Assistant Professor of Library and Information Science


Alexander Library 405C

Gretchen Stahlman investigates the social, technical and institutional infrastructures that mediate scholarly communication and long-term management of scientific data. Her work incorporates a mixed-methods approach including interviews and workshops, survey research, bibliometrics and text analysis.


University of Arizona
Ph.D. Information (expected 2019)

Clarion University of Pennsylvania
M.S., Library Science

New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology
B.S., General Studies


Gretchen Stahlman’s present research aims to identify and characterize datasets associated with published journal articles, and with a particular interest in data that are not currently discoverable by other researchers. While this work is applicable across domains and will be extended in future research, her dissertation project has focused on the discipline of astronomy as a case study for exploring questions such as:

  • Who are the researchers most likely to create and/or possess undiscoverable datasets, and what are the significant attributes and locations of these “dark data”?
  • Why are some data not made available to other researchers, and how can potentially-useful dark data be identified and rescued?
  • What are the individual, system and data characteristics that facilitate deposition and reuse of data?

To address these questions, Stahlman participated in grant proposal writing and project activities for NSF-funded cyberinfrastructure development, while engaging with the scientific community through a series of workshops, targeted interviews, a survey of authors of papers published over several decades, and assessment of a corpus of journal articles. The overall purpose of her present and future work is to inform open science and scholarly communication initiatives, as well as development of new methods, services and infrastructures for long-term data curation and information retrieval.

Research Keywords

Funded Projects

Dissertation Research Grant (University of Arizona/Social & Behavioral Sciences Research Institute), “Exploring the Long Tail of Astronomy: A Mixed-Methods Study”, $1,986, 2018

Graduate Research Assistantship funded by the “Astrolabe Project” (University of Arizona Accelerate for Success grant, and NSF SI2-SSE award #1642446, “Visualizing Astronomy Repository Data using WorldWide Telescope Software Systems”), 2016-2017 - Participated in proposal writing

Research & Project Grant (University of Arizona/Graduate and Professional Student Council), $1,065, 2014

Selected Publications

Stahlman, G. R., & Sheffield, C. (2019). Geoparsing biodiversity heritage library collections: A preliminary exploration. iConference 2019 Proceedings.

Stahlman, G.S., Heidorn, P.B., Steffen, J. (2018). The Astrolabe Project: Identifying and curating astronomical ‘dark data’ through development of cyberinfrastructure resources. EPJ Web of Conferences, 186, 03003.

Stahlman, G.R. (2018). Text mining for the dark data hidden in astronomical literature. Computational Social Science Mini-Conference, October 26, 2018, Tucson, Arizona.

Heidorn, P. B., Stahlman, G. R., & Steffen, J. (2018). Astrolabe: Curating, Linking, and Computing Astronomy’s Dark Data. The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, 236(1), 3.

Brooks, C. F., Heidorn, P. B., Stahlman, G. R., and Chong, S. S. (2016). Working beyond the confines of academic discipline to resolve a real-world problem: A community of scientists discussing long-tail data in the cloud. First Monday.

Awards & Recognitions

iConference Doctoral Colloquium, 2019

LEADS Fellowship (LEADS-4-NDP/Drexel University), 2018

La Serena School of Data Science - scholarship and travel support (National Optical Astronomy Observatory), 2015

Research Development Fellowship (University of Arizona/Office for Research, Discovery & Innovation), 2015-2016