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Annual Reports Due

Greetings! It is that time of year when we ask that SIGs complete their Annual Report. This form is required in order to secure your allocation for the next year. The form also serves as a nomination for the various SIG awards so it is very important that it is completed on time in order for your SIG to be considered.

Please complete this form no later than July 3, 2020.


The SIG-AH Virtual Symposium is set to take place on August 5th! The symposium will focus on humanities data curation and visualization and we are now accepting proposals.

Please send your presentation ideas to our SIG Chair, Julie Carmen. Make sure to include your name, contact information, and brief description of your proposed Virtual Symposium topic. We look forward to seeing your ideas!


Students: Apply for our conference travel awards for up to $500

Full details are available at points:

To be eligible to apply, applicants must:

  • be an ASIS&T member at the time of application, with preference given to those who are SIG-HFIS members
  • be currently enrolled in a graduate (doctoral or Master’s) program as of the time of the Annual Meeting,
  • have a contribution of any kind accepted for the conference, with relevance to the activities of HFIS (broadly construed), and
  • have not previously won the SIG HFIS Student Travel Award.

Applications should include:

  • a cover letter including name, address, phone number, email address, academic affiliation. The cover letter should identify the attached statements as being submitted specifically for this award,
  • a curriculum vitae, and
  • a 300-word statement on why Annual Meeting attendance will benefit the student in their pursuit of a future career, including the role of their conference submission in that regard, and its relation to the history and/or foundations of information science. Statements may also discuss financial need.

We look forward to seeing your submissions!

I am pleased to announce this year's winners of the Bob Williams Research Grant Award and the Bob Williams Research Paper Award. You can learn more about these awards on our website at

2020 Bob Williams Research Grant Award Winner

Alyson Gamble, from Simmons University, for the project entitled "Mental Health Information in LIS: A 100 Year Retrospective of Access and Attitudes"

This study will investigate the historical attitudes in LIS regarding mental health information through a systematic literature review of LIS literature from 1920-2020. Mental health information is a frequently addressed issue in LIS, but attention has not been paid to the historical trends in LIS regarding this subject. In this project, a century of LIS literature will be examined to answer three research questions:

  1. How has access been provided to mental health information?
  2. How has mental health information been studied in LIS?
  3. What are the historical attitudes in LIS regarding mental health information?

Among other objectives, the project intends to create a corpus of LIS publications on the topic of mental health information and identify the currents of change in mental health information provision.

The jury agreed that this is an ambitious and timely project that promises to illuminate an oft-overlooked area of LIS history. Gamble will have access to $2,000 of funding to expend on research activities over the coming year, and we look forward to seeing the results of this work.

2020 Bob Williams Research Paper Award Winner

Rodrigo Ochigame, from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for the paper entitled "Informatics of the Oppressed"

This paper examines how two Latin American social movements-Cuban socialism and liberation theology-inspired experiments with alternative approaches to informatics from the 1960s to the 1980s. In the paper, Ochigame first traces the emergence of a distinctive field of information science (ciencia de la información) in post-revolutionary Cuba and discuss how the political concerns of Cuban information scientists shaped their innovative mathematical models of library activity. He then recounts the creation of a worldwide "intercommunication network," organized by an ambitious group of liberation theologians, largely from Brazil, who were trying to produce an alternative to "controlled information systems" under military rule.

The award jury found this paper to be an exceptional piece of scholarship illuminating an important area of information history. In the words of one of the jurors, "I think Bob Williams would have been proud." Ochigame will receive a $500 award.

Congratulations to both winners!

We look forward to offering these awards again in 2021. Please look out for submission details early in the year; the deadline is typically in May.


After a blind peer review process, the 2020 International Paper Contest committee has selected the following winners.

First Place: Visibility of Library and Information Science and Scientific Communication in Iran (by Golnessa Galyani-Moghaddam and Zahra Ojagh, Iran)

Second Place: Children as Individual Subjects through Digital Competency (by Seran Demiral, Turkey)

Third Place: A Comparative Study of Public Libraries of Nagaland, Patna (Bihar) and Vadodara (Gujarat) of India (by Pichano Kikon and Sourabh Suman, India)

The committee has provided a detailed feedback to all the participants. Authors of the winning papers are invited to submit their papers to Libri, the International Journal of Libraries and Information Studies, where papers would go through a double-blind peer review process before publication.


Sociotechnical Change Agents: ICTS, Sustainability, and Global Challenges

Aligning with the theme of the 2020 ASIS&T Annual Meeting, Special Interest Group Social Informatics (SIG SI) will hold its 16th annual symposium in conjunction with SIG Social Media (SIG SM) and SIG Information Ethics and Policy (SIG IEP), allowing for ASIS&T members to better discuss how we might work collaboratively as "change agents actively addressing society's grand challenges" (ASIS&T, 2020). This two-part pre-conference workshop will investigate how research and practice focused on the interaction of people, technology, and society may support social change, including addressing the United Nations' 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (United Nations, 2015).

Call for Participation

We are seeking paper and panel proposals and brief poster proposals that consider the use of ICTs (e.g., traditional technologies, computer/networking systems, mobile and pervasive devices, social media platforms, data analytics, and artificial intelligence) in relation to addressing any societal "grand challenges," including sustainability efforts. We are also interested in broader research in social informatics, social media, and information ethics and policy that considers the social and technical aspects of using ICTs. We additionally welcome practitioners from business sectors, ICT communities, and human rights organizations.

Submissions may include empirical, critical and theoretical work, as well as practice cases and demonstrations. Some topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Digital equity and the digital divide
  • Sustainability and environmental concerns in ICT manufacturing
  • Human rights to information and technology
  • Equitable and/or sustainable information and knowledge systems
  • Sustainable data protection, storage, and/or privacy
  • AI for change and/or sustainable development
  • ICTs and social change movements
  • Big data approaches to supporting social change and/or sustainability
  • Automation and sustainable job markets
  • Using ICTs to address and/or discuss social challenges (e.g., misinformation spread, spam/bot/cyberbullying detection, health support communities, political analysis of social media)
  • Sociotechnical approaches to supporting the U.N.'s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals
  • Implications and social influence of ICT design

We encourage submissions in the form of extended abstracts (1,000–2,000 words, including references) that either propose a panel discussion or present work in these topic areas. We additionally encourage the submission of virtual poster proposals (500 words) for works in progress and early research ideas.

Rather than taking a "paper presentation" approach, participants will be encouraged to present their work during breakout discussions using methods adapted from participatory design (Simonsen & Robertson, 2013), thereby allowing them to not only share their own work and ideas but to generate meaningful synthesis and new collaborations. We will organize submissions into themes and focus areas, so that participants may discuss their related work together in more detail during the workshop breakout sessions. Authors should accordingly take this format into consideration in their submissions.

All submissions should be anonymized for review and in PDF format. Submissions can be made HERE.

Submissions will be due at 11:59 pm (PST) on July 12, 2020.


Congratulations to Dr. Heidi Julien winner of the 2020 SIG-USE Outstanding Contributions to Information Behavior Research Award

It is our great pleasure to announce the recipient of the 2020 SIG-USE Outstanding Contributions to Information Behavior Research Award, Dr. Heidi Julien. Candidates are nominated by their peers for this prestigious award and the selection is made by a jury comprised of two past SIG-USE Chairs and one previous winner.

Dr. Julien is a Professor at the University at Buffalo Department of Information Science. For more than two decades, Dr. Julien has been researching in the areas of information behavior and information literacy, particularly focused on under-researched areas such as the affective side of information behavior and the methodologies and methods used within the field. During her career, Dr. Julien has brought in 25 research grants (including prestigious grants from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada), as well as published in top venues such as the Journal of the Association for Information Science & Technology (JASIS&T), Library and Information Science Research, and Information Research. She has 1310 citations in Scopus and 3657 in Google Scholar and has won Best Paper Award at the Canadian Association for Information Science (2014, 2019) and the Australian Conference on Information Systems (2010). In addition to her numerous peer-reviewed articles and conference papers, she has contributed 7 encyclopedia entries in the fields of information science and qualitative research methods and co-authored an ARIST chapter on Information Behavior in 2009, a distinction accorded to top scholars in their field.

Alongside her outstanding scholarly contributions, Dr. Julien has made significant international leadership contributions. She has been active in SIG-USE and ASIS&T, as well as other research communities such as Association for Library & Information Science Education (President in 2018/2019) and the Canadian Association for Information Science (President 2015/2016). Dr. Julien is currently running for ASIS&T President, is chairing the ASIS&T Governance Committee, and has chaired the SIG-USE executive (2006-2007). She is also Chair of the ISIC Steering Committee (2018 – 2021) and has served on 8 editorial boards, including JASIS&T and the Journal of Education for Library and Information Science. Dr. Julien has shared her expertise worldwide, acting as a visiting scholar in New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Scotland, and China. A former Director at the School of Library and Information Studies (University of Alabama) and Chair of the Department of Information Science (University at Buffalo), Dr. Julien has been a leader and a mentor to students and junior colleagues. Her ongoing support of young scholars has been recognized, as Dr. Julien was nominated by her students and won the Graduate Student Supervisor Award (Graduate Student Association, University of Alberta, 2010).

We are very pleased to honor Dr. Julien with the 2020 ASIS&T SIG-USE Outstanding Contributions to Information Behavior Research Award. Her nomination packet was very strong and as her nominator and recommenders note, Prof. Julien's work is foundational to the understanding of human information behavior and has provided valuable original theoretical contributions to the SIG USE community for many years. She has contributed several meta-analyses of the field of information behavior and has been a pivotal player in the development of its core theoretical bases. Her work is consistently outstanding in quality and contribution and has been focused on information behavior throughout her scholarly career. As such, her work is absolutely deserving of the SIG USE Outstanding Contribution to Information Behavior Research Award.

As a recipient of this award, Dr. Julien will be inducted into the ASIS&T SIG-USE Academy of Fellows. Other recent inductees include Soo Young Rieh (2019), Denise Agosto (2018), Dania Bilal (2017), Karen Fisher (2016), and Sanda Erdelez (2015). For the full list of inductees, please see:

Please join us for the 20th annual ASIS&T SIG-USE Symposium on the afternoon of Saturday, October 24th, when we will celebrate with Dr. Julien her many achievements and the important contributions she has made to the field of information behavior.

We would also like to thank our SIG-USE Awards Committee, Sarah Barriage and Xiaojun (Jenny) Yuan (Co-Chairs) and members, Kyong Eun Oh and Millicent Mabi, for all of their hard work overseeing this process, all of the individuals who nominated people and/or wrote recommendation letters for nominees, and to the jury members who evaluated all of the nomination packets received for this award this year.


Return to Inside ASIS&T, June 2020