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Join Us at the CCI Research Symposium

CCI Symposium 2016Join us this Wednesday, February 14th, to celebrate your love of research!  The CCI Research Symposium starts at 9am with a poster session in the 3rd floor lobby followed by our keynote speaker, Dr. Robert Heath at 10am in the Patrick Auditorium.  Dr. Heath is an internationally renowned scholar on public relations, crisis communication, issues management, risk communication, and business-to-business communication.  Presentations continue throughout the day.  Stop by any time and for as long as you’d like! 

40th Annual CCI Symposium

CCI Symposium 2017In 2018 the Annual CCI Symposium turns 40! Join us in celebrating by sharing your research with colleagues—faculty, students and staff—from across the college.  The submission process is easy, and the due date for all submissions is Jan 18, 2018.  We look forward to learning more about your research on Valentine’s Day when we will all say, “CCI Loves Research!”

We are also fortunate to have a wonderful keynote speaker – Dr. Robert Heath.  Dr. Heath, professor-emeritus at the University of Houston, whose work focuses on public relations, crisis and risk communication and business-to-business communication.  He is a prolific researcher with more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and many award-winning books. 

Thanks to the hard work of the Research Advisory Committee for putting this together.

Faculty: Moonhee Cho (AD/PR), Michael Kent (AD/PR), Joan Rentsch (COM), Vandana Singh (SIS), Erin Whiteside (JEM)

Students: Khaled Alkandari (PhD/AD/PR), Dawn Corwin (PhD/JEM), Jessica Etheridge (Masters/CCI), Tyler Martindale (Masters/SIS), Jamie Osborn(PhD/COM), Iman Tahamtan (PhD/SIS)


CICS Hosts Oak Ridge Luncheon

CICS Oak Ridge LuncheonOn November 9th, 2017 the Center for Information and Communication Studies hosted a networking luncheon for its Oak Ridge community at the UT Arboretum Auditorium.  CICS contractors and associates from Y-12, USGS, and ORNL enjoyed learning more about what CICS and the College of Communication and Information has to offer, as well as, trying out some of the User-eXperience Lab equipment.  CICS looks forward to many more events and partnerships with the Oak Ridge Community and CCI! 

New User-eXperience Lab Equipment

Noldus FaceReader 7This spring the CICS User-eXperience Lab (UXL) received new equipment: Oculus Rift Virtual Reality Gear and Noldus Face Reader 7.  The new equipment increases capacity and expands research opportunities for faculty, researchers, and students in the College of Communication and Information’s four schools (Advertising and Public Relations, Communication Studies, Information Sciences, and Journalism and Electronic Media).


The Oculus Rift Virtual Reality Gear provides an environment to study people’s information behavior, how people communicate, the effects of communication messages, and information architecture design in virtual environments.  Many established CCI research agendas can be extended with use of VR including studies of hate speech, information behavior in a variety of contexts including health care and data intensive environments, data journalism, and countering violent extremism.


The Noldus FaceReader provides researchers with the ability to analyze facial expressions to identify the affect the stimuli are having on an individual.  Facial recognition allows researchers to record and analyze how an individual is reacting to a communication or information challenge within a given context.  The software recognizes six basic facial expressions (happy, sad, angry, disgusted, scared, and surprised).  FaceReader also has the ability to calculate gaze direction, head orientation, and person characteristics.   The software has applications in consumer behavior studies, usability studies, market research, psychology, and many other uses. 


For more information, a tour of the User-eXperience lab, or demonstration of the equipment please contact the UXL manager, Rachel Volentine, at

UX-A Program

UX-A Mentor Lunch

Improving systems through user experience (UX) testing and assessing the value of library and information services are essential for new roles for information professionals. With support from the IMLS Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian grant program, the Experience Assessment (UX-A) project will face this challenge of educating our future information professionals in all aspects of performance and measurement in both libraries and information environments. Led by Chancellor's Professor Carol Tenopir, SIS Professor Dania Bilal, SIS Associate Professor Rachel Fleming-May, and UT Libraries Assessment Librarian Regina Mays, UX-A will combine coursework, training, and hands-on experience to equip a diverse cohort of twelve SIS master’s students with competences in assessment and user experience testing.

The two-year program began in fall 2016. In addition to required coursework and assistantships, the students participated in nearly 60 hours of curated online training via, face-to-face workshops with OIT, and team meetings. Now in their second semester, the students are divided into research teams to work with real-world stakeholders and gain hands-on experience with survey design, user testing, and data analysis as well as providing actionable information based on the results.

UX-A also includes a team of mentors—highly experienced information practitioners working in Knoxville and Oak Ridge—to support the students and the program. These mentors will serve as the students’ practicum advisors for UX-A year 2. The program itself is being evaluated and assessed at every stage in order to foster a sustainable program that will prepare students for an information career in user experience and assessment. 



39th Annual CCI Research Symposium

CCI Symposium 2017The Center of Information and Communication Studies hosted its 39th CCI Research Symposium on February 1 2017. The CCI community heard presentations from nine CCI faculty members, seven graduate students, one research staff member, and visiting scholars from the University of Sao Paulo (Brazil), UT Institute of Agriculture, and the University of Kentucky. Their presentations covered a variety of diverse topics from scientists’ data reuse behaviors to Jimmy Carter to ‘mainstream’ media.  The top poster award went to Cassandra Huang for her poster, “Who talks about cyberbullying? A social network analysis of Facebook.”  Thank you to everyone who came for all or part of the day, showing that we are all CCI Researchers 4 Life.


Upcoming CCI Research Symposium

CCI Symposium 2016The 39th CCI Research Symposium will be held February 1 2017 Patrick Auditorium in the College of Communication and Information.  The CICS staff encourages all CCI Researchers 4 Life to come out and celebrate the thriving research culture at CCI.  The symposium starts at 8:30 am with breakfast snacks and the poster session in the CCI 3rd floor lobby.  After two research sessions in the morning, there will be a buffet lunch in the Scripps Lab from 12:10 pm-1:20 pm.  The cost of lunch is $10 for faculty and $5 for students.  We’re starting a new tradition of a rousing game of CCI Research Trivia during lunch.  Come out and test your knowledge and see what you can win!  After lunch the research presentations continue with two more research sessions, and the symposium wraps up with closing remarks and award’s ceremony at 4 pm.  We hope you’ll join us for a full day of learning and celebrating!

UT College of Communication and Information Gets $2.73 Million for NSF Project

Professor Suzie Allard, DataONE co-PIThe College of Communication and Information at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, will receive $2.73 million over the next five years as part of a $15 million accomplishment based renewal of the National Science Foundation’s DataONE project.

DataONE stands for Data Observation Network for Earth, a National Science Foundation program that seeks to develop the cyber-infrastructure linking research data collected by environmental scientists to libraries and laboratories around the world and see that it's effectively used.

UT researchers include School of Information Sciences Professors Suzie Allard (DataONE co-principal investigator) and Carol Tenopir (DataONE working group co-lead).  Bruce Wilson, who holds a joint appointment with UT and Oak Ridge National Laboratory and UT research associate Mike Frame are also part of the Phase II team.  The principal investigator for DataONE Phase II is William Michener of the University of New Mexico.

“Having the opportunity to build on what was accomplished during Phase I of DataONE is very exciting,” said Allard. “Phase II will allow us to take our work to the next level by exploring important data management sociocultural issues and to share our findings with the scientific community beyond DataONE.”

In announcing its decision to renew DataONE, NSF gave the following example of the accomplishments achieved during Phase I of the project:  

"As with the proverbial canary in the coal mine, birds serve as an indicator of the health of our environment. Many common species have experienced significant population declines within the last 40 years. Suggested causes include habitat loss and climate change, however to fully understand bird distribution relative to the environment, extensive data are needed.

"Through a collaboration of DataONE and multiple partners, bird occurrence data collected by citizen scientists has been combined with land use data to allow researchers to map over 300 bird species against important environmental factors. With this information, they were able to more accurately assess the degree of protection required for each species and the responsibility of public land agencies."

During Phase II, DataONE will:

  • significantly expand the volume and diversity of data available to researchers for large-scale scientific discovery;
  • incorporate innovative features to improve data discovery and further support reproducible and open science; and
  • establish an openly accessible online education series to support global participation and training in current data techniques and perspectives.

Phase II will continue to engage, educate and grow the DataONE community. It also will seek user input to ensure intuitive, user-friendly products and services and work to ensure the long-term sustainability of DataONE services.

“NSF’s decision to provide an accomplishment based renewal of the project is a testament to the outstanding work of everyone involved in DataONE,” said CCI Dean Mike Wirth. “Our DataONE team is looking forward to building on their many accomplishments as they move into Phase II of the project.”



UT Info Science Faculty Win Grant to Train Science Team Specialists

Dr. Suzie AllardSolving complex scientific problems often requires teams of researchers from different disciplines or even different institutions. And increasingly, information professionals are a part of those teams.

Four faculty members from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville's, College of Communication and Information have received a $438,991 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to spend two years educating six master’s students in the area of scientific data curation, with a special emphasis on organizational communication skills that support team science.

Team members include Associate Professor Suzie Allard, principal investigator, and Chancellor's Professor Carol Tenopir and Assistant Professor Kimberly Douglass, all from the School of Information Sciences; and Associate Professor Ken Levine from the School of Communication Studies. They will also be working with faculty from the University of New Mexico Libraries.

The program will begin in June and run through May 2015, and the team is in the process of recruiting interested students now. To learn more contact Allard at

The students will be taking courses at UT and participating in hands-on research to learn how to work with interdisciplinary teams. They will be mentored by faculty members who have served on scientific research teams. The students also will travel to New Mexico in May 2015 to visit the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the University of New Mexico Libraries. They also will visit the offices of DataONE (Data Observation Network for Earth), a project that enables new science and knowledge creation through universal access to data about life on earth and the environment that sustains it.


UT Researchers to Study Scholarly Journal Articles "Beyond Downloads"

ElsevierWith more scholarly journals being distributed electronically rather than in print form, Elsevier—a publishing company—has contracted with three University of Tennessee, Knoxville, faculty members to determine how journal articles are used after they are initially downloaded.

Chancellor’s Professor Carol Tenopir, Associate Professor Suzie Allard and Adjunct Professor David Nicholas from the College of Communication and Information have received a $244,000 grant from Elsevier to lead a team of international researchers on a one-year project, "Beyond Downloads."

The project will look at how scholarly electronic articles are downloaded, saved and shared by researchers. Sharing in today's digital environment may include links posted on social media, like Twitter, and in blogs or via email. Having a realistic estimate of this secondary use will help provide a more accurate picture of the total use of scholarly articles.



SIS Awarded IMLS Grant for LAMBDA

Dr. Ed CortezKNOXVILLE – Library Anchor Models for Bridging Diversity Achievements (LAMBDA) brings together the University of Tennessee’s School of Information Sciences and the Center for Literacy, Education & Employment with the San Diego County Libraries and other public libraries in California and Tennessee to provide education, training, workshops, and support materials to support library staff members who serve LGBTQ homeless youth.

Activities and materials will focus on educating library personnel about the needs of LGBTQ homeless youth who come to the public library to access the Internet, read, find employment, contact family, or socialize with others. Activities will help libraries build partnerships with community organizations that work with homeless populations.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) awarded the grant of $189,416. Dr. Cortez, Director of the School of Information Sciences at UT will lead the research team along with co-PI Beth Ponder. 

“We continue to give our students extraordinary learning experiences which also serve the greater good of the communities we serve,” said Cortez.  “This research speaks directly to the core of UT’s Vision for ideas that advance society through discovery, inquiry, innovation, research and scholarship.” 

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. Through grant making, policy development, and research, IMLS helps communities and individuals thrive through broad public access to knowledge, cultural heritage, and lifelong learning.

CCI Creates Endowed Professorship; Carol Tenopir First Recipient

Dr. Carol TenopirCarol Tenopir, a Chancellor's Professor in the School of Information Sciences, is the first recipient of a new endowed professorship in the College of Communication and Information (CCI). 

The CCI Board of Visitors Professorship was made possible by generous gifts from donors, including current and former members of the college's Board of Visitors.

The professorship was established to recognize and reward outstanding college faculty whose research, creative activity, teaching and academic and professional service have uniquely contributed to the mission of their school, the college and the university.

"The establishment of this professorship allows the college to provide extra financial support to its best faculty members and to recognize their achievements," said CCI Dean Mike Wirth. "We are grateful to the college's Board of Visitors and the other donors who made this possible. We also are very pleased to name Carol Tenopir, one of the college's most distinguished faculty members, as the inaugural holder of this professorship."

All tenured faculty in the college are eligible for consideration for the endowed professorship, which lasts for three years and provides a supplement to their salary that they are free to use in pursuing their research interests and professional activities.

Tenopir is the college's director of research and also leads the Center for Information and Communication Studies. She recently was named a fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science for her distinguished work in information sciences, notably in the ongoing study of the online information industry and scholarly reading patterns of scientists.

"I am honored and humbled to be the recipient of the first CCI Board of Visitors Professorship," said Tenopir. "It is a privilege to have the opportunity to continue to work on an agenda of excellence with my great colleagues in the college and on the Board of Visitors."

For more information about Tenopir, visit

For more information about the college's Board of Visitors, visit

CCI Symposium Explores Communication Convergence

Augie Grant

“Communication and Information Research in an Age of Convergence” was the theme of the College of Communication and Information’s thirty-fifth annual Research Symposium on February 27 on the UT campus.

August E. “Augie” Grant, the J. Rion McKissick Professor of Journalism at the University of South Carolina, delivered the keynote address. He will speak on “Convergence and Disruption: The New Research Paradigms.”

The symposium was held in the Communications Building Auditorium (Room 321), with the poster session located in the foyer outside the auditorium. All events during the symposium were free and open to the public.

“The theme of this year’s symposium highlights the changes that are leading to the transformation and convergence of the fields of communication and information,” said CCI Dean Mike Wirth.

“Our keynoter, Augie Grant, is an internationally known expert on media convergence and technology. His talk will set the tone for what promises to be an exciting day of paper presentations, posters, and discourse,” Wirth said.

The symposium began at 9:00 a.m. with a continental breakfast in the CCI lobby, followed by Grant’s keynote address at 9:30 a.m.

Research paper presentations began at 10:30 a.m. in the auditorium on the topic of “New Roles for Media in Society,” and the poster session began at 11:30 a.m. in the lobby.

After lunch, the next paper presentation session began at 1:45 p.m. in the auditorium on the topic of “Media’s Role in Society.”

The final paper presentation session was on the topic of “Science Communication,” and the closing comments and awards ceremony were presented 3:30 p.m. Awards were given to all participants due to the high quality of this year's presentations.

For more information about the symposium program, call 865-974-6651 or visit the symposium website.

Tenopir One of Seven UT Faculty Named AAAS Fellows

Carol TenopirChancellor’s Professor Carol Tenopir is one of seven UT faculty members named by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to its 2012 class of fellows.  

UT's AAAS FellowsUPDATE:  Feb. 2013 - The group photo shows five of the seven UT AAAS fellows at the Fellows Award ceremony in Boston.  Pictured are: Gary Sayler, Howard Hall, Carol Tenopir, Jimmy Mays, and Alexei Sokolov. Photo courtesy of Lee Riedinger, UT Professor of Physics and 2012 AAAS Fellow award winner.

This year, 702 members have been awarded this honor by AAAS because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. The new fellows will be presented with an official certificate February 16 at the AAAS annual meeting in Boston, Massachusetts.

“Our professors’ contributions to discovery and education continue to better the world,” said Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek. “These professors’ research has revealed knowledge about our history, uncovered the innermost workings of atoms and helped solve complex environmental problems. Their work is making our world a better place to live.”

The appointment of seven new AAAS fellows gives UT a total of forty-five.

Tenopir’s award citation reads as follows:

Carol Tenopir, Chancellor’s professor of information sciences: For distinguished contributions in research and teaching to the field of information sciences, notably in ongoing study of the online information industry and scholarly reading patterns of scientists. Tenopir is the director of research for the College of Communication and Information and the Center for Information and Communication Studies.

The other six UT appointments are:

 Pengcheng Dai, professor of physics: For distinguished contributions to the understanding of the magnetic properties in copper and iron-based high temperature superconductors, heavy fermion metals, and colossal magnetoresistance manganites.

Howard Hall, UT-ORNL Governor’s Chair for Global Nuclear Security: For distinguished contributions to the field of nuclear security, particularly for the interdisciplinary applications of science, technology, policy, and education to this field. Hall is the director of the UT Institute for Nuclear Security and senior fellow and director of global security programs at the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy.

Jimmy Mays, professor of polymer chemistry and UT-ORNL distinguished scientist: For seminal contributions to controlled synthesis and thorough characterization of tailored macromolecular architectures, allowing elucidation of novel structure-property relationships and correlation with theory.

Gary Sayler, Beaman Distinguished University Professor of Microbiology: For distinguished research, teaching and service contributions in microbial ecology and environmental biotechnology, particularly for development of microbial biosensors and molecular understanding of environmental hydrocarbon degradation. Sayler is the founding director of UT’s Center for Environmental Biotechnology and the UT–Oak Ridge National Laboratory Joint Institute for Biological Sciences.

Jan Simek, distinguished professor of anthropology: For distinguished contributions to the field of prehistoric archaeology, especially for work on European Neanderthals and the discovery of North American prehistoric cave art. Simek is president emeritus of the UT system and also served as interim chancellor for the Knoxville campus.

Alexei Sokolov, Governor’s Chair in Polymer Science: For distinguished contributions to the field of dynamics of soft materials, including polymers, glass-forming liquids, and biological macromolecules.

AAAS is one of the largest scientific organizations in the world, serving more than 260 individual science societies with more than ten million members. It also publishes the journal Science.

Fellows must be nominated to membership either by three current fellows, the CEO of AAAS or AAAS steering groups. Nominations are subject to approval by the AAAS Council. The first class of fellows was named in 1874.

For more information on the nomination process and to search a database of current AAAS fellows, visit the AAAS website.