Research Centers, Institutes and Profiles

On this page:

Research Centers and Institutes

Faculty Research Profiles

Sam Abramovich

Abramovich’s research includes finding and understanding the learning opportunities presented by the intersection of the learning sciences and emerging technology, especially assessment for learning. This includes research on micro-credentials and digital badges, online rating systems, makerspaces and open education resources — all to help guide education improvement and reform. He is the director of the Open Education Research Lab, whose mission is to create a better understanding and improvement of open education in all its forms.

Dan Albertson

Albertson studies and writes about interactive information retrieval (IIR), with specific interests intersecting areas of interface design, human-centered computing and information management. A considerable amount of his work focuses specifically on visual and video information retrieval, including the users, information needs and tasks, and designs of retrieval systems. Albertson also engages rural and other disadvantaged communities in order to help find solutions for digital information sharing, access and learning.

Heidi Julien

Julien’s research focuses on information behavior and digital/information literacy. She has also conducted research on acceptance of altmetrics in the discipline of information science, and multiple analyses of methodological practices in information behavior research. Her work in digital literacy has focused on examining students’ experiences of information literacy, librarians’ experiences of the instructional role, and information literacy instruction practices in academic and public libraries in Canada, the United States and elsewhere. Her work in information behavior focuses on daily life contexts and on people’s affective experiences.

Valerie Nesset

Nesset’s research broadly investigates information behavior, in the intersection between information-seeking behavior and information literacy, specifically with elementary school students. Using empirical evidence attained through her work with young students and teachers, she has designed a visual process model – Beginning, Acting, Telling (BAT) — for teaching information literacy knowledge and skills in the classroom. Nesset also explores the use of participatory design methods to foster meaningful interaction and communication between two disparate groups — currently, university faculty members and IT professionals. She developed and initiated the ongoing UB Faculty IT Liaison Program to generate opportunities for faculty and IT professionals to meaningfully interact and share knowledge to better understand and align IT services with faculty needs, and is investigating ways to apply the methods in other contexts.

Dagobert Soergel

Soergel makes scholarly contributions in many areas within and outside of information science, emphasizing connection in a wide field of ideas, including knowledge organization, relevance, sensemaking, learning, problem solving and IT support for new ways of learning and assessment. For the coming years, he will focus on contributions of knowledge organization supported by information technology, to the transformation of learning and education.

Ying Sun

Sun’s research spans several related fields, including information seeking, information retrieval and data mining. Her work in information seeking and information retrieval focuses on developing information systems to support task-specific and data-intensive information applications, such as legal e-discovery, intelligence analysis and medical information retrieval. Her work in data mining has focused on scientific information presentation in public media, automatic scoring system for STEM education and academic information on the web. She has also conducted research on systematic evaluation of interactive information systems.

Amy VanScoy

VanScoy studies the professional thinking of information professionals and how professionals’ use of formal and informal theory affects practice. She is interested in how practice is affected by professionals’ beliefs, values and attitudes and by their conceptualizations of their work. Using primarily qualitative methods, Dr. VanScoy investigates professional thinking in both national and international contexts. Her interest in diversity and inclusion inspired her to explore the topic within the context of racial and ethnic identity, as well, leading to a research paper award and a research grant sponsored by divisions of the American Library Association. VanScoy is interested in improving research and its application to practice. In addition to methodological papers and presentations, she investigates how various research methods are used to study practice.

Jianqiang Wang

Wang's research focuses on information retrieval in a multilingual and multimodal environment. He is particularly interested in developing retrieval models and techniques and evaluating them to support users’ access to digital information. He has done extensive research in several areas, including cross-language information retrieval, spoken document retrieval and e-discovery. Recently, he has extended his work to the study of short text conversation in open social media domains.