Syracuse University School of Information Studies (iSchool) student Keisuke Inoue was recently awarded a 2011 Beta Phi Mu Eugene Garfield Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship in the amount of $3,000.

This prestigious award is given to up to six Library and Information Science (LIS) doctoral students working on their dissertations. Inoue’s dissertation looks into computer-mediated information-seeking conversations.

“In today’s web, information-seeking conversations are everywhere,” Inoue said. “Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, to name a few. But the current search engines, such as Google, were primarily designed for HTML “documents” and not optimal for “conversations.” My goal is to understand how we can improve them.”

Inoue’s study will contribute to three streams of research: information-seeking behavior, information retrieval, and digital libraries. First, the study will provide an enhanced understanding of human information-seeking behavior by refining the existing models and theories of information-seeking behavior. Second, the study will build a foundation for applications of the linguistic constructs to information technology development. Finally, libraries have been the place for information-seeking conversations throughout their history. Inoue’s study will contribute to the evaluation and improvement of the current digital reference services, as well as to the rethinking of the role libraries play.

This is not the first time a Syracuse iSchool student has earned the Eugene Garfield Fellowship. Anne Diekema G’03, Jeffery Pomerantz G’03, Kyunghe Yoon G’02 were also honored with this distinction, which makes Inoue even prouder.

“I am especially happy because this fellowship has also been given to quite a few former advisees of my advisor, Dean Elizabeth Liddy,” Inoue said. “I am just happy to continue the tradition.”

Beta Phi Mu is the library and information studies honor society, founded at the University of Illinois in 1948 by a group of leading library and information professionals and educators. The society’s goal is to recognize and encourage scholastic achievement among library and information studies students.