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Standing on the shoulders of giants?—Faculty hiring in information schools


  • Zuo, Zhiya
  • Zhao, Kang
  • Ni, Chaoqun


The past three decades have witnessed the tremendous growth of the number of information schools (a.k.a., iSchools) and the size of their faculty bodies. However, there is little empirical evidence in faculty hiring patterns within the community. Analyzing hand-curated data of 81 junior and 485 senior faculty members from 27 iSchools in the United States and a total of 41 981 journal and conference proceeding publications, we investigate the effects of collaboration experience on placement quality, controlling for other well studied factors including gender, scholarly performance, and prestige of degree-granting programs. In particular, we find that strong ties in collaboration, as measured by PhD advisors’ academic achievements, have little correlation with placement quality fixing other factors. On the other hand, weak ties, manifested by coauthors excluding advisors, are found to be beneficial. Providing a better understanding of hiring practice in iSchools, the results highlight the importance of “standing on the shoulders of giants” for junior information science researchers wishing to find high-quality faculty job. Finally, our findings lay the foundation for future investigations, where stakeholders and administrators can assess the effectiveness of existing hiring strategies, which in turn provide managerial and policy implications for iSchools to adapt to the fast growing landscape of information science.

Suggested Citation

  • Zuo, Zhiya & Zhao, Kang & Ni, Chaoqun, 2019. "Standing on the shoulders of giants?—Faculty hiring in information schools," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 341-353.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:infome:v:13:y:2019:i:1:p:341-353
    DOI: 10.1016/j.joi.2019.01.007

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    References listed on IDEAS

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