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Welcome Message from the Chairs

Welcome to the 2016 iConference Doctoral Colloquium. We look forward to our time together to discuss your research and future prospects for research and scholarship.

We selected 24 of you from a pool of 100 applicants. Applicants came from many universities in the United States, Canada, and from across the world. Sadly, we could not accommodate many qualified and interesting applicants. Our selection process emphasized:

  1. Research fit, focusing on projects at interesting and significant intersections of information, technology, and people.
  2. Scholarly maturity, particularly dissertation plans that were reasonably advanced and clearly presented.
  3. Stage of research, favoring students who were at a point in their development where colloquium feedback would be most beneficial.

Based on your diverse research interests, we have assembled a distinguished team of faculty mentors to work with you throughout the conference.

We are concentrating our activities in two days of the conference. On Monday, March 21, we will meet at lunch as a single group. Each of you will introduce yourself and what you hope to accomplish at the conference. The next day you will attend the conference, but we hope you will all look out for each other, in navigating, discussing and assisting each other through the conference.

We will spend much of Wednesday, March 23, together. In the morning, each of you will present a brief, two-minute overview of your research, by way of introduction, and we hope to help us all understand the range of interests and methodological approaches represented within the iSchool community. We will then divide into research cohorts—groups of three or four students and one or two faculty mentors. Each student will engage in a 30-minute review and critiques of each other’s research. We will support these conversations with extended abstracts of your research, distributed in advance. After breaking for lunch, we will continue as a colloquium with panel discussions on transitioning to faculty status, and your future academic and career success. Please be prepared with questions that concern you.

Participant biographies and dissertation project abstracts are presented below; they are being made available to all conference attendees to help highlight your talent and potential as scholars.

We thankful the iSchools and the iConference—as well as your home institutions—for making doctoral colloquium possible. We are glad that you are here and look forward to an engaging time together.

Greg Leazer, Iris XieDoctoral Colloquium Co-Chairs

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Note: The following schedule is preliminary and subject to change.

Monday, March 21, 2016
Noon-1:00 pm, Welcome and Overview Lunch
Location: Congress B

  • Doctoral Students give 2-minute introductions of themselves and expectations for the colloquium


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Location: Commonwealth D

8:30-9:45am, Doctoral Colloquium Introduction

  • Doctoral Students give 2-minute briefs of their research
  • Doctoral Students/Mentor Research Discussion

9:45-10:00am, Break


  • Meet in small groups of 4 students and 1-2 faculty members discussing students’ dissertation research

Noon-1:00pm, Lunch Reception
Location: Congress C

  • Tables of 6-7 students and 2 faculty members
  • Informal general tips, advice, and discussion

1:00-2:00pm, Debriefing Summary of the Morning

2:00-3:30pm, Closing Plenary

  • Topics: Job Market, Getting Grants, Post PhD Research Agenda

2016 Participants

Sarah A. Buchanan

Biography: Sarah A. Buchanan is a doctoral candidate in the School of Information at The University of Texas at Austin. Her dissertation research examines archaeological curation using multi-sited ethnographic methods. She researches in the archival studies and digital humanities areas, including arrangement and description, museum archaeology, digital classics, and community archives. She enjoys teaching across information studies and has prepared course curricula in the areas of archives and preservation management and research methods. Sarah worked previously as a rare books cataloger and librarian, and currently serves as an archivist in the Program in Aegean Scripts and Prehistory (PASP) at UT. Sarah holds an M.L.I.S. from the University of California, Los Angeles and a B.A. with Distinction in Classical Studies from the University of Pennsylvania.

Research: Motivated by a recognized curation crisis in archaeology, this dissertation examines professional practices in the creation and use of object documentation. Using multi-sited ethnographic methods to gather and analyze data, this research offers a new understanding of curation as a distributed work continuum. By focusing on transition points and handoffs in archaeological collections management, the findings argue for the interconnectedness of archaeological practice in four main work activities: fieldwork, conservation, curation, and exhibition. Data and documentation generated during each of these activities impacts the research and display potential of artifacts, especially significant for museum archaeology practice and public engagement. This research builds on archaeological, archival, and museum scholarship as it contributes to ongoing dialogues around data transparency and provenance research for antiquities collections.

Julia Bullard

Biography: Julia Bullard is a doctoral candidate in the School of Information at the University of Texas at Austin, studying under Melanie Feinberg and Diane Bailey. Julia previously earned an MLIS from the University of British Columbia and a Masters in Cultural Studies & Critical Theory from McMaster University. Her work—informed by infrastructure studies, knowledge organization, and HCI—shows how communities collaboratively design information systems and how these systems might come to approach, represent, or fail the values of their communities and collections. Julia focuses on systems built by users, outside professional intervention, such as databases of video game items and classification systems for fanfiction. Julia occasionally tweets about HCI, video games, popular culture, and politics from @julzbullard.

Research: Classification systems—the designed structures of terms, their relationships, and the rules for applying these terms to documents or people—provide an almost invisible layer of infrastructure under collections and interfaces we encounter on a daily basis. I study classification systems as infrastructural systems—invisible systems that are the product of invisible work. By focusing on the work of classification designers, I draw attention to their designed quality. My research questions focus on the details of daily classification design decisions and in answering them I expect to show how personal experience, ethics, creativity, and other local, contextual factors shape finished systems (particularly in contrast to the established view of systems as objective and designers as interchangeable). I have taken an ethnographic approach to this topic and have been engaged in a large group of volunteer classification designers for 3 years, using participation, diary studies, and interviews with the other volunteer designers. I have found that in daily work different established principles are taken up or avoided depending on how they help to manage the divergent goals of representing a set of things authentically or accurately, making an accessible and useful system, and representing people and concepts in a respectful way.

Seth Erickson

Biography: Seth Erickson is a doctoral candidate in Information Studies at UCLA. Building on his experience as a creative programmer and web developer, Erickson’s work focuses on forms of production in contemporary digital scholarship. His dissertation research consists of a comparative case study of software development practices observed in two scholarly communities, in computational physics and the digital humanities. As a practicing developer, Erickson has extensive experience collaborating with humanities and social science researchers in the implementation of digital projects. He is also the lead developer for Triple Canopy, a web-based art and literature magazine based in New York. Erickson holds an MLIS from UCLA and a BA in History of Art and Architecture from Brown University.

Research: How and when is software development an epistemological issue in digital scholarship? In both the sciences and the humanities, strategies for designing, building, and maintaining software increasingly find their way–implicitly or overtly–into the justifications of knowledge claims. However, software development is typically conceptualized as the practical matter of implementing specifiable computational tools, not as an ongoing process of materializing theoretical and epistemological orientations. Building on understandings of software development as an ongoing, human-centered practice, on the one hand, and theories of scholarly work that emphasize the materialization of knowledge objects, on the other, this dissertation aims toward a general theoretical understanding of scholarly software development–software development as a knowledge practice. A provisional framework, presented here, describes scholarly software development in terms of overlapping chains of activity of scholarly and technical work. This dynamic can be characterized as an unfolding process in which different kinds of conspicuousness (i.e., apparent insufficiencies of knowledge objects) are managed simultaneously: the computational conspicuousness of scholarly objects and the epistemological conspicuousness of software objects. This framework will be empirically tested through a comparative case study of two groups of scholarly software developers: a group of physicists building computer simulations to study plasma phenomena and a group of humanities scholars building a web-based platform for authoring and publishing born digital scholarship. Ethnographic fieldwork and technical histories of observed software practices will be used to understand how scholarly and technical commitments are negotiated and sustained during the development and maintenance of software at each site.

Tali Gazit

Biography: A recipient of the scholarship for honor doctoral students at the Department of Information Science in Bar-Ilan University in Israel. Has a Master’s degree (MA – Magna cum laude) in Bibliotherapy from the Faculty of Education at the University of Haifa, and a BA in Psychology and Philosophy from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

As a bibliotherapist, I have always found a great interest in how people express their inner-selves in writing, and the Internet gave me an excellent opportunity to follow their written words. Hence, my first research as a part of the thesis, dealt with how people expose themselves in self-description profiles in dating sites. The subject of the current doctoral dissertation is the psychological and environmental factors behind participation and lurking in Facebook Groups’ Discussions, which is advised by Prof. Bar-Ilan and Prof. Amichai-Hamburger.

I have taught research methods, statistics and social psychology as a TA during the last eight years at the Communication Department of the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya, Israel. In the current year I’m teaching statistics and research methods at the Department of Information Science in Bar-Ilan University, and will teach Internet psychology next year in that department.

Last, but not least, together with my partner Tomer, we are raising our amazing baby boy, Alon, our loyal dog, Mishmish, and our old good cat, Feely.

Research: Modern communication channels, and especially the Internet, are considered nowadays as a vital part of our daily life. The social networks, like Facebook, allow people with similar interests to discuss common issues and to offer information, support and social interactions. However, despite the benefits gained from participation in online social media, research has shown that the majority of users are passive readers who don’t participate, (the lurkers).

Understanding participation and lurking is central to understanding the socialization element in online social behavior, especially as lurkers do have opinions, ideas, and information that can be of value to the community. Hence, lurkers should be encouraged to participate more actively in online discussions. For this reason, it is important to understand the factors behind lurking and participation.

My research focuses on two of these factors: personality traits and environmental factors. The research includes four studies: A) Focus groups, that helped mapping the motivations to participate or avoid participation in online discussions; B) A questionnaire for 507 Internet users, asking them about their Internet behavior as well as their personality traits; C) Quantitative content analysis of three Facebook groups; D) An experiment, that is taking place in a Facebook group created and managed by me.

Results for the three first studies are being analyzed, while the forth study is being conducted these days.

Adam Girard 

Biography: Adam Girard is an information scientist, interaction designer, and user experience researcher based in Dublin, Ireland where he is a PhD candidate in the School of Information and Communication Studies at University College Dublin. In addition to his research, Adam has taught a variety of classes, ranging from information literacy to Human-Computer Interaction.

Broadly, his research interests center on the relationships between people and interactive technologies as they take on new individual, social, and cultural forms, meanings, and values in everyday life. His PhD research focuses on digital reading practices and technologies, in a way that is historically grounded in the meanings and values of reading, with an eye to the future.

Adam has had formative experiences living and learning in Chicago, Vermont, Southern India, and Ireland where he developed a diverse skill set that informs his design work. His training brings together a rare combination of academic research and teaching with design practice. Adamʼs work incorporates a holistic understanding of the human condition through a unique combination of analytical skills, technical knowledge and an aesthetic sensibility. This perspective values analytical research, and recognizes the power of designed objects to communicate knowledge in material form. In his personal life, Adam is passionate about cooking, bicycling, and playing the banjo.

Research: The purpose of this dissertation is to explore the meanings of attachment to electronic books and digital reading practices to support interaction design practice. Traditional electronic reading research often focuses on preferences between digital and print sources, legibility, and screen quality. This work moves beyond those concerns to explore the complex personal, social, cultural, and situational factors that impact the changing meanings of reading in this mode.

Drawing on intellectual traditions of Human-Computer Interaction and Material Culture Studies, this work is framed by an interest in attachment. Theories of Attachment describe an inherently engaging and meaningful experience characterized by a bond between people and material objects. Based on this framing, the study conducts user experience research asking: (1) What is the nature of the experience of attachment to electronic books as perceived, described, and felt by readers? (2) Can the changing nature of attachment to reading technologies help us understand cultural meanings of reading? (3) How can understanding experiences of attachment by readers inform the design process for e-books and other mobile technologies?

Preliminary findings of the study identify several meanings that people associate with attachment to electronic reading. These meanings contribute to research on e-books, representing new ways to understand the electronic reading experience. More importantly, these meanings generate knowledge aimed at designers as they make design choices. Improved design based on these findings has the potential to improve peopleʼs experiences with e-books by making them more rewarding, desirable, engaging, and fun.

Hyejung Han

Biography: My name is Hyejung Han. I am a PhD candidate in the School of Information Studies at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. My research interests are Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), Digital Libraries and Information Behavior, particularly children’s information behavior and help-seeking behavior. I earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from HanKuk University of Foreign Studies, South Korea and a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. My research and teaching focus on information behavior and information retrieval systems. I have published in several journals in various topics on user search behaviors in using digital libraries and mobile devices. I have taught a digital library class independently and have worked as a TA for several semesters.

Research: My proposed dissertation “Understanding Children’s Help-Seeking Behavior: Effects of Domain Knowledge” seeks to understand children’s information searching process, particularly help-seeking behavior and effects of their domain knowledge in using search support tools in a search engine and a children’s web portal site. The participants in this study are 8 to 11 years old. It is important to consider age differences in the tendencies to seek, interpret, or use information and in using search support tools in IR systems. The relationships between children’s information searching process and their domain knowledge will be considered as well. In fact, little research has been done concentrating on children’s effective searching. My dissertation aims to better understand how children interact with IR systems to find information and the relationships between their domain knowledge and help-seeking in using IR systems by applying cognitive development theories and perspectives.

Youyang Hou

Biography: Youyang Hou is a PhD Candidate in Information Science at the School of Information, University of Michigan, supervised by Dr. Cliff Lampe. Her research interests are HCI, CSCW are social computing. Specifically, she is interested in social behaviors in online communities, and how civic technologies support citizen engagement for public organizations. Prior to UMich, she received her MA in Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience from Michigan State University, and her BA in Psychology from Peking University, China.

Research: A growing number of civic technologies are built to engage citizens in the city planning and public service delivery, yet many of them fail to survive without sufficient institutional support, and the effort of designing is always situated in complex interdependencies between different stakeholders. I chose a civic hacking project Citizen Interaction Design (CID) as my research site, in which city officials, nonprofit organizations and tech-savvy citizens collaboratively developed new information tools that helped to revolutionize citizen engagement. Drawing on observations and interviews with designers, developers and city stakeholders, this project aims to investigate the socio-technical factors that influence the collaboration during civic hacking and the successful implementation of civic technologies in public organizations.

Jinseok Kim

Biography: Jinseok Kim is expected to earn his Ph.D. in Library and Information Science in 2016, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, in the field of Socio-technical Data Analytics (i.e., data science). Broadly speaking, his work focuses on data processing, analytics, and social media. He obtained his M.A. in Communication from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2012, and his B.A. in English Literature and Language from Yonsei University in 2001. Jinseok has professional experience to have worked as a government official in Korea for ten years and to help the President of the Republic of Korea communicate more effectively with the public via online media.

Research: Jinseok’s research topic encompasses how data processing can affect knowledge discovery from data. Data processing, as a preliminary step to data analysis, refers to the validation of correctness, aggregation, cleaning, classification, and feature generation. He argues that the choice of processing methods or assumptions can represent the same data in different ways, possibly leading to false positive or false negative findings and consequently to flawed decision making. Such impact may be amplified as data size increases, posing a risk to big data analysis. This problem has not been adequately addressed by information scientists. Thus, his research goal is to (1) measure the impact of data processing on our understanding of data under various conditions such as data size, (2) identify error generation and propagation mechanism caused by data processing decisions, and (3) propose solutions to mitigate distortive effects of data processing on knowledge. In his dissertation, especially, Jinseok shows that large-scale bibliometric data can provide different knowledge depending on the choice of author name disambiguation methods, possibly leading to false positive finding of power law distribution of node degree in collaboration networks and consequently to false validation of its generation mechanism, preferential attachment.

Jinyoung Kim

Biography: Jinyoung Kim is a Doctoral Candidate at the College of Information Studies of the University of Maryland, College Park. Jinyoung is interested in questions related to women’s information behavior, life transition, social media use, and human computer interaction. Her dissertation research focuses on immigrant women’s information behavior through qualitative research method. Previously, she was a user experience researcher at LG electronics and Seoul National University. She earned her B.A. from Seoul National University, and her M.S. from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology.

Research: The advancement of transportation and communication technologies has contributed to the ubiquity of sojourning and immigration experiences in modern days. Information behavior lies at the center of immigrants’ culture learning and adjustment to the host society. When facing a novel situation, an immigrant should be able to locate information and use it properly to understand the new social system and make better decisions. This study addresses important research questions on how newcomers interact with diverse information channels to learn the new culture and live in the new environment. Also, this study examines individual and social contexts of immigrant women to understand how these contexts shape women’s immigration experiences, acculturation goals, and information practices. Eight Korean immigrant women living in the East Coast cities of the United States participated in this study. Ethnographic interview, diary study, and participant observation methods were used to capture daily information activities and personal and social contexts of participants. The data collection process continued for up to 5 months to understand how these contexts are changing, and how acculturation goals and attitudes evolve across time. Using these qualitative research methods, I investigate immigrant women’s perception toward their immigration experiences, perceived challenges and goals that they consider as important, and utilization of online and offline information resources for resolving daily information needs.

Nathan Moles

Biography: Vanessa Kitzie is a Ph.D. candidate in LIS at Rutgers University School of Communication and Information. Her research, teaching, and practice centers on the intersection of the library, human information behavior, and ICT use, with a particular focus on the information practices of marginalized groups and how these practices may be shaped by ICTs. Prior to her Ph.D. work, Vanessa worked as a news researcher at ABC. She holds an MLIS from Rutgers University and a BA and BS from Boston University.

Research: Within the field of Library and Information Science (LIS), access to information tends to be perceived as either physical or cognitive in nature. This conception is problematic when considering that one’s perception of information available to them can also be shaped by social group and cultural membership. Such shaping is particularly exacerbated in conditions where one’s status relative to these memberships is viewed as marginalized. To this end, my dissertation research addresses how social and cultural contexts afford and constrain the information practices of individuals with non-heteronormative sexualities and/or gender identities, and how these affordances and constraints are also imbued within the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs). Findings have implications for informing LIS practice regarding information services and system design, as well as the advancement of information practices as a salient theoretical concept within LIS.

Noah Lenstra

Biography: I am a PhD candidate in Library & Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where I also received a Master’s of Science and a Certificate of Advanced Study. In my research and teaching I take a community informatics approach to literacy, heritage, and marginalized populations. My dissertation analyzes the community-based information infrastructure older adults rely on to acquire and maintain digital literacy. My research has been published in Public Library Quarterly, First Monday, and in iConference proceedings. I also participate actively in the information professions, most recently as the keynote speaker at the Dubuque (Iowa) Area Library Information Consortium’s Small Archival Projects Conference. Since 2009 I have directed eBlack Champaign-Urbana, a research project that involves a university working with a local community to construct a digital library on local African-American history. My work has earned me a Campus Award for Excellence in Public Engagement, a Eugene Garfield Doctoral Dissertation Fellow from Beta Phi Mu, the International Library and Information Studies Honor Society, and best paper awards at international conferences in Toronto and Beijing. I have taught Master’s level courses on community informatics and digital heritage. More information on these topics is available at my website:

Research: In my research I take a community informatics approach to literacy, heritage, and marginalized populations.

Research Area 1: Community Informatics in Aging Societies

To gain a rich understanding of how and why older adults learn to use digital technologies I used a variety of methods in my dissertation research, including participant observation, interviews, and surveys. At the six sites (3 senior centers and 3 public libraries) where I conducted my research a diverse sample participated: the 209 older adults (median age: 73) were 59% white, 38% African-American, and 3% Asian-American. My dissertation shows to what extent and how public spaces embedded in local communities support older adult inclusion in the information society.

Research Area 2: Inter-generational Heritage Information Practices

A second focus in my research concerns inter-generational heritage information practices. My knowledge of this topic developed during a project called eBlackCU, a multi-year initiative in which I worked with a local African-American community to construct a digital library on local history. I found that older adults have a great deal of heritage they want to share across generations, yet many struggle with the digital systems necessary to reach their goals. My research illustrates how community-based information infrastructures address this problem.

Caitlin Lustig

Biography: Caitlin Lustig is a doctoral candidate in the Informatics department at the University of California, Irvine. Her research broadly explores how power and agency are distributed among actants in socio-technical systems. Caitlin’s research is situated in critical algorithms studies, the emerging focus in New Media Studies, STS, HCI, and CSCW on the study of the relations of power between algorithms, corporate entities, workers, and users. Her current work uses an empirical study of Bitcoin’s blockchain algorithm to explore how this distributed and peer-to-peer algorithm is integrated into centralized systems, and what tensions and negotiation of values result from this process. Her work pays particular attention to how these negotiations play out through technical decisions and the governance of the code in the open source software model.

Prior to beginning graduate school, Caitlin received her bachelor’s degree in computer engineering with a hardware focus from the University of Washington. She also was a research intern for a summer program at University College Dublin. During her time as an undergraduate, she conducted ubiquitous computing and ICT4D research.

Research: This work analyzes the blockchain algorithm, a decentralized and distributed algorithm first developed for use with Bitcoin, and how this algorithm might be used to transform relations of power in socio-technical systems. The blockchain is a public ledger that is verified through the efforts of a decentralized peer-to-peer network. This algorithm is unique in that it provides a transparent and trusted method for solving problems that normally would require trusted third parties to resolve (e.g., payment intermediaries). Currently, many blockchain advocates are encouraging the integration of the blockchain algorithm into a number of different centralized infrastructures such as banking and governments. An analysis of the blockchain can provide an understanding of how algorithms are made into infrastructure and the tensions that emerge when integrating a decentralized algorithm into entities and infrastructures that are centralized. This research on the blockchain will examine how well the algorithm achieves the goals of its users, how the goals of the users and developers change as they determine what values the blockchain should represent, and what unintended consequences may arise from the blockchain’s reconfiguration of power and agency as it is being made into infrastructure.

Andrea Marshall

Biography: I am a Ph.D. candidate in Information Studies in the College of Computing and Informatics at Drexel University. My engagement with regional LGBTIQA Steampunk communities, local maker spaces, and my fieldwork with computer clubs through an NSF grant in Philadelphia, as well as computer clubs in Germany, contributed to the questions I ask in my dissertation research. My work asks questions about informal learning environments, nonlinear learning processes, and current approaches to computing education. I am curious as to how we can synthesize STEAM principles, feminist theories of identity formation and playful and nonlinear constructions of learning processes to establish value sensitive educational practices that can be applied to formal sociotechnical learning environments.

Research: Maker culture as a movement supports exploration, playfulness, innovation, and skill building using creativity and nonlinear learning styles as ways of exploring self-efficacy and agency. As core elements all these define a movement that otherwise has been recognized as multi-faceted, as it unites designers, crafters, steampunks, and bricoleurs in their do-it-yourself approach to technology which share common maker identity features. Research has identified them to be concerned with identity production skill development and refinement, participation principles and sharing norms, and gender is a key, but understudied, component of identity formation. My work seeks to unpack how gendered expertise might become emergent within sociotechnical contexts, thereby creating opportunities for queer sociotechnical identities to become visible and validated within information and computing environments.

Stephanie Mikitish

Biography: Stephanie Mikitish is an access services staff member at Rutgers University’s Archibald S. Alexander Library and a PhD candidate in Library & Information Sciences at the Rutgers University School of Communication and Information. Her research interests include assessing academic library value and library instruction.

Research: What is the value of information, and how can this value be measured? This is one of the most pressing questions facing libraries and information centers, but it also affects related educational institutions. My dissertation focuses on information engagement among doctoral students in the social sciences, including behavioral, emotional, and cognitive dimensions. More specifically, I am interested in exploring how students in various stages of their doctoral studies perceive and conceptualize their engagement when looking for information, and how academic libraries can better serve this surprisingly understudied population. The dissertation study will utilize focus group interviews, individual interviews, and a survey. The expected findings of this study are to provide a conceptualization of information engagement for this population, and to identify the characteristics of students with low, medium, and high levels of information engagement. A deeper understanding of how doctoral students engage with information and how this can help them develop as scholars benefits all in higher education. I believe that until we grasp an idea of what engagement encompasses outside of traditional measures, we will be no closer to assessing how much information and the institutions that provide it are really worth to Ph.D. students.

Robert D. Montoya

Biography: Robert D. Montoya is a doctoral candidate in Information Studies at UCLA. He holds a M.L.I.S. with a specialization in Rare Books, Print and Visual Culture from UCLA, a M.F.A In Creative Writing from Antioch University, Los Angeles, and a B.A. in American Literature and Culture, with a minor in Anthropology, from UCLA. Broadly, his research examines how knowledge organization, classification, and documentation theories within Information Studies can be applied and understood in different domains of study, with a particular emphasis on biodiversity studies, as well as how classification systems evolve epistemologically and materially with the adoption of new technologies. Robert has extensive experience working in non-profit institutions, special collections, archives, and academic libraries. Other fields of scholarly interest include, history of the book and print culture, philosophy of information, science and technology studies (STS), and scholarly & electronic publishing.

Research: This dissertation research takes a critical approach to explore what Information Studies can learn about taxonomies by studying the history, construction, and articulation of aggregated biodiversity knowledge organization (KO) systems. Topics of concern include how knowledge is represented and transformed in the process of compiling these taxonomic databases, what conceptual assumptions these types of infrastructures embody, their ‘justness,’ as well as their authority and efficacy in scientific practice. This work brings together several domains of scholarly activity including, classification theory, philosophy, documentation studies, biodiversity studies, systematics, and infrastructure studies. Methods include the examination of prominent biodiversity infrastructures through documentary analysis and qualitative fieldwork involving semi-structured interviews and nonparticipant observation.

MinSook Park

Biography: MinSook Park is a doctoral candidate in School of Information at the Florida State University (FSU). She received his B.S. in Library and Information Science from Sungkyunkwan University in South Korea and her Masters in Library and Information Science from FSU.

MinSook Park is currently working on her dissertation, analyzing data and writing the results chapter of my dissertation. It is expected to be completed and defended for the Ph.D. by March 2016, with an anticipated graduation date of April 30, 2016.

MinSook Park’s general research interests lie at the intersection of information behavior, data science, social informatics, and information organization. Her main research interest is in understanding information behavior and knowledge structures of health information users. More specifically, her research focuses on understanding health information behavior and identifying semantic relations in health resources on the World Wide Web, mainly harnessing social media data. To process, analyze, and interpret the socially generated data on the Web, she has concentrated on learning and using computational skills and statistical approaches. Her primary research objective is to contribute to designing and developing human-centered data management systems, particularly in the area of public health.

Research: The current dissertation falls under the broad context of knowledge representation (KR) systems in the health domain. In particular, the current study adopts relatively new area of research, which is “social semantics.” This approach to KR seeks a way to integrate two different metadata mechanisms, which are tags and ontologies, for online information resources to produce better semantically-rich KR by synthesizing socially created knowledge on the Web.

The current study can be characterized as a user-centered bottom-up approach to investigate structures in user-generated KR. It explores semantic relations between concepts in a large amount of unstructured text data and associated metadata (i.e., tags) generated by health information users in social media based on the existing ontology structure, the Unified Medical Language System®(UMLS).

The study employs mainly text mining, natural language processing, and content analysis to discover semantic structures emerged from user-generated data in natural language to better understanding of the online heath users’ KR practice in the Social Web by examining how lay health information users relate concepts regarding their health issues.

The results of the study could ultimately be used to structure and access online health resources by imparting richer collective intelligence or common-sense to KR systems to enhance the organization of Web resources.

Michelle W. Purcell

Biography: I am a Ph.D. candidate in Information Studies in the College of Computing and Informatics at Drexel University. Working as a software engineer previously I began to see the limitations of developing systems that did not consider the social aspects of use. This spurred my dissertation research. I am also interested in computing education research. I have participated on two NSF grants researching novel ways of teaching computing concepts which involved mentoring undergraduates participating in FOSS to learn software engineering concepts and working with underrepresented groups to help promote interest in computing through E-textiles-based learning.

Research: Increasingly organizations are looking beyond their own boundaries to identify innovative ways to advance products and services by soliciting ideas from their users via the Internet. While organizations are embracing this opportunity they face obstacles. Evidence shows little problem with idea generation but instead with creating workable ideas. Free and open source software (FOSS) provides a viable context from which to study idea co-creation online. To that end my dissertation work uses a structured affordance approach for examining instrumental and social affordances in FOSS projects during new feature request processes. The intent is to understand how the sociomateriality of community participation architectures influences idea co-creation.

Caroline Stratton

Biography: Caroline Stratton is a PhD candidate in Information Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research belongs to the field of information and communication technologies for development (ICT4D) and she has a specific focus on utilization of socioeconomic development theories, historical and current, to understand interactions among people, technologies, and development. She holds a B.S. in Nuclear and Radiological Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Caroline previously worked as a fuel core designer in the nuclear power industry.

Research: ICT4D initiatives frequently fail to attain goals for technology implementation and development outcomes, despite high spending worldwide on such initiatives. Complicating the practical situation, the ICT4D literature does little to interpret the relationship between information and communication technologies (ICT) and the concept of socioeconomic development. A better understanding of the relationship between ICT and development would potentially improve project design and lead to higher rates of success in ICT4D practice. To begin theorizing about ICT and development, my dissertation utilizes a multiple case study research design to investigate ICT4D projects and their surroundings in different contexts of development policy and institutional structures. To this end, I spent six months conducting data collection for the study, based in Medellín, Colombia and Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia. The expected contribution of this research is theory that addresses ICT4D phenomena within local, national, and international contexts and draws upon the body of development theories to situate phenomena.

Si Sun

Biography: Si Sun is a PhD Candidate and part time lecturer at the School of Communication and Information at Rutgers University. Her research examines how people living with chronic conditions manage their everyday personal health information and how to design information technologies to support those efforts. Her previous work on personal health information management and systems design, clinical health information systems, and online health communities were presented at ASIS&T, AMIA, ACM CHI, and KCHC. Si Sun is the recipient of the Tung-Li & Hui-Hsi Yuan Endowed Fellowship Award and her dissertation is supported by the Tefko Endowed Dissertation Scholarship Award.

Si Sun serve as the Chair of the Special Interests Group of Health Informatics at ASIS&T starting from 2014. She is also a patient advocate at three U.S. based face-to-face patient support groups and four Chinese organizations for diabetes patients.

Si Sun holds a Master’s and a Bachelor’s degree from Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, majoring in Management Information Systems. Si Sun worked at Beijing Huicong International Information Corporation and SK c&c as an information systems consultant, and at China Computer World and Communications World Weekly as a journalist.

Research: Effectively managing health information over the long term is particularly important for people living with chronic disease. Si Sun’s research focuses on understanding how people living with chronic conditions manage their personal health information. Built on this understanding, she designs health information technologies that can seamlessly merge into existing patient work to provide support in the background and encourage information technology adoption over the long term. She also studies how patients use information technologies offered in the clinical environment. The purpose of her research is to help patients understand themselves better and promote communication between patients and providers for the ultimate goal of improving health care outcomes.

Si Sun’s dissertation examines how patients living with chronic conditions manage their daily personal health information. Specifically, she looks at the activities patients engage in, the motivators for patients to perform or not perform information management activities, the items patients use to store information, and the emotions they experience when managing information. Si Sun not only studies those four aspects in depth, but also explores the relationships between them. Based on these investigations, Si Sun aims to propose design principles for consumer-oriented health information technologies.

Dakuo Wang

Biography: Dakuo Wang is a PhD candidate in the Informatics Department in the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of California, Irvine, where he works in the Hana Research Group with Judy and Gary Olson. His research interest lies in Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), Human Computer Interaction (HCI), and Information Visualization (InfoVis). Prior to his dissertation work, he did research with Gloria Mark on Internet users’ experience of censorship.

In his current PhD work, he focuses more specifically on understanding and supporting people’s collaborative writing practices, now that new tools are available. In his dissertation work, he conducts both qualitative and quantitative work to investigate collaborative writing with the goal of developing tools to make the collaboration easier and more successful. He previously earned a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of California, Irvine, a Diplôme d’Ingénieur (Master of Science) in Information System Management at École Centrale d’Électronique, Paris, and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science at the Beijing University of Technology. He has worked in the fields of engineering, as well as user experience (UX) research and design, most recently as a UX research intern at IBM Research.

Research: Collaborative writing has become increasingly common in many professions in recent years, but the research we have on it is out of date. Today both tools and how people write together with these tools have changed. Commonly-used word processors (e.g., Word and Google Docs) now allow people to write collaboratively both in the familiar asynchronous mode plus in synchronous mode. In my dissertation project, I investigate how people write together now, using both qualitative (i.e., interviewing participants and hand-coding co-authored documents) and quantitative (i.e., statistical modeling using Google Docs log data) research methods. One preliminary analysis, for example, shows that the documents that include balanced participation or exhibit leadership are graded higher in quality. In another analysis, participants ask for an overview view of their co-authored documents to better understand the evolution of the document and the authorship attribution in the final draft. Therefore, I have built information visualization systems to support co-authors, as well as to complement existing research methods. By understanding what practices and tools people use in collaborative writing now, I will propose design implications for system designers to improve the tools, as well as collaboration guidelines for co-authors to write together better.

Amanda Waugh

Biography: Amanda Waugh is a doctoral candidate at the University of Maryland College Park and a practicing elementary school Media Specialist in Prince George’s County Public Schools. As a Media Specialist, she teaches diverse and underprivileged youth from PreKindergarten to grade 6. As a doctoral candidate, Amanda researches the information behaviors of teens in settings ranging from online communities and fandoms, to school libraries. Her dissertation research will focus on the information seeking practices of members of the Nerdfighter fan community. Amanda is a passionate educator who enjoys sharing STEM resources with her students in a variety of formats. She has presented at regional and national conferences for both practitioners and researchers, including AASL, MASL and ASIST.

Research: My research examines the information behavior of teens in everyday life settings. I have supported faculty research with urban teens in afterschool and online settings during the Sci-Dentity project. Partially as a result of these experiences, my research examines the Everyday Life Information Seeking (ELIS) of teens online.

Little is known about how teens use online communities for ELIS. Teens are frequent and active members of fan communities (such as Nerdfighteria) and use them for varying purposes. For teens, these communities are spaces to observe interactions and ask questions that inform their maturation.

My research questions are:

  • What types of everyday life information do teens seek in online fan communities?
  • How do young adults use their membership in fan communities to answer ELIS needs?
  • Why do teens obtain everyday information via the Nerdfighter online community?

In a pilot study, I examined the ELIS practices of teen Nerdfighters and found that they preferred peer-to-peer information sharing in a diverse community with shared values.

This research is the basis for my dissertation, in which I will investigate teens’ information behavior across Nerdfighter communities using an ethnographic framework. This research will provide nuance in understanding teens in online communities.

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Doctoral Colloquium Co-Chairs

Greg Leazer

Prof. Leazer is an associate professor and recently served for six years as the chair of the UCLA Department of Information Studies. He conducts research on the organization of information and knowledge, information retrieval, and how people seek and use information. He is also interested in the role of libraries in public education, and addressing the public school library crisis in California. He is a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering from the National Science Foundation and awarded by President Bill Clinton.

Iris Xie

Dr. Xie is a Professor in the School of Information Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her research interests and expertise focus on digital library development and evaluation, interactive information retrieval, human-computer interaction, as well as information seeking/searching and user studies. Her research is highlighted in her two authored books, “Interactive Information Retrieval in Digital Environments (2008),” and, “Discover Digital Libraries: Theory and practice (2016, with Krystyna Matusiak).” One of her current projects is “Universal Accessibility of Digital Libraries: Design of help mechanisms for blind users (with Rakesh Babu),” awarded by OCLC/ALISE grant. This project is a continuation of her prior project “Designing Interactive Help Mechanisms for Novice Users of Digital Libraries (with Colleen Cool),” awarded by the IMLS National Leadership Grant. Her other digital library related research projects range from multifaceted evaluation of digital libraries to social media applications in digital libraries. Additional current research projects include system support and user engagement in applying search tactics and an eye-tracking analysis of evaluation patterns for search result and individual document evaluation. She has a strong publishing record in the field of library and information science. Her paper published in Journal of Documentation received a Highly Commended Award Winner at the Literati Network Awards for Excellence, and another paper co-authored with other SOIS IR group members received 2012 IIix best conference paper award.

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Doctoral Colloquium Mentors

Nicholas J.Belkin

Nicholas Belkin is Distinguished Professor of Information Science in the Department of Library & Information Science, Rutgers University. Previous to that appointment, he was at the Department of Information Science, The City University, London. He has held visiting positions at the University of Western Ontario, the Free University, Berlin, and the Institute for Systems Science, National University of Singapore. He was a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Tampere in 1996, and a Fulbright Senior Scholar in Croatia in 2003. He received his Ph.D. in Information Studies from the University of London (University College).

Professor Belkin has served as the Chair of the ACM SIGIR, and President of the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIST). He is the recipient of the ASIST’s Outstanding Teacher award, its Research Award, and its Award of Merit. In 2015, he received the ACM SIGIR Gerard Salton Award, for significant, sustained and continuing contributions to research in information retrieval.

Professor Belkin’s most recent research has focused on personalization of interaction with information, and on methods for evaluation of whole-session search. His current research project, Characterizing and evaluating whole session interactive information retrieval, is supported by the National Science Foundation.

Dania Bilal

Dr. Dania Bilal’s research focuses on children’s cognitive and affective information behavior in using and interacting with information retrieval systems. Her research is situated at the intersection of information retrieval, information behavior, and human-computer interaction. Dr. Bilal has research experience with young and older children at both national and international levels. She conducted studies with children in schools, libraries, and computer lab settings. Her research combines a mix of quantitative and qualitative methods. Her most recent research investigates the readability of Google SERPs for children. Her past research centers around performance evaluation of web search engines, children’s interaction with digital libraries in cross-cultural environments, children’s design of search engine interfaces, and children’s design of science categories/taxonomies for web search engines. She is a reviewer for several scholarly journals and serves on the editorial board of ASLIB Journal of Information Management. Dr. Dania Bilal has been recognized in several media channels for her research with children. She is one of the top 1% most cited researchers worldwide in children’s information behavior and interaction with information retrieval systems. Her latest publications include two books in 2014, one is titled: Library Automation: Core Concepts and Practical Systems Analysis. Published in March 2014 by Libraries Unlimited/ABC-CLIO; one is titled: New Directions in Children’s and Adolescents’ Information Behavior Research. Emerald Group Publishing. She has also published a book chapter in 2014 and an article in IFLA 2015 Proceedings.

Nadia Caidi

Nadia Caidi is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Information (iSchool), University of Toronto. Trained in Linguistics and Communication from Lyon and Grenoble (France), she then obtained an MLIS and Ph.D. in LIS from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Nadia’s research interests focus on information policy and human information behaviour. She has been awarded grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) in Canada for her research on information control and the public’s right to know in times of crisis (and in the context of national security). She also received several research grants for her work on the information practices of vulnerable communities, including newcomers and immigrant groups, and Aboriginal communities in remote and isolated communities in Ontario. She has published extensively on these topics in top refereed journals. Her current research explores the emergent practices of young people’s expressions of spiritual and religious identities.

Nadia received the James M. Cretsos Leadership Award from ASIS&T in 2006. She was the President of the Canadian Association for Information Science (2010-11) and is the current President of the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T).

Anita Komlodi

Dr. Anita Komlodi is an Associate Professor in the Department of Information Systems at UMBC. In her role as the Graduate Program Director for Human-Centered Computing (HCC) she directs the HCC Masters and Doctoral programs. Her research areas span the fields of Human-Computer Interaction and Human Information Behavior. She studies information behavior in various contexts and designs user interaction with information-intensive applications. In her current research she focuses on information behavior and literacy across cultures and collaborative information behaviors in virtual reality environments. Dr. Komlodi was the recipient of a European Union Marie Skłodowska-Curie International Incoming Visiting Fellowship in 2012-2013. She has secured several research grants from the National Science Foundation and Google, Inc. over the years to fund her research. She has published in a variety of information science and human-computer interaction journals and conferences. She regularly serves as a reviewer on conference program committees, journals, and the National Science Foundation. Dr. Komlodi teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in the areas of qualitative research methods, human-information interaction, and information architecture.

Javed Mostafa

Javed Mostafa is the Director of the Carolina Health Informatics Program and the Director of the Laboratory of Applied Informatics Research. His research concentrates on information retrieval problems, particularly related to search and user-system interactions in large-scale document/data repositories. He also serves as the Deputy Director of the Biomedical Informatics Core at the NC Translational & Clinical Sciences Institute and has current research engagements in biomedical data mining, analysis, visualization, user interface design, and multi-modal human-computer interaction. He regularly serves on program and organizing committees for major conferences and participates as reviewer for major grant initiatives. Javed served as an associate editor for the ACM Transactions on Information Systems for eight years. He currently serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the Association for Information Science & Technology, an associate editor of the ACM Transactions on Internet Technology, and an editor of the Information Processing & Management journal. Translating scientific advances into health care improvements is a passion for Javed, and based on support from UNC’s Translational & Clinical Sciences Institute he co-founded a company concentrating on patient-centric decision support and streamlined care workflow called Keona Health. In UNC, Javed holds a joint faculty position in information science in the School of Information and Library Science and in the Biomedical Research Imaging Center in the School of Medicine. Additionally, he holds the title of Adjunct Professor of Community and Family Medicine, School of Medicine, Duke University.

Howard Rosenbaum

Dr. Howard Rosenbaum is Professor of Information Science in the Department of Information and Library Science in the School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University, where he has been on the faculty since 1993. He is Director of the Master of Information Science program in the Department of Information and Library Science. Rosenbaum studies social informatics, ebusiness, and online communities, has published in a variety of information science journals and presented at ASIS&T, iConferences, and elsewhere. He has recently published two books, “Social Informatics: Past, Present, and Future” with Pnina Fichman and “Social Infomatics Evolving” with Fichman and Madelyn SanFilippo.

Rosenbaum teaches digital entrepreneurship, information systems design, intellectual freedom and other classes. He has been recognized often for excellence in teaching and for the innovative use of technology in education, receiving the 2011 Thomson Reuters Outstanding Information Science Teacher Award from ASIS&T, the 2005 Frederic Bachman Lieber Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence from Indiana University, a 2003 state-wide MIRA Award for Technological Innovation in Education from Techpoint, the 2002 Indiana Partnership for Statewide Education Award for Innovation in Teaching with Technology, and in 2000 was named one of the first SBC Fellows at Indiana University.

Joseph T. Tennis

Joseph T. Tennis is an Associate Professor and Director of Faculty Affairs at the University of Washington Information School, Adjunct Associate Professor in Linguistics, and a member of the Textual Studies and Museology faculty advisory groups at the University of Washington. He is President of the International Society for Knowledge Organization and Chair of the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative. He is on the Library Quarterly and Knowledge Organization editorial boards, and a member of the InterPARES Trust research team. He works in metadata versioning, ethics of knowledge organization work, descriptive informatics, and authenticity. He teaches courses in classification, metadata, and intellectual foundations of information science. He won the 2013 ALISE/Bohdan S. Wynar Award, for “The Strange Case of Eugenics: A Subject’s Ontogeny in a Long-Lived Classification Scheme and the Question of Collocative Integrity.” (2012). In Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 63(7): 1350-1359. In the spring of 2016 he will be a visiting scholar at the Université Charles-de-Gaulle – Lille 3.

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