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2020 Workshops


Workshops Overview

iConference 2020 is pleased to offer the following 11 workshops. Delegates may select a morning and/or an afternoon workshop when they register. Note that workshops #1, #2 and #3 are all-day workshops, and delegates who wish to participate in one of these three workshops are expected to select both sessions (i.e. morning part 1 and afternoon part 2). 

All workshops take place Monday, 23 March. Workshop participation is optional. Delegates sign up for workshops when they fill out the online registration form. Workshops are included with conference registration, and no additional fee is collected.

Workshops Directory

All-day Workshops

Morning-only Workshops

Afternoon-only Workshops

Workshops Descriptions

All Day Workshops

Workshop #1: Designing technologies and learning programs with youth - A Designathon

Organizers: Elizabeth Bonsignore, University of Maryland; Mega Subramaniam, University of Maryland; Tammy Clegg, University of Maryland; Craig Donahue, Google; Juan Rubio, Seattle Public Library

Description: This designathon invites attendees to explore techniques that actively include youth (7-17 years old) in the process of designing and developing programs for youth. Organizers will share background on participatory design (PD) and work with attendees to practice PD approaches that engage youth more fully as design partners throughout the full life cycle of development for a program or technology, from inception to implementation and beyond. Designathon attendees will be challenged to shape and revise their research/practitioner goals in ways that will benefit from PD approaches and to consciously center their efforts on obtaining the voice of young people themselves. This designathon has three intended goals: (1) to introduce attendees to various ways of partnering with young people using PD techniques; (2) to network with others, facilitating opportunities for future collaborations, and (3) to share resources with attendees to help them pursue future research projects with young people.

Workshop #2: About Time: Information through the lens of time and temporality 

Organizers: Jutta Haider, Lund University & University of Borås; Veronica Johansson, University of Borås; Björn Hammarfelt, University of Borås; Pamela McKenzie, Western University; Alison Hicks, University College London; Krista Lepik, Lund University & University of Tartu; Nicole Dalmer, Trent University

Description: The purpose of the workshop is to contribute to a theoretically informed development of notions of time in LIS, facilitate discussions on time and temporality across different areas of the information field, and garner interest for a special issue of the Journal of Documentation. Time is an understudied notion in the field, and it cuts across otherwise disparate research traditions and interests. The theme of time and temporality includes, but is not limited to: time and information practices; experiences of time; the acceleration of time and work; temporal dimension of information systems; generational aspects of information and the temporalities of cultural heritage and memory practices. 

Submissions: This workshop's organizers invite the submission of extended abstracts (700-1000 words) incl. conceptual, empirical, and methodological contributions and work at different stages of completion. Submissions should be sent to about.time@hb.se on the 30th of November at the latest (notification of acceptance on the 15th of December).

Workshop #3: #Forced Migration and @ethical_research: Moving the Agenda Forward 

Organizers: Dr. Nadia Caidi, University of Toronto; Dr. Eeva-Liisa Eskola, Åbo Akademi University; Dr. Karen Fisher, University of Washington; Dr. Jannica Heinström, OsloMet University; Dr. Jamie Johnston, OsloMet University; Dr. Annemaree Lloyd, University College London; Dr. Gunilla Widén, Åbo Akademi University

Description: The aim for the full-day workshop is to enable a two-way conversation about the dynamics and impact of research on forced migration. We will examine the various modes of engagement, as well as the extent to which evidence-based knowledge leads (or not) to more effective information provision, along with the associated ethical and methodological issues and challenges. The workshop will feature emerging voices, non-academics, as well as a range of techniques and approaches (e.g., arts-informed, participatory, visual). Throughout the day, the workshop attendees will hear a series of interventions in the form of lightning talks and other interactive sessions that will give session participants a chance to actively work through issues, play out plausible scenarios, and collaboratively seek possible approaches. A call for contributions will be issued before the workshop for lightning talk presentations. It is expected that a collective deliverable will be produced as an outcome of the workshop. 

Submissions: This workshop's organizers have submitted a call for presenting lightning talks (10-15 minutes) on lessons learnt researching and engaging with forced migrants. Deadline for abstract submissions is December 1, 2019. Questions and requests for more information can be sent to: maris.info.research@gmail.com


Workshop #4: ICT for Development, Empowerment for Growth: How Can the Information Field Contribute?

Organizers: Yuxiang Chris Zhao, Nanjing University of Science and Technology; Jia Tina Du, University of South Australia; Javed Mostafa, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Lei Bill Xu, SAP Digital School; Natalie Pang, National University of Singapore; Hui Yan, Renmin University; Shijie Song, Nanjing University

Description: Information and communications technology for development (ICT4D), which is devoted to leveraging ICT for economic, social, and governance development, has attracted wide attention from scholars and practitioners. However, gaps remain to be addressed in terms of bridging the connections between information, technological development and adoption and people for development. Through this workshop, the organizers seek to bring together a community of researchers and practitioners working on this important area. They expect to develop research ideas and collaboration opportunities across interdisciplinary boundaries, and lay the groundwork for a JASIST special issue on ICT4D.

Workshop #5: Digital Transformation: A Multi-Aspectual Perspective

Organizers: Professor Maria Burke, University of Cambridge; Professor Andrew Basden, University of Salford; Professor Darek Haftor, Uppsala University & Linnaeus University; Dr Sina Joneidy, Teesside University

Description: If we are to engage in shaping the future of our digital community, it is useful to develop a set of shared values. Having these shared values then enables effective communication both between and within different kinds of discipline communities. In view of the diversity of these values, there is a need for a fresh perspective to make sense of them. The workshop will provide a forum for the presenters to discuss values and key issues on digital transformation. This Multidisciplinary Workshop aims to facilitate lively discussion on the implications for our   society of “digital transformation” from different discipline perspectives especially employing insights from the Dutch philosopher, Herman Dooyeweerd. Dooyeweerd's suite of fifteen aspects provides distinct yet interconnected spaces in which the meaningfulness and value of issues may be laid out and linked together, drawing on the intuitive knowledge of participants. The workshop will bring together both technology practitioners and participants.

Workshop #6: Open Educational Resources: Opportunities, Options, and Obstacles for Textbook Publication

Organizers: Robert J. Glushko, University of California, Berkeley; Vivien Petras, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Description: Open access to educational resources is critically important to achieve inclusive globalization in an era of skyrocketing publication costs, but if resource users don’t pay for their production and distribution, how can resources be created and maintained? What policies, processes, and technology choices are the best enablers of open educational resources (OER)? Textbooks are a particular genre for OER, especially when they are intended to be actively maintained and dynamically updated. The workshop intends to discuss barriers and challenges in making educational resources “open”, but also the technical infrastructures, which allow such projects to have an appropriate user experience both for the students, but also for the OER producers. The Discipline of Organizing textbook (TDO), which was just published open access on the iSchools website, will serve as a case study in the workshop.

Workshop #7: People-centred information science: What does it mean in practice?

Organizers: Ola Pilerot, University of Borås; Anna Lundh, University of Borås and Curtin University

Description: With reference to a long-standing tradition of user-centred research in information science, this workshop will address issues concerning the various ways in which people, who are using, producing or interacting with documents, texts and other inscriptions, can be conceptualized and theoretically framed. By connecting to a critical discussion that started to take shape in the 1990s and which problematised not only the central question regarding units of analysis in these kinds of studies but also key concepts such as information and behaviour, the purpose of the workshop is to encourage and bring forward fruitful reasoning on conceptualisations of people in information studies. The first part of the workshop will be organised as a panel in which invited researchers showcase people-centred empirical studies. The panel will then continue with group discussions on possibilities and challenges in working in user-sensitive traditions and concluded with a summarising discussion.

Afternoon-Only Workshops

Workshop #8: The Challenges of Teaching Data Science in iSchools

Organizers: Toine Bogers, Aalborg University; Kai Eckert, Stuttgart Media University; Maria Gäde, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin; Javed Mostafa, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Vivien Petras; Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin; Il-Yeol Song, Drexel University

Description: While previous efforts have mainly focused on the identification of relevant topics as well as the development of shared data science curricula, the purpose of this workshop is to exchange experiences with and the challenges of teaching data science subjects at iSchools. The event not only asks the question of what but also how are we / will we teach data science subjects? How can we prepare and support students from different backgrounds with the necessary interdisciplinary skills? Through a combination of invited experience talks and an interactive fishbowl session we aim at collecting shared challenges as well as best-practice examples. That way, the workshop could build on existing efforts and complement a repository and forum for teachers at iSchools in similar situations.

Workshop #9: Transition in user-centred information studies - the what, why and how?

Organizers: Alison Hicks, University College London; Jette Hyldegård, University of Copenhagen; Pamela McKenzie, Western University; Nicole Dalmer, Trent University

Description: Transition to and within new contexts forms a key theme of interest within numerous areas of user-centered information research, but has rarely been explored in detail. This workshop will bring researchers, practitioners and policy makers together from health, workplace, academic and everyday life LIS subfields to explore what transition means from an information perspective, including methodological and theoretical considerations. The goals of this workshop are to explore what new areas of user-centered research a transition lens could spark, and to lay the groundwork for the creation of a research network, including: How should transition be conceptualized and studied within LIS? What methodologies can help explore transition within LIS What role does time, affect and place play in shaping transitional information practices? What are the outcome of transition from an information perspective? How do transitions lenses help us understand the characteristics of information practice contexts?

Workshop #10: Open access in theory and practice: The theory-practice relationship and open scholarly communication

Organizers: Prof Stephen Pinfield, University of Sheffield;  Dr Simon Wakeling, Charles Sturt University; Prof David Bawden, City University of London;  Dr Lyn Robinson, City University of London

Description: This proposed workshop will focus on two phenomena and explore the relationship between them: firstly, open-access (OA) publishing and dissemination of research outputs as part of scholarly communication; secondly, the interactions of theory and practice (and, theorists and practitioners), in the Social Sciences and Humanities in general and Library and Information Science in particular. It will explore the ways and extent that theory and practice have interacted in the development of OA approaches to scholarly communication, and discuss what this reveals about the nature of the OA phenomenon and the relationship between theory and practice. The workshop will be based on the findings of an 18-month research project completed in 2019 involving contributions from both theorists and practitioners. It will explore the significance of the project’s findings for both theory and practice, for LIS and SSH theory and OA-focused practitioners, currently the focus of a monograph at the drafting stage.

Workshop #11: Learning From Each Other Through Dialogue: Creating an Evidence-based Library/Information Studies Curriculum Informed by Emerging Trends in Practice

Organizers: Director Professor Kate Marek, Dominican University; Professor Karen Brown, Dominican University

Description: The relationship between theory and practice in higher education’s professional preparation programs is frequently imbalanced, with a heavy emphasis on theory and an attention to trends in practice often marginalized. The creation of a dynamic theory-to-practice curriculum, however, can be implemented through systematic dialogue with practitioners and intentional efforts of discovering trends in practice, which themselves, emerge from broader issues in society and the workplace. Dominican University’s School of Information Studies (SOIS) recognized this need in 2018 and developed an evidence-based planning process in order to identify current best practices in the field that informed curriculum revisions. Workshop attendees will learn about Dominican University’s SOIS planning and participate in guided discussion and application activities that result in a framework for curriculum rethinking and redesign that embrace evidence-based practices and a balance of theory and practice.

Original Workshop Call

Update: The proposal period has closed and acceptance descisions have been made. See above for descriptions of workshops accepted for 2020. The orginal workshop call is listed below for reference purposes only. 

iConference Workshops are intended to foster interactive discussions focusing on a particular topic within the purview of the iSchools, namely, the relationships among information, people and technology. This year’s chairs particularly welcome proposals focusing on the topics within the iConference 2020 theme: Sustainable Digital Communities. Workshops provide a great opportunity for attendees who share common interests and want to have intensive discussions. If you are interested in building a new research community, strengthening an existing research community, or further advancing a particular field, please consider organizing a workshop. We encourage you to submit proposals that will create common knowledge within iSchools.

All workshops will take place Monday, March 23, the first day of the conference. Half-day and Full-day formats are possible. There will be no separate fee for workshops. Participants will sign up for workshops when they register. All registered participants for iConference 2020 can participate in workshops at no extra cost.

Workshop proposals should describe the organizers, participants, purpose, format (panels, papers, discussions), goals or outcomes, and relevance to the iConference. Please use the structure described below under “Submission Guidelines.” Proposals will be reviewed by the Workshop Chairs and/or a review committee of their choosing, in consultation with the Program Chairs. After the conference, accepted workshop proposals will be archived to the iConference website.

It is the practice of the iConference to allow any paid participant to sign up for any given workshop. Workshop organizers are welcome and encouraged to solicit position papers or other deliverables from their workshop participants in advance. These can be used to identify individuals for more specific involvement, but should not be used to exclude anyone from signing up. Note that the process of soliciting and accepting position papers must be managed by the workshop organizers themselves; iConference organizers cannot facilitate the collection of deliverables through the conference submission system.

For more information and inspiration, we encourage you to review the proceedings and summaries of past iConferences. In particular, we call your attention to recent workshops proposals:

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  • Submission deadline: Monday, September 23, 2019
  • Notification: mid-October, 2019
  • Public-facing participant description due: Thursday, October 31, 2019

Proposal and Submission Guidelines

Workshop proposals will be submitted in writing using the ConfTool submission system. All submissions must be in English and submitted as a pdf. The following format should be used.

Title: Workshop title

Organizer(s): Names and affiliations of the organizers, in preferred order of appearance. We encourage workshops to include organizers from multiple institutions. (Note that all workshop organizers and presenters are expected to purchase an iConference registration.)

Abstract: An abstract of up to 150 words.

Description: Include a description of up to 1,000 words (not including abstract). Workshop descriptions should address each of the following:

  • Purpose and Intended Audience: Please state the audience to which your event is designed to appeal and the general themes that your workshop will address.
  • Proposed Format: Describe how your workshop will be organized and structured. The format is up to you. Possible activities include: Panel presentations; Group brainstorming of research issues and questions; Breakout discussions of specific topics or challenges; Collaborative deliberation of a particular case study or problem; Creation of a bibliography, research agenda, manifesto, or other product. 
  • Engagement: Explain the strategies you will use to engage workshop attendees. Note that if you plan to solicit abstracts, papers, or position statements, you are expected to set up your own system or protocol for doing so (e.g., through a website, via email, etc.). Participant registration for workshops will be managed through the conference registration site. 
  • Goals or Outcomes: State the goals and/or expected outcomes for your workshop. Also, include any plans to prepare a report, proceedings, wiki, or website to disseminate the results of your workshop.
  • Relevance to the iConference: Briefly state the focus of your proposal topic and note the importance, relevance, value, and/or interest to the iSchool community. Provide a brief explanation of how this workshop will appeal to the audience both with respect to content and format of the workshop. If the workshop has been associated with the iConference in the past or is part of an ongoing series, please explain.

Duration: Indicate if your workshop will be a half- or full-day event, and include a draft schedule that will fit within the duration. 

Attendance: Please indicate your expected number of participants, and also your preferred maximum number of participants. The iConference can generally accommodate workshops that range from 10 to 100 attendees.

Special Requirements: The iConference typically does not provide funding for workshops. If your proposed event has technical or logistical requirements with budget ramifications, you must articulate them clearly for consideration by the chairs.

If you have questions or ideas that need help being fleshed out, please feel free to contact the Workshop Chairs listed below.

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2020 Workshop Chairs


Questions about Workshop proposals should be directed to the Workshop chairs listed above.

General questions about the iConference 2020 should be directed to iconf2020@hb.se

Questions about the iSchools and the overall Conference series should be sent to iConference Coordinator Clark Heideger.



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Accepted papers will be published in Springer’s Lecture Notes in Computer Science


  • For general questions about the iConference, including sponsorships, please contact iSchools Communications Director Clark Heideger.

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