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At the recent conclusion of iConference 2020 the iSchools board of directors approved the applications of six institutions spanning the organization's Asia-Pacific, North American and European regions. With these additions, the iSchools organization now numbers 115 institutions dedicated to advancing the information field worldwide.
Joining at the prestigious iCaucus membership level is the Rochester Institute of Technology School of Information. Located in Rochester, NY, USA, the school is headed by Department Chair Stephen J. Zilora. It has 100 students in its doctoral program, as well as 200 master’s students and 450 bachelor’s students.
Two schools join at the Basic membership level. The George Mason University Department of Information Sciences & Technology is located in Fairfax, VA, USA, and is headed by Prof. Andre Manitius. The Nankai University Department of Information Resources Management, Business School is in Tianjin, China, and headed by Vice Dean Yuelin Li.
Three schools were admitted as Associates. This category is for schools that are new or may not yet meet the requirements for other levels. The Louisiana State University School of Library & Information Science is in Baton Rouge, LA, USA, and headed by Dr. Carol Barry. Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield Business School is headed by Prof. Robert Wilson and located in Sheffield, UK. The Soochow University Department of Archives and e-Government is headed by Dr. Bi Jianxin and located in SuZhou (Soochow), China.
Visit the iSchools membership section for more on these and other schools in our worldwide membership, as well as instructions on how to apply.
Springer LNCS has announced that the papers proceedings for the recently concluded iConference 2020 are now available to the public. Scholars who were not able to participate in the conference can now preview and purchase the Full Research Papers and Short Research Papers proceedings on Springer LNCS.
iConference 2020 took place March 23 – 27 in an all virtual format, made necessary by the coronavirus pandemic. More than 390 scholars and researchers took part.
In addition to the papers proceedings on Springer, the iConference 2020 posters proceedings and Visions papers are available in the open access IDEALS repository.
The next event in the iConference series is iConference 2021, which takes place March 23 – 26, 2021 in Beijing, China. iConference 2021 is presented by the iSchools and hosted by the Renmin University School of Information Resource Management. Watch for the 2021 Call for Participation, coming in May of this year.
According to an article published by the University of Maryland College of Information Studies, the current COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted and intensified disparities in access to information and health disparities between various populations. One of the core factors underlying these health disparities are the varying degrees of accessibility of health information for various populations. Accessibility encompasses both physical and intellectual accessibility. While physical accessibility refers to whether information is physically obtainable, intellectual accessibility refers to whether information is understandable.
Information and information professionals (such as librarians) are instrumental in ensuring that every individual has access to the resources and opportunities that will enable them to optimize their ability to live a long and healthy life. Many different types of information-related factors influence this ability, including an individual’s awareness of, and access to, trustworthy health information; their awareness of, and their ability to articulate, their health-related information needs; their health literacy levels (which encompasses their ability to obtain, understand, and act on health information); and the strategies they use to seek out, evaluate, and benefit from health information.
All of these factors influence the individual’s potential and actual health outcomes. Fortunately, these factors can be influenced by information professionals, who have both an opportunity and a responsibility to help to shape these factors in such a way that they optimize each individual’s capability to be healthy and to flourish in all facets of their lives.
One of the central institutions serving the information needs of all populations – libraries – are facing the need to close in unprecedented numbers due to the risks posed by COVID-19. However, many public, academic, and K-12 school librarians are finding ways for their libraries to continue to serve the public.
Libraries are continuing to offer electronic access to their digital resources, and many are still offering internet access that people (some of whom would otherwise have no internet access) can use from outside the library. Additionally, numerous libraries are collecting and curating collections of COVID-19 resources on their websites.
Read the full story on the University of Maryland iSchool website, including examples of action taken by libraries across the US.
The Swedish Knowledge Foundation has granted the iInstitute at Linnaeus University 2 million SEK (roughly 180,000 Euro) to collaborate with industry and other public sectors over a period of two years in implementing a Digital Humanities Master’s program.
External sectors will bring expertise from the field that will help shape the program to make it most relevant to the needs of the current and future job market for Digital Humanists.
Camera Traps are motion-triggered devices used to capture photographs of species in the wild. The first Camera Trap Technology Symposium was held on November 7 and 8 at Google Headquarters in Mountain View, CA, USA. Sponsored by Rutgers, San Diego Zoo Global, Microsoft, and Google, the event was also broadcast online to participants online, enabling remote participants to send in questions and receive answers in real time.
The event was organized by Ariel Hammond, a SC&I Master of Information student studying Library, Information, and Data Science. Hammond had become so interested in camera trap data curation that she joined the Wildlife Insights technology committee, a new platform led by Conservation International which houses camera trap data from around the world, and uses AI to automatically identify species.
In discussing AI for camera trap images, Hammond suggested that groups working in this space meet for a web conference to discuss their research together. The web conference quickly spread through word of mouth, and the event grew to over 50 people speaking about their work and findings
“This is the first symposium to happen on this topic because it is so niche,” says Hammond. “That’s why I think people were so excited because there are people that want to talk about this but had no one to organize it for them.”
Click here for more on this story on the School of Communication and Information (SC&I) at Rutgers University-New Brunswick website.
iConference 2020, the iSchools' annual information conference, continues to move forward in its new virtual format. At the conclusion of today's program (Day 4), the organizer’s offormally named the winning submissions for this years Research Papers and Posters categories. Here are the results:
Winner, Lee Dirks Award for Best Full Research Paper
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)
Winner, Best Short Research Paper
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)
Winner, Best Poster
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)
All winners and finalists will receive a certificate commemorating their achievement. In addition, the winners of the Lee Dirks Award will share a $1,000 prize courtesy of Springer and the iSchools.
Visit the conference Awards page for a complete summary of this year’s winners and finalists. The iSchools and the conference organizers congratulate the winners and all finalists, and thank them for contributing to the overall high quality of this year’s submissions.
iConference 2020 began on March 23 and remains in progress as of press time. Part 1 of this year’s iConference will conclude on Friday, March 27, with the presentation of our popular Sessions for Interaction and Engagement. This will be followed by the commencement of Part 2, with a series of Special Presentations taking place for another week. See the Virtual Program Schedule for details and start times.
iConference is a presentation of the iSchools and is organized by the University of Borås: Swedish School of Library and Information Science, and Oslo Metropolitan University: Department of Archivistics, Library and Information Science. Sponsors include the City of Borås, Monash University, and Springer.
iConference 2020 commenced on Monday, March 23. We are now two days into our program, and the feedback from participants has been overwhelmingly positive. The transformation to an all-virtual format is not only allowing this year’s conference to move forward, but also lets the organization explore virtual communications techniques on a scale that can help us better serve our worldwide membership in the future.
iConference 2020 has reached a total of 390 registered virtual participants. This figure is surprisingly close to our attendance projections for the original physical format. This remarkable attendance is a testament to the resilience of the information community and its support of the conference. The iSchools and conference co-hosts the University of Borås and Oslo Metropolitan University thank everyone for their participation.
iConference 2020 received 402 contributions during the submission phase that were then evaluated by a team of 451 peer reviewers; our sincere thanks go out to those reviewers for lending us their expertise. Our virtual program now includes 71 papers, 56 posters, 7 sessions for interaction and engagement, 3 workshops and 2 keynotes, as well as 5 special presentations to come next week. That amounts to 144 individual presentations in total.
Most remarkably, arrangements to provide all 144 presentations in an entirely virtual format were made in a span of less than two weeks.
The list of individuals and schools who assisted with this transition is long. The iSchools organization is grateful to all the 2020 track chairs and organizers for their hard work, throughout the year and into the final transformative push. We also salute the presenters who willingly transitioned their talks into a virtual format at the eleventh hour—this especially applies to the Colloquia and Symposium Chairs, as well as Workshop and SIE organizers, who had to significantly overhaul their entire program formats in just a few days. We also thank the Zoom hosts, IT staff and Zoom experts from the University of Borås and OsloMet who embraced the technical challenge of transforming the conference.
Many iSchools also stepped up to assist. The list includes iSchools at Sungkyunkwan University, the University of Michigan, the University of Maryland, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Porto, Wuhan University, and Universiti Tekologi MARA.
Last but not least, we are grateful to the 390 participants who are currently showing their faith in the iConference through their virtual attendance and wholehearted participation.
The bulk of the iConference 2020 program will run through Friday, March 27, with an additional series of Special Presentations to come in the following week.
As part of the ongoing transformation of iConference 2020 into an all-virtual format, the organizers have now released their Virtual Program Schedule. iConference 2020 will commence this coming Monday, March 23, and now runs through Friday, March 27.
iConference 2020 was originally slated to take place in Borås, Sweden. But a little over a week ago, when public gatherings were discouraged (and later banned) due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, the organizers announced their intent of quickly converting the conference to an all-virtual format. The release of the revised Virtual Program Schedule is a key step in that transformation.
Conference participants will notice that sessions in the new schedule are now consecutive rather than concurrent. Faced with the challenge of scheduling for global attendance, the organizers strove to put presentations at relatively convenient times for presenters, to the extent this was possible. The consecutive sessions format also allows each participant to access to more sessions in total, should they wish, because there are fewer conflicts. Participants are further advised that although the organizers regard this schedule as essentially final, it remains subject to change.
All times listed in the Virtual Program Schedule are CET (Central European Time), and virtual participants will need to factor for the time difference at their physical location. The current time CET is indicated in a running clock at the top of the schedule.
In a related move, the organizers have also released the iConference 2020 app for mobile devices. This app is made available through a partnership with Conference4me. The app includes an interactive program schedule and other useful features such as Chat, which can enable participants to interact with presenters in real time during sessions. The Conference4me app for iConference 2020 is available from leading app vendors and also directly from Conference4me.
iConference 2020 will take place March 23 – 26 via Zoom. The conference theme is Sustainable Digital Communities. Virtual registrations remain available for purchase on the conference Registration page.
As the organizers of iConference 2020 continue the transition to an all-virtual format, iSchools from around the world are stepping forward to offer their help and support for the event. Together, the iSchools are blazing the trail for future virtual collaboration.
“It’s gratifying to see the iSchools community rally behind the iConference, its signature event,” said iSchools Executive Director Michael Seadle. “Many are seeing this for what it is, which is an opportunity for the information community to embrace virtual collaboration and show leadership in the face of a global crisis.”
On March 10 the iConference 2020 organizers announced their intention of transforming the conference to an all-virtual format. Subsequent global events surrounding the coronavirus have reaffirmed that decision. Now, with the help of fellow iSchools from around the world, plans for the revised conference format are rapidly coming together. An updated conference schedule will be made available later this week, as well as detailed instructions for presenting and attending conference sessions via Zoom.
While the iConference has experimented in the past with remote presentations and other virtual participant elements, this will be the first ever all-virtual iConference. Seadle says that while this rapid transition is an enormous undertaking, he expects this years’ experience can have a positive impact on how future iConferences are organized.
“It is no small challenge to transform the entire structure of a conference in just a few weeks, but the organizers and the iSchools staff have been working hard at this in order to give members around the world the opportunity to take part,” said Seadle. “The lessons we learn here will be invaluable to future collaboration in our increasingly virtual world.”
iConference 2020 will take place March 23 – 26 via Zoom. The conference theme is Sustainable Digital Communities. Virtual registrations are available for purchase on the Registration webpage.
iConference is a presentation of the iSchools and is organized by the University of Borås: Swedish School of Library and Information Science, and Oslo Metropolitan University: Department of Archivistics, Library and Information Science.
In light of ongoing global health developments related to COVID19, the leadership at the University of Borås has advised the iConference organizers against continuing with an in-person international gathering and are instead calling for a virtual format.
The conference organizers are now in the process of transforming iConference 2020 into an interactive, all-virtual format. The organizers look forward to working with the iSchools community to bring this new conference plan to fruition.
A letter summarizing the situation has been sent to all registered participants. Detailed instruction on how the virtual conference will be conducted will be posted to the conference website as soon as it's available.
The organizers ask that everyone hold off on their questions for a few days while details are sorted out.
This story was updated on March 10 to include a link to the participant letter.
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