Indiana University

Skip to:

  1. Search
  2. Breadcrumb Navigation
  3. Content
  4. Browse by Topic
  5. Services & Resources
  6. Additional Resources
  7. Multimedia News

Last modified: Tuesday, May 31, 2011

SLIS grad student's work recognized by NSF with three-year research fellowship

May 31, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University Bloomington School of Library and Information Science doctoral student Scott Weingart's research into what conditions yield the most rapid rates of scientific discovery and innovation will be supported through the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program.

Working with Katy Börner, the Victor H. Yngve Professor of Information Science at SLIS, and professor Colin Allen in the IU College of Arts and Science's History and Philosophy of Science Department, Weingart will receive $90,000 over three years and a $1,000 travel stipend, while SLIS will receive an additional $30,000 to support the work.

Scott Weingart

Scott Weingart

His current research focuses on how changes in communication structures and technologies affect scientific discourse and collaboration. Weingart said he became interested in the area of study while doing undergraduate work in history of science and computer engineering at the University of Florida with professor Robert A. Hatch. Eventually he began thinking about how scientists' interactions and accomplishments changed during the "Republic of Letters" in the 18th century.

The research will involve investigating three historic "hot spots" -- the advent of the printing press, the move from letters to journals for dissemination of scientific information, and the transition from print to digital scholarly communication -- from which Weingart believes technological and social changes enhanced scientific activity. His overarching research interest is modeling and mapping the growth of science on a large scale -- thematically, geographically, and temporally -- hoping eventually to reveal what conditions yield the most rapid rate of discovery and innovation.

"Scott's intellectual curiosity, the impact of his fledgling research on early scholarly communication, and his ability to exploit synergies across disciplinary boundaries will gain even more momentum with the reputation of the NSF's Graduate Research Fellowship Program," Börner said.

Since joining SLIS's Cyberinfrastructure for Network Science Center during Fall 2009, Weingart was instrumental in organizing the "Republic of Letters Data and Studies" workshop that drew researchers from the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, Stanford University and the University of Florida to IU and which led to a collaboration with the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences within an European Union-funded project. He has also improved the documentation of the NSF-funded Science of Science Tool that supports the temporal, geospatial, topic, and network analysis and visualization for the study of science, and, Börner added, has taught hands-on workshops at international conferences.

Weingart has also contributed to the forthcoming paper, "Mixed Indicators Model for Identifying Emerging Research Areas," that will appear in the journal Scientometrics.

The NSF's Graduate Research Fellowship Program is designed to help ensure the vitality and diversity of the scientific and engineering workforce in the United States by recognizing and supporting outstanding graduate students pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees in fields within NSF's mission. The GRFP provides three years of support for the graduate education of individuals who have demonstrated their potential for significant achievements in science and engineering research. The ranks of NSF Fellows include individuals who have made transformative breakthroughs in science and engineering research and have become leaders in their chosen careers and Nobel laureates.

For more information or to speak with Weingart, Börner or Allen, please contact Steve Chaplin, University Communications, at 812-856-1896 or