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iConference 2021 has opened for submissions on the secure ConfTool submissions site. iConference presenters and participants will have the option of taking part face-to-face or virtually, so anyone can take part regardless of potential travel or budget restrictions. With these potential barriers cleared, everyone is encouraged to begin work on submissions.
The physical portion of iConference 2021 will take place March 28-31 in Beijing, China. The virtual portion will take place in the preceding weeks. The event is presented by the iSchools organization and hosted by the iSchool at Renmin University of China. The conference theme is Diversity | Divergence | Dialogue. All information scholars, researchers, and practitioners are encouraged to make submissions; affiliation with the iSchools is not required in order to submit.
As always, the iConference will present exceptional peer-reviewed research in the form of Full- and Short-Research Papers and Posters, as well as thought-provoking Workshops and Sessions for Interaction and Engagement. Also returning in 2021 are the Doctoral Colloquium and Early Career Colloquium, as well as a Student Symposium for undergraduate and master’s students.
New this year is a special track for Virtual Interactive Sessions, which will be conducted entirely online, as well as an Archival Education track and a special track for Chinese Papers.
Full details on how to take advantage of the conference’s hybrid live/virtual format will be explained in fall. For now, submitters to affected tracks will express their preference for face-to-face or remote participation. This information is being gathered purely for planning purposes and is non-binding.
The organizers of iConference 2021 have produced this updated Submissions Call, and everyone is encouraged to share the Call with friends and colleagues throughout the information community.
The iSchools organization and 2021 host Renmin University are pleased to announce that next year’s iConference will feature both in-person and virtual participation options. This means authors and applicants can make submissions secure in the knowledge that they will be able to present accepted work and participate in the conference, regardless of any future travel or budget uncertainty. iConference 2021 will begin accepting submissions in late June, and more detail can be found in the updated Call for Participation.
The live, in-person portion of iConference 2021 will take place March 28-31 in Beijing, China. Hosted by Renmin University, the 2021 conference theme is Diversity, Divergence, Dialogue. The virtual portion of iConference 2021 will take place in the weeks leading up to the Beijing event. The live and virtual participation options and rates will be fully explained in November 2020, when submission decisions are announced and conference registration opens.
iConference 2021 opens for submissions in late June. During the submission upload process, papers and posters authors will indicate a preference for face-to-face or virtual presentation. Similarly, applicants for our Doctoral Colloquium, Early Career Colloquium and Student Symposium will express their preference for face-to-face or remote meetings. Please note that these choices are not binding; the information is being gathered purely to help the organizers prepare suitable options for everyone.
In addition, iConference 2021 has introduced a new track called Virtual Interactive Sessions. This track is for sessions that will be conducted entirely online. The organizers invite creative submissions that take full advantage of remote presentation and participation technologies.
The iSchools organization is pleased to make this combined in-person and virtual format available for its 16th annual iConference. In a time of travel and budget uncertainty, the iSchools and Renmin hosts believe the new hybrid format is the best way to facilitate the broadest participation by information scholars worldwide.
Full details on iConference tracks and submissions can be found on the iConference 2021 website.
The iSchools Organization has released the following Statement on Injustice and Racism:
“We are angered and saddened by the senseless and horrific murder of George Floyd and the killings of Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. Over the past two months, the pandemic has laid bare the economic and health disparities in society and disparate impact it is having on our minority communities, particularly African Americans. Many members of our University and College communities have witnessed or have been directly impacted by hateful and racially motivated incidents. Know that we stand with you and will join those groups dedicated to fighting racism and to show that Black lives matter.
“We must accept and acknowledge the role of our institutions in upholding an unjust system of racism and discrimination of Black, indigenous, and people of color. We must teach our students of the history of racism and discrimination in the Information Sciences and how it still persists. But we must do more.
“iSchools have a special role to play in the fight against racism and injustice given our focus on addressing systemic societal problems and bringing about change through the power of knowledge and information. As a network of academic institutions deeply committed to the principles of diversity, inclusion, and openness, this is a call to action.
“We as iSchools must find ways to apply our discipline to address both the overt and the insidious inequities and injustices that persist in our institutions and in our society. We pledge to increase the visibility and voice of people of color. We must protect and support scholars who engage in controversial topics and who speak out for social justice. We recommit ourselves to increasing the diversity and inclusion of students, faculty, staff, and leadership in the field as well as fighting for increased diversity in the information and knowledge industries.
“All members of the iSchools organization welcome opportunities to listen, learn, and discuss how to be part of that change.”
The iSchools Statement on Injustice and Racism was drafted by representatives of the Organization’s North American Region and approved by the Organization’s international Board of Directors.
The following supporting resources are provided by the North American regional representatives:
Understanding and Addressing White Privilege
Understanding Police Violence and Mass Incarceration
Anti-Racism Resources for Teaching
Opportunities to Take Action and Engage in Discussion
Suggested Readings from iSchool Faculty and Staff
Other Collections of Resources
At the recent conclusion of iConference 2020 the iSchools board of directors approved the applications of six institutions spanning the organization's Asia-Pacific, North American and European regions. With these additions, the iSchools organization now numbers 115 institutions dedicated to advancing the information field worldwide.
Joining at the prestigious iCaucus membership level is the Rochester Institute of Technology School of Information. Located in Rochester, NY, USA, the school is headed by Department Chair Stephen J. Zilora. It has 100 students in its doctoral program, as well as 200 master’s students and 450 bachelor’s students.
Two schools join at the Basic membership level. The George Mason University Department of Information Sciences & Technology is located in Fairfax, VA, USA, and is headed by Prof. Andre Manitius. The Nankai University Department of Information Resources Management, Business School is in Tianjin, China, and headed by Vice Dean Yuelin Li.
Three schools were admitted as Associates. This category is for schools that are new or may not yet meet the requirements for other levels. The Louisiana State University School of Library & Information Science is in Baton Rouge, LA, USA, and headed by Dr. Carol Barry. Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield Business School is headed by Prof. Robert Wilson and located in Sheffield, UK. The Soochow University Department of Archives and e-Government is headed by Dr. Bi Jianxin and located in SuZhou (Soochow), China.
Visit the iSchools membership section for more on these and other schools in our worldwide membership, as well as instructions on how to apply.
Springer LNCS has announced that the papers proceedings for the recently concluded iConference 2020 are now available to the public. Scholars who were not able to participate in the conference can now preview and purchase the Full Research Papers and Short Research Papers proceedings on Springer LNCS.
iConference 2020 took place March 23 – 27 in an all virtual format, made necessary by the coronavirus pandemic. More than 390 scholars and researchers took part.
In addition to the papers proceedings on Springer, the iConference 2020 posters proceedings and Visions papers are available in the open access IDEALS repository.
The next event in the iConference series is iConference 2021, which takes place March 23 – 26, 2021 in Beijing, China. iConference 2021 is presented by the iSchools and hosted by the Renmin University School of Information Resource Management. Watch for the 2021 Call for Participation, coming in May of this year.
According to an article published by the University of Maryland College of Information Studies, the current COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted and intensified disparities in access to information and health disparities between various populations. One of the core factors underlying these health disparities are the varying degrees of accessibility of health information for various populations. Accessibility encompasses both physical and intellectual accessibility. While physical accessibility refers to whether information is physically obtainable, intellectual accessibility refers to whether information is understandable.
Information and information professionals (such as librarians) are instrumental in ensuring that every individual has access to the resources and opportunities that will enable them to optimize their ability to live a long and healthy life. Many different types of information-related factors influence this ability, including an individual’s awareness of, and access to, trustworthy health information; their awareness of, and their ability to articulate, their health-related information needs; their health literacy levels (which encompasses their ability to obtain, understand, and act on health information); and the strategies they use to seek out, evaluate, and benefit from health information.
All of these factors influence the individual’s potential and actual health outcomes. Fortunately, these factors can be influenced by information professionals, who have both an opportunity and a responsibility to help to shape these factors in such a way that they optimize each individual’s capability to be healthy and to flourish in all facets of their lives.
One of the central institutions serving the information needs of all populations – libraries – are facing the need to close in unprecedented numbers due to the risks posed by COVID-19. However, many public, academic, and K-12 school librarians are finding ways for their libraries to continue to serve the public.
Libraries are continuing to offer electronic access to their digital resources, and many are still offering internet access that people (some of whom would otherwise have no internet access) can use from outside the library. Additionally, numerous libraries are collecting and curating collections of COVID-19 resources on their websites.
Read the full story on the University of Maryland iSchool website, including examples of action taken by libraries across the US.
The Swedish Knowledge Foundation has granted the iInstitute at Linnaeus University 2 million SEK (roughly 180,000 Euro) to collaborate with industry and other public sectors over a period of two years in implementing a Digital Humanities Master’s program.
External sectors will bring expertise from the field that will help shape the program to make it most relevant to the needs of the current and future job market for Digital Humanists.
Camera Traps are motion-triggered devices used to capture photographs of species in the wild. The first Camera Trap Technology Symposium was held on November 7 and 8 at Google Headquarters in Mountain View, CA, USA. Sponsored by Rutgers, San Diego Zoo Global, Microsoft, and Google, the event was also broadcast online to participants online, enabling remote participants to send in questions and receive answers in real time.
The event was organized by Ariel Hammond, a SC&I Master of Information student studying Library, Information, and Data Science. Hammond had become so interested in camera trap data curation that she joined the Wildlife Insights technology committee, a new platform led by Conservation International which houses camera trap data from around the world, and uses AI to automatically identify species.
In discussing AI for camera trap images, Hammond suggested that groups working in this space meet for a web conference to discuss their research together. The web conference quickly spread through word of mouth, and the event grew to over 50 people speaking about their work and findings
“This is the first symposium to happen on this topic because it is so niche,” says Hammond. “That’s why I think people were so excited because there are people that want to talk about this but had no one to organize it for them.”
Click here for more on this story on the School of Communication and Information (SC&I) at Rutgers University-New Brunswick website.
iConference 2020, the iSchools' annual information conference, continues to move forward in its new virtual format. At the conclusion of today's program (Day 4), the organizer’s offormally named the winning submissions for this years Research Papers and Posters categories. Here are the results:
Winner, Lee Dirks Award for Best Full Research Paper
Identifying Historical Travelogues in Large Text Corpora Using Machine Learning
Authors: Jan Rörden, AIT Austrian Institute of Technology (Austria); Doris Gruber, Austrian Academy of Sciences (Austria); Martin Krickl, Austrian National Library (Austria); Bernhard Haslhofer, AIT Austrian Institute of Technology (Austria)
Winner, Best Short Research Paper
Challenges in Organizing and Accessing Video Game Artifacts
Authors: Jin Ha Lee, University of Washington (USA); Marc Schmalz, University of Washington (USA); Stephen Keating, University of Washington (USA); Jeewon Ha, University of Washington (USA)
Winner, Best Poster
Who Gave You the Right?: Exploring Power and Politics in Journalism and Academic Work Chronicling Hurricane Maria
Authors: Amy Chew, University of Michigan, iSchool Inclusion Institute (i3); Gabriela C. Delgado-Fernandini, University of Puerto Rico, iSchool Inclusion Institute (i3); Jamario Devon Cantrell, Vanderbilt University, iSchool Inclusion Institute (i3); Daniel Carter, Texas State University, iSchool Inclusion Institute (i3)
All winners and finalists will receive a certificate commemorating their achievement. In addition, the winners of the Lee Dirks Award will share a $1,000 prize courtesy of Springer and the iSchools.
Visit the conference Awards page for a complete summary of this year’s winners and finalists. The iSchools and the conference organizers congratulate the winners and all finalists, and thank them for contributing to the overall high quality of this year’s submissions.
iConference 2020 began on March 23 and remains in progress as of press time. Part 1 of this year’s iConference will conclude on Friday, March 27, with the presentation of our popular Sessions for Interaction and Engagement. This will be followed by the commencement of Part 2, with a series of Special Presentations taking place for another week. See the Virtual Program Schedule for details and start times.
iConference is a presentation of the iSchools and is organized by the University of Borås: Swedish School of Library and Information Science, and Oslo Metropolitan University: Department of Archivistics, Library and Information Science. Sponsors include the City of Borås, Monash University, and Springer.
iConference 2020 commenced on Monday, March 23. We are now two days into our program, and the feedback from participants has been overwhelmingly positive. The transformation to an all-virtual format is not only allowing this year’s conference to move forward, but also lets the organization explore virtual communications techniques on a scale that can help us better serve our worldwide membership in the future.
iConference 2020 has reached a total of 390 registered virtual participants. This figure is surprisingly close to our attendance projections for the original physical format. This remarkable attendance is a testament to the resilience of the information community and its support of the conference. The iSchools and conference co-hosts the University of Borås and Oslo Metropolitan University thank everyone for their participation.
iConference 2020 received 402 contributions during the submission phase that were then evaluated by a team of 451 peer reviewers; our sincere thanks go out to those reviewers for lending us their expertise. Our virtual program now includes 71 papers, 56 posters, 7 sessions for interaction and engagement, 3 workshops and 2 keynotes, as well as 5 special presentations to come next week. That amounts to 144 individual presentations in total.
Most remarkably, arrangements to provide all 144 presentations in an entirely virtual format were made in a span of less than two weeks.
The list of individuals and schools who assisted with this transition is long. The iSchools organization is grateful to all the 2020 track chairs and organizers for their hard work, throughout the year and into the final transformative push. We also salute the presenters who willingly transitioned their talks into a virtual format at the eleventh hour—this especially applies to the Colloquia and Symposium Chairs, as well as Workshop and SIE organizers, who had to significantly overhaul their entire program formats in just a few days. We also thank the Zoom hosts, IT staff and Zoom experts from the University of Borås and OsloMet who embraced the technical challenge of transforming the conference.
Many iSchools also stepped up to assist. The list includes iSchools at Sungkyunkwan University, the University of Michigan, the University of Maryland, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Porto, Wuhan University, and Universiti Tekologi MARA.
Last but not least, we are grateful to the 390 participants who are currently showing their faith in the iConference through their virtual attendance and wholehearted participation.
The bulk of the iConference 2020 program will run through Friday, March 27, with an additional series of Special Presentations to come in the following week.
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