Featured stories

ARCS experts work with individual researchers and with entire classrooms or labs to meet specific needs and to strategize about pathways to robust and sustainable projects. The stories below offer just a few examples of the many ways ARCS services can enhance your research.

Clinical informatics: Sarah Meyer

Meyer supports data-centric research projects from a variety of disciplines. Many of her consultations revolve around the National Institutes of Health’s i2b2 (informatics for integrating biology to bedside) tool. This tool provides access to a “limited data set” of clinical observations from UF’s integrated data repository (IDR). With over 1 billion observations on over 1 million patients, access to IDR records facilitates new discoveries, cohort counts for grant proposals, planning clinical trials and IRB protocols. Sarah recently collaborated with two nursing students to conduct a pilot study to update risk factors of a clinical decision support system (CDSS) for hospital-acquired delirium. She provided expertise on clinical health data requirements, i2b2 retrieval and data analysis methods, resulting in a product that has garnered positive feedback from the research community.

Sarah Meyer outside

Digital humanities: Tiffany Esteban

Tiffany Esteban lends a client-centered approach to digital humanities consultations, events, and outreach at the University of Florida. Through her expertise in digital humanities and information science she advises students and faculty on projects ranging from digital collections of late Victorian children’s literature and modern science fiction to concepts for a virtual recreation of 19th century Jerusalem. Her most recent endeavors—including a collaborative presentation on the Japan Disasters Digital Archive at Harvard University, and an upcoming facilitated discussion on exploring anti-racist practices in digital humanities—center the work of Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) in the field. Her efforts build relationships throughout campus around a shared interest in the intersection of human cultures and digital technologies.

A Successful Consultation

Computational reproducibility: Hao Ye

As Reproducibility Librarian, Hao Ye promotes through instruction and consultation best practices in research reproducibility, including data/code sharing, open-access and preprint publications, and computational workflows. A recent consultation with a graduate student is illustrative of how he can improve the reproducibility of research on campus. Hao provided details about software-development methods to promote computational reproducibility, and guided the student towards the PyOpenSci online community that publishes standards for packaging research software in the Python programming language. He also pointed them toward the DLHub platform for sharing machine learning models as a repository with examples most similar to the student’s research domain and application.

Hao Ye

Scholarly publishing strategies: Terry Selfe

If you are considering writing a research article but aren’t sure where to begin or are feeling a bit overwhelmed at the prospect, Terry Selfe is here to help! As part of ARCS’ Research Metrics and Impact team, Terry focuses on giving students and early career researchers the tools and strategies to publish on their research – increasing dissemination through publication increases potential impact. She promotes the use of reporting standards as helpful tools to guide authors in writing high-quality manuscripts publishable in peer-reviewed journals. Terry offers these impact strategies through consultations, guest lectures, workshops, and conference presentations to relevant groups (e.g., Society of Clinical Research Associates). These educational efforts demystify the publishing process and provide concrete steps to follow. Her slate of workshops include From Poster to Publication; Publish, Don’t Perish; Publishing a Clinical Trial with CONSORT; and a Good Reporting Practices (GRPs) series.

three people standing in front of research poster

Virtual reality: Sam Putnam

Virtual Reality (VR) is not just for the sciences! VR expert Sam Putnam worked with a graduate student looking to introduce students to a virtual reality experience in an undergraduate course he taught. The class, American Literature Beyond the Book, examined expressions of literature that found outside the most traditional format – the printed book. Sam worked with the graduate student and UFIT to deploy the virtual reality experience to the Oculus Rift a fully immersive VR tool. The team provided instructions for students using the experience as well as hands-on training opportunities. The successful assignment was implemented in a class of 30 students, with many identifying it as their favorite part of the semester.

View through glass wall of Made@UF space

Copyright and publishing: Perry Collins

Copyright specialist Perry Collins collaborates with researchers across campus as they seek to publish scholarly and creative works. Navigating the legal and ethical complexities of copyright can be especially challenging for students, and Perry welcomes opportunities to visit classes or consult one-on-one to introduce concepts such as fair use and help students understand their own rights. Perry worked with one undergraduate student who was ready to publish a children’s book, but needed additional guidance on how to share rights with the book’s illustrator and on the copyright registration process. This student later reflected on her experience: “As I decided to join the publishing world and create my first book, I knew that I would need some help along the way. As a student, the university offers us many library services and resources for our convenience. Thankful for this, I reached out to a few librarians that were excited to give me some helpful insight into copyright, publishing, my genre, and more.”

Perry Collins lecturing in front of slide with copyright symbol

Data management in agriculture: Plato Smith

Data Management Librarian Plato Smith partners with researchers and students to improve their skills in data organization (consistent file naming conventions, folder structure, and version control for data), facilitating data sharing, reuse, and impact. His expertise in the creation of data management plans for NIH and NSF grant proposals positions researchers to be successful in these endeavors, and his knowledge of data repositories facilitate data sharing compliance by these researchers. In addition to the Oyster Reef project described elsewhere on this page, he is a co-PI on a $4.8 million USDA-NIFA funded project titled “SmartPath—Grower-directed convergence nanotechnology and smart decision analytics for irrigation water quality management to pathogen”. In this project he works to create data management and analysis capacity, infrastructure, and resources in support of the development of the SmartPath Center of Excellence.

irrigation at sunset

Data management and informatics for conservation: Plato Smith, Joe Aufmuth, Dan Maxwell

The ARCS team excels in collaborative projects, exemplified by the work of Plato Smith, Joe Aufmuth, and Dan Maxwell on UF’s Wildlife Ecology and Conservation’s Lone Cabbage Reef Restoration Project (https://wec.ifas.ufl.edu/oysterproject/restoration.php ). The goal of the project, funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the Gulf Environmental Benefits Fund, is to restore the Lone Cabbage reef chain, and help protect nearby coastal areas from habitat destruction. Through a $73,673 sub-award to the Libraries, the ARCS team were essential partners in the initial launch of a field database and version control systems, provided Geographic Information Systems (GIS) support, and tracked these efforts through the key initial phases of the project involving design, construction, and pre/post construction monitoring.

Plato Smith with water in background