University of Pittsburgh
January 30, 2008

Pitt's School of Information Sciences to Launch Graduate Research Program That Analyzes the Influence of Digital Media on Academia And Scholarship

Program development supported by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh School of Information Sciences (SIS) has received a five-year, $782,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support the development of a graduate research program designed to understand and influence the emergence of digital communication and research in academia, known as cyberscholarship.

The grant also provides resources to hire a professor who will work within SIS and Pitt's University Library System to explore how disciplines are re-examining scholarly priorities, reshaping methodologies, and redefining evidence bases as a result of new media and new tools, according to SIS dean and professor Ronald L. Larsen, who will lead the program.

"This work will help to determine what information professionals need to know about individual disciplines, and specifically their use and management of information, in order to be more effective partners in the scholarly process of advancing knowledge," Larsen said. "This grant will position SIS and Pitt to be leaders in understanding advances in scholarly communication resulting from new media and the influence of data-intensive scholarship on society."

SIS is one of the nation's pioneering schools for information professionals with a history that dates back more than 100 years. SIS is nationally recognized as a leading school in scholarly research and communication and is a founding member of the iSchool Consortium, 19 leading information sciences institutions that includes the University of California at Los Angeles and the University of Michigan.

Since 1979, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has generously donated more than

$10 million to Pitt in support of research in the arts and sciences. This grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is part of the University's "Building Our Future Together" capital campaign, the most successful fundraising campaign in the history of both Pitt and Southwestern Pennsylvania. To date, the campaign has raised more than $1.2 billion.