McGoogan News

Student survey: you commented, we answered


We are planning a major renovation in 2018. We will renovate all three floors of the library. Our focus is on improving student study space, technology, possibility of natural lighting, and other areas that will serve student needs. We plan on creating a 24/7 space available for all students. We will involve students in planning for a new, redesigned library. Because of building and funding limitations, we cannot make significant changes until 2018.

We’d like more study rooms with comfortable furniture, more white boards, better lighting throughout the library, updated and additional restrooms, and better temperature control.

  • We have made minor improvements, such as the purchase of new furniture (e.g. the Brodys, a semi-private study pods available on the 7th floor) and more rolling white boards. Library staff will continue testing new furniture with student feedback and purchasing based on this feedback and when funds are available.

Study rooms are often not available when I want. The windows also make it feel like I’m in a fishbowl.

  • The library staff implemented a reservation system for study rooms. Restrictions are in place so that reservations are more fair than first-come-first-served. See to reserve a room. The window glass was frosted to give more privacy.

We need more quiet study space.

  • The entire 7th floor is now a quiet zone. We will place table placards in study rooms reminding users of noise issues. We are reminding staff, including Facilities personnel, to lower voices.

What’s with the empty shelves? Remove them and create study space.

  • A few years ago, we consolidated our collection to the 7th We cannot remove the empty shelves because it triggers violations of the occupancy code. We are adding graphics and displays that concern both the library and UNMC.

The study rooms smell and we need more recycling bins throughout the library.

  • Improvements are underway by adding a second cleaning of carpet and furniture to the schedule, placing more trash cans outside the study rooms with reminders for students not to leave food waste in the rooms, and redistributing recycling bins for 6th and 7th floors. Also, library staff are attempting to keep the rooms open when not in use to help circulate air flow.

Can we have power strips placed in the study rooms?

  • We purchased some freestanding AC power/USB port charging stations, and we are securing additional chargers for each study room. Depending on feedback, the library staff will order more.

The lounge needs updating. Maybe a coffee shop?

  • The major renovation will consider vending options in a 24/7 space. Until then, we offer free coffee in the lounge, or students can use a Keurig machine. K-cups are not provided.



Can you expand your hours?

  • Until the renovation, we cannot extend hours due to staffing and limitations with the library space. The renovation in 2018 will include a 24/7 space.


Tutorials and Learning How to Find Information

Library tutorials are too long and present too much information.

  • We are reviewing and revising our tutorials. We plan on gathering student feedback on future tutorials for a better educational experience.

I’d like a librarian to teach us about databases and search techniques in my class.

I’ve asked for help in finding information and was told to do it myself.

  • Help is always available in locating appropriate resources and information at the library’s AskUs desk. If you encounter any problems, please contact Roxanne Cox at


Interlibrary Loan

Students need more than 50 free interlibrary loans.

  • Good news! In January 2015, we removed the limit. Interlibrary loan is now free.



We need more journals!

  • In partnership with the other NU libraries, we have increased access to some collections, such as Taylor & Francis, IEEE, and coming soon are more Wiley journals. To submit journal requests, please contact Alison Bobal

We want Clinical Key back!

  • Clinical Key is an expensive product with high inflation rate. To reinstate Clinical Key, we would have to free up money from other parts of our collections budget. We reviewed all our subscriptions, ebooks, and databases to see what we could cancel to reinstate Clinical Key. We would have to cancel hundreds of ejournals. Relying on interlibrary loan for those journal articles would frustrate you. We are approaching the loss of Clinical Key content by purchasing individual ebook titles. We are working with different departments in setting priorities for what we should purchase. Please contact Alison Bobal for submitting requests for content you need

We need more question banks for USMLE. ExamMaster is less than satisfactory.

  • We realize that students want other question banks. Our Collection Development Committee has decided not to renew our subscription to ExamMaster and is evaluating alternative resources within our budget.

How do you make your decisions regarding resources?

  • Our Collection Development Committee reviews our resources based on usage, cost, quality of the platform, and how it meets the needs of UNMC’s education, research, and clinical missions. For some of our resources, we have to buy content in a bundle, like how you purchase cable television. We spend all library student fees on ejournals, ebooks, and databases.

We need more anatomical models.

  • Library staff weeded out models that were falling apart or had inaccurate labels. Now we are tracking requests for different models.



Where can I learn more about 3D printing?

  • The 3D printer is available for use by current students, faculty, and staff of the University of Nebraska Medical Center and Nebraska Medicine. We limit 3D print requests to academic, clinical and research objects. Learn more at or contact Emily Glenn at

Can we have wireless printing?

  • Yes! In October, ITS implemented wireless printing.

The printers are not adequate and in inconvenient locations.

  • We have passed along your concerns to ITS since they provide the student printers.

It’s hard to find things on the library’s website

  • We will be conducting a usability study on our website in February 2017 to improve the user experience. If you want to participate, please contact Heather Brown at

Search tips: searching for data sets

By Emily Glenn

Several discipline-specific resources are available to guide you through various search facets to discover relevant data. However, if you are just getting started with a topic, your search for data sets may be more fruitful if you start within a data bank. Data banks are large repositories of data sets on specific topics, funded by specific agencies, or focused on a geographic area. Data banks can contain data sets that are qualitative or quantitative, assembled through the course of research or mandatory reporting, and that may or may not be published.

Browse some of these existing data banks to locate data sets that match your research interests.

  • ( A catalog of government data from across the United States Federal Government. Over 193,100 data sets are available and can be filtered by location, format, topic, producer, and more. This is a good place to search for a topic that spans multiple agencies.
  • ICPSR ( ICSPR, an international consortium of more than 750 academic institutions and research organizations, maintains a data archive of more than 250,000 files of research in the social and behavioral sciences. The vast majority of ICPSR data holdings are public-use files with no access restrictions.
  • UNdata ( UNdata is a single entry point for United Nations data set (and replaces the UN Common Database). Data can be accessed via keyword search, hierarchical browse, or advanced search. UNdata contains official statistics produced by countries and compiled by United Nations data systems, as well as estimates and projections for agriculture, crime, education, energy, industry, labor, national accounts, population, and tourism. You can also find indicators such as Millennium Development Goals.
  • Qualitative Data Repository ( Qualitative Data Repository (QDR) is a dedicated archive for storing and sharing digital data (and accompanying documentation) generated or collected through qualitative and multi-method research in the social sciences. The repository’s emphasis is on political science.

To cast a wider net, try searching for data sets via Google. Data sets found via Google may be missing their original contextual information that would otherwise be present in a data bank.

  • Use Google Advanced Search
  • Include search terms like data or table
  • Use OR in all caps will find similar or related terms
  • Search for a particular document type (e.g. filetype:xls)
  • Search for data on a particular site or domain (e.g. site: .gov)

Exclude words by using the “-” sign in front of the word you wish to exclude

  • Sample search results: “tobacco screening” OR “tobacco cessation” filetype:xls

Now that you have located a data set, how can you tell if it is of high quality? As with other information sources, consider the completeness, accuracy, and timeliness of the data sets you are reviewing. Knowing the domain of the can help you gauge the study design and data collection methods used to gather the data and whether design and methods contributed to reliability and validity. Do the format and file type avail themselves to download and interpretation of data sets? Are all variables named and clearly described? Completeness of the data and codebook, transparency in methods, and appropriate complexity and are attributes of high-quality data sets (1). The lifecycle of the research, reporting, and interpretation should be considered when evaluating the quality of a data set.

(1)    Chen, H., Hailey, D., Wang, N., & Yu, P. (2014). A Review of Data Quality Assessment Methods for Public Health Information Systems. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 11(5), 5170–5207.