Faculty Talk: Gretchen Stahlman

Wed, 02/13/2019 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Ehrlicher Room, 3100 North Quad

Discovering Dark Data Through the Lens of the Scholarly Literature 


Scientific literature is a rich source of potential knowledge, where extracting information from the text and associated metadata of previously published work can produce new insight and augment other datasets. In this talk, I will present ongoing research that aims to support data curation and scholarly communication efforts in several domains. First, my dissertation project - “Exploring the Long Tail of Astronomy: A Mixed-Methods Approach to Searching for Dark Data” - captures disciplinary insights into the research practices, institutional influences and data infrastructures of astronomers to inform the development of heuristics for locating indicators of uncurated astronomical data associated with scholarly articles. Second, an exploratory study was conducted in Summer 2018 through the LEADS-4-NDP fellowship program, which provided recommendations on methods and workflows for parsing geographic references in the text of Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) collections. Third, an effort is underway to gather a network of researchers and other stakeholders together to address the issue of sharing and linking data collected at biological field stations across time. For each project, I will discuss related work, provide an overview and status, and highlight possible outcomes and implications of this research.

Speaker BIo

Gretchen Stahlman is a PhD candidate in the University of Arizona’s School of Information. She holds a Master of Science degree in Library Science from Clarion University of Pennsylvania, and she previously worked as a documentation specialist for the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array telescope project in United States and Chile. As a doctoral student, Gretchen has participated in several projects exploring cyberinfrastructure strategies for “Long Tail” datasets in biology and astronomy, including assisting in establishing the Astrolabe repository and computing environment for astronomy data. Gretchen also served as a Research Development Fellow in the University of Arizona’s Office for Research, Discovery & Innovation during the 2015-16 academic year. Most recently, Gretchen was selected as a 2018 LEADS Fellow through the IMLS-funded LEADS-4-NDP program. Gretchen’s dissertation research focuses on identifying uncurated and potentially-valuable data associated with academic publications.