School of Library and Information Studies

Faculty Research Profiles

Danielle Allard

Danielle Allard’s research falls at the intersection of culture and community, information (its usages, representations, and institutions), and the role that information might play in the promotion of a more ethical and socially just world. Her research interests include: the information practices of newcomer and migrant communities; archival decolonization; Indigenous, community, and activist archives; critical information studies; and the inclusion of marginalized communities, cultural heritage, and knowledge domains in digital and real-world information institutions. Her current research on the SSHRC funded (2013-2017) Digital Archives and Marginalized Communities project examines how digital information systems and archival platforms can be used to create participatory activist archives that challenge violent, colonizing, and stigmatizing representations of Indigenous peoples - especially women and girls - and of sex work activists.

Michael McNally

Michael McNally's research interests include radio-spectrum management, broadband policy, intellectual property rights, user-generated content, and information society theories and discourse.

Tami Oliphant

Tami Oliphant's research program centers upon interactions between people and data, information, and knowledge, the variety of contexts in which these interactions take place whether online or offline, and in libraries (particularly public libraries), and the systems, platforms, media and publishing, and broader social forces that shape these interactions. This research is conceptualized in three different areas that are complementary: (1) human information interaction with a particular focus on consumer health and the role of authority, credibility, beliefs and worldviews; (2) systems, digital platforms, media, and publishing; and (3) critical approaches to library and information science.

Angela Pollak

Angela Pollak’s research goal is to draw attention to the scientific potential associated with studying common and/or positive information practices across the domains of work, leisure and everyday life. Especially interested in local identities and non-documentary sources of knowledge in remote, rural and indigenous communities, she believes that understanding information practices in these contexts will lead to more robust theories of information resilience. She is currently developing a project that will map information assets and recommend ways to mobilize that knowledge in the form of asset-based community development projects.

Dinesh Rathi

Dinesh Rathi's research areas include: knowledge management (KM), social media, digital libraries, text mining, customer support system and human-computer interaction. Currently, Dinesh is working on SSHRC-funded project titled: "The Role of Social Media in Management of Knowledge in Non-Profit Organizations (NPOs)", which aims at understanding the current use of KM and knowledge needs of individuals working in NPOs and exploring the potential of role of social media in KM for NPOs.

Brenda Reyes Ayala

Brenda Reyes Ayala's research areas include: Web Preservation, Multilingual Information Access, Information Retrieval, and Big Data. As part of her dissertation, she developed a theoretical model of information quality for web archives. At the University of North Texas she was a researcher for the Multilingual Information Access Project, a large, multi-year project funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), with the goal of helping non-native speakers of English access digital library information through the use of Machine Translation (MT) technologies. In the past, her work has been published in the Journal of the American Society for Information Science & Technology, the Joint Conference on Digital Libraries (JCDL), and the Annual Review of Cultural Heritage Informatics. 

Toni Samek

Toni Samek has sustained interest in intellectual freedom, academic freedom, librarianship and human rights and social justice, global information ethics, and global information justice. Toni’s earlier books include: Intellectual Freedom and Social Responsibility in American Librarianship 1967 to 1974; Librarianship and Human Rights: A twenty-first century guide; and She Was a Booklegger: Remembering Celeste West (co-edited with Moyra Lang and K.R. Roberto). Her latest (2017) monograph (co-edited with Lynette Shultz) is entitled Information Ethics, Globalization and Citizenship: Essays on Ideas to Praxis. Toni’s scholarship has appeared in translation in such countries as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Japan, Spain, Sweden, and Turkey.

Ali Shiri

Ali Shiri’s research areas and interests include digital libraries, information retrieval interaction and search behaviour, search user interfaces, and data and learning analytics. Since 2013 Ali has worked on three funded research projects on digital libraries and learning analytics. His current project titled ‘Enhancing Student Success Through Predictive Learning Analytics at the University of Alberta’ was funded by a University of Alberta Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund (TLEF: $66, 284) in collaboration with Dr. Yin Cui from the Department of Educational Psychology and the University of Alberta Information and Technology Services (IST). Ali’s recently completed projects include a SSHRC funded project titled ‘Digital Library North: Creating a Path for Information Access in Canada's North’ ($295, 817) and a Teaching and Learning Enhancement Funds (TLEF) project titled ‘Development of a Learning Analytics Application to Support Online Teaching and Learning at the University of Alberta’ ($91, 406).

Adam Worrall

Adam Worrall's research adopts social informatics, information behaviour, and information practice perspectives to study information-centric communities that are wholly or partially online. He is particularly interested in the roles played by information and communication technologies (ICTs) in online information-centric communities and the relationships and interactions they have with users and their information sharing behaviours and practices within these contexts. Much of Adam's recent and ongoing research has focused on populations engaged in everyday life information behaviour and practices online, as facilitated by ICTs and social media. His research has studied Canadian immigrants and expatriates' information sharing, information values, and settlement in multiple social media contexts; users' social and emotional motivations for information sharing and community dynamics on an academic social Q&A site; and the roles played by LibraryThing and Goodreads, as ICTs and boundary objects, in the communities, behaviours, and practices of their users. Adam has also engaged in collaborative work that draws on his research expertise in social informatics and information behaviour and practices, examining the data sharing practices of earthquake engineering researchers; and the opinions, sentiments, and interaction networks of Twitter users, including immigrants, in conjunction with debates over birthright citizenship in the United States.

Dangzhi Zhao

Dr. Zhao's primary research interests are in the areas of bibliometrics, scholarly communication, citation-based knowledge network analysis and visualization and their application in information representation and retrieval. Her current research focuses on citation analysis weighted by in-text features such as frequency and location. Recently, Dr. Zhao has begun a new research program on editorial practices and systematic bias on Wikipedia. Major research projects completed include the design and implementation of a Web-based information system for the publishing industry in China (1996-1998), the comparison of scholarly communication between the Web and the print world (2000-2003), and a $104,820 three-year (2008-2011) Standard Research Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada on citation-based knowledge network analysis and visualization.