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The iSchools Doctoral Dissertation Award Committee have announced the 2021 honorees. The winner is Jessica Pater, who received her Ph.D. from the Georgia Institute of Technology School of Interactive Computing. The runner up is Souvick Ghosh, who received his Ph.D. from the Rutgers University School of Communication and Information and is now an assistant professor at the San Jose State University School of Information.
The Schools Doctoral Dissertation Award is an annual competition recognizing the year’s most outstanding dissertations from across iSchools membership. Introduced in 2013, award nominations are solicited from all member schools and subjected to a thorough review by the Doctoral Dissertation Committee. The 2021 Award selection process was chaired by George Buchanan of the University of Melbourne iSchool and Udo Kruschwitz of the iSchool at Universität Regensburg.
Dr. Pater’s winning dissertation is titled Digital Self-Harm: Implications of Eating Disordered Behaviors Online. Here is what the Committee had to say about this year’s winner:
The thesis addressed a significant and highly sensitive social problem, taking an intellectually rigorous approach that has widespread potential impact.
Reviewers commented that the thesis demonstrates careful scholarship, with a “clear engagement with previous literature” and a “systematic review, with excellent synthesis”. The method is highlighted as including “not one, but a set of case studies” that thoroughly develop and test the thesis’ hypothesis in a robust process.
The panel also noted that the research presented has value for the wider information science community now, and in the future: “there is a clear case that the thesis confirms, but also alters much of our existing theories on social impacts of information”, and “the ideas created and presented transcend the topic studied”.
Most importantly, the social applicability and benefit of the research are tangible, presenting a “compelling case” for both the research and the problem it addresses. Overall the thesis, in the words of one reviewer “is a clear example case for the vital value of information science for the global community”.
Dr. Ghosh’s dissertation is titled Exploring Intelligent Functionalities of Spoken Conversational Search Systems. Here is what the Committee had to say about the runner-up:
This thesis was recommended and highly rated throughout the review process, and it addresses an increasingly common new technology.
The judges applauded the approach taken saying it “uses many diverse methods”, combines “reliable and well-considered use of statistics” and, vitally possesses a “stress on reliability”. The methodology is strong. It draws not only on the traditions of information and library science, but also draws on computer science. Methods include “[a] laboratory-based user study; wizard-of-oz; [and] implementation”. As one reviewer put it “this is an ideal demonstration of contemporary, computing-literate information science”.
The increasing potential of conversational agents was noted by judges—“this technology is still developing, and is likely to see increasing adoption worldwide”—while it still “really needs to be analysed from an information science perspective”.
As a result, the thesis combines the use of developing methods, an emerging technology, and is also true to “the best traditions of our field”.
Visit the Doctoral Dissertation Award results page for more about this year's honorees, and also previous award recipients.
The winner of the 2021 Doctoral Dissertation Award receives a cash prize of $2,500; the runner up receives $1,000. Both honorees will also receive a complimentary registration for iConference 2021, the iSchools virtual information conference taking place March 17-31, 2021.
The iSchools organization will begin accepting nominations for next year’s Award in July of this year. All members are encouraged to submit a nomination.
The iSchools are pleased to announce that the Victoria University of Wellington School of Information Management has joined the organization. The New Zealand-based iSchool represents the organization’s 120th member; visit the iSchools directory for more on membership.
The Victoria University iSchool is headed by Dr. Janet Toland, with a faculty of 20 professors and 11 lecturers. At last count, admissions were as follows: more that 600 undergraduate students; 250 Master’s students in programs spanning Commerce, Professional Business Analytics, Information Studies, and Information Management; 80 post-graduate certificate students; and 17 Doctoral candidates.
The school was formally founded in 2001, but its Doctoral supervision and research dates back to the 1990s. Strengths of the institution include Digital Transformation and Innovation, Digital Learning, Data Science, and Foundations of Information.
About the iSchools
The iSchools organization traces its origin to a small group of schools in the United States, and now constitutes 120 members worldwide. Researchers in iSchools are focus on enhancing the lives of people, the productivity of companies, the innovation cycles of industries, the design of technologies, the policies that govern technology and information use, information services to communities, and much more. The iSchools also presents an annual information conference; iConference 2021 will take place virtually March 17-31, and is hosted by Renmin University of China.
Visit the iSchools membership section for more about our members and instruction on how to apply.
iSchools members are reminded that the next batch of grant proposals for the iSchools Research Fund will go into consideration following the March 1 deadline. This means you still have a week to submit your proposal.
The iSchools Research Fund supports research by member faculty and doctoral students. Any research topic may be considered, but projects involving doctoral research or outreach to underrepresented regions, and applications with some match funding from other sources will be considered favorably. Grants generally range from 1,000 to 5,000 USD.
Visit the iSchools Research Fund webpage for application instructions.
iSchools Research Fund proposal are considered twice a year, generally starting Oct. 1 and March 1. The next deadline for submission is March 1, 2021.
The organizers of iConference 2021 are pleased to announce that this year’s iConference will take place on the SCOOCS virtual conference platform. SCOOCS is a relatively new and dynamic online venue, and the conference organizers were impressed with its ability to empower presenters and enable attendees to be more active and connected.
For a preview of the platform, registered participants can visit our Virtual Participation Guidelines page. There you will find a Video showcasing some of the platform’s key features, as well as links to Presentation Tips and Tricks and other resources. Additional how-to links will be added in the coming weeks.
In the weeks leading up the conference’s March 17 start date, presenters and participants will be sent instruction for creating their SCOOCS user accounts and getting started.
If you have not yet signed up for iConference 2021, there is still time to register. Standard rates are in effect through March 8; late rates apply thereafter.
About iConference 2021
iConference 2021 will be a virtual event, with all sessions and presentations taking place on the SCOOCS online conference platform; visit our Virtual Participation Guidelines page for deails. Conference Registration is still open, with standard rates availble through March 8. A special scholarship rate is also available for students with an accepted submission.
iConference 2021 is presented by the iSchools organization and hosted by Renmin University of Beijing, China. This year’s theme is Diversity | Divergence | Dialogue. Sponsors include Elsevier, Springer, the U.S National Science Foundation, Renmin University, Wuhan University, Headtcentre, and the University of Illinois. Visit the iConference home page to learn more.
Another installment in the European iSchools Doctoral Seminars Series has been scheduled for Friday, Feb. 26, 2021. The series was launched last year as a forum for doctoral students to present their work.
The Feb. 26 presentations follow:
Jakub Fiala is a postgraduate student of Information Science, Faculty of Arts, Charles University, Prague, where he also works as a lecturer and New Media Studies coordinator.
Abstract: Self-tracking and its influence on one’s behaviour, experience and motivation to change – commonly referred to using the title of my presentation - is my main research interest. Indeed, results give an account not only about one’s inner state, but also of broader implications and the relationship to society.
Filipa Ramalho is a PhD candidate at the University of Porto, Portugal, and she is also a researcher at INESC TEC. She studied Information Science (Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree). She then worked on projects as a business processes and information systems consultant for eight years with companies from different industrial sectors.
Abstract: Immersive applications immersive technologies are being developed to support and enhance human-worker at the factories. This doctoral research aims to study the combination of immersive technologies (as a way to convey real/virtual visual information), centered in the human-worker (as the crucial key user) as an information organization/retrieval problem. This talk will present this doctoral research project.
The presentations take place Feb. 26 via Zoom, 14:00-16:00 CET. See our Series webpage for details, and also to view videos of past presentations.
Future installments will be announced on the iSchools events calendar.
A Call for Papers has been issued for iConference 2021 workshop #479, Supporting and Engaging Diverse and Socially Vulnerable Populations with Technology Adoption Amid COVID-19. The deadline for submission is Feb. 28, and the workshop takes place March 17 at 3:00-7:00 pm EDT.
From the Call:
Due to inequities in society, certain populations have faced barriers to education, healthcare, employment, and access to resources, which has been accentuated amid the COVID-19 pandemic. These socially vulnerable populations often include underserved and marginalized groups. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted many inequities and challenges for said populations especially in regards to technology. Due to the inequities present prior to the pandemic and especially in the face of recovery from the pandemic, a fresh perspective is needed.
The workshop will provide a forum for people to discuss key issues and lessons learned on technology adoption among socially vulnerable populations during COVID-19. By definition, socially vulnerable populations may differ from region to region. In the United States, those often marginalized and underserved include people with disabilities, certain racial and ethnic minorities, older adults, and children, among several others. In general, these populations tend to face disproportionate difficulties before, during, and after major disasters. This multidisciplinary workshop will facilitate lively discussions on the implications of these challenges from a variety of disciplines across an international environment.
Submissions to the workshop will be peer-reviewed, and authors of accepted submissions will be invited to develop full papers and submit them to the special issue of Data and Information Management following the workshop.
View the Call for Papers for full details and contact Prof. Jenny Yuan with any questions.
The iConference 2021 Early Registration period comes to a close on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021, at the end of the day. Standard rates apply thereafter. Register now to secure the low Early Rate.
Everyone with an accepted submission is reminded that at least one presenter for each submission must register during the Early Registration period. Early registration helps the organizers with planning and saves you money.
iConference 2021 takes place March 17-31, 2021. It is a virtual event, with all sessions and presentations taking place online. Registration fees are the lowest in iConference history, with early rates of $260 regular and $125 student available through Feb. 9.
The program schedule for iConference 2021 is now available. Presenters an participants can link to the schedule from the iConference home page. This first release is a preliminary version of the schedule and subject to change.
Questions about the 2021 schedule should be directed to email@example.com.
iConference 2021 will be a virtual event, with all sessions and presentations taking place online. Registration fees are the lowest in iConference history, with early rates of $260 regular and $125 student available through Feb. 9. A special scholarship rate is also available for students with an accepted submission.
The School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign seeks nominations for the Robert B. Downs Intellectual Freedom Award. The deadline for nominations is March 15, 2021.
Given annually, the Robert B. Downs Intellectual Freedom Award acknowledges individuals or groups who have furthered the cause of intellectual freedom, particularly as it impacts libraries and information centers and the dissemination of ideas. Granted to those who have resisted censorship or efforts to abridge the freedom of individuals to read or view materials of their choice or to hear or express ideas, the award may be in recognition of a particular action or a long-term interest in and dedication to the cause of intellectual freedom.
Letters of nomination and documentation about the nominee should be sent by March 15 to Associate Professor Terry Weech, chair of the Nominations Selection Committee. Click here for more information and nomination submission instructions.
The iConference organizers have announced the 2021 finalists for the Best Poster Award, as selected by the Posters Co-Chairs. This announcement comes on the heels of last week’s announcement of the research paper awards finalists.
iConference 2021 will take place online, March 17-31, and registration is now open.
The nominees follow, and more detail can be found on the Award webpage, including paper abstracts.
Linguistic features and consumer credibility judgment of online health information
Jiaying Liu, Peking University; Shijie Song, Nanjing University; Yan Zhang, University of Texas at Austin
Perspectives of Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Viewers on Live-TV Caption Quality
Akhter Al Amin, Rochester Institute of Technology; Matt Huenerfauth, Rochester Institute of Technology
Persuasion Strategies in Misinformation-containing Weibo Posts
Sijing Chen, Wuhan University; Lu Xiao, Syracuse University; Jin Mao, Wuhan University
Sustainability by design: Toward community-centered strategies for durable digital collections
Courtnie Thurston, University of Maryland, College Park; Katrina Fenlon, University of Maryland, College Park
Writing Security: A Curriculum Intervention for Computer Security Ethics
Justin Petelka, University of Washington; Katie Shilton, University of Maryland; Megan Finn, University of Washington
The iConference 2021 organizers and the iSchools organization congratulate all of this year’s finalists. The winner of the Best Poster Award will be determined during iConference 2021, based in part on the poster presentation.
About this year’s conference
iConference 2021 will be a virtual event, with all sessions and presentations taking place online. Registration fees are the lowest in iConference history, with early rates of $260 regular, $125 student, and a special scholarship rate for students with an accepted submission.
iConference 2021 is presented by the iSchools organization and hosted by Renmin University of Beijing, China. This year’s theme is Diversity | Divergence | Dialogue. Sponsors include Springer Publishing and the U.S National Science Foundation. Visit the iConference home page to learn more.
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