Doctoral Dissertation Award


On behalf of the iCaucus and the iSchools organization, the iSchools Doctoral Dissertation Competition Committee is pleased to announce the honorees in the 2014 iSchools Doctoral Dissertation Award Competition. The committee has selected one winner and one runner-up from the pool of 17 dissertations that were submitted for consideration. These recipients will be honored during the iConference 2014 Opening Keynote Address on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.


Jennifer Douglas

Jennifer Lynn Douglas, Ph.D.
University of Toronto Faculty of Information
Archiving Authors: Rethinking the Analysis and Representation of Personal Archives

Biography: Since completing her Ph.D., Jennifer Douglas has been teaching courses in archival theory and management at the University of British Columbia and the University of Victoria. Her current research focuses on the creation and functions of community archives in online grief communities, looking specifically at online archives created by parents of stillborn babies. In addition to her Ph.D., Jennifer holds a Masters in Archival Studies from the University of British Columbia and a Master of Arts, English Literature from the University of Victoria. She has published articles on the principles of provenance and original order, on the nature and treatment of writers’ archives, on medieval women’s letter writing and on archival description as genre (forthcoming).

Runner Up

Parmit Chilana

Parmit K. Chilana, Ph.D.
University of Washington Information School
Supporting Users After Software Deployment through through Selection-Based Crowdsourced Contextual Help

Biography: Parmit Chilana is an Assistant Professor in Management Sciences at the University of Waterloo, specializing in human-computer interaction and information systems. She received her Ph.D. from the iSchool at the University of Washington in June 2013. For her dissertation, Parmit invented LemonAid, a new selection-based crowdsourced software help retrieval approach for web applications and carried out a multi-site deployment study to evaluate LemonAid in the field. Parmit also co-founded Qazzow, a venture-funded startup company that is commercializing LemonAid’s help approach for e-commerce applications. Parmit has previously been recognized with Facebook’s inaugural Ph.D. Fellowship and Canada’s SSHRC Doctoral Award. She received her Masters degree from the iSchool at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and BSc in Computing Science from Simon Fraser University.

Selection Process Summary

Seventeen dissertations were submitted to the competition by member iSchools. Each of the dissertations received two reviews from a pool of reviewers comprised of ischool Ph.D. program chairs and faculty. From the pool of 17 dissertations, the committee selected three semi-finalists. Each of these semi-finalists received additional reviews. The winner and runner up were selected based on numeric scores and written comments.


Submissions were received from the following iSchools:

  • Humboldt University of Berlin: Berlin School of Library and Information Science
  • Indiana University: School of Informatics and Computing
  • Michigan State University: Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies, and Media
  • Polytechnic University of Valencia: School of Informatics
  • University of Sheffield: Information School
  • Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey: School of Communication and Information
  • Singapore Management University: School of Information Systems
  • Syracuse University: School of Information Studies
  • University of California, Berkeley: School of Information
  • University of California, Irvine: The Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Science
  • University of North Carolina: School of Information and Library Science
  • University of North Texas: College of Information
  • University of Pittsburgh: School of Information Sciences
  • University of Tampere: School of Information Sciences
  • University of Tennessee, Knoxville: School of Information Sciences
  • University of Toronto: Faculty of Information
  • University of Washington: Information School

Criteria for Evaluation

The following criteria were used to judge all doctoral dissertation award nominations:

  1. Significance of the research problem to today’s challenges and opportunities
  2. Scholarly contribution to the literature in any information related disciplines
  3. Application and rigor of the appropriate research methods
  4. Clarity and organization of the presentation.

Coordinating Committee for 2014 Competition

Yunan Chen,, University of California, Irvine, Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences

Howard Rosenbaum,, Indiana University, School of Informatics and Computing


Questions about the Doctoral Dissertation Award should be directed to the Organizing Committee listed above. Logistical questions having to do with the conference in general can be addressed to to Conference Coordinator Clark Heideger.

2014 Sponsors

Microsoft Research

iConference Sponsors - Microsoft Research


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De Gruyter


Purdue University Press



Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and the Royal School of Library and Information Science
iConference 2014 Hosts

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