Summer goals and expectations
Hi there! Thanks for expressing interest in working on an epidemiology project with me this summer. This project will entail:
- Using cohort study or clinical trial data trying to extend knowledge of cardiovascular disease (CVD).
- You getting your hands dirty with statistical coding via Stata. If you have high proficiency with another coding package (e.g., R, SAS), then you can do that. If we have an R expert available, they will help you use R. Otherwise, get ready for Stata, since that’s what I use.
My expectations for all LCOM summer students are:
- You have a computer that works and internet that is dependable enough to allow Zoom conferences. You don’t have to be in VT.
- In advance of the summer, you will submit a manuscript proposal to the cohort that will be used, and apply for funding through the CVRI or LCOM (typically due in February). If we need an IRB proposal (which we likely don’t), then you’ll lead the completion of that.
- We’ll meet weekly via Zoom for an hour or so during the summer to review the project’s progress. I’ll be available in between meetings via email, Zoom, or whatnot.
- You’ll complete the analysis, with help from me in learning the ins and outs of coding.
- If doing a REGARDS project, you’ll attend lab meetings.
- At the end of the summer you will have: 1) A complete first draft of a manuscript, 2) a completed abstract that can be submitted to a conference, and 3) a completed first draft of a conference poster.
Things to set up now.
I use Zotero as a reference manager. It’s the bomb diggity. We will share references in a private group library that we can both edit. Only the people who have this library shared with them can see its contents.
To install Zotero, do the following:
- A free Zotero account. Sign up here. Please tell me your username so I can start a group library with you.
- Zotero’s desktop app. Make sure to log into your account in the desktop app. It’s under edit –> preferences.
- The Zotero web browser plugin for your web browser of choice. You need to have the Zotero desktop app open for this to work.
- The Zotero MS Word plugin (in Zotero desktop app, click Edit –> Preferences –> Cite –> Word Processors). This has been finicky with the specific MS Office install on the LCOM laptops so it might take some working to get it to work. But! It’ll work.
- Here’s a link to help you install Zotero on a UVM LCOM laptop: https://www.zotero.org/support/word_processor_plugin_manual_installation
I’ll send you a shared library invitation. To accept the group library invite, do the following:
- Go to zotero.org, log in.
- In the top right, click on your username. A menu should drop down, click “inbox”.
- Accept the group library invitation.
- Open up the Zotero desktop app and let it sync (again, you need to be signed in on the desktop app, seen #2 above). The group library folder should appear in the left column all the way on the bottom.
Group libraries are awesome because we can compile references that either of us can insert into a document. Please keep the group library organized. If you add a new reference, please make a subfolder to stick it in so you don’t have to search for references one by one.
How to use Zotero
This is covered in a separate post, here.
This is through LCOM. Not UVM, not your personal account.
- Open the OneDrive on your computer and sign in with your LCOM credentials if you aren’t already.
- I’ll share a research folder with you. You’ll need to sync it with your computer. To do that, go to onedrive.com, log in with your LCOM credentials (firstname dot lastname at med dot uvm dot edu). After you log in, you’ll be on the landing page for OneDrive. Click “Shared” on the left column. Find the research folder and click on it. On the top bar click “Sync” and allow the OneDrive desktop app to sync. Now all of the files should be available offline.
Unfortunately, writing papers in Google Drive is a bit too onerous. Please download this manuscript file, which you will be using to draft your manuscript.
Your statistical software, option 1: Stata
At this point you should know if you are using Stata or R. I use Stata. UVM has an institutional subscription. You can download and install it from the UVM Software page, here. For this you will log in with your UVM (not LCOM) credentials. To download it, hit the down arrow (1) then download. After it’s installed, you’ll need the serial number, code, and authorization to activate it. That’s under “more info” (2).
<– Two steps to install Stata from UVM
Your statistical software, option 2: R
R is a free and open source computer language intended for use in statistics. RStudio is a commercial software that makes using R much more user-friendly. I have only used R a few times and don’t have expertise in the language.