Research areas & projects

Research areas

Faculty members at the School of Information Studies are all engaged in the broad research area of Human-Information Interaction (HII).

HII research focuses on three basic elements:

  • Information resources, such as books, records, online publications, sound, images, maps, and databases.
  • Humans who behave and interact with these resources as they create, search, manage and use them.
  • Technologies and services designed to create, capture, retrieve, disseminate, store, and manage these resources, such as software applications, search engines, online catalogues, digital libraries, and repositories.

HII takes its roots in librarianship and information science as these fields have traditionally focused on the acquisition, organization, retrieval and management of collections of information resources.

With the increasing production of digital resources and online services, and the pervasive use of information technologies, a more user-oriented approach has emerged to better understand the information-related problems, challenges and issues encountered by individuals, organizations and societies. The interaction with information has been critical in the history of humankind and today there is a recognition that is multifaceted, complex and requires scientific investigation from many angles.

Within the broad domain of HII, SIS professors primarily conduct research in the following areas:

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Information Behaviour & Services
  • Information & Knowledge Management


See recent selected funded research projects below.

Human-Computer Interaction

Prof. Jamshid Beheshti (PI) with Andrew Large and Charles Cole. Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). 2010-2014. Virtual Environments as an Intervention Agent in the Information-Seeking Process of Elementary School Students. $139,953

Prof. Max Evans (PI). McGill Start-Up Funds. 2013-2016. What does Knowledge Look Like? $8,000

Prof. Ilja Frissen (PI). McGill Start-Up Funds. 2013-2016. The Study of the Interaction between Multimodal Cognitive Abilities and Spatial Information Systems. $8,000

Prof. Catherine Guastavino (Co-PI) with Dr. B. Pijanowsky (Co-PI, Purdue University), National Science Foundation. 2011-2016. CNH-RCN: A Global Sustainable Soundscape Network. $499,556 US

Prof. Catherine Guastavino (PI). Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Discovery Grant. 2013-2018. Upper Limits of Auditory Motion Perception. $150,000.

Prof. Catherine Guastavino (PI). Audiokinetic (private company). Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Engage Grant. 2014-2015. Spatialized and Interactive Artificial Binaural Reverberation. $24,500 and $31,750.

Prof. Catherine Guastavino (PI). Sennheiser Electronic GmH&Co. KG (private company). 2011-2013 (2 projects). High-definition Spatial Audio & Perceptual Evaluation of Non-ideal Diffuse Fields & Corresponding Three Dimensional Algorithmic Representations. $93,966 and $56,700

Prof. Catherine Guastavino (Co-I) with T. Andringa (Groningen University, Netherlands). Innovation Centre for Advanced Sensors & Sensors Systems. 2009-2014. Human Centered Soundscape Research. $2,400,000

Prof. Charles-Antoine Julien (PI). Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Discovery Grant. 2014-2019. Improving Retrieval of Unstructured Information using Existing Information Structures. $135,000. 

Prof. Charles-Antoine Julien (PI). Fond Québécois pour la recherche sur la société et culture (FQRSC). 2013-2016. A Novel Library Collection Browsing & Information Retrieval Tool. $38,000. 

Prof. Charles-Antoine Julien. McGill Internal SSHRC Grant (2013-2014). Social Network Visualization to Facilitate Subject Browsing in Library Collections. $6,500.

Prof. Karyn Moffatt (Co-PI), with Dr. Leah Findlater (Co-PI), University of Maryland, College Park. Google Faculty Research Award (2014-2015). Supporting Communication for Persons with Aphasia via Contextual Prompting on a Heads-Up Display.

Prof. Karyn Moffatt (PI). Graphics, Animation and New Media Network of Centers of Excellence. 2011-12. Communication & Information Needs of Families Navigating Hospice Care. $14,000

Prof. Karyn Moffatt (PI). Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Discovery Grant. 2012-2017. Socially-Informed Accessible Technology: Improving Access to Technology, Information & People. $135,000. 

Prof. Karyn Moffatt (PI). Fonds Québécois pour la recherche sur la nature et la technologie (FQRNT). 2012-2014. Advancing Accessible Computing by Considering Real-World Use. $73,382. 


Information Behaviour & Services

Prof. Joan Bartlett (PI). Fond Québécois pour la recherche sur la société et culture (FQRSC). 2009-2012. The Analysis of Clinician’s Identification & Selection of Information Resources to Support Evidence-based Practice. $39,600

Prof. Joan Bartlett (PI). McGill Internal SSHRC Grant. 2012-2014. Value & Impact of Information Services on Patient Care Outcomes. $15,000

Prof. Jamshid Beheshti (PI) with Elaine Toms and others, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Aid to Research Workshops and Conferences. 2011-2012. SCORE: Serendipity, Change and Opportunity in Information Discovery. $24,999

Prof. Jamshid Beheshti (Co-PI) with Shaheen Shariff (PI, McGill University) and others. Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). 2012-2017. Defining the Lines on Cyberbullying. $497,509


Information & Knowledge Management

Prof. France Bouthillier, (Co-applicant) with Dr. José A Morais (PI, McGill University) and others. 2013-2014. Canadian Institutes for Health Research. Les Maladies Chroniques chez les Aînés: Un Portrait du Domaine Scientifique au Québec. $25,000

Prof. Kimiz Dalkir (PI). Quartier de l’innovation, 2012. Élaboration du Hub de créativité dans le cadre du Quartier de l’Innovation. $20,175

Prof. Kimiz Dalkir (PI). McGill Vice-Provost Research and International Relations, 2012. Mapping of Social Innovation Capital at McGill & ÉTS. $24,968

Prof. Max Evans (CO-I) with Prof. Anthony Wensley (CO-I, University of Toronto), Prof. Nóra Obermayer-Kovács (CO-I, University of Pannonia, Hungary), Prof. Dr. Peter Heisig (PI, University of Leeds, UK), and others. 2013-2016. Human & Social Factors in Knowledge Management – Global Knowledge Research Network.

Prof. Benjamin Fung (PI). Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Discovery Grant. 2013-2018. Privacy-Preserving Data Publishing for Health Data Mining. $150,000

Prof. Benjamin Fung (Co-applicant). Department of National Defense/Natural Science and Engineering Research Council. 2013-2016. $208,695

Prof. Eun Park (PI). McGill Internal SSHRC Grant. 2014-2016. Linked Historical Collections as Networked Knowledge. $6,000. 

Prof. Eun Park (Co-PI) with Dr. Claudia Mitchell (PI, McGill University), Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). 2011-2014. Voices: Rural Teachers in Rural South Africa in the Age of AIDS. $132,793

Prof. Eun Park (Co-PI) with Prof. Matthew Milner (PI, McGill University) and others. SSHRC 2012-2013. Humanities Dissemination & Making Publics using the Resource Description Framework. $66,017

Prof. Eun Park (Co-PI) with Luciana Duranti (PI, University of British Columbia) and others. Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Major Collaborative Initiative Grant. 2013-2018. InterPARES TRUST: Trust & Digital Records in an Increasingly Networked Society. $200,000


For additional information on Faculty research, please visit the Faculty pages.