Funded Research Projects


Current Research Projects:

Women of Open Source Software

Dr. Vandana Singh, PI

This project looks at various aspects of women engagement in Open Source Software.

Usability of Open Source Software

Dr. Vandana Singh, PI

This project focusses on open source digital repositories to improve usability and engage students in the Open Source Software Community.

Change Agents to Community Anchors - Funded by IMLS - $48,708

Dr. Bharat Mehra, PI and Dr. Vandana Singh, Co-PI


This project continues from the two successful ITRL grants to educate and empower rural librarians to become Community Anchors and centers of community development. The planning grant, "Assessment of rural library professionals’ role in community engagement in the Southern and Central Appalachian Region: Mobilization from change agents to community anchors,” will serve as a pilot and assessment test-bed for using similar strategies in rural environments nationwide. The research team will examine how to develop resources and share best practices for a systematic and strategic approach to support and mobilize rural librarians as community anchors

Completed Research Projects

Rural Library Professionals as Change Agents in the 21st Century: Integrating Information Technology Competencies in the Southern and Central Appalachian Region (Part II) (ITRL2) (2012-2016)

Funded by: Institute of Museum and Library Services, Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program ,

B. Mehra, PI and V. Singh, Co-PI. (IMLS $478,258)

Comparison of Technical Support for Open Source vs Proprietary Integrated Library Systems

Dr. Vandana Singh, Principal Investigator (PI)

IMLS Award Amount: $321,178; Matching Amount: $37,122

Length of Project: Aug 2009 to July 2013

Project Website

In this Early Career Development project, Vandana Singh of the School of Information Sciences at the University of Tennessee Knoxville will compare the level of technical support required by open-source integrated library systems (the computer systems used to acquire, manage, and circulate library materials) and the off-the-shelf, proprietary versions of these systems. This research project seeks to better inform librarians about the maintenance and management costs associated with one of the key tools that they use to serve the public.

Identifying Practices and Tools to Promote Newcomer Participation in Cyberlearning Environments

Dr. Vandana Singh, Principal Investigator (PI)

NSF Award Amount: $99,336

Length of Project: 1 year (Jan 2010 to Dec 2010)

Project Website

In this project a study will be conducted to examine newcomer participation and integration in open source communities with the aim to understand how newcomers learn to participate in cyberlearning environments, the tools they use, and with what effect.Currently, work in the domain of cyberlearning, especially in engineering, focuses narrowly on building the technical infrastructure but the availability of technology alone is insufficient for acceptance and use.

Information Technology Competencies for Rural Librarians

IMLS Award Amount: $567,660; Matching Amount: $260,695

Length of Project: 3 years(Aug 2009 to July 2012)

Dr. Bharat Mehra,(PI), Dr. Kimberly Black and Dr. Vandana Singh, Co-PIs

Project Title: "Rural Library Professionals as Change Agents in the 21st century: Integrating Information Technology Competencies in Southern and Central Appalachian Region Librarians, particularly those with strong proficiencies in technology, are urgently needed in Tennessee's rural Southern and Central Appalachian region. Because of persistent economic and environmental challenges, and low levels of literacy and educational achievement in the region, recruiting professional librarians with needed skills to these small rural communities is difficult. The University of Tennessee's School of Information Sciences (SIS) will team with the Clinch-Powell Regional Library, Sevier County Public Library System, and the Watauga Regional Library to recruit and provide 15 IMLS-funded scholarships, so that well-qualified technology support professionals already working in the regions libraries can earn a master's degree in librarianship. Students will be educated via the SIS distance education program, with coursework tailored for a specialization in Information Technology and Rural Librarianship. Upon graduation, students will be prepared to assume leadership roles in their libraries and the region.

Increasing Biodiversity Information Sources (IBIS): Technical Assistance and Support for Delivery and Technology Transfer

USGS Award Amount: $ 497,298

Length of Project: 3 years (Aug 2009 to July 2012)

Dr Carol Tenopir (PI), Dr. Suzie Allard (Co-PI), Dr. Lorraine Normore (Co-PI), Dr. Vandana Singh (Co-PI)

Educating the next generation of Information Science Doctoral Students

IMLS Award Amount: $711,727; Matching Amount: $568,728

Length of Project: 4 years (Aug 2010 to July 2014)

Dr. Suzanne Allard,(PI) Sally McMillan and Carol Tenopir, Co-PIs Academic Mentors: Ben Bates, Karen Hilyard, Lorraine Normore, Vandana Singh, Lu Tang, and Peiling Wang, Thurma Mack, Library Coordinator

Project Title: "ScienceLinks2 PhD: Linking Education and Science to Develop the Next Generation of Educators for Science Librarians and Data, Information and Communication" Through previous and ongoing projects, the University of Tennessee's School of Information Sciences (SIS) and College of Communication have identified a serious shortage of doctoral-level educators qualified to train librarians in working with scientific data and information. To address the shortage, SIS will recruit and provide six IMLS funded doctoral fellowships for students to earn a doctoral degree in library and information science with a specialization in scientific data and information. In addition to doctoral coursework, fellowship recipients will benefit from mentoring, structured work and research experiences in world class science institutions and science data initiatives, and opportunities to attend and present their work at professional conferences. Upon completion of the PhD program, these six will become science data and information educators responsible for preparing the next generation of science librarians, data, and information specialists.