Intentionally designed to be interdisciplinary programs, schools of information (iSchools) do not have a singular identity. Instead, their identities are a proud amalgam of various disciplines including, but not limited to, library science, data science, UI/UX design, public policy and entrepreneurship.
We founded The iSchool Review for two reasons, one concrete and one abstract. Concretely, it is to showcase thought-provoking content that would otherwise be confined to the classroom. Abstractly, it is to address a question that speaks to the interdisciplinary nature of iSchools: “What is a school of information?” Importantly, though, instead of us—the editors—providing an answer, we seek to empower you—our readers—to formulate your own answers. We invite you to do so by engaging with the original works that comprise this inaugural issue.
As reflections of the interdisciplinary curriculums at iSchools throughout the world, the pieces herein simultaneously occupy their own space and converse with each other. The same is (and will continue to be) true of the publication at large - each issue will stand alone while reflexively connecting to previous (and future) issues. Thus, we see The iSchool Review as a vehicle to stitch individual patches into a holistic quilt.
Before you get “behind the wheel” of the vehicle, though, we thought it best to provide some insight about what is “under the hood”. Each piece published was subject to a rigorous selection process overseen by the student editorial board and the faculty advisory committee. Upon being selected, each work went through several rounds of back-and-forth edits. Then, each author, or group of authors, had to secure an endorsement from a faculty member at their affiliated academic institution; and while we acknowledge that the requirement to include a faculty endorsement might be a barrier that prevents some people from submitting, we think, given the nascent stage of this publication, it is crucial that each work is validated by (i.e. has a “stamp of approval” from) a source beyond the editorial board.
We also think it is crucial that each user’s reading experience is genuinely enjoyable. As such, we designed for both mobile compatibility and accessibility. But, like iSchools themselves, The iSchool Review will continue to evolve as new technologies and new problems enter our world. We hope that you will be part of this ever-evolving journey.