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Carnegie Mellon iSchool Dean Named President of INFORMS


Carnegie Mellon University iSchool Dean Ramayya Krishnan has been elected as the 25th president of the board of directors of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, known as INFORMS. Dr. Krishnan will begin his three-year term in January of 2018.

According to a report on the INFORMS website, Dr. Krishnan will work closely with both the INFORMS Board of Directors and the INFORMS staff to build deeper partnerships between academia, industry, and government, with the goal of facilitating greater research, development, and deployment in the fields of operations research, analytics, and the management sciences. 

The iSchools organization envisions a future in which the iSchool movement has spread around the world, and the information field is widely recognized for creating innovative systems and designing information solutions that benefit individuals, organizations, and society. Dr. Krishnan’s appointment is an example of the critical role iSchools leaders play in realizing this vision, and shaping the future of the information field.


New Web Feature Showcases iSchool Research, Graduates, and More


The iSchools organization has launched a new web feature, Our Stories, that seeks to tell the many stories of its member schools. The feature includes a research blog showcasing the work of young scholars, profiles of successful graduates, a repository for content specific to the primary iSchools regions, and background on the iSchool movement.

“Each of the 86 iSchools member institutions has its own strengths and specializations,” said iSchool Executive Director Michael Seadle. “With ‘Our Stories,’ our site will showcase individual schools—their research, faculty, students and alumni—while at the same time demonstrating the organization’s collective interest in the relationships between information, people, and technology.”

The organization is looking to expand the content of Our Stories, and member schools are invited to submit content suggestions. See the Our Stories subsections for content submission instructions.


Wayne State iSchool Announces New MSIM Degree


The Wayne State University School of Information Sciences has announced a new master of science in information management (MSIM) degree. The program, which will begin in the winter 2018 semester, will prepare students for careers in information management and related fields.

The 30-credit MSIM is offered fully online, allowing students to learn remotely regardless of location. Students have multiple specializations to choose from, including software tools, web-based information systems, data analytics, health and scientific data management, and user experience.

“At a time when data and information in all forms are becoming increasingly important, adding the MSIM allows us to tailor our degree offerings more closely to the competencies that students’ varying career interests demand,” said Stephen Bajjaly, associate dean and professor at the School of Information Sciences.

The Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts good to excellent growth prospects for the various information management subspecialties.

Read more on the Wayne State website.


UNC professors awarded NSF grant to develop systems that utilize search trails


Have you ever been struggling to find information on a particularly complex topic and thought “I can’t possibly be the first person to look for this”? You probably were not, and the searchers who preceded you may have left valuable “search trails” – including queries issued, results clicked, pages viewed, pages bookmarked, and annotations entered – that could help you locate what you need.

Rob Capra and Jaime Arguello, professors at the UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS), recently received a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant worth nearly $500,000 to develop and evaluate systems that will automatically display relevant search trails as a form of search assistance to users. The project has the potential to improve a broad range of systems, including web search engines used by millions, digital libraries, and enterprise and website-specific search engines.

“Prior research has suggested the usefulness of search trails, but has not answered key research challenges required to design and implement them,” Capra said. “The system needs to predict when to display search trails to a user, which trails to display, and how to display them in a way that supports the user’s goal.”

Capra and Arguello will execute their project in three phases. Phase 1 will determine which factors of the user, task, and system influence whether a searcher wants help, for what purpose, and whether they are able to gain useful information. Phase 2 will develop models for predicting when to show trails to a user based on user and task features, as well as behavioral measures that indicate whether a searcher is having difficulty. Finally, Phase 3 will develop models for predicting which trails to show for the current search session.

Read more on the UNC iSchool website.


Berkeley’s iSchool Review Seeks Contributions from Masters’ Students


The iSchool at the University of California, Berkeley has issued a Call for Contributions to the third issue of The iSchool Review. The publication debuted two years ago, designed specifically for work from master’s students in professional degree programs.

The Call for Contributions contains complete submission guidelines. Submissions will be reviewed in two rounds, with Round 1 submissions due Oct. 27, 2017 and Round 2 due Nov. 17, 2017. Submissions from students at any iSchool will be considered.

Those interested in learning more about the publication are invited to review issue #2 online.

The iSchool Review is a publication of the iSchool at Berkeley, a member of iSchools Organization; the iSchools Organization endorses the publication, but is not responsible for its content.


iSchools Welcome Two New Members


The iSchools are pleased to announce two new additions to its consortium of institutions dedicated to leading and promoting the information field. The new schools are the Wayne State University School of Information Sciences, and the State University of New York at Buffalo’s Department of Library and Information Studies.

With these additions, iSchools membership now totals 86 institutions, with several more currently undergoing consideration.

“The continued growth of the iSchools organization is a testament to the increasing momentum of the iSchools movement worldwide,” said iSchools Executive Director Michael Seadle.

About the iSchools
The iSchools organization was founded in 2001 by a collective of Information Schools dedicated to advancing the information field in the 21st Century. It has since grown into a consortium of more than 80 universities and institutions spanning five 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. The next iConference is scheduled to take place March 25-28, 2018 in Sheffield, UK, under the theme “Transforming Digital Worlds.”


UMD iSchool’s Dr. Marciano receives Emmett Leahy Award for pioneering work in records and information management


The Emmett Leahy Award annually honors a pioneer in the field of records and information management. The 2017 award recognizes Dr. Richard Marciano’s outstanding and sustained work in digital records and information management. His insightful development of cyberinfrastructure to support records management has resulted in new methodologies, experimental systems, and analytics – producing new knowledge and new ways to understand the past. Dr. Marciano’s work has led to innovative advancements in record keeping for the humanities, sciences, and archives.

Dr. Marciano is a professor in the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland, Director of the Digital Curation Innovation Center (DCIC), and Director of the Sustainable Archives and Leveraging Technologies (SALT) lab. Prior to that, he conducted research at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at the University of California San Diego for over a decade with an affiliation in the Division of Social Sciences in the Urban Studies and Planning program. His research interests center on digital preservation, sustainable archives, cyberinfrastructure, and big data.

Click here for more on the UMD website.


Your last weekend to finalize iConference submissions


The iConference 2018 submission deadline is Monday, Sept. 18, 2017. This is the last weekend for authors to finish up papers, posters, doctoral colloquium applications and other submissions.

The conference will accept submissions throughout the day on Monday, Sept. 19. When the time/date code at the top of the secure submission website rolls over to Tuesday, the conference will close to further submissions.

iConference 2018 will take place March 25-28, 2018, in Sheffield, UK. This is the iSchools’ thirteenth annual gathering of scholars, researchers and professionals who share an interest in the critical information issues of contemporary society. The 2018 theme is “Transforming Digital Worlds,” and the aim is to bring together thinkers and leaders from academia, industry and not-for-profit organizations, to discuss emerging challenges and potential solutions for information and data management in our rapidly changing world.

Accepted 2018 papers will be published in Springer’s Lecture Notes in Computer Science series and will therefore be indexed by major services such as Web of Science and Scopus. The papers will be published as Green Open Access allowing them to be deposited in institutional repositories as well as in the open access Illinois Digital Environment for Access to Learning and Scholarship (IDEALS).

iConference 2018 is jointly organised by two of the UK’s iSchools: The University of Sheffield’s Information School and the iSchool at Northumbria. iConference 2018 will be hosted in Sheffield, a city of stunning landscapes – the greenest in Europe, creative, welcoming and rich in culture and history, but with a modern outlook and lots to see and do.

The iConference is presented by the iSchools organization, a worldwide consortium of information schools dedicated to advancing the information field, and preparing students to meet the information challenges of the 21st Century. Affiliation with the iSchools is not a prerequisite of participation; we encourage all information scholars and practitioners to take part in the conference.


Nominations Sought for Robert B. Downs Intellectual Freedom Award


Nominations for the Robert B. Downs Intellectual Freedom Award are being sought by the iSchool at Illinois. The deadline for nominations has been extended to October 10, 2017.

The annual award acknowledges individuals or groups who have furthered the cause of intellectual freedom, particularly as it impacts libraries and information centers and the dissemination of ideas. Granted to those who have resisted censorship or efforts to abridge the freedom of individuals to read or view materials of their choice, the award may be in recognition of a particular action or a long-term interest in and dedication to the cause of intellectual freedom.

The Downs Award was established in 1969 by the Illinois iSchool’s faculty to honor Dean Emeritus Robert B. Downs, a champion of intellectual freedom, on the occasion of his twenty-fifth anniversary as director of the school.

The Downs Award recipient will receive an honorarium from Libraries Unlimited, an imprint of ABC-CLIO Publishing Company. The honoree will be recognized during the 2018 American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting in Denver, Colorado.

Nomination instructions and a list of past recipients can be found on the Downs Award website.


Maryland iSchool Teams Up with Others to Tackle the Big Data Free-for-All


From mobile phone apps to website search engines, wearable technology to social platforms, consumer information has become highly trackable and available, resulting in an ethically questionable free-for-all in research and marketing. But consumers aren’t the only ones concerned about how their personal information is being collected and used. The University of Maryland’s College of Information Studies has formed a project team with five other research institutions to explore the ethics of how these data are captured and used.

The four-year project, PERVADE (Pervasive Data Ethics for Computational Research), was awarded a $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation in August 2017. Prior research on ethics of large and pervasive data has hit roadblocks caused by a lack of empirical knowledge. The PERVADE team looks to “reveal ethical practices and norms to guide those who utilize big data and to inform policy-making and regulation,” says Dr. Katie Shilton, Associate Professor in the College of Information Studies at UMD and principal investigator on the grant.

PERVADE brings together a multi-disciplinary team with expertise in computational science, research ethics, data practices, law and policy, health information, social computing, qualitative and quantitative research methods, and data privacy:
Dr. Katie Shilton – College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland College Park
Dr. Jessica Vitak – College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland College Park
Dr. Matthew Bietz – Department of Informatics at the University of California, Irvine
Dr. Casey Fiesler – Department of Information Science, College of Media, Communication and Information at University of Colorado Boulder
Dr. Jacob Metcalf – Data & Society Research Institute
Dr. Arvind Narayanan – Department of Computer Science at Princeton University
Dr. Michael Zimmer – School of Information Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

The project’s research focus will extend across consumers, big data researchers, commercial providers, and regulators, both domestically and internationally, to explore how these diverse stakeholders understand their ethical obligations and choices, and how their decisions impact data system design and use.

Specific issues that the PERVADE team will examine include how people experience the reuse of their personal data; what social factors influence people’s willingness to share their data; how and when consent should be given; and how consumers’ concerns can be shared with data system designers and big data researchers.

Click here for more on the University of Maryland iSchool website.