Shimelis Getu Assefa

Associate Professor

  • Faculty
  • Morgridge College of Education

What I do

Through information, data, and technology, I prepare future leaders and amplify the impact of research for societal benefit.


Information science<br>Information retrieval<br>Library technologies<br>Data Science

Professional Biography

Shimelis Assefa is Associate Professor in the Department of Research Methods and Information Science, Morgridge College of Education, University of Denver. He teaches in the Library & Information Science (LIS) program in information science and technology. His research interests focus on the borderline between information science, data science, knowledge diffusion, and technology. He is primarily interested in the diffusion of knowledge from research to practice, national innovation systems, and the role of data (big data) for development and well-being in the context of Africa. His research outputs are published in peer-reviewed journals, conference proceedings, books, book chapters, and presented his work at national and international conferences.

Dr. Assefa brings more than 20 years of combined international experience as a systems librarian, lecturer, network administrator, and faculty. He received his B.Sc. in Library & Information Science (major) and Computer Science (minor), a Master of Science in Information Science, both from Addis Ababa University (Ethiopia). His doctorate is from the University of North Texas, Denton, in Information Science. He is a recipient of multiple international fellowships to study in South Africa, U.K, and the U.S.A


  • Certificate, Teaching and Learning, University of Denver, 2012
  • Ph.D., Information Science, University of North Texas, 2007
  • Certificate, Computer networking, Microsoft, 2003
  • Certificate, Medical Informatics, Fogarty International Center/New England Medical Center, 2001
  • Certificate, Library Management System, University of East Anglia, 2000
  • Certificate, Backbone Internetworking, Internet Society, 1999
  • MS, Information Science, Addis Ababa University, 1998
  • BS, Library and Information Science, Addis Ababa University, 1994

Licensure / Accreditations

  • The Data Scientist's Toolbox
  • Microsoft Certified Professional
  • International Training in Medical Informatics
  • Library Management System
  • Training on developing materials using digital techniques for medical education
  • Backbone Internetworking Training

Professional Affiliations

  • American Society for Information Science and Technology
  • Association for Library and Information Science Education


One strand of my research focuses on methods, models, and best practices of diffusion of scientific knowledge from upstream research institutions to downstream knowledge consumers, the public. Through the diffusion of knowledge, I investigate the characteristics of national and regional innovation systems and innovation clusters in promoting economic progress and improved human conditions. The second strand of my research agenda focuses on data for development and data for well-being. Using the UN Sustainable Development Goals as a baseline, I investigate big data as infrastructure to support development activities and as an input to evaluate and monitor the attainment of the numerous goals and indicators in agriculture and healthcare - all in the context of Africa.

Areas of Research

Knowledge production
Knowledge diffusion
national and regional innovation systems
data science
learning technologies.


Assefa, S. G. (2017). Data and Information Literacy: Achieving Sustainable Development Goals in Africa. 2nd African Library and Information Associations and Institutions Conference & 4th Africa Library Summit. Yaoundé, Cameroon: 2nd African Library and Information Associations and Institutions (AfLIA).
Assefa, S. G. (2016). Research and Scientific Impact. Ethiopia: Mekelle Institute of Technology, Mekelle University.
Assefa, S. G., & Olmos, A. (2014). Technology in Education: The measure of success. American Evaluation Association Annual Conference. Denver, CO: American Evaluation Association.
Assefa, S. G., Alemneh, D. G., & Rorissa, A. (2013). Diffusion of scientific knowledge in agriculture: The case for Africa. International Association of Agricultural Information Specialists World Congress. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University.
Assefa, S. G., Alemneh, D. G., & Rorissa, A. (2012). Content divide: Africa and the global knowledge footprint. 75th Annual Meeting of the Association for Information Science and Technology. Baltimore, MD.