Researchers at UCD

Kalpana Shankar



After completing my Ph.D. in library and information science at UCLA, I conducted postdoctoral research in the Center for Embedded Networked Sensing at UCLA and completed a AAAS Science Policy Fellowship at the National Institutes of Health Office of Evaluation.  I was an Assistant Professor at Indiana University-Bloomington's School of Informatics and Computing before joining the staff at UCD in the School of Information and Library Studies in July 2011.

My research focuses on the uses of data and information (digital and otherwise) in the social sciences, open data, and data archives. I draw from theory and practice in archival and information studies and STS (science, technology, and society), as well as related fields such as computer supported cooperative work and human-computer interaction.


Honours and Awards

Year: 2014.
Title: Social Science Data Archives: Business Models for Sustainability
Year: 2013.
Title: Social Science Data Archives: A Historical View of Sustainability, Access and Use
Year: 2011.
Title: H.W. Wilson Foundation Award
Year: 2009.
Title: Rupture and Flow: The Circulation of Technoscientific Facts and Objects
Year: 2009.
Title: Visualizing the Digital Trail: Privacy and the Design and Adoption of Technologies for Promoting Healthy Behaviors
Year: 2007.
Title: Privacy in Home-Based Ubicomp
Year: 2006.
Title: Trustees Award for Teaching Excellence
Year: 2006.
Title: Trustees Award for Teaching Excellence
Year: 2009.
Title: Trustees Award for Teaching Excellence
Year: 2004.
Title: ALISE Doctoral Dissertation Award
Year: 2004.
Title: ALISE Doctoral Dissertation Award
Year: 2003.
Title: AAAS/NIH Science Policy Fellowship

Conference Contributions

Kalpana Shankar (2012) Self-archiving and collaboration in science 2.0: an exploratory study. [Poster Presentation], I-Conference 2012, Toronto, Canada , 07-FEB-12 - 10-FEB-12.
Kalpana Shankar, Lesa Huber, L. Jean Camp, Kelly E. Caine, Kay Connelly (2012) Finding the older user in home-based computing studies. [Oral Presentation], International Society on Gerontechnology* International Symposium of Automation and Robotics in Construction (ISG*ISARC 2012), Eindhoven , 26-JUN-12 - 29-JUN-12.
Kalpana Shankar; (2011) Annual I-School conference: UCD representative. [Conference Organising Committee Member], I-Conference 2012, Toronto, Canada , 05-MAY-11 - 02-DEC-12.


Committee : Internationalisation Committee
Committee : Research Committee
Committee : Program Committee
Committee : Graduate Programs Board
Committee : College of Human Sciences Executive Committee
Committee : Program Committee
Committee : COST Action TD
Committee : Research Data Alliance


Year 2002 Institution: University of California, LA
Qualification: PhD Subject: Library and Information Science
Year 1989 Institution: Princeton University
Qualification: BA Subject: Molecular Biology



Outreach Activities

2012-2014: Organised and presented at Data Management workshop for UCD Earth Institute
18 June 2012  Participated on panel to review and select student for National Library of Ireland student internship
29 March 2012: Gave presentation to the Quantified Self Dublin Meet-up Group, Trinity University.  Title: "Making sense of cross-generational patterns in health/wellness tracking."
20 June 2012 Participated in workshop for Centre for Support and Training in Analysis and Research (CSTAR) on  Choosing Software for Qualitative Data Analysis

Journals Edited

Journal Of The American Society Of Information Science And Technology: Reviewer.
Journal Of Education For Library And Information Science: Reviewer.
Archival Science - International Journal On Recorded Information: Reviewer.

Other Activities

2012: Reviewer for Computer Supported Cooperative Work 2013

2014: Metareviewer, Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIST) Conference, 2014 November
2013: Metareviewer, iConference 2014, March 2014



Book Chapters

Shankar, K/Hakken, D/Oesterlund, C (2016) 'Documents in STS Scholarship' In: Smith-Doerr, L/Miller, C/Felt, U/Fourche R (eds). Handbook of Science, Technology, and Society Fourth Edition. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. [Details]
Shankar, K.; (2010) 'Biomedical Information and Its Users' In: Shankar, K.; (eds). Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science. London: Taylor and Francis. Link to full text [Details]
Shankar, K. et al; (2008) 'Information in Times of Crisis: Considering Knowledge Management for Disaster Management' In: Ettore Bolisani (eds). Building the Knowledge Society on the Internet: Making Value from Information Exchange. New York: IDEA Books. [Details]

Peer Reviewed Journals

Shankar, K.; Eschenfelder, K.R. (2015) 'Sustaining Data Archives over Time: Lessons from the Organizational Studies Literature'. New Review of Information Networking, 20 (1-2):248-254. [DOI] Link to full text [Details]
K. Shankar (2015) 'For Want of a Nail: Three Tropes in Digital Curation'. Preservation, Digital Technology and Culture, 44 (4):1-10. Link to full text [Details]
Shankar, K/Eschenfelder, K/Downey, G (2016) 'Studying the History of Social Science Data Archives as Knowledge Infrastructure'. Science, Technology and Society, 29 (2):62-73. Link to full text [Details]
Lesa Lorenzen Huber, Kalpana Shankar, Kay Connelly, Kelly E. Caine, L.Jean Camp, Bethanne Walker, Lisa Borrero (2013) 'International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction'. International Journal of Human Computer Interaction (IJHCI), 29 (7):441-445. Link to full text [Details]
Vaibhav Garg, L. Jean Camp , Lesa Lorenzen-Huber, Kalpana Shankar, Kay Connelly (2014) 'Privacy Concerns in Assisted Living Technologies'. Annales Des Telecommunications-Annals of Telecommunications, 69 (1-2):75-88. Link to full text [Details]
Daniel O. Kutz, Kalpana Shankar, Kay Connelly (2013) 'Making Sense of Mobile and Web Based Wellness Information Technology: A Cross Generational Study'. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 15 (5):e83. Available Online Link to full text [Details]
Shankar,K., et al; (2012) 'Aging, Privacy, and Home-Based Computing: Development of a Framework for Design'. IEEE Pervasive Computing, :46-54. Link to full text [Details]
Shankar, K,Camp, LJ,Connelly, K,Huber, L (2012) 'Aging, Privacy, and Home-Based Computing: Developing a Design Famework'. IEEE Pervasive Computing, 11 :46-54. [Details]
Caine, K.E., et al; (2011) 'DigiSwitch: A device to allow older adults to monitor and direct the collection and transmission of health information collected at home'. Journal of Medical Systems, 35 (5):1185-1191. [Details]
Caine, KE,Zimmerman, CY,Schall-Zimmerman, Z,Hazlewood, WR,Camp, LJ,Connelly, KH,Huber, LL,Shankar, K (2011) 'DigiSwitch: A Device to Allow Older Adults to Monitor and Direct the Collection and Transmission of Health Information Collected at Home'. Journal of Medical Systems, 35 :1181-1195. [DOI] [Details]
Lorenzen-Huber , L., et al; (2011) 'Privacy, Independence, and Relationships: Older Adults¿ Perceptions of Home-Based Ubiquitous Technologies'. Ageing International, 36 (2):232-252. [Details]
Kalpana Shankar, Kay Connelly; (2010) 'Ethics and Pervasive Technology: A Collaborative Approach to Teaching'. Teaching Ethics, 11 (1):73-84. [Details]
Kowalczyk, S. and Shankar, K. ; (2010) 'Data Sharing in the Sciences'. Annual Review of Information Science and Technology, 46 :247-294. [Details]
Shankar, K.; (2010) 'Pervasive Computing and an Aging Populace: Methodological Challenges for Understanding Privacy Implications'. Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, 8 (3):236-248. Link to full text [Details]
Kalpana Shankar; (2009) 'Craft, Ambiguity, and Legitimate Peripheral Participation in Scientific Information Creation'. Journal of Documentation, 65 :151-165. [Details]
Shankar, K.; (2008) 'Order from Chaos: the Poetics and Pragmatics of Scientific Recordkeeping'. Journal of the American Society of Information Science and Technology, 58 :1457-1466. [Details]
Shankar, K.; (2008) 'Wind, Water, and Wi-Fi: New Trends in Community Informatics and Disaster Management'. Information Society, 24 (2):116-120. [Details]
Cragin, M. and Shankar, K.; (2006) 'Scientific Data Collections as Distributed Collective Practice'. Journal of Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 15 (2-3):185-204. [Details]

Conference Publications

Shankar, K; Eschenfelder, K/Downey, G/Fleming, P/ Engerson, C/Lin, R/ McBurney, J (2014) Social Science Data Archives: Case Studies in Data Sustainability i- Conference 2014 Berlin, Germany, , 24-MAR-14 - 27-MAR-14 Link to full text [Details]
Shankar, K., Eschenfelder, K. (2015) Sustaining data archives over time: Lessons from the organisational studies literature Digital Preservation in the Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities (DPASSH) Dublin, Ireland, , 25-JUN-15 - 26-SEP-15 Available Online [Details]
Eschenfelder, KR; Gilchrist Scott, M; Shankar, K; LeClere, E; Lin,E; Downey, G (2015) Sustainability of Social Science Data Archives: A Historical Network Perspective IASSIST 2015 St Paul, Minnesota, , 02-JUN-15 - 04-JUN-15 [Details]
Eschenfelder, K./Shankar, K. (2016) Designing Sustainable Data Archives: Comparing Sustainability Frameworks i-Conference 2016 Philadelphia, PA, , 20-MAR-16 - 23-MAR-16 [DOI] [Details]
Eschenfelder, Kristin; Shankar, Kalpana; Williams, Rachel; Langham, Allison; Salo, Dorothea; Zhang, Mei (2016) What are we talking about when we talk about (organizational) sustainability of digital archives, repositories and libraries? Association for Information Science and Technology Copenhagen, , 15-OCT-16 - 19-OCT-16 [Details]
Eschenfelder, Kristin; Shankar, Kalpana (2016) Organizational resilience, financial strategies, and social science data archives SciDatCon 2016 Available Online [Details]
O'Neill, B/Shankar, K (2015) Hurling Against a Haystack: The Incentives and Challenges of Open Data in the Republic of Ireland i-Conference 2015 , 24-MAR-15 - 27-MAR-15 Link to full text [Details]
Kalpana Shankar , Lesa Huber. L.Jean Camp, Kelly E. Caine, and Katherine H. Connelly; (2012) Finding the Older User in Home-Based Computing Studies International Society on Gerontechnology* International Symposium of Automation and Robotics in Construction [Details]
Kalpana Shankar (2012) Virtual Research Environments: Balancing Incentives and Closure in an Emergent Information Infrastructure Innovation in Information Infrastructures Link to full text [Details]
Vaibhav Garg, L. Jean Camp, Kalpana Shankar; (2012) Information Technology Act: Implications for Intellectual Freedom in India Northern Kentucky Law Review [Details]
Vaibhav Garg, L. Jean Camp, Katherine H. Connelly, Lesa E. Huber, Kalpana Shankar, and Kelly E. Caine; (2011) Privacy Framework for Older Adults Workshop on Security and Human Behavior [Details]
Lesa Huber, Lisa Borrero, Bethann Walker, Kalpana Shankar, Kelly, Caine, Kay Connelly, L Jean Camp; (2011) How Older Adults Use Technology to Reduce Caregiver Burden Gerontological Society of America Annual Conference [Details]
Kalpana Shankar; (2011) Peer reviewed conference paper: MAKING SENSE OF UBIQUITOUS HEALTH INFORMATION: A CROSS GENERATIONAL STUDY Annual Meeting of the Health Informatics Society of Ireland Conference 2011 Dublin, Ireland, , 17-NOV-11 - 18-NOV-11 [Details]
Garg, Vaibhav, Camp, L.Jean, Huber, Lesa, Connelly, Kay, Kalpana Shankar; (2011) Designing Risk Communication for Older Adults ETHICOMP 2011 [Details]
Kelly E. Caine, Celine Y. Zimmerman, Zachary Schall-Zimmerman, William R. Hazlewood, Alexander C. Sulgrove, L. Jean Camp, Katherine H. Connelly, Lesa Mae Lorenzen-Huber and Kalpana Shankar; (2010) DigiSwitch: Design and Evaluation of a Device for Older Adults to Preserve Privacy While Monitoring Health at Home ACM International Conference on Health Informatics 2010 [Details]


Jillian Wallis and Kalpana Shankar (2013) Oxford Internet Institute: Social Sciences and Big Data. Workshops Link to full text [Details]

Book Reviews

Kalpana Shankar (2016) Book Review: Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy. Book Reviews [Details]
Kalpana Shankar (2014) A Review of Reinventing Data Protection? edited by Serge Gutwirth, Yves Poullet, Paul de Hert, Cecile de Terwangne, and Sjaak Nouwt. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Springer, 2009. Book Reviews Link to full text [Details]
Book Review (2012) A Review of Scientific Collaboration on the Internet, Gary M. Olson, Ann Zimmerman, and Nathan Bos, Eds. Book Reviews Link to full text [Details]


Shankar, K. (2016) Future Proofing the Digital Society:An Introduction to Digital Curation and Data Practices. Articles Link to full text [Details]
Kalpana Shankar; Amber Cushing (2016) Creating an Evidence-Based Digital Curation Curriculum for Ireland: Case Study at University College Dublin. Articles [Details]


Shankar, K/O'Neill, Brittney (2014) Response to Ireland's Open Data Implementation. Letters Available Online Link to full text [Details]


Kalpana Shankar (2016) Developing the professionals of the future: Views from experts in library schools. Other Available Online [Details]


Research Interests

I study documents, data trails, and records that people leave behind - paper digital, and hybrid. What they mean, what they represent, how they are created.    I am interested in how these traces shape and are shaped by those who create, use, manage, and engage them.  I use approaches from information studies, archival studies, social informatics, information ethics, and Science, Technology, and Society to study these topics.

One arena in which I have studied this is the creation and use of  of scientific research.  As a trained biologist,  the life and health sciences particularly interest me. My areas of interest include data sharing, social science data archives, and open data. Current projects include a 3 year grant from the Alfred P Sloan Foundation in New York (with colleagues from University of Wisconsin-Madison) to study the history of social science data archives and an Irish Research Council funded project on social science data archives.

I am also interested in how to conduct research on these often difficult-to-study topics through various kinds of ethnography and other qualitative methods.  

Research Projects

Sponsor : Enterprise Ireland (EI)
Title : Comparing Open Data Initiatives in the European Context
Start Date / End Date : 31-JAN-14 / 30-OCT-14
Sponsor : Irish Research Council (IRC)
Title : E-Infrastructures in the Irish Context: Cross-Disciplinary Evaluation and Return on Investment
Start Date / End Date : 20-MAR-14 / 19-DEC-14
Sponsor : University College Dublin (UCD)
Title : Conference Attendance: Association for Information Science and Technology 2014, October 2014
Start Date / End Date : 01-APR-14 / 30-SEP-15
Sponsor : University College Dublin (UCD)
Title : Conference Attendance: Society for the Social Studies of Science (4S), 9-12 October 2013
Start Date / End Date : 01-MAY-13 / 31-OCT-14
Sponsor : Irish Research Council (IRC)
Title : Social Science Data Archives
Start Date / End Date : 01-NOV-12 / 30-JUN-13


Teaching Philosophy

I am very interested in enhancing engagement in large classes and look for new ways to given students a voice.

Enhancement of Teaching

Introduced Poll Everywhere, a mobile phone/laptop based feedback system, to incorporate in-class feedback in large classes. Have also introduced the use of Explain Everywhere, an iOS app, to create online videos for online teaching.

Review and Enhancement of Curriculum

I am always looking for new materials and approaches to enhancing engagement. In 2014, I started using Poll Anywhere to allow students to participate in "polls" using their laptops or mobile phones, effective even in classes of 200 students. Each semester, I look for news articles, readings, and other materials to enhance learning.

Developing as a Teacher

ERASMUS: Developed and co-taught 2 workshops at University of Trento's (Italy) Faculty of Computer Science in June 2013 and June 2014 on ethnography and data with Professor David Hakken, Indiana University-Bloomington. These workshops have led to a successful handbook proposal (in process). In 2014, I also started co-superving a DGov student from the Institute of Public Administration. This experience has taught me much about managing a "practice-oriented" thesis for working professionals.

Innovation & Leadership

New program development


Internal Collaborators

Xuefeng Cui, School of Mathematics and Statistics, UCD
Amber Cushing, School of Information and Communication Studies, UCD 

External Collaborators

Kristin Eschenfelder, School of Library and Information Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Katherine H. Connolly, School of Informatics and Computing, Indiana University-Bloomington
L. Jean Camp, School of Informatics and Computing, Indiana University-Bloomington
Lesa Huber, School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation, Indiana University-Bloomington
Kelly Caine, School of Informatics and Computing/CLEAR, Indiana University-Bloomington