Personal profile


PhD, Library and Information ScienceWestern Ontario, 1993 – 1999

MLIS, Library and Information ScienceWestern Ontario, 1992 – 1993

BA, Music Theory and CompostionWestern Ontario, 1984 – 1988

BMus, Music, Queen's University, 1983 – 1984

Personal profile

J. Stephen Downie is Associate Dean for Research and a Professor at GSLIS, and the Illinois Co-Director of the HathiTrust Research Center. He has been an active participant in the digital libraries and digital humanities research domains. He is best known for helping to establish an vibrant music information retrieval research community. Since 2005, he has directed the annual Music Information Retrieval Evaluation eXchange (MIREX). He also was a founder of the International Society Music Information Retrieval (ISMIR) and its first president.


Research Interests


Design and evaluation of IR systems, including multimedia music information retrieval; the political economy of internetworked communication systems; database design; Web-based technologies.

Research Projects

  • Workset Creation for Scholarly Analysis: Prototyping Project

    Researchers rely on collections of books and other materials to support their scholarship. From these collections, scholars select, organize, and refine the worksets that will answer to their particular research objectives. The requirements for those worksets are becoming increasingly sophisticated and complex, both as humanities scholarship has become more interdisciplinary and as it has become more digital.

  • HathiTrust + Bookworm Project

    The HathiTrust Research Center (HTRC) is partnering with the Cultural Observatory team that developed the Google Books Ngram Viewer together with Google. The goal of this collaboration is to implement a greatly enhanced open-source version of the Cultural Observatory’s open-source “Bookworm” text analysis and visualization tool designed to assist scholars to meet the challenges posed by the massive scale of the HT corpus. We are calling our multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional...

  • MIREX Next Generation

    The “Music Information Retrieval Evaluation eXchange” (MIREX) is the annual cycle of events wherein music information retrieval (MIR) researchers come together to investigate how well their innovative MIR algorithms perform. MIREX has played a pivotal role in the growth and success of the MIR research community, evaluating over 1,068 algorithms across 23 unique MIR task categories. Notwithstanding its growth and success, the research landscape in which MIREX resides has evolved considerably...

Completed Research Projects


  • Z665 Library Science. Information Science
  • proof-of-concept
  • omeka
  • ZA Information resources
  • evaluation methodologies

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or