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iConference 2020 Summary

For the first time in the history of the iConference series, iConference 2020 was conducted virtually, with presenters and participants around the world using Zoom video conferencing technology to take part remotely. Originally scheuled to take place in Borås, Sweden, iConference 2020 was transitioned to an all-virtual format in response to the sudden onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

2020 Contents

Quick Links
By the Numbers
Supporting Materials
Keynote Speakers

2020 Quick Links

Location: Virtual, via Zoom video conferencing
 March 23-27, 2020, with additional special presentations the following week
Hosts: University of Borås: Swedish School of Library and Information ScienceOslo Metropolitan University: Department of Archivistics, Library and Information Science

Conference Theme: Sustainable Digital Communities

Call for Participation: 2020 CFP
Submission Template: Springer LNCS template
Program Schedule: 2020 program schedule
Printed Program:  The 2020 print brochure was drafted to support the orginal plan of an in-person event; it is made available here for archival purposes.

ConfTool Submission and Registration Site: Users can visit the iConference 2020 ConfTool submission instance while it remains active.
Official Papers Proceedings: “Sustainable Digital Communities” on Springer LNCS
Posters and Visions Proceedings: IDEALS open repository
Doctoral Colloquium: View biographical and research information on participants

Host Welcome Address: Video address by Helena Francke and Tor Arne Dahl

iSchools Chair Welcome: Message from Gobinda Chowdhury

Outgoing Chair Farewell: Message from Sam Oh

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By the Numbers

Total registered virtual participants: 390

Full Research Papers: 27 (acceptance rate 30%)
Short Research Papers: 48
Posters: 76
Workshops: 11 (8 cancelled due to format change)
Sessions for Interaction and Engagement: 12 (1 cancelled due to format change)
Doctoral Colloquium Participants accepted*: 35
Early Career Colloquium Participants accepted*: 11
Undergraduate Symposium Participants accepted*: 12
*not all accepted participants chose to take part

Rates (listed in Swedish Krona):

 Participant Category Virtual Rate
 General Registration 3,000 SEK
 Student Registration (full-time, enrolled, includes Ph.D.) 2,000 SEK

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2020 Supporting Materials

Official Proceedings

Workshop Proposals

Eleven workshops were initially accepted for iConference 2020. As a result of the transition fo a vitural format, eight were subsequently cancelled by their organizers. The following three workshops took place via Zoom.

Sessions for Interaction and Engagement Proposals

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2020 Organizers

Conference Chairs: Tor Arne Dahl, Oslo Metropolitan University; Helena Francke, University of Borås

Program Chairs: Jan Nolin, University of Borås; Kjell Ivar Skjerdingstad, Oslo Metropolitan University

Proceedings Chairs: Anneli SundqvistOslo Metropolitan UniversityGerd BergetOslo Metropolitan University

Full Research Papers Chairs: Toine Bogers, Aalborg University; Jannica Heinström, Oslo Metropolitan University

Short Research Papers Chairs: Geoff Walton, Manchester Metropolitan University; Frances Johnson, Manchester Metropolitan University

Posters Chairs: Masanori Koizumi, University of Tsukuba; Pamela McKenzie, University of Western Ontario

Visions Chairs: Olof Sundin, Lund University; Kim Tallerås, Oslo Metropolitan University

Workshops Chairs: Melanie Feinberg, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Henrik Jochumsen, University of Copenhagen

Sessions for Interaction and Engagement Chairs: Martha Garcia Murillo, Syracuse University; Radhika Garg, Syracuse University; António Lucas Soares, University of Porto

Doctoral Colloquium Chairs: Simon Burnett, Robert Gordon University; Anita Komlodi, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Doctoral Dissertation Award Chairs: Koraljka Golub, Linnaeus University; Stasa Milojevic, Indiana University; Lihong Zhou, Wuhan University

Early Career Colloquium Chairs: Ann-Sofie Axelsson, Chalmers University of Technology; Isa Jahnke, University of Missouri

Student Symposium Chairs: Terje Colbjørnsen, Oslo Metropolitan University; Carina Hallqvist, University of Borås

Volunteer Chairs: Camilla Holm and Jennifer Lea Thøgersen, Oslo Metropolitan University; Kalle Carlsson and Hana Marcetic, University of Borås

Local Organizing Committee Chair: Alen Doracic, University of Borås

Sponsorship Chair: Nasrine Olson, University of Borås

Conference Coordinator: Clark Heideger, The iSchools

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2020 Awards

Doctoral Dissertation Award

This award recognizes the most outstanding dissertation of the preceding year. Each member iSchool was invited to submit one dissertation for blind review by an international jury made up of iSchool leadership and faculty. The winner received $2,500 U.S., the runner up $1,000 U.S.

2020 Winner
Sarah Joann Lubelski, University of Toronto Faculty of Information
A Gentlewoman’s Profession: The Emergence of Feminized Publishing at Richard Bentley and Son, 1858-1898

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2020 Runner Up
Brian Dobreski, Syracuse University School of Information Studies

Values in Knowledge Organization Standards: A Value Analysis of Resource Description and Access (RDA) 

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Lee Dirks Award for Best Paper

Sponsored in 2020 by Springer Nature, the Lee Dirks Award is presented to the author(s) of the conference’s most outstanding full research paper. The 2020 award included a prize of $1,000 U.S. This award honors the memory of Lee Dirks of Microsoft Research, long-time friend and supporter of the iConference. Click here for past winners.

2020 Winning Paper
Title: 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) 

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2020 Runners Up, in alphabetical order:

Title: AI Models and Their Worlds: Investigating Data-Driven, AI/ML Ecosystems Through a Work Practices Lens

Author: Christine T. Wolf, IBM Research (USA)

Title: Educating for democracy? The role of media and information literacy education for pupils in Swedish compulsory school

Authors: Hanna Carlsson, Linneaus University (Sweden); Olof Sundin, Lund University (Sweden)

Title:“In the beginning, it was little whispers…now, we’re almost a roar”: Conceptualizing a model for community and self in LGBTQ+ health information practices

Authors: Vanessa L. Kitzie, University of South Carolina (USA); Travis L. Wagner, University of South Carolina (USA); A. Nick Vera, University of South Carolina (USA)

Title: Trolling Trump

Author: Pnina Fichman, Indiana University - Bloomington (USA)

Best Short Research Paper


Title: 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)


Title: How does media reflect the OA and Non-OA scientific literature? A case study of Environment Sustainability

Authors: Tahereh Dehdarirad, Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden); Jonathan Freer, Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden); Alexander Mladenovic, Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden)

Title: Indigenous Cultural Sustainability in a Digital World: Two Case Studies from Aotearoa New Zealand

Authors: Anne Goulding, Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand); Jennifer Campbell-Meier, Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand); Allan Sylvester, Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand)

Title: On the Breakdown of the Controlled Environment Paradigm in Norwegian Archival Repositories

Author: Herbjørn Andresen, Oslo Metropolitan University

Title: The What of Data: Sharing Appropriate Scientific Research

Author: Bernadette Marie Boscoe, University of Washington (USA)

Best Poster:


Title: 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)


Title: Dealing with privacy - Personal Privacy from a research data management perspective

Authors: Live Håndlykken Kvale, Oslo Metropolitan University; Peter Thomas Darch, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Title: Digital Literacy Initiatives in Canada: Exploring Successes from Multiple Perspectives

Authors: Heidi Julien, University at Buffalo, SUNY; Brian Detlor, McMaster University

Title: “I Like the Way the Skin Looks”: Player Perspectives on Aesthetic Appeal and Self-Representation With Video Game “Skins”

Authors: Alia Fatima Reza, iSchool Inclusion Institute (i3); Adanna Floris Nedd, The Pennsylvania State University, iSchool Inclusion Institute (i3); Sabrina Chu, iSchool Inclusion Institute (i3); Amy Castillo, iSchool Inclusion Institute (i3); Zuaira Khan,  iSchool Inclusion Institute (i3); Daniel Lowell Gardner, University of California, Irvine,  iSchool Inclusion Institute (i3)

Title: Telling Multifaceted Stories with Humanities Data: Visualizing Book of Hours Manuscripts 

Authors: Rongqian Ma, University of Pittsburgh; Kai Li, Drexel University

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2020 Keynote Speakers

The following speakers made keynote presentations at iConference 2020.

Dr. Lina Dencik

Biography: Lina Dencik is Associate Professor (Reader) at the School of Journalism, Media and Culture at Cardiff University, UK and is Co-Founder of the Data Justice Lab. She has published widely on digital media and the politics of data and is currently Principal Investigator of the DATAJUSTICE project funded by a European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant. Her publications include “Media and Global Civil Society” (Palgrave, 2012), “Worker Resistance and Media” (Peter Lang, 2015), and “Digital Citizenship in a Datafied Society” (Polity, 2018).

Presentation: Civic Participation in the Datafied Society

From the speaker: "The use of data and algorithmic processes for decision-making is now a growing part of social life and helps determine decisions that are central to our ability to participate in society, such as welfare, education, crime, work, and if we can cross borders. Citizens are increasingly assessed, profiled, categorized and ‘scored’ according to data assemblages, their future behavior is predicted through data processing, and services are allocated accordingly.

"In a datafied society, state-citizen relations become quasi-automated and dependent on digital infrastructures. This raises significant challenges for democratic processes, active citizenship and public engagement.

"In this talk I will engage with the question of advancing civic participation in a context of rapid technological and social transformation, considering also experiments in new democratic practices to ensure legitimacy, transparency, accountability and intervention in relation to data-driven governance. In so doing, I will outline emerging terrains for developing civic agency in a datafied society."

Professor Jussi Karlgren

Biography: Jussi Karlgren is a principal research scientist at Spotify and one of the founding partners of the text analysis company Gavagai. He has worked with language technology and interaction with information since 1987. His main research interest is on how to design a learning knowledge representation to handle the continuously changing form and content of human information and to meet the broad variety of human information needs an information system meets with, including entertainment and diversion. He believes human language to be very well designed representation and that technology to handle it should embrace its characteristics instead of viewing them as problems. Jussi Karlgren has worked on stylistic variation and genres in language and on large scale semantic spaces for application e.g. to sentiment analysis.

Presentation: Information Access for Evolving Media Usage 

From the speaker: "The media usage habits of the population at large change, which has effects for the educational system, for memory institutions, for the media industry, and therefore for those of us who develop technology for information access. Many of the current changes are easy to observe through introspection or through observing how people in our vicinity consume media and information: people read text on screens; watch lectures and educational material in video clips; listen to literary material and to short written texts superimposed on brief video clips to their near and dear; and stream music and movies instead of purchasing physical objects to place in shelves in their homes. There are very obvious challenges for technology having to do with how we make documents and their content accessible for search and exploration across media types, and we do not quite know what effects today's changes have on tomorrow’s media usage.

"This talk will give some examples, based in part on experiences from Spotify, a large music and podcast streaming service, and discuss one of the less obvious challenges: how to evaluate and validate new technology solutions. We know how to measure quality for systems designed to fulfil expressly formulated known information needs, but how can we measure quality of a system designed to entertain and delight? How can we assess the usefulness of systems for digital scholars? And what are the underlying assumptions that have governed the make-up of the experimental benchmarking of today's information systems?" 

2020 Sponsors

The iSchools organization and the iSchools at the University of Borås and Olso Metoropolitan University are grateful to the following sponsors for their support.




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