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Information Sciences Professor Dania Bilal of UT’s College of Communication and Information is receiving an international award for her outstanding contributions to information behavior research.

Dania Bilal

She will be honored later this month by the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T) Special Interest Group for Information Needs, Seeking and Use (SIGUSE). She also joins the SIGUSE Academy of Fellows.

Bilal’s research focuses on children’s cognitive and affective information behavior in using and interacting with information retrieval systems, and is situated at the intersection of information retrieval, information behavior, and human-computer interaction. She is one of the foremost experts in the field on children’s and youth’s information seeking and retrieval, and is in the top 1 percent most cited researchers worldwide in this area. She conducts her work with children nationally and internationally in schools, libraries, and computer lab settings.

Bilal’s most highly cited work—“Children’s Use of the Yahooligans! Web Search Engine: I. Cognitive, Physical, And Affective Behaviors on Fact-Based Search Tasks”—appeared in the Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology in 2000.

She is co-editor of Information and Emotion: The Emergent Affective Paradigm in Information Behavior Research and Theory, which was named ASIS&T SIG USE Book of the Year in 2008.

She is also co-editor of New Directions in Children’s and Adolescents’ Information Behavior Research.

In 2014, Bilal won a Google Research Award with Jacek Gwizdka of the University of Texas at Austin for their research project on child-friendly search engine results pages.

She was recognized with College of Communication and Information Research Achievement Awards in 2003 and 2007.

A 2017 article published in Aslib Journal of Information Management put Bilal among the top 10 most influential researchers in information behavior worldwide.

“As one of the world’s leading experts on youth informatics, Dania Bilal is very deserving of this international recognition,” said CCI Dean Mike Wirth. “We are very proud of her accomplishments and congratulate her on this great honor.”

Bilal teaches courses in information access and retrieval, human-computer interaction, web mining, information systems design and implementation, and research methods. Recently, Bilal guided the development of the Youth Informatics Certificate program at UT’s School of Information Sciences and developed a new Seminar in Youth Informatics. In 2007 she was awarded the Association of Library and Information Science Education Teaching Excellence Award.

Bilal has served as a mentor to doctoral students at both the ASIS&T Annual Doctoral Colloquium and iConference Doctoral Colloquium.

She has been active in SIGUSE and ASIS&T for many years. She served as chair of SIGUSE in 2002–2003, and in 2003 the SIG was named SIG of the Year by ASIS&T. Last year, Bilal was elected to the ASIS&T Board of Directors as director-at-large with appointments to the ASIS&T 80th Anniversary Advisory Group and the Board’s International Relations Committee as liaison. She is the co-chair of panels and workshops at this year’s annual meeting.


Donna Silvey (, 865-974-6727)