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Ryan Shaw

Associate Professor

Ryan Shaw







Manning 025

Ryan Shaw


Knowledge organization, philosophy of information, pragmatic sociology, social epistemology, documentation, periodization, semiotics, hermeneutics, the Web, linked data, knowledge graphs


Ph.D. in Information Management & Systems with Designated Emphasis in New Media, University of California, Berkeley.
Master’s in Information Management & Systems, University of California, Berkeley.
B.S. in Symbolic Systems, Stanford University


Dr. Ryan Shaw received his PhD in 2010 from the University of California, Berkeley School of Information, where he wrote his dissertation on how events and periods function as concepts for organizing historical knowledge. He is also the author of the LODE (Linking Open Descriptions of Events) ontology, recently adopted by the UK Archives Hub for their Linked Data effort.

In 2012, he received a three-year Early Career Development grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to invent new tools for applying computational text processing techniques to organize large collections of civil rights histories. He is also a co-PI of the Editors’ Notes project, a Mellon Foundation-funded effort to develop open, collaborative notebooks for humanists, and the PeriodO project, an NEH-funded gazetteer of scholarly assertions about the extents of historical, art-historical, and archaeological periods. In the past he has been involved in a number of digital humanities projects through his work with the Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative. In a previous life, he worked as a software engineer in Tokyo, Japan.


2014 ASIS&T Book of the Year for The Discipline of Organizing, ed. Glushko. Dr. Shaw was a principal collaborating author of this information organization textbook, and author of the chapter titled “The Forms of Resource Descriptions.”

2013 Library Juice Paper Contest winner for “Information organization and the philosophy of history.” This award is given by Library Juice Press and is intended “to encourage and reward good work in the field of library and information studies, humanistically understood, through a monetary award and public recognition.” Read more.


Shaw, R. 2020. Periodization. In ISKO Encyclopedia of Knowledge Organization, edited by Hjørland, B. and Gnoli, C.

Golden, P. and Shaw, R. Period assertion as nanopublication. 2015. Semantics, Analytics, Visualisation: Enhancing Scholarly Data Workshop co-located with the 24th International World Wide Web Conference (Florence).

Rabinowitz, A., Shaw, R. and Golden, P. 2018. Making up for lost time: Digital epigraphy, chronology, and the PeriodO project. In Digital Epigraphy. De Gruyter Open.

Shaw, R. 2016. Gazetteers enriched: A conceptual basis for linking gazetteers with other kinds of information. In Placing Names: Enriching and Integrating Gazetteers, edited by Mostern, R., Southall, H., and Berman, M. L. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Preprint:

Rabinowitz, A., Shaw, R., Buchanan, S. and Golden, P. 2016. Making sense of the ways we make sense of the past: the PeriodO project. Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies 59 (2).

Shaw, R., Rabinowitz, A., Golden, P. and Kansa, E. 2016. A sharing-oriented design strategy for networked knowledge organization systems. International Journal on Digital Libraries 17 (1).

Golden, P. and Shaw, R. 2016. Nanopublication beyond the sciences: The PeriodO period gazetteer. PeerJ Computer Science 2:e44.

Shaw, R. 2015. Big data and reality. Big Data and Society 2 (2).

Shaw, R., Golden, P., and Buckland, M. 2015. Using linked library data in working research notes. In Linked Data and User Interaction, edited by Cervone, H. F., Kavcic-Colic, A., and Svensson, L. Berlin: De Gruyter. Preprint: