2009 Research Showcase

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Monday, April 6, 2009

1 - 3 pm: Research Presentations
3 - 4 pm: Poster Session and Reception

GSLIS Room 126 and East Foyer
501 E. Daniel Street
Champaign, Illinois

As a world leader in library and information science, GSLIS is engaged in a number of research projects that benefit the way information is produced, analyzed, and preserved in society.

The 2009 Research Showcase was held on Monday, April 6, where GSLIS faculty and students presented short talks and a poster session highlighting the breadth, depth, and possibilities of their scholarly work. Topics included digital preservation and data curation, information modeling and retrieval, youth literature, and community informatics.

This is an annual event and open to campus and the general public. GSLIS invites faculty to learn more about our research and opportunities for collaboration, students to learn more about our programs, and the general public to learn why GSLIS is the nation's top-ranked library and information science school.

Presentations (1-3 pm; LIS 126)

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Opening Remarks, John Unsworth
audio

Introduction, Les Gasser
audio

Buildings, Books and Social Engineering: Early Public Library Buildings in Britain from Past to Present
Alistair Black
audio | slides

Space and Cyberspace in Chicago's Ethnic, Diasporan Communities
Kate Williams
audio | slides

One View of Information Analysis, Two Visions of Systematizing Knowledge Organization (KO): A Comparison of the Indexing Theories of Paul Otlet and Julius Otto Kaiser
Thomas M. Dousa
audio | slides

Music and Audio Information Retrieval Research at GSLIS
J. Stephen Downie and the IMIRSEL Team
audio | slides

Biotech and the Knowledge Commons
Wilhelm Peekhaus
audio | slides

Learning How to Read in a Digital Library
Bonnie Mak
audio | slides

The Origin of Chinese-American Children's Literature: An Historical Study
Minjie Chen
audio | slides

Automated Discovery of Social Networks in Text-Based Online Communities
Anatoliy Gruzd
audio | slides

Posters and Reception (3-4 pm; LIS 131 and E. Foyer)

Analyzing Claims and Evidence in Scientific Literature
John MacMullen

Author Name Disambiguation in Medline
Vetle I. Torvik

Blending Grounded Theory and Ontology Development Methods
Richard J. Urban

Center for Children's Books: Youth, Literature and Culture
Christine Jenkins

Center for Informatics Research in Science and Scholarship (CIRSS)
Carole Palmer and Kevin Trainor

Enhancing Subject Access to Materials in Library OPACs: Are Folksonomies the Answer?
Carrie Pirmann (CAS)

Facets of Community Empowerment: Theory, Technology and Practice
Jeff Ginger, Adam Kehoe and Navadeep Khanal

Folktales and Facets
Kathryn La Barre and Carol Tilley

Geocollaboratories: Using GIS Systems to Enhance Community Participation in Decision-making
Jon Gant

Good Neighbors: The State Farm Research Center, GSLIS, Corporate Taxonomies and Enterprise 2.0
Randy Kuehn and William Marino

Multidimensional Facets of Information Exchange Among Members of an Online Breast Cancer Support Group
Ellen Rubenstein

National Board Certification for Teacher Librarians
Kimberly Seobhan Anderson (CAS)

Patchwork Prototyping a Collections Dashboard
Richard Urban and Mike Twidale

Preserving Virtual Worlds: The OAIS Reference Model vs. the BFG 9000
Jerome McDonough

Scientific Data Collections: Implications for Curation in Academic Libraries
Melissa Cragin

Son of Blinkie: Visualizing Dynamic Classifications of Music
Stephen Downie and IMIRSEL group

The Emergence of Information Organization in Biology
Dan Wright

The INFORM Risk Assessment Methodology Project: Collaboratively Assessing Data Format Risk
Jerome McDonough, Larry S. Jackson, Mamta Singh, Guojun Zhu and Patricia Hswe

Towards the Global Measurement of the Information Society: a U.S.-China Comparison of National Government Surveys
Hui Yan, PhD student Peking U

Website Structure: Models for Archiving
Larry S. Jackson

What is Community Informatics in Japan? A Look at 12 Cases
Aiko Takazawa

When Digital Objects Change -- Exactly What Changes?
Karen Wickett

Youth Community Informatics
Bertram Bruce, Lisa Bouillion, Ann Bishop, Martin Wolske, Moustafa Ayad, Nama Budhathok, Chera Kowalski, Chaebong Nam and Christopher Ritzo

Presentations (1-3 pm; LIS 126)

Buildings, Books and Social Engineering: Early Public Library Buildings in Britain from Past to Present
Alistair Black
audio | slides

This presentation will provide, with the aid of illustrations, a summary of Dr. Black's forthcoming book, Buildings, Books and Social Engineering: Early Public Library Buildings in Britain from Past to Present (Ashgate, scheduled May 2009, co-authored with Simon Pepper and Kaye Bagshaw). A commonplace sight in Britain's towns and cities for over a century and a half, the public library built-form has strangely never been the subject of an extensive architectural history. Black's book begins the process of rectifying that omission by providing a socio-architectural history of British public library buildings between 1850 and 1939. It was a built-form rich in iconography and, like any technology, reflective of the social forms of the time. A surprisingly high proportion of these urban civic buildings remain intact to one degree or another, and, moreover, still function as libraries. Thus, in addition to providing a historical assessment for its own worth, as well as in the interests of highlighting the heritage and continuing value of public libraries, the book evaluates the potential of extant historic libraries for modernization, focusing on attitudes to renovation and to the blending of the historic with the new.


Space and Cyberspace in Chicago's Ethnic, Diasporan Communities
Kate Williams
audio | slides

The Community Informatics Lab is building on the origins of urban sociology by studying space and cyberspace in Chicago's ethnic communities. We are comparing the addresses associated with URLs about and by these populations with the real space they occupy. Digital inequality has multiple dimensions, one of which provides the conceptual framework of this study: To what extent are our communities represented in cyberspace, and who controls that information?


One View of Information Analysis, Two Visions of Systematizing Knowledge Organization (KO): A Comparison of the Indexing Theories of Paul Otlet and Julius Otto Kaiser
Thomas M. Dousa
audio | slides

Paul Otlet (1868-1944) and J. O. Kaiser (1868-1927) were two important pioneers of information indexing. Whereas both men advocated a form of "information analysis" privileging data organization over purely bibliographic organization, they reached vastly different conclusions about the proper scope of information indexing: Otlet favored the creation of universal knowledge organization systems based on classification, whereas Kaiser preferred the creation of locally tailored systems rooted in alphabetical indexing. In this presentation, Dousa briefly explores the social and ideological reasons for their disagreement about the scope of information indexing systems--a disagreement still very much operative in knowledge organization theory today.


Music and Audio Information Retrieval Research at GSLIS
J. Stephen Downie and the IMIRSEL Team
audio | slides

This presentation highlights the Music Information Retrieval (MIR) and Bio-acoustic research being performed in Dr. Downie's International Music Information Retrieval Systems Evaluation Laboratory (IMIRSEL) located at GSLIS. Two projects will be highlighted: 1) The Networked Environment for Music Analysis (NEMA) is a multinational research project, funded by Mellon, that strives to provide sophisticated web-service facilities to those interested in large-scale music analysis questions; and, 2) The Networked Environmental Sonic-Toolkits for Exploratory Research (NESTER) project, funded by the University of Illinois, is a cross-disciplinary research and development endeavor that aims to provide cutting-edge, large-scale audio analysis services to the world's biological research community.


Biotech and the Knowledge Commons
Wilhelm Peekhaus
audio | slides

This talk reports on research that interrogated the various forms of social struggles that have emerged in defiance of the progressive enclosure of agricultural biotechnology within the social factory. An emphasis on the information and knowledge issues embodied in these conflicts, aside from potentially being indicative of the scope of the social factory, holds the promise of cementing an important bridge between Library and Information Studies (LIS), with its concern over information flows and the information cycle, and political economic and public policy disciplines. Peekhaus contends that the multiple information issues that inhere in biotechnology, ranging from intellectual property concerns in respect of genetic information to the contested nature of regulatory and public biotech discourses, render LIS a wholly apposite discipline within which to situate a critical analysis of this technoscience that goes beyond the current LIS engagement with bioinformatics.


Learning How to Read in a Digital Library
Bonnie Mak
audio | slides

With each passing day, new images of rare books, documentary evidence, and works of art appear online. Many of these materials are freely available to anyone with a computer and Internet connection, and have consequently become central to the investigations of different kinds of users, from the expert scholar to the curious preschooler. As digitizations begin to exert widespread influence upon how history is understood, Dr. Mak argues that we must develop accompanying narratives that are critical of the emergent materials themselves. Mak's work therefore considers digital sources as cultural products of the 21st Century, and suggests ways of using digitizations that honor their relationship with both the past and the present.


The Origin of Chinese-American Children's Literature: An Historical Study
Minjie Chen
audio | slides

This project plans to delineate the history of early Chinese-American children's literature published from the 1920s until the eve of the U.S. Civil Rights movement in the 1960s. The time period from post-World War I to the Second World War to the Cold War saw dramatic changes in international relationships between the U.S. and East Asian countries, as well as in the racial relationships in America. These changes, which influenced who got to write and what stories were told about ethnic Chinese people, were crucial in the creation of Chinese-American children's literature. This historical study will help us see how contemporary works have negotiated the tradition and burden from the embryonic stage of Chinese-American children's literature.


Automated Discovery of Social Networks in Text-Based Online Communities
Anatoliy Gruzd
audio | slides

As a way to gain greater insights into the operation of online communities, this research applies automated text mining techniques to text-based online communication in order to identify, describe and evaluate underlying social networks among online community members. As part of this work, a web-based system for content and network analysis called the Internet Community Text Analyzer (ICTA) is being developed. A prototype of ICTA is available at http://textanalytics.net.

 

Posters and Reception (3-4 pm; LIS 131 and E. Foyer)


Analyzing Claims and Evidence in Scientific Literature
John MacMullen

As a part of Dr. MacMullen's work on claim identification and extraction from scientific literature, he and his team are investigating manual annotations made by biocurators on paper journal articles. For this project, they examined the quantities and types of annotations biocurators made on a corpus of 87 articles as they were identifying claims for gene ontology annotations. The ongoing work is exploring deeper linguistic features of claims within annotated text compared with those in unannotated text. This work has implications for understanding aspects of scholarly communication, such as how authors communicate through claims and evidence, as well as data to support the development of semi-automated curation support software.


Author Name Disambiguation in Medline
Vetle I. Torvik

This computer demonstration will illustrate some models, datasets, and tools that we have developed for author name disambiguation, a process in which one attempts to simultaneously separate cases of ambiguous names referring to different individuals and merge cases of variant names referring to the same individual, across all names and on all articles, within or across bibliographic databases.


Blending Grounded Theory and Ontology Development Methods
Richard J. Urban

The development of domain ontologies and the process of open/axial coding outlined by Strauss & Corbin's grounded theory methods bear important similarities that point towards opportunities for "cross-fertilization." While ontology development owes much to knowledge and software engineering practices, ultimately "knowledge representation endeavours are always a kind of sociological work" (Ribes & Bowker, in press). This poster explores the potential of applying a blended approach to understanding the information included in unstructured cultural heritage collection descriptions.


Center for Children's Books: Youth, Literature and Culture
Christine Jenkins

The Youth Literature and Services doctoral specialization is a rich concentration that includes the study of librarianship, literacy, literature, history, technology and youth culture. It includes courses in children's and young adult literature and resources; storytelling and folklore in the oral tradition; young reader/writer interactions in multiple literacies; and librarianship in public and school settings. This poster presents some of the key questions that drive research in this area.


Center for Informatics Research in Science and Scholarship (CIRSS)
Carole Palmer and Kevin Trainor

The Center for Informatics Research in Science and Scholarship (CIRSS) conducts research on information problems that impact scientific and scholarly inquiry, with a focus on the curation and integration of digital information within and across research communities. CIRSS faculty and researchers have expertise in empirical studies of scholarly information use; information modeling, representation, retrieval, and design; data curation; and related areas of information science. Our poster highlights the range of current CIRSS activities: funded research projects conducted by CIRSS affiliates across four core areas--Collections & Curation, e-Science, Digital Humanities, and Scholarly Communication & Libraries; research roundtable groups on metadata and e-Research; and educational program development in data curation and biological informatics.


Enhancing Subject Access to Materials in Library OPACs: Are Folksonomies the Answer?
Carrie Pirmann (CAS)

In 2004, Thomas Vander Wal coined the term "folksonomy" to refer to user-defined labels (or "tags") that facilitate the organization and classification of information. The "social cataloging" website LibraryThing allows users to assign descriptive metadata to books in the form of tags; the more traditional subject language of libraries, Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH), are also used by LibraryThing. Despite long-standing criticisms regarding the inaccessibility of LCSH, little has been done to integrate more usable subject languages into library catalogs. This research examines a given set of books and compares their LibraryThing tags with their assigned LCSH, and focuses on the commonalities and differences in the ways these subject languages describe the materials to which they are applied.


Facets of Community Empowerment: Theory, Technology and Practice
Jeff Ginger, Adam Kehoe and Navadeep Khanal

An overview of several cutting-edge Community Informatics Initiative research projects. Presented projects include "Developing web technologies and digital learning workshops for community empowerment: lessons in digital literacy and Cyberpower," "Drawing connections between feminism, environmentalism and community inquiry: grassroots activism in North Champaign," and "Leveraging open source technologies in CTC's: data collection, remote management and improved user experience." Visitors will also have a chance to learn about other CII research efforts and partner collaborations.


Folktales and Facets
Kathryn La Barre and Carol Tilley

Folktales are an example of complex information resources that are easily obscured by diminished attention to creating bibliographic records to adequately describe their intellectual scope in ways users of these resources find helpful. This poster presentation presents background research for a multiyear project that seeks to develop a next-generation catalog prototype implementation with enhanced records for access to folktales that give special consideration to the shared and unique information seeking tasks of three distinct user groups: scholars, practitioners and laypeople.


Geocollaboratories: Using GIS Systems to Enhance Community Participation in Decision-making
Jon Gant

Presents research project examining the use of geographic information systems (GIS) for citizen participation in local and community decisions. Research is focused on the adoption and use of GIS to support knowledge sharing among community stakeholders in two locales - the North Lawndale community of Chicago, and East St. Louis as part of the University of Illinois' East St Louis Action Project (ESLARP).


Good Neighbors: The State Farm Research Center, GSLIS, Corporate Taxonomies and Enterprise 2.0
Randy Kuehn and William Marino

In the spring of 2009, State Farm's Strategic Resources Knowledge Management Team has provided internships for two GSLIS students at the State Farm Research Center located in the University of Illinois' Research Park. Both internships involve collaborating with the team to research, evaluate concepts and deliver recommendations that may be applied to current projects within the State Farm Enterprise. Randy Kuehn, in conjunction with a proof-of-concept pilot program involving social networking, is researching the use of social media within corporate environments. William Marino is researching various corporate classification schemes in evaluating their efficacy and benefits for possible enterprise-wide implementation at State Farm.


Multidimensional Facets of Information Exchange Among Members of an Online Breast Cancer Support Group
Ellen Rubenstein

This study examined the ways that participants in an online breast cancer support group become literate about breast cancer and acquire the information and social support necessary to navigate the intricacies of coping with their illness. With the assistance of current and former patients, participants garner necessary information and skills that increase their understanding of breast cancer and the ability to cope with treatment. A broad characterization of this process comprises socialization similar to that of communities of practice, where through the mentorship of more experienced breast cancer patients and survivors, novices develop facility within the realm of breast cancer, which, in turn, transforms them into mentors. Through the medium of online support, individuals develop competencies that include learning how to understand the trajectory of their illness and its associated treatments, as well as acquiring the ability to coordinate medical care and negotiate potentially conflicting information.


National Board Certification for Teacher Librarians
Kimberly Seobhan Anderson (CAS)

Is the National Board Certification for Teacher Librarians an indicator of quality teachers? Anderson's project addresses the history, process and impact of the certification. As part of the project Anderson completed the certification process.


Patchwork Prototyping a Collections Dashboard
Richard Urban and Mike Twidale

How do users of large aggregations of digital cultural heritage materials understand the contours and context of the collections they are using? Dr. Twidale and Ph.D student Richard Urban invite attendees to participate in a live demonstration of the "patchwork prototyping" methodology to rapidly explore this problem space. Come help us envision a "collection dashboard" prototype for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Digital Collections and Content project that will visualize the essential features of collection/item context.


Preserving Virtual Worlds: The OAIS Reference Model vs. the BFG 9000
Jerome McDonough

Preserving Virtual Worlds (PVW), a Library of Congress-funded National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP) project, is investigating the preservation of computer games and interactive fiction. This presentation will provide a brief overview of the PVW project, and discuss several of the problems Dr. McDonough and his collaborators have identified in the preservation of games, including the ill-defined boundaries of software as an object of preservation, current failures in bibliographic control of technical standards, cost issues and intellectual property rights issues. Possible strategies to address these problems, including enlistment of the gaming community in preservation activities undertaken by cultural heritage institutions, will also be discussed.


Scientific Data Collections: Implications for Curation in Academic Libraries
Melissa Cragin

This research concerns the development and use of scientific data collections, and the implications for their curation and stewardship. Scientific data collections (SDCs) are aggregates of data generated or collected by either scientists or instruments, and grouped together because they share some property. The availability of publicly accessible data stores opens new possibilities to re-use data to investigate questions beyond the original purposes for which the data were generated.


Son of Blinkie: Visualizing Dynamic Classifications of Music
Stephen Downie and IMIRSEL group

[Abstract forthcoming]


The Emergence of Information Organization in Biology
Dan Wright

Information organization and management are commonly understood to be the products of conscious processes undertaken by human beings. While not incorrect, this view is narrow and excludes a wide range of natural, evolved informational mechanisms in biological systems. The creation of human information organization systems that can exercise a degree of autonomy in interactions with the world - so that they can adapt to changing conditions - would benefit from an understanding of the biological information systems that do this. By broadening our view of information organizations to include these natural systems, we stand to gain a deeper understanding of both principles of information organization and the natural world.


The INFORM Risk Assessment Methodology Project: Collaboratively Assessing Data Format Risk
Jerome McDonough, Larry S. Jackson, Mamta Singh, Guojun Zhu and Patricia Hswe

The INFORM Risk Assessment Methodology Project, one of four University of Illinois-based National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP) projects focusing on the development of digital preservation tools, addresses the uncertainty surrounding data format curation by building a collaborative environment for assessing the risks of these formats. Besides providing an overview of the project, our poster describes the methodology behind the INFORM file format risk assessment tool - a software application designed to collect metrics on file format specifications, relationships and dependencies for digital objects. In addition, to complement our poster, we will provide a demo of the INFORM assessment tool.


Towards the Global Measurement of the Information Society: a U.S.-China Comparison of National Government Surveys
Hui Yan, PhD student, Peking U

Examining and comparing the process and content of two national surveys points up agreements, differences and gaps in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) access and use by citizens. The questions asked in China and the U.S. suggest augmenting existing efforts towards global standardization in measuring country-level ICT access and use.


Website Structure: Models for Archiving
Larry S. Jackson

The relationship between information organization and storage is little understood in websites but could contribute to retention efforts. Extending an earlier claim of one structural class, three were confirmed differentiable by linear classifiers operating solely on features of the hypertext graph. Two additional potentially distinct classes were identified through analysis of misclassification cases.


What is Community Informatics in Japan? A Look at 12 Cases
Aiko Takazawa

In this study, the Community Informatics Lab is working across physical distance but within Japanese culture and language to test our definition of community informatics. The Community Informatics Lab searched for community informatics in Japan, identified 12 cases of local communities using information technology, and analyzed these cases against two intersecting conceptual frameworks from community informatics work in the U.K. and U.S. This revealed that the 12 Japanese community informatics projects reflect collaborations that shift over time and allow for a productive combination of top-down and bottom-up mobilization. Differences in these projects' geographic reach suggest differences in Japanese perceptions of community.


When Digital Objects Change -- Exactly What Changes?
Karen Wickett

Formal accounts of digital objects typically characterize them as strings, tuples, sets, graphs or similar constructs from discrete mathematics. Such a characterization implies that these objects cannot, strictly speaking, undergo certain kinds of changes, such as losing or gaining parts, or having their internal parts rearranged. Yet our discourse about digital objects seems, at least if taken literally, to imply that those objects routinely undergo changes such as these. One strategy for dealing with this inconsistency is to affirm an account that leaves information objects immutable and re-locates the apparent changes in the persons and communities interacting with these objects.


Youth Community Informatics
Bertram Bruce, Lisa Bouillion, Ann Bishop, Martin Wolske, Moustafa Ayad, Nama Budhathok, Chera Kowalski, Chaebong Nam and Christopher Ritzo

Youth Community Informatics (YCI) engages underserved youth as leaders in using cutting-edge technologies to address local community issues. This initiative brings together 4H clubs and tech teams from across Illinois with a range other community-based organizations and after-school programs. Learning activities are supported by curriculum we call "inquiry units" that engage youth in topics such as community asset mapping and community journalism. The technologies used to support these activities include GIS/GPS geospatial tools, video, podcasts and the Internet.