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With the goal of increasing specialized services for researchers, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Libraries sent its basic science librarians to an intensive training on bioinformatics databases, “A Librarian’s Guide to NCBI.” VCU’s Wright Center for Clinical and Translational Research (Wright CCTR) was expanding the educational component of its bioinformatics support around the same time. This year, the librarians partnered with the Wright CCTR to offer an introductory bioinformatics database workshop introducing researchers to genetic/genomic databases.
For one week in June, sessions were conducted introducing up to 30 faculty and staff to The Cancer Genome Atlas and NCBI’s Gene, BLAST, Variation Viewer and Gene Expression Omnibus. Librarians taught resources they learned in the NCBI training, and Wright CCTR staff taught resources they use often. Each day’s 1.5 hour session included presentations, demonstrations, and hands-on assignment time. Certificates were awarded to participants who completed 4 out of 5 assignments.
Registration for the workshop was full in under a week with a waiting list. All survey respondents (n=27) evaluated the overall quality of the workshop as "good" or "excellent" and indicated that they would recommend the workshop to a colleague or student.
This successful partnership between VCU Libraries and the Wright CCTR allowed for a broader range of bioinformatics topics to be covered, in addition to easing the planning and teaching workload for each group. The strong interest in this series across a variety of disciplines from both VCU and VCU Health indicates a need for staff and faculty-oriented bioinformatics training within the university.
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VCU Libraries Faculty and Staff Presentations