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iConference 2018 Keynote Speakers Announced


iConference 2018 organizers University of Sheffield and Northumbria University have announced their full slate of keynote speakers for next year’s conference in Sheffield, UK. And given that the collective members of the iSchools Organization share a fundamental interest in the relationships between information, people, and technology, it’s only appropriate that the three 2018 speakers are scheduled to give talks on the subjects of people, information, and technology, respectively.

The following is a brief introduction of the 2018 speakers; more detail is offered on the conference’s Keynote Speakers webpage:

  • People: Dr. Lynn Connaway, Senior Research Scientist and Director of User Research at OCLC Research where she leads research into user and information seeking behaviour, and an American Library Association for College and Research Libraries project on academic library support for student learning.
  • Information: Professor Luciano Floridi, Professor of Philosophy and Ethics of Information at the Oxford Internet Institute, Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the Department of Economics, American University, Washington D.C., and Faculty Fellow of The Alan Turing Institute.
  • Technology: Dr. Sue Dumais, Distinguished Scientist at Microsoft and the Deputy Managing Director of Microsoft’s Redmond Research Laboratory where she leads research at the intersection of information retrieval and human-computer interaction.

iConference 2018 will take place March 25-28, 2018, and this June announcement represents the earliest point at which the conference’s full speaker program has been established.

The iConference 2018 Call for Participation was announced in May, and authors are encouraged to begin work on their submissions. This year, for the first time, accepted papers will be published in Springer’s Lecture Notes in Computer Science series, and indexed by major services such as Web of Science and Scopus. Conference organizers will begin accepting submissions in early July. Visit the conference website for more details.

About the iConference
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 jointly presented by the Information School at the University of Sheffield and the iSchool at Northumbria University. Vist the About the iConference page to learn more about the series, including links to past proceedings.

The iConference is sponsored by Microsoft, and additional sponsorships are available.


Turing award winners discuss cities and the future of smart systems at Singapore Management University summit


The benefits and challenges of using technology to transform cities into smart cities was the subject of a panel discussion held during Singapore’s Global Young Scientists Summit, held January 19, 2017, at Singapore Management University. SMU is a member of the iSchools organization and the iSchools Caucus. The panel featured three recipients of the prestigious Turing Award, and was moderated by Steven Miller, vice provost and professor of information systems at SMU. Miller has summarized the results in an article titled Country 2.0: Upgrading Cities with Smart Technology.

The panelists included Vinton Gray Cerf, Google’s Chief Internet Evangelist; Butler Lampson, a senior scientist at Microsoft Research and an Adjunct Professor at MIT; and Richard Karp, professor at the University of California, Berkeley. They were joined by Tan Kok Yam, head of Singapore’s Smart Nation Programme Office.

The panelist discussed implementation challenges, and the benefits of more integrated data management systems, Priorities include ensuring the safety and reliability of smart systems at both the physical and virtual level, while taking care to prepare governments, industry and the public for the unknown. As Miller notes in his article: “The design of the smart city will have to account for the interests of the many sub-communities. Interest groups must have avenues to make their needs known.”

Click here to view the full text of Miller’s article summarizing the panel’s presentation. The article was published in Asian Management Insights by the Centre for Management Practice of Singapore Management University.


LIDA 2018 issues Call for Participation


Libraries in the Digital Age (LIDA) has issued a call for participation for their 2018 conference, which takes place June 13-15, 2018, in Zadar, Croatia.

LIDA addresses the changing and challenging environment for libraries and other information institutions in the digital world. LIDA is an international biennial conference that brings together researchers, educators, practitioners, and developers from all over the world in a forum for personal exchanges, discussions, and learning, made easier by being held in memorable environs. This year’s theme is “Social Justice, Community Engagement and Information Institutions: Access, Diversity, and Inclusion”. LIDA welcomes papers that address critical and theoretical examination of the theme; present current research and evidence, as well as examination of best practices from the field, and practitioner perspectives and applications.

Click here to view the LIDA 2018 Call for Participation.


iConference 2018 issues Call For Participation


iConference 2018 organizers University of Sheffield and Northumbria University have issued their Call For Participation.

Taking place March 25-28, 2018, in Sheffield, UK, the theme of iConference 2018 is “Transforming Digital Worlds.” It will include peer-reviewed papers and posters, as well as workshops and sessions for interaction and engagement, interspersed with multiple opportunities for networking. The special programs introduced last year on iSchool Best Practices and iSchools and Industry Partnership tracks will also continue. Early career and next generation researchers can engage in the Doctoral Student Colloquium and the Early Career Colloquium.

The conference organizers encourage authors to begin work on submissions now. The conference will start accepting submissions in early July. The submission deadline is September 18, 2017.

For the first time, iConference 2018 papers will be published in Springer’s Lecture Notes in Computer Science series and will therefore be indexed by major services such as Web of Science and Scopus. The papers will be published as Green Open Access allowing them to be deposited in institutional repositories as well as in the open access Illinois Digital Environment for Access to Learning and Scholarship (IDEALS).

About the iConference
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. iConference 2018 will take place March 25-28, 2018, in Sheffield, UK. This year’s theme is “Transforming Digital Worlds.” iConference 2018 is jointly organized by the University of Sheffield’s Information School and the iSchool at Northumbria. For more about the iConference series, including links to past proceedings, visit our About the iConference webpage.


Popular University of Washington Course Calls “Bull” on Big Data


The University of Washington is not-so-subtly questioning Big Data. Its 10-week seminar “Calling BS in the Age of Big Data” explores how data is frequently misinterpreted to come up with bogus findings.

In a Seattle Times article titled, “We crashed UW’s class on calling BS. Here’s what we learned about sleuthing ‘big data,’ “ reporter Katherine Long showcases the popular UW lecture series by Information School professor Jevin West and Biology professor Carl Bergstrom, noting that similar courses are cropping up at institutions worldwide.

The article cites several examples the professors gave of misapplied Big Data. In one, a study purporting to discern criminality from photographed facial features actually turned out to be more of a mood detector, reflecting the fact that criminals don’t smile in mug shots.

The course title is intentionally provocative, to get attention—BS is American slang, roughly translating to bull scat. “We’re making it fun—making it entertaining, theatrical, to make it less intimidating,” West is quoted as saying.

Profanity aside, the overall takeaway is familiar to information professionals: It is one thing to collect Big Data, but quite another to analyze and use it correctly. The later is the expertise of the iSchools: connecting information, people and technology.

For those interested in more, the course syllabus is available online, as are YouTube videos of the seminars.


Educopia and UNC SILS receive IMLS funding for study of open source software implementation to improve archival workflows for born-digital materials


The Educopia Institute and the UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS) have been awarded a grant worth over $681,000 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for OSSArcFlow, a project to investigate and support the adoption of open source tools for libraries, archives, and museums (LAMs). The research team will engage with 12 partner institutions to research, devise, and test various strategies for implementing three leading open source software (OSS) technologies, the BitCurator environment, ArchivesSpace, and Archivematica.

By working with institutions of multiple sizes and types, investigators will be able to glean important workflow insights that can benefit a variety of libraries and archives. Ultimately, all project information – including narratives, workflows, summary findings, training modules, and guides – will be widely disseminated to help other institutions successfully adapt OSS digital curation and preservation tools.

“We aim to make the daunting task of implementing digital curation tools more achievable for memory institutions nationally,” said SILS Professor Christopher (Cal) Lee, co-principal investigator for the project. “These activities will catalyze efforts across the library and archives fields by supporting more efficient and effective digital curation programs that ensure ongoing access to our increasingly born-digital legacy for all people.”



Singapore Management University‘s Professor Robert Deng conferred the prestigious AXA Chair Professorship of Cybersecurity, delivers keynote


Singapore Management University’s Professor Robert Deng, a leading global authority and award winning researcher in cybersecurity, has today been conferred the prestigious AXA Chair Professorship of Cybersecurity. Professor Deng is the first named Chair professor at SMU’s School of Information Systems, one of only six AXA Chairs selected for this honour worldwide and the only one from Singapore, as well as the only AXA Chair in Asia to undertake research in the Data & Technology risks cluster under the AXA Research Fund. Learn more.

Professor Deng delivered the keynote address at the inaugural SMU Cybersecurity Forum on 17 April 2017, at which he was also conferred the AXA Chair Professorship of Cybersecurity. “With the integration of cyberspace and physical space, anything that goes wrong in cyberspace will not only have an impact on data and information systems, but also on the physical world – including human safety and critical infrastructure,” he cautioned. Learn more.

The AXA Chair scheme is intended to support the development of a research area and to make meaningful contributions to the development of that research area in line with the host institution’s long term strategy. It aims at creating a full-time academic position in the host institution and fostering the career development of the professor appointed by AXA.


iConference Papers to be Published by Springer


The iSchools organization has made arrangements with Springer International Publishing to have future iConference papers published in Springer’s Lecture Notes in Computer Science series, where they will be indexed by major services such as Web of Science and Scopus. The papers will be published as green open access, allowing authors to also deposit them into institutional repositories, as well as the IDEALS open repository, which has housed the iConference proceedings for many years.

“The iSchools organization remains committed to open access, and the new arrangement allows us to continue using IDEALS, while also giving us the ability to publish in LNCS,” said iSchools Executive Director Michael Seadle. “Publication is an advantage for members at many schools where this kind of indexing is important for tenure and promotion. Also, in some countries, this can be a critical part of the process that leads to university funding.”

The new publishing arrangement will commence with iConference 2018, which takes place March 25-28, 2018, in Sheffield, UK. Springer will publish the conference’s completed research papers (long) as well as preliminary results papers (short).

More details will be provided on the iConference website when the 2018 Call for Participation is released later this month. iConference 2018 is jointly organized by the University of Sheffield’s Information School and the iSchool at Northumbria.


UW-Milwaukee’s Center for Information Policy Research (CIPR) Receives IMLS National Leadership Grants for Libraries


The Center for Information Policy Research at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, directed by Associate Professor Michael Zimmer (SOIS), has been awarded a National Leadership Grants for Libraries award from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for the project “Library Values & Privacy in our National Digital Strategies: Field guides, Convenings, and Conversations.”

CIPR will be partnering with Data & Society, along with the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom and the New York Public Library, to host a national forum exploring what the library value of privacy means in the digital world. The forum will bring together library practitioners and administrators, along with technology, policy, and privacy experts, to establish a national roadmap for a digital privacy strategy for libraries. The award was one of 25 projects funded out of 90 applications.

Along with the roadmap, the project will produce a series of field guides for librarians that clearly lay out important privacy and security issues. Field guides will include topics such as: privacy by design, internal library information systems, third-party library software systems, cloud-based library systems, public internet and wifi services, licensing of digital content, data security, government information requests, and social media strategies

Award detail:
Program detail:

The School of Information Studies (SOIS) at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) offers several degree programs including a Bachelor’s in Information Science and Technology, an ALA-accredited Master of Library and Information Science, a Master of Science in Information Science & Technology and a PhD in Information Studies. With a growing student body of more than 1000 students SOIS strives to be a premier international iSchool that shapes knowledge and information technology through innovative research and teaching. SOIS is a leader in advancing knowledge and preparing students from diverse backgrounds to be successful information professionals within their communities.


iConference 2017 Wrap Up: First-Ever Asia Event an Enormous Success


The recently concluded iConference 2017 was an enormous success, with many participants declaring it to the best iConference ever. Held in Wuhan, China, March 22-25, 2017, it was truly an international gathering, attracting 501 registered participants from more than 25 countries. This worldwide participation was appropriate to the conference theme: Effect • Expand • Evolve: Global Collaboration Across the Information Community.

iConference 2017 was hosted by the Wuhan University School of Information Management in conjunction with Sungkyunkwan University Library & Information Science and Data Science Department. It was the 12th annual event in the iConference series, and the first to be held in Asia.

Participants enjoyed keynote addresses by Mike Eisenberg and Jason E. Rollins, more than 60 peer-reviewed research papers, an additional 45 Chinese research papers, more than 65 research posters, and numerous workshops, interactive sessions and special panels. The official proceedings will be posted to the IDEALS open repository in the near future, and an at-a-glance summary will be posted to this website.

Each year, the iConference presents awards recognizing outstanding achievement in all of its research tracks. The Lee Dirks Award for Best Paper was won by Toine Bogers and Vivien Petras. The Most Interesting Preliminary Results Paper was authored by Bei Yu, Yatish Hegde and Yingya Li. The honors for Best Chinese Paper went to Xiao Hu, Eric M. Y. Ho, and Chen Qiao. The Best Poster Award went to Danchen Zhang, Daqing He, Sanqiang Zhao, and Lei Li, Nanjing. Click here for complete details on the 2017 award winners and finalists.

Sponsors of iConference 2017 included: Microsoft; the National Science Foundation; Baidu; Emerald Publishing; the Journal of Data and Information Science; MDPI; DE Gruyter; Springer Nature; CNKI; and

The next iConference will take place March 25-28, 2018, in Sheffield, UK. iConference 2018 will be jointly hosted by the University of Sheffield Information School and the iSchool at Northumbria; the theme will be Transforming Digital Worlds. Click here for a preview.

About the iConference
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. Each annual iConference is hosted by a different iSchools member-institution. An openness to new ideas and research fields in information science is a primary characteristics of the event. Attendance has grown over the years as participants appreciate the inspiring sense of community, high quality research presentations, and myriad opportunities for engagement.

Click here for more about the iConference, including links to past proceedings and conference summaries.