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We investigate how to understand, model, enhance and enable the contextual connections between information, people and their environment.

Understanding these connections will help improve how people and enterprises share, comprehend, use and interact with information.


Human data science

Human data science is about understanding a broad spectrum of enterprise systems from the perspectives of organisations, users and communities. It uses:

  • Abductive, inductive and interpretivist qualitative research methods to understand how people process, interact with and experience information.
  • Information experience design to holistically integrate people, information, context and system.
Foundations of information science

This research theme encompasses two main areas of focus:

  • Human information interaction, which looks at formal and computational models of human information behaviour such as information seeking, interaction and sharing, cognitive information processing, decision making, reasoning with or about information.
  • Research systems, which is a strategic, pragmatic and programmatic information systems (IS) programme of research that seeks insights into how best to systematically and more holistically research contemporary IS phenomena.
Teaching and learning scholarship

Our researchers working in this theme apply a range of methodologies to research teaching and learning. It uses a variety of lenses to examine student experience, advance the scholarly field, and improve our teaching practice.


Academics in our discipline teach across a broad spectrum of topics, including:

  • library and information practice
  • information management
  • social technologies
  • emerging technologies
  • databases
  • business intelligence
  • project management
  • information systems consulting.


Our research has made significant contributions to QUT's Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) ratings. We received a 5 (well above world standard) in information systems, a 4 (above world standard) in data format and a 3 (at world standard) in information and computing sciences.

ERA (Excellence in Research for Australia) evaluates the quality of research undertaken in Australian universities against national and international benchmarks.


A selection of research projects we are currently leading include:

Towards engineering behavioural research design systems

Project leader

Professor Guy Gable



Project summary

Behavioural research is a significant component of the annual spend in Australia on research and development. It is contended that 'best practice' behavioural research methods can be more systematised, transparent and visible to facilitate more complex, integrated and holistic research designs and more cumulative and comparable results. This would enable increased rigor, higher productivity and lower risk than have generally been the experience historically.

This project proposes the formal conceptualisation and modelling of behavioural science research methods, by adapting them to the research design, the well understood concepts, tools and techniques of information systems design.

Australian migrants and information literacy: a qualitative study

Project leaders


Project summary

This project will provide an evidence-based information literacy framework that can be used by government agencies and other community groups to develop information services and programs to meet the needs of migrant Australians. It will help empower Australian migrants to make informed choices to enable them to participate and contribute further to Australia's social, economic and cultural life.

This project is funded by the Australian Research Council in partnership with QUT, University of Southern Queensland and MultiLink Community Services.

Cube3 - The intended Cube, enacted Cube and experienced Cube

Project leaders


Project summary

This project explored the experience of learning in The Cube at QUT amongst high-level managers, project leaders and visitors  to the interactive multi-media display. The Cube is an award-winning configuration that hosts several interactive projects.

Using phenomenography as a research approach, we worked with participants to understand the variation in people’s understandings and lived experiences of learning in this environment during the first twelve months of The Cube being open to visitors.

Learning and information experience of people in The Cube at QUT

Project leaders


Project summary

Completed in The Cube’s second year, the findings of this research extended and deepened our early understandings of visitors’ learning experiences. It provided early insights into the potential of giant interactive environments to enhance learning approaches, and guide the design of innovative learning spaces in higher education.

Our findings could also contribute to the evolving trajectory of phenomenographic studies into learning, exploring informal learning in digitally enriched community spaces associated with a university.

Contextual models of information fusion

Project leader

Professor Peter Bruza



Project summary

The fusion of human-based and physics-based information sources will enhance situation awareness for various tasks such as detection, tracking, classification, prediction, pattern of life or finding multi-entity relationships. However, the information to be fused has different characteristics, in particular, the nature of the uncertainty is different. The core research objective of this project is  to determine how observations with different types of associated uncertainty can be combined so that:

  • uncertainty is suitably assigned numerically to evidence
  • the level of trust in or reliance on a given data source is adequately represented.

This project will diagnose and analyse the prevalence of contextuality in information fusion with regard to decisions of trust. It will also develop models of contextually sensitive information fusion and express them as probabilistic programs for operational deployment and testing.

This project is a collaboration with Dr Jerome Busemeyer (Indiana University) and Professor Samson Abramsky (Oxford University).

Our experts

Our discipline brings together a diverse team of experts who deliver world-class education and achieve breakthroughs in research. We invite you to connect with our staff community.

Our experts

Student topics

Are you looking to study at a higher or more detailed level? We are currently looking for students to research topics at a variety of study levels, including PhD, Masters, Honours or the Vacation Research Experience Scheme (VRES).

Browse student topics


17 Nov 2018


The 2018/19 FIRST LEGO League Season, INTO ORBITSM has launched!

2 Nov 2018

100 years of Anzac

Experience an interactive digital exhibition to learn about our First World War journey to the front, soldier repatriation and return home through stories of events and the historical places.

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