arrowCIRSS Home arrow Research Areas arrow E-Science


Given the ever growing universe of information resources, informatics tools, and scholarly communication options that need to be understood, assessed, and coordinated, the e-Science initiatives at CIRSS aim to improve information transfer and integration, technology development and sustainability, and collaboration in the practice of science through basic and applied research and training of information specialists to work cooperatively with research scientists. Scientific data problems do not stand in isolation. They are part of a larger set of challenges associated with escalated production of scientific information and changes in scholarly communication in the digital environment. Across all scientific disciplines, researchers are producing and consuming increasing amounts and varieties of information and data, while striving to work with these resources in new ways. This has lead to daunting problems and opportunities for information management and integration. There are numerous challenges associated with the amount and rate of data being generated; however, the complexity of the underlying science is of greater consequence for scientific discovery than the sheer volume of the data.


Bertram Ludäscher (

Director, Center for Informatics Research in Science and Scholarship

Current People

Recent Publications

Gabb, H.A. and Blake, C. (2016). An informatics approach to cumulative
chemical exposure from consumer products: A case study for asthma-associated and endocrine disrupting chemicals.  Environmental Health Perspectives. Read more

Souden,M. Blake, C., Twidale,M., Anderson,C. Stelmack, J., (2015) Making sense of big data: Online question answering practices supporting healthcare data re-use. 8th Annual Conference on the Science of Dissemination and Implementation: Optimizing Personal and Population Health, December 14-15, 2015, Washington D.C. Read more

Sherman, G., Blake, C. & Lee, J. (2015) Identifying population characteristics from tables in full text articles, American Medical Informatics Association Symposium, Nov.14-18, 2015, San Francisco, CA. Read more

Blake, C., Souden,M., Anderson, C.L., Twidale, M., and Stelmack, J.E. (2015) Online Question Answering Practices Supporting Healthcare Data Re-use, Annual Meeting of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T),Nov.6-10th,2015, St Louis, MO. Read more

All related publications

Current Projects

The Whole Tale: Merging Science and Cyberinfrastructure Pathways

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.

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)

DataONE (Data Observation Network for Earth)

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.

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)

Designing Synthesized Knowledge of Past Environments (SKOPE)

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.

PI: Keith Kintigh (Arizona State); PI: Timothy Kohler (Washington State); PI: Bertram Ludäscher (iSchool at Illinois)

Kurator: A Provenance-enabled Workflow Platform and Toolkit to Curate Biodiversity Data

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.

PI: Bertram Ludäscher; co-PI: James Macklin (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada); PI: James Hanken (Director, Museum of Comparative Zoology. Harvard)

All related projects

Recent News

June 28, 2011

Chao, Weber, and Sacchi Present at Joint Conference on Digital Libraries

  CIRSS graduate students Tiffany Chao, Nicholas Weber, and Simone Sacchi presented posters at the ACM/IEEE Joint Conference on Digital Libraries this month, which took place in Ottawa, Canada, from June 13-June 17. The theme for this year…

May 24, 2011

CIRSS hosts the 2011 Summer Institute on Data Curation at GSLIS

  The Center for Informatics Research in Science and Scholarship (CIRSS) will host the 2011 Summer Institute on Data Curation at GSLIS, from Monday, June 6, through Thursday, June 9. Twenty-six applicants were accepted to this year’s Su…

February 11, 2011

Simone Sacchi wins Best Poster award at iConference 2011

  GSLIS student and CIRSS RA Simone Sacchi received the “Best Poster” award at the 2011 iSchools Conference for his poster entitled “Annotation evolution: how Web 2.0 technologies are enabling a change in annotation practi…

Past Events

September 2, 2016

Introduction to the Whole Tale Project

PI's Bertram Ludäscher, Matt Turk and Victoria Stodden will present an introduction to the Whole Tale project, a five-year project newly funded by the NSF CC*DNI DIBBS program.  The goal…

December 4, 2015

Using scientific data produced by others: Trust practices shaping infrastructure, or infrastructure shaping trust practices?

Abstract:Scientists in many domains increasingly need to use data produced by others in their own work. They may be using data produced by collaborators, or they may be reusing data produced by scient…

October 28, 2015

An update on the Transforming Taxonomic Interfaces Initiative

Abstract:In this ERRT we will give an overview of our recent work and share ideas about “semantic engineering,” including what happens when what we study has significant components of both…

All events