Selected Publications

The ‘information ecosystem’ metaphor is widely used in academic libraries and has become nearly ubiquitous when speaking of the information systems that support scholarly communication and varied forms of data sharing and publication. The trending use of this language arises from non-academic applications — for example in big data (the Hadoop ecosystem) or software development (the node.js ecosystem) — and there remains little critical examination of the use of this metaphor. Indeed, the definition of ecosystem as the set of relations between living organisms and their surrounding non-living environment is apparently not directly a part of the metaphor. This paper first describes the emergence of ecological thinking and how it was influenced by early information science and then explores how different “ecologies” are used within the academy, including in the emergent field of information ecology. A short critique of the metaphor is then posed and the paper concludes that the information ecosystem metaphor is useful, yet at the same time there are dangerous elements that render aspects of human societies and natural ecosystems invisible.
In First Monday, 2017

Recent Publications

. WIScking Ideas. In Journal of the Japanese Association for Digital Humanities, 2017.

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. Information *in* the ecosystem: Against the 'information ecosystem'. In First Monday, 2017.

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Recent Posts

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Drake is a new piece of software I discovered that can be very helpful for automating data manipulation and management. The use case for Drake is simple, one of the biggest, and most time consuming, tasks in any data project is cleaning the data so it can be transformed into a format for analysis. Data often comes in crazy, non-standard, formats which need to be regularized in order to be imported into an analysis program like R or ArcGIS.


I wrote this as an initial attempt to think through how one should approach life on social media in an age of political polarization. So how should you react to the triumph Trump? One of the major dilemmas to consider is what to do with and on social media in response. Let’s begin by considering the criticisms: Twitter is, in many ways, a cesspool, and it has been for a long time.


President Trump. I could feel my stomach dropping at about 9pm on Tuesday night when I read that Trump was winning the rural counties in the Florida panhandle by margins larger than 2012. My emotions told me it was a bad sign, and my cognition was soon proved correct. I turned off the TV stream, tweet, and my web browser and went to bed for a few hours. I woke around 3am and by then the election was over.


Political correctness is hot once again. Donald Trump is beating the drum against political correctness in his speeches and I suddenly feel like I was back in college. I was a freshman at Yale university in 1990 when Donald Kagan delivered an “infamous” public speech against political correctness and in favor of Western civilization during the freshman assembly. The speech was a bit of a bombshell in the 1990s culture wars and created a firestorm of controversy on campus.


I want to continue some of my thoughts on psychotherapy and politics that I started to discuss in Tuesday’s post. I’m following the Politicopsychopathology essay by Benjamin Kunkel a bit more closely. The idea of political dream-work is very intriguing. Kunkel describes the persistent sense of deception that now pervades most political debate and discussion in America. The constant praise for ‘job-creators’ by Republicans like Mitt Romney comes in for some close analysis.



Citizen Science

I’m interested in the communication processes within citizen science projects and their framing in the larger world of scientific research.

Data (Management)

I’m interested in all the ways data intersects with the research process across disciplines and institutions.

Web Archives

How are we preserving the web of the past, present, and future?


I’m interested in the communication processes within citizen science projects and their framing in the larger world of scientific research.


I am not currently teaching.

Past teaching

  • Information Architecture
  • Introduction to Information Science
  • Web Design