Mapping Graduate Research

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Conference Presentation

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Many graduate research projects have a geographic focus in which the research is conducted. Sometimes graduate students have ideas for research and find that such research was previously conducted or may want to review similar research topics. Catalog librarians create descriptive and analytic metadata that describe resources held by a library. The metadata contain geographic information in standardized language for topical and geographical terms, as well as coded geographic data. The catalog records for Minnesota State University, Mankato graduate students' theses and alternate plan papers dealing with topics in Minnesota were extracted and converted into a format usable in GIS, in which the subjects of the research were mapped. The data show the areal extent of past research by topic. The data are useful to graduate students and faculty to explore graduate research by geographic areas. Likewise, unmapped areas show where a research topic would be original. This application is also extensible to other types of library catalog metadata, such as cartographic resources or books.


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