Rob Capra

McColl Term Associate Professor, UNC School of Library and Information Science
Manning Hall 210
Pronouns: He/Him/His


Faculty Expertise:

Human-computer interaction, personal information management, digital information seeking behaviors, tools, and interfaces

BS, MS (Computer Science), Washington University
PhD (Computer Science), Virginia Tech

Dr. Robert Capra is an Associate Professor at the UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS). His research interests include human-computer interaction, personal information management, and interactive information systems. In his research, he studies how people search for information in different contexts and develops innovative tools to support users’ search needs. 

Dr. Capra holds a PhD in Computer Science from Virginia Tech and MS and BS degrees in Computer Science from Washington University in St. Louis. At Virginia Tech, he was part of the Center for Human-Computer Interaction where he investigated multi-platform interfaces, information re-finding, and interfaces for digital libraries. Prior to Virginia Tech, he worked in corporate research and development, spending five years in the Speech and Language Technologies group at SBC Communications (now merged with AT&T Labs) where he focused on voice user interfaces, speech recognition, and natural language processing.

In 2016, Dr. Capra received an NSF CAREER Award to support a project titled “Knowledge Representation and Re-Use for Exploratory and Collaborative Search.” In 2017, he and SILS Associate Professor Jaime Arguello were awarded an NSF grant worth nearly $500,000 to develop and evaluate systems that will automatically display relevant search trails as a form of search assistance to users.

Courses Regularly Taught: 
INLS 523 – Database Systems I
INLS 690 – Usability Testing and Evaluation
INLS 760 – Web Databases
INLS 994 – Doctoral Research

Awards and Recognition:
ECIR Best Paper Award, 2017
Deborah Barreau Award for Teaching Excellence: Faculty Award, UNC SILS, 2013
Best Poster Award, ASIS&T Annual Meeting, 2010

Selected Publications, Papers, Presentations: 
Shah, C., Capra, R., & Hansen, P. (2017). Research agenda for social and collaborative information seeking. Library & Information Science Research 32(2), 140-146.

Arguello, J., & Capra, R. (2016). The effects of aggregated search coherence on search behavior. ACM Transactions on Information Systems 35(1), Article 2, 30 pages.

Capra, R., Arguello, J., and Zhang, Y. (2017). The effects of search task determinability on search behavior. In Proceedings of the European Conference on Information Retrieval (ECIR ’17), Aberdeen, Scotland, 108-121. (27% acceptance rate; Best Paper Award)

Crescenzi, A., Capra, R., & Arguello, J. (2017). Time limits, information search and the use of search assistance. In Proceedings of the Conference on Conference Human Information Interaction and Retrieval (CHIIR '17), Oslo, Norway, 349-352.

Jones, W., Capra, R., Diekema, A., Teevan, J., Perez-Quinones, M., Dinneen, J., and Hemminger, B. (2015). "For Telling" the Present: Using the Delphi Method to Understand Personal Information Management Practices. In Proc. 33rd Annual Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '15).  ACM, New York, 3513-3522.

Capra, R., Arguello, J., and Scholer, F. (2013).  Augmenting web search surrogates with images.  In Proc. 22nd ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (CIKM ’13).  ACM, New York, 399-408.

Arguello, J., Capra, R., and Wu, W. (2013).  Factors affecting aggregated search coherence.  In Proc. 22nd ACM Int. Conf. on Information and Knowledge Management (CIKM ’13).  ACM, New York, 1989-1998.

Capra, R., Chen, A. T., McArthur, E., and Davis, N.  (2013). Searcher Actions and Strategies in Asynchronous Collaborative Search.  In Proc. Am. Society for Information Science and Technology, Volume 50, Paper 91, 10 pages.

Capra, R., Khanova, J., Ramdeen, S. (2013). Work and Personal E-mail Use by University Employees:  PIM Practices Across Domain Boundaries.  Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 64(5): 1029-1044.

Video content: UNC SILS: On the Cutting Edge of Information Science

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