SIS faculty partner with students to offer valuable publishing experience

Deborah Charbonneau, LaTeesa James, Shonee Hightower and Jacqueline Freeman

Wayne State’s Master of Library and Information Science degree has been offered predominately online since fall 2008. And although School of Information Sciences faculty interact with students remotely, they manage to serve as mentors both in and out of the virtual classroom.

One way SIS faculty provide valuable learning opportunities for students is to partner with them in publishing. Associate Professor Deborah Charbonneau has mentored and worked with several SIS students to support their career growth.

“I wanted to provide positive opportunities for students to engage in the scholarly writing and publishing process,” said Charbonneau. “I was pleased these endeavors resulted in a number of faculty-student collaborative publications to date.” 

Charbonneau published two articles with LaTeesa James a 2017 graduate. James currently works as an informationist at the Taubman Health Sciences Library at the University of Michigan.

“Dr. Deborah Charbonneau was my advisor and she made a major impact on my academic journey,” said James. “Giving me the opportunity to learn from her and to graduate with a publication pending, has taught me more than how to write for a scholarly publication. She has been a great example of what it really means to mentor and bring out the best in students."

Charbonneau published the article "Succession planning for Libraries" in the Journal of Library Administration with Jacqueline Freeman, a 2016 alum who, like James, went on to become an Informationist at the Taubman Health Sciences Library at the University of Michigan.

In her most recent collaboration, Charbonneau worked exclusively online with Shonee Hightower, a 2017 graduate who lives in the state of Washington, on “Smartphone apps for cancer: A content analysis of the digital health marketplace,” which was published this year in the journal Digital Health. Hightower is currently an archive associate at Seattle Genetics in Bothell, Washington.  

Hermina Anghelescu and James Van Loon
Hermina Anghelescu and Jim Van Loon

Professor Hermina Anghelescu took a different, but equally impactful, approach – she developed “Citizenship in the Humanities and Social Sciences: a Selective Bibliography, 2000-2009” as a class project where all of the students in the class were listed a co-authors (bibliographers). The bibliography was prepared for Wayne State’s Center for the Study of Citizenship. 

Anghelescu co-edited the publication with Jim Van Loon, a student in the class at the time who later was hired by the WSU Library System. Van Loon worked as the university’s Science and Engineering Librarian for many years and is now a patent examiner for the U.S. Patent Office. The bibliography, published in 2010, continues to be a valuable resource. It was deposited in the WSULS Digital Commons with open access and has been downloaded nearly 11,000 times from all over the world.

“I like to use an entire class's brain power to produce useful things. This collective work is an example. Students learned how to extract relevant information from databases, how to organize their findings and how to produce high-quality work,” said Anghelescu. “For most of them this was their first publication, the first time they saw their name in print. Nobody could have anticipated the success of this bibliography. Occasionally I receive thank you messages from authors included in the bibliography for having acknowledged their work in our product. Nothing can be more rewarding for an instructor.”

Xiangmin Zhang and Kunkun Ma
Xiangmin Zhang and Kunkun Ma

Anghelescu more recently collaborated with Associate Professor Xiangmin Zhang and 2019 visiting Ph.D. student Kunkun Ma, along with her supervisor in China, on the publication “Content-based Recommendations for Deep Digital Reading,” published in the Journal of Library and Information Service (in Chinese).

Zhang says that one challenge he faced while mentoring students is to “try hard not to let the mentee write down every single word you say,” in order to encourage them to become independent in their research.

Kafi Kumasi and Nichole Manlove
Kafi Kumasi and Nichole Manlove

Associate Professor Kafi Kumasi, who co-published the article “Finding ‘Diversity Levers’ in the Core Library and Information Science Curriculum: A Social Justice Imperative” with former Diversity Graduate Student Assistant Nichole Manlove, agrees with Zhang.

“The challenge for me was to provide Nichole enough guidance to learn the nuts and bolts of designing a study but also give her room to express her ideas and gather literature and resources reflecting her knowledge and skills as well,” said Kumasi. “I think we struck a nice balance and I am proud to have been able to publish a journal article with one of our Diversity GSA's on a topic that closely relates to issues of diversity in the library and information science curriculum.” 

Students who are interested in pursuing co-publishing opportunities are encouraged to contact their instructors or advisors.  

For a complete list of faculty publications, please click on the links in the article or visit

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