Beth A. Plale earned her M.B.A. from the University of LaVerne in 1986. She earned her M.S. in computer science and information science from Temple University in 1998. Upon graduation, she continued her education at the State University of New York Binghamton where she earned her Ph.D. in computer science in 1998 and completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2001. Plale began her teaching career at Indiana University (IU) in 2001 as an assistant professor of computer science. She has since held numerous appointments and titles. In 2020, she earned the additional, honorary title of Michael A. McRobbie and Laurie Burns McRobbie Bicentennial Professor in Computing Engineering. She is also the executive director of the campus-wide Pervasive Technology Institute (PTI).
Plale recently returned to IU from a 3-year term in Washington, D.C. at the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) in a cross-agency policy role in open science. Plale has a long career studying issues of trust in the products of scientific research, and how that trust can be strengthened through technology. Her specific research and policy interests are in AI research infrastructure, AI accountability, and open science and reproducibility.
Plale has served in a principal investigator (PI/PD) or co-principal investigator (co-PI) role on 62 external grant-funded awards totaling just under $50 million. She is the founder and director of the Data To Insight Center at IU which has had research funded by external sources such as NSF, the Department of Energy (DOE), the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and Microsoft. She also led the diversity, equity, and inclusion task force that produced the Luddy School Strategic Plan for Inclusive Excellence. She is a founder of the Research Data Alliance (RDA), a founder of the Center of Excellence for Women & Technology (CEWIT), a founding director of the HathiTrust Research Center, and an inaugural chair of the RDA Technical Advisory Board (TAB). Plale received the Early Career award from the Department of Energy (DOE).