The “Data Visualization Clinic”: a library-led critique workshop for data visualization




Data Visualization, Data Services, Workshops, Medical Informatics


Background: The authors’ main university library and affiliated academic medical center library sought to increase library programming around data visualization, a new service area for both libraries. Additionally, our institution is home to many researchers with a strong interest in data visualization but who are generally working in isolation of one another.

Case Presentation: This case study describes an innovative workshop, the “Data Visualization Clinic,” where members of our library’s community bring in data visualization projects such as figures in papers, projects hosted online, and handouts and receive constructive feedback from a group of peers. The authors detail the process of hosting a clinic and the feedback that we received from participants.

Conclusions: The “Data Visualization Clinic” offers a viable workshop to leverage expertise of library users and build the library’s reputation as a hub of data visualization services without heavy investment in infrastructure like special monitors or coding skills. That said, it faces the challenge of relying on the participation of the broader community, which is often pressed for time. The event can also serve as an opportunity for researchers who have an interest in data visualization to meet and network.

Author Biographies

Fred Willie Zametkin LaPolla, Knowledge Management Librarian, NYU Health Sciences Library, New York University, New York, NY

Fred LaPolla is a Knowledge Management Librarian at the NYU Health Sciences Library. He serves on the Data Services team and as liaison to General Internal Medicine and Radiology. He earned his MLS at Queens College, CUNY.

Denis Rubin, Lead Quantitative/Statistical Data Analysis Specialist, NYU Data Services, New York University, New York, NY

Denis Rubin is a lead quantitative/statistical data analysis specialist at NYU Data Services with expertise in SPSS, SAS, MATLAB, Python, R, Qualtrics, and Data Visualization.


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Case Report