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Dr. Sholler appointed to Berkeley postdoc

Recent iSchool graduate Dr. Dan Sholler has been appointed to a postdoctoral fellowship with the rOpenSci project at the University of California, Berkeley.

An expert in qualitative research, Dr. Sholler studies digital infrastructure creation, growth and maintenance efforts. 

At Berkeley, he joins a project that is aiming to transform science through better access to open data. In particular, rOpenSci team members use the open-source R programming language and software environment to develop tools to access, analyze, visualize, document and share vast troves of scientific data, including more than 400 million museum records.

Dr. Sholler said he plans to study the development of the open-science community with a particular focus on user engagement or resistance to open science.

“I want to leverage my experience to explore how and why scientists engage with or resist open-science communities and technologies, focusing on how particular communities like rOpenSci manage engagement and resistance to ensure positive outcomes,” Dr. Sholler said in a blog post announcing his fellowship.

Dr. Sholler’s research interests grow out of work he performed at the Texas iSchool, including a study with Associate Professor Diane Bailey of a new branchless banking system in Brazil, as well as his dissertation on doctors' resistance to the nationwide implementation of electronic medical records in the United States.

In his doctoral studies at the Texas iSchool, Dr. Sholler studied the widespread implementation of electronic medical record software and the associated attempt to create a national medical digital infrastructure. Employing the education in qualitative fieldwork the iSchool provided, Dr. Sholler observed and interviewed doctors, nurses, administrators, and IT staff in a large regional healthcare provider. He also flew to Washington, D.C. to interview officials in relevant federal agencies, and he interviewed officials at the American Medical Association as well as managers at medical technology vendors.

Dr. Sholler’s dissertation committee chair, Associate Professor Diane Bailey, said his analysis was powerful, employing institutional and social movement theories to tease out political, occupational, organizational, and institutional factors that shaped this federally-mandated use of big data and AI technologies. “Dan’s study is a strong, fascinating, and novel contribution to the literature on information technology and work,” Dr. Bailey said. “Through his dissertation work in medical infrastructure, and now his post-doctoral explorations into the creation of digital infrastructure in open science communities, Dan has his fingers firmly on the pulse of new technologies that stand to dramatically alter our understandings of work and organization. He also has the necessary toolkit of analytical and theoretical skills to decipher these changes. I expect him to become a leader in studies in this realm, and I am tremendously proud that he is a graduate of our Texas iSchool.”

He completed his Ph.D. from the School of Information in spring 2017.