While many researchers rely on SPSS or SAS to handle their statistical data, many users are starting to migrate to R software. Unlike SPSS and SAS, which are propriety and costly to buy, R is a free, open source software that may be used for computing statistics while conducting research. Besides the cost, there are many advantages to R. It works with Windows, Macintosh, UNIX, and Linux platforms. It runs wide variety of functions, from basic to advanced; functions such as data manipulation, graphics, and statistical modeling are available. Because the software is open sourced, many developers have written and distributed add-on packages at no cost to the user, in order to improve functionality.
While there are many advantages to R software, it is not without its downsides. Traditional software packages, like SPSS and SAS, have a very comprehensive user interface and are easy to use. For example, SPSS interface looks very much like an excel spreadsheet, with which most people are familiar and using. In contrast, R has a large learning curve and can be less user friendly. It relies more on programming and coding knowledge, with which many researchers do not have experience. However, there are sources online to help researchers learn the programming fundamentals that are required to use R. Another area where R lacks is in technical support. Both SPSS and SAS are commercial products and have customer/technical support available to users. Since R is open sourced software, there is no official support. However, a large community of R users can help one another troubleshoot problems and offer peer support to one another. If users are not comfortable with peer support, there are third party groups that provide support for R and respond to problems rather quickly.
This post was contributed by Annette Carr, Chief Librarian, Bay Shore and was originally published in ‘Significant Results: The Research Newsletter of the School of Health Sciences’ Volume 1, Issue 1. It is reprinted here with permission.
The new reality of working from home and social distancing relies on the use of video conference platforms to connect with co-workers and customers. Zoom has recently emerged as one of the leading remote meeting platforms where users can engage in online video conferences, chat, and mobile collaboration. Zoom was founded in 2011 by software engineer Eric Yuan. The company went public on the NASDAQ in April 2019.
There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has been a boon for Zoom. Many schools, colleges, and companies across the country began downloading and using the platform just as the virus began to force people to work from home. Since March, the software has been downloaded 40 million times worldwide, and since February, the stock price for Zoom has nearly doubled from approximately $76 per share to $159 per share. But, as with many companies that find sudden success, Zoom’s flaws have been becoming more apparent to consumers.
Criticism of Zoom has revolved around its security flaws and a new phenomenon called “Zoombombing.” Zoombombing occurs when a hacker, prankster, or wrongdoer enters a Zoom meeting uninvited (aka “crashing a meeting”) and begins interrupting the meeting by posting inappropriate content or hijacking the meeting from the host. Zoombombing has led to many customers having to terminate their videoconferences, cancel meetings, and worry if their cyber security systems have been breached. One of our librarians at Bay Shore was in a webinar this week that had to be terminated due to a Zoombomber posting illicit content and disrupting the meeting.
In addition to Zoombombing, the rapid increase in Zoom usage has led to scrutiny of the company’s privacy policies and potential security flaws. Inparticular, Mac iOS users are vulnerable to security problems as hackers have been able to access Zoom on their computer to turn on cameras and microphones as well as install malware on their computer systems. Zoom has also come under criticism for giving user data to Facebook without users’ knowledge or permission. Zoom has since stopped giving user data to Facebook, but these problems have already led to class action lawsuits against Zoom.
While the privacy challenges need to be addressed at the company-level, Zoombombing is a threat we, as users, can take steps to combat as we continue to use Zoom throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond:
• Use the latest software: Ensure your participants are using the latest version of Zoom. The latest version has upgraded security features to block users from randomly scanning and joining meetings.
• Password protect:When creating a meeting, make sure your meetings require a password for participants to enter. Zoom has made password protection a default setting on the latest version of the platform.
• Direct invitation: Invite participants directly via email with an invitation and meeting password. Do not publicly post Zoom meeting information via social media or other public channels.
• Close your meeting: Once all participants have arrived at the meeting, close the meeting to any newcomers to avoid crashers. Hosts can close the meeting by clicking on the “Participants” tab at the bottom of the screen and choosing the “Lock Meeting” option.
• Remove/disable unwanted participants: The meeting host can remove and block crashers who are Zoombombing. The host can also disable the chat feature, mute all participants, disable participants from sharing videos, and limit screen sharing options to “Host only”.
During the Fall 2018 semester, the Bay Shore SHS Library staff, (Chief Librarian Joan Wagner, Librarians Annette Carr and Heather Hilton, and Library Assistant Kelly Tenny) teamed up with Professor Rachelle Kirshenbaum’s (Associate Academic Director of Speech-Language Pathology) classes to work on a collaborative project. The purpose of the project was to create 3D printed educational models that would be useful to the speech pathology students. To utilize the 3D printers at Bay Shore Library, Professor Kirshenbaum’s classes had to come up with concepts for 3D printed models that would go along with their research projects. The concepts were then described to the Bay Shore Library team, who turned their concepts into reality with the help of the EnableUC Team at the University of Cincinnati. Continue reading →
Everyone has heard of fake news by now. It’s seemingly everywhere, and in all types of media. How do we wade through all this incorrect information and find out what the real story is?
Last week, Library Information Literacy Director Sara Tabaei and I attended a METRO symposium entitled “(Mis)informed: Propaganda, Disinformation, Misinformation, and Our Culture.” The aim of this one-day meeting was to discuss the underlying issues and ways to teach about all of this incorrect information. It was also an opportunity to see METRO’s new location (which happens to be right by the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum!).
We recently subscribed to a database called Cabells Scholarly Analytics. The library acquired it because there is a need for a resource that provides listings of legitimate academic journals and fraudulent journals all in one place. Now, let’s take a closer look at this database. Continue reading →
If I had a nickel for every time a student walked into the Midtown library expecting to buy a textbook, I’d have a pocketful of change. Why do they come to this place, where shelves are lined with so many books, yet I cannot sell them a single one? Doesn’t that sound like a bibliophile’s bad riddle? (OK. Here’s one. What do you get when a librarian tosses a billion books into the ocean? …A title wave!) No seriously, where is the bookstore? Continue reading →
The start of the day requires ritual, and each person’s daily ritual is different. Some people go to worship; some go for a run; some go for a cigarette. I go online. My day does not begin until I sit at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee and my Kindle Fire. I’ve got to tell you, that Kindle is my favorite thing. If I were Oprah, it would be at the top of my list. Continue reading →
When your professor asks you to cite your sources in APA (or MLA, AMA, APSA, ASFDKJ…), what do you do? If you’re a traditionalist, you might consult a style manual like Purdue OWL and type them out by hand, searching out each piece of information and formatting it accordingly. If you’re looking for a shortcut, Microsoft Word can help you out, or a number of websites like citationmachine.net or easybib.com. Those are all fine options, but I think there’s an easier way. Whether you find your research using QuickSearch, one of the library databases, or even Google Scholar, most modern databases will automatically cite your sources for you, if you know where to look. Continue reading →
Many moons ago, when I was but a young librarian and did not really know what a digital repository was and copyright laws were not yet solidified in my brain, I did a summer project for the New York City Civil Court Library as part of an internship. I was a recent graduate of library school and had never worked in a legal environment before, and was interested because I had enjoyed my Legal Librarianship class in my last semester of library school. Internships are a great way to gain much-needed experience without the pressure of a “real” position, so while I could I took advantage of many opportunities to intern and volunteer. I wanted to gain as much experience as possible before entering the working world. Continue reading →
ArticleLinker can be a little temperamental, I admit. We’re working on getting some of the kinks ironed out, but if you do run into any issues, there’s an alternative method you should know about. If you know of an article that you’d like to track down, you can do so using the publication (journal, magazine, or newspaper) title. Continue reading →