Nick Belkin Photo


Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Library and Information Science

Emeritus Faculty

HU 202

Nicholas Belkin is best known for his work on human-centered information retrieval and development of the cognitive viewpoint in information science. His research involves information-seeking behaviors, and the interaction between humans and information retrieval systems. He is a recipient of the ACM SIGIR Salton Award, and the ASIS&T Award of Merit. 


University of London
Ph.D., Information Studies

University of Washington
M.Lib., Information Science

University of Washington
B.A., Russian Language and Literature


Nick Belkin's research involves human interaction with information; human-computer interaction in information systems; interactive information retrieval; personalization of information retrieval; and evaluation of whole session information retrieval. He is one of the founders of the "cognitive viewpoint" in information science, and is the co-author of one of the first books to explicitly investigate and describe the process of interactive information retrieval. He is the author or co-author of over 200 journal articles, conference proceedings, and book chapters, and has been identified variously as the first or second most highly cited scholar in Library and Information Science. His research has been supported by many agencies, including NSF, Institute of Museum and Library Services, Google, DARPA, NIST, U.S. Department of Education, the British Library Research and Development Department, and NATO. His current research project, characterizing and evaluating whole session interactive information retrieval, is supported by the National Science Foundation.

Centers, Labs, Working Groups, and Clusters

Funded Projects

Characterizing and Evaluating Whole Session Interactive Information Retrieval, with co-PI Chirag Shah, funded by a continuing grant from the National Science Foundation ($499, 425) 2014

Automatic Identification of Information Searcher Intentions During an Information Seeking Session, with co-PI Chirag Shah, funded by a Google Faculty Research Award ($53,000) 2013-2014

Personalization of the Digital Library Experience, with co-PIs Jacek Gwizdka & Xiangmin Zhang, funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services ($968,000) 2007-2011

Improving Access through User- and Topic-Based Language Models, collaborative research with co-PIs James Allan and W. Bruce Croft, University of Massachusetts, funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation ($244,000 at Rutgers) 2000-2004

Selected Publications

Belkin, N.J. (2010) On the evaluation of interactive information retrieval systems. In: B. Larsen, J.W. Schneider & F. Åström (Eds.) The Janus Faced Scholar. A Festschrift in Honour of Peter Ingwersen (pp. 13-21). Copenhagen: Royal School of Library and Information.

Belkin, N.J. (1980) Anomalous states of knowledge as a basis for information retrieval. Canadian Journal of Information Science, vol. 5: 133-143.

Belkin, N.J. (1996) Intelligent information retrieval: Whose intelligence? In: ISI ‘96: Proceedings of the Fifth International Symposium for Information Science (pp. 25-31). Konstanz: Universitätsverlag Konstanz

Belkin, N.J., Cool, C., Stein, A. & Thiel, U. (1995) Cases, scripts, and information seeking strategies: on the design of interactive information retrieval systems. Expert Systems with Applications, vol. 9: 379-395.

Cole, M.J., Hendahewa, C., Belkin, N.J. & Shah, C. (2015) User activity patterns during information search. ACM Transactions on Information Systems, 33 (1): Article No. 1 (39 p.)

Awards & Recognitions

Gerard Salton Award, presented by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Special Interest Group on Information Retrieval (SIGIR) every three years to an individual who has made "significant, sustained and continuing contributions to research in inf

ASIS&T Award of Merit, the highest award with which ASIS&T recognizes sustained contributions to the field of information science, 2003

ASIS&T Excellence in Research in Information Science Award, 1997 ASIS&T Outstanding Information Science Teacher Award, 1990

Research Keywords