Dwyer and Wong complete digital humanities projects at Oxford

This past summer MS/LIS students Kaylen Dwyer and Jasmine Wong participated in the Oxford-Illinois Digital Library Placement Program, an ongoing collaboration between Illinois and Oxford. The 2019 program partnered with the HathiTrust Research Center (HTRC) as part of the grant "Digging Deeper, Reaching Further: Libraries Empowering Users to Mine the HathiTrust Digital Library Resources." The students proposed their own independent projects and were advised by faculty members at Oxford e-Research Center, David de Roure and Kevin Page, and iSchool partners Professor J. Stephen Downie and Visiting Research Services Specialist Ryan Dubnicek.

Kaylen Dwyer
Kaylen Dwyer

For her project, Dwyer worked with HathiTrust's Machine-Readable Cataloging (MARC) records in JavaScript Object Notation (JSON). Her research focused on the 583 Action Notes field that records preservation and conservation metadata.

"There have been many recent discussions about the usefulness of including conservation metadata within the bibliographic record, especially when it comes to digital libraries and shared print retention programs where the metadata records are shared between institutions," Dwyer said. "To facilitate this, I wanted to complete a full evaluation of the field—the prevalence of its use, how various libraries are using it, and what data is captured. I'm hoping the study will show the value of this metadata (or lack thereof) and identify best practices moving forward."

After earning her MS/LIS, Dwyer would like to find a job in digital scholarship or digital humanities, with a specialization in exhibits, text mining, or TEI. In the future, she would like to return to school for a PhD that combines literature, bibliography, and textual editing.

Jasmine Wong
Jasmine Wong

During her time at Oxford, Wong worked to develop, scope, and execute a digital humanities text analysis project, "Extracting and Analyzing Illustrative Quotations in English Language Dictionaries." According to Wong, the project gave her practical experience in dataset cleaning, text analysis using Python, and data processing with the HTRC Data Capsule.

"The work I conducted at Oxford is part of a larger research project exploring representation and bias in the Western literary canon," she said. "As a result of my summer placement, I now have a better sense of what the day-to-day research process looks like and how to structure my workflow to fit my own research style."

Following graduation, Wong plans to return to Indiana to work with The Startup Ladies, an organization that helps women and minority entrepreneurs start and scale their businesses, and continue the research she began at Oxford. Like Dwyer, she hopes to return to school someday to pursue a PhD in digital humanities.

As part of their summer placement, Dwyer and Wong attended the Digital Humanities at Oxford Summer School, which offers training in the digital humanities through hands-on workshops and lectures. There the students explored a range of issues surrounding humanities data types including data modeling, data curation and preservation, and reproducibility.

Wong will present the poster, "Piloting a Workflow for Extracting Author Citations in Samuel Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language," featuring research from her Oxford-Illinois placement at the 2019 iSchool Research Showcase on October 30.

Updated on
Backto the news archive

Related News

Cheng defends dissertation

Doctoral candidate Jessica Cheng successfully defended her dissertation, "Agreeing to Disagree: Applying a Logic-based Approach to Reconciling and Merging Multiple Taxonomies," on May 25. 

Jessica Cheng

Student award recipients announced

Each year, the School of Information Sciences recognizes a group of outstanding students for their achievement in academics as well as a number of attributes that contribute to professional success. Congratulations to this year's honorees!

Alma with cap

Brooks presents keynote at West African conference

Ian Brooks, iSchool research scientist and director of the Center for Health Informatics (CHI), gave a keynote talk at the West Africa Conference on Digital Public Goods and Cybersecurity, which was held on May 9-10 in Freetown, Sierra Leone. The conference focused on bridging the gender gap in digital public goods and cybersecurity spaces in Africa.

Ian Brooks

New project to help identify and predict insider threats

Insider threats are one of the top security concerns facing large organizations. Current and former employees, business partners, contractors—anyone with the right level of access to a company’s data—can pose a threat. The incidence of insider threats has increased in recent years, at a significant cost to companies. Associate Professor Jingrui He is addressing this problem in a new project that seeks to detect and predict insider threats. She has been awarded a three-year, $200,000 grant from the C3.ai Digital Transformation Institute for her project, "Multi-Facet Rare Event Modeling of Adaptive Insider Threats."

Jingrui He

iSchool students present their research at Urbana City Council meeting

At the Urbana City Council meeting on May 9, students in the Community Data (IS 594) course presented their research on how communities are reducing gun violence. According to their instructor Chamee Yang, postdoctoral research associate with the iSchool, Community Data Clinic, and Just Infrastructures Initiative, the new course was designed as an experiential learning opportunity with a community engagement component, where students could gain research experience with real-world implications. Throughout the Spring 2022 semester, students worked in groups to explore community-driven approaches to prevent gun violence.

Chamee Yang, Sarah Unruh, and Gowri Balasubramaniam