Journal editors seek papers for special issue on biases in information, algorithms and systems


Emerald Insight’s Online Information Review is preparing a special issue on social and cultural biases in information, algorithm’s and systems, and the publication’s guest editors have issued a formal call for papers.

The stated purpose of the special issue is to bring together researchers from different disciplines who are interested in analyzing, and tackling bias within their discipline, arising from the data, algorithms and methods they use. “As the topic is highly interdisciplinary, we expect that this will be reflected by the submissions,” say the editors. “We intend to invite authors from multiple disciplines, including data/information science, computer science, the social sciences, and psychology. The resulting special issue may also be of great interest to practitioners (e.g., in government, non-profit organizations, or companies) and educators (e.g., in digital literacy).

The submission deadline is October 2018, and complete details can be found on the journal’s website.

The editors include: Dr. Jo Bates, Information School, University of Sheffield, Uk: Prof. Paul Clough, Information School, University of Sheffield, UK; Prof. Robert Jäschke, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany; Prof. Jahna Otterbacher, Open University of Cyprus; Prof. Kristene Unsworth, Stockton University, New Jersey, USA


iSchools Announce 2018 Doctoral Dissertation Award Results


The results are in, and the winner of the 2018 iSchools Doctoral Dissertation Award is Dr. Galen Panger of the iSchool at the University of California, Berkeley (USA). The runner up is Dr. Paul H. Cleverley of the iSchool at Robert Gordon University (Scotland). The iSchools organization congratulates both honorees, and will present their awards during iConference 2018 in Sheffield, UK.

The iSchools Doctoral Dissertation Award recognizes the best iSchool dissertations of the preceding year. Nominations are solicited from all members of the iSchools organization, now more than 80 institutions worldwide, and judged by an award committee drawn from leading international schools. This year’s committee was chaired by Dr. Joseph Tennis of the University of Washington (USA) and Dr. Vivien Petras of Humboldt University (Germany).

The Award Committee lauded the winning dissertation for its unique approach to the study of social media. “Dr. Panger’s thesis ‘Emotion in Social Media’ is a novel addition to the literature on the evolving state of self-representation in online environment. Contrary to stereotype, Panger found that people tend to wind down while browsing Facebook and Twitter. This combined with the other aspects of his study call for a more nuanced appreciation of the role of social media in our emotional lives. The skill with which Panger crafted the research question and research design set it apart from others in the competition. This, combined with his skill to communicate his research work at the intersections of conflicting concepts in the literature made it the clear winner for this year’s competition.”

The Committee had this to say about the runner up: “Dr. Cleverley’s dissertation ‘Re-examining and re-conceptualising enterprise search and discovery capability: Towards a model for the factors and generative mechanisms for search task outcomes’ utilizes a mixed-methods longitudinal case study with over 220 participants to develop a socio-technical framework for enterprise search information needs, search modalities and the factors impacting the search outcomes. The combination of the different empirical methods with the theoretical perspectives of the cultural and historical activity and complexity theories resulted in a sophisticated model, which achieved the runner-up position in the 2018 competition.”

Dr. Panger and Dr. Cleverley will be recognized during a presentation at the iSchools annual banquet, which takes place Tuesday, March 27 at this year’s iConference. The winner will receive a cash prize of $2,500 US, the runner up $1,000.

The iSchools will begin accepting nominations for next year’s Award in July. All member schools are invited to submit a nomination. The iSchools Doctoral Dissertation Award was established in 2013 to honor outstanding work in the information field. Click here for details on current and former honorees.

About the iSchools
The iSchools organization was founded in 2005 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 organization is incorporated as iSchools Inc. in Washington, DC.

The iSchools organization supports 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.


iConference Award Finalists Announced—Winning paper to receive $5,000 Lee Dirks Award


The iConference 2016 organizers are pleased to announce the finalists for the conference’s best papers and poster competitions. The winners will be honored at iConference 2016, which takes place March 20-23, 2016, in Philadelphia, PA, USA. Registraion is now open.

Best Completed Research Paper
The winner in the Completed Research Paper category will receive the Lee Dirks Award for Best Paper and a cash prize of $5,000 provided by Microsoft Research. The award honors the memory of Lee Dirks, long-time friend and supporter of the iConference. The finalists, in order of presentation at the conference:

Title: Synopsizing “Literature Review” for Scientific Publications
Authors: Lin Zhang, Dalian Maritime University; Xiaozhong Liu, Indiana University Bloomington
Presentation: March 21: 10:30 am-12:00pm

Title: (In)visible Cities: An Exploration of Social Identity, Anonymity and Location-Based Filtering on Yik Yak
Authors: Matthew Heston, Jeremy Birnholtz, Northwestern University
Presentation: March 22, 10:30 am-12:00 pm

Title: iSchools, Legitimacy, and the Contribution of Archival Studies to the iSchool Movement
Author: Gregory Leazer, University of California, Los Angeles
Presentation: March 22, 3:30-5:00 pm

Title: The Work of Reuse: Birth Certificate Data and Healthcare Accountability Measurements
Authors: Kathleen H. Pine, Chris Wolf, Melissa Mazmanian, University of California, Irvine
Presentation: March 23, 8:30-10:00 am

Title: Noisy Candidates and Informative Politicians: Analyzing Changes in Tweet Behavior using Tweet Quality Assessment Framework
Authors: Sikana Tanupabrungsun, Jeff Hemsley, Bryan Semaan, Jennifer Stromer-Galley, Syracuse University
Presentation: March 23: 10:30 am -12:00 pm

Most Interesting Preliminary Results Paper
This award goes to the author(s) of the most intriguing paper in the preliminary results category. The finalists, in order of presentation at the conference:

Title: Developing an Undergraduate Information Studies Curriculum in Support of Social Justice
Authors: Marika Cifor, Robert D. Montoya, Mario H. Ramirez, University of California, Los Angeles
Presentation: March 21, 10:30 am-12:00 pm

Title: Networked pedagogy: Exploring asymmetries in the structuring of distributed learning networks
Authors: Rob Grace, Frederico Fonseca, The Pennsylvania State University
Presentation: March 21, 10:30 am-12:00 pm

Title: Open Post Publication Peer Review: An Innovation in Scientific Communication
Authors: Peiling Wang, Manasa Rath, Michael Deike, University of Tennessee; Wu Qiang, University of Science and Technology
Presentation: March 21, 3:30-5:00 pm

Title: Beyond the Organisational Boundaries: Identifying External Barriers to Patient-centred Healthcare Knowledge Sharing
Authors: Lihong Zhou, Wanxin Deng, Fang Liu, Yi Tang, Ruhua Huang, Wuhan University; Miguel Baptista Nunes, University of Sheffield;
Presentation: March 22, 10:30 am-12:00 pm

Title: UMLS-Based Analysis of Medical Terminology Coverage for Tags in Diabetes-Related Blogs
Authors: Zhe He, Min Sook Park, Zhiwei Chen, Florida State University
Presentation: March 22, 10:30 am-12:00 pm

Best Poster Award
The poster category award is judged based on the submitted abstract and the resulting presentation at the iConference. The poster sessions take place Monday March 21, 5:00-6:30 pm and Tuesday March 22, 5:00-6:30 pm. The finalists, in alphabetical order:

Title: Analyzing the influence of Language Proficiency on Interactive Book Search Behavior
Author: Toine Bogers, Aalborg University Copenhagen; Maria Gäde, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin; Mark Hall, Edge Hill University; Mette Skov, Aalborg University

Title: Arena: Designing an Adventure Video Game for Second Language Engagement and Acquisition
Authors: Nicole Lane, Ethan Fletcher, Yanming Wang, Nathan Prestopnik, Ithaca College

Title: BABY ElEPHãT – Building an Analytical BibliographY for a Prosopography in Early English Imprint Data
Authors: Nushrat Jahan Khan, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Terhi Nurmikko-Fuller, Kevin R. Page, University of Oxford

Title: The Evolution of Latino Threat Narrative from 1997 to 2014
Authors: Kai Wei, Yu-Ru Lin, University of Pittsburgh

Title: Familism: The Transitional Journey of a Latina LIS Doctoral Student
Author: Frank Aviles, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

(Click here for press release.)

About the iConference
The winning papers and poster will be named during iConference 2016 in Philadelphia, March 20-23. The iConference is an international gathering of scholars and researchers concerned with critical information issues in contemporary society. The iConference is presented by the iSchools organization, and hosted each year by a different member school. The 2016 host is the Drexel University College of Computing & Informatics; this year’s conference theme is Partnership with Society. Registraion is now open.

The iSchools organization is a worldwide association of Information Schools dedicated to advancing the information field. These schools, colleges, and departments have been newly created or are evolving from programs formerly focused on specific tracks such as information technology, library science, informatics, information science, and more. The iSchools share a fundamental interest in the relationships between information, people, and technology.

Microsoft Research is a long-time friend and supporter of the iConference. Founded in 1991, Microsoft Research is dedicated to conducting both basic and applied research in computer science and software engineering. More than 850 Ph.D. researchers openly collaborate with leading academic, government, and industry researchers to advance the state-of-the-art of computing and solve world problems through technological innovation. In addition to its generous support of the iConference, Microsoft Research also funds the conference’s annual Lee Dirks Award for Best Paper.

iConference 2016 sponsors include: Microsoft Research; the National Science Foundation; PennMutual; Emerald Publishing; the University of Kentucky College of Communication and Information; and Morgan & Claypool Publishers. Additional support provided by Thomson Reuters.

(Click here for press release.)


Dr. Sam Oh Elected iCaucus Chair


Washington D.C.—The iSchools organization announces the election of Dr. Sam Oh of the Sungkyunkwan University iSchool in Korea to the position of iCaucus Chair. The iCaucus is the governing body of the iSchools organization, and Dr. Oh is the organization’s first chair from the Asia-Pacific Region. He has pledged to continue the iSchools’ mission of advancing the information field, while also expanding the organization’s reach.

2014 Sam Oh“It is truly an honor to be the new iSchools Caucus chair-elect,” said Dr. Oh. “As the first person from the Asia-Pacific region to take on this responsibility, I consider it my express duty to promote the iSchool brand where it has remained less visible. I am grateful to those who have supported me and will do my utmost to represent the iSchool both in areas already at its forefront and in regions that have the greatest need of exposure to its initiatives.”

Dr. Oh’s election was formally announced on Monday, January 11, 2016. He will serve as chair-elect during the 2016-2017 term of iCaucus Chair Ron Larsen of the University of Pittsburgh, and then assume the role of iCaucus chair for the 2018-2019 term.

The election was presided over by outgoing iCaucus Chair Michael Seadle of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, who had this to say: “I am very pleased that the iSchools have elected Sam Oh from Korea as the new chair-elect. Sam has been the leader of the Asia-Pacific region of the iSchools, and his election represents another significant step in the internationalization of the organization.”

Dr. Oh earned his Ph.D. in Information Transfer from Syracuse University in 1995 and worked as an assistant professor at the University of Washington Information School for four years before returning to South Korea to become a professor at the Sungkyunkwan University iSchool. He has taught summer courses at the University of Texas at Austin; Syracuse University; and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also spent a sabbatical year at the University of Pittsburgh iSchool. Dr. Oh served as the chair of ISO TC46/SC9 (Identification and Description) for six years and is currently the chair of ISO/IEC JTC1 SC34 (Document Description & Processing Languages). He is a member of the DCMI governing board and the iCaucus executive committee, as well as chair of the Asia-Pacific iSchools. His expertise lies in the fields of metadata design, social/big data analytics, and data/ontology modeling.

The iSchools organization is a worldwide association of 65 information schools dedicated to advancing the information field. These schools, colleges, and departments have been newly created or are evolving from programs formerly focused on specific tracks such as information technology, library science, informatics, information science, and more.

The iSchools organization is responsible for the iConference, an international gathering of scholars and researchers concerned with critical information issues in contemporary society. The iConference is presented by the iSchools organization, and hosted each year by a different member school. In addition to his duties as iCaucus Chair, Dr. Oh will serve as co-chair of iConference 2017, which will be co-hosted by Sungkyunkwan University Library & Information Science and Data Science Department and the Wuhan University School of Information Management; the event will be held in Wuhan China.

In the meantime, this year’s iConference, which is the eleventh in the series, is hosted by the Drexel University College of Computing & Informatics, and takes place March 20-23, 2016 in Philadelphia. The theme is Partnership with Society, and registration is now open.


BID awards famous scientist and practioner Prof. Dr. Konrad Umlauf


“(Berlin, German) – Bibliothek & Information Deutschland (BID) e.V.(the umbrella organization of german library networks) awards famous library scientist and practioner Prof. Dr. Konrad Umlauf the Karl-Preusker-Medal 2015. Umlauf teaches at the Berlin School of Library and Information Science at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany. The BID recognizes Umlaufs outstanding expertise in theory and practice of library and information science. The awarding ceremony will take place October 30, 2015 at the university library of Humboldt-Universität.”
Read more (in German)


Berlin School of LIS welcomes Prof. Elke Greifeneder


The Berlin School of Library and Information Science is proud to announce that assistant professor Dr. Elke Greifeneder, known to many as last years iConference program chair, has accepted a professor position in Berlin.
Prof. Dr. Elke Greifeneder will hold her inaugural lecture “Big data does not equal big picture” on November 18th, 2014.
Elke Greifeneder worked for the last years at the Royal School of Library and Information Science where she specialized in information behaviour studies in users’ natural environments and in online data collection methods.
Read more about Elke Greifeneder


European iSchool leaders meet in Copenhagen to discuss cooperation and EU initiatives


Leaders from the European iSchools met in Copenhagen the weekend of November 7-8, 2013 to discuss cooperation and EU initiatives. Those in attendance:

  • Julie Mcleod, Northumbria University
  • Michael Seadle, Humboldt University
  • Pedro Simões Coelho,  NOVA University of Lisbon
  • Ann-Sofie Axelsson  University of Boras
  • Nicolas Julien, Télécom Bretagne
  • Philippe Picouet, Télécom Bretagne
  • Val Gillet, University of Sheffield
  • António Lucas Soares, University of Porto
  • Kari-Jouko Räihä, University of Tampere
  • Josep Cobarsí Morales, University of Catalonia
  • Per Hasle, RSLIS


Greifeneder wins VFI award


Assistant Prof. Dr. Elke Greifeneder (right now at the Royal School of Library and Information Science) has won the VFI doctoral prize for 2012 for her dissertation “Does it matter where we test? Online user studies in digital libraries in natural environments”.

The dissertation was written at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Elke is the first person ever to win a VFI prize twice (she won it earlier for her Magister thesis).

Read more