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News Feature: Climate Change Information in the iSchools

Climate change represents a growing research area in most parts of the world. A quick search of Google scholar shows over 4 million hits on a search for “climate change“, and a more detailed search would likely produce even more hits. A look at universities that belong to the iSchools shows that most do research on climate issues, even though the programs are not necessarily associated with the iSchools themselves. In the information world, climate has become big business.

Climate information can be controversial. There are political leaders in most countries who both deny the evidence of climate change, and deny the role of humans in creating the conditions for atmospheric warming. Complex information issues are rarely completely without controversy. An important task is to separate fact from fiction, reliable information from speculation. Information quality is a long-standing concern that dates back to the iSchools‘ roots in the library world and information quality is an issue in every aspect of climate research.

In the iSchools organization we currently support a number of special interest groups, and hope to expand to include iSchools scholars who would like to focus on climate issues. Such a group could develop in a number of ways, including sharing information about how their home universities do climate research, or creating criteria to judge the quality of climate information (including climate disinformation). As with all of the iSchools special interest groups, it will be up to those in the group to decide its direction and preferences.

Those who have an interest in founding a group devoted to climate information issues should contact the iSchools staff at Depending on the level of interest, there could also be multiple groups based on region, time zone, or approach to the issues involved in climate research.


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