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iSchool graduate students invited to apply for CNI fellowships


The Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) has issued an invitation for applicants for the 2018 Paul Even Peters Fellowship. Established to honor the memory of CNI’s founding directory, the fellowship is awarded every two years to students pursuing graduate studies in librarianship, the information sciences, or a closely related field that advance the frontiers of digital information and technology.

Two fellowships will be awarded in 2018: One to a doctoral/PhD student in the amount of $5,000 per year, to be awarded two consecutive years; and one to a master’s student in the amount of $2,500 per year, to be awarded two consecutive years.

CNI is looking for applicants who demonstrate intellectual and personal qualities “consistent with those of Paul Evan Peters,” including:

  • A commitment to use of digital information and advanced technology to enhance scholarship, intellectual productivity and public life;
  • An interest in the civic responsibilities of information professionals and a commitment to democratic values;
  • A positive and creative approach to overcoming personal, technological, and bureaucratic challenges, and
  • Humor, vision, humanity, and imagination.

Visit the CNI fellowship webpage for eligibility and application details.


Simmons iSchool names new director


The Simmons School of Library and Information Science (Boston, USA) has announced that Dr. Sanda Erdelez will be joining the School as Director and Professor beginning in June of 2018. Dr. Erdelez is a world-renowned researcher in the area of information behavior and recipient of the 2015 “Outstanding Contribution to Information Behavior Research Award” from the Special Interest Group on Information Seeking and Use (SIGUSE) of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T).

Dr. Erdelez earned her PhD at the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University while on a Fulbright scholarship. She served as an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas at Austin and as an Associate and Full Professor at the University of Missouri School of Information Science and Learning Technologies (SISLT). While at the University of Missouri, Dr. Erdelez served as the Chair of the SISLT Library and Information Science Program and as the Associate Director for Education at the Missouri Informatics Institute.

Click here to visit the Simmons website.


Singapore iSchool Collaborates on Maritime Vessel Traffic Progam


Fujitsu Limited, Singapore Management University (SMU), and A*STAR’s Institute of High Performance Computing (IHPC), today announced their collaboration to develop innovative new technologies for vessel traffic management in the Port of Singapore, with the support of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA). These predictive technologies will leverage the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and big data analytics to optimize the management of Singapore’s port and surrounding waters, which sees an immense volume of seaborne trade and traffic. The technologies will also be validated using real-world data to improve the forecasting of congestion and identification of potential collisions and other risk hotspots before they occur at sea.

The research and development for these new maritime technologies has been conducted under the guidance of the Urban Computing and Engineering Centre of Excellence (UCE CoE), a public-private partnership consisting of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), SMU, and Fujitsu, that was established in 2014. This collaboration demonstrates the UCE CoE’s continued commitment to harnessing high performance computing capabilities in the development of solutions for sustainable urban operations, offering another example of how researchers at UCE CoE are using Singapore to test-bed next generation solutions for real-world issues faced by industry and government. The outcomes of this research and development phase, as well as the practical knowledge and experience gained through the project trials, will be integrated into Fujitsu’s future maritime solutions.

Click here for more on the Singapore Management University website.


Singapore iSchool Receives AAHRPP Accreditation


The Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs Inc., headquartered in Washington D.C., has announced that Singapore Management University (SMU) is the first University in Singapore to become an AAHRPP accredited research organisation.

In its announcement, AAHRPP’s President and CEO Elyse I. Summers said “In today’s increasingly collaborative research enterprise, AAHRPP accreditation offers an assurance that an organization can be trusted to protect research participants and produce accurate, reliable results.” AAHRPP also stated that to earn AAHRPP accreditation, organisations must show that they have built extensive safeguards into every level of their research operation and that they adhere to high standards for research.

With SMU’s receipt of the accreditation status, there are now 35 research organizations across the whole of Asia that are AAHRPP accredited. Among these organizations, 33 accredited organizations are medical-related, such as hospitals, medical universities and medical centres. Besides SMU, the only other university-level accredited organisation in Asia (not specific to a medical-related research unit), is Peking University in China.

Professor Steven Miller, SMU’s Vice Provost (Research) and the Institutional Official of the university’s Human Research Protection Programme (HRPP), said “SMU has worked hard to create the processes and culture for protecting the safety, welfare and rights of the individuals who participate in our research. We are proud to be the first and only social sciences oriented research university in Asia that is AAHRPP accredited, and one of the few specialized social science research universities in the world to receive this accreditation.”

Examples of the processes and culture that SMU has built into the research operations to protect the safety, welfare and rights of research participants include the establishment of additional safeguards to protect the vulnerable populations in research, the regular evaluation of SMU Institutional Review Board’s composition and performance to ensure high quality reviews of human participant research, as well as the inclusion of compliance measures to ensure the proper conduct of transnational research by the SMU researchers.

Professor Lily Kong, SMU’s Provost, said “SMU is a relatively young university and our ability to meet AAHRPP’s rigorous standards for our Human Research Protection Programme is a testament to the very substantial progress that SMU has made as a research university.”

Click here to read AAHRPP’s press release on SMU’s Full AAHRPP accreditation achievement..


iConference 2018 successfully wraps up in Sheffield


A total of 468 registered participants took part in the recently concluded iConference 2018 in Sheffield, UK, jointly organized by The University of Sheffield’s Information School and the iSchool at Northumbria University, iConference 2018 was the iSchools organization’s 13th annual event, bringing together information scholars, researchers and professionals to share their insights on critical information issues in contemporary society.

Over the span of four day, the 2018 delegates took in 82 peer-reviewed research papers, 67 peer-reviewed poster presentations, plus 10 thought-provoking workshops and 13 special interactive sessions. They also enjoyed meeting and mingling at numerous social occasions held at the conference venue, as well as at noteworthy city institutions. Throughout the conference, thanks to surprisingly clement weather for the time of year, the scenic charm of the city of Sheffield was on full display.

iConference 2018 papers have already been published in Springer LNCS, and will therefore be indexed by major services such as Web of Science and Scopus. The posters abstracts will be made available soon on the IDEALS repository; participants will be notified when these are available. A full summary of the iConference, including links to materials and artifacts, will be posted to this website soon.

The iSchools organization thanks all 2018 attendees for their participation. The iConference is a shared experience based on interdisciplinary discourses, and everyone’s presence had a direct bearing on the overall quality of the event.

Finally, be sure to mark your calendars for iConference 2019, which takes place March 31 – April 3, 2019, in College Park, Maryland. You can check out the advance website now, and watch for our Call for Participation, which will be distributed soon.


Dr. Sam Oh formally begins term as iCaucus Chair; first chair from the iSchools’ Asia-Pacific region


In a welcome address delivered to several hundred delegates gathered at iConference 2018 in Sheffield, Professor Sam Oh of Sungkyunkwan University, Korea, formally began his 2-year term as chair of the iCaucus, governing body of iSchools Inc. Dr. Oh was elected to the position in January 2015 and becomes the organization’s first chair to come out of its rapidly growing Asia Pacific region.

Dr. Oh delivered his welcoming address during the conference’s Tuesday morning plenary. In his talk, he cited iSchools as a catalyst for transformation.

“It is a distinct privilege for me to serve the iSchool community as incoming chair for the next two years,” said Dr, Oh. “While the Information Field has always been at the forefront of addressing obstacles in its landscape, society at large requires faster and more cutting-edge solutions to the problems posed within an ever-increasing deluge of data and information. I hope to build my tenure as iCaucus chair on a foundation of interdisciplinary cooperation shared among our stakeholders and articulated throughout the various areas under our purview.”

Dr. Oh points to raising awareness of the iSchools organization and the information field worldwide as key aspects of his vision. “I consider it my express duty to promote the iSchool movement where it is as of yet less visible and will do my utmost to represent the iSchools both in areas already at its forefront and in regions that have the greatest need of exposure to its initiatives,” he said.

“With more diverse disciplines adopting the iSchool approach on a global scale, I truly believe that the possibilities are endless when it comes to what we – the global iSchools – can achieve. We may differ, but we must work in a setting of respect and good will.”

Dr. Oh assumes the organization reigns from Dr. Ron Larsen, dean emeritus of the iSchool at the University of Pittsburgh. Larsen has the distinction of being the only two-term chair in the iSchools organization’s history, serving 2006-2008 and 2016-2018.

During Larsen’s most-recent term, iSchools Inc. increased in size more than 20 percent, gaining 21 new member schools; it now numbers 91 schools and institutions. The organization’s regional-cooperative focus blossomed under Larsen, helping make the organization more responsive to local needs and priorities. In addition, Larsen also helped spearhead an initiative to restructure governance in an effort to make the rapidly growing organization more nimble and responsive.

“As a twice-elected chair of the iCaucus, it’s been a pleasure watching the consortium gain size and stature over the years,” Larsen said. “I have enjoyed working with our member institutions as we worked collectively to advance the information field worldwide.”


iConference 2018 Commences in Sheffield


iConference 2018 is underway. 466 delegates have gathered in Sheffield, UK for our 13th annual gathering of information scholars and researchers.

The iConference officially began Sunday, March 25, with 10 thought-provoking workshops. This was followed by an opening reception in Sheffield’s Winter Garden, a dramatic tropical garden housed in a modern structure of curved wood and glass.

The official opening plenary took place Monday morning, March 26, with welcome statements from joint conference hosts University of Sheffield and Northumbria University, followed by a keynote address by Lynn Silipigni Connaway, Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist and Director of User Research at OCLC Research. Connaway’s talk, based on an ongoing project and interviews, explored how individuals at different age levels engage with technology and get their information. More information on Connaway’s presentation will be made available on the conference website in the near future.

In addition, Galen Panger of the University of California, Irvine, was formally recognized as the winner of the iSchools 2018 Doctoral Dissertation Award for his dissertation, “Emotion in Social Media.” Panger’s work was judged the best dissertation to come out of a member iSchool in the preceding academic year. The runner up was Paul Cleverley of Robert Gordon University, recognized for his work, “Re-examining and re-conceptualising enterprise search and discovery capability: Towards a model for the factors and generative mechanisms for search task outcomes.” Click here for more on the Doctoral Dissertation Award, including links to this year’s winning dissertations.

Also honored at the opening plenary was the winner of the Lee Dirks Award for Best Paper. That honor went to Yun Huang and Qunfang Wu of Syracuse University, for their paper, “Understanding Interactions Between Municipal Police Departments and the Public on Twitter.” This is the second time in the 6-year history of the Award that the winning paper has originated at the Syracuse iSchool. The Award is sponsored by Microsoft, and was presented this year by Susan Dumais of Microsoft Research; it honors the memory of Lee Dirks, a long-time friend and supporter of the iConference. Click here for more on this year’s winner and runners up.

More information will be posted to the conference website as the 2018 program unfolds. Host iSchools Sheffield and Northumbria, along with iSchools Inc, thank everyone for their participation.


Preparing for iConference 2018


iConference 2018 is just days away. Information scholars from around the world will converge in Sheffield, UK, for the thirteenth annual conference focused on critical information issues of contemporary society.

The conference home page now offers information and tips for arriving delegates, including city and campus maps, locations for sessions and off-site events, presentation guidelines, wifi connectivity, links to our program schedule, and more. Click here to view.

Most importantly, participants are reminded that local time will move ahead one hour on Sunday, March 25, for British Summer time.

Everyone can follow the iConference in social media using #iconf18. Daily updates will be posted to the iConference 2018 website throughout the conference.

iConference 2018 is jointly organized by The University of Sheffield’s Information School and the iSchool at Northumbria, and presented by iSchools Inc.


Emotion in Social Media: New research blog post explores differing expectations with Twitter and Facebook


What do users want from social media? A new research blog post by Google researcher Galen Panger explains how services do not have uniform implications for behavior. Facebook posts are more emotionally positive than everyday life and tweets more negative.

Panger recently earned his Ph.D. at the iSchool at the University of California, Berkeley, and his blog post is derived from his dissertation “Emotion in Social Media.” Panger’s dissertation recently won the iSchools 2018 Doctoral Dissertation Award, judged the best dissertation in the preceding academic year from among the iSchools worldwide membership.

Panger will be honored along with Award runner-up Paul Cleverley during the opening plenary of iConference 2018, which takes place March 25-28, 2018, in Sheffield, UK.

Click here to view Panger’s blog post, “Can we generalize from one social media platform to another?”

Click here to learn more about the Doctoral Dissertation Award, including current and past winners.

The iSchools research blog showcases the groundbreaking work of young scholars throughout our worldwide organization. Proposals can be submitted using this online form for consideration by the iSchools editorial board.


iConference 2018 Interactive Sessions Sure to be a Hit with Participants


Sessions for Interaction and Engagement (SIEs) are expected to once again be an immensely popular element of this year’s iConference, which takes place March 25 – 28 in Sheffield, UK. SIEs will be an ideal complement to iConference 2018’s peer-reviewed research papers offered Monday through Wednesday. Similar to our Sunday Workshops, but typically spanning a shorter period of time, iConference Sessions for Interaction and Engagement involve participants as more than a passive audience, generating meaningful experiences and thoughtful reflection.

To assist participants in planning, the 2018 SIEs are listed below. These sessions are open to all registered conference participants, with no special advance sign-up required. More detail can be found in our online program schedule.

SIE #1: Mini Maker Fest @ iConference 2018
Presenters: Xiaofeng Li, Sarah Barriage, Ross J. Todd, Leanne Bowler
Times: Monday, March 26, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm and Wednesday, March 28, 9:00 – 10:30 am

This two-part SIE provides an opportunity for conference attendees to engage in playful and creative makerspace activities and stimulating critical discussions about the current status and future directions of research in information science related to the maker movement. Participants will also be encouraged to use a mobile photography app to submit their creations to the mini Maker Fest Competition. Learn more

SIE #2: Supporting Group Work in LIS Education
Presenter: Pamela Ann McKinney
Time: Monday, March 26, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm

The purpose of this session is to provide participants with an opportunity to discuss the challenges and benefits experienced by students when they work collaboratively in groups in LIS education. There is increasing interest in visual methods in LIS research, and participants will actively engage with creation of visual data in the form of drawings and will develop their knowledge of the “draw and write” methodology. Learn more

SIE #3: Dériving Data: Wandering as a Research Method for Information Behaviour
Presenters: Melanie Benson, Andrew Martin Cox, Christopher Foster, Jorge Tiago Martins, Elisa Serafinelli, Xin Zhao
Time: Monday, March 26, 1:30pm – 3:00pm

The dérive or drift is a technique of urban encounter developed in Pscyhogeography. It is a playful wander through the city that seeks to uncover the interesting and strange in the everyday environment around us. It is also an opportunity for delegates to encounter Sheffield as a city in an interesting way. Learn more

SIE #4: ALPR DataDive: The Visualization and Analysis of Automated License Plate Recognition (ALPR) Databases – from Data Science to Data Ethics
Times: Monday, March 26, 1:30 – 3:30 pm and Wednesday, March 28, 11:00 am -12:30 pm
Presenters: Bryce Clayton Newell, Mike Katell, Jeff Hemsley

The growing ability of law enforcement to easily and affordably draw information-rich insights from the surveillance data they collect implicates important social, political, and ethical concerns. The purpose of this 2-part SIE is to provide scholars access to ALPR data and to provide an interactive and collaborative opportunity. Participants can go to to request access to the ALPR data prior to iConference 2018. Lean more

SIE #5: Data StorySLAM
Presenters: Michael B. Twidale, Kate McDowell
Time: Monday, March 26, 3:30pm – 5:00pm

In this SIE we will explore the potential of data storytelling by inviting the sharing of stories about data. We will also explore approaches to and challenges of teaching data storytelling, including teaching students who may not be at all familiar with this approach. Lean more

SIE #6: Collective Development of Open Educational Resources in Scholarly Communication
Presenters: Maria Bonn, Josh Bolick, Will Cross
Time: Monday, March 26, 3:30pm – 5:00pm

Understanding the issues at stake in scholarly communication is a core competency that new librarians need to acquire and that new scholars and researchers need to understand in relationship to their work. In this hands-on session, we ask individuals or small teams to design an open learning object like a video, lesson plan, game, or hack, that supports and maximizes the potential of our systems of scholarly communication. Lean more

SIE #7: Computational Thinking at the iSchools: Why Bother?
Presenters: Mega Subramaniam, Hai Hong, Marijke Visser, Melissa Johnston, Colette Drouillard, Stephanie Long-Murphy
Time: Tuesday, March 27, 11:00am – 12:30pm

This Session for Interaction and Engagement will stimulate discussion on research opportunities in CT that leverage the unique strengths and interests of iSchools and roles that iSchools must play in preparing information professionals who have CT skills; resulting in concrete takeaways related to CT in iSchools such as ideas for future research, redesigned courses and curricula, and other larger initiatives. Learn more

SIE #8: Contemplating Information in the Pleasurable and the Profound
Presenters: Kiersten F. Latham, Jenna Hartel, Tim Gorichanaz, Anh Thu Nguyen
Time: Tuesday, March 27, 11:00am – 12:30pm

Mindfulness, meditation, atmospherics, well-being, flourishing, happiness, positivity, spirituality-all part of contemplative studies, an academic understanding of how contemplative practices are used to interpret the world. What can information science learn from, and contribute to, contemplative studies? Learn more

SIE #9: When iSchool meets D-School
Presenter: ginger “all-lower-case” coons
Time: Tuesday, March 27, 3:30pm – 5:00pm

A comparatively new trend is the iSchool as graduate-level design school, offering courses and concentrations in fields like User Experience Design. In this session, the floor will be open for participants to discuss the experiences, ramifications, and tactics of negotiating design education in an iSchool setting. Learn more

SIE #10: Curators of the Infosphere?: What’s the Good of PI for LIS (and Vice Versa)?
Presenters: David Bawden, Lyn Robinson
Time: Tuesday, March 27, 3:30pm – 5:00pm

This is an interactive panel session, in which the panel members, and Luciano Floridi as discussant, engage with the audience to debate the value and potential of Floridi’s Philosophy of Information as a foundation for library/information science. Learn more

SIE #11: How Ethical will you be with my Deepest Story?
Presenters: Theresa Dirndorfer Anderson, Ina Fourie, Anika Meyer, Liezl Ball
Time: Wednesday, March 28, 9:00am – 10:30am

Transformation of digital worlds that secure social inclusion for all requires a deep understanding of information needs and lived experiences. The session will develop awareness of ethical concerns, offer an opportunity for shared sense-making and co-design of guidelines to help researchers build the confidence to engage in and report on this deeply personal form of research inquiry. Learn more

SIE #12: Standardizing Knowledge
Presenters: Heather Marie MacNeil, Jennifer Douglas, Fiorella Foscarini, Bonnie Mak, Gillian Oliver
Time: Wednesday, March 28, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Standards and standardized languages are frequently invoked as a reliable way to ensure consistency and interoperability in the management of information objects, from archives, libraries, and museums to the digital environment and beyond. This panel seeks to explore how the infrastructure of standards can transmit values and biases, and how those perspectives are embodied in the description, management, interpretation, and use of resources. Learn more

SIE #13: iSchools as an Inspirative Movement: Information Science Harmonization Issues
Presenters: Tatjana Aparac-Jelusic, Alen Doracic, Jan Pisanski, Juan Jose Bote Vericad, Maria Simi
Time: Wednesday, March 28, 11:00am – 12:30pm

This panel will provide an interactive platform for faculty members interested in designing Information Science (IS) educational programs and motivating students with different background other than in IS to become information professionals. It will introduce the goals and aims of the EINFOSE project (European Information Science Education: Encouraging Mobility and Learning Outcomes Harmonization) and debate the issues of harmonization of entry requirements and learning outcomes at graduate level programs in IS. Learn more

iConference 2018 takes place Sunday, March 25 through Wednesday, March 28, 2018. It is jointly organized by two iSchools in the UK: The University of Sheffield’s Information School and the iSchool at Northumbria. Registration is now open. Visit the iConference website for complete details.