Jens-Erik Mai

About Me (in third person):

Jens-Erik Mai is professor at the University of Copenhagen, Royal School of Library and Information Science in Denmark.


Jens-Erik studies basic questions about the nature of information phenomena in contemporary society; he is concerned with state of privacy and surveillance given new digital media, with classification given the pluralistic nature of meaning and society, and with information and its quality given its pragmatic nature.


His publications includes conceptual constructions as well as methodological and programmatic papers that have helped forward thinking about the organization of information. His publications into the nature of classification have been recognized by Emerald's "Outstanding Paper Award" for "The Modernity of Classification" published in Journal of Documentation and International Society for Knowledge Organization's (ISKO) "Best Paper in KO Award" for "Ethics, Values and Morality in Contemporary Library Classifications" published in Knowledge Organization.


He teaches courses on classification, design of controlled vocabularies, information ethics, privacy and surveillance, knowledge media, and the theoretical foundation of information studies.


Jens-Erik is the editor of Emerald's Studies in Information book series, and is a member of the editorial boards for Knowledge Organization and Aslib Proceedings. He was the general Conference Chair for iConference 2012 held in Toronto and the general Conference Chair for 77th ASIS&T Annual Meeting held in Seattle in Nov. 2014.


Jens-Erik was previously associate professor at the Faculty of Information, University of Toronto, where he also served as Vice Dean and Acting Dean. Prior to that he was a faculty member at the Information School of the University of Washington where he also co-directed the Center for Human-Information Interaction.


He earned his Ph.D. in Library and Information Science from the University of Texas at Austin as a Fulbright Scholar and his Master and Bachelor degrees from the Royal School of Library and Information Science, Denmark.


Jens-Erik lives in a small town north of Copenhagen with his wife Mette Ribergaard Mai and their teenage son.




What I've written:

Links to my papers and talks here.

Find me on Google Scholar.


What I've talked about:

Global and local knowledge at P1 Eftermiddag

Surveillance and Google Books at AK24syv

Wikipedia in Jyllands-Posten

Surveillance in Gymnasieskolen

Information ethics and policy in Perspektiv

Surveillance in Perspektiv


What I teach:

Information and Data in Society [PhD] | Spring 2016

Information Organizing Processes [MA] | Fall 2014 | Spring 2016

Open Data Science [MA] | Spring 2016

Vidensorganisation (Knowledge Organization) [BA] | Fall 2015

Information Ethics: Privacy and Surveillance [MA] | Spring 2015

Vidensmedier (Knowledge Media) [BA] | Fall 2014

Where I've been:

Royal School of Library and Information Science, University of Copenhagen

Professor, 2012 -

Faculty of Information, University of Toronto, Canada

Associate Professor, 2006-2012

Vice Dean, 2006-2009

Acting Dean, Fall 2008

Information School, University of Washington, USA

Assistant Professor, 2000-2006

Co-Director, Center for Human-Information Interaction, 2003-2006

Royal School of Library and Information Science, Denmark

Lecturer, 1996-2000


What I've done:

Ph.D., Library and Information Science, 2000

School of Information, University of Texas at Austin, USA

Master of Library and Information Science, 1994

Royal School of Library and Information Science, Denmark

Librarian (Bachelor degree in LIS), 1992

Royal School of Library and Information Science, Denmark


More information and data: Full CV


2015.11.10 Speaking at ASIS&T 2015 annual meeting ● 2015.10.24 Speaking at Amsterdam Privacy Conference 2015.08.14 Speaking at NordMedia 2015 conference ● 2015.08.12 Opening Glocal KO conference ● 2015.08.11 Interview on the Danish radioshow P1 Eftermiddag about global and local knowledge ● 2015.03.09 Speaking at Archival Bias: Constructing, Coding and Curating Crowdsourced Archives 2015.01.13 Edited issue on privacy and surveillance and introduction to the issue has been published [in Danish]



Jens-Erik Mai


University of Copenhagen

Information Studies

Birketinget 6, 2300 Copenhagen, Denmark

+45 3258 6066,


Editor, Emerald's Studies in Information book series

Chair, Global and Local KO conference