Diversity & International Information (Papers)

Session chair: Kanwal Ameen 


On Shapes and Sizes: Measuring Diversity of Technological Engagement Through Digital Visitors and Residents Maps
John William Harvey, Erin Hood, & Lynn Connaway

The Digital Visitors and Residents (V&R) project developed a mapping exercise to help individuals better understand their engagement with technology and the web. The map creation process, and the opportunity for individuals to share their stories in a group setting can be fun, informative, and educational. In this paper, we show that collections of V&R maps can be sources of rich and interesting information about similarities and differences in individuals’ engagement with technology. Computational methods such as shape analysis and machine learning can be used to distill this information from collections of V&R maps. We present several models, techniques, and algorithms for V&R map analysis that may be familiar to many data scientists and software developers, including a shape metric that captures properties of shapes with intuitive meaning and interpretation in the V&R context. Patterns and trends emerging from collections of maps can help a team better understand their similarities and differences in engagement with technology, or help inform decisions on the design of information technology or library technology services. We provide examples of these techniques using data collected in various V&R mapping sessions. Finally, we introduce a V&R mapping web application designed for touchscreens that can ease data collection for computational analysis and provide a fun and engaging experience for mapping exercise participants.


Investigating the Information Gaps in Refugee Integration
Olubukola Oduntan, & Ian Ruthven

Refugee integration processes and systems are complex for refugees. They find them difficult to navigate and thus often end up disadvantaged. This paper presents the first set of findings from an ongoing information behaviour research study into refugee integration. The study explores the situational experiences of refugees and asylum seekers engaging with the integration processes and systems through individual semi-structured interviews. Dervin’s sense-making methodology was used to elicit the information gaps. The findings reveals refused asylum situation during integration and highlight information needs embedded in processes and systems of refugee integration. The results have implications for reducing the complexity of service provision during refugee integration. In addition, the approach expands previous studies and highlights the depth a situational investigation can bring to information behaviour studies


Assessing Technologies for Information Sharing in International Research Teams: Developing an Intercultural Heuristic Evaluation Tool
Wesley Stewart Ward, & Lisa M. Given

Collaborative research teams working in developing countries rely on information and computer technologies (ICTs), both hardware and software, to overcome barriers to information sharing including, language, distance, time, economic development and politics. However, studies have shown impediments to information sharing between team members from different cultures, nations and institutions. This paper reports on a study in which a model was developed to highlight the most important barriers for communication and information sharing in international research teams, which was the basis for the development of a heuristic evaluation tool. The communication model was created using the results of 30 semi-structured interviews with agricultural scientists working in international research teams based in Australia and Lao People’s Democratic Republic. Interview data outline a number of barriers and facilitators for team communication, which informed the development of eight intercultural heuristics. These were combined with Jakob Nielsen’s general usability heuristics to form the intercultural heuristic evaluation tool, or I-CHET. The tool was then tested in a pilot study to assess the utility and usability of two ICTs used by international research teams: email and Skype. The initial assessment using I-CHET showed that while email theoretically lacked the richness of cues seen in Skype, email better complied with the needs of international research groups for sharing information and communicating in multicultural teams dispersed over language, cultural and geographic divides.

Paper Sessions
Date: October 31, 2017 Time: 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm William John Harvey Oduntan Olubukola Wesley Stewart Ward