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Program on Information Science at MIT Libraries

MIT Libraries operated the Program on Information Science from 2012 to 2018 when it was superseded by the Center for Research on Equitable and Open Scholarship (CREOS).

The roots of program began in the early 2000s when library director Ann Wolpert created a research program within MIT Libraries. The lead for the program was MacKenzie Smith, a research director at the MIT Libraries who oversaw sponsored research projects, was a special consultant to the Association of Research Libraries’ E-Science Institute, and served as a Science Fellow at the Creative Commons working on issues of research data governance (policy and the technical implementation of policy). Her research focused on applications of the Semantic Web (via the SIMILE project) to scholarly communication and digital data curation (e.g., FACADE, PLEDGE), including long-term data preservation and archiving.

Micah Altman, PhD, the director for the program on information science, led exploration, research, and study of Information Science relevant to the library space starting in 2012. The program grew to encompass a range of topics from big data, election redistricting, data privacy, and information management to the use of VR & AR in library spaces, rapid fabrication/3D printing, and collections accessibility.

Collaboration with external groups such as the National Digital Stewardship Alliance, ORCID, TERC, the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, and Landmark College enhanced the research and impact of the program. The Program on Information Science hosted interns, research affiliates, a postdoc in association with CLIR, and the first MIT Libraries UROP. The program also sponsored a monthly speaker series that included guests from academia, government, and industry. Funding came from MIT Libraries and individual projects were funded by Sloan Foundation, Mellon Foundation, and the National Science Foundation.

With the visioning in the Future of Libraries report and funding from the Mellon Foundation, the Program on Information Science convened a Summit on Grand Challenges in Information Science in March 2018. From this summit the research questions foundational to the formation of the Center for Research on Equitable and Open Scholarship (CREOS) brought the Program on Information Science into a new era as CREOS.

Explore a collection of publications from the Program on Information Science at MIT Libraries.

View an archived version of the Program on Information Science web site (captured on June 11, 2019).