Dr. Jing Lu teaching students.

Advancing the understanding of how information is used

The Libraries and School of Information Studies’ exemplary teaching, research, and engagement advances the understanding of how information is used by individuals, communities, institutions, and societies. Making giant leaps—ground-breaking technologies, life sustaining drugs, disease detection and treatment, efficient agriculture and food systems—requires the pioneering use of information and data. Libraries offers transformative teaching and high-impact, experiential learning that catalyzes students’ imaginative leadership.

Information Studies offers undergraduate and graduate courses, two graduate certificates, and one undergraduate certificate. The undergraduate courses advance learning in three specific areas of information studies:

  • Research and Information Studies
  • Data, Information, and Society
  • Data Foundations, Tools, and Applications

Undergraduate and graduate courses cover several information-focused topics, including archival literacy, data management and curation, digital humanities, information and data literacies, geographic information systems (GIS), systematic reviews, information ethics, and undergraduate research. Also offered are undergraduate and graduate certificates in Digital Humanities (DH) that are co-sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts, and a graduate certificate in Geospatial Information Science (GIS) in collaboration with seven colleges at Purdue University.

Scientific discovery can only be slowed by the growing gap between the creation of and the sharing and reuse of research data. We want to make sure Purdue’s next-generation researchers are able to produce research work with outcomes and data
that can be easily found, shared, and reused.

Wei Zakharov, Ph.D.

Associate Professor and Engineering Information Specialist

head of information studies

Jane Yatcilla

Jane Yatcilla

Professor Jane Yatcilla is head of the Information Studies department. Professor Yatcilla stepped into this role with a wealth of experience and a deep understanding of our university, making her an excellent fit for the position.

Confronting global challenges and solving multi-faceted problems

The School of Information Studies offers a minor, graduate and undergraduate courses, and certificates on several different information-focused topics that empower students to confront global challenges and solve multi-faceted problems by expanding upon their disciplinary knowledge with the ability to innovatively use information and data.

dean of libraries and school of information studies

Beth McNeil

Beth McNeil, Ph.D.

Beth McNeil, Ph.D., is a pioneering figure in the realm of information studies, holding the distinction of being the inaugural dean of the School of Information Studies since its establishment in 2019. Her visionary leadership has led to the development of innovative approaches to address the University’s instructional requirements, particularly in crucial domains like data management, data ethics, information literacy, and digital scholarship. In addition to this role, McNeil also holds the position of Dean of Purdue Libraries and serves as the Esther Ellis Norton Professor of Library Science. With a career spanning over three decades, McNeil’s expertise and dedication to the field are further evidenced by her current presidency of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), of which she has been a member since 1989, showcasing her enduring commitment to advancing scholarly pursuits and information access on a national scale.


Michael Witt teaching.

Associate Professor Michael Witt Honored with the 2023 Charles B. Murphy Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award

Witt is the first School of Information Studies faculty member to receive the University’s highest undergraduate teaching honor, and an outstanding example of the positive student impact made by the School’s forward-thinking instructors, innovative courses, and emphasis on active learning.

read more
Gong Shao with Acorn Award.

Shao Honored with 2023 Seed for Success Acorn Award

Purdue honored researchers with the distinguished 2023 Seed for Success Acorn Awards. Among those recognized was Assistant Professor Gang Shao. This award recognizes principal investigators and co-principal investigators who obtain their first research grants with $1 million or more of external funding for a single proposal. Gang Shao and Nicole Kong were Co-PIs on the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Promoting Economic Resilience and Sustainability of the Eastern US Forests (PERSEUS), $10 million grant.

read more
Wei Zakharov helping a student.

Interdisciplinary research team led by Wei Zakharov to build ethical data management competencies in undergraduate researchers

For science and engineering to deliver full value to society, next-generation researchers need to be able to produce data that are accessible, ethically used and shared. A team led by Associate Professor Wei Zakharov was awarded $542,660 from the National Science Foundation to build data lifecycle ethical management (DLEM) competencies in undergraduate student researchers, with emphasis on the ethical handling of data.

read more