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Exploring Context in Information Behavior: Seeker, Situation, Surroundings, and Shared Identities (Meet the Author Series)

In this Meet the Author webinar, Naresh Agarwal, the author of "Exploring Context in Information Behavior: Seeker, Situation, Surroundings, and Shared Identities" published by Morgan & Claypool will talk about his book and the importance and role of context in information behavior research. Moderated by Steve Hardin, it will be a combination of presentation and interview of the author. It will conclude with Q&A with the participants.

The talk will address questions such as: What does context really mean? How do we map the conceptual space of context? What are the boundaries of context? What are the variables that make up context in information behavior and that can be incorporated into research studies?


Naresh Agarwal is an Associate Professor and Director of the Information Science & Technology Concentration at the School of Library & Information Science at Simmons University, Boston. He earned his Ph.D. from the National University of Singapore (NUS). Naresh's research area is information behavior and knowledge management — the way people look for information and the contextual factors that impact their choice of information sources. He seeks to understand and synthesize the apparent contradictions in this phenomenon and tries to reconcile multiple perspectives — the user (context, seeking, sense-making, serendipity, avoiding) versus systems/technology, theoretical and empirical studies, and a variety of contexts — office workers, medical residents, LIS students, faculty, librarians, toddlers, etc. His publications span these areas. His book 'Exploring Context in Information Behavior: Seeker, situation, surroundings, and shared identities' was published by Morgan & Claypool.

Naresh also studies serendipitous information encountering and the causes and effects — both on the receiver and the sender — of information avoidance and non-response behaviors, especially by people who use smartphones and social media. He has been a keynote/invited speaker at workshops and conferences in different countries, including in the U.S., Japan, France, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.

He has held various leadership positions at ASIS&T. He was a member of its Board of Directors, Co-Chaired its Annual Meeting in 2017, and was awarded the ASIS&T James M. Cretsos Leadership Award in 2012. Currently, he is the Chair-elect of SIG KM, Poster Co-Chair for the ASIS&T 2020 Annual Meeting and Advisor to the South Asia Chapter. Prior to entering the doctoral program at NUS, Naresh worked for six years in technology roles in the voice-over-IP, bioInformatics, and digital cinema industries.

Among other things, Agarwal has been a debater and public speaker and likes to paint in watercolor and oil. In 2018, he started an initiative to gather human stories through interviews to inspire other human stories. You can learn more about him at