Overview of IsisCB Activities

Below is schematic overview of the past, current, and planned future projects of the IsisCB office.

Isis History of Science Bibliography

  • Publishing the annual print bibliography
    • LaTeX printing module. The entire print-ready issue each year is developed in house. We have a LaTeX printing module that facilitates this.
  • IsisCB Explore
    • Data modeling, data standards, linked data, and the semantic web. We have several past and ongoing projects dealing with building and sustaining the bibliographic data and authority datasets.
    • Open code set for the IsisCB Explore system is kept on a GitHub site.
    • Data management, storage, archiving. Hosting and maintaining the dataset for long-term preservation is supported by ongoing efforts.
    • User interface and user experience.
      • The Explore user interface is being constantly updated in small ways to help users with search and display features.
      • Periodic special projects are embarked upon to develop specific applications, such as visualizations for authority records, including the citation timeline, the authority mapping feature, and the faceted browsing boxes.
      • Authority mapping project. This project was developed in 2020 to provide users with map-based visualizations of the IsisCB Explore data on authority pages.
      • Search results layout redevelopment. This project is designed to provide users with more contextual ized search results containing both authority and citation results on the same page.
    • Curator tool development.
      • Because we utilize Zotero as our primary citation capture tool, we are constantly tweaking the integration and ingest features that work with Zotero.
      • IsisCB Carpentry is a set of instructional pages on GitHub that we use to discuss how to collect and curate bibliographical records for the Isis Bibliography dataset.
  • Topical bibliographies and Collaborations.
    • Contributing editors. We work with several editors around the globe to procure entries that are difficult or impossible to obtain by the staff in the Oklahoma office.
    • SHOT Bibliography. We work closely with Bruce Seely, the bibliographer for the Society for the History of Technology, so that the SHOT data can be collected and preserved alongside the Isis data.
    • Affiliated bibliographies. We also support the work of other bibliographers in allied fields such as the histories of cartography, scientific instruments, and meteorology.
  • Legacy data conversion and retrospective data.
    • Cumulative digitization project. Over several months in 2015 and 2016, we photographed, transcribed, digitized, and provided TEI-markup for the 7 volumes of print-only cumulative bibliographies with entries ranging from 1913 to 1975. The TEI-markup code is on GitHub.
    • We continue to work to integrate the Isis Cumulative Bibliography data with the IsisCB Explore dataset.
    • Retrospective collection. Much of the curatorial work of the bibliography involves finding and filling in gaps in the dataset.
  • Classification and tagging
    • Classification systems. From the outset, the Isis Bibliography has had one or more classification systems. Working with these multiple systems in digital form is a key priority of the bibliographer’s office.
    • Thesaurus organization and standardization. The IsisCB dataset has a robust subject thesaurus feature in addition to the classification system. We are constantly working on ways to ensure that the tags are well defined and can be employed efficiently and well by users.
    • Authority subject classification. A project that allows conceptual mapping of the relationship between subject terms used in indexing the citations.

Research and Publications (working with scholars)

  • Topical projects
    • The Pandemics Special Issue. In 2020, the bibliographer established a project to commission authors in subfields of history of medicine, public health, and biology to write essays and contribute bibliographies on topics in the history of pandemics and epidemics.
      • Open peer review. As part of the pandemics project, we have set up a pathbreaking open peer review publication system.
    • Science and race. In 2020, the bibliographer established a special program to find and classify citations in history of science in an effort to redress the historical lack of attention to such topics as the history of African Americans in science, technology, and medicine.
    • Bibliographic essays. We regularly commission bibliographical and historiographical essays on different subfields in history of science in an effort to provide more expert guidance for users in these topic areas.
  • Data analysis and computational history. These are special projects worked on by individuals and teams who want to work with the data in the IsisCB dataset. This data has been and continues to be the source of various data-based and computational projects in the field of history of science. The bibliographer encourages and supports efforts to mine the IsisCB dataset for analytical purposes.
    • Compile and Analyze Cumulative IsisCB Data. A project that is designed to help us understand the development of the discipline of history of science across the 20th century, using citation data from the Isis Bibliographies from 1913 to the present.

Outreach and education

  • Blog and website. We use this blog and website as the primary outreach tool for the work that we do at the IsisCB office.
  • Newsletter articles. The bibliographer publishes a column in the History of Science Society Newsletter bearing on the many aspects of the work done in the bibliography office.
  • Conference presentations and research articles. The bibliographer, staff, and affiliates also organize conference sessions, present conference papers, and publish articles on IsisCB research and development activities.