Welcome to 2018 iConference Doctoral Colloquium. We look forward to our time together to discuss your research and future prospects for research and scholarship. Based on your diverse research interests, we have assembled a distinguished team of faculty mentors to work with you at the Colloquium.
We will meet together on the day prior to the conference proper. We will spend all day Sunday, March 25 2018, together, beginning at 9am. To start, each of you will introduce yourself and what you hope to accomplish at the conference. We will invite each of you to present a one-minute overview of your research. By way of introduction, we hope to understand the range of interests and methodological approaches represented within the iSchool community. We will then divide into discussion groups-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. After breaking for lunch (which is provided), 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.
You will have the chance to network at the iConference Opening Reception at 6pm and over the next few days at the conference. We hope you will all look out for each other, in navigating, discussing and assisting each other through the conference. We also expect that for many of you this group will be part of your scholarly network throughout your careers.
Participant biographies and dissertation project abstracts are presented below; they are made available to all conference attendees to help highlight your talent and potential as scholars.
We thank the iSchools and the iConference-as well as your home institutions-for making the doctoral colloquium possible. We are glad that you are here and look forward to an engaging time together.
-Kevin Crowston and Elizabeth Shepherd, Doctoral Colloquium Co-Chairs
Biography: I am a PhD student in the department of information science at the State University of New York at Albany. I also hold a Bachelor of Arts in Geography and a Master of Urban Planning from SUNY Albany. I have worked in the areas of geographic information technology, information policy, and information security behavior. My current research is focused on media, politics and online communication. I am interested in how language is used in political contexts and the various strategies governing discourse on social network sites and online communities. I am concerned with issues of knowledge, bias and social conflict as well as the psychological and experienced repercussions of the interaction between humans and machines in the digital age. I am originally from Belo Horizonte, Brazil, but have resided for many years in upstate New York in the United States. I am a fan of jazz music, tango dance and engaging in diverse and insightful conversations.
Research: I am broadly interested in how language is used in political contexts and the various strategies governing discourse on websites and social media. I am concerned with issues of knowledge and power as well as the human experience in the globalized information society. I am committed to research that addresses social problems associated with bias, control and inequality. My dissertation research is focused on social media information strategies of government agencies and departments. The study of government communication is an under-researched area, but nonetheless interesting and valuable given the current role of online communication in society, the power that government agencies yield (e.g. in bringing legitimacy to information; functioning as a source of patriotism), but also the ability to dissent online against the state. In my research, government is conceived as a political and organizational entity with general qualities, but which must also be assessed in unique circumstances and conditions. Within the context of the United States, government agencies adopt diverse information strategies, which distribute: emotion, knowledge or ideology. I am interested in different methodologies to capture and understand these information strategies and their effects, including natural language processing and social network analysis.
Biography: Hang Dong is a Ph.D. candidate at Department of Computer Science at the University of Liverpool, United Kingdom, based at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University in Suzhou, China. He received his bachelor degree in Library Science from Wuhan University and master degree in Information Systems from the iSchool in the University of Sheffield. His doctoral study focuses on the automatic derivation of structured knowledge from social media data. In 2016, his team won the first prize of Shanghai Library Open Data Application Development Contest. The team designed a mobile application, Learning Chinese Surnames, leveraging the Linked Open Data cloud and the Genealogical Open Data from the Shanghai Library to support cross-lingual information service of Chinese genealogical resources. He further introduced the research behind this application in iConference 2017 at Wuhan, China. Before started his PhD research, he investigated postgraduate students’ information seeking behaviour in a UK university for this master dissertation, and explored the information service model in a Chinese knowledge intensive corporate library as his undergraduate final year project. He also volunteered in the Children’s Reading Room of Wuhan Municipal library and was awarded the Excellent Volunteer in 2015.
Research: Social tagging provides an efficient content organisation mechanism to support searching and recommendation of online resources. However, without a semantic backbone, the accumulated user-generated tags (or folksonomies) are no more than a dormant collection of unstructured, noisy and often ambiguous “keywords”. Researchers have started to derive structured knowledge from social tags for more than a decade. It is still challenging to generate high quality knowledge structures, because of three problems: (i) the semantic gap between users’ terminologies and controlled vocabularies; (ii) the lack of rich contexts to infer relations between tags; (iii) much cognitive effort required to create knowledge structures.
With the recent development of language modelling and semantic analysis in artificial intelligence, it is time to rethink the theories in information organisation and ontology engineering. Can the semantic relations between social tags be correctly inferred using machine learning approaches? How to capture the dynamic structures of folksonomies? So far, I have explored topic models to generate new rules to induce hierarchical relations from tags. Also, I plan to understand the evolution of folksonomies through language modeling using neural network approaches. Finding of this research will enrich our understanding of knowledge organization of massive and noisy social media textual data.
Biography: Bryan Dosono is a PhD Candidate in Information Science and Technology at Syracuse University. He employs social network analysis with qualitative research methods to explore, interpret, and visualize large collections of social media data. He seeks to understand how Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) construct and express their identity in online communities and his dissertation research uncovers the ways in which AAPIs negotiate collective action in the context of online identity work.
A doctoral researcher for the Behavior, Information, Technology, and Society Laboratory, Bryan Dosono’s scholarship in human-computer interaction and computer-supported cooperative work identifies impactful design opportunities that improve the quality of life for marginalized citizens. He is a recipient of the Google Policy Fellowship, the Ronald E. McNair Graduate Fellowship, and the iSchool Inclusion Institute Teaching Fellowship. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree with honors in Informatics from the University of Washington.
Research: Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) are perceived as the “model minority” with a monolithic identity, in contrast to other marginalized racial groups in the United States. In reality, they are composed of different ethnicities, socio-economic backgrounds, and political ideologies. My research employs social network analysis with qualitative research methods to explore, interpret, and visualize large collections of social media data. I seek to understand how AAPIs construct and express their identity in online communities and my dissertation research uncovers the ways in which AAPIs negotiate collective action in the context of online identity work.
My dissertation draws upon data collected from interviews, participant observation, and content analysis to understand how AAPIs engage in identity work on Reddit—one of the largest and most frequented visited online community platforms. Given AAPI’s longstanding history of silence, exclusion, and immigration, my work has significant potential to inform (1) how AAPI involvement in contemporary social movements affect other groups who face similar oppressive challenges, (2) how other marginalized or niche AAPI subgroups come together on online platforms to collaboratively make sense of their intersectional identities, and (3) how collectivist groups develop a sense of community with others that share an identity with them.
Biography: Is currently a third year Ph.D. Libyan student at University of Sheffield working under the supervision of both Dr. Jo Bates and Dr. Andrew Cox. She is a member of the digital society research group in Information School. Her research focuses on exploring young people’s social media use and the observed changes in their attitudes in relation to the unfolding events of the Libyan uprising and post-uprising period (2011-2016), engaging with various critiques of Habermas’ public sphere concept. Prior to joining Information School, she received her master degree in library and information science in 2009 from University of Tripoli, Libya, and worked as a lecturer assistant in the same department for 4 years. Prior to her time in academia, she worked as a librarian at the Open University in Tripoli for nearly a year and a half.
Research: It is often claimed that social media sites such as Facebook played a key role during the so-called ‘Arab Spring’. Yet there have been few attempts to track what happened during and after the Libyan uprising, and how social media are – and are not – contributing to the development of revolutionary and post-revolutionary public sphere in the Libyan context. In Libya, there was an explosive growth in social media use during the post-uprising period. This rapid growth could be seen to potentially form the basis for the emergence of a new democratic, networked public sphere. By engaging with different conceptualizations and various critiques of Habermas’ public sphere concept, this study aims to explore the nature of emergent Libyan digital publics, and their possible role in transforming the Libyan public sphere. It does so by exploring young people’s social media use and the observed changes in their attitudes in relation to the unfolding events of the Libyan uprising and post-uprising period (2011-2016).
In Cheol Jang
Biography: In Cheol Jang is a postgraduate researcher in the School of International Development at the University of East Anglia. He has also currently worked for the Institute for Educational Research at the Addis Ababa University as a graduate researcher since November 2016. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Politics from the University of Bristol. After graduation, In Cheol worked for Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and was in charge of coordinating capacity building training for government officials from developing countries.
Work experience in the government agency provided him affluent practical knowledge and thoughts which encouraged him to study further. He obtained two master’s degrees in International Development from Korea University and the University of East Anglia. His research interests of doctoral degree broadly centre on education and development associated with Information and Communication Technology (ICT). In addition to his research, he recently involves in teaching a postgraduate module called Development Perspectives as an associate tutor.
Research: For his PhD thesis, it focuses on the meanings and practices towards ICT for Ethiopian secondary school teachers. Notwithstanding the fact that there are few studies exploring the role of ICT in education in the Ethiopian context, these studies primarily identify the reasons why the Ethiopian government has been challenged by the integration of ICT into education. By contrast, no study has yet examined the meanings and practices of ICT for Ethiopian teachers.
By understanding the teachers’ meanings and practices of ICT, this study aims to construct a baseline of ICT integration into an Ethiopian educational context. To examine meanings and practices, his research looks into both pre-service and in-service teacher professional development programmes of Ethiopia particularly in relation to ICT implementation into the classroom. In addition, the research explores roles of international organisations and development partners which support Ethiopian education and ICT because they influence the curriculum of teacher training and ICT learning environment of schools.
Biography: Lyndsey Jenkins is studying towards a PhD in Information Science at Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland, UK. She holds a Bachelor’s in Psychology from Northumbria University and also a Masters in Developmental Psychology from Durham University. She has previously worked as a careers adviser for the National Careers Service in England whilst simultaneously completing a nine month research internship. This focused on factors influencing career exploration in young people and adolescents. Lyndsey is currently a Copy Editor for Information Research and a student representative for the Scottish Graduate School of Social Sciences, Scotland, UK.
Lyndsey’s research explores how workplace leaning can be used to support the development of ‘Innovative Work Behaviour’, studied from the information science perspective. This includes how organisations can support learning of innovation from employees through element such as information use, knowledge sharing and the culture and strategy of the organisation. Lyndsey is interested in how organisations can support the development of innovative work behaviour through workplace learning and specific factors that contribute to these relationships. She has a particular interest in how information literacy and information behaviours may enhance the development of ‘Innovative Work Behaviour’ and how research such as this can be applied to workplace settings.
Research: The Scottish Government and supporting bodies have recognised the importance of innovation for organisations to improve employment growth, increase productivity and competitive advantage within the current labour market. This PhD, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and supported by Skills Development Scotland, investigates innovation and best practice in skills development in the workplace in Scotland, drawing comparisons with the rest of the UK and other countries. It aims to explore how employee-led workplace learning can be encouraged to deliver innovation, with specific focus on the learning of behaviors relevant for individuals to innovate in the workplace.
From the information science perspective, the research explores specific requirements for individuals to develop innovative work behaviour (e.g. information use, knowledge sharing, organisational culture and strategy). By carrying out three case studies of organisations Scotland, North East England and Europe (specifically Finland), the research explores how successful workplace learning (in relation to innovative work behaviours) can be both determined and identified within organisations and explore factors that contribute to this relationship. This will lead to the development of a framework to explain how organisations can support employees to develop innovative work behaviour.
Biography: I am currently a doctoral candidate in the School of Information Studies at McGill University. My research focuses on online fan fiction writers’ information behaviour, specifically, their knowledge and experiences of intellectual property laws (primarily copyright) relevant to fan fiction and other derivative fan works. My advisor is Professor Kimiz Dalkir. I am the recipient of a three-year FRQSC grant from the Government of Quebec for my doctoral studies, and the holder of a Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Civil Law from McGill University as well as a Master of Law from the University of Ottawa. My Master’s thesis focused on the problem of gendered cyberbullying and Ontario’s legal responses to it. Additionally, during my Master’s studies, I also researched and published on fan fiction and its likely status under the revised Canadian Copyright Act, which helped spark my interest in my doctoral dissertation topic. I have worked with Canada’s Library of Parliament, with the Ontario Ministry of Education, Legal Services Division, and with the Secretariat of McGill University. I am passionate about education, and, in my limited free time, enjoy writing, music, travelling, and spending time with my husband.
Research: Fan fiction has been defined as amateur written creativity based on any identifiable segment of popular culture. The genre, which uses characters, settings, and other elements from pre-existing media to tell new and transformative stories, is a vibrant and growing discourse online. Although fan fiction based on popular media franchises predates the Internet, it has seen an explosion in the Internet age and has inspired significant study in recent decades. The growing literature on fan fiction, fan communities, and fan creativity suggests that this form of media engagement can have many benefits for writers and audiences. However, fan fiction raises several intellectual property challenges which writers in this genre should – but may not always – be aware of. My doctoral research investigates the legal information behaviour of Canadian and US fan fiction writers. I anticipate using interviews and grounded theory to explore the benefits fans derive from their involvement in fan fiction and fandom (fan communities), as well as their knowledge of intellectual property law, the sources they use to find out about the law and its impact on their fan activities, and their experiences and perceptions of the law.
Biography: Jooho Lee is a PhD candidate in the School of Information at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She holds degrees from Sungshin Women’s University (B.A. in English language and literature), Yonsei University (M.S. in information management), and University of Illinois (MLIS). She is nearing to completion of her doctoral degree. Her research focuses on biomedical scientific claims made in grant funded projects. Especially, she is interested in analyzing the effect of collaboration on evolution of scientific claims made in multiple projects. Textual analyses are the major methods used in her research, and she is applying various techniques including information retrieval, semantic similarity, natural language processing, and text mining to structured and unstructured text.
Research: The collaboration in funding award has become more common and mandatory for creating innovative products or obtaining knowledge. Many studies analyzed large-scale data to discover collaborative patterns of entire population and/or groups in diverse science disciplines, but we still have much to learn about how collaboration affects an individual’s scientific progress. My dissertation is started with a simple question, “does collaboration make difference in research progression and research productivity of individual scholars?” In this study, we focus on unpacking the properties of collaboration and collaborators of biomedical research grants with semantic similarity and statistical analysis on abstract text. We investigate what are the conditions necessary for investigators to initiate collaboration, and what is the relationship between these conditions and subsequent productivity? As a first step of the study, it is necessary to explore NIH grant dataset to find different collaborative patterns between two co-principal investigators on awarded grant projects. Currently, nine distinct collaborative patterns are manually identified and annotated for revealing difference of PIs in different collaboration types, and statistical analysis of PIs in diverse research interests are being interpreted. In future analysis, individual’s research progress will be examined in full-text articles.
Biography: Myeong Lee is a PhD candidate at the University of Maryland’s iSchool at College Park. His research interests are in understanding how community-level forces shape individual and organizational behavior; how the information landscape of a local community is affected by community factors/features; and how community problems can be solved through implementing socio-technical strategies. Through research studies, he strives to further conceptualize the dynamics of a city and people’s access to local information, and ultimately contribute to civic engagement, policy-making, and organizational and/or information accessibility theories. The relevant fields to his research interests include, but are not limited to, HCI for community, community informatics, and urban computing. Myeong is a Junior Fellow at the Center for the Advanced Study of Communities and Information (CASCI) in the iSchool, and a Data Science & Technology Fellow at The Center for Open Data Enterprise, a non-profit that advocates for open data movements, where he advises the SDG National Reporting Initiative on data management and technical strategy. He has experiences in IT start-ups, and holds a BS in Electrical Engineering and MS in Software Engineering from Seoul National University, and a Master of Information Management degree from the University of Maryland College Park.
Research: To understand issues about information accessibility within local communities, it is necessary to consider not only human information behavior, but also how information is created and provided to social entities and infrastructures. This need for a holistic approach is necessary in local community settings where local information is largely embedded in material entities, such as urban places and technical infrastructures. Myeong’s dissertation develops a theory of local information landscapes (LIL) to better understand the phenomena and issues surrounding information accessibility within local communities. By complementing existing theories such as information worlds (Jaeger & Burnett, 2010) and information grounds (Fisher & Naumer, 2006), the LIL theory provides a new perspective on how we can understand information inequality in a local community as information deserts. Building upon these theoretical framework and theory, his research studies (1) quantify community-level information characteristics by computationally modeling the phenomena; (2) conduct empirical studies on how these community-level information characteristics affect civic engagement using local event data; and (3) visualize these community-level information inequalities by implementing an interactive tool. These studies are expected not only to prove the LIL concepts, but also to provide a new matric and frameworks for understanding information inequality in the community level.
Kahina Le Louvier
Biography: Kahina Le Louvier is a Ph.D. researcher at the University of Northumbria (Newcastle, UK), working under the supervision of Dr Perla Innocenti and Prof Gobinda Chowdhury. Her doctoral research combines Information Science and Cultural Heritage with the aim of finding new ways to facilitate the social inclusion of people who resettled in England after seeking asylum. Before joining the ISchool at Northumbria, she earned a BA in Art History from the University Paris VII – Denis Diderot, and an Erasmus Mundus masters in Cultural Identity Studies awarded by the University of St Andrews and the Universidade Nova Lisboa. She has a special interest in migration, issues of culture and identity, social justice and participatory approaches to research. Kahina is also involved in various local community organisations working with refugees. She is the president of Northumbria University Postgraduate Research Society and is part of the board of trustee of the Student Union.
Research: This doctoral research aims at understanding how social inclusion of people who have been forcibly displaced can be more holistically promoted. Social inclusion is a complex process that builds on both the capacity to fully engage with the cultural, social, political, and economic dimensions of society, and the development of a sense of belonging and recognition. To capture the multiple dimensions of this process, this research combines the perspectives of both Information Science and Cultural Heritage and investigates how people who have resettled in the North East of England after seeking asylum renegotiate their information and heritage practices, and what may facilitate their inclusion in the region. To explore these questions, a qualitative study based on a partnership with local civil society organizations which work with refugees is conducted. In this scheme, ethnographic and participatory methods are used to study the cultural renegotiation, adaptation and transformation of refugees and asylum seekers in an everyday life environment.
Biography: Nathaniel Ramos is a PhD candidate from Florida State University. Nathaniel has a bachelors degree in journalism from Colorado State University and a Masters in Library and Information Science from the University of Denver.
Nathaniel studies how innovations diffuse within a community and the implications of adoption for that community. His dissertation explores marathon runners and the factors of adopting smartwatches, the role of information amongst marathon runners and the impact of adopting smartwatches in the lives of marathon runners. In addition the diffusion of smartwatches, Nathaniel also exploring smartwatches and their potential uses in healthcare, case studies in failed diffusion in multiple disciplines, NFL injury data and Thursday Night Football games and performing sentiment analysis on tweets.
When not researching, Nathaniel can be found going on long drives, trying to come up with the perfect comeback to something snarky somebody said to him two days ago, cooking, debating on whether or not to adopt a puppy from an animal shelter and debating the virtues of taking a nap. For additional information visit http://nathanielramos.com
Research: Currently, I am researching the role of wearables in the marathon running community. Wearables have been playing an increasingly important role in the marathon running community as technologies have become more ubiquitous and capable of collecting increasing amounts of data. Starting with heart rate monitors in the 1970s and 1980s, athletes have been utilizing information to augment their training regiment. As more devices have been created that more accurately measure movement via the addition of accelerometers, altimeters, gyroscopes, pedometers, heart rate sensors and various other sensors, there is an increasing need to understand the factors involved in adoption, the value of this new information and the impact it has on how athletes train.
In regards to future research, I plan on further exploring factors of adoption, how innovations diffuse and the impact of those innovations within those societies. The societies that interest me the most are athletic communities and health related communities.
Biography: Kirsten Schlebbe is a doctoral student at the Berlin School of Library and Information Science at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany. She started working on her PhD in 2016 and is advised by Prof. Elke Greifeneder. Her research focuses on young children’s digital information behaviour. In particular, she studies how young children use and interact with digital and especially mobile technologies. Through her research, she hopes to involve children’s own perspectives and views more strongly in information behaviour research. Her other areas of interest include qualitative research methodology in general and different methodological, methodical and ethical aspects of conducting research with children and families. She holds both a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, where she started working as a research assistant and lecturer in 2015.
Research: Whereas we notice an increasing omnipresence of digital and mobile technology in young children’s daily live, so far we know little about how they actually use and interact with these technologies in detail. Therefore, my primary research interest revolves around young children’s digital information behaviour, especially in connection with mobile devices. The preliminary research questions of my dissertation are: Which digital everyday life information behaviour do young children show, especially in connection with mobile devices? And how does this behaviour develop over time? To answer these questions, I am conducting different studies between spring 2017 and autumn 2018. In 2017, I conducted a qualitative interview study with parents of pre-school children who have already gained experience with the use of digital devices. This study is supposed to provide a first exploratory insight into the digital everyday life information behaviour of young children. Based on this research, the main study of my dissertation should focus more on children’s own perspectives and views. Therefore, I am planning to adopt a multimethod research approach following the Mosaic approach of Clark and Moss for another study in 2018.
Biography: You might say educational communication in science and technology by means of manipulative objects was a strong interest from an early age: Brian graduated from the Ontario Science Centre (museum) Science School, worked at Deep River Science Academy and studied Engineering Science at the University of Toronto, graduating with a BA in English and Physics. Brian also holds primary and elementary teacher’s certifications in the Montessori Method. This involves learning by the manipulation of specially designed objects with sensorial and pedagogical properties. After teaching elementary and middle school Montessori for seven years, Brian moved into instructional design and e-learning in post-secondary environments. He now develops advanced digital objects and systems, with some research work in augmented reality for the University of Toronto. Brian also has a Master’s Degree in Education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, where he has taught “HSC402H5: E-Learning Environments in Health Care” and various other graduate courses for over ten years in the Biomedical Communications program. He is concurrently a Flex-Time student at the UofT Faculty of Information in the third year, studying at the Semaphore Lab with Matt Ratto. When he’s not working or studying, Brian is out paddling a canoe around the Toronto watersheds or on Lake Ontario with his spouse Monique, who is an academic research librarian.
Research: It was suggested that the computer of the 21st century, (Weiser, 1991) would be a network of thousands of sensing computing devices, coordinating activity and providing care and support in the background of human societies. As the cost, energy, and network requirements for sensing computing (IoT) approach zero, the way we experience objects and environments is changing. Through the design, development and testing (“living labs” style) of speculative energy harvesting (or neutral) information services, Brian hopes to invite questions as to how sustainable pervasive computing might alter existing information-use practices. Theoretical questions include: what is the fundamental relation between energy and information? Could energy harvesting computing objects, many referred to as “perpetual” have a role in information preservation? What are the implications of information services that harvest ambient energy in order to operate, deep sleep for long periods of time before they are used, and can be embedded in physical structures, such as lighting standards, sidewalks and concrete? What role should these information services serve within the rapidly evolving technical and political environments of smart cities and open data portals?
Biography: My name is Maor Weinberger, I am a second year doctoral student at the Department of Information Science, Bar-Ilan University, Israel. I am also a Web-intelligent analyst for an established start-up company (Evercompliant), which harvests big data tools for the monitoring and detection of online transaction laundering.
I find the fields of information security and online information behavior, to be prominent for academic research.
Research: My doctoral dissertation titled “Professional Views and Perceptions regarding the Challenges and Solutions of Information Security and Privacy Issues within Enterprise Systems at the Age of Big Data” aims to comprehensively map and analyze the views and perceptions of information system administrators about the challenges faced by the information security field at the age of big data. In addition, I will strive to build a broad map of current solutions designated to cope with these challenges.
At the qualitative phase, the study will be conducted among 20-25 information system administrators in organizations from various fields (infrastructure, finances, academia and government). At the quantitative phase, the study will be conducted among 150-200 information security employees from the participating organizations. These employees will be approached through the administrator that was being interviewed at the first phase of data collection.
The iConference Doctoral Colloquium is partly supported by grants 17-13738 and 18-26897 from the US National Science Foundation, an independent federal agency created by the United States Congress in 1950 “to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defence…”