School of Information

Yan Zhang
Associate Professor
School of Information
The University of Texas at Austin

yanz [at]

Work phone:
(512) 471-9448

Mailing address:
The University of Texas at Austin
School of Information
1616 Guadalupe Suite #5.202
Austin, TX 78701-1213

UTA 5.416

About me

My research centers on consumer health information needs and information search behavior, with a focus on their evaluation of the quality and credibility of online health information and the impact of contextual factors (e.g., tasks) on search behaviors. I am also interested in designing user-centered information interventions to help users more effectively access high-quality online health information.


Ph.D. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Information and Library Science, 2009
M.S. University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Information Science, 2004
B.S. Nanjing University, China, Information Management and Systems, 2001

Professional Experience

Associate Professor, School of Information, University of Texas at Austin, 2016 - present
Faculty Affiliate, UT-Austin Center for Health Communication, 2021 - present
Faculty Affiliate, UT-Austin Texas Aging and Longevity Center, 2019 - present
Assistant Professor, School of Information, University of Texas at Austin, 2009 - 2016
Teaching Fellow, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2008-2009
Research Assistant, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2005-2008
User Experience Intern, IBM Software Group, RTP, NC, Summer 2007, 2008
Research Assistant, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 2002-2005


2021.11.22: New journal article in JMIR-Cancer Zhang, Y., Yi, S., Trace, C. B., & Williams-Brown, M. Y. (Accepted). Understanding ovarian cancer patients' information needs about genetic testing to inform intervention design. JMIR Cancer. With PhD student Siqi Yi and faculty colleagues Drs. Ciaran B. Trace and Yvette Williams-Brown.

2021.11.9: New upcoming conference paper Bautista, J.R., Zhang, Y., Gwizdka, J. (accepted, 2021). Professional identity and perceived crisis severity as antecedents of healthcare professionals’ responses to health misinformation on social media. With Postdoctoral fellow John Robert Bautista and iSchool colleague Dr.Jacek Gwizdka to appear in iConference’2022.

2021.10.10: Conference paper receives the ASIS&T SIGUSE Best Paper Award Chang, Y-S., Zhang, Y., Gwizdka, J. (2021). Predicting Surrogates’ Health Information Seeking Behavior via Information Source and Information Evaluation. ASIST2021 Annual Conference. With PhD student Yung-Sheng Chang and colleague Dr. Jacek Gwizdka.

2021.10.1: New journal article in JASIST The quality of health and wellness self-tracking data: A consumer perspective. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology. DOI: 10.1002/asi.24591. With faculty colleague Dr. Ciaran B. Trace.