Ph.D. LIS Concentration

The iSchool at Rutgers University

Get to Know the LIS Concentration (iSchool)

The Library and Information Science  (LIS) area of concentration (also known as iSchool) in our interdisciplinary Ph.D. provides an excellent environment for research in such areas as Human Information Behavior; Information Retrieval, Language and Communication; Information Agencies and Artifacts; Learning, Youth, Information and Technology; and Social and Community Informatics. The school includes world-renowned faculty who lead and teach in these areas. Their accomplishments are reflected in a large pool of scholarly publications, awards and grants.

Health Information and Technology

Health information and Technology encompasses both human and technical factors that influence collection and use of health information. This theme seeks to develop solutions to identify barriers to, and promote facilitation of, health information exchange primarily by applying insights from social, clinical, and behavioral sciences. This dynamic field is evolving quickly and includes issues which span individuals interacting with tools that enable the collection and use of personal health information to specialized knowledge and skills required to support development, adoption, and use of health information systems (e.g. electronic health records, patient portals). This broad area covers information science, health education, communication, and clinical care delivery for inpatient and ambulatory care settings. Multiple LIS faculty members undertake research in related areas, including, but not limited to:
•    Theory and methodology supporting investigations concerning the generation, storage, retrieval, and use of health data, information and knowledge
•    Health IT adoption and use
•    Health IT evaluation
•    Data Science in Health
•    Decision Science

Affiliated faculty:
•    Kaitlin Costello
•    Sunyoung Kim
•    Charles Senteio

Human Information Behavior

Human Information Behavior concerns all aspects of human interactions with information. This theme offers students the opportunity to study all aspects of interacting with information and information technologies. These interactions are studied in a wide variety of contexts, such as interaction in web search engines, collaborating with others in knowledge work, sharing in social networks, information seeking in everyday life, organizing personal or work information, designing technologies and tools for information seeking, and evaluating information technologies to support people’s information interactions. Multiple LIS faculty members undertake research in related areas, encompassing people’s interactions with information at personal, social, institutional and cultural levels; including, but not limited to:

  • Information seeking and retrieval
  • Information sharing
  • Information use
  • Information organization and archiving
  • Information curating
  • Information policy

Affiliated Faculty:

Human-Computer Interaction

The Human-Computer Interaction theme encompasses a wide range of computing technology and its use, as every aspect of modern life requires interacting with computers in some way.  This field offers students the opportunity to study all aspects of living, working, and building in a digital world, including developing an understanding of human needs through ethnographic field studies; designing new technology; evaluating the use of technology both in laboratory experiments and through field deployment, and devising theories about information technology and its role in society. Multiple LIS faculty members undertake research in related areas, including, but not limited to:

  • Human factors & Ergonomics
  • Computer-Supported Collaborative Work
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Game design and development
  • Information visualization
  • Mobile computing & Ubiquitous computing

Affiliated faculty:

Information Institutions, Artifacts and Documents

The Information Institutions, Artifacts and Documents theme involves the study of socio-technical and socio-material dimensions of information systems, infrastructures, and institutions in an emergent and evolving political, legal, economic, social, and cultural framework that draws on sociological, historical, and technological approaches. Faculty recognize that these phenomena are complex and constructed through processes that require critical positions and reliance on a wide range of qualitative and quantitative methodologies to study their lifecycles in the micro, medium, and macro-levels of society. Multiple LIS faculty members undertake research in related areas, including, but not limited to:

  • Forms and document and media ecologies (artifacts) including the studies of institutions, knowledge production, transmission, and knowledge domains
  •  History and cultures of the book, reading experience, and reading communities, material texts
  • Preservation and circulation of information
  • Theory of knowledge and social epistemology
  • Development of libraries and information agencies and their collections, and associated services
  • Intellectual property and information rights
  • Integrity, authority, and authenticity

Affiliated faculty:

Information, Learning, and Technology

Information seeking can inherently be seen as a human learning process that involves human inquiry. In the Information, Learning, and Technology theme, those researching and teaching in this domain at SC&I aim to foster a deeper understanding of the cognitive, affective and social processes that facilitate inquiry, learning, and knowledge co-construction, often through learners’ uses of e-learning and information technologies. Our work advances theories of learning, inquiry, and information seeking, as well as design of learning systems, environments and instructional models. Multiple LIS faculty members undertake research in related areas, including, but not limited to:

  • Design and use of learning systems
  • Learning by the full diversity of youth, adults, elders and specialized populations
  • Information, communication, and technology (ICT) issues in computer supported collaborative learning
  • School librarianship pedagogy and praxis
  • Digital divide, literacies, access, and learning systems

Affiliated faculty:

Information Retrieval and Language Analysis

The Information Retrieval and Language Analysis theme focuses on research that examines information retrieval in its broadest sense. This field encompasses the development and assessment of automatic systems that support user retrieval of text, audio and visual documents from large collections, and improved understanding of how real people interact with information retrieval systems. One goal is to use this understanding to develop systems that meet the needs of different user communities. By extension, research on information retrieval has come to include data mining, computational linguistics, and corpus linguistics, all of which can be viewed as techniques for improving information retrieval. Multiple LIS faculty members undertake research in related areas, including, but not limited to:
•    Individual, collaborative, social, and organizational information retrieval
•    Interactive information retrieval
•    Natural language processing, information extraction, information organization

Affiliated faculty:

Social Computing and Data Science

Social Computing refers to the design, development, deployment, validation, and refinement of various technologies as they aid and in turn impact human processes on individual, community, and societal scales. Studying such phenomena in a data-driven manner requires the creation of methodological and conceptual advancements at the intersection of advanced analytics and social behavior. Multiple LIS faculty members undertake research in related areas, including, but not limited to:

  • Computational Social Science
  • Collaborative Gaming, Health, and Education
  • Data Science for Social Good
  • Social Network Analysis
  • Social Media


Affiliated faculty: