iConference 2015 is pleased to offer the following workshops. Access to workshops is included with your regular or student registration, and also with 1-day Tuesday registrations. Participants may sign up for one full-day workshop, or one or two half-day workshops; please do not sign up for concurrent workshops.

Please note that many workshops have advance submission requirements, which are explained in their descriptions below. At the conference, you may move between workshops if you wish, so long as space is available and any advance submission requirements have been met or waived by the respective workshop organizers.







Workshop 1: Trace Ethnography

Organizers: Amelia Acker, University of Pittsburgh; Matt Burton, University of Pittsburgh; R. Stuart Geiger, University of California, Berkeley; David Ribes, Georgetown University

Please Note: All participants in this workshop are instructed to submit brief statement about their research interests by Feb. 1. Details below.

Given the amount of trace data generated by information systems, academic researchers and industry practitioners increasingly analyze trace data with highly-quantitative approaches. Yet what if qualitative researchers analyze trace data as a primary mode of participation, a core way in which people engage with their social worlds? What if this analysis is not only seen as a detached mode of surveillance or a “secondary method” to supplement fieldwork, but something the ethnographer must actively engage as a mode of participant-observation?

This approach to framing the primary role of trace data in ethnographic practice has gained traction in recent years under the banner of “trace ethnography” (Geiger and Ribes 2011). Trace ethnography has been used to study how wikipedians identify and ban vandals (Geiger and Ribes 2010), how protesters in Tunisia assemble using social media (Wulf et al 2013), the memory practices in scientific laboratories (Shankar 2006; Thomer and Twidale 2014), how patients engage in healthcare practices (Willis and Østerlund 2013), collaboration in open source software projects (Howison and Crowston 2012), and how people delete text messages (Acker, 2014).

This workshop introduces participants to trace ethnography, building a network of scholars interested in these related approaches to trace data. Participants need not have any existing experience working with trace data from either qualitative or quantitative approaches, but those with more experience will demonstrate how they apply these techniques in their research. This workshop will help researchers identify documentary traces, plan for their collection and analysis, and further formulate trace ethnography as it is currently conceived.

All participants are instructed to provide a brief statement (100-250 words) about their research interests, specifically on how they are using (or planning to use) trace data in their work. Those who wish to give 5-7 minute presentations demonstrating how they use a particular set of trace data can opt to submit a longer (250-500 word) vignette. All statements are due Feb. 1, 2015, and notifications will be sent on Feb. 15 to those selected to give presentations. Submissions can be made on the Trace Ethnography website.

In the morning, the workshop organizers and selected participants will discuss the history and foundations of trace ethnography. Participants will interactively demonstrate how they approach digital traces, then divide into several small groups to discuss issues around trace data, including: data collection, analytical strategies, research ethics, disciplinary divides, etc.

In the afternoon, we will demonstrate various behind the scenes aspects of trace identification, collection, and interpretation. One breakout session will focus on the practical possibilities and challenges in working with trace data: finding, collecting, and managing digital traces from the web and APIs (like blogs or Twitter). Advanced technological knowledge is not required. A second breakout session will be organized around the themes of analysis and interpretation in trace ethnography. Instead of determining a single set of canonical approaches, this session seeks to map the multiplicity of strategies and tactics that can be considered part of trace ethnography.

Concluding, participants will reflect upon the breakout sessions, identifying common and divergent themes. Interested participants will later work on a whitepaper to provide a framework for other scholars in the iSchools (and beyond) who are interested in trace ethnography. Please visit to submit your statement.

Workshop 2: Exploring Gender, Race, and Sexuality with Social Media Data

Organizers: Oliver L. Haimson, UC Irvine; Amanda Menking, University of Washington; Jordan Eschler, University of Washington; Ingrid Erickson, Rutgers University;
Gillian R. Hayes, UC Irvine

Please note: Participants in this workshop are invited to submit a 2-4 page paper by Jan. 16, 2015. Details below.

Social media data present a powerful opportunity for researchers to explore how they might ask nuanced questions regarding the intersectionality of gender, race, and sexuality. Recent controversies like #Gamergate and #YesAllWomen, both of which unfolded over social media channels and left a rich trail of data, can have important implications for understanding feminism, sexism, and misogyny. At the same time, online communities are active, dynamic populations that can respond to research in real time. For instance, Black Twitter has responded to and discussed research focused on stakeholders in its community, demonstrating the importance of ethical practices and accountability to online communities when conducting social media data analysis.

We present a full day, hands-on workshop that will provide an opportunity for researchers in our community to explore social media data and ask questions about the intersectionality of gender, race, and sexuality. We will discuss scholarly questions and methods related to application of social media data analysis and the implications of using, presenting, and communicating results in research contexts. Workshop participants will learn how to access and analyze data using various tools and methods, drawing specifically on a Twitter dataset collected May-June 2014 during the trending hashtag #yesallwomen. Selected participants will also present their own work to foster opportunities for targeted discussion and continued collaboration.

We invite anyone interested in discussing these topics to join us at this iConference workshop where we will:

  • Help build a community of researchers working on issues of gender, race, and/or sexuality within the information sciences.
  • Create skill-building experiences that enable researchers to collect and analyze social media data to further their own work.
  • Explore how to analyze social media data ethically and develop practices that respect and engage the sometimes vulnerable and marginalized populations who may have generated the data.
  • Critically discuss the use of social media data to generate new insights and scholarship.

This workshop is designed to appeal to anyone interested in research issues related to the intersections of gender, race, sexuality, and information. We welcome both new and experienced researchers and encourage participation from a wide range of methodological orientations, including qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods.

Workshop participation is open to all. However, to facilitate the opportunity for a select set of presentations at the workshop, we welcome any interested scholars to submit a position paper, methods paper, or case study. Papers should describe novel and ethical research involving the use of social media data for the exploration of gender, race, and/or sexuality. We particularly welcome submissions from participants dealing with issues of intersectionality. Paper submissions are entirely optional, but if desired should be 2-4 pages in the iConference 2015 format. Email your paper to by January 16, 2015 at 5pm PST. If accepted, authors will be provided with presentation details in advance of the workshop; they will also be invited to share their data for workshop demonstration purposes. Participant papers will be made available on the workshop website with author permission.

Workshop 3: This workshop has been cancelled at the request of its organizers

Workshop 4: Digital Youth Research Network: Defining The Field, Building Connections, and Exploring Collaborations

Organizers: Beth Juncker, University of Copenhagen; Eric Meyers, University of British Columbia; Marianne Martens, Kent State University; Gitte Balling, University of Copenhagen; Karen E. Fisher, University of Washington; Ross Todd, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Please note: Participants in this workshop are asked to submit a 500-word position paper. Details below.

Youth today have unrivalled access to knowledge and ideas through digital media. Youth who are taking advantage of their access to new media are developing new modes of working, playing, and learning through affinity groups, social networks and new forms of user-generated content. Despite the many opportunities afforded by digital media and new technologies, many parents, educators, and policy makers are sceptical, if not morally alarmed, by the social practices and effects they attribute to contemporary media and communication technologies. They fear access to violent and hypersexualized content, misinformation and bias, cyberbullying and the crass commercialization of today’s media landscape. To navigate these hopes and fears, the images of youth as villains and victims, agents and beneficiaries, we need a strong and coherent research agenda on digital youth.

Morning: Themes and Variations
The session will begin with a short introduction of the workshop organizers, followed by a panel of three invited presentations on issues related to the morning focus on “themes and variations” in digital youth research. The goal of this panel will be to explore diverse interpretations of “digital youth” and unpack some of the important issues facing digital youth research. After the panel a breakout session moderated by the organizers follows. This session will focus on three themes: learning, playing, connecting. Participants will rotate through discussion groups on these themes and creatively connect their work to the themes and to other participants.

Afternoon: Methods and Materials
The afternoon session will begin with another panel of three presentations on issues related to the afternoon theme of methods and materials. These presentations will explore issues of how to do research with and about youth, focusing on leading-edge approaches and participatory research designs, followed by a discussant who will synthesize the talks. A second round of breakout sessions will focus on three new themes: making, designing, documenting. Again, participants will rotate through discussion groups on these themes, documenting their discussion for a whole group conversation on the themes. We will conclude the day with an agenda-setting brainstorm that will bring together ideas from the morning and afternoon sessions.

Participants will be asked to submit a 500-word (max) position paper describing their current or proposed research in the broad area of digital youth. From these statements, the organizers will refine the themes covered in the breakout sessions to ensure that they are applicable to the participants. Postion papers should be sent to by February 15, 2015.

This session will attract scholars at all levels, from students beginning a program of study to established researchers. Based on the format of the session, participation will be limited to 50 individuals.

Workshop 5: ICT for Sustainability

Organizers: Birgit Penzenstadler, University of California, Irvine; Christoph Becker, University of Toronto; Eli Blevis, Indiana University Bloomington; Kenneth R. Fleischmann, University of Texas at Austin; Beth Karlin, University of California, Irvine; Lisa Nathan, University of British Columbia; Juliet Norton, University of California, Irvine; Ankita Raturi, University of California, Irvine; Debra Richardson, University of California, Irvine; Six Silberman, University of California, Irvine; Bill Tomlinson, University of California, Irvine

Please note: Participants in this workshop are instructed to submit a 1-2 page abstract by Feb. 15, 2015. Details below.

This workshop aims at establishing a community and potential research collaborations within the iSchools network to link efforts around ICT for sustainability. ICT can be a threat but also an enabler for environmental and social sustainability, in the form of systems that support the protection of natural resources, that foster communities and participation. Supporting systems build on many intellectual traditions within the information field (e.g., requirements engineering, software quality, life cycle analysis, value-based design, sustainable HCI). As information scholars, we have a responsibility to work on the survival and thriving of all life on this planet, as well as to think about related issues of long-term perspectives. Sustainability is thus a critical value for ICT researchers to embrace and strive toward.

In the morning, selected contributions on ongoing research and position statements will be presented. In the afternoon, we will engage the participants in interactive breakout sessions. Breakout sessions will focus on future research potential, connecting the disciplines, and transfer into practice.

We solicit abstracts of 1-2 pages that:

  • Provide in succinct form the information that you would convey in a seminar about your
    ongoing research work to a fellow academic visiting your department;
  • Present the long-term directions and prospects of your research endeavors;
  • Serve as a trigger for establishing new collaborations with like-minded colleagues.

Topics include but are not limited to:

  • ICT systems that support environmental sustainability (Greening through IT)
  • ICT systems for changing user behaviour (feedback systems)
  • Data analytics from user feedback systems and privacy issues
  • Studying the usage of ICT from a perspective of social sciences w.r.t. sustainability
  • Qualitative analysis of sustainable communities and how they use ICT
  • Using ICT for analyzing attitudes towards sustainability
  • Attitudes towards sustainable system design
  • Greening ICT (Greening of IT)
  • ICT systems for social sustainability
  • Sustainable HCI
  • Food security
  • ICT systems for local resilience

Contributions will be peer-reviewed by at least 2 reviewers, and accepted based on originality and potential for discussion at the workshop. We would like to have a discussion at the workshop on a joint publication effort, most likely in a special issue of a journal.

Submission via Easychair
Submission deadline: The submission deadline has been extended to February 15, 2015 (submissions will be reviewed on a rolling basis).
Further information can be found at

Workshop 6: Sociotechnical Approaches to Fieldwork and Trace Data Integration

Organizers: Steven Sawyer, Syracuse University; Warren Allen, Florida State University; R. Stuart Geiger, University of California, Berkeley; Carlos Monroy, Rice University; Kalpana Shankar, University College Dublin; Norman Makoto Su, Indiana University, Bloomington; Stephen Voida, Indiana University, Indianapolis

Please note: Participants in this workshop are instructed to submit a 250-word position paper by March 9, 2015. Details below.

This workshop focuses attention on opportunities to leverage both fieldwork and trace data in pursuit of sociotechnical scholarship. Like the seven previous pre-iConference Sociotech Workshops, this event also provides participants an introduction to the Consortium for the Science of Sociotechnical Systems (CSST). The CSST serves a trans-disciplinary community, connecting like-minded scholars from many different intellectual communities whose interests are towards the mutual constitution of social and technological phenomena.

The 2015 Sociotech Workshop focuses attention to the possibilities of leveraging trace data (data that is created from the use or presence of digital artifacts and interactions) with data collected through fieldwork (such as field notes, images, and other materials). This combination is sociotechnical both in its form and value to better engaging human/ machine interactions. Given the range of possibilities and arrangements, the focus of this workshop is towards framing opportunities and pursuing such integrative research and design efforts. To this end, the workshop is designed to pursue two distinct goals:

  1. Provide a forum for introducing scholars to the basic conceptual premises of sociotechnical scholarship.
  2. Provide a forum for sociotech scholars to advance their own work and thinking relative to the opportunities of combining the various types of evidence gathered through fieldwork with the range of trace data possibilities that are emerging.

The first goal supports our interest in helping scholars learn more about the broad intellectual space of sociotechnical scholarship and, in doing this, to situate the sociotechnical perspective relative to other approaches to studying how people and digital artifacts interact. The second goal is directed towards helping current sociotech scholars to advance their work relative to the specific themes of this year’s workshop. Both goals are linked by the attention to sociotechnical approaches and the specific focus on leveraging trace data and fieldwork.

The 2015 Sociotech Workshop is designed as two sessions across a full day and to accommodate up to 50 scholars, emphasizing active engagement and participation (a hallmark of these workshops since 2008). The first session provides an opportunity for new participants while the second is focused on ways in which trace data and fieldwork data can be combined and leveraged.

We want participants to come prepared so we are asking all participants to submit a short position paper (250 words) sent to (subject line: 2015 Trace Data Workshop) before 9 March, 2015. This short position paper should contain a working title; the submitter’s name, affiliation and contact information including email; and either (a) a particular concern or opportunity with leveraging trace data and fieldwork data or, (b) a particular phenomena, situation or event that provides an opportunity for creative combinations of trace data and fieldwork; and no more than three references. Prior to the workshop, we will use these position papers to organize small groups for the morning (with each group led by a workshop co-organizer or confederate) and in small groups in the afternoon (arranged to create synergistic interactions).

Building from this preparation, the morning session combines short panels with small group work to explore how trace data and fieldwork data can be combined and to identify issues and opportunities. The afternoon session is designed around particular issues and themes, concluding with a synthesis and plans for how to leverage the CSST web presence to continue advancing the work done in this session.

Participation in this workshop is limited to 50 individuals.


Workshop 7: Authoring, Designing, and Delivering Ebooks: A Research and Practice Agenda

Organizers: Robert J. Glushko, University of California, Berkeley; Alex Milowski, University of California, Berkeley; Murray Maloney, Independent Consultant

Please note: Participants in this workshop are instructed to submit a 500-1,000 word position paper or work summary by March 1, 2015. Details below.

Publishing and education are caught up in a tumultuous co-revolution, moving from a focus on printed resources used in traditional classrooms to digital resources used online by students who might be separated in both space and time from their instructors. We believe that this transformation from printed textbooks to digital educational resources is being driven too much by market forces and technological opportunism, and as a result is ignoring much relevant research in education, cognitive science, information architecture, and graphic design. Furthermore, where careful work is being done to design enhanced ebooks, much of this effort involves expensive hand-crafting that is tightly tied to specific authoring tools and delivery platforms.

The first third of the workshop will be presentations by the proposers of this workshop that provide an overview of the most important design issues and the commonly used methods and technologies for authoring, delivering, and using ebooks. These include:

Design Issues

  • search, navigation and orientation mechanisms
  • interactivity
  • non-text components; images, audio, animation, data visualization
  • annotations (private and shared)
  • the boundary or lack thereof between the book and supplemental content
  • making books “smart” with intelligent content
  • accessibility

Process and Technology Issues

  • conversion of existing books vs. native authoring
  • single source automation vs. hand-crafting continuum
  • individual authors vs. collaborative authoring
  • delivery platforms, ebook readers, emulators, browser extensions

This review will set the stage for the next part of the workshop, which will involve presentations by workshop participants about projects to create ebooks or to explore relevant design topics. These presentations will be selected on the basis of advance submissions. To facilitate this, all workshop participants are instructed to submit a 500-1,000 word position paper or work summary by March 1, 2015; these should be sent to

One project to be presented during this part of the workshop will be the work by the organizers on a collaboratively authored and customizable ebook called The Discipline of Organizing that many ISchools are now using as a textbook. The ebook’s novel design enables its source content to be filtered according to disciplinary and user categories, making it adaptable for ISchool courses in information organization, knowledge management, digital collections, and information architecture.

We will demonstrate the authoring, production, and delivery technology developed for The Discipline of Organizing ebook editions that were published in August 2014. We will take a close look at the processes for creating and building ebooks will emphasize the role of XML markup, especially that needed for audience customization, and we will explain requirements for others to adopt these tools for their own ebook projects.

Finally, the last part of the workshop will be a more free-form discussion of issues about ebook design and deployment where more research is needed and where collaborations among the ISchools might be particularly effective because the multidisciplinary character of the issues matches the collective multidisciplinary character of the ISchools. In particular, we will propose projects to develop best practices on ebook accessibility, user interfaces to enable more personalized reading experiences, tools and techniques for collaborative authoring and maintenance of ebooks, and using linked data techniques to seamlessly integrate ebook content with dynamically discovered web resources.

Workshop 8: Values as Generative Forces in Design

Organizers: Kenneth R. Fleischmann, University of Texas at Austin; Katie Shilton, University of Maryland College Park; Lisa Nathan, University of British Columbia; Ingrid Erickson, Rutgers University

How do values inspire and energize the design process? How does the design process influence and inform our understanding of values? This workshop will explore relationships between values and creativity through a design activity and critical reflection.

According to Parsons (1935), values can be understood as “the creative element in action in general, that element which is causally independent of the positivistic factors of heredity and environment” (1935: 306). Since Parson’s time, a wide range of research has helped to deepen this somewhat opaque insight (Fleischmann, 2014). We now have a burgeoning field dedicated to studying values in relation to technologies and design that has produced studies such as Ahn et al. (2012) regarding the role that values play in attitudes toward creative remixing and Shilton (2013), who introduces the concept of value levers to show how values can enable new ways of looking at problems.

Different cultures and organizations prioritize creativity and creative work differently, indicating that the relationship between values and creativity may not be universal (Fleischmann et al., 2011; Hofstede, 2001; Schwartz, 2007; Sousa & Coelho, 2011). Hacker culture, for example, particularly esteems the link between values and creativity (Kelty, 2010), yet other studies indicate correlations between creativity and specific values (Dollinger et al., 2007; Kasof et al., 2007) or a relationship among values, creativity, and network structure (Zhou et al., 2009). While it is clear that the relationship between values and creativity is an important topic, there is still great potential to demonstrate the practical relevance of creativity to the study of values and design. With this workshop, we will encourage researchers who study values to explore the role of creativity in their work, and researchers who study creativity to explore the role of values in their work.

Our format builds on work by others who have developed creative mechanisms to engage people in activity and discussion on values: Friedman et al. (2011) developed the Envisioning Cards, a set of ideation cards that orient designers towards longer-term, values-oriented considerations during the design process; Flanagan and Nissenbaum (2007) use the affordances of games and gaming in their Values at Play approach, which uses play to foster creativity around values related to social activism; and Halpern et al. (2013) use scavenger hunts and Nathan et al. (2007) use design noir to similar ends.

Inspired by these examples of creative brainstorming and play, this workshop will explore the relationship between values and creativity. To begin, participants will work in small teams to respond to a set of design prompts in which they create mock-ups/prototypes (such as games, wearable technology, and cataloging systems) demonstrating particular values. After this design phase, we will engage in a group discussion in which participants reflect on the ways in which values were connected to their creative process. In particular, we will guide the conversation to include an account of the roles played by proscribed values, value conflicts, and value tensions. The workshop will close with a discussion of next steps and potential future collaborations.

9:00-9:15 am – Introductions and goals
9:15-10:00 am – Design activity 1
10:00-10:30 am – Reflection on values in the process of design activity 1
10:30-11:15 am – Design activity 2
11:15-11:45 am – Reflection on values in the process of design activity 2
11:45-12:00 pm – Wrap-up and next steps

Workshop 9: Visualization Pedagogy in iSchools

Organizers: Jeff Hemsley, Syracuse University; Jaime Snyder, University of Washington; Joseph Cottam, Indiana University; Brian Fisher, Simon Fraser University; Vicki Lemieux, University of British Columbia; Jeff Stanton, Syracuse University; Yang Wang, Syracuse University

Please note: Participants in this workshop will be asked to submit a 500-word position statement. Details below.

The practice of visualization requires expertise in a diverse range of skills including design, data curation and coding, all of which leverage iSchool strengths. The iSchools have a unique opportunity to develop curricula suited for data scientists and other information professionals that goes beyond a focus on visualization tool building. But as a community, the iSchools struggle with some fundamental curricula issues, such as course titles (information vs. data visualization) and the weighting of course content between technical skills, design concepts and understanding cognitive aspects of visualization.

A half-day workshop will be offered during the 2015 iConference in order to explore themes related to the inclusion of information and data visualization coursework in iSchool curricula. Brian Fisher will start us off with a brief introduction of Visual Analytics as a cognitive science. Next, the organizers, who bring a range of experience related to visualization practices, will highlight some of the challenges and opportunities they face in research and teaching visualization. This will be followed by an open forum for participants to share their experiences, seek the advice of colleagues, and articulate challenges and goals related to introducing visualization practices to both undergraduate and graduate iSchool students. In the second half, break out groups will identify and discuss future events that support visualization education and research in the iSchools, with an eye toward cultivating relationships between established visualization communities and the iSchools.

Focusing questions to be addressed during the half-day workshop include:

  • How are participants weighting technical skills, design concepts and cognitive understanding in class?
  • What is the pedagogical relationship between visualization, design and data science?
  • Can we identify best practices for training students in visualization techniques, tools and principles?
  • How can we build connections between visualization education and other iSchool topics such as information literacy, data curation, access, information seeking and use, security, and privacy?
  • Do participants envision multiple course offerings (e.g. introduction and advanced)?
  • How are we training and/or finding qualified instructors?

Anticipated outcomes include creation of an informal working group to address opportunities and challenges related to supporting visualization coursework in iSchool curricula, the creation of a shared repository for lectures, reading lists, syllabi and other teaching resources, and plans for developing future events at the iConference and related venues. Additionally, organizers shall write a paper for submission to the Journal of Education for Library and Information Science (JELIS) informed by the discussions in the workshop.

We invite submissions for this workshop from educators, administrators and others interested in visualization education at information schools. In the weeks leading up to the workshop we will send email to the registered participants soliciting a position statement of less than 500 words that includes their experience and interest related to visualization in the iSchools, specific questions or challenges they are currently facing, as well as how they see visualization playing an increasing role in iSchool curricula in the future.


Workshop 10: On the Role of Engagement in Information Seeking Contexts: From Research to Implementation

Organizers: Ioannis Arapakis, Yahoo Labs, Barcelona; Irene Lopatovska, Pratt Institute, New York; Heather O’Brien, University of British Columbia

Please note: Participants in this workshop are invited to submit a 1-2 page position paper by Jan. 15, 2015. Details below.

Everyday we spend a significant amount of time online accessing, interacting with, and sharing information using a broad array of resources (e.g., Q&A forums, databases), applications (e.g., social networking) and devices (e.g., smart phones). This abundance of digital content is problematic for many users, but also information purveyors, such as libraries and other cultural heritage organizations, as well as online search companies, e-commerce firms, educational institutions, governments, etc. Many are asking, “How can information environments be designed to satisfy functional user and organizational needs, yet still be emotionally compelling and engaging?”

Despite the abundance of work in information retrieval, human-computer interaction, and design, many information systems are inadequate due, in part, to the failure to understand the inter-relation between the physiological, cognitive and affective needs of users. The time is right to develop a framework that accounts for the unique personalities, emotions, motivations and information needs that inform, constrain, and influence people’s interactions with information.

This half-day workshop will provide a forum for interdisciplinary researchers, information and design professionals, and students interested in user engagement and emotion in the context of broadly defined information systems (i.e., the web, digital libraries, museum interfaces).

We invite brief position papers that address theory, measurement, and design in engaging and emotionally salient information interactions. Questions to be addressed may include:

  • What is the value of developing engaging systems? What do they contribute to the user experience?
  • What methods and measures are appropriate for evaluating subjective user experiences? How do we know if they are reliable and valid?
  • How do we design for user engagement? What ethical, cultural, usability, and aesthetic concerns must be addressed?
  • How do we prevent disengagement?
  • How do we “scale up” small-scale techniques for measuring engagement and emotion and connect them with large-scale web analytics?

Position papers (1-2 pages in length) should be submitted to: Please use the iConference paper template:
The deadline for submissions is January 15, 2015.
Workshop proceedings will be published in the University of British Columbia online institutional repository.


  • Introductions

Part 1: Foundational talks related to workshop themes.

  • Current state of user engagement research in digital information environments (O’Brien)
  • Emotion research in information retrieval and museum communities (Lopatovska)
  • Scalability issues, web analytics, and engagement in web search (Arapakis)

Part 2: Lightning talks based on attendees’ position papers.
Part 3: An interactive session, centered on design scenarios, where we will explore innovate ways to create engaging and affectively compelling information systems.

  • Development of engaging and emotional interface prototypes for specific information environments based on provided scenarios
  • Presentation of prototype ideas
  • Group discussion and wrap up, and plans for future engagement and community building

Questions can be directed to any of the workshop organizers: Ioannis Arapakis (; Irene Lopatovka (; and Heather O’Brien (

Workshop 11: Evaluating Cultural Heritage Information Systems

Organizers: Juliane Stiller, Max-Planck-Institute for the History of Science; Vivien Petras, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin; Maria Gäde, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin; Antoine Isaac, Europeana

With vast amounts of digitized cultural heritage organized and made accessible in large information systems, methods, workflows and techniques need to be developed to evaluate the quality of cultural heritage (CH) information systems. As these systems are very different from traditional information systems due to their heterogeneous content, the lack of best practices and reliable use cases, evaluation methods need to be adapted and targeted to deliver reliable results. The half-day workshop will bring together experts, researchers and teachers from various disciplines to discuss and develop evaluation approaches adapted to cultural heritage information systems. This workshop comprises approaches assessing the data quality, user and task analysis and system performance of these systems aiming for a holistic overview of complementary research questions, methods and workflows. The results should prove to be useful for standardizing evaluation efforts and campaigns in this domain, offering a reusable repertoire of evaluation methods which makes them comparable.

The workshop will establish a repertoire of approaches to assess the components of CH information systems and to identify those aspects that make them effective, useful and satisfactory for their respective users. Evaluating the quality of CH information systems comprises at least three dimensions, which will be highlighted in this workshop:

Data Quality. Data quality is essential to ensure that CH content can be found and displayed correctly. The content forms the basis for scholarly analyses or leisurely exploration – both frequent use cases for CH information systems. Data quality affects user satisfaction for either case. Measuring and improving data quality also involves enrichment strategies, which could be automatic or crowd-sourced. How do we assess the quality of heterogeneous content? What are the characteristics of CH data and how can we enrich those objects to improve their usefulness?

Users and Tasks Analysis. CH information systems address broad audiences. Appealing to the different user groups equally poses a challenge for system designers. The analysis of user needs and expectations informs the development and design of useful and usable CH information systems. Who are our users? What are their expectations? How can the task support in CH information systems be evaluated? How can different user needs be accommodated successfully?

System Performance. One of the most important functionalities that CH information systems need to provide is the digital access to their content. Information retrieval research has well-developed domain-agnostic approaches for evaluating the effectiveness of search systems, but CH information systems pose domain-specific challenges – starting with the question whether a relevance-ranked list is the optimal form for a system response. Other aspects, e.g. usability or novel user interactions, also play a role when determining the overall quality of the system performance. Which factors influence the perceived performance of a cultural heritage system? How do the agnostic information retrieval evaluation approaches need to be adjusted to suit this domain?

Workshop 12: A Collaborative Approach to Improving Information Ethics Education

Organizers: Alissa Centivany, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto; School of Information, University of Michigan; Michael Zimmer, School of Information Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Melissa Chalmers, School of Information, University of Michigan; Rebecca Frank, School of Information, University of Michigan

Please note: Participants in this workshop are asked to prepare a brief statement and bring it to the workshop. Details below.

Information professionals legislate the world by managing, organizing, preserving, creating, designing, implementing, and controlling the information systems, services, goods, and devices that are both ubiquitous in and essential to our daily existence. But where there is great power, there is also great responsibility. Recent media reports of security breaches, suspect record management practices, surreptitious user manipulation, and other questionable practices highlight an unmet need for greater preparation and support of information professionals as they navigate complex ethical issues implicit in much of their work. Improving information ethics education is one way to begin building a strong and supportive foundation necessary for successfully navigating this space moving forward.

While a growing number of iSchools include ethics education in their course offerings, there are significant disparities in terms of the quality, degree, and type of education provided. Existing courses tend to offer specialized perspectives that draw upon the rich ethics literature of related fields: library science; computer science; law; communication; business; medicine; etc., or established patterns of professional practice and/or formalized codes of conduct: ARMA, ALA, SAA, ISSA, and so forth. While these specialized courses offer tremendous value to their constituents, one might wonder how a more inclusive perspective, embodied in a foundational course organized around an overarching theory of information ethics and bridging the specializations in a coherent way, might also serve the needs of the iSchool community.

This workshop will explore the possibility of creating a foundational course that includes both theoretical and applied ethics components and prepares students to legislate the world in socially responsible ways. By adopting a collaborative approach, this joint effort has the added potential of improving disciplinary consensus and cohesion within the iSchool community and building greater credibility amongst the broader academic, industry, and public spheres.

This half-day workshop invites iSchool faculty, students, administrators, and members of industry to discuss, debate, and collaborate on developing solutions to fill the existing gaps in information ethics education. Participations are asked to prepare and and bring to the workshop a brief statement (page or less) in which they identify and describe a key ethical principle, problem, and/or theme which ought to be covered by iSchool curricula. These statements will provide a jumping off point for a plenary roundtable discussion. During the second part of the workshop, participants will have an opportunity to discuss, comment on, critique, and/or modify a draft model Information Ethics course syllabus provided by the organizers.

The goals and outcomes of the roundtable discussion are tri-fold. First, the workshop seeks to raise awareness and build consensus around the need for improved ethics education. Second, it hopes to identify some of the major salient ethical principles, challenges, and themes of relevance to the iSchool community; a brief report summarizing the findings will be made available online. Third, the workshop provides an opportunity to collaborate on the creation and refinement of a model Information Ethics course syllabus; the draft model syllabus will be made available post-conference for additional review, modification, customization, and adoption.

2015 Workshops Call

If you are interested in building a new research community, strengthening an existing research community, or further advancing a particular field, please consider organizing a workshop. iConference Workshops are intended to foster interactive discussions focusing on the particular topic within the purview of the iSchools, namely, the relationships among information, people and technology. Workshops provide a great opportunity for attendees who share common interests and want to have intensive discussions for a half or full day. We encourage you to submit proposals that will create common knowledge within iSchools.

Please follow the Submission Guidelines below in describing your proposal. All submissions must be in English. Submitted proposals should not exceed 750 words (not counting references). All submissions should be in PDF format, using the official iConference template.


  • Submission deadline: : end-of-day September 26, 2014, midnight PDT
  • Notification: October 27, 2014
  • Web-friendly description due: November 10, 2014
  • Final versions for proceedings due: December 15, 2014

Submission Guidelines

Workshop proposals should describe the organizers, participants, purpose, format (panels, papers, discussions), goals or outcomes, and relevance to the iConference. Please use the structure described below (under “Required Submission Information”) to organize and prepare your workshop proposal. Submit your proposal in PDF format through the ConfTool conference system.

Please note the following:

  • The conference registration fees include registration for workshops; therefore, participants will not be charged extra to attend any of the workshops at iConference 2015.
  • The conference will not provide funding support to workshop organizers for their workshop.
  • All participating organizers, presenters, and speakers are expected to register and pay to attend the iConference.
  • Proposals will be reviewed by the Workshop Chair and a subset of the Program Committee, and some brief but useful feedback will be provided.
  • Accepted workshop proposals will be included in the official proceedings.

Required Submission Information

Title: Workshop title

Organizer(s): Names and affiliations of the organizers, in preferred order of appearance.

Description: Include a description of the workshop not to exceed 750 words (not including abstract or references). This description will be used to help us select workshops. Workshop descriptions should address each of the following:

  • Half or Full day: Indicate if your workshop will be half or full day.
  • Purpose and Intended Audience: Please state the audience to which your event is designed to appeal and the goals and/or expected outcomes for your event.
  • Proposed Format: Describe how your workshop will be organized and structured. The format is up to you: you can have a series of presenters followed by discussion; presentations and discussions of solicited papers, abstracts or position statements; a panel presentation, etc. Include a draft schedule that will fit within the half or full day you have indicated above. To advance beyond “sage on the stage,” explain the strategies you will use to engage workshop attendees. Note: If you plan to solicit abstracts, papers, or position statements, you are expected to set up your own system or protocol for doing so (e.g., through a website, via email, etc.). Participants registration for workshops will be managed through the conference registration site.
  • Goals or Outcomes: Please state the goals and/or expected outcomes for your workshop. Also, include any plans to prepare a report, proceedings, wiki, or website to disseminate the results of your workshop.
  • Relevance to the iConference: Briefly state the focus of your proposal topic and note the importance, relevance, value, and/or interest to the iSchool community. Provide a brief explanation of how this workshop will appeal to the audience both with respect to content and format of the workshop. If the workshop has been associated with the iConference in the past or is part of an ongoing series, please explain this.
  • Expected/Preferred Number of Participants: We can accommodate workshops that have anywhere from 20 to 100 attendees but we do have room size limits. Please indicate the expected number of attendees, and also your preferred maximum number of attendees.

Workshops Chairs

Workshops Program Committee

  • Dharma Akmon, University of Michigan
  • Warren Allen, Florida State University
  • Joshua Introne, Michigan State University
  • Lily Irani, University of California San Diego
  • Yong Ming Kow, City University of Hong Kong
  • Jian Qin, Syracuse University
  • Rebecca Reynolds, Rutgers University
  • Soo Young Rieh, University of Michigan
  • Elizabeth Thiry, McKendree University
  • Zhan Zhang, Drexel University


Questions about Workshops should be directed to the Workshops Chairs listed above.


2015 Sponsors

Click here to learn more about this year’s sponsors.

Champion Sponsors

Microsoft Research

Hana Lab

National Science Foundation Logo


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For general questions about iConference 2015, please contact iConference Coordinator Clark Heideger.

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