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Current Projects

Publishing Without Walls: Understanding the Needs of Scholars in a Contemporary Publishing Environment
Principal Investigator(s): PI: John Wilkin (University Library); co-PI: Ronald Bailey (African American Studies Department); co-PI: Antoinette Burton (Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities); co-PI: Allen Renear (iSchool at Illinois); Project Manager: Megan Senseney (iSchool at Illinois)
Funded by: Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

PWW is a digital scholarly publishing initiative that is scholar-driven, openly accessible, scalable, and sustainable. PWW will directly engage with you throughout the research process. It aims to build publishing models that can be supported locally by a university’s library, while also opening new avenues toward publication through university presses and other publishers.

The Whole Tale: Merging Science and Cyberinfrastructure Pathways
Principal Investigator(s): Bertram Ludaescher, PI (Illinois); Kyle Chard, co-PI (U of Chicago); Victoria Stodden, co-PI (Illinois); Matthew Turk, co-PI (Illinois); Niall Gaffney, co-PI (Texas Advanced Computing Center)
Funded by: NSF - CC*DNI DIBBS #1541450

Whole Tale is a five-year NSF CC*DNI DIBBS-funded project that will enable researchers to examine, transform, and then seamlessly republish research data that was used in an article.  These "living articles" will enable new discovery by allowing researchers to construct representations and syntheses of data.

DataONE (Data Observation Network for Earth)
Principal Investigator(s): PROJECT PIs: PI: William Michener (University of New Mexico); co-PIs: Matthew Jones (University of California, Santa Barbara); David Vieglais (University of Kansas); Suzanne Allard (University of Tennessee Knoxville); sub-award PI: Bertram Ludäscher (iSchool at Illinois)
Funded by: National Science Foundation #ACI-1430508 (parent award)

Data Observation Network for Earth (DataONE) is the foundation of new innovative environmental science through a distributed framework and sustainable cyberinfrastructure that meets the needs of science and society for open, persistent, robust, and secure access to well-described and easily discovered Earth observational data.  Supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation (Phase 1 Grant #ACI-0830944, Phase 2 Grant #ACI-1430508) as one of the initial DataNets, DataONE will ensure the preservation, access, use and reuse of multi-scale, multi-discipline, and multi-national science data via three primary cyberinfrastucture elements and a broad education and outreach program.

Designing Synthesized Knowledge of Past Environments (SKOPE)
Principal Investigator(s): PI: Keith Kintigh (Arizona State); PI: Timothy Kohler (Washington State); PI: Bertram Ludäscher (iSchool at Illinois)
Funded by: National Science Foundation #SMA-1439603

This project will design and prototype SKOPE  (Synthesized Knowledge of Past Environments), an online research tool that will provide state-of-the-art information about the environment experienced by humans at a given a place and time, past or present.  In response to a specific query, SKOPE will extract the latest data from diverse online databases. Using explicit and repeatable procedures, it will process the data to yield a cutting-edge synthesis of environmental information specifically tailored to the user’s request. Initially the tool will be developed for the Southwest US over the last 2000 years, but it will be designed to be readily extended to other places and times.

Exploring the Benefits for Users of Linked Open Data for Digitized Special Collections
Principal Investigator(s): PI: Timothy Cole (CIRSS & University Library); co-PI: Myung-Ja Han (University Library); co-PI Caroline Szylowicz (University Library)
Funded by: Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

The project will investigate four translational research questions and demonstrate findings concretely by transforming legacy string-based item-level metadata and then experimenting with user services for three modestly sized digitized special collections hosted by the University of Illinois: the Motley Collection of Costume and Theatre Design, the Portraits of Actors, 1720 – 1920 Collection, and the Kolb-Proust Archive for Research.

Information Forum Requirements to Promote Knowledge Capture Knowledge Sharing and Community Interaction on the VHA Data Portal
Principal Investigator(s): PIs: Catherine Blake, Maria Souden (Veterans Affairs); Co-PI: Mike Twidale
Funded by: US Department of Veterans Affairs

CIRSS researchers are collaborating with the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Information Resource Center (VIReC) on a project to analyze the socio-technical aspects of VA’s HSRData-L Listserv. VIReC is a VA Health Service Research & Development Service (HSR&D) resource center that supports VA researchers in need of information about data resources specific to their research. HSRData-L is a virtual community of VA researchers who share their collective knowledge and experience about VA data and information systems for the betterment of research focused on Veteran’s issues.

The project aims to better understand essential socio-technical aspects of the listserv and the information ecology in which it sits to maximize the findability and re-use of information generated by VA data users and to provide recommendations for improving its infrastructure.

Kurator: A Provenance-enabled Workflow Platform and Toolkit to Curate Biodiversity Data
Principal Investigator(s): PI: Bertram Ludäscher; co-PI: James Macklin (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada); PI: James Hanken (Director, Museum of Comparative Zoology. Harvard)
Funded by: NSF #DBI-1356751

Data curation is a critical step in scientific data digitization, sharing, integration and use. The considerable resources allocated to digitization of natural science collections in the U.S. and globally require a focus on both digitization efficiencies and the utility of the generated data. One way to address both issues is to employ workflow software to automate and streamline data curation processes. We are developing Kurator, a suite of biodiversity data quality tools aimed at collection management specialists with little or no programming experience, database administrators and researchers with some scripting language experience, and developers.

Workset Creation for Scholarly Analysis: Prototyping Project (WCSA)
Principal Investigator(s): PI: J. Stephen Downie; Co-PI: Timothy W. Cole, Beth Plale (Indiana University/HathiTrust)
Funded by: Mellon Foundation

The Workset Creation for Scholarly Analysis: Prototyping Project (WCSA) project aims to aid researchers working with HathiTrust mateirals.  WCSA project team members will expand and add to metadata entries, and work to develop more formal working definitions of project terminology.  The goal of the project is to create tools and resources for researchers to increase the discovery and usage of the HathiTrust collection.

Defining and Solving Key Challenges in Microblog Search
Principal Investigator(s): PI: Miles Efron
Funded by: Google

Explore both theoretical models and prototype search systems to address core problems in microblog search.

Improving Information Retrieval by Analysis of Temporal Evidence in a Unified Model
Principal Investigator(s): PI: Miles Efron
Funded by: National Science Foundation #1217279

Students funded under this project will work with closely the project leader, Miles Efron, to develop state-of-the-art search engines and related information retrieval (IR) technologies.

Meeting the Challenge of Language Change in Text Retrieval with Machine Translation Techniques
Principal Investigator(s): PI: Miles Efron
Funded by: Google

Convert a query in contemporary English to English terms used in text from Medieval times to the present.

Past Projects

Data Curation Education in Research Centers Program (DCERC)
Principal Investigator(s): PI: Carole Palmer; Co-PIs: Mary Marlino (National Center for Atmospheric Research), Carol Tenopir (University Tennessee at Knoxville), Suzie Allard (University Tennessee at Knoxville), Matthew Mayernik (National Center for Atmospheric Research)
Funded by: Institute of Museum and Library Services #RE-02-10-0004-10

The Data Curation Education in Research Centers (DCERC) will develop a model for educating Library and Information Science masters and doctoral students in data curation through field experiences in research and data centers. We will implement a graduate research and education program in data curation to bring students into the world of scientific data curation. Building on the strengths of our partners-the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Graduate School of Library and Information Science, the University of Tennessee School of Information Sciences, and the National Center for Atmospheric Research, we address needs for research expertise and scientific data curation professionals.  An overview video of DCERC is available here.

Site-Based Data Curation at Yellowstone National Park (SBDC)
Principal Investigator(s): PI: Carole Palmer, Co-PI: Bruce Fouke, Ann Rodman (Yellowstone), Sayeed Choudhury (Johns Hopkins University)
Funded by: Institute of Museum and Library Services #LG-06-12-0706-12

A two-year project to develop a framework of policies and processes for the curation of “site-based” digital research data that responds to the needs of small science researchers and site managers, and promotes coordination with libraries and data repositories.

Developing a Model for Sociotechnical Data Analytics Education (SODA)
Principal Investigator(s): PI: Cathy Blake
Funded by: Institute of Museum and Library Services #RE-05-12-0054-12

The goal of this program is to provide students with an understanding of both the social and technical aspects of data analytics to prepare the next generation of leaders who can work with big data. Classroom experience culminates with a hands-on practicum, project or research focus on any aspect of data analytics.

Digital Humanities Data Curation: NEH Institutes for Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities
Principal Investigator(s): Project Director: Megan Senseney
Funded by: National Endowment for the Humanities

The University of Illinois is collaborating with the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH, project lead) and the Center for Digital Scholarship at Brown University to develop and conduct a series of advanced institutes on data curation for the digital humanities.  The series of three-day institutes will be held at the University of Maryland, College Park, Brown University, and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, for 51 participants on approaches to data curation of humanities research materials for librarians, archivists, and humanities scholars.

ACRL Academic Trends and Statistics Survey
Principal Investigator(s): PI: Carole Palmer
Funded by: ACRL #2010-01139

An annual survey on behalf of the Association of College and Research Libraries to collect information on library collections, expenditures and personnel and North American academic research libraries.

Better Repositories Are Information Networks (BRAIN)
Principal Investigator(s): PI: John Unsworth
Funded by: No Outside Funding

Development of a tool to retrieve related documents among the contents of institutional repositories.

Biological Information Specialist Program
Principal Investigator(s): PI: Carole Palmer; Co-PIs: P. Brian Heidorn (University of Arizona), W. John MacMullen
Funded by: National Science Foundation #0524567

The Graduate School of Library and Information Sciences accepts applications for a biological informatics masters degree program for Biological Information Specialists (BIS). Unlike most existing educational programs in bioinformatics, the BIS program takes a broad view of biology and informatics to train professionals to bridge arenas of information technology development in the biological sciences. Program and application details can be found on the GSLIS Website.

Collaborative Research: The Impact of Scientific Funding
Principal Investigator(s): PI: Vetle Torvik
Funded by: National Science Foundation

Link MEDLINE articles and U.S. patents using state-of-the-art name disambiguation algorithms.

Curation Profiles Project
Principal Investigator(s): PI: D. Scott Brandt (Purdue University)
Funded by: Institute of Museum and Library Services #4112-21062

GSLIS and the UIUC Library are partnering with the Purdue University Libraries (D. Scott Brandt, PI) on a $272,229 grant, "Investigating Data Curation Profiles Across Multiple Research Disciplines." This project combines both library and research domain strengths of the University of Illinois and Purdue University Libraries to investigate questions related to data collection, management, publication and preservation, including "at which point in the research cycle are researchers willing to share data, with whom, and under what conditions?" In addition, we will consider the role of academic libraries in supporting e-science activities, by studying how librarians can interact with scientists to make their research output available, identifying practices and tools to support further metadata development and capture workflow.

Data Conservancy
Principal Investigator(s): PI: Sayeed Choudhury (Johns Hopkins University); Co-PI: Carole Palmer
Funded by: National Science Foundation #2000819591

The five-year award, one of the first two in the NSF's DataNet program, is building infrastructure for the management of the ever-increasing amounts of digital research data.

Data Curation Education Program (DCEP)
Principal Investigator(s): PI: Allen Renear
Funded by: Institute of Museum and Library Services

The Data Curation Education Program (DCEP) is a data curation specialization within the ALA-accredited Master of Science at the University of Illinois's Graduate School of Library and Information Science. Our program offers a focus on data collection and management, knowledge representation, digital preservation and archiving, data standards, and policy, providing the theory and skills necessary to work directly with academic and industry researchers who need data curation expertise.

Digital Collections and Content (DCC)
Principal Investigator(s): PI: Carole Palmer
Funded by: Institute of Museum and Library Services #LG-06-07-0020

The Digital Collections and Content (DCC) project was a multi-phase research effort funded by IMLS to explore the socio-technical requirements for a successful digital aggregation. Conceived in 2002 as a combined collection registry and metadata repository aimed to provide a single access point to collections built from digitization efforts funded through IMLS's National Leadership Grant and LSTA programs, the IMLS DCC project has explored key digital libraries issues ranging from collaboration stakeholder needs to metadata quality and interoperability.

Beginning in 2007, the second phase of the IMLS DCC project, through the DCC project's Opening History aggregation, which gathered together digital collections of digitized and born-digital U.S. cultural heritage resources, explored the effects of targeted collection development policies. IMLS DCC researchers explored how aggregators impact access to cultural heritage materials and how digital libraries can better lev

Disciplinary Research Practices and Library Services in the Online Environment
Principal Investigator(s): PI: Carole Palmer
Funded by: OCLC #2009-00312

A report commissions by OCLC Research and the RLG Partnership to identify recent literature on changing scholarly research practices and how research libraries can best support researchers across disciplines.

ECHO DEPository
Principal Investigator(s): PI: John Unsworth, Beth Sandore
Funded by: Library of Congress (NDIIPP) #2005-02202

A three-year digital preservation research and development project in partnership with OCLC, funded by the Library of Congress.

Expand SEASR Services
Principal Investigator(s): PI: John Unsworth
Funded by: Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Explore text-mining as a tool for understanding the humanities.

Folktales, Facets, and FRBR
Principal Investigator(s): PI: Carol Tilly, Kathryn La Barre
#2009-01140

Through the project Folktales, Facets, and FRBR, CIRSS affiliated faculty members Kathryn La Barre and Carol Tilley propose to enhance access to folktales through the systematic and rigorous application of facet analysis and the development of user- and task-focused models of information representation.

HathiTrust Research Center Early Research Project
Principal Investigator(s): PI: Carole Palmer
Funded by: HathiTrust Research Center

As input into the development, design, and improvement of the HathiTrust Research Center (HTRC), recipients of Google's Digital Humanities Grants were interviewed to identify issues encountered during their projects.

Impact Assessment of Social Justice Documentaries
Principal Investigator(s): PI: Jana Diesner
Funded by: Ford Foundation #0125-6162

Films are produced, screened and perceived as part of a larger and continuously changing ecosystem that involves multiple stakeholders and themes. This project will measure the impact of social justice documentaries by capturing, modeling and analyzing the map of these stakeholders and themes in a systematic, scalable and analytically rigorous fashion. This solution will result in a validated, re-useable and end-user friendly methodology and technology that practitioners can use to assess the long-term impact of media productions beyond the number of people who have seen a screening or visited a webpage. Moreover, bringing the proposed computational methodology into a real-world application context can serve as a case-study for demonstrating the usability of this cutting-edge solution.

Information and Discovery in Neuroscience
Principal Investigator(s): PI: Carole Palmer
Funded by: National Science Foundation #IIS-02-22848

This project aims to specify information technology needed to 1) improve neuroscientists' ability to synthesize existing research results and share information and 2) support different modes of discovery and collaboration. Through field studies at neuroscience labs we are identifying high impact information, critical information problems, and constraints on the transfer and exchange of information within research teams and between specializations and disciplines.

Intermediary Models for Institutional Repository Development (IMIRD)
Principal Investigator(s): PI: Carole Palmer
Funded by: Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

A pilot project funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation exploring institutional repository development strategies at three research universities and the role of librarians in these initiatives.

Libraries and 9/11 and the U.S.A. Patriot Act
Principal Investigator(s): PI: Leigh Estabrook
Funded by: Illinois State Library

In November of 2001, shortly after the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and passage of the USA PATRIOT Act, the Library Research Center (now CIRSS) mailed a questionnaire to 629 public libraries in Illinois. With funding from the Illinois State Library system, the survey sought to understand how public libraries were responding to new security measures and to the events of September 11, 2001. The questionnaire received 553 (87.9%) responses, providing insight into questions regarding security, staff attitudes, collection development, attitude toward users, and general knowledge of the USA PATRIOT Act. The results of this survey were published in the Winter 2002 issue of Illinois Libraries.

Libraries: Transformation of the Humanities
Principal Investigator(s): PI: Allen Renear, Sayeed Choudhury (Johns Hopkins University); Co-PI: Gregory Crane (Tufts University)
Funded by: Institute of Museum and Library Services

Humanities scholars are increasingly using digital technologies to create and share work. Within this new education and research climate, humanities undergraduates have unprecedented opportunities to contribute and to conduct research of real value. Johns Hopkins University Library System and its partners from Tufts University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will develop collaborative virtual work space, including collections and services, designed to support a new "collaborative lab culture." This new model will explore and demonstrate the ways that libraries can support new modes of collaboration in research and learning.

Metadata Offer New Knowledge (MONK)
Principal Investigator(s): PI: John Unsworth
Funded by: Andrew W. Mellon Foundation #2007-01727

MONK is a digital environment designed to help humanities scholars discover and analyze patterns in the texts they study.

Networked Environment for Music Analysis (NEMA) - Was International Music Information Retrieval Systems Evaluation Laboratory (IMIRSEL)
Principal Investigator(s): PI: J. Stephen Downie
Funded by: Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

The objective of the International Music Information Retrieval Systems Evaluation Laboratory(IMIRSEL) is the establishment of the necessary resources for scientifically valid development as well as evaluation of emerging Music Information Retrieval (MIR), Music Digital Library (MDL) techniques and technologies.

Open Annotation Collaboration (Phases I, II and III)
Principal Investigator(s): PI: Timothy Cole, Jane Hunter (University of Queensland), James Smith (University of Maryland), Herbert Van de Sompel (Los Alamos National Laboratory); Co-PI: Anna Gerber (University of Queensland), Robert Sanderson (Los Alamos National Laboratory)
Funded by: Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

This 3-phase project seeks to facilitate the emergence of a Web and Resource-centric interoperable annotation environment that allows leveraging annotations across the boundaries of annotation clients, annotation servers, and content collections; to demonstrate through implementations an interoperable annotation environment enabled by the interoperability specifications in settings characterized by a variety of annotation client/server environments, content collections, and scholarly use cases; and to seed widespread adoption by deploying robust, production-quality applications conformant with the interoperable annotation environment in ubiquitous and specialized services, tools, and content used by scholars.

Preserving Virtual Worlds 2
Principal Investigator(s): PI: Jerome McDonough
Funded by: Institute of Museum and Library Services #LG-06-10-0160-10

Preserving Virtual Worlds project will explore methods for preserving digital games and interactive fiction. PVW 2 will improve the capacity of libraries, museums, and archives to preserve computer games, video games, and interactive fiction.

Public Library Data Service (PLDS) Statistical Report
Principal Investigator(s): PI: Carole Palmer
Funded by: American Library Association #2010-01548

An annual survey on behalf of the Public Library Association presenting exclusive, timely data on library finances, resources, annual use figures, and technology.

Structural Analysis of Large Amounts of Music Information (SALAMI)
Principal Investigator(s): PI: Stephen Downie
Funded by: National Endowment for the Humanities

Create a framework for analyzing musical audio data and use the framework to process songs from a range of online sources.

Text Mining in Environmental Literature
Principal Investigator(s): PI: Cathy Blake
Funded by: Environmental Change Institute

Develop text mining methods that enable resolve contradictory and redundant evidence from text.

The Investigative Journalism Education Consortium
Principal Investigator(s): PI: Brant Houston
Funded by: McCormick Foundation

Brant Houston, a professor in the College of Media and iSchool affiliated faculty member, coordinated a $75,000 grant from the McCormick Foundation to create a consortium of Midwest university journalism professors for public service reporting, with the goal of developing the next generation of investigative journalists who can make the best use of the new digital tools.

Towards Evidence-Based Discovery
Principal Investigator(s): PI: Catherine Blake
Funded by: National Science Foundation

Understand both human and automated methods to synthesize evidence from text.

User Satisfaction with Access to Government Information and Services at Public Libraries and Public Access Computing Centers
Principal Investigator(s): PI: Carole Palmer
Funded by: Institute of Museum and Library Services

This IMLS-funded project explores how people find government information and to what extent libraries and public access computing centers support government information seeking behavior.

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