The school houses faculty with expertise in open data, digital archives, information behaviour, human-computer interaction, informatics, digital curation, theoretical foundations of information science, issues in information profession and social media and society. Currently the research strategy of the school is one that focuses on bottom-up development of areas of research.



Professor Kalpana Shankar

Project Years: 2014 - 2018

The goal of this project is to develop a history of social science data archives (SSDAs) and the institution of social science data archiving in the US and Europe from the 1960’s forward. The experiences of SSDA that have persisted and those that that have disappeared, hold lessons for current practice and scholarship in open data and labor in the information professions. PIs: Kristin Eschenfelder, Kalpana Shankar and Greg Downey, University of Wisconsin - Madison.

Research Supported By: The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, the SLIS Sarah M. Pritchard Faculty Support Fund, ASIS&T History Fund, Irish Research Council.

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Associate Professor Crystal Fulton

Playing Social Roulette is a research study led by Associate Professor Crystal Fulton to explore the phenomenon of gambling, and in particular problem gambling, in Ireland. Funded through the Irish Research Council, with support from the Department of Social Protection and the Department of Justice and Equality, the study explores all aspects of gambling, especially its impact on the lives of those who participate and on community and society.

Casinos and new technologies, such as Internet or mobile phone gambling, offer new opportunities to gamble, in addition to more traditional forms of gambling. Because gambling may lead to addiction for some, along with financial loss and social alienation, understanding perceptions of gambling and the triggers for problem gambling may critically facilitate development of services and prevention of for those most vulnerable to problem gambling.

Joan Burton, Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection, formally launched the final project report in July 2015.

The full text of the final research report for this study may be downloaded here.

Dr Judith Wusteman

January 2015, ongoing

The aim of this project is to provide user requirements analysis input to the Nation, Genre and Gender project.

(PI: Gerardine Meaney, UCD Dublin,, as well as insights into the user requirements of digital humanities projects in general and social network analysis projects in particular.

Dr Judith Wusteman

Project years: January 2015 - ongoing

The Letters of 1916 project (PI: Susan Schreibman, University of Maynooth, is creating a crowd-sourced digital collection of letters written around the time of the Easter Rising. The aim of this project is to investigate and advise on the usability of the Digital Edition of the collected letters.

With An Foras Feasa University of Maynooth.

Dr Lai Ma

Project Years: Ongoing

The book project aims to systematically analyze the processes of the creation of and the making of information in a democratic information space, and to investigate how these processes may bypass public discourse and be taken over by social mechanisms which in turn restrict our access to and control of information. The project answers the following questions by investigating social epistemology of information in relations to public discourse and social responsibility - Who should be responsible for the governance and regulation of information space and the production of content and knowledge in the digital age? How much control should be placed on the construction of information and information infrastructures by the authority? How is authority granted?

Dr Lai Ma

Project Years: ongoing

This project aims to understand (a) the perception of the importance of metrics such as h-index in academic culture, (b) the strategies and practices scholars and researchers apply based on the perception of the impact of metrics on their career advancements, and (c) the changing nature of scholarly communication and practices in the world of metrics.

Dr Claire McGuinness and Associate Professor Crystal Fulton

Project Years: ongoing

The School of Information & Communication Studies was an early innovator in the e-classroom at UCD. For instance, the project, Creating e-Practicums to enhance Undergraduate Learning (Sonnenwald, Fulton & McGuinness, 2010-2011), involved a collaboration of staff to launch an initial suite of e-tutorials in Stage 1 modules in the school.

Since then, an extended suite of e-tutorials, developed by ICS students in collaboration with Crystal Fulton and Claire McGuinness, have been rolled out and embedded in several undergraduate and postgraduate modules across ICS programmes. The e-tutorials are structured to supplement and reinforce module content, and to enhance the development of critical and digital literacy skills in order to achieve learning outcomes.

More recently, Fulton and McGuinness delivered a paper at the 2014 IFLA satellite conference on information literacy, entitled Seeking the Perfect Blend: Creating Innovative Digital Learning Spaces with e-tutorials in Three Information Literacy Modules. Their research in this area is ongoing.

Dr Benjamin Cowan

Project Years: ongoing

Dialogue interaction with automated partners is already becoming a fundamental part of everyday communication. The growth of speech as an interface modality in cutting edge products (e.g. Apple Watch) and service platforms (e.g. automated customer service agents, robotic agents) as well as speech enabled virtual personal assistants (e.g Siri, Cortana) have moved communication from a human-human oriented activity towards one which includes a variety of human and computer dialogue partners. This project aims to build an understanding of what influences the assumptions and attributions we make about automated dialogue partners and how these affect language production in human-computer dialogue.

The project is being conducted in collaboration with leading psycholinguistics at the University of Edinburgh's Psychology Department.

The research is supported by an H.W. Wilson Scholarship and UCD Seed Funding.

Dr Amber Cushing and Dr Benjamin Cowan

Project Years: March 2015- current

EastAR Rising

The goal of this project was to develop a mobile walking tour app for the 1916 Easter Rising sites in Dublin. In addition, we are exploring Booms theory of societal significance in digital cultural heritage objects, by asking the public to vote for the most important sites associated with the Rising.

Research Supported by the Irish Research Council and the UCD Humanities Institute.

Professor Kalpana Shankar and Dr Amber Cushing

Project Years: March 2015-current

The project attempts to develop an analysis of digital curation needs among Information professionals working In Ireland. We hope to identify the unique needs for digital curation skills in the Irish sector.

Research supported by the Archives and Records Association of Ireland and the UK.

Professor Kalpana Shankar, Dr Amber Cushing, Dr Maeve Connolly and Professor Margaret Kelleher

Project Years: November 2014-November 2015

This project developed a digital curation workshop, focused on maintaining digital projects for postgraduate students and professionals from the fields of humanities, visual arts design and architecture. The workshop was held 23 June 2015 and focused on providing skills for managing individual projects.

Research Supported by the UCD School of Architecture Seed Funding Scheme.