Data Science

Resources and services in support of data management, data sharing, data visualization, computation, and informatics.


An e-consent form in REDCap.
An e-consent form in REDCap.

Electronic consent, or e-consent, was again a significant area of need for researchers during FY22. As a result, Becker Library staff continued to participate in a School of Medicine working group focused on e-consent with leadership from the Institutional Review Board, Human Research Protection Office, Human Research Quality Assurance Program, HIPAA Compliance Office, and others.

During FY22, this working group completed and rolled out the WUSTL REDCap E-Consent Template, as well as an accompanying standard operating procedure to assist researchers wanting to implement e-consent. Library staff led several educational webinars introducing the new template and standard operating procedure, and provided individual consultations to support researchers who had questions. The template was very positively received, with educational sessions and individual consultations in high demand.

NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy 

With implementation of NIH’s new Data Management and Sharing Policy approaching in January 2023, Becker Library spent a significant part of FY22 helping researchers at the School of Medicine prepare for this significant upcoming policy change.

The awareness campaign around the upcoming NIH DMS policy includes this printable flyer to display in your workplace.

Library staff made multiple presentations of an educational session on the new policy to general audiences, individual labs and research groups, departments, and members of senior leadership. The library’s website was also updated with curated information on the policy and self-help tools related to creating a data management plan and sharing research data.

The library enacted policies and procedures to allow research data to be shared via Digital Commons@Becker, the digital repository for School of Medicine scholarly output that is managed by Becker Library. An additional staff member was also hired to allow Becker Library to more fully support researchers in data management and sharing moving forward.

Love Data Week 

Love Data Week

In partnership with University Libraries and the Institute for Informatics, Becker Library organized and taught a series of sessions on topics related to data management and sharing, data analysis and data visualization in celebration of Love Data Week (February 14-18, 2022).

The highlight of the week was a keynote address by Russell Polrack, PhD, the Albert Ray Lang Professor of Psychology at Stanford University. Dr. Poldrack gave a captivating talk titled, “Toward an Open Ecosystem for Neuroimaging Data Analysis and Sharing,” which led to an interactive discussion on ways to move forward with data sharing as the default practice in the biomedical sciences. 

An ‘on-ramp’ to informatics

5 MDClone Workshops, 63 researchers in attendance

Becker Library works in close collaboration with the Institute for Informatics under the umbrella of the Office of Health Information and Data Science to provide the campus community with basic instruction on a variety of informatics and research computing skills and tools – a kind of “on-ramp” to informatics.

Librarians also presented on data management and sharing as a component of the responsible conduct of research curriculum offered throughout the School of Medicine. Training was provided through the Bioethics Research Center and the Clinical Research Training Center with more than 40 trainees in attendance.  

207 DMS consultations

In addition to educational sessions, consultation services related to data management and sharing topics were provided to individuals and groups. Consultations covered a broad range of REDCap topics, including using REDCap for e-consent. Additional consultation areas included MDClone, general data management and sharing topics, and the upcoming NIH data management and sharing policy. 

19 research computing workshops, 884 attendees, 50 consultations

Library staff organized and taught hands-on workshops covering a variety of research computing topics related to R, Python and MATLAB.

A new series of introductory computing workshops was also launched in collaboration with Research Infrastructure Services (RIS) within WashU IT to reduce the barriers around use of the new RIS Research Compute high performance computing platform. Workshop attendees included faculty, staff, students, and trainees from several departments at the School of Medicine.

Research computing consultation services were also provided to support needs in this area.

2022 Annual Report