Melissa Ocepek

Melissa Ocepek

Assistant Professor

PhD, Information Studies, University of Texas at Austin

Research focus

Everyday information behavior, information behavior, cultural theory, critical theory, food studies, leisure studies, and ethnography.


Melissa Ocepek is an assistant professor at the School of Information Sciences. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin School of Information. Her research interests include everyday information behavior, critical and cultural theory, and qualitative methods. She has a B.A. in Political Science and Sociology from Pepperdine University where she was also involved in the school's debate program. 

Much of her work has addressed the intersection of information and culture with a strong emphasis on food. She has published two books on this topic, Food in the Internet Age and Formal and Informal Approaches to Food Policy, with her coauthors William Aspray and George Royer. 

Her current research focus addresses the totality of everyday life by exploring information behaviors across life contexts through shadowing and participant observation. 

Office hours

Tuesdays 1:00-3:00 p.m.

Publications & Papers

Ocepek, M. G., & Westbrook, L. (2015). Question, answer, compare: A cross-category comparison of answers on Q&A websites. New Review of Hypermedia & Multimedia, 21(3-4), 212-226.

Ocepek, M. G., Karadkar, U., & Aspray, W. (2015). A perspective on the larger world: Newspaper coverage of national and international events in three small US cities, 1870 – 1920. Information & Culture: A Journal of History, 50(3), 417-440.

Royer G., Ocepek, M. G., & Aspray, W. (2015). Food fights for freedom: A critical reading of food advertisements from Ladies’ Home Journal during the Second World War. Advertising & Society Review, 15(4).

Kim, Y., Briley, D. A., & Ocepek, M. G. (2015). Differential innovation of smartphone and application use by sociodemographics and personality computers in human behavior. Computers in Human Behavior, 44, 141-147 .

Aspray, W., Ocepek, M. G., & Royer, G. (2014). On cars and food: Reflections on sources for the historical study of everyday information behavior. Information & Culture: A Journal of History, 49(4), 492-525.

Aspray, W., Royer, G., & Ocepek, M. G. (2014). Formal and Informal Approaches to Food Policy. New York: Springer.

Ocepek, M. G., Aspray, W., & Royer, G. (2014). The incidental impact of First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy on the revival of French food in America. Food Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 3(2), 11-19.

Aspray, W., Ocepek, M. G., & Royer, G. (2013). America eats out: An interdisciplinary study of American eating habits from colonial to modern times. Americana, 9(2).

Aspray, W., Royer, G., & Ocepek, M. G. (2013). Food in the Internet age. New York: Springer.



Ocepek, M. G. (2016, October). Shopping for Sources: An Everyday Information Behavior Exploration of Grocery Shoppers' Information Sources. Poster presented at 2016 Annual Meeting of the Association for Information Science and Technology, Copenhagen, Denmark.