Luanne Freund
  • Image by Thomas Guignard (Flickr) under a CC-BY-NC-SA license.

about me

My areas of research interest are human information interaction in digital environments; pragmatic and task-based approaches to information searching; workplace search; document genres; the relationship between tasks and genres in information practices; and LIS education and scholarship.

I joined the iSchool at UBC in 2007. I hold a PhD from the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto, an MLS degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, an MA (Russian history) from Carleton University, and a BA from the University of Toronto. I am currently Chair of Doctoral Studies at the iSchool.


Luanne Freund, Associate Professor
School of Library, Archival and Information Studies, University of British Columbia
Suite 470 - 1961 East Mall
Vancouver BC V6T 1Z1
Tel.: 604-822-0825, Fax: 604-822-6006


I am a member of the Digital Information Interaction Group (DiiG) at the iSchool.


Graphics, Animation and New Media - A Network Centre of Excellence

I am a Network investigator for the NCE Grand, and working on the the NGAIA - Next Generation Information Access Project, the NEWS Project, and the MEOW Project. I am project co-leader for the NGAIA project.

Funding Agencies: SSHRC/NSERC - $147,000 (2010-2013)



E-informing the public: a genre-based approach to information interaction in digital government

I am PI on a multi-year study investigating the information interactions between government information producers and public information consumers from the perspective of genre theory. The aim is twofold: to inform the design of strategies and tools to facilitate access to and use of digital government information, and to validate and extend to the public domain a novel approach to information retrieval based on the relationships between tasks and genres. This work will focus on the case of digital government at the Canadian federal level.

Funding Agency: SSHRC - $122,000 (2009-2013)



Systematic Review of Imposed Search Tasks

People’s search behaviors vary widely. It’s likely that some of this variation is not related to differences in the characteristics of individual searchers (e.g., domain knowledge or search expertise), but is instead due to differences in the tasks that they are trying to accomplish. Through a systematic review of prior research, we hope to gain a better understanding of the types of search tasks that have been imposed in studies of searching behaviors and evaluations of information retrieval (IR) systems, and the potential influence of those search tasks on study/evaluation outcomes.

Co-Investigators: Barbara Wildemuth, Elaine Toms.


Designing Digital Information Use Environments to support Academic Work

Our goal in this study was to discover ways of enhancing the interactive experience and scholarly utility of digital information environments for academic use. We explored how users read and engage with digital materials in order to identify new ways to present and support interaction with these materials.
Funding Agency: UBC Hampton Fund, Amount $20,000 (2009-2012)

Co-Investigators: Heather O'Brien & Rick Kopak


Learning from our Students: Assessing student perceptions of information studies programs and the information professions

This project studied student perceptions of their education and their professions. We were interested in how perceptions change over time, across different areas of specialization, and across institutions.
Funding Agency: Association for Library and Information Science Education, $5,000. (2008)
Co-investigators: Joan Cherry & Wendy Duff, University of Toronto .



LIBR 503 - Foundations of Information Sources and Services - description

LIBR 530 - Subject-Based Infomation Services - description

LIBR 557 - Information Retrieval Concepts and Practice - description

LIBR 539J - Data Sources in the Public Domain - description

LIBR 610 - Theoretical and Research Foundations - description

doctoral students

Colleen Addison, 2011 - (Supervisor)

Weimei Pan, 2012- (Committee Member)

Sarah Gilbert, 2012 - (Committee Member)

Justyna Berzowska, 2009 - 2012 (Supervisor)

Jean McKendry, completed 2013 (Co-Supervisor)

Talal Alhaji, completed 2012 (committee member)

Lei Zhang, completed 2011 (committee member)

Saad Alzahrani, completed 2010 (committee member)

Selected Publications

Freund, L. (2013) A cross-domain analysis of task and genre effects on perceptions of usefulness. Information Processing and Management.49(5), 1108-1121.


Cherry, J., Freund, L. & Duff, W. (2013) Student Perceptions of Information Programs in Canada. Journal of Education for Library and Information Science . 54(3),174-190.


Wildemuth, B.M., Freund, L. & Toms, E.G. (2013) Designing known-item and fact-finding search tasks for studies of interactive information retrieval. ASIST European Workshop, 131-162. link


Wildemuth, B.M. & Freund, L. (2012). Assigning search tasks designed to elicit exploratory search behaviors. Human Computer Information Retrieval (HCIR) Symposium, Cambridge, MA, 2012. link


Cherry, J.M., Duff, W.M., Singh, N., & Freund, L. (2011) Student perceptions of their master's program in information studies and the information professions: A longitudinal study. Library & Information Science Research , 33(2), 120-131.


Kopak, R., Freund, L. & O'Brien, H.L. (2011) Digital Information Interaction as Semantic Navigation in Innovations in IR: Perspectives for Theory and Practice , eds. Allen Foster and Pauline Rafferty. Facet Publishing.


Freund, L. (2010). Genre searching: a pragmatic approach to information retrieval in The Janus Faced Scholar, a Festschrift in Honour of Peter Ingwersen. Special volume of the e-zine of the International Society for Scientometrics and Informetrics, 6, 35-42.


Freund, L. & Berzowska, J. (2010). The Goldilocks effect: task-centred assessments of e-government information. 72 nd Annual Meeting of the American Society for Information Science & Technology, Pittsburgh, PA . link


Westman, S. & Freund, L. (2010) Information interaction in 140 characters or less: genres on Twitter. Information Interaction in Context (IIiX), New Brunswick, NJ, August 18-22.


Freund, L. & Butterworth, R. (2008) Tagging for Use: an analysis of use-centred resource description. Information Interaction in Context (IIiX), London, UK, October 2008.


Freund, L. & Nilsen, C. (2008) Assessing a genre-based approach to online government information. Annual Conference of the Canadian Association for Information Science, Vancouver, B.C., June 2008. link


Freund, L. (2008) Situating relevance through task-genre relationships. Bulletin for the American Society for Information Science and Technology , 34 (5), 23-26.


Freund, L. & Toms, E.G. (2007) Revisiting informativeness as a process measure for information interaction. Web Information Seeking and Interaction Workshop at the 30th Annual International ACM SIGIR Conference, Amsterdam, Netherlands. link


Freund, L., Clarke, C.L.A. & Toms, E.G. (2006) Towards genre classification for IR in the workplace. Information Interaction in Context (IIiX), Copenhagen, Denmark, October 2006.


Freund, L., Toms, E.G. & Clarke, C.L.A. (2005) Modeling task-genre relationships for IR in the workplace. Annual International ACM SIGIR Conference, Salvador, Brazil.


Toms, E.G., O'Brien, H.L.O., Kopak, R. & Freund, L. (2005) Searching for relevance in the relevance of search. In F. Crestani and I. Ruthven (eds.), Context: nature, impact, and role: COLIS 5: Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Conceptions of Library and Information Sciences (Glasgow, UK, June 5-8), pp. 59-78. Lecture Notes in Computer Science 3507.


My wonderful boys.