Brooks, students, publish paper based on class project

Ian Brooks
Ian Brooks, Research Scientist

A class project in the Global Health Informatics course has resulted in a journal publication for Ian Brooks, instructor and research scientist, and students Noah Samuel (PhD) and Janina Sarol (CAS). While the class is offered at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, graduate students are required to complete an additional project.

Samuel and Sarol completed their project together to answer a question posed by one of the guest speakers in the class. Marcelo D'Agostino, a senior official at the World Health Organization (WHO)/Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), gave a talk about the data and informatics needs of WHO. 

"Noah and Janina's project helps to answer a question posed by Marcelo: What is the relationship between government health data policies and government open data initiatives, especially considering that the potential sensitivity of some public health data conflicts with the goals of open data? They shared their final paper with Marcelo, who encouraged them to continue their work in order to publish," said Brooks.

The resulting paper, "Open Data and Public Health," was recently published in Pan American Journal of Public Health (42, 2018). In addition to Brooks and the students, researchers included lead author D'Agostino; Felipe Mejía, an international consultant in Bogotá, Columbia; Myrna Marti and David Novillo-Ortiz of the PAHO Department of Knowledge Management, Bioethics, and Research; and Gerardo de Cosio of the PAHO Department of Communicable Diseases and Health Analysis.

According to the researchers, "It has been established that disease outbreaks such as those that happened during the Ebola and Zika virus epidemics are indicative of the need for countries to develop a framework that will provide guidance for the management of public health data."

The paper showed that there are currently no articulated policy guidelines for the collection and management of public health data across many countries, especially in Latin America. As a result, it stressed the importance of the development of regional frameworks for open data in public health that can be adopted or adapted by each country through appropriate national policies and strategies.

Updated on
Backto the news archive

Related News

iSchool researchers discuss misinformation

Several iSchool researchers participated in the recent Misinformation Research Symposium, which was hosted by the Center for Social and Behavioral Science and sponsored by the Center for Advanced Study, Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Institute, and National Center for Supercomputing Applications. The goals of the symposium were to help connect misinformation research on campus, foster interdisciplinary teams interested in collaborating on external submissions, and learn more about the needs of existing and emerging research groups on campus. 

Black and Knox pen chapters for new handbook on information policy

A new book on information policy includes chapters by Professor Emeritus Alistair Black and Associate Professor and Interim Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Emily Knox. Research Handbook on Information Policy, edited by Alistair S. Duff, was recently published by Edward Elgar Publishing. The handbook covers topics such as the history and future of information policy, freedom of information and expression, intellectual property, and information inequality.

research handbook on information policy

Rolling Stone the subject of undergraduate research

BS/IS student Hanyu (Zella) Zhao learned about pop culture and data analytics through her work on the undergraduate research project, Analysis on Rolling Stone Magazine Covers. Professor Michael Twidale mentored her during the project, in which a team of undergraduates created a database of celebrities who appeared on the magazine cover from 1967 to 2021.

Zella Zhao

iSchool researchers receive funding for napari plugin project

A new project led by Assistant Professor Matthew Turk is among the napari plugin projects that have recently received support from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) in its effort to advance bioimaging technologies. Visiting Research Scientist Christopher Havlin will serve as co-principal investigator on the project, "Enabling Access To Multi-resolution Data."

Matthew Turk

New project focuses on rare categories

Associate Professor Jingrui He has been awarded a three-year, $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop explainable techniques to detect and track rare categories. For her project, "RareXplain: A Computational Framework for Explainable Rare Category Analysis," she will focus on real-world problems where underrepresented, rare (abnormal) examples play critical roles, such as defective silicon wafers resulting from a new semiconductor manufacturing process and rare but severe complications (e.g., kidney failure) among diabetes patients.

Jingrui He