Our research is as diverse and eclectic as we are. Every LIS faculty member is a member of multiple research communities, and we build on traditional LIS research areas while extending them in new ways. We enjoy involving students in our research, and helping students craft their own projects. If our research interests you, feel free to contact any of us directly.

Faculty Research Profiles

Noriko Asato, PublicationsORCID | ResearchGate | Google Scholar | Scopus Author ID
Noriko Asato’s research interests centers on the roles and impacts of information professionals within social institutions as well as society at large. Her recent research areas include intellectual freedom and human rights of librarians, digital archives and libraries, and e-Government, and comparative analysis on ICT and society in Asian countries and North America. Dr. Asato’s research projects include:

  • Principal Investigator, “Research on Librarianship in Japan and North America.” Fellowship. Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science, 2014.
  • Principal Investigator, “Examination of Archival Documents: A Professional Organization’s Fight Against Federal Infringement of First Amendment Rights.”” UH Endowment for Humanities Grant Summer Research, 2011
  • Principal Investigator, “Farrington v. Tokushige: The Hawaii Nikkei Struggle for the Right to Learn Heritage Language.” Hawaiʻi Council for the Humanities, Research Grant, 2005-2006.

Dr. Asato is on the editorial board of International Information & Library Review, and editorial advisory board of De Gruyter’s Open book series, Library & Information Science, Media Studies.

Rich Gazan, PublicationsORCID | ResearchGate | Google Scholar | Scopus Author ID
Rich Gazan’s research focuses on how people integrate information from diverse sources, in professional environments such as interdisciplinary scientific collaborations, and in informal environments such as online social Q&A communities. Both threads of his research address the question of how people without a shared context, be they scientists from different disciplines or strangers on the web, evaluate, reconcile, share and perpetuate often-conflicting information. Dr. Gazan’s research projects include:

  • Co-Principal Investigator on a $488K grant with the Institute of Museum and Library Services for study “Reaching Those Who Served” (2017-2021)
  • Co-Principal Investigator on a $491K grant with the Institute of Museum and Library Services to study online Q&A in STEM education (2016-2020).
  • Visiting Researcher at NASA Ames Research Center, to analyze and visualize changes to the astrobiology research literature over time (2016).
  • Principal Investigator on a $30K NASA Astrobiology Institute grant to explore how document analysis methods can suggest appropriate metrics of interdisciplinary research (2013).
  • Co-Investigator on a $7M grant with the NASA Astrobiology Institute, to identify and catalyze interdisciplinary research via document analysis in a research team studying water and habitable worlds (2009-2014).

Andrew Wertheimer, Publications | ORCIDGoogle Scholar | Scopus Author ID
Andrew Wertheimer’s research explores several interdisciplinary streams within the area of historical and social aspects of ethnic print cultures, libraries, and professional education and ethics for the information professions with an emphasis on libraries and archives. He also is conducting studies on Asian American and Pacific Islanders in LIS, the history of intellectual freedom education, Japanese Print Culture, and a number of other projects. He also is working on a book on the history of libraries and archives in Hawaiʻi.

  • Dr. Wertheimer is on the Editorial Board of Library Quarterly, and previously on the ALA Publications Committee, and the Editorial Board of Library History (UK).

Recent Student Master’s Theses

  • Jason Ford (2022). Indigenous Voices Informing Academic Information Literacy: Critical Discourses, Relationality, and Indigeneity for the Good of the Whole.
  • Holiday Vega (2019). Public Libraries and Homelessness: Connecting Vulnerable Patrons to Needed Resources.
  • Laila Brown (2018)Enacting Critical Feminist Librarianship: Examining LIS Book Clubs as a Means of Collaborative Inquiry and Professional Value Formation.
  • Valerie Shaindlin (2018)Ruth Horie: An Oral History Biography and Feminist Analysis.
  • Amy Trimble (2017). Exploring Personal Connections in a Digital Reading Environment.
  • Shavonn Matsuda (2015). Toward a Hawaiian Knowledge Organization System: A Survey on Access to Hawaiian Knowledge in Libraries and Archives.
  • Valancy Rasmussen (2014). The Manuscripts of Timbuktu: Armed Conflict and Preservation of Memory.
  • Matthew C. da Silva (2014). Censorship Glossarchive Project: Phase One: Developing Metadata Scheme for Cryptic Circumlocutions in Chinese Social Media.
  • Nicolita Garces (2013). Meeting the Information Needs of Students in the Ilokano Language and Literature Program: Assessing Hamilton Library’s Philippine Collection at the University of Hawai‘i-Mānoa.
  • Sarah Vornholt (2013)Visualizing the Article: An Exploratory Study of Undergraduates’ Educational Reactions to Images in Scholarly Articles.
  • Michael-Brian Ogawa (2012). The Role of School Librarians in Establishing and Facilitating Professional Learning Communities.
  • Joshua Mika (2012)Discriminating Tastes: Editing Siam’s Patrimony and the Birth of the ‘National Library,’ 1905-1925.
  • Matthew Yim (2007)A Discourse on Shadows: Archive Ideals and Ideal Archives. How Access and Preservation Shape the Performance of Archival Discourse.

LIS Student Posters

Student posters for conferences and other events are available in the UHM institutional repository.

Research Colloquia

Each semester, the LIS Program sponsors a weekly Research Colloquium that is designed to spotlight various research projects and efforts at UH Mānoa. They are a great opportunity for those interested in learning about the various types of research conducted in the LIS field and their methodologies.

Note: Research Colloquia is currently on hiatus.

2018 research session descriptions

March 15: eBook Culture in China, Japan, and the U.S.: How New Media is Received and Used by Cheri Ebisu (LIS student)

The proliferation of eBooks and their digital markets, like any commerce, is dependent on advertising, supply and demand, and public reception. The U.S., China, and Japan all have large publishing industries, but each country’s respective culture changes the nature of what content is freely available via eBooks and through what platforms, which drastically alters the public’s interactions with and reception of this new media. I will be looking at these cultural factors and how libraries can better understand the culture behind new media acceptance and use alongside traditional sales metrics in order to understand the reading habits of their communities.

March 15: Creating and Evaluating a Nursing LibGuide for Hawai’i Pacific Health’s Medical Library by Louise To (LIS student)

Louise will describe the design, development, and evaluation of the nursing LibGuide she created during her year-long internship with Hawai’i Pacific Helath. Louise hypothesized that awareness of a curated LibGuide, tailored to nurses’ information needs, will increase confidence in nurses’ ability to practice evidence-based decision making. In her presentation, Louise will share her findings.

2017 research session descriptions

October 4: Open Access

In preparation for the international Open Access Week (Oct. 23-29), we will have an introductory presentation offered by the UH Open Access week organizers:

Beth Tillinghast and Kathleen Luschek, UH Hamilton Library

Beth will given an overview of Open Access, touching on policies, repositories, some terms to understand and people to follow. Kathleen will discuss open publishing and touch on tools supporting this approach to publishing.

February 17: LIS Community Curriculum Discussion

One of our core goals is to offer a continuously evolving curriculum that meets the changing demands of the information professions. We believe we are building a framework that will improve the LIS Program within the constraints of currently available resources, but we’ve come about as far as we can on our own. We very much appreciate the opportunity to share this draft with you, to elicit your thoughts and integrate them into the next evolution of the LIS curriculum.

Fall 2016 research session descriptions
November 9: Bibliographies — Really?

Patricia Polansky, Russian Bibliographer at the UHM Hamilton Library, will discuss the role bibliographies play in the digital age. Do we need them? A bibliography’s objective is to control the literature about a topic, an area, or a person. A reliable bibliography is the best place to start when working on an unfamiliar subject, to answer reference/cataloging questions, or to direct users to sources unknown and/or forgotten. They are essential for developing research collections. Will electronic databases replace this need / usefulness?

November 2: From There to Here by Terence Rose, Doctoral Student in the UHM CIS program

Terence Rose will discuss the development, planning, and research of his paper, “Is the Digital Talking Book Program Meeting Librarian and Patrons Expectations?” He will cover the two-year process leading to the publication of his paper. Rose will also discuss his decision to leave Michigan and his job of six years at the Michigan Braille and Talking Book Library in Lansing, MI to travel 4,477 miles away to attend the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, his experiences as a doctoral student in the CIS program, and his future doctoral dissertation topic.

October 19: Moʻolelo & Access: Adapting Hawaiian Stories for Young Children by Gabrielle “Gabby” Holt

As librarians and information professionals, we are concerned with questions of access. What does “access” mean when we discuss cultural knowledge and stories? How can authors ease access to cultural knowledge? Keeping these questions in mind (along with other issues such as place-based learning, diversity in publishing, and authentic storytelling), Gabrielle will talk about the process of publishing four adaptations of Hawaiian legends for young readers – both her process as an information professional and author, and the actual process of publishing.

October 12: Sociotechnical Civics by Dr. Scott Robertson, UHM Information & Computer Sciences Department

Social media has been a game changer for civic engagement. From elections to activism, social media plays an important role in informing, inspiring, and mobilizing. Dr. Robertson will discuss this new era of “sociotechnical civics.”

October 5: Open Access Week 2016: How Can I Contribute? by Beth Tillinghast and Amy Trimble

Open Access Week has been an annual international event since 2008. The week focuses on scholarly communication issues, with a particular focus on open access issues. The theme for Open Access Week 2016 is “Open in Action”. UHM has celebrated Open Access Week since 2009, and the event has been made strong year after year thanks to the efforts and contributions of our campus community.

This session will provide an opportunity to learn more about Open Access at UHM. In addition Amy Trimble, LIS student, will discuss planned student events and cover opportunities for others to participate.

September 28: Effective Presentations, by Dr. Rich Gazan.

Research is easy–communicating it effectively is hard. Instead of focusing on techniques and technologies, in this talk I’ll focus on understanding the most intimidating part of any presentation: the audience. I’ll cover the basics of audience cognition and engagement, and demonstrate ways you can design any presentation to work with people’s natural inclination to be interested in new things.

Spring 2016 research session descriptions
May 11: Conferences 101: A Primer for Students and New Professionals by Sveta Stoytcheva, UH Mānoa librarian (BHSD)

Conferences are a wonderful opportunity to meet other LIS professionals and to share and workshop your research. However, navigating conference protocols for the first time, as an LIS student or new professional, can be intimidating. This session will provide an introduction to LIS conferences, including advice on how to propose a session, prepare your presentation, and connect with others during the conference. The presentation will be followed by a discussion during which participants can ask questions and share resources. The presenters will also share their experiences during the process of getting their work published.

May 4: Facilitating transition from homelessness to stable situation: Toward an understanding of the role of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).

Note: This work was presented at the 2015 HLA-HASL joint annual conference.

Luz M. Quiroga (Library and Information Science), Wayne Buente (School of Communication), and three UH students will review their involvement in studies of:

  1. Use of ICT (e.g. computers, mobile devices, social media) by shelters’ guests in Honolulu.
  2. Design of a social digital library to host results of participative photography. Anthropologists in Chile are researching the homelessness context based on photos taken and described by the research subjects themselves.
  3. Design of ICT ontological conceptual model – covering privacy, identity, legal, credibility and usability aspects- for connecting actors, information needs with solutions, opportunities and services.
  4. The potential role of libraries in Hawaii regarding provision of literacy programs (information, technology and digital) for the homeless population.

Apr. 27: Weranuj Ariyasriwatana & Dr. Luz M. Quiroga – A Thousand Ways to Say ‘Delicious!’ — Categorizing Expressions of Deliciousness from Restaurant Reviews on the Social Network Site Yelp

Orr and Dr. Quiroga will discuss different ways to express deliciousness, one of the main reasons people make specific food choices over others. Through qualitative content analysis of 205 reviews from 41 food establishments in Hawaii, eight main categories of expressions of deliciousness were found. These eight main categories created by both concept-driven and data-driven strategies are Sense, Culinary Affair, Matter of Heart, Health, Testimonial and Endorsement, Personal Signature, Consumer, and Restaurant. Each main category was further sub-categorized. This meaningful categorization might contribute to healthier eating by helping policy makers and food companies craft effective strategies for healthy eating schemes, healthy menu items, or healthy food products. Marketers of any food product can also increase their market share by utilizing these categories, subcategories, and their underlying concepts in the planning stage. Detailed examples of nudging and social marketing campaigns inspired by the findings were provided. Moreover, social network sites can better serve health conscious and hedonic consumers by personalization through improved algorithms inspired by these categories.

The presenters will also share their experiences during the process of getting their work published.

Apr. 20: Vanessa Irvin – Inside/Outside The Library Stance: Introducing The Librarians’ Inquiry Forum

Dr. Irvin and Wiebke Reile will present data from their ethnographic inquiry of public library services on O’ahu. The research seeks to reveal ways in which taking “the patron stance” using contextual inquiry reveals how librarian professional practices affects the public library experience for users. Questions raised in this data serve as a foundation for introducing The Librarians’ Inquiry Forum, a method that allows librarians to study their own professional practices by taking an insider/outsider stance to their work in order to investigate “stance” as a means of professional identity formation to better understand the impact(s) of one’s work in the world.

Apr. 13: Desiree Dannenbring – Our Write to Thrive: Promoting Youth Diversity Worldwide via Library Creative Writing Workshops

Diverse books for young readers are important for fostering literacy, educational engagement, and positive development of social identity; yet on an international level, youth access to reading materials is often limited and available resources fall short of addressing children’s complex identities. Previous solutions have helped foster diversity in the publishing industry and literature over time; yet what might we stand to gain from offering children a more direct role in their own literacy amid the persisting scarcity of diverse books? How might we accomplish this? Des Dannenbring, a dual degree student in LIS and Learning Design and Technology, will explain her past, present, and future research in Nepal, India, and Guatemala, and discuss how libraries may help bridge this gap by providing identity-focused creative writing workshops for youth.

Mar. 30: Cindy Scheopner: Why bother? The hows and whys of ethical research with human participants

Through the telling of three stories about research projects, I consider the role of communities in research on individuals, describe the process of getting approval for research with human participants, and encourage the broadest possible approach to seeking research approval. It will not be boring.

Mar. 16: Dr. Péter Jacsó: Google Scholar’s Metadata Mega Mess

Google Scholar (GS) has become the darling of searchers, often including librarians and other information professionals. For topical searching by keywords, GS can be considered a free digital resource discovery service.

The millions of digital documents made available by publishers to GS, or found and retrieved by its crawlers and parsers on many non-scholarly internet sites impress users, even if the full text is inaccessible. The hit counts reported by GS for a search are very often grossly inflated, with the names of the real authors replaced by phantom authors and attributed to names generated from document section titles (e.g., “I. INTRODUCTION”).

Metadata elements and identifiers are often misinterpreted and misrepresented by ill-educated components of GS; publication years are often generated from page numbers, zip codes and other numeric identifiers because of the illiteracy an innumeracy of the GS parsers.

Dr. Jacsó has published extensively about the lethal shortcomings of the publication productivity indicators and impact indicators reported by this and other database services. These metrics are critical in the quantitative and qualitative assessment of research and teaching faculty for granting tenure, promotion and grant applications, league rankings of universities, colleges, journals and books.

A digital librarian must be very aware of the significant advantages and limitations of GS (and similar systems) for providing the metrics-based key indicators (citations/per paper, h-index, impact factor) for learning the comparative standing of peers as well as in collection management, serials subscriptions and book acquisitions.

Mar. 9: Dr. Kuʻuleilani Reyes: Native Ontologies

Native ontologies (NOs) describe the world and knowledge production from a native people’s perspective, and NOs are closely connected to decolonizing and self-determination efforts of native people. Native ontologies have implications for the changing roles of libraries, museums, and archives as places of stewardship and collaboration.

Mar. 2: Why LIS Grads Make Great Webmasters: Indexing, taxonomy, and classification for website content

KC Coburn is the Webmaster for the UH Manoa College of Education (COE). In October, 2010, she joined the COE’s Technology and Distance Programs department initially as a student worker, assigned to keep website content current. Today, she manages three websites with nearly 4000 pages of content, four social media sites, and is piloting an in-bound marketing project for recruiting new graduate students via the public COE website. KC has her B.B.A. in Management from the Shidler College of Business and loves the clear connection that exists between efficient website content management, intuitive user experience design, and the mind of a trained librarian (which she hopes to be some day!)

KC is excited to discuss the connections she sees between the field of librarianship and the way information is organized and accessed via the web, and to hear what you think as well. Together, we can connect the dots and dream up even more ways it makes more sense than ever to be a librarian!

Feb. 23: Going Beyond Libraries with Your LIS Degree: Stories of one LIS alumna.

Nobuko is Regional Director, Asia Pacific for ORCID, based in Tokyo, Japan. She joined ORCID in July 2015 after serving as their Outreach Steering Group member for over two years. Nobuko builds relationships with stakeholders across Asia Pacific, including research institutions, publishers and funding bodies, to expand ORCID adoption and awareness in the research community and contribute to the advancement of scholarly communication and information management. Prior to joining ORCID, Nobuko held positions at Scholarly & Scientific Research business of Thomson Reuters, and most recently at Nature Publishing Group as Consultant/Analyst, Asia Pacific, providing solutions for research management and promotions. As a librarian by training, Nobuko brings an extensive working knowledge in needs-based consultancy and information management.

Download the event flyer

Feb. 17: How are UHM Students Using Technology in the Library 2014: A LIS Student’s Experience with Research

Jennifer Beamer, a BHSD librarian at Hamilton Library and 2014 LIS graduate, conducted research with Dr. Andrew Werthiemer to investigate the types of technology University of Hawaii undergraduate and graduate students were using in the library for their academic research. Results show that students use many library provided technologies, but also bring their own devices and use their own technologies for research. Jennifer will share her experiences as an LIS student conducting research and some of the results from the survey.

Feb. 10: LIS student Amy Trimble will be giving a talk about her thesis “Exploring Personal Connections in a Digital Reading Environment.”

Amy will share her experience of choosing to do a thesis: what fuels the desire (the benefits and importance of research for a future in academic librarianship), how she came up with a topic, skills gained, and how the decision affects the rest of her LIS experience. She will also share an overview of her project entitled, “Exploring Personal Connections in a Digital Reading Environment,” which explores how individuals use and identify with various types of reading.

The act of reading happens across various formats (book, e-book, hypertext, pdf, etc.). Do people connect to digital reading sources similar to what is experienced with their physical counterparts? A new LIS research project explores how individuals use and identify with various types of reading sources. Data is being collected from the UH Manoa community.

Feb. 3: Dr. Noriko Asato will be discussing her research on Asian Librarianship, “Private Partnerships to Fund Digital Archives: Exploring the Kyoto Model”.

Within the Japanese world of digital archives, Kyoto plays a key role. The city became a pioneer in digital archive development by partnering with academics, private organizations with cultural treasures, and private industry. They created the Kyoto Digital Archives Project, an organization that developed a profit-sharing model for digitizing materials and overcoming complex issues of intellectual property. This presentation examines how it developed, and also looks at its framework for proposing autonomous regional archives over a homogenized national digital archive.