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Socio-technical Data Analytics

Cirss - SODA

Faculty, researchers and students in the Socio-technical Data Analytics Group design, develop, and evaluate new technologies in order to better understand the dynamic interplay between information, people and information systems. We are a highly interactive group with complementary areas of interest that span a range of genres from the humanities and everyday life, to journalism and scientific literature. Our expertise includes analysis methods in information retrieval, data and text mining, knowledge discovery, and collaboration. In addition to text analysis, we explore multimedia such as games and music, and new kinds of data such as twitter feeds.

Find out about individual SODA projects by following links to the right, or you can view the SODA site


Catherine Blake (

Associate Director, Center for Informatics Research in Science and Scholarship

Current People

Recent Publications

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

Zheng, W. & Blake, C. (2015) Using distant supervised learning to identify protein subcellular localizations from full-text scientific articles, Journal of Biomedical Informatics, 57, 134­-144. Read more

All related publications

Current Projects

Information Forum Requirements to Promote Knowledge Capture Knowledge Sharing and Community Interaction on the VHA Data Portal

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.

PIs: Catherine Blake, Maria Souden (Veterans Affairs); Co-PI: Mike Twidale

Defining and Solving Key Challenges in Microblog Search

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

PI: Miles Efron

Improving Information Retrieval by Analysis of Temporal Evidence in a Unified Model

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.

PI: Miles Efron

Meeting the Challenge of Language Change in Text Retrieval with Machine Translation Techniques

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

PI: Miles Efron

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Past Events

November 9, 2016

Extracting Knowledge Claims for Automatic Evidence Synthesis Using Semantic Technology

Systematic review, a form of evidence synthesis that critically appraises existing studies on the same topic and synthesizes study results, helps reduce the evidence gap. However, creating a systemati…

November 4, 2015

Learning User-Defined, Domain-Specific Relations: A Situated Case Study and Evaluation in Plant Science

AbstractAlthough methods exist to identify well-defined relations, such as is_a or part_of, existing tools rarely support a user who wants to define new, domain-specific relations. We conducted a situ…

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