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Postdoctoral Fellowship in Usable Linked Open Data

 Position Summary

In Information Management: A Proposal, Tim Berners-Lee described a global hypertext system, the aim of which “would be to allow a place to be found for any information […] which one felt was important and a way of finding it afterward. The result should be sufficiently attractive to use, […] so that the usefulness of the scheme would, in turn, encourage its increased use”.
    Naturalist and conservationist John Muir wrote that “when we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.” In this age that values commodification and abstraction, the interconnections between concepts are broken as a matter of course. Linked open data is a means to reinforce and restore the interconnectedness of concepts.
    The postdoctoral fellow will work under the direction of Dr. Daryl Hepting to conduct research aimed at addressing the usability of linked open data with a specific focus on realizing Sterling’s concept of a spime (coined from the words space and time) for the semantic web where the “overwhelmingly extensive and rich informational support” for an object can emphasize its connections.

One example of this approach is described in:
        D. H. Hepting, J. Jaffe, and T. Maciag. Operationalizing Ethics in
        Food Choice Decisions. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental
        Ethics 27, 453–469 (2014).

 The research to be supported by the postdoctoral fellow will include the implementation and evaluation of a spime for chicken eggs that supports sustainable consumption and production ( applying the lessons learned to realize other spimes, for example, supporting climate action (

The postdoctoral fellow will have some flexibility within this research to pursue related projects. The initial appointment for the postdoctoral fellow will be one year, with the ability to renew the appointment on a yearly basis based on performance, up to a total of three years.

The postdoctoral fellow will  spend 80% of their time on duties associated with this position, with the remaining 20% (one day per week) dedicated to other research-oriented “passion projects”, following Google’s “20 percent time” philosophy. In order to assist the postdoctoral fellow with their academic career development, the postdoctoral fellow will be assigned to teach two graduate-level courses in the area of human-centred computing each year of the appointment. The specific topic and details of the courses will be based on the postdoctoral fellow’s expertise and skillset, and will be developed and delivered under the guidance of Dr. Daryl Hepting.

    Complete details of the position can be found in a document at: