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Assistant Professor Erjia Yan Awarded IMLS Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Grant

Funding Will Directly Support Project to Enhance Digital Services for the Library and Information Science Community

April 30, 2015

Drexel University College of Computing & Informatics Assistant Professor Erjia Yan, PhD is the recipient of over $247,700 in funding (from May 1, 2015 to April 30, 2018) as part of the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The Early Career Development award was matched by an additional $147,585, bringing the funding total to over $395,000.

The Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program supports projects to recruit and educate the next generation of librarians, faculty, and library leaders; and to support early career research. It also assists in the professional development of librarians and library staff.

Yan’s project will build an entity-based research framework with methods and analytical tools that allow for the identification, categorization, disambiguation, representation and reasoning of context-rich entities (e.g., concepts, theories and methods) from scientific publications. This framework will be employed to enhance the digital services of two groups of audiences in library and information science: one group retrieves scientific publications to satisfy their information needs and the other has the needs to analyze scientific publications to study scholarly communication. Through this work, the project will accomplish two objectives: to discover latent knowledge from large linked data and to deliver knowledge more effectively to satisfy users’ information needs by the use of entity-level analytics. An open-access corpus will be employed as a proof-of-concept for the framework design.

Yan’s research interests lie in network science, informetrics and scholarly data analysis, in the area of using scholarly networks to study scholarly communication, with a focus on its methods (e.g., ranking, clustering, topic modeling and path finding) as well as its applications (e.g., evaluating research impact, studying scientific collaboration, addressing issues related to disciplinarity and interdisciplinarity, and exploring knowledge flow and transfer patterns).

He earned his doctorate in information science and master of information science degree from Indiana University Bloomington, and a bachelor of science degree from Nanjing University.

IMLS is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums, with a mission to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning and cultural and civic engagement.

This year, IMLS awarded 16 Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program grants to a total of $5,155,463, and will be matched with $2,415,910 in non-federal funds. IMLS received 100 applications for the program this year.

“It is exciting to invest in projects that support the digital library infrastructure with fresh thinking and advance STEM learning in libraries. These projects not only innovate, they bring together partners in new ways that will surely enrich and extend their impact,” said IMLS Acting Director Maura Marx in the official IMLS announcement. “The range of skills and education needed by people working in libraries and archives seems to grow every year. These new training and education projects include creative collaborations that will help prepare library staff for the demands of a changing profession.”