If you want to publish a news item or a social media announcement please read our instructions on Posting of News and Social Media Announcements.

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.


iSchools Welcome Three New Members, Now Comprises More Than 90 Institutions


iSchools Inc. is pleased to announce the addition of three new member-schools to its consortium of institutions dedicated to advancing the information field in the 21st Century. With these additions, the iSchools organization now comprises 91 institutions worldwide.

The new iSchools members are:

The three new schools were approved by the iCaucus, governing body of the iSchools, in February 2018. The admission process was overseen by iCaucus Chair-Elect Sam Oh and iSchools Executive Director Michael Seadle.

About the iSchools
The iSchools organization was founded in 2001 by a small collective of Information Schools dedicated to advancing the information field in the 21st Century. It has since grown into a consortium of more than 90 universities and institutions spanning six continents.

The iSchools organization supports and recognizes student achievement through its annual Doctoral Colloquium and Doctoral Dissertation Award, as well as other special contests and mentoring opportunities. The iSchools also provide collaboration tools and other support to assist faculty in their teaching and research endeavors. Every year, the iSchools organization presents the iConference, a forum in which information scholars, researchers and professionals share their insights on critical information issues in contemporary society. iConference 2018 takes place later this month, March 25-28, 2018 in Sheffield, UK.


UNC offering NSF-funded workshop on data lifecycle training for grad students and postdocs


The NSF Cyber Carpentry Workshop: Data Lifecycle Training is a two-week summer training program aimed at helping graduate students understand the many aspects of the data-intensive computing environment. The workshop will take place July 16- 27, 2018, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Travel and accommodations will be provided for accepted participants, and a certificate of completion from the UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS) will be awarded at the end of the training.

The workshop is open to doctoral students and postdocs in basic sciences and computational sciences. Women, applicants from underrepresented groups, and persons with disabilities are especially encouraged to apply. Applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. Pacific Time on March 15 to receive full consideration. For more information and a link to the application form, visit the UNC Cyber Carpentry Training website.

The Cyber Carpentry workshop is supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) through a grant awarded to Arcot Rajasekar, Frances McColl Distinguished Term Professor at UNC SILS.

Workshops topics will be taught by researchers who participated in the successful DataNet Federation Consortium (DFC), an NSF-funded project to develop national data management infrastructure to support collaborative multidisciplinary research. Drawing from their own expertise and their experiences with the DFC from 2013 through 2017, instructors will focus on providing students with an overview of best data management practices, data science tools, methods for performing end-to-end data intensive computing, data lifecycle management, and promoting reproducible science and data reuse.

Click here for more informaiton on the UNC iSchool website.


Gobinda Chowdhury Elected iCaucus Chair, 2020-22


The iSchools organization has tapped Gobinda Chowdhury to chair its governing body, the iCaucus, for its 2020-22 term. Chowdhury is head of school at the iSchool at Northumbria University (UK), and until recently served as regional chair of the iSchools’ European region.

“It’s a great honor for me to be elected by fellow iSchoos’ Deans and Heads as the Chair of the iCaucus for its 2020-2022 term,” Chowdhury says. “Over the past decade and a half, the iSchools organization has grown significantly both in volume and diversity. As the future Chair of the iCaucus, I would like to see the iSchools community worldwide thrive through world-class teaching, research and knowledge exchange in Information, and thus make a positive impact in the modern information- and data-driven society.”

Chowdhury is scheduled to assume the reigns from Sam Oh of the Sungkyunkwan University iSchool (Korea) in 2020. Oh was named chair-elect two years ago, and formally assumes the office of iCaucus chair at next month’s iConference, taking over from outgoing chair Ron Larsen. Oh will serve as iCaucus chair for the term spanning 2018-20.

Oh and Chowdhury have both served as chairs of the iConference, the iSchools’ annual information conference focused on critical issues in contemporary society. Oh was co-chair of iConference 2017 in Wuhan, China, along with Wuhan University iSchool Dean Qing Fang. Chowdhury is co-chair of iConference 2018 in Sheffield, UK, along with University of Sheffield iSchool Head Peter Bath and Val Gillet. iConference 2018 takes place March 25 – 25, 2018.

Past iCaucus Chairs
Ronald Larsen, University of Pittsburgh (2016-2018)
Michael Seadle, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (2014-2016)
Elizabeth Liddy, Syracuse University (2012-2014)
Harry Bruce, University of Washington (2010-2012)
John Unsworth, University of Illinois (2008-2010)
Ronald Larsen, University of Pittsburgh (2006-2008)
Raymond F. von Dran, Syracuse University (2004-2006)
John King, University of Michigan (2002-2004)


iConference 2018 Announces Award Finalists


The iConference has announced its slate of award finalists for 2018. Winners will be announced during iConference 2018, which takes place March 25 – 28, 2018, in Sheffield, UK. Click here to view the complete list of finalists and conference presentation times.

iConference 2018 saw a record number of papers submission, most likely motivated by the conference’s new publishing arrangement with Springer. As a result, this year’s awards were especially competitive.

Lee Dirks Award
The Lee Dirks Award for Best Paper is the conference’s most prestigious award, with a $5,000 prize going to the winning paper courtesy of Microsoft Research. The award honors the memory of Lee Dirks, a longtime friend and supporter of the iConference.

The finalists:

Most Interesting Preliminary Results Paper
This award goes to the author(s) of the most intriguing paper in the early work/preliminary results category.

The finalists:

Best Poster Award
The best poster award is determined in a two-phase process: finalists are selected based on quality of the submitted abstract, and the overall winner is chosen based on the resulting presentation at the iConference.

The finalists:

More about iConference 2018
An annual presentation of the iSchools organization since 2005, the iConference brings together scholars and researchers from around the world to examine critical information issues in contemporary society. The 2018 theme is Transforming Digital Worlds. iConference 2018 is co-organized by University of Sheffield’s Information School and the iSchool at Northumbria, and is presented by iSchools Inc.

iConference 2018 will begin on Sunday, March 25, with ten specially selected workshops available free-of-charge to all paid participants. Over the ensuing days, participants have the opportunity take in more than 80 peer-reviewed papers focused on completed research and shorter papers focused on early work/preliminary results. Numerous interactive sessions and special panels are also planned. As always, the conference will also feature two extended poster sessions showcasing the work of current and future thought-leaders. This year’s keynote speakers are Dr. Lynn Silipigni Connaway of OCLC Research, Dr. Susan Dumais of Microsoft Research, and Professor Luciano Floridi of the Univeristy of Oxford and the Alan Turing Institute.

Important Links
Conference Home Page:
Award Finalists:
Program Schedule:


Modern libraries are built brick by digital brick, says Singapore head librarian


In a blog post for the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), Singapore Management University (SMU) head librarian Gulcin Cribb explores how modern academic libraries now serve as virtual village squares for their campuses. Titled “Great exaggerations! Death of Libraries,” Cribb’s post refutes the misconception that the shift from print to digital is a sign of the death of libraries, and is instead a natural evolution in focus.

According to Cribb, SMU Libraries now spends over 90 percent of its funds on digital collections, and 80 percent of its collections are digital. This spans digital books, journals, articles, objects, media, digital infrastructure, networks, apps, data, and analytics. Despite this virtual emphasis, SMU Libraries’ physical usage has been increasing, with over 1.3 million entries recorded in 2017, including 7,000-8,000 unique persons per month; these are impressive figures given the school’s overall student population of 9,000.

“Libraries of today are all about expertise, resources, services and spaces both digital and physical,” writes Cribb. “They add value to their communities’ success in a seamless, ubiquitous and agile way. Libraries of today are the digital and virtual village squares of their campuses. Today’s libraries are about engagement, collaboration, communication and partnerships.”

Click here to read Cribb’s blog post on the IFLA website.


University of Texas Information and Culture Journal Seeks Contributions


Information & Culture: A Journal of History is actively soliciting articles for publication. Printed quarterly by the University of Texas Press, the jounal publishes high-quality, peer reviewed articles on topics related to the history of information.

The social and cultural context of information and information technology, viewed from an historical perspective, is at the heart of the journal’s interests. Typical papers might focus, for example, on the histories of information institutions, agencies, domains, or businesses; the history of information work and workers; the history of information in everyday life; the history of information and communication practices; the history of information artifacts (ranging from books to computers, information infrastructures and networks); the history of the organization and classification of information; the history of concepts and theories in the information domain; and intellectual and theoretical approaches for writing information history.

Instructions for contributors are available at

The intention is to juxtapose papers on a wide variety of topics related to the history of information so as to stimulate connections between the research of library historians, information science historians, historians of computing, labor historians, gender historians, economic historians, business historians, political and diplomatic historians, cultural studies scholars, critical theorists, and science and technology scholars.


iConference Early Registration Ends Friday, Jan. 19. Act Now to get Lowest Rate


The iConference 2018 early registration period ends Friday, Jan. 19. Register now to secure the lowest available rate. Late-registration fees will go into effect Saturday, Jan. 20, with an increase of roughly 20 percent. Visit the iConference registration page for details:

iConference 2018 will take place in Sheffield, UK, March 25-28. The 2018 theme is Transforming Digital Worlds. The conference will feature an array of papers to be published by Springer, as well as workshops, interactive session, posters, early career colloquium, and three keynote presentations by Dr. Lynn Silipigni Connaway, Dr. Susan Dumais and Professor Luciano Floridi.

The early registration rate is £360 ($427 USD) and £270 ($355) for students. This rate will increase roughly 20 percent at the conclusion of the early registration period on Friday, Jan. 19. This year’s registration includes lunch on all conference days, as well as coffee breaks, the opening reception on March 25, and banquet dinner on March 27. Combined, the 2018 rates represent the best overall iConference registration value in many years.

Important Links
iConference 2018 Home:
Program Schedule:
Accommodation, travel and more:

iConference 2018 is jointly organized by the University of Sheffield’s Information School and the iSchool at Northumbria. The iConference is presented each year by the iSchools organization. 2018 sponsors include Microsoft and Morgan & Claypool Publishers.