Professor Emeritus of the Information School and leading figure in the information field Tom Wilson has been awarded the ASIS&T (Association for Information Science & Technology) Award of Merit, the Association's highest award, which recognises sustained contributions to the field of information science. The award marks a lifetime of achievements for Professor Wilson, who now joins a list of well-respected figures in information science who have won the award previously.
Asked about winning this prestigious award, Professor Wilson said 'I was very surprised the receive the Award, having been retired since 2000. But, of course, I am delighted to receive it, since there is no higher award in the field.'
Professor Tom D. Wilson has worked in the information field since 1961, holding positions in the public sector, industry, colleges and universities. Following retirement he was awarded title of Professor Emeritus and now Visiting Professor at Leeds University Business School and Senior Professor at the Swedish School of Library and Information Science.
Professor Wilson has made significant contributions to information research, particularly in the areas of information management and information behaviour for over half a century. Professor Wilson has an extensive publications record, with over ninety journal and conference papers: the first recorded in Web of Science, on chain indexing, was published in Library Journal as long ago as 1963 and the most recent, on models of information behaviour, in Information Research last year. His career has thus stretched over more than half-a-century, during which time he has also published almost three-hundred book and software reviews and presented innumerable conference papers around the world. His research has been widely recognised, with the Web of Science recording over 1,800 citations to his publications (and almost 15,000 citations on Google Scholar). He is best known for his work on models of human information behaviour.
In addition to his publications, Professor Wilson has made significant contributions to LIS as the founder and editor of two of the leading journals in the field. In 1980 he founded Social Science Information Studies, which became the International Journal of Information Management in 1985, the change of name reflecting Professor Wilson’s early, and continuing, advocacy of the concept of information management. Then, in 1995, he founded Information Research; an international electronic journal, one of the very first open-access e-journals in LIS and one that he continues to edit to the present day.
Professor Wilson was head of the Department of Information Studies at the University of Sheffield from 1982 to 1997, which in itself is an impressive achievement as the role is typically only undertaken for 4 years. During this time he managed to successfully grow the size of the department and increase student numbers, despite political and economic pressures. Under Professor Wilson’s leadership the department was built up and remains one of the leading information schools in the UK and worldwide.