The iSchools Organization was founded in 2005 by a small collective of Information Schools dedicated to advancing the information field in the 21st Century. The Organization seeks to maximize the visibility and influence of its member schools, and their interdisciplinary approaches to harnessing the power of information and technology, and maximizing the potential of humans. The iSchools believe that expertise in all forms of information is required for progress in science, business, education, and culture. This expertise must include understanding of the uses and users of information, the nature of information itself, as well as information technologies and their applications.
The iSchools has now grown into a large worldwide consortium. Our membership runs the gamut, from well-established information schools to those newly created or evolving from programs formerly focused on specific tracks such as information technology, library science, informatics, information science, and more. Each individual iSchool brings its own strengths and specializations to the Organization, and together we share a fundamental interest in the relationships between information, people, and technology.
The Board of Directors is the formal decision-making organ of the Organization. The Board of Directors consists of two groups: the Executive Committee and additional Board members elected by region. Click here to view the current Board.
The Executive Committee consists of eight members: the current chair, the chair-elect, the past-chair, the treasurer, the chairs of each of the three regions, and ex officio the Executive Director. The Executive Committee works with the Executive Director in handling the ongoing business of the iSchools. The Board of Directors must approve broader decisions such as changes in the budget and membership. A majority of all members must approve any change in the dues or fundamental structural alterations and will elect the chair.
The distribution of the additional regional Board members is calculated using a formula that factors the number of schools in each region and their respective membership levels; membership levels are explained below.
The above governance model and representation formula was adopted at the iSchools 2018 Business Meeting, and is further explained in this news story.
Criteria for being recognized as an iSchool are not rigid, but members are expected to have substantial sponsored research activity, engagement in the training of future researchers (usually through an active, research-oriented doctoral program), and a commitment to progress in the information field.
iSchools memberships span five membership levels and also an Associate category, as defined below. Each new member is entitled to select the membership level that it feels best represents the level of support and leadership that it wishes to maintain within the organization. Levels are not assigned and should not be construed as a rating system.
Prospective members should indicate their desired membership level on their application. Schools are expected to enroll at the highest membership level in accordance with the size, resources and structural limitations of their schools. Schools are encouraged to move up in the membership hierarchy when appropriate, and may do so during the annual renewal period.
Membership levels:Corresponding annual dues are shown in USD.
iCaucus ($5000): This is our most prestigious membership level and indicates the highest possible support for the organization and its role in shaping the future of the information field. iCaucus schools each get five votes in choosing the Board of Directors and may post news and jobs announcements to the organizational website at no cost.
Enabling ($4000): Our second-highest membership level is indicative of a strong desire to enable the organization’s work. Enabling-level schools each get four votes in choosing the Board of Directors and may post news and jobs announcements to the organizational website at no cost.
Sustaining ($3000): Sustaining schools each get three votes in choosing the Board of Directors and may post news and jobs announcements to the organizational website at no cost.
Supporting ($2000): Supporting schools each get two votes in choosing the Board of Directors and may post two news items or jobs for free per month.
Basic ($1000): The Basic level provides full organizational membership at an affordable price. Basic schools each get one vote in choosing the Board of Directors and may post one news item or job for free per month.
Associate category ($300): The Associate category is for schools that are new and/or may not yet meet the requirements for the full membership listed above. Associate schools are included in organizational discussions and meetings, but do not have voting rights. Associate schools are limited to one news or jobs post per month. Associate schools can petition to become full members during the annual renewal period, as explained below.
Advancing from Associate category to Full Membershp
Schools that have been accepted into the Associate category can petition to become full members when circumstances so warrant; this is done during the annual renewal period.
Your petition for full membership should take the form of an email to the iSchools Executive Director that will be shared with the Board of Directors. This email should explaining the new developments in your school that warrant the change.
For example, the most common reason for Associate status is the lack of a fully developed doctoral program. To address this, a school’s petition would include the following information:
Current structure of your doctoral program (size, requirements, history of the program);
Typical dissertation topics;
Names of program graduate(s) and their dissertation topics.
This does not need to be long. A few sentences for each will suffice to start the process. The Executive Director will contact you with any questions the Board of Directors might have in reviewing your petition.
All members receive an invoice for dues at the beginning of the year. The balance due reflects the membership level they have selected (see rates above).
New memberships are treated as “provisional” until the first dues payment is received. After receiving the notification of acceptance, new members can expect an invoice that is prorated to reflect month of the year in which the application was approved. After this initial payment is received, the “provisional” rider is rescinded, and the new member will appear in the organization’s online directory.
Benefits and Resources
All iSchools members enjoy the following benefits:
Displaying the logo
iSchools members are entitled and encouraged to display the iSchools logo on their websites. This shows the world that you are part of a consortium of highly respected institutions, and a leader in the information field. Click here for logos and guidelines; you can share this link with your school’s webmaster.
Collaboration with peers The iSchools also maintain several mailing lists that let heads of schools collaborate with their colleagues regionally and worldwide. Heads of schools may designate a substitute representative to manage these communications if they wish (see below under Ongoing Participation/Substitute Representatives). There is also a list for the use of your communications staff. The email addresses for these lists will be sent to you. In order to promote privacy and reduce spam, the list addresses are no longer provided on the website.
Posting news to the iSchools website
Members can submit news items to our website, where it will be viewed by leading information scholars, researchers and practitioners worldwide. Click here for the news submission form; this link is also availble on our news page.
Sponsored Research Fund
The iSchools maintain a sponsored research fund for the benefit of all member schools. Faculty and graduate students may apply for research grants ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 USD.
Posting of job opening
Member schools can advertise their job openings on the iSchools website, making them visible to a broad spectrum of scholars and researchers. Click here for the job-lising submission form; this link is also available on our jobs page.
Listing in the iSchools directory
All iSchools members are listed in our online membership directory. This is one of our most heavily trafficed webpages, used worldwide by people seeking highly regarded information schools in their area. Members can notify us of a changes to their directory listings by sending a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit our website's Resources section for additional resources for heads of schools and their staffs. These resources include information on conducting rearch under Europe's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR); access to Robert Glusko's The Discipline of Organizing, a book widely used in iSchools as a primary or supplemental text for courses in Information Organization, Knowledge Management, Digital Collections, Information Architecture, Information Systems Design, Data Science, and other related fields; and access to the iSchools Video Blog, where iSchools leaders talk about current challenges, such as educatinal responses to COVID-19; and much more.
Sharing Invitations and Calls with Fellow Member Schools
Many members ask about ways of sharing calls and invitations across the iSchools. These can include calls for papers, survey invitations, and etc. There are several ways of sharing these messages:
The invitation can be issued in bulk via one of our school head mailing groups. All Heads of Schools and/or Substitutes have permission to contact these groups. Global messages should be sent to the All iSchool Leaders group, more localized messages should go to the sender’s respective Regional group. The mailing addresses of these lists were recently changed and are no longer listed on the website.
The iSchools also maintain a mailing group for the use of marketing and communication professionals employed by our member schools. These “icommunicators” use this list to share news and announcements among their peer institutions. Your school will need to designate a list subscriber to take advantage of this.
Collaboration is at the heart of everything we do as an organization. All members are encouraged and expected to participate on an ongoing basis, specifically:
Online Discussions and Polls—Periodically, online meetings and/or polls will be initiated by the iSchools Chair, Executive Committee or Executive Director. All heads of schools are expected to review these materials and participate in any related online discussion or voting, as-appropriate. Click here for past reports.
Attendance at Annual Meetings—All heads of member schools are encouraged and expected to attend the annual iSchools business meeting, which is held in conjunction with the iConference and takes place in a different location every year. If the official head of a school cannot attend a particular meeting, this person may name a substitute who is a faculty member in active service and preferably part of the school’s leadership team.
Substitute Representatives— A school may petition the executive committee to accept a standing representative, who is not the head of the school, for a fixed period of up to two years, on the condition that person is empowered to act on behalf of the school in all iSchool matters. This individual will be added to the appropriate mailing lists, and also appear in our online membership address book. Substitute requests should be sent to the iSchools Executive Director.
iSchools Inc. is a collaborative organization, and we value the input of all our members. Click here to view past meeting minutes.
Getting Started as a New Member: What we need from you
In order to participate and take advantage of the many benefits of iSchools membership, new members should do the following as soon as possible after their application has been approved:
Post the iSchools logo to your school website—Click here to view the logo guidelines; you should share this link with your school’s webmaster.
Confirm your member directory listing—Click here to view the directory and confirm that your school is listed properly. Corrections should be sent to email@example.com.
Confirm your address book listing—Click here to view member address book. Note that this is a password-protected page. If you have forgotten the password, you can request it from any of the iSchools staff listed here.
Provide billing information—Every year we send out invoices for annual member dues; these will be sent directly to your primary email address. However, some schools have special billing requirements. If your school has any specific billing needs, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org, with subject line “Billing address for invoices.”