P. Bryan Heidorn began his new job as SIRLS Director October 2009. Prior to coming to the UA, Heidorn was a faculty member of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. For the last two years he also served as a program manager of the Division of Biological Infrastructure at the National Science Foundation. Bryan is the Grants Committee Chair of the JRS Biodiversity Foundation (www.jrsbdf.org/) which funds work in Africa and South America for biodiversity informatics projects.
His areas of research include natural language processing, text mining for metadata and information retrieval, particularly in biodiversity literature, and museum informatics.
"With a long list of grant and contract awards and a strong list of publications in both librarianship and information science, Heidorn is well-poised to lead SIRLS in educating the next generation of librarians and information professionals," said Tom Wilding, a professor who served as interim director of the school.
Heidorn was drawn to the school because of its faculty and innovative programs. "Knowledge River was certainly one of the largest and most interesting initiatives for me," said Heidorn. "Another exciting program is the digital curation program – DigIn."
Heidorn, who was active in digital data policy issues at the University of Illinois and at the National Science Foundation, believes there are continued opportunities for the school in the field of digital curation, especially with the growing amount of large data sets, such as those created by genomics and earth sensors.
"Traditionally, library schools have dealt with paper documents, but increasingly scientists rely on data from other scientists," Heidorn said. "This data is being generated at a rapid rate that far outstrips our ability to index, access and store it.
"It is the role of libraries and library researchers to organize and provide access to society's knowledge," Heidorn said. "We need to develop new data curation standards, including new metadata standards, as well as data management and preservation methods. We must then educate the library community about the use of these methods."
Digital archives is another area that Heidorn would like to expand as an area of study.
"One of the big problems that libraries have to solve is how we are going to provide access to materials over the long haul," said Heidorn. "Formats expire at a very great rate.
"How do you take a heterogeneous set of materials, provide pointers and access to them, and refresh them. It's a big challenge."
Heidorn is optimistic about the opportunities for those choosing to enter the information resources and library science field.
"The information revolution is creating a good number of jobs, and we can be sure that the information industry is going to continue to grow and expand," Heidorn said.
The School of Information Resources and Library Science is also well-positioned to help library professionals who want to refresh their skills. It is the only library school in Arizona and one of only five accredited library schools in the western U.S., and is a leader in distance education, providing many online classes.
"Under professor Heidorn's leadership, I know SIRLS will continue to be on the cutting edge of the library and information field and provide students with the skills necessary to thrive in today's marketplace," said Beth Mitchneck, interim dean of the UA College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. "In addition, his focus is not only on the unique programs at SIRLS, but also on the connections that the school can foster, both across campus and with our off-campus constituencies."
Funded Research and Education Grants
Bological Science Collections (BiSciCol) Tracker, NSF Collaborative Grant, P. Bryan Heidorn PI for University of Arizona; Nico Cellinese and Reed Beaman, Steven R Manchester, Gustav Paulay, Norris H Williams,University of Florida; Richard L Pyle, Bernice P Bishop Museum; Robert P Guralnick, University of Colorado at Boulder; Neil Davies, Jonathan A Coddington, Christopher P Meyer, Thomas M Orrell, George K Roderick, University of California-Berkeley. We will develop online resources for linking and tracking scientific collection objects (specimens, sequences, images, etc.) and their digital metadata across multiple institutional collections with heterogeneous information management systems. In current distributed data systems (e.g., GBIF, MANIS, HerpNET, ORNIS), information is passed one-way from data providers to users. No mechanism exists to tag or annotate collection objects and link information to other collection objects or data records and back to the original collections. The BiSciCol team will 1) develop a tracking and annotation system based on globally unique identifiers (GUIDs) and ontological relationships; 2) deploy this system and others in a Virtual Information Appliance (VIA) as a Virtual Machine (VM); and 3) document and implement a set of use cases and practices, based on characteristic physical and digital workflows in the community. Oct 1, 2010 – Sept 30, 2013 $254,236.
"Big Data and Long Tails: Addressing the Cyber-Infrastructure Challenges for Research on a Budget.” July 28, 2012 to August 4, 2012, Canyons Resort, 4000 Canyons Resort Drive, Park City, Utah. Funded by DOE Institute for Computing in Science (ICiS). Organizers: Christine Borgman (University of California Los Angeles), Ian Foster (Argonne National Laboratory/University of Chicago), Bryan Heidorn (University of Arizona), Bill Howe (University of Washington), and Carl Kesselman (University of Southern California/Information Sciences Institute) http://icis.anl.gov/programs/summer2012-3b.
Conceptualizing an Institute for Empowering Long Tail Research. NSF/OCI Software Institutes. Christine Borgman, University of California Los Angeles; Ian Foster, University of Chicago; Bryan Heidorn, University of Arizona; Tom Howe, University of Washington; Carl Kesselman, University of Southern California. This S2I2 Conceptualization project aims to determine whether these obstacles to discovery and innovation can be overcome via the use of software as a service (SaaS) methods. Such methods have proven immensely effective for small and medium businesses due to their ability to deliver advanced capabilities while streamlining the user experience and achieving economies of scale. To determine whether similar benefits can apply for SMLs, the project team will engage with multiple science communities to identify science practices, match science practices against candidate SaaS offerings, and evaluate business models that could permit sustainable development of those offerings. (In Process: Sept 2012-August 2013 $49,819 https://sites.google.com/site/ieltrconcept/home
La SCALA: Latino Scholars Cambio Leadership Academy. Institute for Museum and Library Services. Ed Cortez & Suzanne Allard, University of Tennessee; Bryan Heidorn, Hong Cui and Patricia Montiel-Overall, University of Arizona. Joint program with University of Tennessee to train Latino/a STEM PhD students in Library and Information Science by forming cohort of six students, three at each University who will exchange semesters between the two Universities and would take joint doctoral seminars across universities. (July 2012-June 2016: Primarily Scholarships: IMLS $119,435, University Match $188,659)
Doctor of Philosophy in Information Science, 1997, University of Pittsburgh
Dissertation: Natural Language Understanding for Image Retrieval: Botanical texts
Master of Science in Information Science, 1983, University of Pittsburgh
Bachelor of Science in Psychobiology, summa cum laude, 1979, University of Pittsburgh
My research focuses on two parts of LIS. The first is the management of scholarly data for reuse with particular concentration on the small data sets. As a side note, while larger data sets are generally already well understood and managed, small data sets are not, and the data they contain, in total, is larger than the data contained in large data sets. My second area of research is in biodiversity informatics, with my current project being the NSF funded Biological Science Collections Tracking Project where I am working on new methods to extract metadata from biological museum collections’ records for integration on the semantic web and the print literature.
Heidorn, P. Bryan (2011). Biodiversity Informatics. Bulletin of the American Society of Information Science and Technology.
Heidorn, P. Bryan (2011). The Emerging Role of Libraries in Data Curation and E-science. Journal of Library Administration.
Heidorn, P. Bryan and Annette Olson (2010). The National Biological Information Infrastructure. In (Eds.) Marcia J. Bates and Mary Niles Maack. The Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science. DOI: 10.1081/E-ELIS3-120043271
Heidorn, P. Bryan (2008). Shedding Light on the Dark Data in the Long Tail of Science. Library Trends 57(2) Fall 2008 . Institutional Repositories: Institutional Repositories: Current State and Future. Edited by Sarah Sheeves and Melissa Cragin. (http://hdl.handle.net/2142/9127).
Heidorn, P. Bryan, Palmer, Carole and Wright, Dan (2007). From Bioinformatics to Biological Informatics Specialists. Journal of Biomedical Discovery and Collaboration. (2)1. [http://www.j-biomed-discovery.com/content/2/1/1]
My teaching at SIRLS has focused on helping students understand the role of research and the scientific method in advancing LIS as a profession as well as how LIS services can be used to support research in all disciplines. I also teach a course in biodiversity informatics which allows LIS professionals and scientists to better design and use information resources for biodiversity research.
506 Research Methods
588 Biodiversity and Ecological Informatics
My main LIS service activities are generally aligned with my research. I serve as president of the JRS Biodiversity Foundation that provides grants in the developing world to develop information systems to support informed decision making for biodiversity conservation and sustainable use.
Biological Science Collections (BiSciCol) Tracker, NSF Collaborative Grant, P. Bryan Heidorn PI for University of Arizona; Nico Cellinese and Reed Beaman, Steven R Manchester, Gustav Paulay, Norris H Williams,University of Florida; Richard L Pyle, Bernice P Bishop Museum; Robert P Guralnick, University of Colorado at Boulder; Neil Davies, Jonathan A Coddington, Christopher P Meyer, Thomas M Orrell, George K Roderick, University of California-Berkeley. We will develop online resources for linking and tracking scientific collection objects (specimens, sequences, images, etc.) and their digital metadata across multiple institutional collections with heterogeneous information management systems. In current distributed data systems (e.g., GBIF, MANIS, HerpNET, ORNIS), information is passed one-way from data providers to users. No mechanism exists to tag or annotate collection objects and link information to other collection objects or data records and back to the original collections. The BiSciCol team will 1) develop a tracking and annotation system based on globally unique identifiers (GUIDs) and ontological relationships; 2) deploy this system and others in a Virtual Information Appliance (VIA) as a Virtual Machine (VM); and 3) document and implement a set of use cases and practices, based on characteristic physical and digital workflows in the community.
Global Biodiversity Information Facility and Coordination of Research e-Infrastructure Activities Towards an International Virtual Environment for Biodiversity (CReATIVE-B) Core Team to co-author a Global Biodiversity Informatics Outlook, and to co-chair a workshop at the Global Biodiversity Informatics Conference, July 2012.
Science Advisory Committee Member, Organization for Tropical Studies
Encyclopedia of Life, Semantic Reasoning Workshop Aug 2012