Bioinformatics Needs Assessment
Author(s)Crummett, Courtney; Kajosalo, Erja; Noga, Michael; Silver, Howard
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An assessment of the Bioinformatics Program at MIT Libraries was conducted using quantitative and qualitative data collection methods during FY13-14. Interviews were conducted to gain insight about bioinformatics researcher’s needs and behaviors and insight about the bioinformatics support offered by the MIT Libraries. Data was collected from various services of the bioinformatics program as well as from other library services. The assessment found that the bioinformatics community is interdisciplinary and crosses traditional life science departmental boundaries. The bioinformatics community takes a collaborative do-it-yourself (DIY) approach to computational skills and analytical tools –if they don’t know something or have something to use, they find someone who does or they build it themselves. Themes from the assessment emerged such as computational skills, tools, data, instruction and interdisciplinarity. The bioinformatics community has a desire for computational skills and modular training. The MIT Libraries bioinformatics training sessions are well attended; training sessions taught by experts are popular. Recommendations for the Bioinformatics Program at MIT Libraries include being more aware of open source software tools used by the community, attempting to expand the use of commercial tools in courses, and expanding outreach and advocacy regarding bioinformatics to the entire MIT community.
MIT LIbraries Bioinformatics Program, user needs, assessment
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