Current Projects

The projects listed here are research projects, organizational consulting projects, dissertations and theses for which the iSchool faculty, Gateway Ph.D students and MLIS students are currently principal or co-investigators. The projects are categorized within the CIRI Research Areas.

Digital Records and Curation

Grant Funded Research

  • Local History Digital Resources Project (LHDRP)

    PI: Diana Wakimoto. Read more about Wakimoto

    The grant provides funding for digitizing parts of the image collection at California State University East Bay, creating metadata records, and uploading images, metadata, and finding aids to the Online Archive of California (OAC).

  • Trust and Conflicting Rights in the Digital Environment
    iSchool External Participant: Dr. Pat Franks

    An exploratory workshop that will bring together researchers in information science, law, law enforcement, and journalism from universities in North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia, and from multinational entities, in order to gain a better understanding of the trust relationship between organizations and their client groups with regard to the data and records created, maintained, used and/or preserved on the Internet. The workshop will be held at the School of Library, Archival, and Information Studies at the University of British Columbia-location of the PI Dr. Luciana Duranti.

Ongoing Research

  • Traces of War in Iraq and Afghanistan: Personal Archives of Deployed U.S. Marines, 2001-2011
    PI: David Gray
  • How Cloud Computing Affects Business Process Records Management Lifecycle and Retention Schedules
    PI: Melissa Hunt Glickman
  • Community Oral History Toolkit
    PI: Nancy MacKay

    This five-volume set is the definitive guide to all aspects of conducting successful community oral history projects that conform to best practices in the field. What are the fundamental principles that make one oral history project fly and another falter? Community Oral History Toolkit examines theoretical foundations for oral history practice and offers applicable tools and guidelines that you can mold to your project’s specific needs. The wealth of existing literature on oral history methodology is designed for academic research; the Toolkit, however, is specifically geared toward community groups unaffiliated with large institutions such as universities. Volumes include an introduction to community oral history, planning and managing community oral history projects, interviewing subjects, and processing the interviews.

  • Survey on Oral Histories in Repositories
    PI: Nancy MacKay

    In cooperation with the MATRIX Center for Digital Humanities at Michigan State University, Nancy MacKay will conduct a survey that will be a part of a larger project to create core metadata elements for oral histories.

  • Second Life, Virtual Center for Archives & Records Administration
    PI: Dr. Patricia Franks
  • Digital Records at the Junction of Work and Play: An examination of the rights and remedies of employers and employees in work-related blogs, posts, and tweets.
    PI: Dr. Debbie Weissman
  • Breath of Life: Revitalizing California's Native Languages Through Archives
    PI: Susan Gehr (MLIS Thesis, anticipated completion date Fall 2013. Supervisor: Dr. Debra Hansen)
  • User Preference in the Presentation and Content of Digital Archives: A Research Proposal to Gauge Archival Researcher Behavior and Opinions
    PI: Lindsay Morton (MLIS Thesis, anticipated completion date May 2014. Supervisor: Dr. Pat Franks)

Information Access and Use

Grant Funded Research

  • iMapLibraries

    PI: Christie Koontz

    The goal of this IMLS National Forum Grant is to empower local librarians, with development of more precise planning tools, to better serve diverse customer markets within their local community. Although public libraries are funded by local governments and hence serve same, measures of library performance and effectiveness are defined at the national level into a "one size fits all." Categories are top down and do not fit the increasingly diverse customer profiles in communities large and small, urban and rural across America.

    Further, and more importantly, current broad measures fail to accurately assess the unique and valuable roles that libraries play in the lives of people within these diverse and non-traditional segments of local communities. The lack of local library performance measures that mirror unique populations means that local libraries find it difficult to show the true value of services to the local community and its funders.

    This joint project by Florida State University researchers, the American Library Association (ALA), and the Chief Officers of State Library Associations (COSLA) will take a major step towards solving this problem. The grant will identify the public libraries throughout the country that currently serve diverse populations as identified with geographic information system (GIS) using variables such as linguistic isolation, race/ethnicity, education and income levels within a pre-determined radii around the library facility.

  • Print & Electronic Textbooks: Student Preference Survey

    PI: Sue Alman

    Faculty from the SJSU School of Information are working on a collaborative research project with researchers from Hewlett Packard (HP) to develop a predictive model to determine student preferences for using print or electronic textbooks. Through an electronic survey involving undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at SJSU, the researchers will investigate and assess the ways students use digital and print materials.

  • Enhancing Practitioner Research: Analyzing Existing Research Trends to Improve Research Education

    PI: Dr. Lili Luo

    Through a critical content analysis of LIS journal articles in the past decade, this study will identify the topics, trends, methods, strengths, and weaknesses of practitioner research. With that knowledge, educators and practitioners will be able to critically reflect on methodological designs, gain knowledge regarding best practices and common pitfalls in practitioner research, identify research trends, and make more informed decisions when providing training and education to practitioners. Ultimately, findings will help practitioners accomplish their research objectives and create new knowledge that improves library services.

  • InterPARES Trust

    PI: Dr. Patricia C. Franks (co-applicant and member of North American team)
    Student Research Assistant: Mark Driskill, MARA Student

    The ultimate goal of the 5-year long grant-funded project is to achieve a balance of trust and trustworthiness in web-based data, records, and records systems. The 5 domains to be investigated by the international research team are infrastructure, security/protection, control, access and legal issues. Each of these domains will be viewed from the perspective of five cross-domains: terminology, resources, policy, social/societal issues, and risk. Dr. Franks is a member of the North American team, and the facets she will explore initially are social media use and expectations in government agencies in Canada and the US, the challenges of retention and disposition of records in a cloud environment, and information governance policy analysis. She will also serve as the point person for the cross domain topic of social and societal issues across all projects undertaken by the North American team.

Ongoing Research

  • Affective Search: How do Emotions Affect Search Performance?
    PI: Nilo Sarraf
  • Lessons learned from incorporating UCD principles into a rapid development environment to spawn innovation
    PI: Jamal Cromity
  • I’m not local, can you still hear me? The international and foreign student in the Academic Library
    PI: Cherry-Ann Smart
  • Improving Analysis of Large Digital Collections: A New Information Visualization Model for Better Access and Retrieval
    PI: Michelle Chen
    Today's information explosion makes it challenging to retrieve and analyze information from the expanding "big data" pool. Information visualization techniques are sometimes used to create graphical presentations of large-scale data, helping users find, retrieve, and analyze big data sets. This study involves testing and evaluating a new information visualization model that can be used to improve users' search and retrieval capabilities. The model will be assessed by using it to query and retrieve data from the Illinois Digital Archives. After the model is evaluated and refined, it can be replicated or adapted for use with other large digital collections.
  • Metacognition and concept drifting in interactive information retrieval
    PI: Dr. Geoffrey Liu
  • Restoring a Sense of Community: Overcoming Challenges for Communities to be More Resilient
    PI: Dr. Chris Hagar (with Gaston Armor, Department of Human Services, Illinois State. Formerly the Illinois State Emergency Preparedness Coordinator)
    This project explores the collaborative activities and accomplishments of the Illinois Community Resilience Initiative (ICRI) which was developed by Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS to provide sustainable tools to address citizen concerns about community needs in their daily life as well as in times of crisis. It highlights how public libraries are engaged in a multitude of community activities and how they are well situated to engage in strengthening community resilience and how they can become part of this initiative.
  • Information Sharing in Virtual Collaboration: A Software Engineering Perspective - San Jose Gateway PhD Program, dissertation
    PI: Laura Anderson
  • Children on the Internet Playground: An Investigation of Choices of Play on the Internet
    PI: Dr. Debbie Weissman
  • Fitting Research Skills: Examining the sequencing of research skills utilized by research faculty and the research skills provided to undergraduates in Information Literacy Sessions
    PI: Dr. Debbie Weissman
  • Silver surfers revisited: An analysis of contextual variables in computer use and access in retirement communities
    PI: Dr. Chris Hagar
    Advisor to Dr. Adrian Kok, School of Social Work, Dominican University, River Forest, IL.
  • Roles for public libraries in crisis preparedness, response, and recovery
    PI: Dr. Chris Hagar
    In their educational, informational, recreational and life-long learning roles, public libraries are involved in a multitude of community activities and are well situated to aid in disaster planning and to engage in strengthening community resilience.  This research explores the multiple roles that public libraries can play in disaster preparedness, response, and recovery.


LIS Online Learning

Grant Funded Research

  • The Salzburg Curriculum - Dissemination and Conversation Phase

    PI: Dr. Michael Stephens

    Originally designated Phase 3 in Dr. Lankes’s proposal, this updated plan for the Dissemination and Conversation Phase will consist of three parts:

    • Engaging Salzburg Curriculum stakeholders for further refinement
    • Building a participatory Web presence for extending the discussion of the curriculum
    • Disseminating the Curriculum via conference presentations and other opportunities for conversation

    Dr. Michael Stephens will be project director for this phase, supported by grant funds from IMLS and the Salzburg Global Seminar.

    The Salzburg Curriculum project is centered around a high-level curricular framework created at the Salzburg Global Seminar in October of 2011. This framework is designed to bring together the training processes for both library and museum professionals in order to align them with each other. Via an IMLS grant led by Dr. David Lankes the group will fully develop the framework with the original participants of the "Salzburg Global Seminar on Libraries and Museums in an Era of Participatory Culture," and create a web space for discussion and adoption of the refined framework. 

Ongoing Research


New Literacies and Learning

Grant Funded Research

  • Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs): Evaluating and Refining SJSU’s First Not-for-Credit MOOC

    PI: Dr. Michael Stephens

    This study will contribute to a better understanding regarding how not-for-credit MOOCs can serve as professional development tools. The investigator will evaluate the iSchool MOOC, identify areas where the model is effective, and provide recommendations regarding how to improve the design of MOOCs in the future. The investigator will study the MOOC from the students’ perspective, exploring topics such as why students signed up, exploring their activities within the MOOC site, the extent of their participation, and what type of support they needed. Roadblocks to course completion will be identified, along with what motivated students to complete the course. The MOOC will also be evaluated from the perspective of instructors, exploring areas such as what strategies were most effective at fostering student interaction with course content and with peers, how to best involve course assistants in mentoring students, and how to assess student performance. Findings will also provide insight to SJSU administrators, identifying challenges associated with offering MOOCs and sustaining the model in the future.

Ongoing Research

  • The Impact of Student-Driven, Independent Inquiry on Academic Motivation
    PI: Shelly Buchanan
  • Practicing Oral History
    PI: Nancy MacKay

    Museums, historical societies, libraries, classrooms, cultural institutions, alumni associations, and neighborhood groups are among the growing list of organizations who use oral history to document and change their own communities. This new series will fill the gap in oral history research and practice by providing concise, instructive books that address the special circumstances of oral history practiced outside the academy. Each title will provide practical tools for conducting and presenting an oral history project that conforms to the best practices of the Oral History Association while being accessible to community-based organizations who use oral history methods.

  • 21st Century Multiliteracies & Youth; Digital Storytelling
    PI: Dr. Kristen Rebmann
  • A study exploring Learning 2.0 in US libraries
    PI: Dr. Michael Stephens
  • A study on the practices and perceptions of program administrators of Learning 2.0 courses in Australia
    PI: Dr. Michael Stephens
  • Information literacy as the Enacted Object of Classroom Learning: Learning to Use Information in Context (LUIC) - San Jose Gateway PhD Program, dissertation
    PI: Clarence Maybee
  • The value of toxic characters/human monsters in YA literature
    PI: Dr. Joni Bodart
  • Digital reading; Student perceptions and use of ebooks
    PI: Dr. Ziming Liu
  • Creation of new types of learning environments and learning strategies that propel the Learning Commons into the center of teaching and learning
    PI: Dr. David Loertscher
  • Learning About Mobile Devices:
Connecting Staff & Users to Information Resources
    PI: Michael Stephens
    Guldborgsund-bibliotekerne is a public library situated in the south eastern part of Denmark, Europe. The library serve an area with about 64,000 inhabitants and have a staff of 58 library people. (28 librarians). In 2008, the library partnered with three other library systems in Denmark to offer a Learning 2.0 program for staff. This winter library staff are planning a program to educate and inspire staff to use mobile media. It will be modeled on the Learning 2.0 program but instead of desktop or laptop based “things” it will include 23 iOS apps.

    The overarching goal for this project is to update the highly successful Learning 2.0 program model to include mobile technology and then broadly share this online professional development program with library staff across the globe. As with the original Learning 2.0 program, the mobile technology version of the program will be offered at no cost, on an open source platform.

    Specific outcomes include:

    Expanded knowledge of library personnel regarding how to serve their communities, which increasingly rely on mobile technology.
    Enhanced openness of library personnel to explore and adapt to using mobile technology.
    Expanded capacity of library personnel to develop new mobile device applications.
    Expanded access to the Learning 2.0 program by promoting the mobile version to library personnel



Management and Leadership

Ongoing Research

  • Developing emerging leaders in the library profession: The relationship between program content, competency and self-confidence
    PI: Mary Jo Romanuik
  • Professional Identities of “Hidden Librarians” (Library and Information Science Graduates in Non-Traditional Roles)
    PI: Melissa Fraser Arnott
  • Innovation Leadership: Models for Libraries
    PI: Joe Murphy
  • Factors Affecting the Funding of Academic Units: A Case Study of the Academic Library - San Jose Gateway PhD Program, dissertation
    PI: Maria Otero-Boisvert


Social Dynamics of Information

Grant Funded Research

Ongoing Research

  • The Impact of Social Media Technology on Information Discovery and Knowledge Transfer in Large Organizations
    PI: John Horodyski
  • VOYA's YA Spaces of Your Dreams Collection
    PI: Dr. Anthony Bernier
  • Transforming young adult services: A reader for our age
    PI: Dr. Anthony Bernier
  • Library Wars: The Battle over Professionalization at the Los Angeles Public Library, 1905-1910 (An article on the professionalization of librarianship during the Progressive Era.)
    PI: Dr. Debra Hansen
  • 1921 Tulsa Race Riots (Organization of Documents). African American Resource Center/Rudisill Regional Library, Tulsa, OK
    PI: Dr. Arglenda Friday


Technological Innovation and Change

Grant Funded Research

  • ReadingOUT: A Database of Books for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning (LGBTQ) Young Readers

    PI: Ellen Greenblatt

    The goal of ReadingOUT is to provide access to affirmative and accurate information about LGBTQ topics to young people and the families, librarians, and teachers who support them. Over the course of the project a web site and database were developed. The website provides the context for the database with pages aimed at each of the three target audiences (teens, families, and librarians and teachers), outlining how ReadingOUT aspires to meet each of the groups’ particular needs. The core of the site is the ReadingOUT database. Currently the database contains over 400 recommended books on LGBTQ‐related themes for children and young adults from preschool through college age. Each title has received one or more awards and/or has been included on a list of notable books issued by prominent organizations in the library, education, and LGBTQ advocacy fields. These books have been vetted by experts as the best books available for young adults, teens, and children.

  • Building an Interdisciplinary Virtual Internship Program: Expanding Field Experience Opportunities for SJSU Students

    PI: Dr. Patricia Franks

    Dr. Patricia Franks, an associate professor with the San Jose State University School of Information, and Dr. Nitin Aggarwal, with the SJSU College of Business, are exploring development of virtual internship opportunities for SJSU students, assessing the framework needed for students to achieve defined learning outcomes. Building on the strong foundation of the SJSU iSchool place-based internship program, the interdisciplinary research team will collaboratively develop and pilot a replicable virtual internship program.

  • Multilingual Website Development

    PI: Kitty Pope

Ongoing Research

  • Reading behavior in the mobile environment
    PI: Dr. Ziming Liu

    Investigates the changes in reading behavior in the era of mobile technologies.