Research at the School of Communication and Information examines the nature and function of communication, information and media institutions, policies, processes and systems—and their impact on individuals and communities as well as social, organizational, national, and international affairs. Communication, information, and media each in turn define the core research interest of the three departments at SC&I.

Academic Department

Research Areas

Topics of Study


  • Organizational Communication
  • Mediated Communication
  • Language and Social Interaction
  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Health Communication
  • Organizational Change
  • Collaboration
  • Organizational Culture
  • Leadership
  • Gender
  • Globalization
  • Identity
  • Leadership
  • Persuasion
  • Policy
  • Interpersonal Relationships

Journalism and Media Studies

  • Media Institutions
  • Mass Media Audiences
  • Media and Society
  • Traditional and New Media
  • Cultural Production
  • Communication Law and Policy
  • Political Communication
  • Media and Education
  • Race, Gender, Class, Age
  • Media Content and Effects

Library and Information Science

  • Information Seeking
  • Information Retrieval
  • Information Structure
  • Evaluation of Information Systems
  • Digital Libraries
  • School Library Media
  • Youth Services
  • Knowledge Management
  • Information Personalization
  • Social Media

Our faculty includes scholars recognized nationally and internationally for excellence and innovation in basic and applied research of contemporary communication, information, and media related problems. The broad range of approaches evident in SC&I research of these problems speaks to the interdisciplinary vitality of our faculty. Behavioral, social scientific, historical, humanistic, and critical research approaches are each richly represented in the school’s scholarship. Problems are also addressed through the design, engineering, and evaluation of tools for research and everyday use. Our educational, research, and scholarly activities are informed by the philosophy that the subject matter of communication, information and media processes/practices/policies/institutions places people rather than technologies first.


Interdisciplinarity energizes a research university and stimulates new ways of asking questions and solving problems. Indeed the complexity and multifaceted nature of many if the most interesting problems of our time mandate cross-disciplinary collaboration and interdisciplinarity thinking, In recent years, SC&I has introduced a problem-centered approach to faculty recruitment and hire to foster interdisciplinary collaboration in three significant problem areas:

Health and Wellness: Community wellness and individual and collective health are major issues in the 21st century. Our faculty who study health communication campaigns and message design, e-health, knowledge management in health organizations, science journalism and health reporting, patient-practitioner communication, disclosure, and myriad related fields are helping shape policy and understanding of critical wellness issues.

Social Media Interaction and Collaborative Design: Every day, we’re doing more together using technology and virtual interaction. Our faculty are increasingly concerned with learning in virtual environments, relationship maintenance using electronic social networks, corporate and community use of social media, the burgeoning business of social applications, and creative collaboration in gaming worlds.

Global Media, Community, and Democracy: Twenty-first century technological developments are changing how we stay informed; in turn, our relationship to our communities and democratic participation is evolving. Topics of importance to our faculty in this area include, but are not limited to, transnational media, niche outlets, citizen journalism, new media and social movements, race and class, poverty and other pressing problems, political empowerment, and the evolution of traditional media.

Organizations, Policy, and Leadership: It is critical to understand how modern communication and information challenges affect organizations, policy makers, and leaders. This research area focuses on the intersection of technology and media with traditional communication studies in persuasion, organizational change, collaboration, identity, and other concentrations. Scholars in this area study e-learning, converging media, corporate social responsibility, communication policy, among many other interests.