Twitter: @cseanburns | GitHub: @cseanburns | ORCID: 0000-0001-8695-3643 | The Text RSS feed


Basic Gist

I work as an associate professor in the School of Information Science at the University of Kentucky's College of Communication and Information.

In this position, I am presently working on two research projects. The first project is a study of tacit knowledge and open science. In particular, my thesis is that tacit knowing, Michael Polanyi's idea that we can know more than we can tell, challenges the idea that an open science can be fully open. If true, this has ramifications for what we can learn from science done more openly and for what can be replicated based on a more open science.

The second project is a study on document credibility. Here I am interested in what aspects of a document, in particular, news documents and articles, influence how people judge its credibility.

Recent Publications

Mixed findings in directly replicated experimental studies on fake news in First Monday, with Renee Kaufmann and Anthony Limperos. 2021.

MEDLINE search retrieval issues: A longitudinal query analysis of five vendor platforms in PLOS ONE, with Tyler Nix, Robert Shapiro, and Jeffrey Huber. 2021.

What documents cannot do: Revisiting Michael Polanyi and the tacit knowledge dilemma in Information & Culture. 2021. If needed, use the Open Access (Post Print version).

Research Themes

The curriculum vitae is a helpful device because it documents (hopefully) all the work that a scholar achieves. However, it falls short in contextualizing those achievements. In that vein, I have organized some of my publications by theme. These themes include bias in peer review, health information retrieval, reference librarianship and qualitative methodology, fake news, tacit knowledge and open science, history of automation, and electronic resources.

Visit my selected research page to learn more.

Plain Text Social Science

I have a Plain Text Way To Do Plain Text Social Science.

I used the plain text research approach described at the link above to write a paper for an upcoming conference. It was fun to write, even though the paper was rejected (2022-05-24), and I describe the process on The Text. See the output: Ungrade to Learn.



I developed and regularly teach the following two undergraduate courses in my School's information, communication, and technology (ICT) program.

ICT 418: Linux Systems Administration
Undergraduate course covering systems administration using the Fedora GNU/Linux operating system. Topics include Bash scripting, managing users, installing, securing, and managing services such as MySQL, and more. Lectures and demo scripts for this course are on GitHub: Linux Systems Administration.
ICT 420: Semantic Web Development
Undergraduate course focused on HTML5, CSS3, JSON-LD, and Git as well as usability and accessibility. Main software tools: text editor, SFTP, GitHub. Demo and other material for this course are on GitHub Semantic Web Development.


I developed and regularly teach the following two graduate courses in my School's library science (LIS) and information, communication, and technology (ICT) programs.

LIS 617: Electronic Resource Management
Graduate course on managing electronic resources for libraries. Topics covered include the technologies and systems involved, legal issues such as managing copyright, contract negotiation, and more. Lectures and other material for this course are on GitHub: Electronic Resource Management.
LIS/ICT 658: Knowledge Management
Graduate course on organizational knowledge management with some emphasis on disaster and risk management and communication. Although this is an online course, students are central in selecting specific readings.

I developed and regularly taught the following undergraduate course, but now teach it mainly when I take on summer teaching.

ICT 201: Personal Knowledge Management
Undergraduate course on managing personal information and knowledge work flows. I would share my lectures and resources for this course, but I'm working on a major revision and will wait until that revision is complete. Lectures and other materials for this course are on GitHub: Personal Knowledge Management.

Course Books

I'm in the process of creating books out of my course lectures, notes, and demonstrations using the mdbooks software. I should have a total of five books for each of the courses listed above.

This is still a work in progress. The first two books cover my electronic resource management class and my Linux systems administration class. I don't expect either to be polished until around December 2022. However, I have made the rough drafts available:


Systems Administration

I maintain two Linux servers for colleagues and students at my School to support class activities. I use one dedicated server to host WordPress and Omeka installations that support the library science and the information and communication technologies (ICT) programs. I use a separate virtual machine on a hosting service to provide shell and MySQL accounts to support several courses in our undergraduate ICT program.

Statistics Notes

There are better and more complete tutorials on the web, and the R documentation is great, but I do keep some basic notes on using R for statistics on my wiki. Some of these notes are based on introductory presentations I've given on R, but some were written as refreshers if I needed them. Or, one way I learned how to use R is by replicating, in R, lessons from statistics textbooks that used other software packages. Some of the notes below are based on that process.

Random Essay and Note Topics

My wiki contains various kinds of content. I've tried blogging over the years, but it never really took. But before deleting those blogging sites, I preserved the posts on my wiki. I also use the wiki to keep notes and how-tos (like the statistics how-tos listed above). I'm using GitHub more for these things lately, but I still add to the wiki.

These former blog posts are now simply essays on my wiki:

Automating this Website

I wrote a handful of weird scripts to automate site publishing and deploying to The Text, which is a single page of mostly short posts on a range of topics: Site Automation w/ Scripts.