Libby Hemphill, PhD

Director, Resource Center for Minority Data at ICPSR
Associate Professor at UMSI

Me Elsewhere Online

Google Scholar
Lab GitHub
Personal GitHub
ORCID: 0000-0002-3793-7281

Headshot of Libby-a woman with short dark brown hair, glasses, wearing a burgundy top with tan polka dots

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About Me

I study politicians, non-profit organizations, and television fans to understand how people use social media to organize, discuss, and enact social change. I also study data curation, especially how we evaluate (a) the impacts of data reuse and (b) investments in curating and disseminating research data. My work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Institute for Museum and Library Services, the Nayar Prize, Mozilla, the Anti-Defamation League, Amazon, and DiscoverText.

Social media has some very real toxicity challenges, like harassment and cyberbullying, that diminish its utility for collective and democratic efforts, so I work on curbing those too (Belfer Fellowship, Mozilla Grant, Nayar Prize).

I have a few titles at the University of Michigan:

From 2010 - 2017, I was a faculty member in the Humanities Department and directed the Collective Action and Social Media Lab at Illinois Institute of Technology.

Work with Me

Thank you for your interest! I’m not recruiting student RAs right now.

Post Docs

I am a faculty mentor in the 2021 Michigan Data Science Fellows Program. It’s a two-year program, and a fellow who works with me with have a co-mentor in UMSI and join research communities in the Institute for Research on Women and Gender and/or Digital Studies Institute.

I’m looking for someone interested in using computational approaches to understand social media experiences of historically marginalized populations. For instance, projects in this space grow from seeds like: what’s the difference in viewership and promotion for fashion YouTubers of different races? What rates of content deletion do women and nonbinary folks face compared to men on Reddit? How do the demographics of the labelers influence supervised machine learning models for toxicty detection?

Candidates and mentors must apply jointly by April 23. Email me by March 31 if you’re interested in applying together.

Current Funded Research Projects

Get in Touch

Email is best.


Here’s a PDF of my CV, and a few recent publications:

Working Papers

Some of my work that’s not (yet) published. These are workshop papers, papers under review, and/or longer versions of papers for conferences that review only abstracts during submission.

You can find more at