Big Data Limitations: The Sky is the Limit for Overcoming Big Data Barriers

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Vaughn, Porcia

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OBJECTIVE: As a means to embed in interdisciplinary research, the Biosciences Librarian found an opportunity to be involved in a research initiative called a Pop-Up Institute (PUI), Understanding Individual Population Variation in Biology, Medicine, and Society. This was a one-month interdisciplinary research team that would work towards 1) identify the most promising questions about individual and population variation, 2) establish a unique and comprehensive research plan and 3) develop solutions to shared problems that limit progress (e.g. Big Data analysis and data sharing). METHODS: Informal notes and a formal survey were taken to identify the benefits, needs, and services of a librarian being embedded in interdisciplinary research. RESULTS: Feedback and perspectives from the PUI research participants along with survey response showed that the involvement of the library was “extremely useful”• (85%). Additionally, 78% of survey respondents are “extremely likely”• to contact the library or librarian for future research, teaching, or projects. CONCLUSION: The Biosciences Librarian successfully embedded and is continuing to provide services that will impact researchers and clinicians who are facing big data challenges. The PUI revealed five needs for our campus to overcome big data limitations: 1) identify a person to connect and establish research partnerships across the institution, 2) document and curate the resources and infrastructure already in place, 3) identify data sources on and off our campus that will enhance data modeling, 4) identify systematic data collection and analysis methods across departments, and 5) identify unique funding opportunities.



Presentation given at the South Central Chapter of the Medical Library Association Annual Meeting held October 2017 in Albuquerque, NM. Presentation won the Papers-1st place Elizabeth K. Eaton Research Award given by the South Central Chapter of the Medical Library Association (SCCMLA) and the South Central Academic Medical Libraries (SCAMeL).

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