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Lazerow Memorial Lectures

The School of Information Sciences is proud to have hosted the distinguished Samuel Lazerow Memorial Lectures from 2004 - 2009. The 2009 lecture was the last in the series and was co-sponsored by the Eugene Garfield Foundation. Dr. Garfield, the founder of the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI), established this distinguished Lecture Series to honor the memory of Samuel Lazerow, who was an outstanding librarian, administrator, and pioneer in library automation. Formerly, the Lazerow Lecture series was sponsored by the Thomson Scientific Institute for Scientific Information Awards Program, now Thomson Reuter. See a short biography of Samuel Lazerow below.   For more information about this lecture series, contact Peiling Wang at

Lazerow Memorial Lecture Presenters:

2009 Lazerow Memorial Lecture with Peter Ingwersen


Peter Ingwersen, an internationally-known scholar in the areas of interactive information retrieval, presented a lecture at the University of Tennessee School of Information Sciences’ Samuel Lazerow Memorial Lecture on October 14. 

Professor Ingwersen, a Professor at the Royal School of Library and Information Science in Denmark, discussed information retrieval in the context of information behavior and information seeking in a talk entitled “Research Frameworks for Information Retrieval and User Behaviors.” 

Title: Research Frameworks for Information Retrieval and User Behaviors  

Information retrieval (IR) is a research topic of longevity. Researchers have developed important frameworks to observe information-seeking behaviors in various IR contexts. Dr. Ingwersen's lecture will guide the audience through the four decades of rich IR research from the traditional Laboratory IR paradigm to the Integrated Cognitive IR Research Framework. He presents the selected models and compares them in contexts to build a 9-dimensional framework, from which he further presents a research program for the renewed interests in IR research from new perspectives.
Biography of Peter Ingwersen:
Dr. Ingwersen is an internationally-known scholar and a frequently-invited keynote speaker. His research areas include Interactive Information Retrieval (IR), IR in Context, Evaluation methods for work task-based IR, Informetrics-Scientometrics & Webometrics. He has published several highly cited research monographs, and more than 90 journal articles and conference papers. He has provided free access to his highly cited 1992 book Information Retrieval Interaction. He co-authored The TURN: Integration of Information Seeking and Retrieval in Context, which was nominated for ASIST Best Book in 2006. He is a member of the editorial boards of several international journals: the Journal of American Society for Information Science & Technology, Information Processing and Management, the Scientometrics, and the Journal of Informetrics. He serves on the International Advisory Board of International Collaborative Academy of Library and Information Science at Wuhan University, China.

His honors and awards include Jason Farradane Award (UK) for contributions to Information Science, 1993; internationally most cited Danish Social Scientist 1990-2004; ASIS New Jersey Chapter Distinguish Lectureship Award,1993; the ASIS&T Research Award, 2003; Derek de Solla Price Medal, 2005; and the ASIS&T Best Teacher Award in Information Science, 2007.

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2008 Thomson ISI Lazerow Memorial Lecture with Carol Kuhlthau

Dr. Carol Kuhlthau

Dr. Carol Kuhlthau presented the annual Thomson Scientific Lazerow Memorial Lecture, held on October 8. Her talk, “Guided Inquiry:  Application of Information Seeking Research in pre K-12 Education in the 21st Century,”  presented a dynamic, integrated approach to teaching curriculum content, information literacy, and strategies for learning. Kuhlthau’s model of the 21st-century school encourages teachers to offer alternative solutions to the information search process that allows students to answer the deeper questions of their own interests in the world by facing the issues of social perspectives throughout the curriculum.

Abstract:   Guided Inquiry:  Application of Information Seeking Research in pre K-12 Education in the 21st Century

21st century culture calls for innovative ways of gathering information to inform and enable citizens to think and act. This talk stresses the importance of applying established information science research to address some of our most pressing problems using the education of students as a prime example. New AASL Standards for 21st Century Learning are strongly inquiry-based to prepare students for 21st century life and work. Kuhlthau's extensive research and model of the Information Search Process (ISP) forms the basis for guiding students in the inquiry process in a program called Guided Inquiry. Guided Inquiry provides a framework for librarians and teachers to work together to develop interventions and strategies that guide students in curriculum based inquiry for the sustained learning that the Standards require. Kuhlthau discusses the application of her research findings and concepts presented in Seeking Meaning to the program presented in Guided Inquiry for improving learning in pre K-12 education.

Dr, Kuhlthau’s Biography:
Dr. Kuhlthau is Professor Emerita of Library and Information Science at Rutgers University where she directed the graduate program in school librarianship that has been rated number one in the country by U.S. News. She achieved the rank of Professor II, a special rank at Rutgers requiring additional review beyond that for full professor. She also chaired the Department of Library and Information Science and was the founding director of the Center for International Scholarship in School Libraries (CISSL). She is internationally known for her groundbreaking research on the Information Search Process and for the ISP model of affective, cognitive and physical aspects in six stages of information seeking and use.  She has authored Seeking Meaning: A Process Approach to Library and Information Services and Teaching the Library Research Process and published widely in referred journals and edited volumes. A new book, Guided Inquiry: Learning in the 21st Century, authored with her daughters Leslie K. Maniotes and Ann K. Caspari is now available through Libraries Unlimited.

She has received numerous awards including: American Society ofInformation Science and Technology (ASIST) Research in Information Science Award; Association of Library and Information Science Education (ALISE) Award for Outstanding Contributions in the Field of Information Science and Library Education; Library and Information Technology Association (LITA) Kilgour Research Award; American Library Association (ALA) Shera Award for the Outstanding Research; Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Dudley Award; American Association of School Librarians’ (AASL) Distinguished Service Award; Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT)Award for Outstanding Contributions to the School Library Media Field through Publishing, and Teaching. Kuhlthau has held visiting appointments at numerous universities around the world.

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2007 Thomson ISI Lazerow Memorial Lecture with Tefko Saracevic

Tefko Saracevic

Dr. Tefko Saracevic presented the annual Thomson Scientific Lazerow Memorial Lecture on September 19, 2007. The presentation was webcast.

Legendary information scientist Dr. Eugene Garfield was a special guest at the lecture.

What makes information or information objects relevant? What is the nature of relevance? What do people look for in order to infer relevance?  Dr. Saracevic traced the evolution of thinking on relevance in information science in the past three decades. He provided an updated framework for research agenda in today's changing information environment.

Relevance in information science.”

Abstract:   Relevance is a, if not even the, key notion in information science in general and information retrieval in particular. This presentation is derived from a critical review that traces and synthesizes the scholarship on relevance over the past 30 years or so and provides an updated framework within which the still widely dissonant ideas and works about relevance might be interpreted and related (Saracevic, 2006). It is a continuation and update of a similar review that appeared in 1975 (Saracevic, 1976). After an introduction connecting concerns with relevance with information technology and a historical note, the present review is organized in four major parts: the first one addresses the questions related to the nature of relevance in terms of meaning ascribed to relevance, theories used or proposed, and models that have been developed. In the second part, the manifestations of relevance are classified as to several kinds of relevance that form an interdependent system of relevancies. In the third and fourth part, relevance behavior and effects are synthesized using experimental and observational works that incorporated data. Each part concludes with a summary that in effect provides an interpretation and synthesis of contemporary thinking on the topic treated or suggests hypotheses for future research. Analyses of some of the major trends that shape relevance work are offered in conclusions.

Dr. Saracevic's Biography:

Dr. Tefko Saracevic is a professor II at the School of Communication, Information and Library Science at Rutgers University. He has researched and published widely on the evaluation of information retrieval systems; notion of relevance in information science; human aspects in human-computer interaction in information retrieval; user and use studies in information science and librarianship; studies of user-derived value of information and library services; evaluation of digital libraries; and analysis of web queries as submitted to search engines. 

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2006 Lazerow Lecture with Dr. Christine Borgman

Christine BorgmanSIS was pleased to host the 2006 Lazerow Lecture by Christine Borgman, Professor and Presidential Chair in Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Dr. Borgman is one of the nation's leading authorities in scientific communication and science policy. She presented the School of Information Sciences' 2006 Samuel Lazerow Memorial Lecture on Oct. 18 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Hodges Library Auditorium.

Disciplines, Documents, and Data: Convergence and Divergence in the Scholarly Information Infrastructure

Scholars in all fields are taking advantage of new sources of data and new means to publish and distribute their work online. Content in digital form, whether data from embedded sensor networks or text from digitized books, can be mined to ask new questions, in new ways. Research is becoming increasingly interdisciplinary, distributed, collaborative, and information-intensive. However, the practices, products, and sources of data vary widely between disciplines. Some fields are more advantaged than others by the array of content now online and by the tools and services available to use it. As readers, scientists have access to the greatest depth of their literature online, but their use is most concentrated on recent publications. Conversely, humanists’ reading habits cover the longest time span of publications, yet they have the least depth of coverage online. As researchers, scientists generate most of the data they use, while humanists draw heavily on cultural artifacts and other sources that they neither own nor control. Social scientists occupy the midpoint on both of these dimensions.

Implicit in policy statements for e-Science, e-Research, and cyberinfrastructure is the assumption that much of the content layer of the scholarly information infrastructure will be constructed through voluntary, and in some cases mandatory, contributions of documents and data by individual scholars. Self-archiving, institutional repositories, data repositories, and most forms of open access publishing rest on these assumptions. A close examination of scholarly practices reveals that more disincentives than incentives exist to contribute documents and data for the general good. Scholars in all fields are rewarded for publishing; few are rewarded for managing information. They balance cooperation and competition in complex ways that vary by type and source of data, temporal factors, effort involved in documentation, recognition and reputation, ownership and control of content, and other considerations.

These factors interact differently within each discipline. Scholars continue to rely on the scholarly publishing system to assure that the products of their work are legitimized, disseminated, preserved, curated, and made accessible. No comparable system exists for data. While individual contributions will be important, the content layer will be built only by concerted institutional and policy initiatives. Much is at stake in these discussions, including the ethos of sharing and principles of open science that underpin modern scholarship.

The 2005 ISI Samuel Lazerow Memorial Lecture: Dr. Marcia Bates

Marcia Bates

Information Science luminary Marcia J. Bates delivered the 2005 ISI Samuel Lazerow Memorial Lecture on October 26, 2005 in the Lindsay Young Auditorium of UT's Hodges Library

Can We Have a Comprehensive Understanding of Information?

Information has so many definitions that it seems undefinable. Yet, in a discipline named after information, we surely need a technical definition that we can build on for theoretical and professional uses. This presentation will challenge your conceptions about information.

Dr. Bates' Biography:

Dr. Bates is a well-known and highly-cited scholar and a frequent keynote speaker. She has a long and outstanding career in information science education and research. Her publications are used worldwide in teaching, research, and throughout academia and the profession. The Royal School of Library & Information Science in Copenhagen, Denmark, held a symposium on her work in 2003.

She is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Her honors include numerous awards: the 2005 Award of Merit, the 1998 Research Award, and twice the JASIST Best Paper Award from the American Society of Information Science & Technology; the 2005 Professional Contribution Award from the Association for Library & Information Science education; the 2001 Kilgour Award for Research in Library & Information Technology from the American Library Association & OCLC.

The 2004 ISI Samuel Lazerow Memorial Lecture: Dr. Michael Buckland

Michael BucklandThe School of Information Sciences hosted its first ISI Samuel Lazerow Memorial Lecture March 31, 2004

Speaker: Dr. Michael Buckland Co-Director, Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative
Emeritus Professor of Information Management and Systems
University of California , Berkeley.

Redesigning the Reference Environment for Digital Libraries

Lecture slides from Lazerow lecture.

Traditionally, anyone setting out to learn about a new topic could visit the reference area of the local library and benefit from a carefully selected collection of specialized resources: encyclopedias, dictionaries, gazetteers, biographies, etc., and quickly build up a set of notes and references, including articles, images, statistical data, and so on. The digital library environment is still weak in providing an effective counterpart to the traditional reference library. How could the design of the digital library infrastructure be improved to provide better and more convenient access to specialized resources to learn about topics, places, times, and people?

Dr. Buckland Biography:

Dr. Michael Buckland is currently Co-Director of the Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative and Emeritus Professor of Information Management and Systems at the University of California, Berkeley. He was President of the American Society for Information Science and technology in 1998. Dr. Buckland has made significant contributions to theorization of information sciences and applications of theories to information management and services.

He is a frequently sought-after key-note speaker. Dr. Buckland's publications include Library Services in Theory and Context (Pergamon, 1983; 2nd ed. 1988), Information and Information Systems (Praeger, 1991), and Redesigning Library Services (American Library Association, 1992), and numerous articles. For more information please visit his Webpage.

Born and grew up in England, he earned his Ph.D. from the Sheffield University, with a doctoral dissertation later published as Book Availability and the Library User (Pergamon, 1975). In 1972, he moved to the United States to Purdue University Libraries where he was Assistant Director of Libraries for Technical Services, before becoming Dean of the School of Library and Information Studies at Berkeley, 1976-84. From 1983 to 1987 he served as Assistant Vice President for Library Plans and Policies for the nine campuses of the University of California. He has been a visiting professor in Austria and in Australia.

About Samuel Lazerow

Samuel LazerowSamuel Lazerow, in whose honor and memory this lecture series was established, had a record of long and distinguished service in the library profession. An honors graduate of Johns Hopkins University, he received his library education at Columbia University. During World War II he served as the Army¹s chief library officer in Europe. Mr. Lazerow spent 25 years of service in the federal library community and held administrative posts at each of the three national libraries. From 1947 to 1952 he served as chief of acquisitions at the National Library of Agriculture and followed that with a similar assignment at the National Library of Medicine for thirteen years. In 1965 he joined the Library of Congress where he headed a task force on the automation and sharing of services between national libraries. He served as Vice President for the Institute for Scientific Information after his retirement in 1972 and held the post until his death. This lecture series was initiated by Dr. Eugene Garfield, founder and president of ISI, as a tribute to his friend and colleague.