A team composed of two iSchool PhD students, Ly Dinh and Jessica Cheng, and a PhD student from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Li-Min (Cassandra) Huang, won the ASIS&T 2018 Student Design Competition. The competition was held on November 13 during the ASIS&T Annual Meeting in Vancouver, Canada. The prompt for this year's competition was "Design a novel digital tool or service that supports the ethical use of information." The teams were judged on the novelty, usefulness, and quality of their designs as well as the quality of their presentations.
The winning team's design was the Retracker, an automated and standardized solution to tracking retracted papers. It is a plugin to the free and popular referencing tool Zotero, enabling a tracking and warning system for papers that have been retracted from 1970 to the present. Dinh and Cheng were motivated to create this plugin after listening to Assistant Professor Jodi Schneider's talk, "Problematic Citations," at the iSchool's 2018 Research Showcase.
"We were surprised that there have yet to be any 'scalable' and 'standardized' solutions to potentially prevent scholars from unknowingly citing works that have been recently retracted. We propose our design as the first step towards an automated and scalable solution to tracking these retracted papers and perhaps the beginning of a larger conversation on the ‘ethics’ of scholarly citations and the importance of 'keeping science safe,' which is our tool’s motto," Dinh said.
Dinh's research interests lie at the intersection of computational social science, network theories and applications, and organizational communication. She holds a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of Southern California and a master's degree in communication from Illinois.
Cheng's research interests involve topics related to the semantic web, linked open data, and ontologies. She earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in library and information science from National Taiwan University.
For winning the competition, the Retracker team members will receive free registrations to the 2019 ASIS&T Annual Meeting in Melbourne, Australia.