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Selected Research

This page contains a thematically organized list of selected publications with short narratives for background information.

See my CV (external site) for more details.

Bias in Peer Review

Charles Fox, an ecologist and entomologist at the University of Kentucky, and I met because I gave a talk at UK Libraries for Open Access week in the Fall 2013 semester. In our first meeting, when he gave me a tour of his lab, we both learned that we were interested in bias in the peer review process, and that led to a series of studies published from 2015 to 2017.

After a five year break, while I pursued some other projects and finalized my tenure dossier, we have regrouped, as of 2022, in order to work on a larger peer review data set. I am glad to be working with Fox again on this important topic, and we should produce at least one more publication within the year.

Health Information Retrieval

I was among the first people, I believe, to publish an empirical study on megajournals, and in the process of conducting a follow up study, I noticed some odd search result discrepancies in various bibliographic databases. The searches were all related to medical journals, and that led me to ask some people who research health information about what was happening in these systems. Our discussions led to some conference presentations and to a couple of published papers on the problems we had discussed.


I published one paper on megajournals, and I meant to conduct more studies, but the discrepancies I mentioned above led to the health information retrieval project and away from this project. Some other people have taken off with this research, which is great, but I still have some questions, and I hope to return to this someday.

Reference Librarianship and Qualitative Methodology

The communication overload paper below began in my qualitative methodology course, taught by education psychology professor Alejandro Morales, when I was a PhD student. I recruited Jenny Bossaller because her research expertise included reference librarianship and qualitative inquiry. Both Morales and Bossaller later served on my dissertation committee. When I started this study, I learned that Amy VanScoy was doing similar research. VanScoy later reviewed and commented on the draft we had written and before it was submitted to the Journal of Documentation. So it became natural to want to work with her on the two follow up studies that we did.

The three of us are interested in open science topics, but the open science discussion largely centers around quantitative research. Hence our goal with the secondary analysis papers was to show that open science applies to qualitative studies, too.

Fake News (really, documentation)

I'm super interested in document theory. The motivation for this study rested on the idea that how a document is presented, how it is read, and how it is sourced can influence the credibility of its content. The results reported in the First Monday paper were unexpected and, as is usual, led to more questions. We are following up on that now and hope to present future findings later in 2022.

Tacit Knowledge and Open Science

I have been teaching a knowledge management course at UK for a good number of years now, and that has given me a lot of time to think deeply about tacit knowledge. Because of my interests in open science, it was inevitable, I believe, that I would connect the two concepts. The paper below started with a series of lectures I gave in this course, but I have also given a couple of talks now on open science and tacit knowledge. This is also the topic of a book in progress. So far, though, I have this:

History of Automation

One of my professors, Thomas Kochtanek, in graduate school would often talk about Ralph Parker, a former director of the library at the University of Missouri (MU) and a founder of the library science school there. Parker was basically the first person to automate part of a library's workflow using punched cards, but little was known about him. I took advantage of the archives at MU to read through his papers and reports as director of the library there. It was a great blast to spend a lot of time in the archives, and I hope to do that again someday. Anyway, the time there resulted in this short history of Parker's contribution to library automation and to OCLC.

Electronic Resources

This paper came out of a discussion I had with my dissertation committee. Interestingly, it is currently my most cited work, and it still gets citations. Because of the continued interest in this topic, I would like to follow up on it. There's still a lot to learn about institutional repositories at libraries and their role in the scholarly publishing ecosystem, which was a big part of my dissertation.