SILS Alumna Laura Sheble Named Runner-up for iSchools Doctoral Dissertation Award

January 20, 2015

Dr. Laura Sheble (Ph.D. ’14) has been named runner-up for the 2015 iSchools Doctoral Dissertation Award for her dissertation, titled “Diffusion of Meta-Analysis, Systematic Review, and Related Research Synthesis Methods: Patterns, Contexts, and Impact.”  The iSchools organization presents the award annually to honor outstanding work in the information field and to recognize the best dissertations completed at member iSchools in the preceding academic year. First place for 2015 went to Dr.Xinru Page, who earned her Ph.D. at the School of Information and Computer Sciences, University of California, Irvine, for her dissertation, titled “Factors that Influence Adoption and Use of Location-Sharing Social Media.”

Nominations for the award are solicited from all members of the iSchools organization, now 59 institutions worldwide, and judged by a selection committee drawn from leading international schools. The winner receives a prize of $2,500, and the runner up receives $1,000. Both honorees also receive a travel allowance so they can receive their awards at iConference 2015, which takes place March 24-27, 2015, in Newport Beach, California.

Dr. Sheble’s dissertation investigates the diffusion and impact of research synthesis methods. According to a news release from the iSchools organization, the awards selection committee felt the topic was very relevant to the future development of the information fields, with important implications on how the evidence-based research can be conducted and research findings from multiple studies in various fields can be synthesized.

“Laura’s study is one of the first to systematically examine the diffusion, adaptation and impact of research synthesis, which many believe is one of the most important methods in science,” said Dr. Diane Kelly, Professor in the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Dr. Sheble’s dissertation advisor.  “I believe Laura is poised to make important contributions to many different fields, all the while championing the important role that information and library scientists play in research synthesis and meta-analysis.”

Dr. Sheble now works with the Center for Health Equity Research at UNC-Chapel Hill to map use of systems science methods in the health sciences.

More information about the 2015 Doctoral Dissertation Awards, including extended remarks from the selection committee, can be found at