The iSchools conduct ground-breaking research while also preparing the next generation of scholars, researchers and practitioners. The iSchools believe that expertise in all forms of information is required for progress in science, business, education, and culture. This expertise must include understanding of the uses and users of information, the nature of information itself, as well as information technologies and their applications. The iSchools have organized under this charter to pursue common objectives with a collective commitment of resources.
By becoming an iSchools member, your school’s leadership will join thought-leaders worldwide in shaping the teaching and practice of information studies and all related aspects of the field, now and into the future.
The iSchools organization has a place for information schools of all levels and capabilities. Our members range from newly emerging institutions to widely recognized research and teaching powerhouses. The iSchools organization has enjoyed many positive changes recently, and we look forward to many more. Following up on our formal incorporation in 2015, we have established a tiered membership structure that better reflects the makeup and aspiration of our schools. Thanks to a recent surge in membership, we now boast more than 75 schools worldwide. The state of our organization is strong, and we have our members to thank for this.
All information schools are invited to apply for membership using the application forms below.
Member benefits include the following:
- Inclusion in the iSchools directory—the directory is among our website’s most heavily trafficked pages, used by people worldwide to identify iSchools in their area.
- Posting of news and job openings—the iSchools organization is prepared to post your school’s news items and job listings to our website and social media channels, to be viewed by leading information scholars, researchers and practitioners.
- Collaboration with your peers—the iSchools are loosely organized into regional groups that share common interests and concerns. The organization also maintains multiple email lists that enable you and your faculty and staff to confer with colleagues regarding shared challenges and opportunities, regionally and around the world.
- Opportunities for your students—the iSchools organization supports and recognizes student achievement through our annual Doctoral Colloquium and Doctoral Dissertation Award, plus other special contests and mentoring opportunities.
- Displaying the iSchools logo—the iSchools logo on your institution’s home page shows the world that you are a leader in the information field.
- A seat at the table in our annual meetings—iSchools leaders of all levels meet annually to collectively shape the future of the organization, and by extension the future of the information field.
Criteria for being recognized as an iSchool are not rigid, but schools in Tiers 1-3 below are expected to have substantial sponsored research activity, engagement in the training of future researchers (usually through an active, research-oriented doctoral program), and a commitment to progress in the information field. The goal of the membership tiers is to reduce within-tier variations and to make mentorship opportunities easier to establish.
Tier 1 Members (iCaucus)
This is the permanent membership tier of the iCaucus. Many of these institutions are among the founders of the iSchools, others were added on the basis of their similarity to the early group, and all are willing to support the enterprise at the $5000 per annum rate. They all have well-established PhD programs and large amounts of external research money. An institution can only be admitted as a permanent member to Tier 1 by vote of the Tier 1 members. Elected members from other tiers are voting members of the iCaucus while serving their terms.
The following tiers and other categories may be admitted by the Executive Committee acting as the Membership Committee.
Tier 2 Members (mid-level)
This level is based on reasonable degrees of similarity to Tier 1, particularly multiple programs with a broad reach beyond their original core, with known doctoral programs, and with significant research income. These institutions should be able to support the iSchools with dues of $1000 per annum and will elect one representative to the iCaucus for every five institutions in Tier 2. Tier 2 institutions have a reasonable expectation of being able to join Tier 1 at some future time, should they wish.
Tier 3 Members (basic level)
These are institutions having at least a three-year old doctoral program with graduates, substantial external research funding, and a positive reputation. The dues are $500 per annum. Tier 3 institutions are able to elect one representative to the iCaucus for every ten members.
This category is for schools that are new, or may not meet the requirements for other tiers. Associate members pay $300 per annum and have no official representation in the iCaucus, but are included in mailing lists and may participate actively in regional meetings.
Corporate members presumably wish to join the iSchools to recognize the value of member programs and the influence of the iSchools in society at large. Three levels of corporate membership are recognized:
- Corporate Affiliate—$2500 per year; receive iSchools informational updates, listing on the website as a corporate affiliate, and one complementary registration to the annual iConference.
- Corporate Associate—$5000 per year; receive iSchools informational updates, listing on the website as a corporate associate, invitations to internship and collaboration opportunities, and two complementary registrations to the iConference.
- Corporate Sponsor—$10,000 per year; receive iSchools informational updates, listing on the website as a corporate sponsor, invitations to internships, collaboration opportunities, and visiting professors of practice; two complementary registrations to the iConference and one seat at the iCaucus.
Institutions wishing to join the iSchools organization can download the appropriate application form below.
- Form 1: General—this form applies to all schools worldwide except North America.
- Form 2: North America—this form applies to North American institutions only.
After completing the form, change the file name to include the name of your institution (VERY IMPORTANT) and email it directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Questions about applications can be directed to iSchools Executive Director Michael Seadle.
The Executive Committee intends to do rolling admission starting in June 2016 with each application taking approximately 45 days from date of submission.