Dean Jonathan Potter in the library - Rutgers School of Communication and Information

Ph.D. Human Information Behavior

Human Information Behavior & Human-Computer Interaction


Human Information Behavior concerns all aspects of human interactions with information, and Human-Computer Interaction investigates the relationship between information technology and human activity & society. Ph.D. program in LIS offers students the opportunity to study all aspects of interacting with information, and living and working with information technology. These behaviors are studied in a wide variety of contexts, such as interaction in web search engines, organizing one's personal information, collaborating with others in knowledge work, sharing in social networks, information seeking in everyday life activities and leisure time, designing technologies and tools for information seeking, and evaluating the technologies to support human and social activities. Multiple LIS faculty members undertake research in related areas, including, but not limited to:

  • Environmental sustainability 
  • Information visualization
  • Mobile & Ubiquitous computing
  • Health informatics and Public health
  • Individual, group, social, institutional information-seeking behaviors


  • CIS3: Collaborative information seeking support and services in libraries, investigates the need to introduce and support collaborative information seeking for people working in information intensive domains like libraries. This project is funded by the US Institute of Museum and Library Services.
  • Predicting search behavior using physical and online explorations, examines how humans’ foraging behaviors in physical environments can be linked to their online exploration characteristics. This project is funded by a Google Faculty Research Award.
  • Information practices among youth during guided discovery-based game design in school, investigates students’ guided “discovery-based” learning during game design as they use a range of resources for learning. These resources include peers, teachers, digital resources, an online learning management system, and other sources of expertise. This project is funded by the US Institute of Museum and Library Services.
  • Characterizing and evaluating whole session interactive information retrieval, aims to personalize people's experiences while using search engines by predicting what they are trying to accomplish during the course of an information seeking session. This project is funded by the National Science Foundation.
  • Designing and implementing an indoor air quality monitor investigates how a simple visualization of otherwise inaccessible information can enhance the awareness of and promote positive behavioral changes for indoor environmental quality. This project is funded by the National Science Foundation.

See dissertations listings.

Affiliated Faculty:

Nick Belkin, Kaitlin Costello, Sunyoung Kim, Lilia Pavlovsky, Marie Radford, Rebecca Reynolds, Charles Senteio, Chirag Shah, Vivek Singh, Anselm Spoerri, Ross Todd