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Data & GIS: Getting Help

Data & GIS Service Policy

Our role

At Penn Libraries, we support Penn students, faculty, and staff who conduct research using quantitative or spatial data. Subject specialist librarians can assist by locating data resources.



Services that are not provided in consultations:

  • Performing any data manipulation, management, or visualization tasks on the patron’s behalf
    While we are happy to advise on techniques, we cannot write custom scripts for statistical packages or create maps on demand.  
  • Assistance with statistical methodology, model specification, or interpretation of analyses.
  • Individualized introduction to software
    Although we are happy to assist with questions on particular functions of GIS or statistical software, as well as suggest self-guided learning resources, we do not have the staffing levels to provide one-on-one general training on GIS or statistical software.
  • Assistance with homework
    Data and GIS consultations are provided to support research, such as theses and dissertations, course projects, term papers, or independent research. However, we do not provide support for standard homework or lab assignments and will refer patrons to their TA or professor for help on exercises created for a specific class.


Data Instruction

Penn Libraries offers various workshops:

  • Free workshops available through Weigle Information Commons WICShops on GIS, statistical software, visualization, and other data topics. Consult current schedule for availability.
  • Course-related instruction sessions customized to meet student needs.


Data Acquisitions

The Library welcomes suggestions for the acquisition of materials which support the University's teaching and research programs. Before submitting a request via purchase suggestion form, please search Franklin to determine that the material you want is not already in the Library or on order. All suggestions will be reviewed by the Library's bibliographers.