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CIRSS History

The Center for Informatics Research in Science and Scholarship (CIRSS) was formerly the Library Research Center (LRC). For over 45 years, the LRC has been an integral part of the School of Information Sciences, conducting web-based and print survey design and administration, focus groups, telephone interviews, market research, and other social scientific studies. In 2007, under the founding direction of Director Carole Palmer, CIRSS combined this base of activities and expertise in research design and implementation with the existing School of Information Sciences research strength in scientific and scholarly information use to create a new scholarly research-focused Center. The Center’s extended focus is on the information problems facing research communities and the advancement and integration of digital information within and across disciplines. CIRSS conducts research on information problems that impact scientific and scholarly inquiry, aiming to advance how scientists and scholars work with digital information and new technologies to support the dynamic interplay among information, people, and information systems.

Now under the leadership of Director Bertram Ludäscher, CIRSS faculty, staff, students, and research affiliates bring a range of domain and methodological backgrounds to these areas, including expertise in data curation, sociotechnical systems, knowledge representation, ontologies, scientific workflows, user-centered research collections and aggregations, interdisciplinary information use, scholarly communication, biodiversity informatics, and text and data mining. Current and recent research projects include the development of workflow software to automate and streamline the curation of biodiversity data; tools to support reproducible scientific inquiry by strengthening cyberinfrastructure to connect research papers with their associated data and methods; a multi-institutional midwest collaboration aimed to support the use of existing and emerging cyberinfrastructure and best practices to improve access to and use of data; an exploration of the benefits of linked open data in three digitized special collections; the development of sustainable scholar-driven digital scholarly publishing models in university libraries; and a stakeholder engagement project to address the issue of the spread of retracted scientific publications.

CIRSS also helps lead the development and management of related pathways in the iSchool MS programs in Library and Information Science and Information Management. These programs prepare data professionals for positions in data science, data analytics, data curation, data stewardship, data librarianship and related roles.