Rong Tang

Professor and Co-Director PhD Program
  • School of Library and Information Science
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(617) 521-2880

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About Me

Rong Tang received her doctorate from the School of Information and Library Science, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. She has taught evaluation of information services, technology for information professionals, library automation systems, digital information services and providers, research methods and design, and usability and user experience research. Her research areas span from users’ relevance judgment, user needs assessments, user information behavior, citation analysis, collaborative information seeking, eye-tracking studies, to MOOCs in Asia.

Rong is the founding and current Director of Simmons Usability Lab. One of her papers won the 2008 Wynar/ALISE research paper competition. She is a recipient of 2007 APA PsycINFO Needs Assessment Contract Award, 2007 Simmons University President's Fund for Faculty Excellence, 2008 OCLC/ALISE Research Grant Award, and a 2010 contractual award from Harvard University Center for Biomedical Informatics. She also received a series of technology grants from EBSCO and HW Wilson from 2011 to 2012. She serves as a consultant for Harvard University Library Usability Project in Fall 2014.

During her sabbatical in academic year 2013-2014, Rong worked as a visiting professor at National Taiwan University and JiangSu University, and a visiting scientist at Harvard/Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Rong is the 2013-2014 Chair of SIG USE (Information Need, Seeking and Use) of Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T). Rong is the Coordinator for Doctoral Studies Committee for 2014-2015. She also advises [email protected] and SCIRRT (Student Chapter of International Relations Round Table).

Rong believes in building connections with students, and she is committed to work with students to find an intellectual point where they “click” — the point for which they get lifelong inspiration and passion for information work.

Rong Tang's Curriculum Vitae

What I Teach

  • LIS 403: Evaluation of Information Services
  • LIS 454: Digital Information Services and Providers
  • LIS 488: Technology for Information Professionals
  • LIS 531Y: Usability and User Experience Research
  • LIS 621: Conducting Research

Research/Creative Activities

Rong’s research interests center around user studies and user behavior research. Her recent projects include collaborative information exploration on Microsoft PixelSense Tabletop, MOOCs in Taiwan and Mainland China, and Eye Tracking Study of Astrophysicists’ Use of Astrophysics Data System.

Current Research Projects

  • Collaborative Information Exploration and Shared Discovery Behavior of Microsoft PixelSense Tabletop
  • MOOCs in Taiwan and Mainland China: A Situational Analysis and Phenomenological Study of Open Education Initiatives
  • User Behavior Analysis and Usability Evaluation of SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System

Research Interest

  • Usability testing and evaluation
  • User studies and needs assessment
  • Collaborative Information Seeking and Shared Discovery
  • Open Education in Asia
  • Mental models of online searching
  • Bibliometrics and citation behavior research

The Evolution of Information Behavior Research: The Dynamics of Intellectual Structure

Professors Tang and Ni have been working on a research project investigating the scholarly discourse of IB research, with a focus on the relationship among various terms used as a part of or a parallel term of information behavior.

Learn more about The Evolution of Information Behavior Research

Mobile News Information Behavior: An Exploratory Diary Study

Over the summer of 2016, Professors Tang and Oh, together with their research assistant Alison Fisher, conducted data collection of an online diary research on mobile news behavior of undergraduate and graduate students in the US. Following the completion of their diary entries, a number of participants were involved in the follow up interviews. In Fall 2016, they continued a second wave of data collection. Currently the diary session is still ongoing.

Learn more about Mobile News Information Behavior