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Vakkari to Receive ASIS&T Research in Information Science Award

The Association for Information Science & Technology (ASIS&T) is delighted to announce that Professor Pertti Vakkari is the 2020 recipient of the ASIS&T Research in Information Science Award. The award’s purpose is to recognize an individual or individuals for an outstanding research contribution in the field of information science. The award is for a systematic “program of research” in a single area that has significant impact in the field at a level beyond a single study, but not at the level of a lifetime’s work.

Professor Vakkari was selected as the winner from among a pool of outstanding candidates who were judged based on the following criteria: Intellectual Merit (intellectual quality of the contribution); Broader Impact (impacts of the contribution to theory, practice and society); Coherence of the Contribution (degree to which the contribution forms a coherent whole); Methodological Innovation (contributions to methodology, including the development and evaluation of software, corpora, and other research tools); and Transformation and Transcendence of the Information Field (degree to which the contribution helps to shape and reshape the information field and connects the information field with related research areas).

Vakkari is a Professor Emeritus of Faculty of Information Technology and Communication Sciences, Tampere University, Finland. His research interests include information seeking, task-based information searching, fiction searching, methodologies for evaluating interactive information retrieval, and the outcomes of public libraries. His work has appeared in the proceedings of numerous conferences, in edited monographs and journals such as Information Processing & Management and JASIST. He is a member of the editorial board of Journal of Documentation, and Information Processing & Management. Vakkari has been member in several program committees of conferences like ISIC, IIiX , ECIR and TPDL. He received in 2012 ASIS&T SIGUSE Award for Outstanding Contributions to Information Behavior.

In selecting Dr. Vakkari as the award winner, the Jury wrote, “Professor Vakkari's research on information seeking and retrieval has brought together the fields of human information behavior and information retrieval through his sustained and impactful research program in this area. His coherent research on task-based information searching and fiction retrieval has been extensively published in the leading journals and conferences in information science and beyond. Methodologically, his research has adopted mixed-methods for the specific research questions addressed in his studies, not limited to experiments in controlled settings. Importantly, his scholarship has influenced new generations of information science researchers and inspired new research programs. He has demonstrated his leadership through establishing and organizing the ISIC, IiiX and CHIIR Conferences, and thus his research has transformed the information field tremendously.”

In nominating Dr. Vakkari, Kalervo Jarvelin wrote, “Professor Pertti Vakkari has made significant contributions to information science, especially in the areas of information seeking and retrieval, both empirically and theoretically. Information seeking and retrieval are the corner stones of Information Science. Professor Vakkari is a rigorous researcher and scientist of original mind. Based on Carol C. Kuhlthau’s model on information seeking processes (ISP model), his landmark studies focused on task-based information searching…Through sustained and coherent research program, Professor Vakkari has made an outstanding contribution to Information Science research covering several essential themes of task-based information searching,

Upon learning of his selection as the 2020 Research Award winner, Professor Vakkari said, “I am very grateful to receive the ASIS&T Research in Information Science Award. It is a great honor to belong to the circle of recipients of this award, many of which have inspired my own research. This recognition gives me a strong impetus to continue my scholarly work to bring together the fields of human information behavior and information retrieval.”

Professor Vakkari will receive his award at the 2020 meeting of the Association for Information Science & Technology (ASIS&T) which will be held virtually, October 25-29, 2020.