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Steve Chaplin
University Communications

Last modified: Thursday, September 29, 2011

At interim post since January, Shaw named dean of IU's School of Library and Information Science

Sept. 29, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University Bloomington School of Library and Information Science Professor Debora "Ralf" Shaw has been named dean of the school. Shaw has served as interim dean at SLIS since January when Rudy Professor of Information Science Blaise Cronin announced he was stepping down. Cronin served as dean from 1991 to 2003 and from 2004 to 2010.

Debora Shaw

Debora Shaw

In making the announcement, IU Executive Vice President and IU Bloomington Provost Karen Hanson said Shaw received strong support from SLIS faculty and staff as interim dean.

"She has served with distinction as interim, providing energetic and effective leadership of the school," Hanson said. "I am confident that Ralf's years of experience, her unstinting commitment to SLIS and her excellent administrative judgment will allow the school to continue what has been a tradition of excellence."

Shaw received a Ph.D. in information science from IU in 1983 and was named a full professor at SLIS in 2003. She served as interim dean from 2003 to 2004. Her research interests have focused on how information technologies affect humanities scholars' perceptions of and interactions with sources of information and on the use of indirect measures such as bibliometrics to study academic and scholarly communication.

She served as president of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIST) from 1996 to 1997 and is currently an associate editor of the Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

Shaw and her husband, SLIS senior fellow and adjunct professor Charles H. Davis, recently served as co-editors of the new textbook Introduction to Information Science and Technology, published by Information Today for ASIST. The book is the product of a unique scholarly collaboration: ASIST members, experts in various aspects of the field, used a wiki to contribute their perspectives and edit each other's work. Shaw and Davis then compiled and edited the work to produce the textbook.

To speak with Shaw or for more information, please contact Steve Chaplin, University Communications, at 812-856-1896 or