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					Taking Stock of CAR in your Library Researchers & CAR Specialists
Margot Williams The Washington Post SLA June 2004

Core Missions
• Researcher/Librarian
– Providing answers – Providing access to information – Organizing & maintaining collection – Training

• CAR Specialist
– Data analysis ondemand – Cost/benefit analysis of data projects – Find patterns in data that lead to stories – Guide and help write data projects – Training

Skills & Tools
• Researcher/Librarian
– Search logic & strategy – Online resources – Offline & offsite resources – Text archiving and retrieval – Text processing – Spreadsheets

• CAR Specialist
– – – – Spreadsheets Relational databases Statistical analysis Programming languages – GIS – Social network analysis

Computer-assisted Reporting & Research
• Researcher
– – – – – Daily stories Graphics Weekenders Long-term projects Intranet resources

• CAR Specialist
– Weekenders – Long-term projects – In-house database resources for newsroom access – Dailies

The Process
• Researcher/Librarian
MANAGING UNSTRUCTURED DATA Info retrieval Info capture Info organization & categorization

• CAR Specialist
MANAGING STRUCTURED DATA Data capture Data mining Data analysis

Information-handling Tasks
• Researcher/Librarian
– – – – – – – Selecting Negotiating Acquiring Processing Organizing/Cataloging Maintaining Archiving

• CAR Specialist
– – – – – – – Negotiating FOIA/Legal Cleaning Processing Data Dictionary Maintaining Data Warehousing

On the Web
• Spheres of Influence: Bush Campaign Pioneers
– http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpsrv/politics/pioneers/pioneers_spheres.html

• Guantanamo: a Holding Cell in the War on Terror
– http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpdyn/articles/A58702-2004May1.html

Partnership between researchers and CAR specialists
• Complement--Work separately on different parts of complicated big projects. • Supplement--Work together on the same parts of complicated big projects. • Synergy--Cross-fertilization of CAR and research skills.

The Pitfalls: Researchers vs. CAR specialists
• • • • Unclear lines of authority & responsibility Overlapping tasks Poor communication Credit issues


				
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