Research at the School of Communication and Information reflects the School’s unique interdisciplinary identity, in which the fields of information science, library studies, communication, journalism, and media studies come together to provide a range of integrated perspectives on vital questions and challenges related to the nature and function of communication, information and media. The scholarship at SC&I contributes to the development and critique of institutions, policies, processes and systems for communication, information, and media while opening up new understanding of their impact on individuals, organizations, and communities.

Our faculty includes scholars recognized nationally and internationally for excellence and innovation in basic and applied research that is characterized by its methodological diversity and sophistication. Behavioral, social scientific, historical, humanistic, and critical research approaches are each richly represented in the school’s scholarship. SC&I researchers are well known for their commitment to engaged scholarship that addresses contemporary issues through the design, engineering, and evaluation of tools for research and everyday use that addresses key questions and challenges facing policymakers, public interest organizations, community groups, and communication and information-related industry sectors. Reflecting this perspective, SC&I faculty frequently obtain external support for their research from government agencies, foundations, NGOs, and industry organizations.


SC&I’s approach to research is grounded in cross-disciplinary collaboration and interdisciplinary thinking that meets the complex, multifaceted demands of the rapidly evolving realm of communication, information, and media that impacts all dimensions of modern life. Reflecting this philosophy, the current areas of research emphasis within SC&I cross the range of disciplines housed within the school:

Health and Wellness: Our faculty expertise in health communication campaigns and message design, e-health, knowledge management in health organizations, science journalism and health reporting, patient-practitioner communication, and disclosure directly address critical societal issues and theoretical problems in achieving individual and community health and wellness.

Social Media Interaction and Collaborative Design: Our faculty expertise in emerging technologies, information systems, corporate and community uses of social media, learning environments, data analytics, personal and relational uses of new media, gaming, and business applications of advanced information and communication systems advances the usefulness and usability of design while critically engaging the social and cultural values implemented by designing new communication and information environments.

Global Media, Community, and Democracy: Our faculty expertise in transnational media, niche outlets, citizen journalism, new media and social movements, race and class, poverty, corporate and government uses of media, political empowerment, deliberation, and the evolution of traditional media addresses vital issues of communities and democratic participation and the evolution of how we stay informed, connected, and engaged.

Organizations, Policy, and Leadership: Our faculty expertise in persuasion, organizational change, decision making, reputation, collaboration, networks, institutions, identity, organizational uses of communication and information technology, converging media, corporate social responsibility, and public policy addresses the consequences of new communication, information, and media environments for organizations, policy, and leadership.