About me

I am a doctoral candidate in Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  I plan to defend my dissertation in the summer of 2017.  My dissertation research is focused on information seeking behavior of scientists while searching for physical geological data.

Inspired by my work at the Florida Geological Survey, in my dissertation research I will investigate how science data repositories provide access to their collections for various stakeholders. My research centers on the information seeking behavior of scientists, specifically related to their use of physical data sources within the geosciences such as cores, cuttings, fossils, and other specimens, and how those specimens enable new scientific discoveries across organizations, domains, and other divides. I will be conducting research at state geological survey repositories to understand the access and use needs of users and the recordkeeping processes of creators (metadata creation, data formats, etc.).

First, I will explore the ways that data repositories capture and retain information related to physical samples collected by research scientists. I will also look at the larger issues of metadata and semantic data. Though repositories frequently target a particular user group through their selection of access points, online portals, digital surrogates, etc., these institutions face expanding and increasingly diverse audiences to which they must adapt (Parsons and Duerr, 2005). Finally, I will examine the barriers external users encounter when searching for physical samples. When evaluating materials for potential use, researchers must understand the data collection process and germane terminology.