MLA 2015: Failing Forward: Leveraging the Unexpected to Create New Opportunities

Surveys and Statistics: Lessons for Avoiding Survey Design Missteps – Carrie Iwema, Andrea Ketchum, Melissa Ratajeski

  • surveyed folks about data management practices
  • questions included things like demographic questions, type of research (human, bench, animal, or any combination)
  • Issues
    • specific questions vs trends
      • is it compatible to do an environmental scan AND a statistical analysis at the same time?
    • inconsistent wording of questions
    • survey length
    • coding issues
      • each option with Check All That Apply questions needed to be coded as individual  variables
      • knowledge/attitude probing – explanations of “why” should be broken into separate questions than the Yes/No binary
      • Focused recruitment helps separate out issues possibly with ambiguous dept names
    • data visualization methods in stats maybe unfamiliar to librarians
  • things to remember
    • statistician – consult BEFORE survey; be clear on expectations
    • input & output – even with piloting, they only tested if questions made sense, not how the data would come out

Limited Perfectionism, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Epic Fails – Robert Johnson

  • failure refers to a specific instance with a clearly defined set of expectations (ex: a class)
  • in a job with multiple projects, tasks, and evolving roles, does the failure really permeate throughout or is it limited to a context?
  • consider the stakeholders (internal/external) and their response to success, failure, or something else
  • emotional component should be put aside
  • consider the other aspects: what were your initial goals? did you meet those? goals can change and rescope
  • does the institution gain value from this project?
  • his project: integrate library resources into EMR/EHR for a hospital that just rejoined the university
    • failures issues/causes
      • administrative shakeups
      • technological challenges
      • physical distance/restricted access
    • other wins
      • shared costs
      • got hospital to buy resources
      • establish relationships and services
  • put goal in the context of the world you are living in
  • his project: librarian rounding
    • buy-in from nurse manager but not physicians, unaware of hierarchies and relationship structures – internal politics
    • did develop great relationships and opportunities to present to nurses, social workers, etc
    • got referral for a more amenable unit for rounding
  • his project: OBGYN grand rounds
    • he dropped the ball and so did the counterpart in the unit by not having time to follow up/getting distracted with other things
    • never say never – be open to reintegration

Balanced Scorecard Implementation for Health Sciences Libraries: Expectations and Surprises – Keith Cogdill

  • engaged an outside consultant to help with implementation
  • Balanced Scorecard identifies successes and gaps/missed items
  • “balance scorecard is an endurance report with no finish” – not for those needing task completion satisfaction
  • having leaders (those who are already super engaged) set targets for engagement may not be the best or most reasonable for the entire organization’s attainable goals
  • used QuickScore to try and help re-integrate data; took a lot longer than anticipated and more manual entry than previously considered
  • connect team objectives to key strategies
  • individual plans are now also tied to balanced scorecard
  • leads to more on-going attention to strategy
  • enhances communication between staff and adminstration

Turning Lemons into Lemonade: Making Negative Research Results Useful – Linda Hartman

  • publication bias
    • not publishing due to outcome of results
  • selective outcome reporting
    • some outcomes not reported
  • it takes longer to write up negative results than positive results
  • positive results are around longer, so more likely to be cited or picked up


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