Scholars from China Visit SLIS | Kent State University

Scholars from China Visit SLIS

Research Agendas Include Information Behavior, Information Services and Scientometrics

Twenty years ago, Ximing Xiao came to Kent State University’s School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) as a visiting scholar. Following in his footsteps, his student Min Zhang, Ph.D., came to SLIS from China in the summer of 2015 as a visiting scholar.

Dr. Min Zhang is an associate professor at the School of Computer and Information Science at Southwest University, Beibei, Chongqing, China. SLIS is also hosting two other Chinese scholars this year: Jiming Hu, Ph.D., a lecturer at Wuhan University’s School of Information Management, Wuhan, China; and Mr. Junwei Shen, a doctoral student at Nanjing Agricultural University’s College of Information Science, Nanjing,  China.

Another scholar, Pellin Wang, Ph.D., concluded her year-long visit in September 2015. She is an associate professor in the School of Management, Anhui University, China.

The researchers each won a competitive scholarship award from the China Scholarship Council (CSC) to support their one-year visit here; the award includes a monthly stipend and round-trip airfare.

During their visit, the scholars work with SLIS Professor Yin Zhang, Ph.D., and other researchers on projects relating to human information behavior, information services and scientometrics. They also attend classes, events and conferences.

Dr. Min Zhang’s research focuses on user information behavior, social networks and library services. “We hope to learn how to do research,” she said, “and learn new methods and research tools, improve our English, and get papers published in English.”

Dr. Hu’s interests include information behavior, information service, intelligent governance, and bibliometrics. After his visit, Hu plans to go back to China, having improved his ability both to research and teach in library and information science. He hopes to expand his research agenda and publish more papers in English.

Mr. Shen will study mobile libraries, service quality and user satisfaction. During his visit, he hopes to finish his dissertation, publish an English paper and improve his research methods also. He is the first doctoral student from his institution to be a part of the visiting scholars program. He hopes to complete his dissertation and defend it as soon as he returns to China.

During her visit, Dr. Wang collaborated with Dr. Yin Zhang on a project that examined how information seekers and information providers use social Q&A sites to address health questions.

SLIS has hosted visiting scholars from various countries since the 1980s.

Dr. Yin Zhang said these scholars need to have an overseas experience to get promoted at their jobs back at home, but hosting them benefits the School, too.

“As a hosting faculty member, I learn from their experience, as well,” she said. “The visiting scholars are very motivated and talented researchers. They have great research experience but most have not published in English before. One of the expectations of their visit is to produce SSCI (Social Science Citation Index) papers. We had started planning various projects before they came.

“My research also benefits from collaborating with them. I have hosted two visiting scholars in the past two years, and it has been very enjoyable and productive.”

Photo (left to right): (front row) Dr. Yin Zhang; Dr. Pellin Wang; Dr. Min Zhang; (back row) SLIS Interim Director Jeff Fruit; Dr. Junwei Shen; Dr. Jiming Hu