Skip to main content

Über dieses Buch

This volume constitutes the proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Sustainable Digital Communities, iConference 2020, held in Boras, Sweden, in March 2020.
The 27 full papers and the 48 short papers presented in this volume were carefully reviewed and selected from 178 submissions. They cover topics such as: sustainable communities; social media; information behavior; information literacy; user experience; inclusion; education; public libraries; archives and records; future of work; open data; scientometrics; AI and machine learning; methodological innovation.



Sustainable Communities


Empowering Women Through Access to Information: The Sustainability of a Community Informatics Project in Bangladesh

Community informatics projects are designed to provide access to information and communication technologies (ICT) that will enable communities to meet their goals. Although their aim is to foster the development of skills that will contribute to the wellbeing of the communities, the sustainability of the formats in which the information is provided to the community groups is rarely taken into consideration during project development. This paper reports on how the challenge of ensuring the continuity of access to information is being addressed in the context of a community informatics project in rural Bangladesh. The PROTIC project has been working since 2015 in three remote villages of Bangladesh at empowering women working in agriculture by providing them with mobile phones and access to agricultural information through SMS, mobile applications and a dedicated call centre. In the last stage of the project, the Bangladeshi telecommunication partner is developing an application to store all the SMS that were sent to the participants during the course of the project and is making plans to keep the information up-to-date after the end of the project and to charge a subscription fee for access to it. However, the participants themselves, conscious of the fragility of digital formats, have taken steps to preserve the information that they found useful in more durable analogue formats. This paper discusses these two initiatives and argues that the continuity of access to information should be planned for from the beginning in community informatics projects in developing countries.

Misita Anwar, Viviane Frings-Hessami

“In the Beginning, It Was Little Whispers…Now, We’re Almost a Roar”: Conceptualizing a Model for Community and Self in LGBTQ+ Health Information Practices

Although LGBTQ+ populations experience significant health challenges, little research exists that investigates their health from an informational perspective. Our study addresses this gap by exploring the health information practices of LGBTQ+ communities in South Carolina, focusing on how sociocultural context shapes these practices. Thirty semi-structured interviews with South Carolina LGBTQ+ community leaders analyzed using open qualitative coding informed the development of a conceptual framework describing their information practices. Findings show that participants engaged in two broad types of practices – protective and defensive – as responses to risks and barriers experienced, which are in turn produced by social and structural factors. Findings advance information practices and marginalization approaches and offer ways for medical professionals to improve service to LGBTQ+ populations.

Vanessa L. Kitzie, Travis L. Wagner, A. Nick Vera

Cultural Activity Diversity and Community Characteristics: An Exploratory Study

Cultural diversity has been conceptualized and studied in different ways. On the one hand, cultural diversity can be conceptualized based on people’s ethnic and national backgrounds. On the other hand, cultural dimensions are defined depending on people’s behaviors and traits. Sociologists further categorized the latter depending on the degree of typicality in cultural artifacts/activities and individual’s omnivorousness for cultural tastes. Although both aspects of culture-related concepts provide meaningful implications for urban characteristics, it is still unclear how these cultural dimensions are related to other characteristics of urban areas. This paper suggests a concept of cultural activity diversity, the diversity of cultural activities as a whole in a city. We provide an exploratory analysis of the relationships between cultural characteristics and socio-economic features across 14 and 28 urban areas in the U.S, respectively, using local event datasets.

Myeong Lee, Brian S. Butler

Collecting and Organizing Citizen Opinions: A Dynamic Microtask Approach and Its Evaluation

Citizens’ opinions are important information resources for democratic local governments. Since a mere collection of opinions is not easy to analyze, the collected opinions should be organized, so that the governments can effectively analyze it. Recently, web-based public opinion collection systems have been widely used, but many of them merely implement traditional methods. For example, collecting opinions in web-based questionnaire still use free-text fields, and organizing the collected opinions remains a cumbersome task for the government staff. This paper explores a new design space and proposes a scheme where citizens take part in organizing and classifying opinions while answering the questionnaire. In the scheme, we collect citizen opinions in a structured form, with a microtask interface that changes the list of choices dynamically. Our system has been used by Tsukuba city for several real-world opinion-collection projects. Our experience so far shows that the scheme is effective in organizing the collected opinions for analysis.

Masaki Matsubara, Yuhei Matsuda, Ryohei Kuzumi, Masanori Koizumi, Atsuyuki Morishima

Indigenous Cultural Sustainability in a Digital World: Two Case Studies from Aotearoa New Zealand

This paper explores issues relating to the impact of digital technologies on indigenous cultural sustainability. Adoption of digital technologies is represented as a double-edged sword for indigenous communities seeking to maintain and revitalize their cultures; while the affordances of digital technology can disseminate cultural information knowledge quickly, easily and globally, digitalization also raises questions about ownership, control and consultation. These issues are discussed in relation to two case studies from Aotearoa New Zealand from which key points for future research are identified.

Anne Goulding, Jennifer Campbell-Meier, Allan Sylvester

Perceptions of AR4D Researchers on Documentation of Agricultural Indigenous Knowledge in Uganda

This paper reports preliminary findings from a Doctoral study on Agricultural Indigenous Knowledge (AIK) in Agricultural Research for Development (AR4D) Organizations. AIK is increasingly recognized as an important resource that should be harnessed for agricultural development. However, lack of formal documentation of AIK poses a great risk of its possible extinction. There is also lack of interest in AIK by AR4D researchers [1–3] which could be due to negative perceptions. However, no study has explored AR4D researchers’ perceptions of AIK and how they influence their attitude towards AIK documentation. The study therefore examined the relationship between perceptions and AIK documentation among AR4D researchers in AR4D organizations in Uganda. A mixed methods approach with a cross-sectional survey design was employed to collect data across all nine Zonal Agricultural Research and Development Institutes (ZARDIs). The population was 149 from which a sample of 103 was determined based on Krejcie and Morgan (see pg.4). Of the 103 respondents randomly selected to participate in the survey, so far, 78 had filled the online questionnaire giving a response rate of 76%. Of 9 Research Directors purposively selected to participate in face-to-face interviews, 4 had been obtained. Survey data was analyzed using SPSS while interview data content analysis was done. Preliminary results revealed a positive attitude towards AIK among Research Directors while majority AR4D researchers showed less interest in AIK. Correlations between perceptions and AIK documentation were significant implying that perceptions of AIK determine attitude towards AIK documentation.

Christine Kiconco, Constant Okello-Obura

Reimagining Small World: A Preliminary Model

The concept of a small world was developed out of studies that looked at socio-economically and informationally poor communities, characterized by social types and social norms which constrain access to information. This paper presents a preliminary model of a reconceptualized small world, and associated concepts, designed to study a world whose members are not purposively seeking information nor is it informationally poor. The ongoing qualitative study covered by this paper, looks at a gendered online community, a diaspora small world, formed around a shared interest in reading and writing fan fiction and the spaces they occupy. Viewing small world and information ground as complementary constructs, early observations lend credence to the value in reconceptualizing small world from the perspective of information ground and vice versa.

Priya Kizhakkethil

Informational Boundary Work in Everyday Life

Everyday life often requires a great deal of work to manage the multiple domains that comprise it (e.g., paid work, family care, household maintenance, body and health management, leisure, education, social life, and community or religious involvement). This “boundary work” includes the ongoing categorization of life domains, the establishment and negotiation of boundary permeability, and the crossing of boundaries. The boundaries between the domains of everyday life are negotiated differently by different people and by the same person over time as life circumstances change. Information Science research tends to dichotomize “everyday life” and workplace information practices. Scholars seeking to understand the character of everyday life information practices must attend to the informational work required to (a) place, maintain, and challenge boundaries among life domains, and (b) orchestrate the bridging or crossing of those boundaries. This paper uses the example of keeping track of municipal waste collection to explore the informational work of managing, maintaining, and crossing boundaries in everyday life. Some participants recorded “garbage day” in centrally-located personal information management (PIM) tools shared with household members. By doing so, they integrated the task of waste disposal into an everyday life with other household members that included multiple domains, including paid work. Others’ approaches categorized waste collection as separate from the inside life of the household. The study provides evidence that participants engaged in boundary work within their non-work lives, beyond simply establishing boundaries between work and home.

Pamela J. McKenzie

Ya Hasra: An Exploratory Study on Online Communities of Moroccan Jews, Christians and Muslims Dealing with Their Common Cultural Heritage

The purpose of this paper is to present preliminary results for the study of online communities of Moroccan Jews, Christians, and Muslims, dealing with their shared cultural heritage in social networks. The phenomenon of non-conflictual inter-religious online communities appears to be limited to the Moroccan nostalgia groups and received marginal attention in social networks research.Drawing on literature covering nostalgia and information behavior, a mixed-methods approach was followed using questionnaires with closed and open questions. Descriptive statistics and qualitative data were collected.Although several studies were published on the shared cultural heritage of Moroccan Muslims, Christian, and Jews and on Information Behavior, there is a lack of research on the impact of nostalgia on information sharing in these online communities. Using multicultural Facebook groups, this research aims to shed light on the impact of nostalgia on cultural heritage preservation, in online communities initiated by Muslims, Christians, or Jews, by studying how nostalgia may increase information sharing.Preliminary results revealed that the primary motivation for information sharing in these online communities is the preservation of the common cultural heritage and the need to renew ties between friends and communities of different religions. Some results suggest that nostalgia of the collective cultural past could be used to respond to the present needs of the community.

Yohanan Ouaknine, Noa Aharony

Social Media


Trolling Trump

This study aims to gain a better understanding of a global collective process of trolling Donald Trump’s inauguration speech. One hundred videos with satirical trolling content were posted over a three-weeks period in 2017. We performed thematic content analysis of sixty videos, each represents a different country to understand the role of national culture and crowd work in global trolling. Results show that all the videos involve satirical trolling behaviors, regardless of national boundaries, and that we found that similar to prior research on collective intelligence, processes of innovation, replication, and customization were evident.

Pnina Fichman

Perceived Use and Effects of Social Media for 1 to 2.5 Generation Immigrant College Students with Depression: Results from a Mixed Methods Survey

As social media becomes more prevalent, understanding its use and its relationship with mental health is crucial, especially among marginalized populations. Immigrant college students in the United States face unique challenges that put them at an increased risk of experiencing depression. Due to barriers surrounding mental health disclosure and treatment, immigrant students may turn to social media for support. In this paper, we present the results of a mixed methods survey conducted on the perceived use and effects of social media among 83 immigrant undergraduates (from generation 1 to 2.5) with depression. Most participants perceived social media as having no effect on depression. However, others perceived social media as improving depression more than worsening it. Overall, participants feel belonging and supported but report some feelings of isolation, loneliness, and comparison when engaging with social media. Many report using social media as a distraction technique by engaging with uplifting content, which is viewed as having a positive impact on depression symptoms. For immigrant college students, it is important to feel connected and supported on social media when experiencing mental health issues while avoiding comparison and navigating the disclosure of sensitive information. While social media has an opportunity to be a promising space for immigrant college students with depression and provide access to culturally relevant resources, there are a number of challenges that need addressed.

Christopher C. Frye, Linh G. Ly, Julissa Murrieta, Linda Sun, Courtney S. Cochancela, Elizabeth V. Eikey

Mobile Instant Messenger as a Hub for Mixed Work and Personal Conversation

Group Chat Switching Patterns and Usage Strategies of the Users

Because mobile instant messengers (MIM) are actively used for work, the problem of personal chats and work chats being mixed in one medium arises. For an empirical study of this problem, we collected chat log data recorded on the actual site. Based on this, we analyzed the distribution of chats according to work situation and the switching pattern between personal and work chats. We also conducted interviews to examine the strategies that MIM users use to manage this situation. The pattern of switching between work and personal conversations more than three times occurred the most. In addition, users complained about the problem and wanted to manage it by turning off alarms or delaying notification check and scanning at once. Based on this, the study pointed out that the existing countermeasures for blocking the app itself are less effective when work and personal chats are used simultaneously in an MIM. The study also argued for the need for a new management approach to selectively manage in-app behavior. In particular, this study classified six patterns of switching between work and personal conversations based on log analysis; this result can be widely applied to related problem-response strategies in the future.

Youngchan Jeong, Hyelan Jung, Joongseek Lee

The Attitudes of Chinese Online Users Towards Movie Piracy: A Content Analysis

Movies piracy has raised growing concerns in digital time. However, most studies on movie piracy focused on university students, paying less attention to the exploration of the comprehensive factors among online users, especially in Chinese context. To narrow these gaps, the current study aimed at investigating the attitudes of Chinese online users towards movie piracy and examined the factors that influence the attitudes. Taking a piracy case of a Chinese movie “The Wandering Earth” as an example, we collected 735 comments from two Sina Weibo posts through web crawling. Through a content analysis based on social cognitive theory (SCT), we found that the attitudes of online users ranged from supporting, opposing pessimistically to opposing movie piracy. We also found out outcome expectancies, self-control, social learning, moral disengagement and environmental factors contributed to these attitudes. The factors of users’ attitudes were consistent with the explanation on piracy behavior of SCT and contributed to enriching SCT in Chinese context. This research provided a better understanding of movie piracy among online users with qualitative insights and had some implications.

Yao Lyu, Juan Xie, Bingbing Xie

Information Quality of Reddit Link Posts on Health News

Inaccuracy has been a common problem in news coverage of scientific research. This problem has been particularly prevalent in health research news. Health research news usually spreads from research publications and press releases to news and social media. In this study we examined the information quality of the Reddit link posts that introduce health news stories. We developed a coding schema to annotate the inaccurate information in a sample of 250 link posts on health research news within the Reddit community r/Health in 2018. The result shows that most link posts simply copied the original news headlines verbatim, while some paraphrased the news stories by adding, deleting, replacing, and combining content. We found that 12 paraphrased link posts contained inaccurate information that may mislead the readers. The most common type of inaccuracy is exaggeration resulted from changing the original speculative claims to direct causal statements by removing the modal verbs such as “may” and “might”. The result shows that although the link posts of health news were generally faithful to the original news stories, exaggerated claims may lead to false hope for researchers and patients.

Haichen Zhou, Bei Yu

Saudi International Students’ Perceptions of Their Transition to the UK and the Impact of Social Media

In their transition to a new country, international students often feel lost, anxious or stressed. Saudi students in the UK in particular may face further challenges due to the cultural, social and religious differences that they experience. There is a lot of evidence that social media play a crucial role in this experience. By interviewing 12 Saudi students from different cities in the UK, the aim of this study is to investigate how they perceive their transition to the UK and how social media is involved. The analysis indicates that Saudi students’ perceptions of transition tend to fall in to one of two markedly different camps. Some students see transition as an opportunity to detach themselves from their home country and to engage with the new society. Those students turn to social media as a tool allowing them to build bridges with the new society. Other students feel less enthusiastic to make a full engagement with the UK society. Those students find social media as a good tool to maintain connections and links with family and friends in their home country.

Anas Alsuhaibani, Andrew Cox, Frank Hopfgartner, Xin Zhao

“On the left side, there’s nothing right. On the right side, there’s nothing left:” Polarization of Political Opinion by News Media

Political opinions as expressed by the news media have created the phenomenon of polarization in the United States. Modern news agencies have always considered objectivity as being of primary importance. When opinions inadvertently color the facts, the resulting information manipulation can create confusion, and chaos. This study attempts to understand the language differences as expressed by the U.S. news media in the conveyance of political opinions, and to identify predictive language-action cues that can differentiate writing styles of right-wing news media from those of left-wing news media on Twitter. Original tweets from news media agencies were collected and analyzed using logistical regression analysis during September 2019. The study identifies a statistical significance with regards to cognitive loads, analytical thinking, and political sentiment profiles of tweets to allow for better ways of differentiating political opinions between the news media, from right-wing to left-wing. This suggests that news media of the left-wing and right-wing could employ more neutral writing styles to reduce political polarization. The study contributes to our understanding of the language strategies employed by the news media in terms of influencing the public opinions.

Shuyuan Mary Ho, Dayu Kao, Wenyi Li, Chung-Jui Lai, Ming-Jung Chiu-Huang

How to Initiate a Discussion Thread?: Exploring Factors Influencing Engagement Level of Online Deliberation

Online platforms provide a public sphere for discussion, debate, and deliberation among citizens. The engagement of online deliberation enables participants to exchange viewpoints and form communities. This paper aims to explore the influencing factors on engagement level of online deliberation by examining the relationship between an initial post’s content features and length and the engagement of the discussion thread it initiates. We sampled 254 discussion threads with 254 initial posts and 2934 following posts and conducted quantitative and qualitative analysis of the posts. Findings show that initial posts which are longer and allocentric (as opposed to egocentric) would evoke longer following posts in a discussion. Different content type (social interaction, claim, argument) of initial posts would lead to significant different engagement, arguments would trigger higher level engagement (average posts per participant and average length of posts in discussions). Whether an initial post holds a clear position has no significant impact on discussion engagement. These findings contribute to a deeper understanding of online deliberation and its engagement and can be useful in promoting engagements in online deliberation.

Jieli Liu, Pengyi Zhang

Analysis of YouTube’s Content ID System Through Two Different Perspectives

Computer engineering and law seem to be two distant disciplines that go in opposite directions. In fact, most lawyers and IT-engineers tend to consider that their fields do not have much in common, but today’s reality requires much more collaboration between the two. This paper presents an analysis of YouTube’s Content ID system from two different perspectives: Lex Informatica and Legal Risk Management, in order to determine the link between technology and law. Therefore, by highlighting the importance of this relationship, this paper aims to assess the weaknesses, benefits, and challenges that professionals in these scientific fields face today and invites them to collaborate in a more efficient manner to avoid the violation of users’ rights.

Liliana P. Salas

Information Behavior


Depression Management as Lifestyle Management: Exploring Existing Practices and Perceptions Among College Students

Research is limited on college students’ existing approaches to managing depression, which are important to understand before designing and recommending non-digital and digital tools. We conducted a mixed methods survey with 109 college students about their awareness of and interest in non-digital and digital tools, what tools they use, how they use them, and their perceived effectiveness. In general, students are aware of and interested in both non-digital and digital tools. Therefore, we cannot discount the utility of both non-digital and digital tools, even among high technology users. We found 78 participants use non-digital tools, such as paper, art, and checklists, and 80 participants reported using digital tools, such as social media, texts, and YouTube/vlogging. From students’ perspectives, depression management is lifestyle management. Thus, they often use a combination of tools for connection and support, catharsis and outlet, keeping busy and distraction, organization and planning, and emotion and thought analysis and regulation, and they perceive these tools to be at least somewhat effective in managing their depression. This research emphasizes the need to understand current practices and perceptions and can be used as a foundation for other researchers, clinicians, and educators as they continue to find ways to support college students with depression.

Jordan Dodson, Naika Saint Preux, Jenni Thang, Elizabeth V. Eikey

Influencing Factors of the Identity of Japanese Animation Fans Among Chinese Adolescents: A Grounded Theory Study

Individuals are increasingly exposed to vibrant cultures because of the development and popularity of new media, such as social networking and online video. Introduced to China 40 years ago, Japanese animation is prevalent among Chinese adolescents, which has been documented in much literature. However, few studies focus on the factors which make a Chinese adolescent become a Japanese animation fan, and the important factor explaining how people adopt the identity from different cultures. This study aims to deal with these questions by developing a model of influencing factors of the identity of Japanese animation fans among Chinese adolescents. The grounded theory was introduced and data used for analysis were collected from 39 Japanese animation fans among Chinese adolescents by in-depth interviews. The results suggest that audience environment, perceived quality of Japanese animation and supply and demand matching degree are three main factors impacting the identity of Japanese animation fans among Chinese adolescents.

Yiqi Liang, Xiaoqun Yuan, Shuying Chen, Jinchao Zhang

Creating a Space for “Lowbrow” Information Behavior: From Dime Novels to Online Communities

Both information behavior and social informatics research concern themselves with the formation and evolution of digital communities and online environments. However, literature to date focuses heavily on formal, professionalized, and normative resources and contexts at the expense of other materials and environments, including those centered around “entertaining” content such as fiction. In this paper, we present a historical narrative centered on paperback fiction and its creation, then relate that narrative to other fiction formats and current online fiction collectives, such as fanfiction archives. We adopt the perspective that fiction—often denigrated as “lowbrow” material, especially within an information science scholarly canon—can and should be considered an information resource in order to broaden social informatics and information behavior work so that they move away from normative conceptions of information and its interactors. We conclude with promising theoretical and practical directions to continue this work in the future.

Diana Floegel, Heather Moulaison-Sandy, Ariel Hammond, Sarah G. Wenzel

Challenges and Opportunities of ACM Digital Library: A Preliminary Survey on Different Users

As currently the ACM Digital Library (ACM DL) is developing its new version, this study aimed to understand the usages of ACM DL. Through focusing on the existing critical barriers for different DL users in their usages of the current ACM DL, this study aimed to identify important potential directions for the further developments of the new ACM DL. A survey was conducted among different countries, and 157 valid responses were collected. The results show information access barriers to the current ACM DL in the aspects of resource formats, browsing experience, and searching experience. We then proposed several design changes that can help developers of the ACM DL and other DLs to design more user-centered DL interfaces.

Shaobo Liang, Daqing He, Dan Wu, Haoge Hu

Watching, Playing, Making, Learning: Young Children’s Use of Mobile Devices

Mobile devices provide additional opportunities for families with young children to seek, exchange, and use information. This paper presents an exploratory interview study with representatives from 19 families. The goal of the study was to examine how young children and their families use mobile devices and whether this usage includes information seeking activities or other activities that can be linked to the children’s information behavior. Results indicate that the children show a great variety of information-related activities while using the mobile devices. Activities that may appear as pure entertainment at first glance also have to be considered in the context of the children’s information behavior. The results contribute to a better understanding of young children’s experiences in relation to mobile devices and raise new questions about the information behavior of young children in general.

Kirsten Schlebbe

How Likely Are College Students to Be Influenced by Others in Small-Group Projects: A Study on Group Compositions and Coursework-Related Collaborative Information Seeking Behavior

Small-group teaching has been a preferred pedagogy in many college-level courses. It is crucial for college students to seek information with peers in their small groups to achieve their learning goals. While peer influence has been proven as one of the factors in students’ information seeking behavior, the role of group compositions in collaborative information seeking remains unclear. In order to reveal how college students are influenced by their peers in their collaborative information seeking process in real-life situations, the current study used a multi-mode survey design to collect data. Five-hundred and thirty-five students participated in the survey. Results showed that while homogeneous and heterogeneous groups regarding gender and disciplinary compositions were evenly distributed, most groups were homogeneous regarding students’ year of study. When collaboratively seeking information for a small-group project, students typically agreed that other peers in the group influenced their collaborative information behavior. While gathering information, students especially considered peers’ opinions; they also tended to give up information if their peers do not need it, especially when in a homogeneous group. However, in heterogeneous groups, students tended to change the sources consulted when gathering information. Pedagogical implications and suggestions for future research were provided.

Tien-I Tsai, Chun-Hsien Chuang

Information Literacy


Educating for Democracy? The Role of Media and Information Literacy Education for Pupils in Swedish Compulsory School

This paper reports a study of pupils’ experiences of media and information literacy education in five Swedish schools by answering the following overarching question, what roles do the teaching of information seeking and critical assessment of information play for pupils in their school-work as well as in their everyday life? Pupils in ninth grade were asked to fill in a questionnaire regarding their use of digital technology as well as their thoughts on media and information literacy education. The study shows that many pupils are knowledgeable about the terms of production pertaining to content in most online sources they mention. Still, infrastructural meaning-making that take into consideration issues of personalization, data integrity and surveillance, are largely lacking. The study also shows that the school’s teaching is central to the pupils’ development of a critical stance towards the information that they encounter online. These findings underline the importance of how schools choose to treat media and information literacy education. It is concerning then that infrastructural meaning-making is quite absent in the pupils’ responses.

Hanna Carlsson, Olof Sundin

Co-learning in a Digital Community: Information Literacy and Views on Learning in Pre-school Teacher Education

Through analysing how different views on learning enable pre-school teacher students to distinguish and use affordances offered by digital tools and the learning environment, this paper seeks to connect modes of appropriation, identity positions and information activities to types of information literacy. Identity, particularly views on learning, is analysed to find out how a Facebook group to some students remains a sustainable digital community throughout teacher education. The paper reports results from a netnographical study conducted between 2012 and 2015. The material used in the analysis consists primarily of 12 semi-structured student interviews and 6 teacher interviews. In the thematic analysis, a socio-cultural perspective on identity is applied. The concept affordance is used to analyse how identity is connected to use of digital tools and the learning environment. The findings show how the appropriation of the Facebook group is connected to identity positions and views on learning in two types of information literacy: a relational information literacy and a pragmatic information literacy. The normative function of co-learning is found to be an important aspect of the learning environment of pre-school teacher education that explains why the digital community can be experienced as either including or excluding.

Fredrik Hanell

Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants in the Creative Economy

How These Groups Adopt and Continually Use Digital Technologies

As digitalisation disrupts businesses ever more profoundly, the concern is growing about how creative workers and designers use digital technologies in their day-to-day practices. This study investigates factors that influence the intention of creative workers to use digital technology. The relationships between digital literacy, perceived usefulness (PU), perceived ease of use (PEOU), social norms, attitude towards use, and intention to use digital technology were examined for a sample of 377 respondents. Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) results show that digital literacy significantly impacts the intention to use digital technology. Attitude towards use mediates the relationships between PU, PEOU, and social norms to intention to use digital technology. Based on the results, theoretical contributions and implications are discussed.

Shahrokh Nikou, Suellen Cavalheiro, Gunilla Widén

Peeling Back the Layers: Deconstructing Information Literacy Discourse in Higher Education

The discourses of information literacy practice create epistemological assumptions about how the practice should happen, who should be responsible and under what conditions instruction should be given. Analysis of a wide range of documents and texts emerging from the Higher Education (HE) sector suggest that information literacy (IL) is shaped by two competing and incongruent narratives. The outward facing narrative of information literacy (located in information literacy standards and guidelines) positions information literacy as an empowering practice that arms students with the knowledge and skills to battle the complexity of the modern information world. In contrast, the inward facing narrative (located in information literacy texts) positions students as lacking appropriate knowledge, skills and agency. This deficit perception, which has the capacity to influence pedagogical practice, is at odds with constructivist and action-oriented views that are espoused within information literacy instructional pedagogy. This presentation represents the first paper in a research programme that interrogates the epistemological premises and discourses of information literacy within HE.

Alison Hicks, Annemaree Lloyd

Where is Search in Information Literacy? A Theoretical Note on Infrastructure and Community of Practice

In this conceptual paper theory of infrastructure is combined with one of situated learning, with a focus on search and search engines. The aim of the paper is to make a theoretical contribution to the information literacy research field by discussing theoretical contradictions as well as strengths when combining the two theoretical perspectives. Search engines and their use are part of the contemporary information infrastructure and are a such often not thought of when being used. It is argued that a critical perspective on information literacy in relation to search seems to demand that they are treated as situated and general at the same time. The paper concludes that sociomaterial perspectives on information literacy research offers both infrastructures and practices a place.

Olof Sundin

What They Talk About When They Talk About the Need for Critical Evaluation of Information Sources: An Analysis of Norwegian and Swedish News Articles Mentioning ‘Source Criticism’

In the so-called ‘post-truth’ era the need for skills that allow (digital) information to be critically evaluated has garnered considerable attention and discussion. In the library and LIS domains, researchers, librarians, and libraries have recurrently and strongly argued to play important roles in the effort to solve the many challenges offered by increasingly mundane-ified, invisible, and powerful online information infrastructures. Little is known, however, about the proliferation of such arguments in broader societal debate and dialogue. The empirical basis if this paper is an analysis of 100 news articles published by major Swedish and Norwegian media outlets mentioning the term “source criticism”. The analysis focused on (1) what is being talked about in conjunction with the notion of source criticism; and (2) who is talking with authority on the topic of source criticism. Of particular interest was the extent to which libraries, librarians, and LIS are ascribed important and authoritative positions in the discussions. The findings showed that although libraries are referenced in some of the articles, neither the library sector as such nor LIS research has any sort of meaningful presence in public discourse on misinformation, disinformation, and other negative information trends. The stark difference between how the positions and possible contributions of libraries, library professionals, and LIS research are rendered in public and professional and academic library discourses is a significant hindrance for the library research and practice domains to realize their manifold productive potential of in the larger context of present-day information machineries, politics, and culture.

Kim Tallerås, Olle Sköld

User Experience


A Cross-cultural Study on Information Architecture: Culture Differences on Attention Allocation to Web Components

A well-designed web information architecture (IA) supports the findability and usability of web content to ensure efficient and effective user experience. This study aims to investigate how web visitors from different cultures allocate their attention to the four main systems (labeling, organization, navigation, and searching) in IA. We conducted a user study comprised of observation tasks, sketch sessions, and questions regarding participants’ attention allocation, as well as background questionnaires regarding demographics, cultural dimensions, and personal traits. A total of 33 student participants from Taiwan (TW) and the US were recruited. Our preliminary results find that the less complicated content a website displays, the more participants are aware of IA and its components in general. We also found that US participants usually pay more attention to text labels on a webpage, whereas TW participants are more likely to evenly distribute their attention to both text and image objects. The ultimate goal of this study is to shed light on the topic of culture-specific IA in global web communities.

Gao-Ming Tang, Hsin-Yuan Hu, Shih-Yi Chen, Wei Jeng

“Defying Stereotypes Is a Plus”: Classifying Gender, Sex, and Sexuality Content in Visual Materials

As engagement with various types of visual materials like graphic novels and video games has increased, users have become aware of how gender, sex, and sexuality are presented in these materials. To understand the information needs of these users, the first author adopted diary study and interview methods based on the uses and gratification theory. Through thematic analysis of this data, we learned participants wanted to search for visual materials based on gender and sexuality representation and depictions of sexual activities. To situate this finding in the context of existing ratings and recommendations systems, we then used domain analysis to evaluate a maximum variance sample of these systems. We learned currently available visual material ratings and recommendations systems fail to meet users’ gender and sexuality related search needs. We discuss the relationship between classification systems and censorship to unpack the challenges of providing more descriptive and nuanced classifications of visual materials. Our findings identify gaps in current ratings and recommendations systems and suggest ways to move toward more equitable information access.

Hyerim Cho, Amanda Menking

User Experience to Inform the Design of a Search Infrastructure for Open Educational Resources

Open education includes the access and use of freely licensed material, which is known as open educational resources. Since the idea evolved about 20 years ago, the movement faces the challenge to motivate educators to actively use, create and distribute open learning resources. The reasons are that educators do not know where to find such resources for their discipline, and if they know common web sources, they find it hard to seek for the most relevant material. By now, there are several information seeking services for openly licensed educational material that differ in structure and functions in many respects. Some services as well offer functions to upload one’s own material. A challenge for those services is to offer appropriate seeking and filtering functions to allow users an efficient and easy search. The following paper reports on a user-oriented study that evaluates six search services for open educational resources. A qualitative approach was chosen to better study the specific target group and new evolving search services. The study informs the designing of a decentralized infrastructure that offers seeking educational material from different higher educational institutions within Germany.

Tamara Heck, Valentyna Kovalenko, Marc Rittberger

The Effects of Message Framing on Online Health Headline Selection: A Mediation of Message Credibility

The acquisition of health information is conducive to promoting the public’s health literacy and improving citizens’ health. The display of online health information often features an entering page that lists headlines hyperlinked to health article pages. Among the various techniques that help increase headline effectiveness, this study was particularly interested in message framing (gain/loss framing) and investigated how it influenced headline selection in the form of fixation and clicking and considered message credibility as a possible mediator. Based on an eye-tracking experiment, this study found that gain-framed headlines received a larger fixation count, a longer fixation duration, and a larger clicking count. In addition, message credibility had partial mediating effects on the relationship between message framing and fixation count and that between message framing and clicking count. The findings provide useful implications for creating effective online headlines in the health domain and enrich our understanding of how information characteristics affect information selection.

Tingting Jiang, Xi Wu, Ying Wang, Ye Chen



Understanding the Educational Landscape of Children with Autism in Bangladesh

Early childhood education and teachers providing them play an imperative role in the development of children with autism, which motivated us to examine the current educational practices, teachers’ experiences, needs, and expectations in Bangladesh. Findings from our qualitative study with teachers (N = 20) from four schools specializing in autism reveal that despite not having the required training for these kids they join the profession and even after getting a meager salary they continue to teach them. We also found that their relationship with the parents is complex, resulting from lack of effective communication about student progress. We propose a set of guidelines to design ICT tools which are a first step in addressing how to improve the educational experience of the teachers and their students by leveraging existing ICT tools. We believe our findings will open avenues for future researchers and guide them in envisioning robust technology to aid the existing educational process.

Anurata Prabha Hridi, Shameem Ahmed, Ifti Azad Abeer, Anik Saha, Anik Sinha, Mohammad Sorowar Hossain, Nova Ahmed, Moushumi Sharmin

Digital Comics Reading Program for Reducing the Digital Exclusion of People with Hearing Impairments

The paper explores experiences of people with hearing impairments that facilitate their digital inclusion. It is based on the case study of the educational program in digital reading and creating of comics in the Šiauliai municipal public library in Lithuania. Eleven deaf and partially hearing respondents and two trainers participated in the research. The data were collected by means of graphic questionnaire survey, a focus group with the deaf and hard-of-hearing respondents and the semi-structured interviews of the trainers. The findings showed that the digital reading program reinforced personally significant behavior to deaf and hard-of-hearing persons. It resulted in high motivation and engagement with the course content. The training helped the respondents to get oriented in the rapidly changing digital technologies and to acquire useful ICT skills and knowledge to make more informed choices of digital tools in future. They also learned about digital means for visual communication to support their personal interaction in future. The research revealed that deaf and hard-of-hearing people were active users of the digital technologies and they did not experience physical barriers in accessing the basic ICT equipment. Obstacles in ICT use were related to gaps in general literacy skills.

Zinaida Manžuch, Elena Macevičiūtė

Utilization of Assistive Technologies Among Visually Impaired Students in University Libraries in Uganda: Users’ Experiences

This paper presents visually impaired students’ experiences on the utilization of assistive technologies to access digital information resources for academic work. It reports preliminary findings from an ongoing Doctoral study on Information Practices of Students with Visual Impairment using Digital Information Resources in Public University Libraries in Uganda. Using a qualitative approach; stratified purposeful, snowball and convenience sampling techniques were used. Data was obtained from twenty visually impaired students using face to face in-depth open ended interviews. Data was analyzed using software Atlas ti v.7.5.5 following the study themes. Findings revealed exclusion in the provision and utilization of assistive technologies in the libraries studied. Skills, competency and capacity constraints by both staff and visually impaired students on the use of assistive technologies, coupled with insufficient assistive technologies impacted on the gainful utilization of digital information resources for academic undertaking. Obsolescence, limited supervisory and technical support from the librarians, and inadequate information, communication and technology (ICT) facilities were major impediments to utilization of assistive technologies to access digital information resources among visually impaired students. Provision of assistive technologies does not guarantee their utilization therefore, the study recommends designing tailor-made courses in ICT for visually impaired students for library staff, equipping visually impaired students with requisite skills and competencies, purchasing or subscribing to up-to-date assistive technologies, acquiring more computers and designating library staff to manage the special needs section in libraries.

Patience Agabirwe, George W. Kiyingi

“It Could Have Been Us in a Different Moment. It Still Is Us in Many Ways”: Community Identification and the Violence of Archival Representation of Disability

Using data collected through semi-structured interviews, this paper outlines two ways disabled people relate to their representation in archives. First, many participants reflected on the prevalence of disability stereotypes, tropes and limited perspectives within the records that document us. Witnessing these representations—or rather, misrepresentations—and their violent effects is emotionally difficult for many disabled people researching our histories. Second, many interviewees saw themselves in archival subjects and related to the threat of institutionalization they faced. Yet, as they see pieces of themselves in other times, disabilities and geographies, disabled researchers are also aware of the activation of present politics, vocabularies, and critical lenses that they apply when addressing the historical record. As part of a larger research project that investigates the impacts of archival representation, these findings lay the foundation for the multifaceted ways in which disabled communities are affected by witnessing themselves in history through digital and physical archives.

Gracen M. Brilmyer

Creating Inclusive Library Spaces for Students with Disabilities (SWDs): Perceptions and Experiences

Students with disabilities are enrolled in different academic programs in institutions of higher education and universities have to provide the required standards to cater for the needs of these students. One important area of focus is the library building and spaces within them. Although there are laws governing the construction of public buildings, students with disabilities may face accessibility barriers to library spaces, implying that they are not benefiting from the services and facilities. Therefore, it is imperative for academic libraries to create architectural designs and spaces that invite more students with disabilities into their buildings so as to enjoy the right of access to facilities and services. This paper takes a normative stance to the accessibility of library spaces by students with disabilities. A qualitative ethnographic study was used to investigate the perceptions and experiences of students with disabilities in physical library spaces using participant observation and in-depth interviews. The data was analyzed using thematic approach.

Caroline Ilako, Elena Maceviciute, Joyce Bukirwa Muwanguzi



Expanding the REU Model Within an iSchool Context: Exploring iConference’s Potential Role in Addressing Underrepresentation

This paper briefly explores the extant literature surrounding both the potential and critiques of undergraduate research initiatives built to address underrepresentation and develop pipelines for underrepresented students into graduate programs within the information (and related) fields. We then discuss one particular US-based iSchool program whose structure aims to address common criticisms and embeds presenting research at iConference into its curriculum. While not a formal study, this paper presents students’ reflections that emerged during program evaluation, discusses potential implications and next steps to systematically examine the role iConference, and perhaps other conferences, may play in addressing underrepresentation.

Kayla M. Booth, Elizabeth V. Eikey, Joe Sanchez, Josue Figueroa, Aderinsola Falana

An Experience Report for Running an REU Program in an iSchool

In this article, we report on our experiences and lessons learned from training undergraduate students in data science research in an iSchool, comparing this program to the experience of running a similar program in a computer science department. The undergraduate research training programs described were supported by the National Science Foundation (United States) through the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program. Through investigating the research tasks, reading materials, lectures, tutorials, research reports, publications, and project evaluation results, we summarize the differences in research focus of the same program running in an iSchool and in a Computer Science department. We develop a group of research activities that can be adopted for effectively training undergraduate researchers in an iSchool. Furthermore, we propose an enhancement of the undergraduate data science curriculum based on the experiences and lessons we learned from running the REU programs.

Junhua Ding, Jiangping Chen, Alexis Palmer, Daniella Smith

The Cost of Entry: Internships in Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums Education

Internships are widespread in GLAM and have become the cost of entry to the field for many students and early career professionals. This paper reports on preliminary findings from a content analysis of internship related information on the websites’ of 178 graduate-level GLAM education programs in the U.S. and Canada. We contextualize the study in relation to the available literature on internships, and recent professional discussions. We discuss the implications our findings that: (A) there is a high prevalence of internships in the field; (B) there are significant differences in internship practices by GLAM discipline and by specialization, focus, certificate, or other master’s degree enhancement; (C) the wide variances in internship practices by geographic region, setting, and institution type; and (D) the diversity of internship requirements and structures within these professional education programs. We address the implications of internships for diversity and inclusion throughout our analysis.

Marika Cifor, Brian M. Watson

Temporality in Data Science Education: Early Results from a Grounded Theory Study of an NSF-Funded CyberTraining Workshop

Interest in data science, especially within the context of graduate education, is exploding. In this study we present initial results from an ongoing qualitative study of an interdisciplinary cyberinfrastructure-focused NSF-funded graduate data science education workshop hosted at an iSchool in the US. The complexity of the workshop curriculum, the participants’ and instructors’ disparate disciplinary backgrounds, and the technical tools employed are particularly suited to qualitative methods which can synthesize all of these aspects from rich observational, ethnographic, and trace data collected as part of the authors’ role on the grant’s qualitative evaluation team. The success of the workshop in equipping participants to do reproducible computational science was in part due to the successful acculturation process, whereby participants comprehended, altered, and enacted new norms amongst themselves. At the same time, we observed potential challenges for data science instruction resulting from the rhetorical framing of the technologies as inescapably new. This language, which mirrors that of a successful grant proposal, tends to obscure the deeply embedded and contingent history of the command-line technologies required to preform computational science, many of which are decades old. We conclude by describing our ongoing work, future theoretical sampling plans from this and future data, and the contributions that our findings can provide to graduate data science curriculum development and pedagogy.

Elliott Hauser, Will Sutherland

Physical Computing in Library and Information Science Master’s Program Curriculum: A Pilot Course Offering and Future Possibilities

Informal library practitioner publications have detailed the use of low-cost physical computing devices (such as micro-controllers and single-board computers) and sensors in broad library applications, such as: running digital signage, hosting OPAC stations, assessing space crowdedness, or automating reference statistics collection. Though physical computing topics have an increasing presence in makerspace-related curriculum within ALA-accredited library and information science Master’s programs, there is a lack of general-purpose coverage suitable to tackling novel problems in the information professions, outside of the makerspace context. This paper presents the development of a Masters-level course in physical computing and rapid prototyping, considers its suitability to wider iSchool curriculum, and details future work in this area.

Monica G. Maceli

Public Libraries


Spatial Accessibility and Equity of Public Libraries in Urban Settings

Spatial accessibility of libraries affects their usage. It is, therefore, crucial to consider spatial accessibility’s impacts on equity and inclusiveness of public libraries, which are part of public spheres for information services and community activities. We proposed a method to evaluate spatial accessibility and equity of public libraries in urban settings and conducted a preliminary study for public libraries in Washington D.C. Spatial accessibility is evaluated from two perspectives: the minimum distance to the nearest library of a community and the total number of libraries within certain distances. Spatial equity is evaluated as the correlation between the spatial distribution of libraries and community characteristics, which indicate the priority in need for library resources. We find that the spatial distribution of public libraries in D.C. can satisfy residents’ basic need for library resources, as most communities can access at least one public library within an average distance of 2,500 m. However, the minority population, children and youth have inequitably less diverse library resources on average than the other subpopulations.

Lingzi Hong, Jiahui Wu, Zhenpeng Zou

Theorizing Public Libraries as Public Spheres in Library and Information Science

During the 21st century, library and information scholars have set out to theorize the role of public libraries as public spheres. Most of this research is engaging with Habermas’ early work on the structural transformation of the public sphere. Even though Habermas has continued to develop his theories on the public sphere and deliberative democracy throughout his carrier, library and information scholars have to a limited degree engaged with his more recent work. Simply relying on Habermas’s early work when theorizing public libraries as public spheres is limiting, but in addition to getting up to speed on Habermas’ theoretical development, library and information scholars should also familiarize themselves with a broader set of public sphere theories. In this paper, I will give a short presentation of Habermas’ work of relevance for public libraries, I will give a short presentation of some additional theories of public spheres, and I will present key concepts in studies of public libraries as public spheres within library and information science. I will conclude with some thought on how to move forward when theorizing public libraries as public spheres within library and information science.

Håkon Larsen

Creating a Library Privacy Policy by Focusing on Patron Interactions

As sensitive transactions continue to move online, public libraries are becoming a critical resource to patrons without access to the internet. This paper shares insights on how library staff negotiate privacy risks when working with patrons handling sensitive and private information. Based on findings from an analysis of library policies on technology use, as well as focus groups and participatory design sessions with library staff from around the United States, we categorize primary risks patrons face when using library computers to complete information tasks requiring submission of sensitive information, as well as how library staff navigate the tensions between their professional values and privacy concerns. We conclude the paper with a discussion of how these findings are informing our development of a framework that library staff can use to navigate privacy risks patrons face.

Shandra Morehouse, Jessica Vitak, Mega Subramaniam, Yuting Liao

Evaluating Public Library Community Engagement and Impact for Sustainable Information Services

Public libraries have always had a pivotal function within the community. However, libraries are undergoing rapid changes, as are many industries in a globalised world. Therefore they need to re-evaluate their operations and services to provide for the changing needs of their users. In this paper, we describe a pilot study underway that measures the engagement and impact of two library programs/services for young children and their families – Giggle and Wiggle, and Story Time – that are offered by the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Libraries in Canberra, Australia. Exploring the impact of these services will help in understanding the factors that ensure the sustainability of public libraries and their engagement with the communities they serve. These factors will focus on four key domains as have been identified from the literature: the educational, social, cultural, and economic impact these programs have on their communities. The findings of this study are expected to generate some practical strategies that public libraries can adopt to maximise community impact and engagement.

M. Asim Qayyum, Waseem Afzal, Linda Mahony

Cultural Policies, Social Missions, Algorithms and Discretion: What Should Public Service Institutions Recommend?

Digital media services, and streaming services in particular, filter and recommend content to their users by the use of algorithms. In this paper, we ask what happens when institutions like public service broadcasters, public libraries, as well as other media institutions who base their operations on public funding and social mission statements, implement similar algorithms. Can we think of alternate algorithmic principles? What should public service algorithms recommend, who would decide, and based on what criteria? In order to address questions such as these, we argue for a broad approach based on not only technological considerations, but also complementing perspectives touching upon how such institutions are situated in the media industries, relevant cultural policy frameworks and practices for handling quality assessments. Using examples from Scandinavian public service and media institutions, we indicate how the coding of algorithms have profound social and cultural implications. This short paper thus initiates a project with the aim of examining various algorithmic perspectives that could - and perhaps should - be taken into account when approaching issues of cultural policies, social missions and discretion in publicly funded culture institutions.

Kim Tallerås, Terje Colbjørnsen, Knut Oterholm, Håkon Larsen

Archives and Records


Records-Making During Crisis Management – Rule Based or Discretion Driven?

During large crises, e.g. forest fires, flooding, terrorist attacks, or aircraft crashes, temporal organizations are set up to manage the crisis and minimize negative impacts on society. These temporal organizations are often called situation rooms. The purpose of this paper is to study what regulates the record-making practice in a police situation room. Qualitative research methods were used. Data was sourced from five different case studies in the Swedish police service. The tension between discretion and rule-based regulation has been used as the theoretical lens in this paper. Through the application of this theoretical lens of regulation, whereby the two extremes found were discretionary creation on the one hand and rule-based creation on the other, one can identify a real challenge in record-making practice. Much of the record-making was regulated discretionary, i.e. each regulated and motivated by a police officer’s own judgment. This kind of record-making is difficult to predict and consequently the created records may also be difficult to capture, simply because no-one knows that they exist. In non-temporal organizations’ recordkeeping practice, entire work processes can be identified, the records created in the processes can be identified in advance and the process can be supported by various information systems. But in the temporal organization, proactivity is more difficult to achieve and thus records created based upon discretion will probably not be proactively identified as being part of an activity in a process.

Erik A. M. Borglund

On the Breakdown of the Controlled Environment Paradigm in Norwegian Archival Repositories

The rules and arrangements that govern transfer of digital records to the archive repositories in Norway, rely on a controlled environment paradigm. This paradigm is the basis for assuming the authenticity and evidential values of the archives. The concept of a paradigm is borrowed from the theory of science, but it can also be relevant to fields of practice. In the theory of science, it denotes distinct concepts, methods and thought patterns that guide what contributions are perceived as valid within a field. If or when a paradigm ceases to provide adequate guidance in a field, it may break down, possibly leaving the field in need of a new paradigm. The discussion in this paper apply a theory of different responses to paradigm breakdowns in order to explore stakes and opportunities at a point of crisis for the current paradigm on transfer of born-digital records to archive repositories.

Herbjørn Andresen

Identifying Challenges for Information Organization in Language Archives: Preliminary Findings

Language archives are repositories of linguistic data about a selected set of languages, typically including recordings, transcripts, translations, and linguistic annotations. Digital accessibility of primary language data, particularly that of endangered languages, has long been recognized as necessary for research reproducibility, production of pedagogical materials, and typological discovery, though their potential currently lies dormant because these resources are rarely accessed by linguists or language communities. Reasons for the under-utilization of language archives include the lack of data standardization and decreased focus on metadata quality. The present work seeks to elucidate the issues facing language archive managers and users through two steps: content analysis of information organization in language archives, and semi-structured interviews with language archive managers and users. Primary challenges identified include lacking institutional support and a range of factors which impact authority control in language archives.

Mary Burke, Oksana L. Zavalina

Challenges in Organizing and Accessing Video Game Development Artifacts

Artifacts created during the game development process are vital for understanding and appreciating the history and context of video games. However, few have explored how to organize and preserve the digital ephemera created during game development, critically endangering these media artifacts. Through interviews of various stakeholders interested in these types of artifacts, we explore the game development process. Participants discussed various challenges in organizing and finding game development artifacts for their work due to multiple factors: organization culture, the technical work environment, and a lack of standard vocabulary and practices. They also discussed the disconnect between game library, archive, and special collections lacking ways to note relationships among relevant materials. Based on these findings, we discuss two main implications from an organizational point of view.

Jin Ha Lee, Marc Schmalz, Stephen Keating, Jeewon Ha

An Exploration of Contributor-Created Description Field in Participatory Archives

Participatory archive initiatives are an emerging phenomenon in the archives field. These initiatives are defined by the participation of the individuals that archival materials are created by or about. This often includes the description of materials by their creators. However, participatory archival description brings forth several questions: What knowledge and insights can be gained about items in a digital collection when they are described by their record creators and contributors? And what risks are there when the data values for are not created in a standardized format? To answer these questions, this paper examined the outcome of participatory archival description – i.e., free-text description metadata field created by participatory archives’ contributors. Using the Boston Harbor Islands Mass. Memories Collection Dublin Core-based description metadata records, contributor-created Description field length and attributes were analyzed through a combination of quantitative and qualitative content analysis methods. Study results show that data value of contributor-created description metadata was dominated by utterances that provide contextual information regarding archival objects, particularly about the individuals and physical environment that contributors associate with the items, while item content itself can be under-described.

Ana Roeschley, Jeonghyun Kim, Oksana L. Zavalina

Future of Work


AI Models and Their Worlds: Investigating Data-Driven, AI/ML Ecosystems Through a Work Practices Lens

When we invoke the “future of work,” to whose work do we refer? This paper considers everyday work practices through which contemporary artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) ecosystems are made possible. The “future of work” is often talked about in relation to the anticipated domain settings where AI/ML systems might be implemented and the labor conditions such implementations might re-configure (foreseeing or noting changes in medical/health, legal, or manufacturing work, for example). This paper turns our attention to the various forms of labor that must be undertaken to conceive of, train/test, deploy, and ongoingly maintain AI/ML systems in practice. In particular, this paper draws on an ongoing ethnographic endeavor in a large, global technology and consulting corporation and leverages a work practices lens to examine three themes: curating datasets (everyday work practices of data pre-processing); tending models (everyday work practices of training, deploying, and maintaining predictive models); and configuring compute (everyday work practices of back-end infrastructuring, commonly called “DevOps”). This paper considers the value of a work practices lens in studying contemporary sociotechnical labor ecosystems. By locating the work practices through which AI/ML systems emerge, this paper shows that these technologies indeed require considerable human labor, at the same time they are often talked about as drivers of automation and displacers of work. This extends discourses around the “future of work,” giving light to the various standpoints and experiences of labor such imaginaries implicate and ongoingly re-configure.

Christine T. Wolf

Diversifying the Next Generation of Project Managers: Skills Project Managers Must Have in the Digital Age

In the digital age, many jobs are susceptible to reduction or elimination. This study examines how project managers can improve their skill set to avoid elimination and lead successful projects to help build a sustainable future. This study addresses three research questions using open data to assess project management essential skills, trending job titles, and skills for a sustainable future. The results of the study indicate project managers should retain their traditional project management skills and develop their digital technical, quantitative, and marketing skills. Digital, agile, data, quantitative, cybersecurity, cloud, and technical project managers are a few of the new job title trends. Finally, in the digital age, it is vital for project managers to stay abreast of societal needs, trends, and technological advances that can promote a sustainable future.

Abidemi Atolagbe, Schenita Floyd

Information Sources, Early-Career Worker Activities, and Workplace Learning in Large Technology Organizations: Developing a New Framework for the Future of Work

This paper introduces an initial stage of theory-building on information sources and how people navigate the evolving workplace. The purpose of this research is two-fold. First, this work aims to build a useful theoretical framework needed to better understand how workers navigate in an environment where new sets of information sources and materials produce new kinds of worker activities. Second, information behavior has been understood in isolation from its workplace landscape, and relevant theories have contributed very little to the growing research domain around the future of work. By empirically testing a designed framework, this study aims to provide a useful theory. The author uses Lloyd’s [1] conceptualization of information sources in the workplace, and Marsick’s [2] workplace learning theory to construct a combined framework. This framework is being tested through an initial set of data gathered from interviews with eight young, early-career workers from marketing sectors in media and technology companies. By analyzing how early-career professionals navigate their information landscape, this initial study seeks to understand how the increasingly nuanced variations of information sources may interact with workplace activities. This paper shares initial preliminary findings and presents a plan to move forward with its research agenda.

SeoYoon Sung

Open Data


The What of Data: Defining Which Scientific Research Is Appropriate to Share

Increasingly, scientists are releasing research data to the public for potential (re)use. Yet, the what of data–what gets shared (or kept private), by whom, and why–is difficult for data curators and stewards to determine. Scientific field-specific norms play an important role in decision-making processes to define what data are deemed acceptable to release. I explore the framework of contextual integrity (CI), which operationalizes appropriate flows of information that reflect context-dependent norms. CI is essentially a theoretical framework for privacy in data; however, in this work, appropriate data sharing surrounds the data. In this paper, CI methods are applied to a case study in astronomy and show how CI can guide an understanding of which data can be shared by tracing how people move information within contexts. The aim is to provide both researchers and repository maintainers an approach to make data available in an appropriate way that does not violate rapidly evolving sharing norms.

Bernadette M. Boscoe

Of Seamlessness and Frictions: Transborder Data Flows of European and US Social Science Data

Open science initiatives are predicated upon managing research data to overcome “data frictions,” or the points of resistance in the movement of data time [12]. This paper explores organizational creation of data frictions to manage the flow of data from one data organization to another. We describe the creation and modification of data frictions between European data organizations and between data organizations in Europe and the USA. We analyze historical documentary data from CESSDA, an umbrella organization representing European data organizations that has served as a platform for development of international data sharing arrangements from the 1960s through today.

Kristin R. Eschenfelder, Kalpana Shankar

Exploring Open Data Initiatives in Higher Education

Open data is the name given to datasets that are online, machine-readable, open-licensed, available for bulk download and redistribution, and free of charge. Although open data in universities is still a relatively new concept, several universities have begun to participate in making their data public. This paper offers an initial investigation to open data in post-secondary education systems, to identify opportunities and challenges, and to offer case studies on select open data movements in higher education.

Yang Julia Zhu, Luanne Freund



A Comparative Study on the Classification Performance of Machine Learning Models for Academic Full Texts

[Objectives] The study aims to compare the classification performance of various machine learning models, explore the classification effects of traditional machine learning models and deep learning models, solve the problem of missing category information of chapter structure in academic literature, promote the retrieval of the content of the specified chapter structure in the academic literature, and automatically extract and customize the formation of specific text services. [Methodology] 31,888 academic articles in the journal “PLOS ONE” were selected. After data cleaning and segmentation, a text classification corpus containing 313,952 chapter structure category information was constructed. Based on traditional machine learning models NB, SVM, CRF, and the deep learning model RNN model group, Bi-LSTM model group, IDCNN model group, BERT model group, a total of 17 machine learning models were used to carry out chapter structure division experiment. [Results] Among the classification tasks, the BERT-Bi-LSTM-CRF model has the best classification performance, with an average F value of 71.18%, which is 0.51% and 3.31% higher than the second CRF and the third Bi-LSTM-CRF, respectively. For deep learning models, the use of BERT for text representation is better than word2vec. Adding the Attention mechanism and replacing the Softmax layer with the CRF layer can achieve better classification results. In addition, the online version of the Chapter Structure Recognition Presentation and Application Platform has been developed, which can visually display the overall situation of the research and the model training process, and can realize machine learning and deep learning models such as NB, SVM, CRF, Bi-LSTM, IDCNN. The models can perform online recognition application of chapter structure.

Haotian Hu, Sanhong Deng, Haoxiang Lu, Dongbo Wang

Ranking-Based Cited Text Identification with Highway Networks

In recent years, content-based citation analysis (CCA) has attracted great attention, which focuses on citation texts within full-text scientific articles to analyze the meaning of each citation. However, citation texts often lack the appropriate evidence and context from cited papers and are sometimes even inaccurate. Thus it is necessary to identify the corresponding cited text from a cited paper and examine which part of the content of the paper was cited in a citation. In this study, we proposed a novel ranking-based method to identify cited texts. This method contains two stages: similarity-based unsupervised ranking and deep learning-based supervised ranking. A novel listwise ranking model was developed with the use of 36 similarity features and 11 section position features. Firstly, top-5 sentences were selected for each citation text according to a modified Jaccard similarity metric. Then the selected sentences were ranked using the trained listwise ranking model, and top-2 sentences were selected as cited sentences. The experiments showed that the proposed method outperformed other classification-based and voting-based identification methods on the test set of the CL-SciSumm 2017.

Shiyan Ou, Hyonil Kim

A Method for Measuring Journal Discriminative Capacity and Its Application in WOS

Journal discriminative capacity refers to the degree of difference between the journals in research subjects, and is of great significance for detecting the level of journal differentiation. Current research on journal discrepancies is predominantly focused on the quantitative analysis of journal content, and rarely measures the degree of journal difference. To address this lapse in research, a method from the perspective of difference is proposed in this paper to quantitatively measure and analyze the discriminative capacity of journals. Using the bibliographic of Science Citation Index (SCI), Social Science Citation Index (SSCI), and Arts & Humanities Citation Index (A&HCI) journals from 2015–2017 as the data source, the contents differences of 23 Library and Information Science (LIS) journals are analyzed through hierarchical clustering and journal discriminative capacity (JDC) measurement. The discriminative capacity of disciplines is then calculated and combined with multidimensional scaling analysis to detect the difference characteristics of journals in ten disciplines, and the mean JDC is used to explore the overall differences of disciplines. Results show that the discriminative capacity of LIS journals is obviously stratified, the journals of library science are the most discriminating, and the journals of evaluation and review are the weakest. In addition, the journals of different disciplines have distinct disciplinary characteristics, with the discriminative capacity of SCI journals as the most notable, followed by SSCI journals, and with A&HCI journals displaying the weakest discriminative capacity.

Hao Wang, Baolong Zhang, Sanhong Deng, Xinning Su

How Does Media Reflect the OA and Non-OA Scientific Literature? A Case Study of Environment Sustainability

News outlets and popular science magazines have played an important role in increasing the public’s knowledge, engagement with and understanding of global environmental issues in recent years. Increased access to scholarly outputs might foster a culture of greater scientific education, which in turn could have a direct impact on public policy. This paper aimed to study: (i) Which topics in the area of environmental sustainability have been communicated to the members of the public via News and Popular Science articles. (ii) If these topics were also found in OA and Non-OA scientific articles. Three data sets comprising documents published between 2014 and 2018 were obtained from ProQuest and Scopus databases. Our findings showed four topics have been communicated to the general public via News and Popular Science articles. ‘Environmental protection’ and ‘Socio-economic aspects of environmental sustainability’ were the common topics amongst OA, Non-OA and News and Popular Science articles. Although the three sets had two topics in common, they placed different levels of importance on different topics. In the OA set ‘Biodiversity management & wildlife conservation’ and ‘Sustainable agriculture’ were regarded as motor topics. In the News and Popular Science set, ‘Environmental policy’ appeared as a well-developed and motor topic.

Tahereh Dehdarirad, Jonathan Freer, Alexander Mladenovic

Using Link Prediction Methods to Examine Networks of Co-occurring MeSH Terms in Zika and CRISPR Research

This research applied the Literature-based Discovery approach and supervised link prediction methods to predict previously unknown research links between medical subject headings (MeSH) terms in Zika and CRISPR research. Both Zika and CRISPR research was extracted from the PubMed dataset and analyzed respectively. For Zika research, the timeframe for the data extraction was between 1952 and 2017, containing 1,939 research articles and 2,546 distinct MeSH terms. For CRISPR research, the data were collected from 2002 to 2016, including 4,572 research articles and 4,203 distinct MeSH terms. The link prediction measures, Common Neighbor, Jaccard’s Coefficient, Adamic/Adr, Preferential Attachment, and Resource Allocation Index, were generated as input variables to predict whether a non-linkage between two MeSH terms is formed in the future. This research applied the Logistic Regression, Naïve Bayes, Decision Tree, and Random Forests algorithms to build classification models. Because the outcome variables are highly unbalanced, the stratified sampling and under/over-sampling methods were used to generate representative training and testing sets. The results indicate that the Logistic Regression has better performance for predicting a MeSH link in Zika research. In contrast, the Naïve Bayes has better performance for predicting a MeSH link in CRISPR research. Thus, the methods proposed by this research can be used to discover possible research areas of MeSH terms and new research directions. For biomedical policymakers, the results can be considered as an evidence-based source for the decisions of public fund allocation.

Meng-Hao Li

Extracting Methodological Sentences from Unstructured Abstracts of Academic Articles

Methodological sentence is the smallest unit that depicts how the research method is used in one paper. Researchers can understand a method by reading these sentences. So, extracting methodological sentences automatically is meaningful for them to evaluate and select appropriate methods in their research process. However, previous studies rely too much on manually annotated corpus, in which the quantity is limited. Furthermore, some studies do not perform well when generalized to testing sets. In this paper, we use structured abstracts as training data to alleviate the burden of manually annotation. The label for each sentence is determined by its corresponding title in the abstract. Moreover, in order to extract methodological sentences more precisely, a rule-based method is applied for pruning the prediction result. In experimental results, the P, R, and F1 value after pruning are 65.14%, 57.00% and 60.80% respectively, which are all higher than those are not pruned.

Ruping Wang, Chengzhi Zhang, Yingyi Zhang, Jinzhu Zhang

AI and Machine Learning


Identifying Historical Travelogues in Large Text Corpora Using Machine Learning

Travelogues represent an important and intensively studied source for scholars in the humanities, as they provide insights into people, cultures, and places of the past. However, existing studies rarely utilize more than a dozen primary sources, since the human capacities of working with a large number of historical sources are naturally limited. In this paper, we define the notion of travelogue and report upon an interdisciplinary method that, using machine learning as well as domain knowledge, can effectively identify German travelogues in the digitized inventory of the Austrian National Library with F1 scores between 0.94 and 1.00. We applied our method on a corpus of 161,522 German volumes and identified 345 travelogues that could not be identified using traditional search methods, resulting in the most extensive collection of early modern German travelogues ever created. To our knowledge, this is the first time such a method was implemented for the bibliographic indexing of a text corpus on this scale, improving and extending the traditional methods in the humanities. Overall, we consider our technique to be an important first step in a broader effort of developing a novel mixed-method approach for the large-scale serial analysis of travelogues.

Jan Rörden, Doris Gruber, Martin Krickl, Bernhard Haslhofer

Detecting Machine-Obfuscated Plagiarism

Research on academic integrity has identified online paraphrasing tools as a severe threat to the effectiveness of plagiarism detection systems. To enable the automated identification of machine-paraphrased text, we make three contributions. First, we evaluate the effectiveness of six prominent word embedding models in combination with five classifiers for distinguishing human-written from machine-paraphrased text. The best performing classification approach achieves an accuracy of 99.0% for documents and 83.4% for paragraphs. Second, we show that the best approach outperforms human experts and established plagiarism detection systems for these classification tasks. Third, we provide a Web application that uses the best performing classification approach to indicate whether a text underwent machine-paraphrasing. The data and code of our study are openly available.

Tomáš Foltýnek, Terry Ruas, Philipp Scharpf, Norman Meuschke, Moritz Schubotz, William Grosky, Bela Gipp

Comparing Intelligent Personal Assistants on Humor Function

Intelligent personal assistants (IPA) use humor to engage and entertain users as well as mitigate performance limitations. In order to understand the types of users’ humorous interactions with IPA, we developed a classification of humorous utterances that included categories of questions about IPA personality, requests for jokes, rhetorical statement, and others. In order to illustrate the usefulness of classification for analyzing IPA interactions, we used it for comparing the four major IPAs on their responses to humorous utterances. A representative sample of 96 humorous utterances in each humor category and IPA type was developed and tested by 14 participants. The study found that IPA responses to specific requests for jokes received the highest humor ratings from users. The study also found that, overall, Alexa was rated as the most humorous IPA, followed by Google Assistant and Cortana. Interpretation of the findings in light of humor theories and IPA features are provided.

Irene Lopatovska, Pavel Braslavski, Alice Griffin, Katherine Curran, Armando Garcia, Mary Mann, Alexandra Srp, Sydney Stewart, Alanood Al Thani, Shannon Mish, Wanyi Wang, Monica G. Maceli

Identifying FinTech Innovations with Patent Data: A Combination of Textual Analysis and Machine-Learning Techniques

Financial technology, or FinTech, has recently attracted considerable attention both in the financial industry and academia. It covers a large range of technologies, including big data, cloud computing, and cryptocurrency, and is widely used in the finance industry. Despite the broad application of FinTech, little academic research has explored the development of this new wave of technological innovations. Our study aims to identify, classify, and track the development of FinTech innovations using patent data. A difficulty is that there are no accurate International Patent Classification (IPC) codes that we can refer to as FinTech innovations. Hence, in this paper we provide a comprehensive method for identifying FinTech patents. We first use a text-based filtering technique to locate potential FinTech patents and get a data set comprising 37,156 records. We then construct a training sample of FinTech patents by reading those patent files manually. Next, textual analysis and machine-learning techniques are applied to identify all FinTech patents in the whole data set, based on the initial sample. We classify FinTech patents into seven categories according to the key underlying technologies and track the development of each category. Thus a whole picture of FinTech innovations is formed.

Lu Xu, Xiaobin Lu, Guancan Yang, Bingfan Shi

Methodological Innovation


Continuities and Discontinuities: Using Historical Information Culture for Insight into the Sustainability of Innovations

The analysis of information cultures of the past can provide insight into the likelihood of sustainability of innovative information practices, and can help design sustainable information strategies for the future. This article focuses on three instances of innovation in three different parts of the world – namely, Italy, China, and the Netherlands – in the 1930s, a time period that was characterized by political unrest and significant societal changes in all three locations. Genres, workarounds, and infrastructure are used as diagnostic indicators to demonstrate the utility of an information culture model which distinguishes cultural factors according to their susceptibility to change. The three case studies discussed in this article not only shed light on continuities and discontinuities in information practices over time; they also show the complexities of successfully changing specific existing information attitudes. The ultimate goal of this article is to illustrate the benefits of conducting comparative and longitudinal research on historical information cultures.

Fiorella Foscarini, Charles Jeurgens, Zhiying Lian, Gillian Oliver

Bridging DH and Humanistic HCI

Bowker’s Age of Potential Memory describes a new era characterized by a culture of knowledge production that fosters and stifles certain forms of statements depending on the logics that subtend them. Through processes of ubiquitous data collection, analysis, and feedback, individuals are increasingly reduced to users; users are re-created as data doubles or data doppelgangers, post hoc, through the aggregation and analysis of their data traces. This discursive transformation of the human that will arise in relation to living alongside and through these doubles or doppelgangers is difficult to understand within the framework of extant disciplinary silos. And yet methods that connect disciplines are emerging. To realize these connections, translational work is required. This paper explores the complementarity of digital humanities (DH) and humanistic human-computer interaction (hHCI) through the lens of distant reading. I focus on distant reading—topic modelling in particular—because of its methodological popularity and relation to discourse. I argue that distant reading comprises a useful connection between these two young domains: a pivot that allows for the inter- or transdisciplinary study of the future human through the analysis of its potential sociotechnical, discursive compositions.

John S. Seberger

A Phenomenographic Approach to the Effect of Emotions on the Information Behaviour of Doctoral Students: A Narrative Inquiry

This article is to examine how emotions affect the doctoral student’s journey by analyzing diverse aspects of the information behaviour that emerged from their narratives through a phenomenographic perspective. Narratives are a rational way of communication that focuses on how people perceive different phenomena regarding themselves, their inner thoughts, their states of mind, and how it affects their lifeworld’s. This phenomenographic study employs interview data from 36 doctoral students. The data collected from the narratives were studied drawing from the variation theory and iterative data analysis resulted in categories of doctoral student experiences and their emotional journey. The holistic phase of the thematic analysis revealed a relatively balanced interplay of positive and negative emotions. The rich data obtained in the phenomenographic approach exposed significant links between participants’ heightened emotions in five common themes during looking for information, their interactions with key individuals (supervisors and peer) and situations in their doctoral lives. Whilst this paper focuses on the approach taken to explore the narratives, recommendations are made based on the findings and to further explore the information-seeking behaviour patterns of doctoral students.

Amira Ahmed, Frances Johnson, Geoff Walton, Sumayah Bayounis

Social Network Analysis: Making Public Library Communities Visible

This paper argues for applying social network analysis (SNA) theoretically and methodologically to study information organizations, specifically the contemporary public library and its network relations with its communities. A brief review of SNA’s origins, theoretical underpinnings, and key concepts is followed by a discussion of why and how public library research could benefit from taking this perspective, and the multiple options available for defining the library-user relational tie as the unit of analysis. Constraints affecting data collection and analysis are also noted.

Deborah Hicks, Mary M. Cavanagh, Amy VanScoy

The Evolution of Bonded Design: From Elementary School to Higher Education

This paper introduces an alternative model of the participatory design (PD) methodology, Bonded Design (BD). Bonded Design originated from research investigating the use of participatory design methods to foster collaboration between two potentially disparate groups, adult researchers/designers and elementary school children. Previous work has shown that by using design techniques selected from various existing PD models, executed in a particular order, the Bonded Design methodology can successfully empower two distinct groups of participants to conceive ideas for innovative technologies they could not have produced alone. For these reasons the BD methodology was chosen as the framework for a university-wide initiative of a Research 1 university to foster meaningful communication and interaction between faculty and IT professional staff with the intent to create innovative technology solutions. Findings from this study indicated that while several Bonded Design features were useful in achieving the end goal, modifications needed to be made to the methodology as a whole to accommodate not only the increased sophistication and knowledge base of the adult participants, but also the design of a tangible final deliverable that could be directly implemented.

Valerie Nesset, J. Brice Bible, Nicholas Vanderschantz


Weitere Informationen