Fidelia Ibekwe

Full Professor of Information & Communication Studies
School of Communication & Journalism (EJCAM)
Aix-Marseille University - Marseille FRANCE
Contact me: fidelia.ibekwe-sanjuan{at}



You wouldn't believe it but I started off as a Literatures major. I love reading novels. Amongst my favorite classics are predictably Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Shakespeare, D.H Lawrence, Tolstoi, Zola, Balzac, Stendhal... plus other unmentionable authors ;-).
After my Masters' degree studying Stendhal's 'La Chartreuse de Parme', I decided a career change was overdue. So I switched over to Information and Communication Studies in which I obtained an M.Phil (french DEA) in Library & Information science and Automatic documentation, and subsequently a Ph.D.
After several years as Associate Professor of Information & Communication Sciences, I went on to defend my Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches, the highest university degree and in the french higher education system, it enables you to officially direct doctoral students and become a Full Professor.
I have
taught in different higher education institutions in France: University of Le Havre between 1996-1998; University of Lorraine (formerly Nancy 2) between 1998-2001; University of Lyon3 between 2001-2014. I am currently at Aix-Marseille University as Full Professor.

I am fully fluent in English &
French. I hope to learn Italian and classical music theory when I'm retired ;-)


2014- : Full Professor, School of Journalism & Communication, Aix-Marseille University, France.
2001 – 2014: Associate Professor in Information Science, University of Lyon3, France.
2007-2009: Visiting Research Scholar, College of Information Science & Technology, Drexel University, Philadelphia, USA.
1998-2001: Associate Professor in Information Science, University of Nancy2, France.
1996-1998: ATER (Adjunct Professor), Institute of Technology, University of LeHavre, France.
1997: Ph.D. in Information Science, University of Stenhdal, Grenoble France.
1989: M.A. in French Literature, University of Stendhal, Grenoble France.
1988: B.A. in Foreign Languages & Literatures, University of Port-Harcourt, Nigeria


My research interests span a wide array of topics going from Human-Language Technology (HLT) for various applications - Natural Language Processing (NLP) to Terminology Engineering, Knowledge Acquisition from Texts, Text Mining, to more conceptual and analytical subjects such as Epistemology & History of Science, Science and Technology studies (STS), Uses of technology, Big Data and Open Data, the participatory paradigms of web 2.0.

If I were to draw a list, I might include the following:
•    Information & Communication Sciences theories
•    History and Foundations of Library & Information Science
•    Usage of ICTs (Information and Communication Technology)
•    Impact of technology on science and society
•    Big Data, Open Data and Web 2.0
•    Epistemology and history of science (Science and Technology Studies)
•    Information retrieval
•    Textmining
•    Knowledge acquisition & representation from texts
•    Human Language Technology Evaluation


My teaching reflects my research: it spans a wide array of subjects in the broad fields of Library, Documentation & Information Studies; Information & Communication Sciences; Media Studies. Amongst the topics I've taught classes on or that I will be teaching in the near future are:
•    Information & Communication science theories
•    Usage of ICTs (Information and Communication Technology)
•    New Journalism (Citizen, Data and Participatory journalism)
•    History and Foundation of Library & Information Science
•    Documentation theories, techniques & tools
•    Electronic Document Management (EDM)
•    Content Management (CMS)
•    Records Management (RM)
•    Computational Terminology
•    Text mining & data analysis, bibliometrics, informetrics, Information retrieval
•    Metadata, Indexing
•    Knowledge organisation (thesaurus, specialised lexicons,...)

I'm keen to embrace new horizons as I go along in order to learn as I grow old and ripen like old wine...


I co-developed a text mining platform called TermWatch which takes in a corpus of electronic texts, runs them through programs that perform
(1) term-extraction
(2) term-filtering
(3) syntactic and semantic variant identification
(4) hierarchical clustering using our own home-grown hierarchical clustering algorithm (CPCL).

The result can be viewed in two ways:
i) as an HTML navigational database;
ii) in a graph form using an external  Information Visualization package.


2012-2014: Recipient of the New Leader award from the American Society for Information Science & Technology (ASIST).
2013-2017 : Recipient of the Research Excellence Award (Prime d'Excellence Scientifique) from the French Ministry of Higher Education.


Editorial offices
2017- till present: I am the Editor in Chief of the journal Education for Information. An Interdisciplinary Journal in Information Studies.

I served as committee member for the French National Commission for Information & Communication Sciences (CNU 71ème) in the college of Associate Professors (B)
2015-2019 : served as committee member for the French National Commission for Information & Communication Sciences (CNU 71ème) in the college of Professors (A).

Learned societies
I  have been active member of the following scientific societies:
Association for Information Science & Technology (ASIST) (formerly the American Society for Information Science & Technology)
International Society for Knowledge Organization
Société Française des Sciences de l'Information et de la Communication

Funded projects
I was co-PI of the following funded project:
2018-2020 : OKA (Open Knowledge Appropriations) funded by Aix-Marseille Research Excellence Initiative Scheme (AMI*DEX)
I was Principal Investigator (PI) of the following funded projects:
2013–2014:  BOLD (Big Open Linked Data).
2010–2012:  EPICIC (Comparative Epistemology of the  concepts of Information – Communication in scientific disciplines).

Peer reviewing
I have served as reviewer of proposals for funded projects for the French National Agency for Research Funding (ANR), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and the Defence R&D Canada Technology Investment Fund (DRDC–TIF).

I serve as occasional reveiwer for some peer-reviewed journals:
Journal of Documentation (Emerald Insight)
Education for Information
Knowledge Organization (Ergon-Verlag)

Pattern Recognition Letters (Elsevier)
Neurocomputing (Elsevier)

I have served as Program Committee (PC) member for various conferences (list here).