Kyle McGill joins UC Libraries as the GIS Research Consultant

Welcome to Kyle!

Kyle McGill is the new GIS research consultant in the UC Libraries Research and Data Services Unit.

Kyle is a Master’s student in the Department of Geography and GIS. He completed an undergraduate degree in Geography, but also took classes in Urban Planning, both at UC. His primary interests are in remote sensing and environmental geography. He tends to spend his free time reading science fiction, playing video games, or playing with his two cats, Jojo and Nebula (pictures below).

Graduate Student Kyle McGill

Kyle is here to help you understand how to use GIS software, think about project plans, and find data for your project.  He can share information, offer advice, and even partner on projects on a case by case basis. Please come by the Data & GIS Collab, located in the Geology Math and Physics Library (240 Braunstein Hall).

Kyle’s hours will be:

Monday10 am to 2 pm
Tuesday10 am to 2 pm
Wednesday10 am to 2 pm
Thursday10 am to 2 pm
Friday12 pm to 4 pm

Love Data Week Day 5 – Data: Agent of Change or Perpetuating the Cycle? 

Data: Agent of Change or Perpetuating the Cycle? 

By Tiffany Grant, PhD, CDE® 

Data for Black Lives 

Data can be a powerful tool for informing decisions and effecting change. But, what happens when data is used to create and perpetuate discriminatory practices? Taken directly from the Data for Black Lives website:  

“History tells a different story, one in which data is too often wielded as an instrument of oppression, reinforcing inequality and perpetuating injustice. Redlining was a data-driven enterprise that resulted in the systematic exclusion of Black communities from key financial services. More recent trends like predictive policing, risk-based sentencing, and predatory lending are troubling variations on the same theme.” 

Data for Black Lives is a movement of activists, organizers, and scientists committed to the mission of using data to create concrete and measurable change in the lives of Black people. The organization is comprised of 20,000 scientists and activists who endeavor to change the narrative and create racial justice by challenging discriminatory uses of data and algorithms across systems. The D4BL movement works to use data and technology as instruments to foster good in the Black community.  


Fatal Force Washington Post Database (1)

Did you know that 1,112 people have been shot and killed by police in the past 12 months? The Washington Post has tracked 8,229 fatal police shootings since 2015, and the data are available here. Ongoing analysis by the Post has shown that police shoot and kill more than 1,000 people each year. In 2015, the post began to log data behind each shooting by an on duty police officer. The data tells striking and alarming stories.  

  • Black Americans are killed at a much higher rate than White Americans (black Americans are killed at twice rate of white Americans). 
  • Most victims are young (20-40 years old). 

The database can be mined using several filters. The filters include: 

  • City and State 
  • Age 
  • Gender 
  • Race 
  • Year of shooting 
  • Victims Name 
  • Year of Shooting 
  • Fleeing scene 
  • Armed vs unarmed 

Why is this data significant? “The FBI and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention log fatal shootings by police, but officials acknowledge that their data is incomplete. Since 2015, The Post has documented more than twice as many fatal shootings by police as recorded on average annually by these agencies. The Post’s database is updated regularly as fatal shootings are reported and as facts emerge about individual cases. The Post seeks to make the database as comprehensive as possible (1)”. 


  1. Police shootings database 2015-2023: Search by race, age, department. Washington Post



Love Data Week Day 4 – The 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey 

A graphic for love data WeekThe 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey 

By Tiffany Grant, PhD, CDE® 

Much of what is included in this post is taken from the Executive Summary (1), which is extremely revealing and detailed regarding the survey and its findings. 

 The U.S Transgender Survey (USTS) was conducted in the summer of 2015 by the National Center for Transgender Equality. It was an anonymous, online survey for transgender adults (18 and older) in the United States that was made available in English and Spanish. It is the largest survey examining the experiences of transgender people in the United States, with 27,715 respondents from all fifty states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and U.S. military bases overseas. The survey was a follow up to the 2008–09 National Transgender Discrimination Survey, which helped to shift how the public and policymakers view the lives of transgender people and the challenges they face. The USTS provided detailed evidence and experiences shared by transgender people from a range of categories including education, employment, family life, health, housing, and interactions with the criminal justice system.  

Survey findings reveal disturbing patterns of mistreatment and discrimination and startling disparities between transgender people in the survey and the U.S. population when it comes to the most basic elements of life, such as finding a job, having a place to live, accessing medical care, and enjoying the support of family and community. Respondents experienced harassment and violence at alarmingly high rates. The findings reveled that mistreatment, harassment, and violence were pervasive in the lives of transgender people and was present in every aspect of their lives. Over half the respondents had been verbally assaulted, nearly a quarter of them had been physically assaulted, and 13% reported sexual assaults all as result of being transgender1. Nearly 1/3 of individuals reported being fired, denied a promotion, or experiencing some other form of mistreatment in the workplace due to their gender identity or expression. This has led to poverty rates that are more than double than the US average among the transgender community. “Among the starkest findings is that 40% of respondents have attempted suicide in their lifetime—nearly nine times the attempted suicide rate in the U.S. population (4.6%) (1)”.  

The survey data also reveals disturbing higher disparities among transgender people who have disabilities, are of color, and who are disabled. These include higher rates of unemployment, poverty, discrimination, health disparities, violence and suicide. The reports also reveal some glimmers of hope. The survey found that 4x more people responded to the survey than the previous National Transgender Discrimination Survey, suggesting that more were willing to use their voices to impact potential changes. The survey also revealed more acceptance of transgender status among families and friends of those who identify in this way.  

ICPSR has the data collected from the survey and information regarding the survey instrument and topics incuded2. The following information was taken directly from the ICPSR site for the USTS.  

“The survey instrument had thirty-two sections that covered a broad array of topics, including questions related to the following topics (in alphabetical order): accessing restrooms; airport security; civic participation; counseling; family and peer support; health and health insurance; HIV; housing and homelessness; identity documents; immigration; intimate partner violence; military service; police and incarceration; policy priorities; public accommodations; sex work; sexual assault; substance use; suicidal thoughts and behaviors; unequal treatment, harassment, and physical attack; and voting. 

Demographic information includes age, racial and ethnic identity, sex assigned at birth, gender and preferred pronouns, sexual orientation, language(s) spoken at home, education, employment, income, religion/spirituality, and marital status (2).” 

For more information or to access the data, please refer to this link. 


(1) 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey Report. 2022 U.S. Trans Survey. (accessed 2023-02-09). 

(2) James, S. E.; Herman, J.; Keisling, M.; Mottet, L.; Anafi, M. 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey (USTS): Version 1, 2019. 


Love Data Week 2023 Day 3 – Using Geospatial Data to inform Change

A graphic for love data Week



Using Geospatial Data to Inform Change

By Amy Koshoffer

When trying to understand the complexity of our modern society, looking through a geospatial lens can give more insight and lead to possible solutions for complicated challenges such as poverty, healthcare disparities, systemic racism and climate change.  This means we need to examine the “where” as an attribute when we want to bring about changes that matter. We can address questions that include where do people live in relation to industry, healthcare facilities, green spaces and other resources as well as where they live relative to risks such as sea level rise.  Combining location with population demographics can help us delve into these issues to understand if issues impact one group of our society more than another.

Esri is the industry leader for Geographic Information Software and has resources such as data with spatial attributes and tools that help us address our society’s most challenging issues.  Esri has made significant changes to their higher education support which greatly improves our ability to explore research questions through the geospatial lens. Below are some of the tools we have access to here at UC as well as information about the new updates: Continue reading

Love Data Week 2023 Day 2 – Celebrating Juneteenth with Data and Resources from ICPSR

A graphic for love data Week

Resource Center for Minority Data 

Celebrating Juneteenth with Data and Resources from ICPSR 

Tiffany Grant, PhD, CDE® 

On June 17, 2021, President Joe Biden signed a bill making Juneteenth an American federal holiday. Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. From its Galveston, Texas origin in 1865, the observance of June 19th as the African American Emancipation Day has spread across the United States and beyond. 

On June 19, 1865, two years after President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, US Major General Gordon Granger issued General Order (3). The order began with following lines: 

“The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired laborer (1).”  Continue reading

Love Data Week 2023 Day 2 – Open Data, Scientific anti-racism, and the Father of American Anthropology 

A graphic for love data Week

Franz Boas’s Immigrant Study 

Open Data, Scientific anti-racism, and the Father of American Anthropology 

Tiffany Grant, PhD, CDE® 

 Franz Boas was a German-American anthropologist who’s work has had him dubbed the “Father of American Anthropology”. In his obituary, published in Science it is written that:  

“Boas’ emphasis on obtaining accurate, detailed knowledge, both intensive and extensive, not only raised the standards of anthropology; it changed its methodology and problems. In phrasing these problems and in insisting that relevant data be used in answering them systematically, he was a great pioneer who led the way into new fields of investigation. He found anthropology a collection of wild guesses and a happy hunting ground for the romantic lover of primitive things; he left it a discipline in which theories could be tested and in which he had delimited possibilities from impossibilities” (1). 

Born in Germany in 1858, Boas immigrated to the  United States in 18962. While in Germany, Boas was exposed to both the human and natural sciences (2), thus the asking and answering of questions based on evidence was a crucial part of the methodologies he instigated in the field of anthropology. Boaz challenged the reigning notions of race during his time and taught his students to do the same (3). During his time, Boas made many enemies as he professed a belief that was antithetical to the notion that culture was something that evolved within societies by stages from lower forms to higher (2). During a time when scientific racism was rampant with many proponents ascribing to the evolutional classification of races, Boas was strongly opposed to the idea that one’s own culture or “race” was superior to others and asserted that this view was not only wrong, but also harmful (3). While scientists and anthropologists believed race to be a biological characteristic that could explain human behavior, Boas’ set out to prove through scientific means that this was faulty thinking.   Continue reading

Love Data Week 2023 Day 1 – Data: Agent of Change 

By Tiffany Grant, PhD, CDE® 

University of Cincinnati Libraries Research & Data Services 

A graphic for love data Week

Love Data Week kicks off today, February 13 and runs through Friday, February 17, 2023. 

Love Data Week is an international event celebrating data and raising global awareness about the importance of data science and management. Typically, this week is used to as an opportunity to convene a community of data scientists and discuss contemporary issues affecting data management, sharing, privacy, preservation, reuse, and delivery. 

The theme this year is Data: Agent of Change. Love Data Week is about inspiring your community to use data to bring about changes that matter. Policy change, environmental change, social change…we can move mountains with the right data guiding our decisions. This year, we are focused on helping new and seasoned data users find data training and other resources that can help move the needle on the issues they care about. 

Members of the University of Cincinnati Libraries Research & Data Services group will be posting blogs with content relevant to the theme of Data: Agent of Change. In an effort multitask while also celebrating Love Data Week, the Research & Data Services Unit is using the week to accomplish several goals. First, we will use the week to highlight the new NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy that went into effect on January 25th. We will release a document entitled “The New NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing and What it Means for You at the University of Cincinnati” to the UC community. We intend for this comprehensive document to serve as a great resource for those seeking funding from the NIH. Second, we will highlight ICPSR and several datasets that relate to the week’s theme of Data as an Agent of Change. These datasets have been used to create change and to bring awareness to topics/individuals/groups who have been historically marginalized. You can find links to these datasets below. Third, we will discuss how GIS (Geographic Information Systems) can be used for social justice, and we will provide information on two websites with information concerning timely and relevant content relating to the Black Lives Matter and Police Shootings. Lastly, we will have an interactive event in the Health Sciences Library that will engage participants on Scholar and how it can be used to address the new NIH Policy (see Liblog Post). More information on this latter event can be found below. 

Love Data Week LiBlog Post Schedule 

 February 13: NIH Policy Document 

February 14: Franz Boas’s Immigrant Study and the Research Center for Minority Data (ICPSR datasets) 

February 15: Esri Resources, Using GIS for Social Justice 

February 16: ICPSR Transgender Survey 

February 17: Data for Black Lives and Fatal Force Police Shootings Database 

 On February 14th, we will host Scholar@UC and the new NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy Informational and Chat. Faculty, staff, and student researchers are encouraged to interact with Scholar developers and learn how they can simultaneously meet grant and publisher requirements while also contributing to the intellectual output of UC. Participants will receive a free Scholar@UC coffee mug filled with Lindor Truffles (available while supplies last). 

UC Resources to help you navigate the new NIH Policy

The New NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing and What it Means for You at the University of Cincinnati 

Tiffany Grant and Amy Koshoffer 

Co-leaders UC Libraries Research & Data Services 

NIH Policy UC_Resources document


“Data without context are inert, but data within contexts become information, knowledge (1).” 

Researchers submitting for funding through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on or after January 25, 2023, should be aware of the requirement to submit a Data Management and Sharing Plan (DMSP) for any NIH-funded or conducted research that will generate scientific data. Previously, the NIH only required grants with funding of $500,000/year or greater in direct costs to provide a short explanation of how and when data resulting from the grant would be publicly shared. However, this new mandate requires all grant applications or renewals to include a detailed plan for data management and sharing for the funded period. This requirement is mandated through the Final NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing that emphasizes the importance of good data management practices and establishes the expectation for maximizing the appropriate sharing of scientific data generated from NIH-funded or conducted research. The NIH defines scientific data as the recorded factual material commonly accepted in the scientific community as of sufficient quality to validate and replicate research findings, regardless of whether the data are used to support scholarly publications. The NIH has long championed the proper management and sharing of scientific data to accelerate biomedical discovery through the promotion of data reuse for future research studies.  

The NIH encourages data management and sharing that is consistent with the FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable) Data Principles. The FAIR Data Principles are a concise set of principles designed by representatives from academia, industry, funding agencies, and publishers, that serve to support and enhance reuse of data (2). In the first formal paper documenting the FAIR Principles, the authors suggest that good data management is critical not only for knowledge, discovery, and innovation, but also for the integration and reuse of data post-publication. The FAIR principles refer very specifically to data that is “open”. Open data is simply defined as “data that anyone can access, use, and share (3)”. The NIH has a long-standing commitment to open data to increase the utility of data produced by federal funding and has done so through mandating data management and sharing initiatives. Proper management and sharing of research data have numerous benefits to researchers. Authors found that articles that include statements that link to data in a repository were associated with an up to 25% higher citation impact (4). In another study, the authors showed a 69% increase in citations when data was made publicly available, and this increase was independent of impact factor, publication date, or the author’s country of origin (5). Citations are a type of currency in the scholarly community, as they can be directly tied to research funding, promotion, and notoriety in the respective field by facilitating increased visibility of the author’s works. Moreover, allowing for greater access to data can foster collaboration opportunities, increase transparency in research, and maximize the reuse of data all while meeting funder and publisher requirements.  

 This document will serve as a single resource for researchers at the University of Cincinnati to learn about the new NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy that went into effect on January 25, 2023. Researchers can use this document and the embedded links to find information on what is required of them as they prepare to submit NIH grant proposals and what resources UC has available to them to facilitate the process. Throughout this document, researchers will find links to information and tools that will aid them as they prepare Data Management and Sharing Plans as well as information about available data repositories for data sharing.  

Continue reading

Xin Gu Joins RDS Team as GIS Research Consultant

The UC Libraries Research and Data Services Unit is pleased to welcome Xin Gu to our team as the GIS Research Consultant.

Xin Gu is a doctoral candidate from the Department of Geography and GIS at the University of Cincinnati (UC). Before joining UC, he received master’s degrees in Criminal Justice and GIS, respectively. His current research examines the impact of business closure and mobility reduction during COVID-19 on crime. Xin has several research papers published in Cities, Social Science Computer Review, Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, and ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information. He also serves as a research fellow for the Institute for Research in Sensing and a GIS research consultant for the Geology-Mathematics-Physics library at UC, enabling him to spread geographical knowledge to the rest of the campus and beyond. In his spare time, he likes to play badminton and practice Yoga.

His consultation hours will be Tues, Wed and Thurs from 10:30 to 5 pm. Xin is here to help you understand how to use GIS software, think about project plans, and find data for your project.  He can share information, offer advice, and even partner on certain projects (on a case by case basis). Please come by the Data & GIS Collab, located in the Geology Math and Physics Library (240 Braunstein Hall).

Image of Man standing next to a sign.  The sign reads Data and GIS Collab

Journey to Challenger Deep

Have you ever wondered what it really looks like at the bottom of the ocean? Few people in the world can answer this question, and Dr. Dawn Wright (@deepseadawn) is one of them. In the summer of 2022, she ventured to the deepest point on Planet Earth known as Challenger Deep in a two-person submersible. Through this historic journey, Dr. Wright became the first Black person and only the fifth woman to travel so deep in the ocean. The purpose of the journey was to collect data to add to the efforts to map the entire ocean floor. Currently, researchers have only mapped 24% of the ocean floor.

To learn about the journey and Dr. Wright, visit the Geology-Mathematics-Physics Library, 240 Braunstein Hall, and explore the exhibit on the expedition and Dr. Wright.

 a diorama of Challenge Deep, the deepest point in the ocean.

A representation of the depth of Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench by John Nelson