iSchools 2019 Dissertation Award results announced: Dr. Maia Jacobs is winner, Dr. Jennifer King runner-up


The iSchools are pleased to announce that Dr. Maia Jacobs of the Georgia Tech iSchool has been named winner of the 2019 iSchools Doctoral Dissertation Award. The runner up is Dr. Jennifer King of the UC Berkeley iSchool. The iSchools organization congratulates both honorees on their achievement. The pair will be recognized at the upcoming iConference 2019 in Washington DC.

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 approaching 100 institutions worldwide, and judged by an award committee drawn from leading international schools. The winner receives a cash prize of $2,500 US, the runner up $1,000. This year’s committee was chaired by Prof. Tawanna Dillahunt of the University of Michigan (USA) and Prof. Voker Wulf of the University of Siegen (Germany).

Dr. Maia Jacobs

Above: Dr. Maia Jacobs, winner of the iSchools 2019 Doctoral Dissertation Award

Dr. Jacobs’ winning dissertation is titled Personalized Mobile Tools to Support the Cancer Trajectory. The Award Committee felt it was timely and important, and lauded its impact in how patients manage their health. “Dr. Jacobs’ thesis Personalized Mobile Tools to Support the Cancer Trajectory contributes MyPath, an adaptive system that provides personalized support to patients throughout their cancer journey, including diagnosis, treatment, and post-treatment survivorship. Her research provides insight into the usability of recommender systems within a health context and finds promise in recommendations that stimulate coping behaviors. Dr. Jacobs’ dissertation stands out because of its strong contributions to health informatics, HCI, and innovative methods that can be used across these fields. The thesis was well-written, the research questions well designed, and Dr. Jacobs did an outstanding job of putting her research questions into context making it the clear winner for this year’s competition.”

J. King

Above: Jennifer King, runner up, 2019 Doctoral Dissertation Award

The Committee had this to say about the work of runner-up Dr. King: “In the thesis Privacy, Disclosure, and Social Exchange Theory, the author uses Social Exchange Theory (SET) to explore reasons why individuals decide to disclose personal information to companies. The object of exchange implied by this approach draws on rather strong background assumptions like an objective givenness or unity of information as an object of study. Granted that individuals entertain relationships to companies it may indeed be worthwhile to analyze the impact of such relationships on the disclosure of private information in return for gratifications expected. The assumption about the applicability of SET to privacy issues is tested by empirical methods, i.e. qualitative interviews and three online surveys. The author provides clear descriptions of the methods and reasons for using each approach and also delivers a satisfying discussion of the theory.“

Dr. Jacobs and Dr. King will be recognized during a presentation at iConference 2019, which takes place March 31 – April 3 in Washington DC. iConference 2019 is expected to draw more than 500 information scholars and researchers from around the world, and registration is open now, with discounted early rates available through Jan. 21.

The iSchools will begin accepting nominations for next year’s Doctoral Dissertation 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. Details on previous honorees can be found here.


iSchools Organization establishes new governance structure


The iSchools Organization has unveiled a new governance structure that is expected to make the Organization more responsive to the needs of its membership. To facilitate the change, the new membership structure more distinctly reflects each member’s involvement with the Organization. In the works for more than a year, the new governance model was formally adopted at the annual iSchools business meeting, which was held March 27, 2018 in conjunction with iConference 2018 in Sheffield, UK.

Under the new model, all iSchools members will participate in the election of a Board of Directors. This new Board consist of two groups: an Executive Committee, and an additional group of regionally elected Board members. The Executive Committee is made up of the current iSchools chair, the chair-elect, the immediate past-chair, the treasurer, the chairs of each of the three regions, and ex officio the executive director. The remainder of the Board consists of regionally elected chairs, calculated using a formula that factors the number of schools and the financial contributions in each.

The newly adopted membership structure offers a wider array of levels reflecting each member’s ongoing relationship with the organization. All members may self-select the membership level that represents the level of support they wish to provide; this includes the iCaucus level, which formerly required institutional approval to join.

The new iSchools membership levels are as follows: iCaucus; Enabling; Sustaining; Supporting; Basic; and Associate. Members at all levels have a vote factored for their level of support, with the exception of those who select the non-voting Associate level.

“I am very pleased with the new governance structure adopted at our recent business meeting,” said iSchools Chair Sam Oh. “These changes enable member-institutions of all sizes to have a direct impact on the Organization’s mission of leading and promoting the information field in the 21st century, while at the same time recognizing the level of Organizational support that each of our members graciously provides.”

Moving forward, the Executive Committee will continue to handle the ongoing day-to-day business of the Organization. The Board of Directors must approve broader decisions such as changes in the budget and membership. In addition, a majority of all members must vote to approve any change in the dues or fundamental structural alterations, and will also elect the chair.

The iSchools Executive Committee currently includes:

  • iSchools Chair: Sam Oh, Head of School, Library & Information Science and Data Science Department, Sungkyunkwan University
  • iSchools Chair-Elect: Gobinda Choudhury, Head of School, Mathematics and Information Sciences, Northumbria University
  • iSchools Past-Chair: Ron Larsen, Dean Emeritus, University of Pittsburgh iSchool
  • Executive Director: Michael Seadle, Professor, Berlin School of Library and Information Science, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
  • Treasurer: Johannes Bauer , Director, Department of Media and Information, Michigan State University
  • European Regional Chair: Ann-Sofie Axelsson, Head of School, The Swedish School of Library and Information Science, University of Boras
  • North American Regional Chair and Executive Committee member: Keith Marzullo, Professor and Dean, College of Information Studies, University of Maryland
  • Asia Pacific Regional Chair and Executive Committee member: Miguel Nunes, Head of School, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, School of Information Management

The above are joined by the following Board members, elected earlier this month:

North America

  • Gary Marchionni, Dean, University of North Carolina, School of Information and Library Science
  • Diane Kelly, Director, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, School of Information Sciences
  • Tom Finholt, Dean, University of Michigan School of Information
  • Kristin Eschenfelder, Director, University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Library and Information Studies


  • António Lucas Soares, Director, University of Porto, Faculty of Engineering in cooperation with the Faculty of Arts; alternate Fernanda Ribeiro

Asia Pacific

  • Bin Zhang, Head of School, Renmin University of China, School of Information Resource Management; alternate Jenny Wang

For his part, iSchools Executive Director Michael Seadle expressed satisfaction that the Organization’s extended governance deliberations have resulted in structures that support the needs of membership and will allow the Organization to address challenges and opportunities in the information field.

“All iSchools are known for their leadership and their commitment to the information field. Our Organization seeks to maximize our collective influence and impact worldwide,” said Seadle. “The Organization’s former tier structure was always intended to reflect each member’s relationship with the Organization. By recasting the membership levels and adding more gradations, as well as allowing members to self-select their appropriate level, we believe the egalitarian nature of our Organization will be more clearly understood.”

The current iSchools Board of Directors is listed on the Organization’s Meet our People webpage. Institutions interested in joining the iSchools should visit the Apply to Join webpage.

About the iSchools
The iSchools Organization is a consortium of more than 90 universities and institutions dedicated to advancing the information field in the 21st Century. The iSchools organization supports and recognizes student achievement through its annual Doctoral Colloquium, Doctoral Dissertation Award, and, starting this year, Undergraduate Symposium. 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 31-April 3, 2019 in Washington DC. Click here to learn more about iConference 2019.


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.”


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.


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.


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.


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.


iConference Papers to be Published by Springer


The iSchools organization has made arrangements with Springer International Publishing to have future iConference papers published in Springer’s Lecture Notes in Computer Science series, where they will be indexed by major services such as Web of Science and Scopus. The papers will be published as green open access, allowing authors to also deposit them into institutional repositories, as well as the IDEALS open repository, which has housed the iConference proceedings for many years.

“The iSchools organization remains committed to open access, and the new arrangement allows us to continue using IDEALS, while also giving us the ability to publish in LNCS,” said iSchools Executive Director Michael Seadle. “Publication is an advantage for members at many schools where this kind of indexing is important for tenure and promotion. Also, in some countries, this can be a critical part of the process that leads to university funding.”

The new publishing arrangement will commence with iConference 2018, which takes place March 25-28, 2018, in Sheffield, UK. Springer will publish the conference’s completed research papers (long) as well as preliminary results papers (short).

More details will be provided on the iConference website when the 2018 Call for Participation is released later this month. iConference 2018 is jointly organized by the University of Sheffield’s Information School and the iSchool at Northumbria.