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iConference Announces 2021 Workshops

2 Dec 2020 23:24 | iSchools News (Administrator)

The organizers of iConference 2021 have announced their slate of Workshops for the upcoming virtual confernce. A detailed list is provided below.

iConference 2021 is hosted by Renmin University of China and will take place online during the two-week span of March 17 – 31, 2021. While past iConferences have presented all workshops on the same day, this year’s extended 2-week schedule will allow the organizers to spread out all six workshops so they do not conflict.

Conference participants will sign up for workshops when they complete their online registration. iConference 2021 registration will open in mid-December 2020. Decisions notifications for all remaining conference tracks will be released at that time.

Workshop #1: Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence for Science of Science and Computational Discovery: Principles, Applications, and Future Opportunities

Organizers: Daniel Acuna, Syracuse University; Tong Zeng, Nanjing University; Han Zhuang, Syracuse University; Lizhen Liang, Syracus University

Understanding knowledge boundaries, proposing innovative ideas, and producing correct results have become increasingly more competitive in science. Most of these steps rely on colleagues, mentors, and peers. This reliance on humans might not be sustainable because of the growing number of people and ideas entering science. Recent datasets of the scientific enterprise (e.g., full-text publications, citations) offer unprecedented opportunities to solve this scalability issue by using Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). These fields can help Science of Science (SciSci) and Computational Discovery (CD) understand and automate parts of the scientific process. In this workshop, we propose to 1) introduce participants to principles of modern ML and AI, including supervised, unsupervised, and semi-supervised learning, and 2) survey how these techniques are currently used in SciSci and CD. In the end, participants will have a well-rounded understanding of the opportunities and challenges that ML and AI offer. All information about the workshop can be found at

Workshop #2: AI + Informetrics: Multi-disciplinary Interactions in the Era of Big Data

Organizers: Yi Zhang, University of Technology Sydney; Chengzhi Zhang, Nanjing University of Science and Technology; Philipp Mayr, GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences; Arho Suominen, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and Tampere University

Inspired by the increasing interactions between informetrics and artificial intelligence (AI) for handling challenges raised from multiple disciplines – e.g., bibliometric-enhanced information retrieval, intelligent bibliometrics, digital library applications, and decision support for science, technology & innovation (ST&I), this workshop is to engage broad audiences to exchange their ideas, concepts, models, and applications in this cutting-edge area, identify research frontiers and emerging topics by incorporating advantages of cross-disciplines, and prompt multi-disciplinary collaboration. This workshop consists of keynotes, oral presentations, and panel discussion, and would attract interests from not only academic researchers and librarians but also decision makers from governments and practical sectors. More information can be addressed on the website:, and any enquires please email to Dr. Yi Zhang.

Please note tthat organizers of Workshop #2 have issued a Call for Papers; visit their webpage for details

Workshop #3: Supporting and Engaging Diverse and Socially Vulnerable Populations with Technology Adoption Amid COVID-19

Organizers: Xiaojun Yuan, University at Albany; DeeDee Bennett Gayle, University at Albany; Elisabeth Dubois, University at Albany; Dan Wu, Wuhan University

Due to inequities in society, certain populations have faced barriers to education 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 population 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 other. 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.

Workshop #4: The Information and Contemplation Salon

Organizers: Roger Chabot, University of Western Ontario; Tim Gorichanaz, Drexel University; Jenna Hartel, University of Toronto; Kiersten Latham, Michigan State University; Hugh Samson, University of Toronto; Madison Stoner, University of Toronto

This hands-on workshop invites participants to entertain the merits of "contemplation" as a new frontier for the iSchool community. Founding members of the Information and Contemplation Salon - a virtual research group - will introduce concepts at the crossroads of information and contemplation, each serving as a point of departure for dynamic discussion that is then encapsulated and experienced through a virtual activity. Topics include: the emerging discipline of Contemplative Studies; Contemplation as Information Behaviour; The Tree of Contemplative Practices; Contemplative Infrastructure; and Intellectual Humility. This workshop will be offered in the spirit of Contemplative Pedagogy, which honors an egalitarian, holistic, and uplifting learning environment. Participants will be gently immersed in an alternative universe of information-related concepts and leave with a new perspective.

Workshop #5Navigating through the Panoply of Provenance Metadata Standards

Organizers: Rhiannon Bettivia, Simmons University; Jessica Yi-Yun Cheng, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; Michael Robert Gryk, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

The following provenance models and metadata standards will be discussed and evaluated using real-world research data provided by the organizers. Emphasis will be placed on highlighting the strengths and capabilities of each model, as well as shortcomings of any individual model which are handled by one or more of the others. The morning session will cover the models while the afternoon session will provide hands-on cross-walking exercises to explore the modeling differences in greater depth.

Workshop #6: Understanding the big data in emergency management: agenda for future research

Organizers: Ming Ren, Renmin University of China; Ziqi Zhang, University of Sheffield; Guozhi Li, Beijing Jianghe RichWay Technology Development; Xianhua Wu, Shanghai Maritime University; Jun Zhang, University of Sheffield

Big data are playing a more and more important role in the lifecycle of emergency management. The workshop aims to develop a deep understanding of the multi-dimensional disparate data sources used in the emergency management and identify key trends that inform future research agendas and practices. Through two talks and a group discussion session, it is hoped to strengthen a multidisciplinary network consisting of academic researchers, practitioners and policy makers with interest and/or involvement in the intersection of big data and emergency management.

Visit the iConference home page for the latest updates. Confernce registration will open in mid-December.

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