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International LIS Scholars Collaborate on Research

Posted Mar. 21, 2013

A visiting scholar from China is working to build stronger collaborations between his home institution and Kent State University’s School of Library and Information Science (SLIS).

Shengli Deng, Ph.D., from Wuhan University’s School of Information Management in China, will be conducting research here for a year while also working on ongoing projects in China. Deng is an associate professor and deputy director of the Department of Information Management at Wuhan University.His visit is funded by the Chinese Education Department.

Shengli Deng, Ph.D.“Kent State University is a very famous university, especially the School of Library and Information Science,” he said. “SLIS professors Dr. Yin Zhang and Dr. Marcia Zeng received their undergraduate and graduate degrees from the Wuhan University’s School of Information Management. When I applied to the visiting scholar program, I found that Dr. Zhang's research interests were similar to mine. I sent her an email and she responded quickly and sent me an invitation to Kent State University.”

Deng’s research interests include information behavior, information interaction and information services. His visit is part of a program called “projects of training and studying abroad for a young-backbone teacher,” which aims to track the academic development and improve the research and teaching ability of the teacher. At the end, the program chooses which teachers have the potential to work with teachers at famous foreign universities.

“I will work with Dr. Zhang and take part in her projects about information behavior,” Deng said. “Meanwhile, I will audit some courses and learn advanced teaching skills. I will try my best to attend the research club in the school and communicate with the faculty members. I will also attend the American Library Association and American Society for Information Science and Technology conferences and share my research with my U.S. peers. I will take this opportunity to learn what's new for me.”

During his time in Kent, Deng will be learning skills he can take back to his job in China and also working on two China-funded projects. One project is funded by the National Funds of Social Science and the other by Wuhan University Academic Development Plan for Scholars. His research for these projects focuses on knowledge contribution, social networking, and user loyalty in a social environment.

“Of course, what I do here will benefit my work back in China,” he said. “I will apply the advanced teaching skills in my courses and do more to interact more with my students. What I am doing with Dr. Zhang will combine with my research. If there is any chance, I will make connections between Kent State University and Wuhan University to build a deeper cooperation.”

Moving from China to Ohio has been a big adjustment for Deng. He has had to adjust to new languages, teaching methods, research methods and country.

“In all, the people that I have met are very kind to me,” he said. “Every day is a new day for me. It's a very interesting experience.”

“We are fortunate to have Dr. Deng here,” said SLIS Professor Yin Zhang, Ph.D. “He is a very talented researcher and an emerging leader in the field of information science in China. SLIS had close ties to Wuhan University’s School of Information Management in the 1990s with visiting scholars between the two schools. Dr. Deng’s visit will enhance the ties with productive collaborations between the two schools.”

-- By Nicole Gennarelli