Rutgers iSchool announces launch of new journal


The School of Communication and Information (SC&I) at Rutgers University is excited to announce the launch of the new journal, Information and Learning Sciences, co-edited by LIS faculty Rebecca B. Reynolds along with Dr. Samuel K. W. Chu of the University of Hong Kong, and published by Emerald, UK.

Upcoming Special Issues include: Call for papers – Learning in Low-tech, Information-rich Environments; Call for papers – Foregrounding Play: Games and Playful Engagement in the Study and Design of Formal and Informal Learning Environments

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Rutgers iSchool to host Sociotechnical Summer Institute; application deadline March 31


The School of Communication and Information at Rutgers University will host the upcoming CSST Summer Institute, supporting late-phase doctoral students, post-docs and early career emerging scholars in the socio-technical systems and critical informatics research domains. The event takes place June 18-22, 2019.

Now 10 years running, the event will be co-organized by Rutgers LIS professor Rebecca Reynolds and Dr. Morgan Ames of the UC Berkeley iSchool. It will be held at the Rutgers University Inn and Conference Center, close to NYC, Newark Airport, and major transportation hubs.

See the online CFP for details, including the list of mentors, and application instructions. The application deadline is March 31, 2019.

The event is ACM SIGCHI Sponsored, with additional support from iSchools-members Rutgers, University of Missouri, and Syracuse University.


News from Rutgers iSchool: ALA reaccreditation and return of Dept. Chair Radford


The Rutgers School of Communication and Information (SC&I) announces that its Master of Information (MI) Program has been awarded full reaccreditation through fall 2025 from the American Library Association’s Committee on Accreditation. “We have had continuous accreditation since 1956, and continue our commitment ongoing quality curriculum design, innovation, and meeting professional opportunities in a diverse library and information landscape,” said former Department Chair Ross Todd.

The ALA/COA accredits master’s programs in LIS in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, based on an extensive review process conducted by an external panel of practitioners and academics that ensure the program meets the required standards. Click here for more on this story.

In related news, Professor Marie L. Radford is returning to the post of Library and Information Science Department Chair for the next 18 months, replacing former Chair Ross Todd. “It’s a pleasure to jump in here because Ross has worked hard to ensure that the department is in great shape,” said Radford. “Enrollments are up – our master and undergraduate programs continue to be very strong.”

Radford originally had the role from 2012 to 2014, then went on to serve as the school’s Ph.D. Director. During her Department Chair appointment, Radford is focused on maintaining the high standard of the School and LIS department. Click here for more on this story.


Rutgers professor Shah receives $100K Amazon grant for search and browsing research


Rutgers iSchool Associate Professor Chirag Shah has been awarded $100,000 by the Amazon Research Awards program for his project “Addressing Cold Start Problem in Personalization and Recommendation Using Proactive Information Retrieval.” The grant will be distributed in two parts: $80,000 in monetary funding, and $20,000 in AWS cloud services credits.

The proposal takes on the issue of search and browsing difficulties, where users often do not know where or how to begin a search. The project will use existing data from a number of browsing and searching studies to build behavioral models for proactive information retrieval (IR), and test them using a new user study involving online searching and browsing. The results will include a new algorithm that will use a small amount of browsing data from a user’s session and make predictions about the nature of the task. This algorithm will also be able to provide recommendations before even the searcher realizes the need for them, thus being proactive in an IR episode and addressing the possible cold start problem.

“We have entered the Fourth Industrial Revolution, where artificial agents are becoming an integral part of our lives, being more proactive than reactive,” Shah said. “This project will design, build, and test information agents that learn from our behaviors and offer crucial support in a proactive manner.”

Also serving as Director of the InfoSeeking Lab, Shah’s work focuses on interactive information retrieval/seeking, with an emphasis on those involving social and collaborative aspects.

Click here for more of this story on the Rutgers iSchool website.


iSchools at ALA Annual Conference


The iSchools organization will be well represented at the 2017 ALA Annual Conference and Exhibition, with many members exhibiting and making presentations. The ALA Conference takes place June 22-27 in Chicago.

The School of Information Sciences at Illinois will be represented in booth #4742 in the Exhibit Hall. Alumni and students are invited to attend the Alumni Reception and LSAA Annual Meeting on Sunday, June 25, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Petterino’s, 150 N. Dearborn. Click here for more about Illinois iSchool faculty presentations and other events.

The Syracuse University School of Information Studies will be represented in booth #4839. Syracuse will be participating in ALISE’s Library and Information Studies Cooperative Alumni Reunion on Sunday, June 25, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at the Swissotel, Alpine II room. Click here for more on Syracuse faculty sessions and presentations.

The Rutgers School of Information and Communication will have representatives on hand in booth #4942. Rutgers iSchool faculty will also be supporting the ALISE/LIS Cooperative Alumni Reunion on Sunday, June 25, 2017 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Swissotel Hotels & Resorts, Room Edelweiss. Click here for details about Rutgers participation in the event.

Representatives of the Simmons College School of Library and Information Science will be in booth #4740. Alumni and students are invited to a free reception on Saturday, June 24, 5:30 p.m. at Tapas Valencia. Visit the Simmons iSchool website for more information.

Attendees can meet with a representative of the Department of Information Studies at University College London in booth 4734. Click here for details.

The University of Washington Information School will be on hand in booth #4739.

Alumni and friends of the University of Michigan School of Information are invited to attend a reception on Thursday, June 22 from 5:00-6:30 pm at the 676 Restaurant in the Chicago Omni Hotel.


Rutgers iSchool to Hold Research Invitational for Master’s Students


Rutgers University iSchool invites students with in-progress and completed master’s degrees to the Third Rutgers iSchool Research Invitational. The conference focus is to showcase master’s student research interests (completed, in-progress and prospective work in information science or related domain), and to network with our iSchool community. Attendees will present a research poster. They will participate in networking events such as a catered dinner, research presentations by current PhD students, and discussions with iSchool faculty. The participants will also have a unique opportunity to learn about Rutgers PhD program and the excellent benefits it offers to those interested in pursuing research in iSchools. The event takes place November 4-5, 2016

A complete proposal for participation requires: Poster abstracts of up to 500 words outlining your research interests and any results you have gleaned to-date, a CV, and a cover letter of introduction briefly describing you, your background and career plans. Applications will be considered by a juried panel of Rutgers faculty based upon thorough completion of the requested materials, depth of coverage, and fit in the iSchool scholarly fields. The application deadline is October 9, and decisions will be announced October 12.

Selected participants will be reimbursed for up to $300 for travel to Rutgers University, depending on distance. Their hotel for up to two nights, local transportations, and meals will also be covered.

Applications can be submitted at For more information, contact Dr. Chirag Shah.


SC&I To Offer New Master of Information Concentration This Fall: Archives and Preservation


New Brunswick, New Jersey (USA). – “This fall, The Rutgers School of Communication and Information will offer “Archives and Preservation,” a new concentration within its Master of Information (MI) degree program.
Available on campus and for the first time during the fall 2016 semester, this new concentration will prepare master’s students for careers in these areas: Librarian/Archivist, Digital Asset Manager/Digital Archivist, Museum Librarian/Archivist, Digital Curation and Special Collections Librarian.
By taking the courses in the Archives and Preservation concentration, students will be prepared to assume the responsibilities and roles in identifying and preserving analog and digital records created by individuals, families and organizations as trustworthy evidence, they will be able to develop strategies for preserving cultural and scientific knowledge for current and future generations, learn about the tensions around privacy, access, and memorial contestation, and consider the role of records, documents, and archival institutions in upholding human rights and social justice.”
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Rutgers Assistant Professor Chirag Shah Awarded IMLS 2016 National Leadership Grants for Libraries Award


New Brunswick (USA) – “The School of Communication and Information, Rutgers University, is proud to announce that Assistant Professor Chirag Shah is the recipient of an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) 2016 National Leadership Grants for Libraries award for the project “Online Q&A in STEM Education: Curating the Wisdom of the Crowd.” The project received $491,973.00 in funding. The three-year research project, starting in fall 2016, will be led by the principal investigator (PI) Shah, in partnership with co-PI Rich Gazan, associate professor at the University of Hawaii. The project addresses the growing need for investigating people’s online question-answering (Q&A) behavior and the quality assessment method applied by experts to augment learning experiences of students, specifically in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields. It will serve libraries and librarians, as well as students and educators in STEM classes. The project will integrate crowdsourced information and the wisdom of librarians and other information professionals to enhance the experience of STEM learners.
The outcomes will provide mechanisms through which current informational services (e.g. virtual referencing) could obtain broader applicability and sustainability with new applications in education contexts.
For more information on the School of Communication and Information, please visit


Rutgers Assistant Professors Shah and Singh Receive a Google Faculty Research Award


USA. – “School of Communication and Information, (SC&I) Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Assistant Professors Chirag Shah and Vivek Singh Receive a Google Faculty Research Award
Assistant Professors Chirag Shah and Vivek Singh have received a $62,813 Google Faculty Research Award for their research project titled “Predicting Search Behavior Using Physical and Online Explorations.”
The purpose of this research is to examine how human foraging behaviors in physical environments can be linked to their online exploration characteristics. Understanding this connection could help information providers and system designers to better predict people’s search and exploration strategies, leading to creating support and services not possible before.
Preliminary research shows there is a connection between the two types of foraging. However, the connection between physical foraging and information foraging has never been formally established, according to Shah and Singh. “We believe the way people interact with information, also called information behavior, is connected to other aspects of their behavior. Past research has looked at it in isolation so we are instilling a new way of thinking about how we study information behavior of people,” Shah stated.
So far, their results have shown that a mobile user’s diversity of location in the physical world is correlated with the novelty of the resources in the online world. Using the data collected from lab and field studies, they have been able to create a preliminary predictive model, which can benefit any individual who utilizes mobile devices by examining a user’s past location patterns as a resource to help users formulate their searches based on personalization and recommendations.”
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Rutgers SC&I Announces New Degree: The ITI-MI Dual Bachelor of Arts /Master of Information Degree Program


USA. – “Building on the 15 years of success the School of Communication and Information’s Bachelor of Information Technology and Informatics (ITI) degree has enjoyed, the school is proud to announce its new Information Technology and Informatics – Master of Information (MI) Dual Bachelor of Arts /Master of Information Degree (Dual BA+MI degree).
Open only to Rutgers undergraduate ITI majors as a campus program only (it is not currently offered online), this new degree can be completed in five years — four years of undergraduate education plus one year as a master’s student. Students begin taking graduate courses in their senior year. The degree will focus on practice and experiential learning processes in order to prepare graduates for exciting careers in data science, information management, data management, design, project management and more.
Director of the Information Technology and Informatics Program Assistant Teaching Professor Sharon Stoerger said, “This program is more than just a degree. Instead, it is an exciting opportunity for students to become part of an active learning, hands-on, and immersive experience in an environment that emphasizes collaboration and community. The skills students obtain through this rigorous dual degree program will help them create, innovate, and lead in a digital age.”
Dual ITI-MI students will be immersed in classroom and experiential learning opportunities that will teach tech and critical leadership skills, including creative thinking, analytic skills, visualizing information, problem solving, collaboration and team building. The degree will provide each student with the opportunity to conceive of and develop a product that could solve a real-world tech problem, because students will be expected to develop, build and create a product that will be marketable. Another significant feature of the program will be the opportunity to learn from professionals who will be invited to classes to share their experiences. The dual BA + MI degree will prepare students for successful careers in the fields of technology, government, education and healthcare, among others.”
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