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Research Guides

Critical Information Policy Studies

This overview to key topics & resources for the CIPS concentration in the Master of Information program at the iSchool, University of Toronto gives an introduction to this area, and may be helpful for those who are considering studies in this field.

About CIPS

What is CIPS?

Critical Information Policy Studies (CIPS) is one of the seven concentrations within the Master of Information program at the Faculty of Information (iSchool) at the University of Toronto. This LibGuide is an introduction to resources in this field.

  • Students gain an understanding of the relationships between information and social transformation or entrenchment.
  • They will develop an understanding of the mutual relationships between information systems and their political, economic, historical, and cultural contexts. 
  • They engage with ways that information and information processes are shaped by society.
  • Students study the social, institutional, political, legal, and economic roles of information and knowledge in public life.

For more on the CIPS concentration:  |  ​Watch a video (below) describing the CIPS concentration.

CIPS professionals

CIPS professionals identify, critically describe, and interpret all aspects of the information life-cycle within the full range of social contexts.  They work within the public and private sectors to ensure the creation of beneficial policies, programs, and strategies. There are many kinds of employment opportunities.  See the Careers section of


CIPS encompasses topics such as: the digital divide, open data, open government, data protection, privacy, intellectual property, surveillance, cybersecurity, telecommunication policy, copyright, consumer rights, as well as how forms of new media, new distribution channels and delivery systems are changing things at the individual, organization, and societal level.  Critical investigation of practices include: the use of body scanners, cloud computing, Google Street View, social networking, and the emerging technologies upon which we increasingly rely.


This guide is maintained by Nalini K. SinghInforum librarian. To suggest resources for inclusion, please contact  
It is based on guide created by Carolyn Pecoskie, MI candidate (2014–2016), as an iSchool Student Assistantship project under the guidance of Professor Leslie Regan Shade.   Recent updates: Alicia Lee, TALInt Student: 2020/2021, Madison Stoner, Inforum Student Assistant: 2019/2020 & Elyse Hill, Inforum Student Assistant:  2018/2019