New Initiatives Grant Final Report

“Data Science Collaboratory”

Please provide a brief narrative explaing your projects and its outcomes.

The collaboratory was a pilot project for building a data analysis and collaboration network focused exclusively on smaller colleges and universities in New York State. Initially leveraging the New York Six Liberal Arts Consortium (NY6) as a starting point, our intention was to build a cohort of statisticians and data librarians from regional colleges and universities, and from within the community. These experts provide consultation and support in the following areas for researchers and librarians unaffiliated with a large research institution: statistical methodology, secure and safe data storage, data mining and manipulation. We had great success building this project under the umbrella of the Center for Learning, Teaching, and Research at Colgate University. Moreover, we had an overwhelming response to our call for collaborators and have built a diverse cohort of experts from: Hamilton College, St. Lawrence, LeMoyne, Colgate, and SUNY-Brockport. In addition, we also have a dedicated group of student collaborators from Colgate University.

During our pilot phase, we funded approximately 5 projects (two published and two pending and one ongoing):

The paradox of group mind: “People in a group” have more mind than “a group of people”. Journal of Experimental Psychology.

“We Are All Broncos”: Hockey, Tragedy, and the Formation of Canadian Identity. Sociology of Sport Journal.

Racial Biases in Officers’ Decisions to Frisk are Amplified for Black People Stopped among Groups (pending)

Mp Fracking Twitter: Applying the Narrative Policy Framework to Fracking “Debates” in New York (pending)

Bibliostat Connect and CNY Vitals Pro

Though formation of the collaboratory went smoothly, our project initially struggled to attract projects. Moreover, both Will Cipolli and myself (Joshua Finnell) had to personally reach out to, meeting with, and or present to researchers and librarians from across central and western NY to explain the project and its goals. For example, Jesi Buell and I presented the collaboratory’s aims to the MidYork Library Directors meeting in Utica.

What is the most remarkable accomplishment or finding of your project?

The most remarkable outcome of this project was an opportunity to discover and build a collaborative project with the Central New York Community Foundation and CNY Vitals Pro. Transforming circulation, program attendance, per capita library usage from CNY public libraries (BiblioStat Connect) into a compelling data visualization was an unexpected and rewarding outcome of this project. We hope to continue this partnership going forward.

Joshua Finnell

Head of Research and Instruction, Colgate University

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