Recruiting: Research Assistants

The Howison Lab is seeking undergraduate and graduate students to assist with data collection in an ongoing research study. RAs will gain basic skills relevant for programming and collaboration: version control, Github, Resource Description Format (aka Linked Data), and the command line as well. Research Assistants (RAs) will be paid $15/hr, with the expectation that they will work at least 4 hours per week. Please see eligiblity criteria below.


In our project, Softcite, we will be working to help increase the rewards for scientists who are building software used by other scientists.  We will be reading scientific papers in a set of disciplines (esp. biology, ) and finding mentions of software.  These mentions are scattered throughout the paper, sometimes in the full text, sometimes citations, sometimes URLs in footnotes etc.  We'll be highlighting these and recording attributes, such as whether they give credit, include version numbers etc. Our work will build a "gold standard" dataset to be used to train supervised machine learning algorithms. If you are interested in machine learning you will find the process of building a labeled dataset interesting and one you can re-use in future. If you are interested in scientific publishing this will give insight into the need for improved guidelines for authors. If you are interested in the factors that shape how scientists work together and how incentives, rightly or wrongly, drive scientific activity, you will gain a lot from the study. For more information on this project, please read this blog post and the attached article:


To be eligible:


  • Must be willing to attend weekly group meetings, likely on Fridays
  • Must be able to work at least 4 hours per week
  • Undergraduates must be enrolled full time
  • Graduate students must be enrolled in a 3 credit course
  • Must have very good English skills
  • Must be interested in using a text editor like Sublime Text or Atom
  • Must be motivated to learn, or familiar with, the command line
  • Must be motivated to learn, or familiar with, qualitative research methods, especially content analysis.

If you meet the above eligibility criteria, please email Johanna Cohoon at with 1) a copy of your resume, and 2) acknowledgement that you meet each of the eligibility criteria.


The Howison Lab is in UT’s School of Information, headed by Dr. James Howison.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

School of Information 1616 Guadalupe St, Austin TX

Event Type

Research Opportunities & Studies


School of Information



Research Opportunities


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