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July 1, 2014
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Data Management Services @ Stanford
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 Two students at computer during bootcamp, photo by Amy Hodge CC BY-NC-SA-2.0 
 
Summer Coding Bootcamps

Software Carpentry strikes again -- with a bootcamp going on right now at the Li Ka Shing Center!

Last January, we had a great experience hosting a Software Carpentry Bootcamp attended by 25 graduate students and post-docs in experimental physics and geophysics. 

This summer we have plans to host three more bootcamps on campus. Two of these -- including the one going on right now -- are co-hosted by the Biophysics Department and the Stanford Biosciences Student Association (SBSA). We'll be working with the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences for the third bootcamp.

These hands-on courses are a great way for anyone who has to write and manage code to learn about best practices and other ways to help them conduct their research more efficiently.

Click the "Read More" button below to learn more about our events. 
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Group at presentation, image by Stanford EdTech CC BY-NC-ND-2.0

 
Stanford Digital Repository for Data:
Free Friday Tech Briefing @ Polya Hall, July 11

Are you...
  • ...a grad student looking for somewhere to publish supplementary data for a journal article?
  •  
  • ...a faculty member looking for an easy way to make high-quality research data accessible?
  •  
  • ...an institute's data manager looking for a robust and reliable means to preserve irreplaceable data?
  •  
  • ...a research grant administrator looking for ways to meet data sharing requirements for a grant proposal?
The Stanford Digital Repository (SDR) may be the answer for you!

Join Science Data Librarian Amy Hodge and SDR Services Manager Hannah Frost to learn how you can use the SDR to preserve and share research data, creative outputs, and other types of scholarly works.


Click the "Read More" button below to find out more about this Free Friday Tech Briefing!

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Click the "Contact Us" button below to find out how to make your data available online with the Stanford Digital Repository.

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Alphanumeric Set, image by Leo Reynolds CC-BY-NC-SA-2.0

 
Tip of the Month:
Excel Auto-conversion Runs Amok

Have you imported or pasted alphanumeric strings into Excel lately? If so, you might want to check the results!

Authors of a BMC Bioinformatics article back in 2004 described an auto-conversion problem that has persisted in later versions of Excel.

What exactly is your favorite spreadsheet software doing?

1. Converting strings it thinks are dates to dates
  • Ex: gene name DEC1 would likely be converted to 1-DEC.
2. Converting strings to floating point numbers
  • Ex: clone identifier 2310009E13 is converted to 2.31E+13.
The conversions are irreversible. The original data is lost.

The article includes workarounds, and the authors have provided a program that can help detect any errors that do make their way in. Microsoft offers some information for users as well.

Using R with Excel? You might also want to look at this!


Click the "Read More" button below to check out more information about working with spreadsheets!

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codecademy
 
Learn More: Codecademy

Looking to pick up a few new coding skills on your own time? Try Codecademy!

Codecademy offers fun and interactive (free!) courses in topics like:
  • Python
  • Ruby
  • PHP
  • APIs
  • Javascript
  • jQuery
  • HTML/CSS
Already know tons about coding? Teach!

Click the "Read More" button below find out more about Codecademy!


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Scientific Data logo
 
Further Reading: 
Researchers talk about why data matters
The new Scientific Data journal from Nature Publishing has started a series of blog posts called Data Matters. This month's theme is data preservation.

Read what these experts have to say about the current state of preservation in their fields, what the challenges are with long-term preservation, what technological changes will affect preservation, and whether researchers have the skills to undertake these tasks:
  • Mark Thorley, Head of Science Information and Data Management Coordinator at the NERC, UK
  • Robert Cook, Scientist at the Distributed Active Archive Center, ORNL, USA
  • Russell Poldrack, Professor of Psychology and Neurobiology and Director of the Imagining Research Center, UT Austin, USA
Click the "Read More" button below to find out about data preservation at Stanford.

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Amy Hodge
Science Data Librarian
amyhodge@stanford.edu | 650.556.5194
 
 
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