as the Soil Explorer apps for iOS and Android devices. Learning materials, workshops and webinars will also be delivered to the trainers.

Q. Any other information important to include about this project?
Kong: Managing, sharing, and leveraging geospatial information generated by Purdue researchers is an essential part of the GIS team’s mission. With the similar research methods, we have also collaborated in soil mapping projects in Kenya and Peru. Using spatial information as a way to teach soil properties has been a success in many classrooms through our studies.

Q. What is the purpose of the “IndianaView Program Development and Operations for the State of Indiana” project and who is involved?
Kong: The purpose of IndianaView is to promote sharing and use of public domain remotely sensed image data for education, research, and outreach across universities, colleges, K-12 educators, and state and local governments in Indiana. It is part of the larger grant, AmericaView, funded by the U.S. Geological Survey. This project is a collaboration among Mr. Larry Biehl (ITaP), Dr. Jie Shan (civil engineering), and me.

Q. What are you hoping to accomplish with the project? How will the data you gather be used in the future?
Kong: Within this project, we will continue to develop the IndianaView Consortium, which currently includes 15 institutions. We will select and support undergraduate and graduate student scholarships, as well as mini-grant opportunities for the consortiums members for research, education, or outreach. In addition, we have also planned activities for K-12 outreach, presenting at local or regional conferences, and teaching in undergraduate and graduate classrooms. (More information is available at www.indianaview.org.)

Q. What is AmericaView and why is it important?
Kong: AmericaView is a nationwide partnership of remote sensing scientists who support the use of Landsat and other public domain remotely sensed data through applied research, K-12, and higher education. The need for AmericaView has been building for more than 30 years. Since the early 1970s, the federal government and private sector have spent billions of dollars on satellite-based earth observing systems and have worked with the research community to identify, develop, and distribute real-world applications for mapping, monitoring, and managing natural and environmental resources. Unfortunately, while the potential uses of the technology have been widely recognized, development and distribution of real-world applications have persistently been tough issues for both the federal government and the academic research community. The AmericaView Consortium is charged with helping each state overcome these difficulties and helps the university, secondary-education, and public sectors in each state identify, develop, and distribute the kinds of applications each state needs most.


More information about GIS resources via the Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies is available at www.lib.purdue.edu/gis.

Margaret Phillips, Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies

Margaret Phillips, Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies, teaching at Pusan National University in South Korea, July 2019.

Through the IMPACT (Instruction Matters: Purdue Academic Course Transformation) program and the pronounced presence of the Wilmeth Active Learning Center (WALC) at the heart of campus, it is possible that many students at Purdue University take for granted their courses based on the active learning instructional method. Even though Purdue students may not always recognize their enhanced learning based on this approach, academia does. Last October, The Chronicle of Higher Education published “How Purdue Professors Are Building More Active and Engaged Classrooms,” and the publication’s editorial staff recognized Purdue’s IMPACT program as a 2018 Innovator of encouraging innovation in teaching.

Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies (PULSIS) faculty and staff were driving forces behind the concept of and the development of the WALC, as well as have been integral in IMPACT at Purdue.

It is no surprise, then, that one of our own is taking this instructional method “on the road” (or over the ocean), so to speak, and engaging South Korean mechanical engineering graduate students in ways they have not before experienced. In mid-July, PULSIS Assistant Professor Margaret Phillips co-taught the course “Professional Development and Life-Long Information Strategies for Engineering Research” at Pusan National University (PNU). She was invited by Takashi Hibiki, a Purdue nuclear engineering emeritus faculty member, who originally co-developed and co-taught the course with her at Purdue.

Margaret Phillips, Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies

Mechanical engineering graduate students in the short course “Professional Development and Life-Long Information Strategies for Engineering Research.”

“Many students this summer commented they had not experienced a course like this before and told us they know it’s going to be extremely useful in their future engineering careers,” Phillips noted. “The students were eager to learn the course material, and they were extremely patient as they participated in active learning lessons, a departure from what they are used to, because nearly all of their courses are taught in a direct instruction format,” she added.

Per the course evaluation, 100 percent of students who responded said, “Yes, I would recommend this course to other engineering graduate students.” In addition, the students respondents gave the overall course a median rating of “5-Excellent,” and both instructors (Phillips and Hibiki) received median ratings of “5-Excellent” (N=30; scale – 5-Excellent, 4-Good, 3-Fair, 2-Poor, 1-Very Poor).

As a result, Pusan National University officials invited Phillips to be an adjunct professor of mechanical engineering at PNU.

In the Q&A below, Phillips shares more of the story about her teaching experience in South Korea.

Margaret Phillips, Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies

Professor Phillips said the “Professional Development and Life-Long Information Strategies for Engineering Research” course goals related to information literacy include: 1). develop knowledge and skills that sustain lifelong learning, particularly the abilities to discover, access, evaluate, use, and manage information; and 2). present information clearly, effectively, and ethically.

Q: How did this opportunity come about?

Phillips: I was invited by an emeritus faculty member in nuclear engineering, Dr. Takashi Hibiki, to co-develop and co-teach this course. When Takashi was at Purdue, we co-taught a similar nuclear engineering graduate course for two semesters, NUCL 580 (“Essential Communication Skills for Nuclear Engineering”). We used that content, as well as content from a graduate course I co-teach with Dave Zwicky (PULSIS) in ILS 595 (“Information Strategies for Science, Technology, and Engineering Research”) as a basis for the course. Dr. Hibiki has a close relationship with a faculty member in the School of Mechanical Engineering at PNU (Dr. Jae Jun Jeong), who is in charge of the nuclear engineering program (the nuclear engineering program is housed within their school of mechanical engineering). (Dr. Jeong was a visiting scientist at Purdue in the School of Nuclear Engineering in 2006-07.)

Dr. Hibiki described the Purdue course (NUCL 580) we co-taught to Dr. Jeong, and he was very interested in having a shortened version of this course offered at PNU for students in their School of Mechanical Engineering (ME).

Dr. Jeong worked hard to secure approval and funding, and he formally invited us to teach the short course. This was the first time a one-week short course had been offered in their school. Dr. Jeong also promoted the course to graduate students in the School of ME, and he encouraged other faculty members in the school to do so, as well.

This was the first time I had ever taught a shortened version of this course, and it was also the first time I had taught the content to non-Purdue students. This required making the course less “Purdue-centric” and more focused on life-long learning.

Q. Tell me about the course design: How did you design it with your co-instructor? What kinds of information does it have for mechanical engineering students, and what are the learning outcomes for the students in this course?

Phillips: We used the two previous courses mentioned as a basis for the course design. We encouraged Dr. Jeong to review the course schedules for the two courses mentioned and select the topics he felt were most needed and relevant for the students. We then used his selections to develop the course.

Professor Phillips (left) and Hibiki (far right) pose with one of the students who earned a course certificate in the course “Professional Development and Life-Long Information Strategies for Engineering Research” at Pusan National University (PNU) last July.

Professors Phillips (left) and Hibiki (far right) pose with one of the students who earned a course certificate in the short course “Professional Development and Life-Long Information Strategies for Engineering Research” at Pusan National University (PNU) last July.

The course goals related to information literacy include: 1). develop knowledge and skills that sustain lifelong learning, particularly the abilities to discover, access, evaluate, use, and manage information; and 2). present information clearly, effectively, and ethically.

Topics covered included: searching for information, citation management, technical standards, being an engineering scholar, scholarly publishing, copyright, avoiding plagiarism, conducting reviews, making technical presentations, and data-management basics.

Q. How many graduate students were in your course?
Phillips: We had 42 mechanical engineering graduate students enrolled and 35 students earned certificates from their school for taking the course. To earn the certificate, students had to participate in at least 12 of the 15 hours of class. Many of the students were from Korea, but several were international students from various countries (e.g., India, United Arab Emirates, and Italy). All of the students were on summer break, and while they each had the opportunity to earn a certificate, the course was not required and formal course credit was not awarded for their participation.

As an adjunct instructor, how will you contribute to instruction in the mechanical engineering program at PNU?
Phillips: My adjunct instructor appointment is for two years. As part of the plan, the course will be taught in person at Pusan National University at least one more time during that time frame, and my appointment will be considered for renewal at the end of two years. The faculty at Pusan prefer an in-person offering of the course, rather than online.


Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies Assistant Professor Margaret Phillips also serves as an engineering information specialist at Purdue University. Her liaison areas include nuclear engineering, engineering technology, technical standards, and industrial engineering.

Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies Faculty Members - IDSI Funding, Second RoundPurdue Libraries and School of Information Studies Faculty Members - IDSI Funding, Second RoundSeven Purdue University Libraries and School of Information (PULSIS) faculty members are part of three of five research teams to receive funding in Purdue University’s second round of research for the Integrative Data Science Initiative (IDSI).

According to the IDSI website, the vision for the initiative is “to be at the forefront of advancing data science-enabled research and education by tightly coupling theory, discovery, and applications while providing students with an integrated, data science-fluent campus ecosystem.”

The three research projects with PULSIS faculty members are also are led by PULSIS faculty as the principal investigators.

The PULSIS projects and researchers are as follows:

  • IMPACT Data Science Education: Preparing Undergraduates to Lead into the Future, Libraries and School of Information Studies and College of Science
    PI: Clarence Maybee, PULSIS; team members: Guang Lin, mathematics statistics and School of Mechanical Engineering; Wei Zakharov, PULSIS, Chao Cai, PULSIS; and Jason Fitzsimmons, Center for Instructional Excellence.
  • Building a Data Science Education Ecosystem Resource Collection, Libraries and School of Information Studies and College of Science
    PI: Pete Pascuzzi, PULSIS; team members: Gladys Andino, research computing; Mark D. Ward, statistics; and Michael Witt, PULSIS.
  • Integrating Geospatial Information Across Disciplines, Libraries and School of Information Studies
    PI: Nicole Kong, PULSIS; team members: Bryan Pijanowski, forestry and natural resources; Jie Shan, civil engineering; Dharmendra Saraswat, agricultural and biological engineering; Songlin Fei, forestry and natural resources; Brady Hardiman, forestry and natural resources; Ian Lindsay, anthropology; Michael Fosmire, PULSIS; Ephrem Abebe, pharmacy practice; Vetria Byrd, computer graphics technology; Guang Lin, data science consulting service; Preston Smith, IT research computing; and Erica Lott, Center for Instructional Excellence.

For more information, visit www.purdue.edu/data-science/education/education-proposals.php.

Dean of Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies and Professor Beth McNeil

Dean of Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies and Professor Beth McNeil

Those of us who work in our unit at Purdue could not be more excited we have our new leader, Dean of Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies and Professor Beth McNeil, in place!

Formerly the dean of library services and professor at Iowa State University, Dean McNeil started July 1, and she has been in a whirlwind of meetings, email messages, activities, events, and moving preparations since. (Our unit’s administration has been in Potter 160 with the ongoing HVAC work in Stewart Center; we are set to move back to the second floor of STEW soon.)

Dean McNeil is no stranger to Purdue. Previously, she was Purdue’s associate dean for academic affairs and a professor of Purdue Libraries. Before her initial appointment at Purdue, McNeil was assistant, and then associate, dean of libraries for the University of Nebraska. She also has held positions in the libraries at Bradley University and the University of Illinois.

As we navigate our new identity as a school at Purdue, you will all be hearing more from and about Dean McNeil. But, for now, below is a short Q&A that provides a glimpse into a bit more about her.

Welcome Dean McNeil!

Q: You have been back in Indiana and at Purdue now about one month now. What are some of the things you like about being back here in the Greater Lafayette Area? What do you and your family do outside of work for fun and relaxation?

McNeil: It’s great to be back on a campus that is so alive, even in the summer. My family includes my husband, Wes, who owns a small book company, and sons Nick (14) and Eli (10). My boys are active in sports, and we spend a lot of time outside of work at various games and in other outdoor activities. They have been visiting on weekends and will join me here in a few weeks, just before the start of school in West Lafayette.

During recent weekend visits we’ve done some hiking in Happy Hollow Park (a favorite activity when we lived here before), visited some local restaurants we remember fondly (Dog ‘n Suds ranks pretty high on the boys’ list), reconnecting with former neighbors and friends, and tackled a few projects in our new home. Last Saturday, we attended many of the Apollo 50th events, including the awesome “Apollo in the Archives: Selections from the Neil A. Armstrong Papers” exhibit in Purdue Archives and Special Collections, and the late afternoon F-100 flyover. Really, a wonderful experience for the whole family. Fun fact: If you look very closely, you can find us in some of the campus photos.

Q: Why did you decide to come back to Purdue to take the helm of the Purdue Libraries and newly named “Libraries and School of Information Studies”?

McNeil: Short answer: The opportunity. Plus, I like a challenge. Having been here before, I have some knowledge of campus and people, which has been beneficial to me so far, but there have been many changes in the past four years, and I want to take advantage of being “new” as well, to be sure my eyes and ears are wide open to new possibilities. Leading the Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies is an amazing opportunity to support Purdue in educating students and producing research that will change the world. I expect it will be fun, too.

Q: What challenges ahead are the most exciting? Which are most pressing?

McNeil: The most exciting challenge is to expand our teaching in support of the new School of Information Studies. We have excellent faculty and staff ready to grow our course offerings, and my impression so far is that, collectively, we are excited about and ready for this challenge. Most pressing — for me — is to come up to speed on the many data-science-related happenings at Purdue and finding the places where we in the Libraries and School of Information Studies can contribute.

Q: Any other information you would like to impart that was not touched on in questions above?

McNeil: I am looking forward to visiting with faculty, staff, and students in the next few weeks, as I make my way around campus. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or want to share information or your opinions about the future of the Libraries and School of Information Studies.

Heather Howard, Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies

Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies Assistant Professor and Business Information Specialist Heather Howard speaking at the Midwest Business Librarian Summit 2019.

Many marketing instructors demonstrate how professional marketers incorporate Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs in their approaches to product or service development for their target customer segments. So it’s not surprising that Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies Assistant Professor and Business Information Specialist Heather Howard developed the Midwest Business Librarian Summit to meet her fellow business librarians’ needs — belonging, esteem, and self-actualization — shown in the upper area of the famous pyramid hierarchy.

“Currently there are no national conferences that are business librarian focused, and the ones many go to, such as the American Library Association or Special Library Association, have limited content for business librarians or are prohibitively expensive for many librarians,” Howard explained.

Although she’s not a marketing instructor, at Purdue Howard teaches courses that incorporate business information concepts (marketing being an extremely important one), and she helps Purdue students and faculty navigate the complex web of information and data fundamental to business success. In 2018, she organized the Indiana Business Librarian Summit (held at Purdue), which about 25 individuals attended.

David Hummels, Purdue University Krannert School of Management

Dean of the Krannert School of Management and Distinguished Professor of Economics David Hummels welcomed the nearly 70 attendees of the Midwest Business Librarian Summit July 24 at Purdue University.

This year, she rebranded the July 24 event as the “Midwest Business Librarian Summit” (or MBLS) and featured David Hummels, the Dr. Samuel R. Allen Dean of the Krannert School of Management and Distinguished Professor of Economics, who welcomed those who attended. The new Dean of Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies and Professor Beth McNeil gave the keynote presentation. Both addressed the nearly 70 business librarians and information professionals who attended from areas across the region — a significant increase in attendees in only one year.

Clearly, Howard is on to something.

Below, she provides more detail about MBLS… and her plans for its future.

Q: Tell me about the Midwest Business Librarian Summit: how and why did you start it?

Howard: The Midwest Business Librarian Summit started in 2018 as the Indiana Business Librarian Summit. After attendees came from all over the area, it was rebranded in 2019 as MBLS to better represent the interest in the event.

Beth McNeil, Dean of Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies

Dean of Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies and Professor Beth McNeil presents the keynote at MBLS 2019, held in the Hicks Undergraduate Library at Purdue.

I started the event because I saw a need for business librarians in the area to get together to talk about projects they are working on, databases and resources, and all things business librarian. This year I also organized the event, but I had the help of a committee of business librarians.

Q: Is this summit affiliated with other summit events for those business librarians who work, for example, in different geographic areas?

Howard: Nope, this is a standalone event. There are a few other groups of business librarians who also have meetings, including The Southern Academic Business Librarians Conference (SOUCABL) and the Michigan Area Business Librarians (who attended MBLS as their 2019 meeting), and there are rumors of one starting up in Colorado.

Q: Who is eligible to attend this summit/conference?

Howard: There is no limit on who can attend. We are open to anyone who is practicing business librarianship or is otherwise interested, including public, academic, and corporate librarians. Though we are called “midwest,” anyone who wants to make the trip to West Lafayette is welcome to attend.

Q: What do you hope that attendees were able to take away from the summit this year?

Teresa Williams, Butler University Libraries

Teresa Williams from Butler University Libraries presented her lightning talk, “When Databases Are No Longer an Option: Teaching Resources for Business Information” at the 2019 Midwest Business Librarian Summit held at Purdue.

Howard: I hope that attendees had great conversations with one another, are inspired by work our colleagues are doing, and form new partnerships and collaborations.

Much of the content of MBLS is provided by those who are attending in the form of lightning talks, interest group conversations, and open forum talks, so the key takeaways are determined by what people discussed.

Q: Will there be an MBLS 2020? If so, will you follow the same format next year? change it up? or will that be up to you and your committee based on feedback from this year?

Howard: There will definitely be an MBLS 2020! We received quite a bit of positive verbal feedback at the event, and the committee and I will be sending out a survey to assess what people liked and what people would like to change in future years.

I can say that many people told me they appreciated how easy it is to get to Purdue and how nice our event space was, which was great to hear.


Follow the Midwest Business Librarian Summit on Facebook at www.facebook.com/midwestbuslib/ and on Twitter at twitter.com/MidwestBusLib.

Editor’s Note: Content in this post is courtesy of Stephanie Hernandez McGavin via Shared BigData-Gateway

A team of Purdue University researchers is among the seven fellowship teams selected for the first class of the Collaborative Archive Data Research Environment (CADRE) Fellows.

These seven fellowship teams span across disciplines and offer compelling research that incorporates big data and bibliometrics. Each fellow team will access CADRE’s Web of Science (WoS) and Microsoft Academic Graph (MAG) datasets to achieve their research goals.

Purdue University members of the first class of CADRE Fellows, L to R: Michael Witt, Loran Carleton Parker, and Ann Bessenbacher

The three-member Purdue University team will work on the project, “Utilizing Data Citation for Aggregating, Contextualizing, and Engaging with Research Data in STEM Education Research.” The researchers are:

  • Michael Witt, associate professor of library science, Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies, Purdue University,
  • Loran Carleton Parker, associate director and senior evaluation and research associate, Evaluation Learning Research Center (ELRC), College of Education, Purdue University, and
  • Ann Bessenbacher, research associate and data scientist (ELRC), STEMEd HUB, Purdue University.

Per the description of their project: “Researchers will characterize citation of data from the literature in the field of STEM education research. A sample of relevant publication venues in the field will be identified from WoS and MAG. Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) of datasets registered with DataCite will be used to query and associate datasets with publications. The team will assess rates of citation for datasets that are cited using DataCite DOIs for each publication venue and analyze a sample of data citations and publications to determine suitability for providing an initial context to help a researcher who is unfamiliar with the data determine whether to use the dataset.”

The other six teams and their CADRE research projects are listed at https://blogs.libraries.indiana.edu/sbd-gateway/2019/07/18/cadre-first-fellows/.

The Fellows will present their research at the International Society for Scientometrics and Informetrics (ISSI) 2019 Conference in Rome at either the workshop or tutorial that CADRE is hosting on Sept. 2.

Not only will these fellows show how CADRE helped advance their work, but they will also serve as integral use cases for how the CADRE platform is developed to suit the needs of every type of academic researcher.

Made Possible in Part by IMLS

The Shared BigData Gateway for Research Libraries (SBD-G) is a two-year Institute of Museum and Library Services-funded project to develop, seed, and maintain a cloud-based, extendable cyberinfrastructure for sharing large academic library data resources with a growing community of scholars.

SBD-G will achieve this through its platform, the Collaborative Archive & Data Research Environment (CADRE).

For more information, visit https://blogs.libraries.indiana.edu/sbd-gateway/2018/09/27/hello-world/.