Alex Wade and Lee Dirks: Tools for Researchers Microsoft Research and the Scholarly Information Ecosystem

Presentation slides


Alex Wade and Lee Dirks (Microsoft Research)


Microsoft External Research strongly supports the process of research and its role in the innovation ecosystem. We are dedicated to the development and support of efforts in open access, open tools, open technology, and interoperability. We partner with universities, national libraries, publishers, and governmental organizations to help develop software and services in order to evolve the process of scholarly information capture and dissemination. Such collaborations demonstrate our ongoing work towards producing next-generation documents that increase productivity and empower authors to increase the discoverability and appropriate re-use of their work.

Throughout the research process, software can and should assist us in the process of information capture, organization, analysis, collaboration, authoring, dissemination and long-term information preservation. This session will highlight several freely available and open source efforts from Microsoft External Research, and will demonstrate how these can help to enhance the process of scholarly communication.

About the speakers

Alex WadeAs Director for Scholarly Communication within Microsoft's External Research division, Alex Wade oversees several projects related to researcher productivity tools, semantic information capture, and the interoperability of information systems. Alex holds a Bachelor's degree in Philosophy from U.C. Berkeley, and a Masters of Librarianship degree from the University of Washington.

During his career at Microsoft, Alex has managed the corporate search and taxonomy management services; has developed document and workflow management solutions; and served as Program Manager for Windows Search. Prior to joining Microsoft, Alex held academic library roles at the University of Washington, the University of Michigan, and U.C. Berkeley.





Lee DirksLee Dirks is the Director of Education & Scholarly Communications in Microsoft’s External Research division (UR:, where he manages a variety of research programs related to open access to research data, interoperability of archives and repositories, preservation of digital information as well as the application of new technologies to facilitate teaching and learning in higher education.

A 20-year veteran across multiple information management fields, Lee holds an M.L.S. degree from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill as well as a post-masters degree in Preservation Administration from Columbia University. In addition to past positions at Columbia and with OCLC (Preservation Resources), Lee has held a variety of roles at Microsoft since joining the company in 1996 - namely as the corporate archivist, then corporate librarian, and as a senior manager in the corporate market research organisation. In addition to participation on several (US) National Science Foundation task forces,

Lee also teaches as adjunct faculty at the iSchool at the University of Washington, and serves on the advisory boards for the University of Washington Libraries as well as the iSchool's Master of Science in Information Science program.