This post is part of the Meet the ETCL Team series, which introduces the wonderful people who work in the lab and who have worked with us in the past.

Dan (Daniel) Tracy is the Associate Professor and Head of Scholarly Communication and Publishing at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, a role which includes directing the library’s born-digital open access press, the Illinois Open Publishing Network (IOPN). As a visiting scholar in the lab, he is currently conducting research related to information behavior with open social scholarship platforms. Although he joined the lab in February 2024, he was first introduced to it in 2018 through his participation in DHSI as an attendee. Since then, he has been connected to the lab, serving as a co-instructor for the DHSI course on Designing Digital Publications.

In the lab, Dan is developing a couple of interrelated projects: one evaluating scholar needs and behaviors related to the HSS Commons, and another more general study exploring the multitude of ways scholars share information about research and scholarship. Additionally, he is completing two other in-progress projects. One is a co-authored article with colleagues in Illinois about the assessment of the local approach to current changing models in open-access publication. The other project is a work on a digital scholarly edition of the 1925 novel Gentlemen Prefer Blondes by Anita Loos, which has been available in beta since 2021. This project draws on his prior doctoral work in early twentieth century American literature and his newer work related to development of digital humanities publishing infrastructure.

When not working on his research, Dan enjoys reading. After finishing his PhD in literature and moving away from an English department to work in libraries, Dan started delving more into contemporary fiction and fiction in translation. One of his favorite authors in recent years has been Samanta Schweblin from Argentina, whose writing brings a surreal and frequently comic aesthetic to real situations. When reading for academic purposes, Dan feels like Zotero has become a real powerhouse and a fundamental tool used regardless of the research project. With the reading and annotation functionality, Zotero has become an indispensable tool for basic scholarly work to him.

Apart from reading, Dan listens to a lot of music and likes to go see live music when he can. He also enjoys hiking and trying different foods. Whenever he travels, he looks for local favorites and tries things he wouldn’t find at home. On a day-off in Victoria, he prefers to do both hiking and exploring food options, as long as the day isn’t too rainy.