Associate Professor of Media & Communication, Texas Tech University,
Lubbock, Texas, USA


Kerk's research focuses on the diffusion of innovations (i.e., collaborative cyberinfrastructure, social media, health interventions, water conservation behaviors) across organizational, scientific, health, environmental, entrepreneurial, and big data contexts.

Communication Tower
Social network concept
Doctor Using Digital Tablet
Forest Trees
Stock Market Quotes
Business Team


Kerk F. Kee (Ph.D., 2010, The University of Texas at Austin) is a communication researcher and an interdisciplinary social scientist of innovation diffusion. His research investigates the development, adoption, implementation, and the ultimate diffusion of big data technologies in scientific organizations. He also studies the dissemination of health information in cultural communities and the spread of pro-environmental attitude in modern societies. His emerging research is moving towards studying innovations in entrepreneurial startups, natural disaster management, creative industries, and smart cities. His research has been funded by the US National Science Foundation (NSF), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, totaling over US$1,250,000.00 to date. He holds a prestigious 5-year NSF CAREER grant (2015-2021), awarded by the Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure under NSF's Computer & Information Science & Engineering Directorate. According to Google Scholar Citations in November 2020, his research has been cited more than 5,380 times. 



* indicates undergraduate student at time research was conducted

~ indicates graduate student at time research was conducted

Kee, K.F., Le~, B., & Jitkajornwanich, K. (Forthcoming). If you build it, promote it, and they trust you, then they will come: Diffusion strategies for science gateways and cyberinfrastructure adoption to harness big data in the STEM community. Concurrency and Computation: Practice and Experience.


Droog~, E. F., Burgers, C. F., & Kee, K. F. (2020). Metaphors in cyberinfrastructure: Making sense of complex technologies. Public Understanding of Science.


Kim, D. K. D., Kee, K. F., & Dearing, J. W. (2020). Applying the communication theory of Diffusion of Innovations to economic sciences: A response to the ‘Using gossips to spread information’ experiments conducted by the 2019 Noel Laureates. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 48, 158-165.


Koerber, A., Starkey, J. C., Ardon-Dryer, K., Cummins, R. G., Eko, L., & Kee, K. F. (2020). A qualitative content analysis of watchlists vs safelists: How do they address the issue of predatory publishing? The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 46,

Stephens, K. K., & Kee, K. F. (2020). Technology and organizational communication. In A. M. Nicotera (Ed.), Organizational communication: A comprehensive introduction to the field. Routledge.


Le, B., Escalera, F., Jitkajornwanich, K., & Kee, K. F. (2019). External communication to diffuse science gateways and cyberinfrastructure as innovations for research with big data. Science Gateways 2019. DOI 10.17605/OSF.IO/MZ8BV

Liang, Y., Lee, S. A., & Kee, K. F. (2019). The adoption of collaborative robots toward ubiquitous diffusion: A research agenda. Paper presented at the 14th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI 2019) Workshop, Daegu, South Korea.

Pongto*, R., Wiwattanaphon*, N., Lekpong*, P., Lawawirojwong*, S., Srisonphan*, S., Kee, K. F., & Jitkajornwanich, K. (2019). The grid-based spatial ARIMA model: An innovation for short-term prediction of ocean current Patterns with big HF radar data. Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Computing and Information Technology (IC2IT 2019), Bangkok, Thailand. IC2IT 2019 Proceedings to be included in Recent Advances in Information and Communication Technology 2019, Springer. (ISSN: 2194-5357)

Matei, S. A., & Kee, K. F. (2019). Computational communication research. WIREs: Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery . DOI: 10.1002/widm.1304

Kee, K. F., & Schrock, A. R. (2019, Online First 2018). Best social and organizational practices of successful science gateways and cyberinfrastructure projects. Future Generation Computer Systems, 94, 795-801.  

Kee, K. F., & Schrock. A. R. (2019). Telephone interviewing as a qualitative methodology for researching cyberinfrastructure and virtual organizations. In J. Hunsinger, L. Klastrup, & M. Allen (Eds.), Second international handbook of internet research. Springer Netherlands. DOI:

Kee, K. F., & McCain~, J. C. (2018). What is good feedback in big data projects for cyberinfrastructure diffusion in e-science? Proceedings of the 2018 IEEE International Conference on Big Data, Seattle, WA, 10-13 December (pp. 2804-2812). New York: Springer. DOI: 10.1109/BigData.2018.8622573  

Chandrashekara~, A. A., Talluri~, A. K. M., Mitra, R., Calyam, P., Kee, K. F., & Nair, S. (2018). Fuzzy-based conversational recommender for data intensive science gateway applications. Proceedings of the 2018 IEEE International Conference on Big Data (pp. 4870-4875). New York: Springer. DOI: 10.1109/BigData.2018.8622046

Liang, Y. J., Kee, K. F., Henderson*, L. (2018). Towards a message-, individual-, and social-based model of environmental communication: Advancing theories of reactance and planned behavior in a water conservation context. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 46, 135-154. [LEAD ARTICLE] [2017 Impact Factor: 1.000]

Liang, Y. J., Henderson*, L., Kee, K. F. (2018; Online First 2017). Running out of water! Developing a message typology and evaluating message effects on attitude toward water conservation. Environmental Communication, 12, 541-557. DOI:

Liang, Y. J., & Kee, K. F. (2018; Online First 2016). Developing and validating the A-B-C framework of information diffusion on social media. New Media & Society, 20, 272-292.  DOI: 10.1177/1461444816661552.​

Kee, K. F. (2017). The 10 adoption drivers of open source software that enable e-research in data factories for open innovation. In S. Matei, N. Julien, & S. Goggins (Eds.), Big data factories: Collaborative approaches (pp. 51-65). Springer. DOI:

Dearing, J. W., Kee, K. F., & Peng, T. W. (2017). Historical roots of dissemination science. In Brownson, R. Colditz, G. & Proctor, E. (Eds.), Dissemination and implementation research in health: Translating science to practice (2nd ed) (pp. 47-61). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Robertson*, B. W., & Kee, K. F. (2017). Social media at work: The roles of job satisfaction, employment status, and Facebook use with co-workers. Computers in Human Behavior. 

Kee, K. F. (2017). Organizational attributes of successful science gateways and cyberinfrastructure projects. Proceedings of Gateways 2016: The 11th Gateway Computing Environments Conference. K. Lawrence, N. Wilkins-Diehr, and S. Gesing, Eds. figshare., Retrieved: 14 25, Feb 28, 2017 (GMT).

Kee, K. F. (2017). Adoption and diffusion. In C. Scott, & L. Lewis (Eds.), International encyclopedia of organizational communication. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.

Hanna*, B., Kee, K. F., & Robertson*, B. W. (2017). Positive impacts of social media at work: Job satisfaction, job calling, and Facebook use among co-workers. In B. Mohamad, & H. Abu Bakar (Eds.), International Conference on Communication and Media: An International Communication Association Regional Conference (i-COME’16). SHS Web of Conferences 33. [TOP PAPER AWARD]

Kee, K. F., Sleiman~, M., Williams~, M., & Stewart~, D. (2016). The 10 attributes that drive adoption and diffusion of computational tools in e-science. In P. Navrátil, M. Dahan, D. Hart, A. Romanella, & N. Sukhija (Eds.), Proceedings of the 2016 XSEDE (Extreme Science & Engineering Discovery Environmental) Conference. New York: ACM. DOI:

Kee, K. F., Sparks, L., Struppa, D. C., Mannucci, M., & Damiano, A. (2016). Information diffusion, Facebook clusters, and the simplicial model of social aggregation: A computational simulation of simplicial diffusers for community health interventions. Health Communication, 31, 385-399. DOI: 10.1080/10410236.2014.960061. (Online First in 2015). [LEAD ARTICLE]

Kee, K. F. (2015). Three critical matters in big data projects for e-science. In H. Ho, B. C. Ooi, M. J. Zaki, X. Hu, L. Haas, V. Kumar, S. Rachuri, S. Yu, M. H. I. Hsiao, J. Li, F. Luo, S. Pyne, and K. Ogan (Eds.), Proceedings of the 2015 IEEE International Conference on Big Data (pp. 2001-2007), New York: Springer. DOI: 10.1109/BigData.2015.7363991

Kee, K. F., & Liang, Y. J. (2015). Subjective numeracy scale. In D. K. Kim, & J. W. Dearing (Eds.), Health communication measures (pp. 247-254). New York: Peter Lang.

Sparks, L., Kee, K. F., & Struppa, D. C. (2014). Social aggregates in the health context. In T. L. Thompson (Ed.), Encyclopedia of health communication, 3, pp. 1272-1274. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Kee, K. F., Sparks, L., Struppa, D. C., & Mannucci, M. (2013). Social groups, social media, and higher dimensional social structures: A simplicial model of social aggregation for computational communication research. Communication Quarterly, 61, 35-58.

Rakovski, C., Sparks, L., Robinson, J. D., Kee, K. F., Bevan, J. L., & Agne, R. (2012). A regression-based study using jackknife replicates of HINTS III data: Predictors of the efficacy of health information seeking. Journal of Communication in Healthcare, 5, 163-170.

Iorio, J., Kee, K., & Decker, M. (2012). Instructional technology training: Developing functional and applied skill sets. In P. Resta (Ed.), Proceedings of the 2012 Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (pp. 1188-1193). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.

Kee, K. F., & Thompson-Hayes, M. (2012). Conducting effective interviews about virtual work: Gathering and analyzing data using a grounded theory approach. In S. D. Long (Ed.), Virtual work and human interaction research (pp. 192-212). Hershey: IGI Global.

Dearing, J. W. & Kee, K. F. (2012). Historical roots of dissemination science. In Brownson, R. Colditz, G. & Proctor, E. (Eds.), Dissemination and implementation research in health: Translating science to practice (pp. 55-71). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Stephens, K. K., Murphy~, M., & Kee, K. F. (2012). Leveraging multicommunication in the classroom: Implications for participation and engagement. S. O. Ferris (Ed.), Teaching and learning with the Net Generation: Concepts and tools for reaching digital learners (pp. 269-288). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

Kee, K. F., Cradduck, L., Blodgett, B., & Olwan, R. (2011). Cyberinfrastructure inside out: Definitions and influencing forces shaping its emergence, development, and implementation. In D. Araya, Y. Breindl & T. Houghton (Eds.), Nexus: New intersections in Internet research (pp. 157-189). New York: Peter Lang.

Browning, L. D., Morris, G. H., & Kee, K. F. (2011). The role of communication in positive organizational scholarship. In Cameron, K. & Spreitzer, G. (Eds.), Handbook of positive organizational scholarship (pp. 566-578). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Kee, K. F., & Browning, L. D (2010). The dialectical tensions in the funding infrastructure of cyberinfrastructure. Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 19, 283-308.

Park, N., Kee, K. F., & Valenzuela, S. (2009). Being immersed in social networking environment: Facebook Groups, uses and gratifications, and social outcomes. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 12, 729-733.

Valenzuela, S., Park, N., & Kee, K. F. (2009). Is there social capital in a social network site?: Facebook use and college students' life satisfaction, trust, and participation. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 14, 875-901.

Bird, I., Jones, B., & Kee, K. F. (2009). The organization and management of grid infrastructures. Computer, 42, 36-46. DOI: 10.1109/MC.2009.28


Innovation Diffusion Lab at Texas Tech University

Fall 2019 - Present

The Innovation Diffusion Lab provides knowledge and expertise, as well as opportunities for research, education, and community engagement to advance and promote the diffusion  (e.g., interconnected stages of design, development, adoption, implementation, and reinvention) of innovations (e.g., technologies, behaviors, ideologies, memes/ artifacts, information/ content, etc.) towards an ecosystem of smart-cities with productivity, well-being, and sustainability.

NSF Collaborative Research: EAGER: Leveraging Advanced Cyberinfrastructure and Developing Organizational Resilience for NSF Large Facilities in the Pandemic Era

September 1, 2020 - Present

Partnered with Ewa Deelman at the Information Sciences Institute at the University of Southern California, this project explores how large major facilities in STEM organizationally pivot and adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic.

NSF CORE: Conversational Agents for Supporting Sustainable Implementation and Systemic Diffusion of Cyberinfrastructure and Science Gateways

May 21, 2020 - Present

With Prasad Calyam and Satish Nair in the Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science at the University of Missouri, this study examines the use of chatbot with artificial intelligence to support the diffusion of cyberinfrastructure and science gateways in the US STEM community.

NSF Standard: STEM Training in Ethics of Publication Practices (STEPP)

$345,702, January 1, 2020 - Present

Together with Amy Koerber, Glenn Cummins, Leo Eko, and Karin Ardon-Dryer at Texas Tech University, this study explores open access, open science, and predatory journals in the academic publishing landscape.


$519,753.00, August 1, 2015 - July 31, 2021

This research project explores the role of organizational capacity in enabling the adoption, implementation, and diffusion of cyberinfrastructure in the US big data and scientific community.


$324,981.00, September 1, 2013 - August 31, 2018

This research project traces how cyberinfrastructure evolves as it diffuses as an innovation across the US scientific community to enable big data science among virtual teams of scientists.



Kerk teaches classes focusing on organizational communication, innovations, and technologies.



This course focuses on the diffusion of innovations across contexts. This course also looks at dissemination and implementation in health, message design to drive diffusion, and using big data help us understand information diffusion.


This course explores how big data on social media can be harness to help organizations make strategic decisions. This course discusses concepts, methods, and techniques for social media analytics.


This course explores management theories since the industrial revolution, and how communicative interactions create today's organizations. This course also explore strategies for upward influence, innovation advocacy, and organizational capacity.


This course explores how dispersed strangers can use social media and new technologies to organize offline actions that achieve great things! This course also explores how to build momentum for virtual organizing.



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