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Graduate School of Library and Information Science - University of Illinois


iSchool partners on IMLS National Leadership Grant for Libraries

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 15:54:48 +0000

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."

Jinseok Kim defends dissertation

Tue, 25 Apr 2017 19:21:08 +0000

Doctoral candidate Jinseok Kim successfully defended his dissertation, "The impact of author name disambiguation on knowledge discovery from large-scale scholarly data," on April 24. 

His committee included Assistant Professor Jana Diesner (chair), Associate Professor Catherine Blake, Assistant Professor Vetle Torvik, Michelle Shumate (associate professor of communication studies, Northwestern University), and Seok-Hyoung Lee (senior researcher, Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information).

From the abstract: In this study, I demonstrate that the choice of data pre-processing methods for resolving author name ambiguity can adversely affect our understanding of scholarly collaboration patterns and coauthorship network structure extracted from bibliometric data . . . A common challenge has been that author names in bibliometric data are not properly disambiguated: authors may share the same name (i.e., different authors are sometimes misrepresented to be a single author which can lead to a “merging of identities”). In addition, one author may use name variations (i.e., an author may be represented as two or more different authors which can lead to a “splitting of identities”). When faced with these challenges, most scholars have pre-processed bibliometric data using simple heuristics (e.g., if two author names share the same surname and given name initials, they are presumed to refer to the same author identity) and assumed that their findings are robust to errors due to author name ambiguity.

My findings show that initial-based name disambiguation methods can severely distort our understanding of given networks and such distortion gets severe over time. Moreover, this distortion can sometimes lead to false knowledge of network formation and evolution mechanisms such as preferential attachment generating power-law distribution of node degree and to false validation of theories about the choice of collaborators in scientific research, which may result in ill-informed decisions about research policy and resource allocation.

Rupp receives 2017 Marion E. Sparks Award

Tue, 25 Apr 2017 18:59:56 +0000

(image) Master's student Kortney Rupp has been selected by the Special Libraries Association (SLA) as recipient of the 2017 Marion E. Sparks Award. This award provides funding to attend the 2017 SLA Annual Conference, which will be held June 16-20 in Phoenix, Arizona. This annual conference allows participants to develop essential skills, network with colleagues, and explore noteworthy trends in knowledge and information management.

"Attending national meetings for professional organizations is the best way to meet your colleagues and learn about current challenges facing the field," said Rupp. "I am excited to receive this award in honor of Marion E. Sparks because of her impact in chemical information literacy and her legacy as a chemistry librarian at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign."

Rupp is passionate about chemical information literacy and effective data management habits in chemistry research. She is a graduate assistant for the Physical Sciences and Engineering Division of the University of Illinois Library, working at Grainger Engineering Library and Information Center. She also serves as current president of the iSchool's SLA student group.

"Given her leadership of the SLA Student Group this year and the depth of her academic preparation in chemistry, Kortney is well positioned to become involved in the activities of SLA's Chemistry Division. It is especially fitting that the award she is receiving is named in honor of Marion E. Sparks, who served as chemistry librarian at Illinois a century ago," said Linda C. Smith, professor and associate dean for academic affairs, who wrote a letter in support of Rupp's nomination.

Rupp is the recipient of other noteworthy awards, including the 2017 American Chemical Society (ACS) Publications Travel Award, 2013 Women Chemists Committee (WCC) Overcoming Challenges Award, and 2012 ACS Student Leadership Award. She holds a BA in chemistry from Monmouth College and an MS in analytical chemistry from Purdue University. She will complete her MS degree in library and information science in May and begin work as the chemical information librarian at the University of California, Berkeley, in June.

iSchool Young Alumni ALA Reception

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 15:39:53 +0000

If you're a young alumni, or just young at heart, please join us from 4:30-6:30pm at Harry Caray's to catch up with your cohort over appetizers. Cash bar.



Harry Caray's Restaurant at 33 W. Kinzie St. Chicago IL.

Event Date: 

Sat, 06/24/2017 -
4:30pm to 6:30pm

Tilley shares comics research with variety of audiences at April events

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 14:39:14 +0000

Comics as an educational tool, the role of women in comics storytelling, supervillains, and libraries' acceptance of comics are some of the topics Associate Professor Carol Tilley is discussing with audiences this month.

At the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2) on April 21-23, Tilley served on two panels, "The Evolution of Educational Comics" and "She Changed Comics." The first panel focused on the history of educational comics and the changes readers might expect for this genre, and it allowed Tilley to share some of her research for her recently published chapter, "Educating with Comics" (in The Secret History of Comics Studies, Routledge, 2017). The second panel examined how women—cartoonists, writers, editors, colorists, and more—have changed comics storytelling.

On Monday, April 24, Tilley, along with Betsy Gomez of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Mara Thacker of the International and Area Studies Library at Illinois, and Urbana cartoonist and animator Nina Paley, will present a local version of "She Changed Comics." This event, which is free and open to the public, will be held at the Undergraduate Library’s Media Commons from 4:00-5:30 p.m. and is cosponsored by the iSchool.

Tilley will give the keynote address at The Cora Paul Bomar Community Matters Summit, which is hosted by the Library and Information Studies Department at the University of North Carolina Greensboro on April 29. In her talk, "From Pariah to Powerhouse: Looking at Comics in Libraries," she will share stories about some ignominious moments throughout the twentieth century about how libraries grappled with comics and comics reading before growing to embrace them.
Tilley was recently quoted in The Ringer article, "Which Tech CEO Would Make the Best Supervillain?" She described supervillains as larger-than-life characters and suggested that Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, and Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, possess some of the traits associated with supervillains—such as their entrepreneurial focus.

"Comics is a medium that has relevance to so many people and in so many parts of our lives," Tilley said.  "It's challenging, enjoyable, and rewarding to share my work with fan, professional, and scholarly audiences." 

At the iSchool, Tilley teaches courses in comics reader's advisory, media literacy, and youth services librarianship. Part of her scholarship focuses on the intersection of young people, comics, and libraries, particularly in the United States during the mid-twentieth century. Her research has been published in journals including the Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology (JASIST), Information & Culture: A Journal of History, and Children's Literature in Education. Her research on anti-comics advocate Frederic Wertham has been featured in The New York Times and other media outlets. An in-demand speaker on the history of comics readership and libraries, Tilley was a 2016 Will Eisner Comics Industry Awards judge and currently serves as vice-president/president-elect of the Comics Studies Society.

Alumnus David Kalat looks for hidden clues in a digital domain

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 13:08:16 +0000

(image) David Kalat (MS '11) could be considered a Sherlock Holmes of the digital world. However, unlike Holmes hitting the streets of London for clues, Kalat's brand of sleuthing involves using computer forensics, electronic discovery, and data analytics to find the sometimes deeply concealed facts in a case. As a director of the Berkeley Research Group LLC's Global Investigations + Strategic Intelligence Practice, Kalat conducts forensic investigations to settle disputes among parties, usually in the form of litigation. 

According to Kalat, in a forensic examination, the "eureka" moments are less about the contents of files and more about finding when the files were accessed, deleted, or shared.

"I worked a bank hacking case once where my findings involved evidence that a rogue IT consultant had used a secret backdoor to log into the network and then copy and delete customer data records. My investigation wasn't concerned with the contents of those records—but instead about firewall logs, timestamps on database initialization files, and other artifacts of user activity in the server’s operating system," Kalat explained.

He started working in the area of computer forensics for the consulting firm of Duff & Phelps after receiving his MS in library and information science through the Leep online program. In his new job, he discovered "an upside-down world where instead of users implementing organizational tools to manage information, information systems are implementing organizational tools to manage users."

Prior to his forensics work, Kalat worked in video distribution. He received his BA in film and video studies from the University of Michigan in 1992 and worked for more than a decade as DVD producer for his independent label, All Day Entertainment, which was dedicated to "movies that fell through the cracks." 

"From 1997 to around 2009, I restored quite a few interesting 'lost' films like Fritz Lang's swan song, The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse, Edward Dmytryck's blacklisted classic Christ in Concrete, Claude Chabrol's version of Patricia Highsmith's Cry of the Owl, and a whole collection of films by B-movie auteur Edgar Ulmer," Kalat said.

He started writing professionally in 1997 with his first book, an academic study of Godzilla movies. He has published five books on film history as well as contributed chapters to five other anthology film books. For ten years, he blogged for Turner Classic Movies. He gave up the blog last summer when his focus changed to writing about information security and forensics.

Kalat thrives on the challenges in his job at the Berkeley Research Group.

"I get to spend every day confronting complex logic puzzles with no obvious answers, and it's up to me to figure out how to tackle them. And every once in a while, someone brings me a strange piece of technology with an especially difficult puzzle around it, and it’s like Christmas," he said.

He feels that there has never been a better time to be an information scientist, and he encourages current students to think broadly about career possibilities.

"There is a wide world out there, and it's full of information-related problems," said Kalat.