Naresh Agarwal

Assistant Professor

Naresh Agarwal
Phone: 617-521-2836
Office: P-313E

Naresh Agarwal, who joined the faculty in Fall 2009, earned his doctorate from the National University of Singapore (NUS)'s Department of Information Systems, School of Computing. His teaching areas are evaluation of information services, technology for information professionals, and knowledge management. Agarwal's research area is information behavior - the way people look for information and the contextual factors that impact their choice of information sources. He seeks to understand and synthesize the apparent contradictions in this phenomenon and tries to reconcile multiple perspectives: user/seeker (information need, information seeking, context) versus information systems, technology and the user's context (source choice, knowledge management, sense-making, technology adoption, health informatics); theoretical models/frameworks versus empirical studies - both positivist and interpretivist; variety of contexts - office workers, medical residents, LIS students, ancient epics; relationship between identity and context, between information and happiness; and when information is encountered serendipitously, while not consciously looking. He has published in many of these topics. In Spring 2010, Agarwal received a research grant from the President's Fund for Faculty Excellence for work on a context-based investigation into the information seeking behavior and source use by medical residents. Among other leadership positions at ASIS&T - the American Society for Information Science and Technology - he is currently the chair of SIG ED - the Special Interest Group on Education for Information Science. From 2007-2009, Agarwal served as the chair of the Association of Pacific-Rim Universities Doctoral Students' Network (APRU DSN). Prior to entering the doctoral program at NUS, he worked for six years in technology roles in the voice-over-IP, bioInformatics and digital cinema industries. Among other things, Agarwal has been a debater and public speaker and likes to paint in oil and watercolor in his free time. You can get to know him more at

Courses Taught

LIS 403: Evaluation of Information Services
LIS 465: Knowledge Management
LIS 488: Technology for Information Professionals

Curriculum Vitae

Naresh Agarwal Profile

Areas of Interest

  • Information behavior