Assistant Professor Jodi Schneider has received an award from the University of Illinois Research Board for her project, “Identifying Potential Bias in Science Using Citation Network Structures.” According to Schneider, citation bias happens when authors ignore relevant research and present one-sided evidence, which misrepresents what is known about a topic. Citation bias benefits authors in the short-term by bolstering grants and papers, but it can have severe negative consequences for scientific inquiry.
Schneider’s project will approach citation bias by examining how scientific papers are connected to each other through their bibliographies.
"The objective of my project is to test the hypothesis that citation bias can be detected through a network-structure-only approach," said Schneider. "This research will pave the way towards scalable automatic bias detection tools by identifying relevant network structure metrics, and, if necessary, text mining approaches for content extraction."
The $29,960 award will support three students—Yuanxi Fu, a master's student in bioinformatics; Jasmine Yuan, a BS/IS student; and a master's student hourly.
Schneider studies the science of science through the lens of arguments, evidence, and persuasion. She is developing linked data (ontologies, metadata, and Semantic Web) approaches to manage scientific evidence. She holds a PhD in informatics from the National University of Ireland, Galway. Prior to joining the iSchool in 2016, Schneider served as a postdoctoral scholar at the National Library of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, and INRIA, the national French Computer Science Research Institute.