Dr Data – the answer to cancer. And other things……

The Farr Institute’s latest news includes their participation in the Edinburgh Fringe with Dr Data: The Answer to Cancer, produced in cooperation with the Cancer Innovation Challenge and the Beltane Network, and part of the Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas, a well-established series of research-related performances.  The latest news release also covers cyber security, collaborations between Scottish Government the NHS and the Data Lab, and also a call for submissions to the e-journal “The International Journal of Population Data Science”.


Search and Browse Longitudinal studies

A new search engine has been developed by Cohort & Longitudinal Studies Enhancement Resources (CLOSER) to enable researchers to explore, search and browse  the rich data collected from eight leading UK longitudinal studies.  This will provide opportunities to learn about structuring longitudinal studies and their potential for new research.

CLOSER Discovery allows users to search by keyword or browse by topic, helping researchers locate the variables that best suit their research interests. A search on CLOSER Discovery will show users:

  • The original question on which the variables are based
  • Where the questions appeared in the survey, including complete routing
  • The source of derived variables
  • An overview of each variable, including valid and invalid cases, maximum, minimum and mean values
  • Similarities and relationships of variables and data across the different studies
  • How to access the data from each study

You can access CLOSER Discovery here and find out more information about the search engine, including an introductory webinar, on the CLOSER website.

Shaping Data Standards for Future Cities – 19 May, Glasgow

UBDC SASNetThe Urban Big Data Centre has announced that they are collaborating with BSI on the next free SASNet event on ‘Shaping Data Standards for Future Cities’.

Future cities face many challenges as urban populations increase. Physical resources – such as energy and water – along with healthcare, traffic, public transport and other logistics need careful management in order to meet the needs of citizens, maintain economic growth and ensure sustainability. The effective use of data and new technology solutions are providing new tools and opportunities that can help overcome these challenges.

Standards support the widespread adoption of common approaches to the implementation of products and services in future cities. A range of standards are required to help the smart city meet its potential and to help address issues at different levels, from the decision-making at the city level to the interoperability of particular devices. This event aims to bring together local authorities, researchers and innovators to identify the challenges facing cities, discuss potential solutions to common problems and look at the role and future of smart city standards.

This free event will take place on 19 May 2017 in the Still Room at the IET Glasgow: Teacher Building – a landmark venue in the heart of Glasgow city centre.

The programme details and timings are still to be confirmed – Each session will be approximately 60 minutes in length including a Q&A. There are no specific pre-requisites for attending but the event is likely to be of most interest to standards professionals and urban planners from the academic, consultancy and public sectors. Registration for this free event is available via Eventbrite and is necessary due to limited space and for catering arrangements.



Using Data from the Internet

Workshop: Collecting and storing data from Internet based sources. Tuesday 9 May 2017, 10.00 – 13.00 Williamson Building, University of Manchester.

Many websites allow researchers and developers to download data from them using their Application Programming Interface (API). This data is often in formats that social scientists are unfamiliar with (e.g. JSON). Downloaded data can be processed immediately or stored in a database for later processing in a package like R or Stata. Data can be collected at regular intervals over a period of time, using the built-in functionality of the Windows or Linux operating systems.  This free introductory workshop, organised by the UK Data Service, is aimed at anyone interested in collecting data from the internet via APIs. Some previous knowledge of programming may assist in understanding the examples.

  • Level: Introductory
  • Experience/knowledge required: Some previous knowledge of programming
  • Target audience: Anyone interested in collecting data from the internet via APIs


UK Data Service – Data on themes

The UK Data Service has web pages to aid researchers looking specifically for data on particular themes:

Ageing Crime Economics Education Environment and energy Ethnicity Food and food security Health and health behaviour Housing and the local environment Information and communication Labour market Politics Poverty and social exclusion

Webinar – Putting data on maps

A free webinar, organised by the UK Data Service, provides an introduction to using mapping libraries in R to create simple geographical visualisations of your data.  The data can be represented on the map in a variety of ways, using pop-ups or colour shading. However before you can do this you need to be able to create the map with appropriate geographical boundaries and to be able to associate your data with the available geographical information of the map. We will look at different data formats such as using longitude and latitude values as well as using shape files. We will use R libraries which generate static maps (essentially an image file) such as ggmap and those which produce more dynamic maps which can be displayed in a web browser such as leaflet.  This webinar is intended for researchers who are familiar with using statistics packages like R or Stata and who would like an introduction to mapping data containing geographical information using the packages available in R.  Date: 4 April 2017, 15.00 – 16.00  Level: Introductory.  Experience/knowledge required: Familiar with using statistics packages like R or Stata.   Target audience: Researchers interested in mapping data


International Women’s Day @ RGU

RGU Women’s Network has organised some events to mark International Women’s Day 2017. Please join us!!

  • Meet RGU’s new female Vice Principals – Jan Cutting and Vicki Nairn on Monday 6th March 12.00 – 1pm (bring your lunch) Room H230, Health & Social Care building
  • Keynote speech – Prof. Alice Brown, Chair of the Scottish Funding Council – ‘Be Bold for Change – making a difference in higher education’ on Tuesday 7th March 6pm – 7.30pm rear atrium Sir Ian Wood Building, followed by light refreshments. This event is open to all staff and students.  To help with planning please register your interest at rguwomen@rgu.ac.uk and bring a colleague!



There will also be an exhibition continuing the “Celebrating Women at RGU” series, based in the Sir Ian Wood Building outside the Scott Sutherland School entrance.