Professor Tom Wilson
BSc (Econ) (London), PhD (Sheffield), Hon.PhD (Gothenburg), FCLIP
Professor Wilson was a teacher, researcher and, ultimately, Head of Department in the course of his career in the Department. He arrived in Sheffield in 1972 to serve as Principal Investigator for a project on library cooperation funded by the Department of Education and Science, and in late 1973 was appointed to the post of Lecturer to teach on the newly established MA in Information Studies (Social Sciences). (This course was later merged with the MSc in Information Science to become the MSc in Information Management.) In 1982 he was appointed Head of Department and remained in this position until 1997. From 1972 until his retirement in 2000 he carried out research in a variety of areas including information seeking behaviour, information management, business information and technology applications in business and industry. Since retiring he has continued his research career as Associate Director of the AIMTech research group at the Leeds University Business School, and as Visiting Professor, Swedish School of Library and Information Science. In this latter role, he also served as a special advisor to the Rector, Högskolan i Borås. He is also Professor Catedratico Convidado in the Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto, Portugal.
Throughout his career, Professor Wilson was active in professional affairs, serving on bodies such as the Cataloguing Rules Committee, Library Association; British Standards Instition Technical Committee OC/20/4 - UDC; British Library R & D Department, Social Welfare Advisory Group; Sheffield Libraries' Coordinating Committee (Acting Chairman, 1982-88); Aslib Council; British-American Joint Committee on Large-Scale Data Resources for the Social Sciences; Research Resources and Methods Committee and the Human Behaviour and Development Committee Economic and Social Research Council; Advisory Committee for the British Library Bibliographical Services Division; Board of the Society for Information Management; European Association for Library and Information Education and Research (founder and Board member); Heads of Departments and Schools Committee of British Association for Information and Library Education and Research; DfE/BLRDD Committee for the Award of Research Studentships; RAE Panel for Librarianship and Information Management; Humanities Research Board, Librarianship and Information Science Panel; Senior Scholar KALIPER Curriculum Research Project, Association for Library and Information Science Education. He became an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Information Scientists in 1993 and was awarded the ALISE Award for Professional Contribution to Library and Information Education in 2000 - the first and, so far, the only non-US academic to be awarded this honour.
Scholarly communication and professional journalism have been career-long interests of Professor Wilson: early in his career he was Assistant Editor of the Assistant Librarian and he founded the journal Social Science Information Studies in 1980, which he edited until 1985, when the journal was replaced by the International Journal of Information Management, which he continued to edit until 1987. As Head of Department, he converted what had been a departmental newsletter, Information Research News into one of the first, Web-based electronic journals, Information Research, for which he is now Publisher and Editor in Chief. Information Research is now the leading open access journal in the field and one of the highest ranked journals in information science.
In 2005, Professor Wilson was named Filosofie Hedersdoktor (Honorary Ph.D.) of the University of Gothenburg, in recognition of his work in helping to develop library and information research in Sweden and, especially, in his work for the Swedish School of Library and Information Science. In 2010 he was awarded the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa by the University of Murcia, Spain, for his lifetime contributions to information science.