Research Profile: Deborah Hicks


Statement of Research Interests and Experience

The core concept that informs my research agenda is identity. Studies examining identity ultimately focus on two questions: “who am I?” and “how should I act?” Through my research agenda I explore how these core questions are answered at the micro level of the individual to the mezzo level of organizations to the marco level of society. My primary area of research focuses on the professional identity of information professionals and how this informs the work they do, the organizations they run, and the relationships and communities they build.

Possible PhD Thesis Topic Areas

  • Leadership and management
  • LIS as a discipline
  • LIS as a profession
  • Values and ethics of LIS
  • Discourse analytic methods
  • Information professional’s use of social media

Representative Publications

  • Hicks, D. & VanScoy, A. (2019). Discourses of expertise in professional competency documents: Reference expertise as performance. The Library Quarterly: Information, Community, Policy, 89(1), 1-19.
  • Hicks, D. (2016). Person or place: The rhetorical construction of librarian and library by the information profession community. Canadian Journal of Information and Library Science, 40, 318-331.
  • Hicks, D. (2016). Advocating for librarianship: The discourses of advocacy and service in the professional identities of librarians. Library Trends, 64, 615-640.
  • Hicks, D. & Schindel, T. J. (2016). Time changes things: Time as a linguistic resource for professionals in information-intensive fields. Canadian Journal of Information and Library Science, 40, 1-26.
  • Hicks, D. (2014). The construction of librarians’ professional identities: A discourse analysis. Canadian Journal of Information and Library Science, 38, 251-270.
  • Hicks, D. & Given, L. (2013). Principled, transformational leadership: Analyzing the discourse of leadership in the development of librarianship’s core competences. The Library Quarterly: Information, Community, Policy, 83, 7-25. doi: 10.1086/668678

Professional Memberships and Related Matters

  • American Library Association (2019 – Present)
  • Association for Information Science and Technology (2014 – Present)
  • Association for Library and Information Science Education (2012 – Present)
  • Canadian Association of Information Science (2010 – Present)