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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, socio-technical systems, knowledge representation, ontologies, scientific workflows, user-centered research collections and aggregations, interdisciplinary information use, scholarly communication, biodiversity informatics, and text and data mining. New projects, funded primarily by NSF, IMLS and the Mellon Foundation, include the development of workflow and provenance tools for data curation and data cleaning; exploring the application of Linked Open Data techniques to library special collections; developing a library-based digital scholarly publishing service model; and a socio-technical analysis of a government listserv to provide recommendations for improving its usability and infrastructure.

CIRSS also leads the development and management of related School of Information Sciences academic programs, the Specialization in Data Curation and the Socio-technical Data Analytics Specialization. These programs prepare data professionals for positions in data science, data analytics, data curation, data stewardship, data librarianship and related roles.