Catherine Smith, Ph.D.

Catherine L. Smith, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Contact Information
Personal Website:


Catherine L. Smith, Ph.D., joined the SLIS faculty in 2010. Previously she had been a post-doctoral research associate at Rutgers University, working as co-PI with Dr. Nina Wacholder on a study funded by a Google Research Award. She completed her Ph.D. in Information Science at Rutgers University School of Communication and Information; she also received a Certificate in Cognitive Science from the Rutgers Center for Cognitive Science, an MBA from Simmons College, Boston, and a B.A. from Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y. Dr. Smith received a second Google Faculty Research Award in 2011 for her work on search expertise. Her research bridges information retrieval and human-computer interaction, centering on the psychology of information seeking and query formulation in skilled information searching using computer systems. This includes the processes involved in learning to search and the design of interactive retrieval systems that enrich self-regulated learning for their users. Smith designed, developed and launched the International Documentary Library Service, a database-driven digital library for documentary film, television and radio. Her experience also includes management in various capacities in banking and investment services, including systems, operations, marketing, and business strategy, for BankBoston.

*The School of Information faculty are superstars in the field. Therefore, it is impossible to list all of the great work they do on one page. Listed below is a small selection of recent work. Further information can be viewed in Dr. Smith’s CV (found below), on her Google Scholar page, on ResearchGate, or on her personal website.


Academic Programs
Emerging Media and Technology
User Experience Design
Library & Information Science

Applied Data Science Data/Information/Technology User Experience In Libraries, Archives and Museums


LIS 60010       The Information Landscape

LIS 60050       Research & Assessment in Library and Information Science

LIS 60638       Digital Libraries

UXD 20001     Introduction to User Experience Design

EMAT 33310  Human-Computer Interaction

Selected Publications

Smith, C.L. & Rieh, S.Y. (2019). Knowledge-Context in Search Systems: Toward Information-Literate Actions. In CHIIR ’19: 2019 Conference on Human Information Interaction & Retrieval, March 10–14, 2019. [paper received an honorable mention]

Smith, C. L., & Matteson, M. L. (2018). Information literacy in the age of machines that learn: Desiderata for machines that teach. Libri International Journal of Libraries and Information Studies, 68(2), 71-84.

Smith, C. L., Gwizdka, J., & Feild, H. (2017). The use of query auto-completion over the course of search sessions with multifaceted information needs. Information Processing & Management, 53(5), 1139–1155.

Smith, C. L. (2017). Domain-independent search expertise: Gaining knowledge in query formulation through guided practice. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 68(6), 1462–1479.

Smith, C. L., Gwizdka, J., & Feild, H. (2016, March). Exploring the use of query auto completion: Search behavior and query entry profiles. In CHIIR ’16: 1st International ACM SIGIR Conference on Human Information Interaction & Retrieval. Chapel Hill, NC.


Principal investigator on Google Research Award, $76,000, for “A description of domain independent search expertise”, awarded Summer 2011  

Co-principal investigator on Google Research Award, $70,000, for “Why users don’t take suggestions: Visual and semantic processing in the uptake of suggested query-terms”, awarded Spring 2009, (with N. Wacholder)

Professional Service

  • Serves on the Editorial Board of Information Processing & Management (2016 - Present)
  • Article Reviewer for Information Processing & Management (2015 - 2019)


  • Association for Computing Machinery
  • Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE)
  • Association for Information Science and Technology


Ph.D. in Information Science from Rutgers University, M.B.A. from Simmons College (Boston), B.A. from Bard College (Annandale-on-Hudson, New York)


Psychology of Information Search, Search Behavior / Expertise / Education, Design of interactive Retrieval Systems, Digital Libraries