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Gobinda Chowdhury Elected iCaucus Chair, 2020-22


The iSchools organization has tapped Gobinda Chowdhury to chair its governing body, the iCaucus, for its 2020-22 term. Chowdhury is head of school at the iSchool at Northumbria University (UK), and until recently served as regional chair of the iSchools’ European region.

“It’s a great honor for me to be elected by fellow iSchoos’ Deans and Heads as the Chair of the iCaucus for its 2020-2022 term,” Chowdhury says. “Over the past decade and a half, the iSchools organization has grown significantly both in volume and diversity. As the future Chair of the iCaucus, I would like to see the iSchools community worldwide thrive through world-class teaching, research and knowledge exchange in Information, and thus make a positive impact in the modern information- and data-driven society.”

Chowdhury is scheduled to assume the reigns from Sam Oh of the Sungkyunkwan University iSchool (Korea) in 2020. Oh was named chair-elect two years ago, and formally assumes the office of iCaucus chair at next month’s iConference, taking over from outgoing chair Ron Larsen. Oh will serve as iCaucus chair for the term spanning 2018-20.

Oh and Chowdhury have both served as chairs of the iConference, the iSchools’ annual information conference focused on critical issues in contemporary society. Oh was co-chair of iConference 2017 in Wuhan, China, along with Wuhan University iSchool Dean Qing Fang. Chowdhury is co-chair of iConference 2018 in Sheffield, UK, along with University of Sheffield iSchool Head Peter Bath and Val Gillet. iConference 2018 takes place March 25 – 25, 2018.

Past iCaucus Chairs
Ronald Larsen, University of Pittsburgh (2016-2018)
Michael Seadle, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (2014-2016)
Elizabeth Liddy, Syracuse University (2012-2014)
Harry Bruce, University of Washington (2010-2012)
John Unsworth, University of Illinois (2008-2010)
Ronald Larsen, University of Pittsburgh (2006-2008)
Raymond F. von Dran, Syracuse University (2004-2006)
John King, University of Michigan (2002-2004)


iConference 2018 Announces Award Finalists


The iConference has announced its slate of award finalists for 2018. Winners will be announced during iConference 2018, which takes place March 25 – 28, 2018, in Sheffield, UK. Click here to view the complete list of finalists and conference presentation times.

iConference 2018 saw a record number of papers submission, most likely motivated by the conference’s new publishing arrangement with Springer. As a result, this year’s awards were especially competitive.

Lee Dirks Award
The Lee Dirks Award for Best Paper is the conference’s most prestigious award, with a $5,000 prize going to the winning paper courtesy of Microsoft Research. The award honors the memory of Lee Dirks, a longtime friend and supporter of the iConference.

The finalists:

Most Interesting Preliminary Results Paper
This award goes to the author(s) of the most intriguing paper in the early work/preliminary results category.

The finalists:

Best Poster Award
The best poster award is determined in a two-phase process: finalists are selected based on quality of the submitted abstract, and the overall winner is chosen based on the resulting presentation at the iConference.

The finalists:

More about iConference 2018
An annual presentation of the iSchools organization since 2005, the iConference brings together scholars and researchers from around the world to examine critical information issues in contemporary society. The 2018 theme is Transforming Digital Worlds. iConference 2018 is co-organized by University of Sheffield’s Information School and the iSchool at Northumbria, and is presented by iSchools Inc.

iConference 2018 will begin on Sunday, March 25, with ten specially selected workshops available free-of-charge to all paid participants. Over the ensuing days, participants have the opportunity take in more than 80 peer-reviewed papers focused on completed research and shorter papers focused on early work/preliminary results. Numerous interactive sessions and special panels are also planned. As always, the conference will also feature two extended poster sessions showcasing the work of current and future thought-leaders. This year’s keynote speakers are Dr. Lynn Silipigni Connaway of OCLC Research, Dr. Susan Dumais of Microsoft Research, and Professor Luciano Floridi of the Univeristy of Oxford and the Alan Turing Institute.

Important Links
Conference Home Page:
Award Finalists:
Program Schedule:


Modern libraries are built brick by digital brick, says Singapore head librarian


In a blog post for the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), Singapore Management University (SMU) head librarian Gulcin Cribb explores how modern academic libraries now serve as virtual village squares for their campuses. Titled “Great exaggerations! Death of Libraries,” Cribb’s post refutes the misconception that the shift from print to digital is a sign of the death of libraries, and is instead a natural evolution in focus.

According to Cribb, SMU Libraries now spends over 90 percent of its funds on digital collections, and 80 percent of its collections are digital. This spans digital books, journals, articles, objects, media, digital infrastructure, networks, apps, data, and analytics. Despite this virtual emphasis, SMU Libraries’ physical usage has been increasing, with over 1.3 million entries recorded in 2017, including 7,000-8,000 unique persons per month; these are impressive figures given the school’s overall student population of 9,000.

“Libraries of today are all about expertise, resources, services and spaces both digital and physical,” writes Cribb. “They add value to their communities’ success in a seamless, ubiquitous and agile way. Libraries of today are the digital and virtual village squares of their campuses. Today’s libraries are about engagement, collaboration, communication and partnerships.”

Click here to read Cribb’s blog post on the IFLA website.


University of Texas Information and Culture Journal Seeks Contributions


Information & Culture: A Journal of History is actively soliciting articles for publication. Printed quarterly by the University of Texas Press, the jounal publishes high-quality, peer reviewed articles on topics related to the history of information.

The social and cultural context of information and information technology, viewed from an historical perspective, is at the heart of the journal’s interests. Typical papers might focus, for example, on the histories of information institutions, agencies, domains, or businesses; the history of information work and workers; the history of information in everyday life; the history of information and communication practices; the history of information artifacts (ranging from books to computers, information infrastructures and networks); the history of the organization and classification of information; the history of concepts and theories in the information domain; and intellectual and theoretical approaches for writing information history.

Instructions for contributors are available at

The intention is to juxtapose papers on a wide variety of topics related to the history of information so as to stimulate connections between the research of library historians, information science historians, historians of computing, labor historians, gender historians, economic historians, business historians, political and diplomatic historians, cultural studies scholars, critical theorists, and science and technology scholars.


iConference Early Registration Ends Friday, Jan. 19. Act Now to get Lowest Rate


The iConference 2018 early registration period ends Friday, Jan. 19. Register now to secure the lowest available rate. Late-registration fees will go into effect Saturday, Jan. 20, with an increase of roughly 20 percent. Visit the iConference registration page for details:

iConference 2018 will take place in Sheffield, UK, March 25-28. The 2018 theme is Transforming Digital Worlds. The conference will feature an array of papers to be published by Springer, as well as workshops, interactive session, posters, early career colloquium, and three keynote presentations by Dr. Lynn Silipigni Connaway, Dr. Susan Dumais and Professor Luciano Floridi.

The early registration rate is £360 ($427 USD) and £270 ($355) for students. This rate will increase roughly 20 percent at the conclusion of the early registration period on Friday, Jan. 19. This year’s registration includes lunch on all conference days, as well as coffee breaks, the opening reception on March 25, and banquet dinner on March 27. Combined, the 2018 rates represent the best overall iConference registration value in many years.

Important Links
iConference 2018 Home:
Program Schedule:
Accommodation, travel and more:

iConference 2018 is jointly organized by the University of Sheffield’s Information School and the iSchool at Northumbria. The iConference is presented each year by the iSchools organization. 2018 sponsors include Microsoft and Morgan & Claypool Publishers.


iSchools Announce 2018 Doctoral Dissertation Award Results


The results are in, and the winner of the 2018 iSchools Doctoral Dissertation Award is Dr. Galen Panger of the iSchool at the University of California, Berkeley (USA). The runner up is Dr. Paul H. Cleverley of the iSchool at Robert Gordon University (Scotland). The iSchools organization congratulates both honorees, and will present their awards during iConference 2018 in Sheffield, UK.

The iSchools Doctoral Dissertation Award recognizes the best iSchool dissertations of the preceding year. Nominations are solicited from all members of the iSchools organization, now more than 80 institutions worldwide, and judged by an award committee drawn from leading international schools. This year’s committee was chaired by Dr. Joseph Tennis of the University of Washington (USA) and Dr. Vivien Petras of Humboldt University (Germany).

The Award Committee lauded the winning dissertation for its unique approach to the study of social media. “Dr. Panger’s thesis ‘Emotion in Social Media’ is a novel addition to the literature on the evolving state of self-representation in online environment. Contrary to stereotype, Panger found that people tend to wind down while browsing Facebook and Twitter. This combined with the other aspects of his study call for a more nuanced appreciation of the role of social media in our emotional lives. The skill with which Panger crafted the research question and research design set it apart from others in the competition. This, combined with his skill to communicate his research work at the intersections of conflicting concepts in the literature made it the clear winner for this year’s competition.”

The Committee had this to say about the runner up: “Dr. Cleverley’s dissertation ‘Re-examining and re-conceptualising enterprise search and discovery capability: Towards a model for the factors and generative mechanisms for search task outcomes’ utilizes a mixed-methods longitudinal case study with over 220 participants to develop a socio-technical framework for enterprise search information needs, search modalities and the factors impacting the search outcomes. The combination of the different empirical methods with the theoretical perspectives of the cultural and historical activity and complexity theories resulted in a sophisticated model, which achieved the runner-up position in the 2018 competition.”

Dr. Panger and Dr. Cleverley will be recognized during a presentation at the iSchools annual banquet, which takes place Tuesday, March 27 at this year’s iConference. The winner will receive a cash prize of $2,500 US, the runner up $1,000.

The iSchools will begin accepting nominations for next year’s Award in July. All member schools are invited to submit a nomination. The iSchools Doctoral Dissertation Award was established in 2013 to honor outstanding work in the information field. Click here for details on current and former honorees.

About the iSchools
The iSchools organization was founded in 2005 by a collective of Information Schools dedicated to advancing the information field in the 21st Century. It has since grown into a consortium of more than 80 universities and institutions spanning five continents. The organization is incorporated as iSchools Inc. in Washington, DC.

The iSchools organization supports student achievement through its annual Doctoral Colloquium and Doctoral Dissertation Award, as well as other special contests and mentoring opportunities. The iSchools also provide collaboration tools and other support to assist faculty in their teaching and research endeavors. Every year, the iSchools organization presents the iConference, a forum in which information scholars, researchers and professionals share their insights on critical information issues in contemporary society. The next iConference is scheduled to take place March 25-28, 2018 in Sheffield, UK.


Announcing iConference 2018 Program Schedule


The iConference 2018 Program Schedule is now available. Participants and presenters can browse the agenda to start making their plans. In addition, conference organizers have also published Presentation Guidelines for papers and posters authors, so they can begin preparations.

iConference 2018 takes place March 25-28 in Sheffield UK. Jointly organized by the iSchools at the University of Sheffield and Northumbria University, the conference theme is “Transforming Digital Worlds.” Keynote speakers include Dr. Lynn Silipigni Connaway (OCLC Research), Dr. Susan Dumais (Microsoft Research) and Professor Luciano Floridi (University of Oxford).

Conference registration is now open, with discounted early rates available through Jan. 19, 2018. All information scholars, researchers and practitioners are welcome, regardless of affiliation—affiliation with a member-iSchool is not required. Also please note that the iConference 2018 Program Schedule is subject to change.

Important Links


iSchools Welcome Linnaeus University of Sweden


The iSchools announce the addition of the Linnaeus University Information Institute to its worldwide consortium of information schools. Linnaeus is located in Sweden, and will be active in the organization’s European Region.

Degrees offered by Linnaeus University Information Institute include: Bachelors in Information Science and Library and Information Science; Masters in Digital Humanities, Data Sciences, and Information Management; Ph.D.s in Computer and Information Science, Contract Archaeology, Biomedicine with focus on Health and Pharmaceutical Informatics, and Library and Information Science. More information can be found on the Linnaeus website.

Linnaeus University becomes the 89th member of the iSchools, joining our ever-growing consortium of information schools dedicated to advancing the information field and spreading the iSchools movement worldwide.

About the iSchools
The iSchools organization was founded in 2001 by a collective of Information Schools dedicated to advancing the information field in the 21st Century. It has since grown into a consortium of more than 80 universities and institutions spanning five continents.

The iSchools organization supports and recognizes student achievement through its annual Doctoral Colloquium and Doctoral Dissertation Award, as well as other special contests and mentoring opportunities. The iSchools also provide collaboration tools and other support to assist faculty in their teaching and research endeavors. Every year, the iSchools organization presents the iConference, a forum in which information scholars, researchers and professionals share their insights on critical information issues in contemporary society. The next iConference is scheduled to take place March 25-28, 2018 in Sheffield, UK. Registration for iConference 2018 is now open.


New iSchools Research Blog Post Examines the Role of Serendipity in Legal Work


The newest installment of the iSchools Research Blog explores the fascinating role that serendipity can play in legal research and practice.

Written by lawyer and doctoral candidate Yosef Solomon of the Department of Information Science at Bar-Ilan University, Israel, the post is titled Exploring serendipity: Information encounters and their practical legal impact. It examines “super-encounters” by family-law attorneys who reported accidental, unexpected encounters as a successful way of obtaining professional information. Knowing this, practical measures can be taken in an effort to increase chances for serendipity to occur.

Solomon’s post exemplifies the intriguing and high-quality research being done by young and emerging scholars throughout the iSchools’ worldwide organization. The iSchools research blog was introduced in autumn 2017 to showcase this ongoing and amazing work. Recent posts have also examined Emotion Detection in Microblog Text, Social Trust in Internet Infrastructure, and Design Education in Librarianship.

The iSchools encourage the submission of research blog proposals from young scholars at its member schools. Prospective authors can use the proposal submission form on the iSchools website to submit their research for consideration by the editorial board.


iConference Workshops offer something for everyone


The organizers of iConference 2018 are pleased to offer 10 thought-provoking workshops scheduled for Sunday, March 25, 2018. This year’s topics reflect the interdisciplinary nature of our field, as summarized below. Participation in workshops is included with your conference fee, and participants will be asked to select their workshop(s) when they register for the conference.

Each of the 2018 workshops listed below is linked to its full description and list of organizers. Note that some organizers are requesting advance submissions from participants. See our Workshop page for full details.

Morning Workshops

Afternoon Workshops

iConference 2018 takes place March 25-28, 2018 in Sheffield, UK. Discounted early registration rates are available through Jan. 19, 2018. More information on travel, lodging, and visas and letters of invitation can be found in our Venue section.

The theme of this, our thirteenth annual gathering of scholars, researchers and professionals, is “Transforming Digital Worlds.” The complete program schedule will be posted later in December. The conference is co-organized by University of Sheffield’s Information School and the iSchool at Northumbria, and presented by iSchools Inc.