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The iConference has issued its 2023 Call for Participation. Jointly hosted by the iSchools at Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Monash University and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, iConference 2023 will consist of two parts: a virtual research program held online March 13 – 17, and an in-person program held in Barcelona March 27-29.
This year’s organizers have made multiple improvements to the 2023 iteration of our annual information conference to better accommodate the global information community. In addition to offing separate virtual and in-person programs, key changes include special research tracks for papers in Chinese, Spanish and Portuguese, and the addition of a track focused on Information Sustainability.
Low-Cost Virtual Program Fosters Inclusivity
The iConference 2023 research program will take place online March 13 – 17. With no associated travel or lodging requirements, this element of the program helps minimize fees and environmental impact while maximizing global accessibility. The research program is open to all information scholars and researchers worldwide, regardless of institutional affiliation.
This virtual research program will include the usual thought-provoking papers and posters that participants have come to expect from the iConference. In addition, while English remains the primary language for submissions, special new tracks have been introduced for papers written in Chinese, Spanish, and Portuguese.
Included in the 2023 virtual program are colloquia and symposia that prepare and mentor future thought leaders. Currently enrolled Ph.D. Students may apply for the Doctoral Colloquium, while the Early Career Colloquium serves those who have recently earned their Ph.D., including early career researchers, post-doctoral fellows and assistant professors. Applicants will be able to express a preference among region-specific colloquia specifically scheduled for the relevant time zones. Master’s and undergraduate students are encouraged to apply to the Student Symposium.
A new track focused on Information Sustainability will also be included in the virtual program.
Interaction and Networking in Sunny Spain
The second part of the iConference 2023 program will be a smaller, in-person gathering in Barcelona, Spain. Taking place March 27 – 29, this will include interactive and engaging sessions, business meetings, project-related meetings and myriad opportunities for face-to-face networking.
All 2023 interactive events will be in Barcelona, and the organizers are soliciting proposals for workshops and all manner of sessions for interaction and engagement; these may range from a single 90-minute session to all-day events.
Timeline, Submissions, Sponsorships
Prospective authors and participants are invited to read the CFP for more information. Detailed track pages will be posted to the conference website in the coming weeks, and submissions will be accepted beginning early summer.
The deadline for research papers (all types) poster proposals and Information Sustainability submissions is Sept. 1, 2022. Workshop and interactive session proposal as well as colloquia and symposia applications are due Oct. 1.
Visit the iConference 2023 home page anytime for the latest developments. Sponsorship opportunities include free virtual exhibition booths for iSchools members and specially priced sponsorship packages available to all.
The School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, together with co-sponsor SAGE Publishing, have announced the results of the 2021 Robert B. Downs Intellectual Freedom Award. Two winners were named this year.
The first award recipient, #FReadom Fighters, is a grassroots effort co-founded by Texas educators and librarians, Becky Calzada, Carolyn Foote, and Nancy Jo Lambert. Its mission is to fight back against the wave of book challenges in the state and create a supportive space for school librarians. Using the hashtag #FReadom, the group started tweeting about challenged books, describing their positive impact on students. Following the successful social media campaign, #FReadom Fighters created a website to curate resources and promote positive steps to support readers, reading, books, school libraries, and librarians. #FReadom Fighters has amassed thousands of supporters, both at the state level and across the country, and influenced other likeminded groups to take action.
The second award is presented to ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom staff Deborah Caldwell-Stone, director, and Kristin Pekoll, assistant director, for their contributions in the defense of intellectual freedom. The upsurge in book challenges last year led to a substantial increase in Caldwell-Stone and Pekoll’s workload, as they assisted libraries and librarians, handled media requests, gave presentations, and wrote and issued statements. According to nominator Wanda Mae Huffaker, librarian at the Salt Lake County Library in Utah, “Their efforts in informing us, supporting us, having our back—even when entirely overwhelmed—is the reason I think they deserve applause.”
The Robert B. Downs Intellectual Freedom Award is presented annually to individuals or groups who have furthered the cause of intellectual freedom, particularly as it affects libraries and information centers and the dissemination of ideas. It was established in 1969 by the faculty of the School of Information Sciences to honor Robert Downs, a champion of intellectual freedom, on his twenty-fifth anniversary as director of the School.
According to the Award sponsors, 2021 was an especially challenging year for libraries and librarians in terms of the increase in attempts at censorship. The Sponsors cite statistics from the American Library Association (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom showing the number of challenges to library materials more than tripled from 2020 to 2021. In addition, current estimates show that 82 to 97 percent of challenges go unreported, suggesting that the total number of challenges could be significantly greater.
Perhaps reflecting this increase in attempts at censorship of library materials, the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign received more than the usual number of nominations for the 2021 Robert B. Downs Intellectual Freedom Award.
A reception for the 2021 award winners will be held June 25 during the ALA conference. Read the Illinois iSchool news story for more information.
The Council on Library and Information Resources and the Digital Library Federation are offering a limited number of fellowship opportunities to enable a diverse group of students and practitioners to attend the 2022 DLF Forum, to be held in Baltimore, Maryland this October.
The fellowships will include complimentary registration, lodging, travel stipend and other benefits. Applications are due Friday, May 31. Visit website for full details and application instruction.
iSchools Chair Sanda Erdelez has assumed the role of Interim Dean of the College of Organizational, Computational and Information Sciences (COCIS) at Simmon’s University. She was formerly Director of the School of Library and Information Science, a division of COCIS.
Prof. Erdelez became iSchools Chair earlier this year and is co-leader of the organization’s Women’s Coalition. She has also held numerous leadership positions with ASIS&T.
Internationally recognized for her pioneering research in the areas of information encountering, Prof. Erdelez’s research interests include human information behavior, human-computer interaction and usability evaluation in online environments. She received her LL.B. and LL.M degrees from the University of Osijek Law School (Croatia) and Ph.D. in information transfer from the iSchool at Syracuse University. She is a former Fulbright Scholar and recipient of The Texas Excellence Teaching Award and The ALISE Pratt-Severn Faculty Innovation Award.
To fill the position vacated by Prof. Erdelez, Prof. Laura Saunders will serve as Interim Director of Simmons SLIS.
The recently concluded follow-up survey of iConference 2022 participants reveals a favorable impression of this year’s installment of the iSchools organization’s annual information conference. Fully 85% of respondents rated the overall conference as Excellent or Above Average.
The iConference has been an annual event since 2005, and 2022 marked our third consecutive year of virtual conferencing due to the COVID pandemic, with the last two years being conducted via the SCOOCS online conferencing platform. Access to this platform got high marks from participants, with an overall rating of 4.31 out of 5. In addition, 90% rated the intuitivity of navigation and joining sessions as Excellent or Above Average.
An advantage that our virtual iConference has over previous in-person events is the Presentation Library, which gives participants on-demand access to video recordings of presentations at their convenience; this access will continue for three months following the conference. The Presentation Library was rated as Excellent or Above Average by 90% of respondents.
iConference 2022 had an Exhibition Hall that featured virtual booths maintained by member schools and sponsors; these booths were provided to schools at no charge as a benefit of membership. Eighty percent of participant who visited the Exhibition Hall rated the experience as Excellent or Above Average.
In the anecdotal feedback portion of the survey, participants continue to cite low cost and global accessibility as desirable features. This is where virtual conferences really shine: While a virtual conference still needs to cover staff, software and platform costs, meal and event facility fees are essentially eliminated. More importantly, participants also do not bear the considerable ancillary costs of lodging and transportation.
Eliminating lodging and transportation also has the effect of greatly reducing the conference’s carbon footprint: According to the SCOOCS platform’s algorithm and allowing for related factors, the 2022 conference’s virtual format prevented more than 500,000 kg of carbon from being released by participant travel and related activity.
The 2022 survey findings are being taken into account as preparations are made for our next event, iConference 2023, which is jointly hosted by the iSchools at Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (Spain), Monash University (Australia), and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (USA).
“For next year, the research portion of the iConference will once again take place entirely online, thereby keeping costs low and maximizing accessibility for our global membership,” said iSchools Executive Director Michael Seadle. “In addition, next year’s conference will have a corresponding in-person element that takes place in Barcelona. This in-person portion of iConference 2023 will serve a narrower audience, focusing on special events and organizational meetings.”
A preview of iConfereence 2023 is available now, and full details on the event will be posted to the iSchools website in the coming weeks. iSchools members and information professionals should watch their inboxes for the 2023 Call for Participation, which will be released soon.
iConference 2022 had 359 registered participants, of which 98 (27%) took part in our survey. Statistics cited in this story have been rounded.
The Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) is currently accepting applications for its biennial Paul Evan Peters Fellowship program. Named for CNI’s founding executive director, the fellowships assist students pursuing graduate studies in the information sciences, librarianship, or closely related field, that advance the frontiers of digital information and technology.
Two fellowships will be awarded for 2022-2024, one at the doctoral level ($5,000) and one at the master’s level ($2,500).
Applicants must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the United States. Each applicant must be entering or enrolled in a master’s or doctoral program in information science or librarianship at an accredited U.S. university, or a program that has received ALA accreditation, or one that is a member of the iSchools Organization.
Applications are due May 20, 2022. Visit the CNI website for details and application instruction.
The Department of Library and Information Science, Faculty of Humanities at Universitas Indonesia has joined the iSchools Organization as an Associate Member. The Universitas Indonesia becomes the 126th member of the Organization and the first in Indonesia.
The school is headed by Dr. Dra. Luki Wijayanti S.IP., M.Hum. It offers Library and Information Scinece programs at the Undergraduate and Master’s level, has more than 30 professors, lecturer and teaching staff. Its graduates are sought by government and private institutions requiring expertise in literature, archives, and information management.
The next installment in the iSchools European Doctoral Seminar Series will take place Friday, 20 May, at 13:00 CEST. PhD Researcher Alexandra Boutopoulou of the University of Sheffield iSchool will present her research on self-defined “wellness” bloggers and social media’s impact on the social phenomena of healthy eating, wellness discourses and lifestyle practices in the UK. Silvia Maccarini of Universidad Carlos III de Madrid will give a talk titled “Predatory publishing and bogus conferences,” exploring the strategies and business models of “predatory” journals and publishers.
The European iSchools Doctoral Seminars Series is an ongoing forum in which doctoral students present their work to faculty and peers and make themselves available for questions and discussion. While the primary emphasis of the series is European doctoral students, any iSchool doctoral student worldwide is welcome to attend these Zoom sessions. The sessions will also be recorded and made available on the iSchools website after the event.
Visit the European Dissertation Series webpage for more information on these upcoming presentations, including presentation abstracts and information on how you can join the Zoom session.
The iSchool Inclusion Institute (i3) has relocated and will now be hosted by the School of Information at the University of Texas at Austin. i3 is a national undergraduate research and leadership development program that prepares students from underrepresented populations for graduate study and careers in the information sciences. The program is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and was originally hosted by the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Computing and Information. The iSchools at UT Austin and Pittsburgh are both long-standing members of the iSchools organization.
Each year 25 students from a variety of majors and institutions across the country are invited to become i3 Scholars. The program includes a funded 20-month immersive, hybrid experience that includes two summer institutes, a yearlong research project, and participation in several conferences. Throughout the course of the program, students undergo professional development training (such as workshops, interview practice, 1-1 mentorship, and networking experiences) that are tailored to each individual scholar’s needs. Since its launch in 2011, more than 200 scholars have graduated from the i3 program with hands-on research and project management experience, professional skills, and peer-reviewed publications.
The PI & Director of the i3 Program is Dr. Kayla Booth (picture left), who has joined the UT Austin iSchool faculty as an Assistant Professor of Instruction. “On paper, we're called the ‘i3 program,’” said Dr. Kayla Booth. “But really i3 is so much more than that. Over the last ten-plus years, i3 has blossomed into an incredible community as we collectively imagine and build a brighter, more equitable future together.”
UT Austin iSchool Dean Eric T. Meyer had this to say about the relocation: “I am looking forward to the impact i3 will have on UT Austin and on the field of information more broadly. We are grateful to the University of Pittsburgh for developing such an innovative program and are honored to take on stewardship of i3. I am confident that the program will thrive in Austin, and personally look forward to welcoming the next cohort of i3 Scholars.”
i3 is currently accepting applications for the 2022 summer program in Austin.
The Asia-Pacific regional iSchools, in conjunction with the iSchools Board, have launched a Next Generation Committee. The purpose of this newly established sub-organization of the AP-iSchools is to maximize the visibility and communication among the next generation researchers, to enhance academic initiatives and mutual support, and to empower the AP library and information science community with vitality and to cultivate future leaders in the information field. The Committee will facilitate an international network for next generation researchers through various events and activities, including the AP-iConference, workshops, panels, international research projects and joint grant proposals.
The concept of this Committee was proposed by Prof. Atsuyuki Morishima, Asia-Pacific Regional Chair for the iSchools Organization. The Committee is composed of next generation researchers in the field of information from Asia-Pacific (AP) iSchools members, the International Conference on Asia-Pacific Digital Libraries (ICADL) and the Asia-Pacific Library and Information Education and Practice Conference (A-LIEP) communities.
The Asia-Pacific iSchools Next Generation Committee now includes 18 members from 13 institutions for the first term of two years. Dr. Di Wang from Wuhan University and Dr. Misita Anwar from Monash University were respectively designated as the Chair and Chair Elect by the AP iSchools Board. Detailed introductions of all committee members are as follows:
Dr. Di Wang
Di Wang is a Postdoc Researcher of School of Information Management, Wuhan University. She received her Ph.D. in Computing from Macquarie University and Ph.D. in Information Resources Management from Wuhan University. Her research interests include open data and data services. She has reviewed and published in many journals including Government Information Quarterly, Library Hi tech and has chaired conferences including ICADL, iConference, and AP-iConference.
Dr. Misita Anwar
Misita Anwar’s research revolves around people and technology interplay and the impact that technology brings into people's lives. She has been conducting research from the perspective of the human development and capability approach where the focus is on values, the expansion of freedom, and choices people can afford with the use of technology. Her current work focuses on rural villagers' information needs. Throughout her work, she has been working with underprivileged, rural communities, people with refugees background, those with disabilities, and developing countries. Issues on social and technical aspects are considered and including the design, adoption, and affordances of a range of ICTs.
Dr./Assistant Prof. Chao Min
Chao Min works as Research Assistant Professor in the School of Information Management at Nanjing University. His research interests mainly include science of science, network science and computational social science. He holds a doctor’s degree in management science from Nanjing University. He was a visiting scholar at the School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering in Indiana University Bloomington from 2016 to 2018.
Dr. Claire Timpany
University of Waikato
Claire Timpany is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Design, in the School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences at the University of Waikato. Her research is focused on how people interact with written text in print and on screen and the ways that information can be visually presented to assist people in their interactions with information. The current focus of Claire’s research is how the typefaces we choose, and the way we reveal the structure of a document through visual cues impacts how easy it is to access and understand the content. Lately this has specifically meant she has been exploring how best to emphasise headings within text to help people search for information.
Assistant Prof. Hiroyoshi Ito
University of Tsukuba
Hiroyoshi Ito received B.Sc., M.Eng., and Ph.D. degrees in engineering from University of Tsukuba, Japan, in 2015, 2017, and 2020 respectively. Currently, he is an assistant professor at the faculty of library, information and media sciences, University of Tsukuba. His research interests include data mining, machine learning, and human computation.
Associate Prof. Houqiang Yu
Sun Yat-Sen University
Houqiang Yu, PhD, Associate Professor from School of Information Management at Sun Yat-Sen University, China. His major research interests are data science, quantitative science studies, altmetrics, social media analysis, scholarly communication, and scientific evaluation, and has published over 90 peer reviewed articles or books. He is PI for several grants, and serves as a committee member of CSSI, member of ISSI and ASIST.
Associate Prof. Hui Chen
Central China Normal University
Hui Chen holds a permanent position as an Associate Professor at the School of Information Management of the Central China Normal University, Wuhan, China. She holds a PhD in Knowledge Management from Loughborough University (UK). Her main research interests are in digital archive management, archive governance, archive services as well as knowledge management, tacit knowledge related to experience and knowledge sharing. She also has developed interests in areas that intersect with archives such as e-government, e-services and urban cultural heritage management.
Dr. Iyra S. Buenrostro-Cabbab
University of the Philippines Diliman
Iyra Buenrostro-Cabbab, Ph.D. is a full-time faculty member of the School of Library and Information Studies, University of the Philippines Diliman (UP SLIS). Her teaching and research activities focus on archival theory and practice, and LIS research methodologies. Iyra is currently the Graduate Program Coordinator of UP SLIS, and the Editor-in-Chief of the Philippine Journal of Librarianship and Information Studies (PhJLIS).
Dr. Md Khalid Hossain
Khalid Hossain works as a Research Fellow at the Department of Human Centred Computing of Monash University, Australia where he focuses on environmental informatics and community informatics with a strong interest in climate action and natural resources management through use of ICT. He has experience of working in the international development sector along with the academia and government.
Dr. /Assistant Prof. Masaki Takeda
Masaki Takeda is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Library, Information and Media Science, University of Tsukuba, Japan. His research focuses on the information behavior of older adults based on characteristics of their cognition, and evaluation of library services for older adults. He received his MSc and PhD degrees from Graduate School of Library, Information and Media Studies, University of Tsukuba, Japan, in 2014 and 2019, respectively.
Dr. Naya Sucha-xaya
Naya Sucha-xaya is a lecturer at The Department of Library Science, Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University in Thailand, where she teaches archives management, cultural heritage information management and other courses in information studies. Her research interests include archival theories and practices, information culture, participatory archives, community archives, and cultural heritage information in the digital world.
Dr. Nicholas Vanderschantz
Nicholas (Nic) Vanderschantz is a Senior Lecturer from the Department of Design, School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences, University of Waikato. His teaching and research approach information search and HCI from a visual and user experience perspective. He investigates user-centred design solutions for the presentation and visualisation of information in a range of contexts, focusing on information search & use by adults, teens, and children. He has investigated individual and collaborative use of pBooks, eBooks, libraries, mobile and desktop apps, and the Internet and the impact of typographic, wayfinding, navigation, orientation, and visual presentation considerations.
Associate Prof. Peng Xiao
Peng Xiao is an associate professor at the School of Information Management, Sun Yat-Sen University. His research interests include digital humanities, library science and cultural policy. He is a member of advisory committee on standards (CoS) in IFLA, as well as the director of the working group on reading standards and evaluation in Library Society of China.
Rahmi is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Library and Information Science, Faculty of Humanities, Universitas Indonesia, Indonesia. Recent projects include (Disaster-related) Human-Information Behaviour, Corporeal/Embodied Information, Quantitative Analysis, Computational Social Science, Documentation Studies, and Crisis Informatics. She received her M.Sc and Ph.D. degrees from the Graduate School of Library, Information and Media Studies, University of Tsukuba, JAPAN, in 2015 and 2019, respectively. Dr. Rahmi is the youngest LIS doctorate in Indonesia, where she graduated from the doctoral program at the age of 27. Should you have any questions, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org and her website at rahmiami.net.
Assistant Prof. Shaobo Liang
Shaobo Liang, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the School of Information Management at the Wuhan University. His research interests lie in understanding user information-seeking behavior, mobile search behavior, and cross-device search. He has secured research grants and contracts, including China's National Natural Science Foundation and China Postdoctoral Science Foundation. His work is published in various journals, and he has presented at several conferences related to information retrieval, digital society, and user behavior.
Dr. Wei Jeng
National Taiwan University
Wei Jeng is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Library and Information Science, National Taiwan University. Jeng’s current work aims to comprehend the concept of open science through data accessibility and sharing, and reproducibility. Jeng’s long-term research goal is to provide insights on improving research data infrastructure for scholars in all disciplines, particularly to foster how people share research artifacts in the digital age.
Dr. Yi Bu
Yi Bu is an Assistant Professor in Data Science at the Department of Information Management, Peking University. He is doing research in the application aspect of data analytics, with a particular focus on scholarly data mining. Yi holds a bachelor's degree in Information Management and System from Peking University, a master’s degree in Data Science, and a Ph.D. in Informatics from Indiana University Bloomington.
Associate Prof. Youngseek Kim
Youngseek Kim is an associate professor in the Department of Library and Information Science at Sungkyunkwan University in the Republic of Korea. He completed his PhD in information science & technology at Syracuse University in 2013. His current research efforts in eScience try to understand the nature of scientists’ data practices, focusing on data sharing and reuse, the education of eScience professionals, and adoption and use of cyberinfrastructure.
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