The iSchool and University Library are partners on a National Leadership Grant for Libraries awarded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The grant supports work to hold a national forum and develop a white paper aimed at simplifying scholars' access to in-copyright and access-restricted texts for computational analysis and data mining research.
Text data mining and analysis are important research methods for scholars. However, efforts to access and analyze data sets are frequently complicated when texts are protected by copyright or other intellectual property restrictions.
The forum will bring together stakeholders in the areas of libraries, research, and publishing to discuss and recommend a research, policy, and practice framework that guides scholarly access to protected texts for data mining and other analyses. Thereafter, the grant partners will produce a white paper to summarize the discussions and present best practices and policy suggestions to the larger library community.
The iSchool team includes Bertram Ludäscher, iSchool professor and director of the Center for Informatics Research in Science and Scholarship (CIRSS), and Megan Senseney, research scientist. The University Library team includes Beth Namachchivaya, associate dean of libraries and associate university librarian for research, and Eleanor Dickson, visiting HathiTrust Research Center digital humanities specialist.
"This award enables us to bring together an international community of experts to identify a more direct access path for an increasing number of scholars to use computational methods to mine and analyze digital texts in their research," said Namachchivaya. "The potential to extend text analysis with computational tools is substantial. This grant has the potential to support pragmatic solutions for libraries as well as further scholarly insights into the value of research access to these digital texts."