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CIRSS Research Areas

The School of Information Sciences - Center for Informatics Research in Science and Scholarship (CIRSS) conducts research on information problems that impact scientific and scholarly inquiry. Our projects and activities focus on how digital information can advance the work of scientists and scholars, the curation and analysis of research data, and the integration of information within and across disciplines and research communities. CIRSS plays a leading role in the development and management of the data curation specialty master’s curriculum, and in training biological information specialists as part of the campus-wide bioinformatics master’s program.

Our work includes the study of scientific data management; scientific publishing and communication; collections management; and the use of new digital tools in the scientific research process.   Research methods are varied, from in-depth empirical examinations of scientists in the workplace, to natural language processing and statistical analysis of scientific publications, to logic-based semantic web approaches to managing collection context.

More information about our core research areas is available at the links below.


Socio-Technical Data Analytics
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.

Digital Collections and Curation
CIRSS projects in this sector focus on how to build, represent, and make accessible research collections, with a particular focus on the challenges and opportunities associated with the curation and federation of digital collections for long-term, distributed use. The ongoing funded research projects are complemented by a study group dedicated to metadata standards and associated research problems.

Digital Humanities
Current projects cover different aspects of electronic publishing, markup schemas, text-mining and analysis, and music information retrieval. Digital humanities is an area of significant interest and growth as a complement to the CIRSS concentration in scientific communication.

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.