Thursday, October 22, 2009

UW-Milwaukee School of Information Studies

The School of Information Studies (SOIS) at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) is accepting applications for fall of 2010 for its PhD program in Information Studies.

Building on one of the largest and most varied MLIS programs in the United States, the PhD program prepares researchers, educators, and administrators with specializations in three major areas (with other areas also supported):

• Information Organization
• Information Policy
• Information Retrieval

The School’s international faculty are recognized for their research productivity, ranking in the top five nationally in per capita publications in a recent study among American schools of library and information science (Adkins & Budd, 2007). The School also has established agreements and collaborations with a number of institutions around the world that offer students international learning and research experiences. SOIS is home to the Center for Information Policy Research (CIPR), which facilitates information policy research through its lecture series and research paper series, outreach activities, and Information Ethics Fellows program. The School also supports an Information Organization Research Group (IOrg), Research Group for Information Retrieval (RGIR), as well as an Information Intelligence & Architecture Research Lab, which serves as a hub for research on information analysis, system design & evaluation, digital libraries, data mining, and usability.

Located in a residential neighborhood near Lake Michigan, UWM serves a diverse community of over 30,000 students, faculty and staff. The very livable city of Milwaukee offers the cultural amenities of a large metropolitan area with the conveniences of a smaller city.

Financial aid is available in the form of competitive graduate assistantships (full-time students), tuition scholarships, and adjunct teaching opportunities. Priority consideration for admission will be given to applications received by January 15, 2010.

Detailed information about the program is available on the SOIS website ( For additional information, please contact Dietmar Wolfram (

Thanks for the write-up Michael Zimmer

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Open Access Week 2009

This week UW-Milwaukee held an Open Access (OA) conference. Among the many topics of discussion was how to move faculty to publishing in OA journals. The ideas ranged from monetary bonuses to publishing in OA journals to mandating publication in OA journals.

The biggest hurdle to OA publication in my view, and others at this conference, is the culture of academia to underestimate the impact of OA journals. 'Impact' was purposefully chosen since as a future tenure seeking professor, publishing in higher impact journals is undoubtedly an important factor in the tenure attainment. It is all well and good for more established academics to champion OA publications, but those individuals already have jobs/tenure/reputation. For those of us that are new to academia, the prospect of publishing in OA journals is, at present, a choice between sharing our research in an effort to be socially responsible or putting our research in the traditional journals, non-OA, to gain reputation, hopefully a job, and eventually tenure.

Though research is still ongoing into the impact of OA journals, I don't think anyone can say that the impact of OA journals is comparable to traditional journals. Combine this uncertainty with the non-universal appreciation of OA publishing, new faculty members are apprehensive about OA publishing. At least in my view.