My research interests centre on users and their interaction with information retrieval systems, new knowledge and information organization environments such as digital libraries, subject gateways and portals. Much of the work I have carried out recently falls within the following areas:
- Information retrieval interaction and user search behaviour
- Search user interfaces in digital libraries and other IR systems
- Social tagging and social metadata
- Knowledge organization systems
- Web-based thesauri, their interfaces and applications
- Big data
Research Awards & Grants
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Insight Grant
Title: Digital library north: creating a path for information access in Canada's north (Project website)
Canadian Institutes for Health Research (2013) ($99,481)
Principal investigator: Alex Clark, Faculty of Nursing
Title: What components matter most in secondary prevention interventions for coronary heart disease?: Better data for better knowledge usage Population and Public Health. (Co-investigator).
Canadian Circumpolar Institute 50 Award, University of Alberta (2012) ($3,000)
Title: Establishing a Digital Library Infrastructure to Support Education and Research in Canada’s North (Co-investigator: Dinesh Rathi)
Killam Research Fund ($2800) to attend and present paper at the International Conference on Theory and Practice of Digital Libraries in Berlin (2011).
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), Image, Text, Sound and Technology Strategic Research Grant ($45,500)
Title: 'Multilingual Thesaurus-enhanced Visual Interfaces for Digital Libraries ' (2009-2010)
Co-investigator: Stan Ruecker, Humanities Computing Program
Support for the Advancement of Scholarship (SAS) Research Grant ($5827), Faculty of Education, University of Alberta (2010-2011)
Title: Visual User Interfaces for Monolingual and Multilingual Knowledge Organization Systems
Coutts-Clarke Research Fellowship; Faculty of Education, University of Alberta (2007-2008)
Title: 'Information Search Behaviour of the U of A Nanoscience and Technology Researchers as Revealed by Transaction Log Analysis'
American Society for Information Science and Technology Special Interest Group on Digital Libraries-- 2007 Special Interest Group of the Year Award
Killam Research Fund - ($10,000) (2006-2007)
Title: 'Metadata-enhanced Visual Interfaces to Digital Libraries'
Library Review 2010 Highly Commneded Award for:
Keenan, A. and Shiri, A. (2009) Sociability and Social Interaction on Social Networking Websites. Library Review, 58(6), pp. 438-450.
Journal of Documentation 2006 Highly Commended Award for :
Shiri, Ali; Revie, Crawford (2005) Usability and User Perceptions of a Thesaurus-enhanced Search Interface. Journal of Documentation, 61(5), 640-656. (Among the top three articles published in 2005)
Library Review 2006 Highly Commended Award for:
Shiri, A. (2005) Topic familiarity and its effects on term selection and browsing in a thesaurus-enhanced search environment. Library Review, 54 (9), 514 – 518. (Among the top three articles published in 2005)
Support for the Advancement of Scholarship (SAS) Research Grant ($6000), Faculty of Education, University of Alberta
Operating grant – 2004 -- 2005
Title: 'Application of Knowledge Organization Systems in Canadian Portals, Gateways and Digital Libraries' (Project website)
I have been involved in the following projects between 2002 -2004.
- Glasgow Health Information (GHI)
In this project we investigated and developed a health information subject gateway for the greater Glasgow National Health Service Board in the UK. The aim was to provide a quality controlled subject gateway to reliable Internet resources in health and medicine for National Health Service staff and students in Glasgow.
- High Level Thesaurus (HILT)
The High Level Thesaurus (HILT) project was carried out at the Centre for Digital Library Research, in the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, UK. The project investigated the problem of achieving and maintaining interoperability in the subject description and classification of distributed digital collections and services in the UK higher education institutions. Among the issues addressed were: mapping of various online subject schemes such as thesauri, classification schemes and subject headings, methods of creating links among various subject schemes, specifications for developing a pilot terminologies sever, user evaluation of a pilot terminologies server and an examination of alternative methods of achieving subject interoperability.
- 'Digital Libraries for Global Distributed Innovative Design, Education and Teamwork' (DIDET)
DIDET was a joint project between the University of Strathclyde (UK) and Stanford University (US).The project investigated the development, implementation and use of digital libraries in design engineering classes to support teaching, learning and collaborative design projects. Among the issues examined were: digital libraries, knowledge organization systems, information seeking behaviour of design engineering students, virtual learning environments, information literacy, metadata and digital repositories.