Rachel Simons, PhD

Rachel Simons

Assistant Professor

Office: SH 407
Phone: 940-898-2666


PhD, The University of Texas at Austin, Information Studies
MA, The University of Georgia, Comparative Literature
BA, The University of Georgia, Comparative Literature

Research Interests

Diversity, justice, and ethics issues in information and communication technology (ICT) development, education, and employment; collaborative video game design work; gender and race studies in library and information studies; computer-supported cooperative work; feminist science and technology studies.


Dr. Simons’ research centers on diversity and ethics issues in both the use of information and communication technology (ICT) and in ICT development, including a growing focus in community informatics. Her dissertation research analyzes the effects of organizational structure and cooperative computer work tool selection on diversity within everyday video game design work and makes concrete suggestions for better supporting individuals from marginalized and underrepresented groups within this field. Rachel has also examined the impact of gender-based harassment on social media and the use of crowdsourcing to improve machine-learning approaches to generating image captions for people who are blind and/or have low vision. She has previously been involved with projects related to improving university-level ethics education for information and computation professionals and supporting curricula for teaching future social media professionals within MLS programs.

Selected Publications

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Simons, R. N., Gurari, D., & Fleischmann, K. R. 2020. "I Hope This Is Helpful": Understanding Crowdworkers' Challenges and Motivations for an Image Description Task. PACM-HCI, Volume 4, Issue CSCW2. https://doi.org/10.1145/3415176.

Simons, R. N., Fleischmann, K. R., & Roy, L. 2020. Leveling the playing field in ICT design:
Transcending knowledge roles by balancing division and privileging of knowledges. The Information Society, 36 (4), 183-198, doi: 10.1080/01972243.2020.1762270

Roy, L. & Simons, R. N. 2017. Tradition and Transition: The Journey of an iSchool Deep in the Heart of Texas. DESIDOC Journal of Library & Information Technology. 37(1). 3-8.

Simons, R. N., Ocepek, M. G., & Barker, L. J. 2016. Teaching Tweeting: Recommendations for Teaching Social Media Work in LIS and MSIS Programs. J. of Education for Library and Information Science. 57(1). 21-30. https://www.utpjournals.press/doi/abs/10.3138/jelis.57.1.21

Refereed Conference Proceedings

De La Rosa, S., Simons, R. N., & Elkins, A. October 2021. Teaching with Color: Calling in White Faculty to Address Whiteness in the LIS Curriculum. Proceedings of ASIS&T 2021 Annual Meeting

Simons, R. N., Girard, R., & Elkins, A. 2020. Supporting Inclusive Gaming Communities Through Fostering Online-Offline Hybrid Spaces. Proceedings of ASIS&T 2020 Annual Meeting. https://asistdl.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/pra2.394

Simons, R. N. 2019. Good Systems: Ethical AI for CSCW. ACM Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW).

Simons, R.N. Organizational Structure and Support for Diversity in Video Game Design Work. 2019 iConference. March 2019. Washington, D.C.

Simons, R.N., Fleischmann, K. R., Zhang, Y., Gao, J., & Xie, B. 2017. Patient Portals and Human Values. Proceedings of ASIS&T 2017 Annual Meeting (pp. 373-382). https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/pra2.2017.14505401041

Simons, R.N. & Fleischmann, K. R. 2017. The Role of Diversity in a Video Game Design Program. Proceedings of ASIS&T 2017 Annual Meeting (pp. 800-801). https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/pra2.2017.14505401162

Simons, R.N. 2016. Considering Diversity in Collaborative Video Game Design Work. ACM CHI PLAY '16 Extended Abstracts. Austin, TX, USA. http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2968120.2987749

Simons, R.N. 2015. Addressing Gender-Based Harassment in Social Media: A Call to Action. Proceedings of the 2015 iConference (pp. 1-6). http://hdl.handle.net/2142/73743

Juried Conference/Workshop Presentations

Simons, R. N. & Koltai, K. March 2020. Best practices of collaborative course development: Lessons learned by design. Public Interest Technology University Network (PIT-UN) Conference on Undergraduate Informatics Education. Austin, Texas.

Simons, R.N.  May 2019. Collaborative Video Game Design Work and Diversity. ACM CHI 2019 Doctoral Consortium. Glasgow, Scotland, UK.

Simons, R.N. November 2018. Supporting Diversity in Collaborative, Technology-Enabled Design Work. ASIS&T 2018 SIG-SI, SIG-IEP, SIG-SM Research Symposium. Vancouver, Canada.

Simons, R.N., Fleischmann, K.R., & Roy, L. October 2017. Leveling the Playing Field in Video Game Design: Transcending Knowledge Roles by Removing Divisions Among and Privileging of Knowledges. ASIS&T 2017 SIG-SI Research Symposium. Washington, D.C.

Barker L.J., Broussard R., Buchanan S., Carter, D., Gruning, J., Gursoy, A., Kazim N., Moon, E., Ocepek, M., Simons, R.N. March 2015. 21st Century Information Workers: What Core Competencies Should MSIS Students Learn? (Panel). iConference 2015. Newport Beach, CA.

Invited Colloquia

Collaborative Video Game Design Work and Diversity. November 2018. ASIS&T 2018 Doctoral Colloquium. Vancouver, Canada.

Collaborative Video Game Design Work and Diversity. September 2018. Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing Doctoral Colloquium . Orlando, FL.

2018 iSchool Inclusion Institute BUILD Summit. July 2018. University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA.

Collaborative Video Game Design Work and Diversity. October 2017. ASIS&T 2017 Doctoral Colloquium. Washington, D.C.

Page last updated 8:32 AM, October 6, 2021