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2014 SIGUSE Symposium CFP

July 7, 2014

Theme: Context in Information Behavior Research

Date: November 1, 2014 (Saturday)
Time: 1:30 to 6:30 pm
Location: Sheraton Seattle Hotel, Seattle, WA, USA

Keynote Speaker: Professor J. David Johnson, Department of Communication, University of



The importance of context in human information behavior research has been well established. Nonetheless, it has been observed that although contextual aspects are included in most research, they tend to serve as the backdrop of a study, and not as its focus. Stronger emphasis on context will enhance our understanding of information behavior.
The purpose of this symposium is to explore the role and impact of context, aiming to advance scholarship and knowledge concerning this key component of information behavior research.

This symposium will focus on themes including, but not limited to:

  • Conceptual and theoretical aspects: Focusing on the conceptual and theoretical understanding of context in information behavior research, papers may explore questions such as the following: What does “context” really mean? What is the nature of context in the research frameworks of information behavior studies (e.g., as the background/setting, the explanatory factor, the manipulation condition, or the outcome variable of a research study)? How are relationships between individuals, groups, and contexts surrounding the information behavior conceptualized? To what extent and in what way do variables representing features at broader levels of aggregation (e.g., group level, organizational level, societal level) affect the information behavior of an individual? What philosophical and theoretical perspectives and frameworks can be used to study contexts?
  • Methodological aspects: From the research method perspective, papers may examine issues such as: What factors need to be considered when selecting methods and/or instruments for studies of various contexts? What are the methodological challenges and opportunities of studying information behavior in a particular context?
  • Context-related research: With strong focus on contexts, papers may probe questions such as: What is the typical information behavior in a particular context? different is the information behavior in one context from the other? How does the context factor interact with other factors (e.g., user characteristics)?
  • Meta-analysis of context-related research: Context-related research may be analyzed to explore questions such as: What kinds of research have been done in relation to contexts? How do different aspects of context impact different LIS areas (e.g., information literacy, design of information systems/services, etc.) and in what way?


1:45 – 2:35 Keynote presentation

2:35 – 3:25 First round of Lightning Talks

3:25 – 3:45 Break

3:45 – 4:35 Second round of Lightning Talks

4:35 – 5:20 Word Café discussions

5:20 – 5:50 Group report

5:50 – 6:30 Award ceremony and wrap-up



All the interested researchers, graduate students, and information professionals are invited to submit a proposal for a short presentation (i.e., approximately 5 – 8 minutes in the form of lightning talks). Proposals for lightning talks should be one to two pages long (500-1000 words) and outline the topic and themes that will be addressed during the talk. Proposed topics must be relevant to the Symposium theme – Context in information behavior research.

Submission guidelines for Lightning talk proposals:

  • Author’s name, title, and institutional affiliation should be included at the top of the proposal.
  • Proposal text must be 500-1000 words.
  • Submission should be in pdf or doc format. The file should be named as ‘2014_SIGUSEsympo_FirstAuthor’sLastName”.
  • Submission should be done by sending your draft to (Subject: SIGUSE_FirstAuthor’sLastname). A proposal should be submitted by midnight Hawaii Time on September 1, 2014.
  • Accepted submissions will be made available through the public SIG-USE website both before and after the Symposium.
  • Accepted submissions may be invited for publication in the next volume of the SIG USE/ASIS&T Monograph Series.
  • If there are still open spaces available, the symposium will be open to ASIS&T attendees who do not have a Lightning talk. Registration is still required.


  • September 1, 2014: Submission due date for extended abstracts or position papers
  • September 20, 2014: Notification of acceptance
  • October 25, 2014: Submission due date for Lightning talk slides



  • SIG-USE Members: $90
  • ASIS&T (but not SIG-USE) Members: $100
  • Non-Members: $120

The registration fee will cover workshop costs, wireless Internet access, and coffee breaks.




For more information about SIG-USE:

Hope to see you there!

Please forward any questions that you have to K.-Sun “Sunny” Kim ( or Lu Xiao (


K.-Sun Kim & Lu Xiao
2014 ASIS&T SIG-USE Symposium Co-chairs

Contextual Inquiry: A Must-Have Method For Your User Research Toolbox

April 9, 2014

Join us for SIG USE Webinar on Wednesday, April 16, 2014, 2:00pm-3:30pm (EDT)

Instructor: Kate Lawrence & Deirdre Costello Date: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 Time: 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM EST Cost: FREE for ASIS&T members, $45 for non-members Reservation:  Space is limited. Reserve your Webinar seat now at:  After registering you will receive a confirmation e-mail containing information about joining the Webinar. This session will feature two user researchers from a Boston-area company who used Contextual Inquiry to unlock the secrets of physician workflows, starting with just a single question. They’ll talk about how to prepare for a project using Contextual Inquiry, how to engage users and how to distill high-quality qualitative data into meaningful takeaways.

Webinar Instructors:

Kate Lawrence

Kate Lawrence

Kate Lawrence

Kate Lawrence is an experienced user researcher focused on the intersection of people and technology. She is passionate about all aspects of user research – from interviewing users to  analyzing usage data to understanding how wider trends about technology impact the search experience. Kate is an active presenter and the local and national user experience  community and was most recently published in UX Matters.

Deirdre Costello

Deirdre Costello

Deirdre Costello

Deirdre Costello is a user experience professional passionate about discovering how technologies fit into users’ lives and their pursuit of information. She has 5 years of experience in the  library industry and a background in research, analysis and writing.







System Requirements

  • PC-based attendees: Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server
  • Mac®-based attendees: Required: Mac OS® X 10.5 or newer
  • Mobile attendees: Required: iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ phone or Android tablet 

iSquares: A New Approach to Information Research and Education

January 31, 2014

Join us for a Webinar on Friday, February 7, 2014 (Sponsored by SIG-HFIS & SIG-USE)


Instructor: Dr. Jenna Hartel, University of Toronto
Date: Friday, February 7, 2014
Time: 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM EST
Cost: FREE for ASIS&T members, $10 for non-members
Reservation:  Space is limited. Reserve your Webinar seat now at:  After registering you will receive a confirmation e-mail containing information about joining the Webinar.

Dr. Jenna Hartel

Dr. Jenna Hartel, University of Toronto

This webinar introduces an arts-informed, visual approach to engage the concept of information afresh: the draw-and-write technique. Human subjects are asked to answer the question “What is information?” in the form of a drawing, generating a compact piece of visual data coined an “iSquare” ( The webinar instructor, Dr. Jenna Hartel of the University of Toronto, has used the method to explore how people envision information (Hartel, in press, 2013a, 2013b). She also applies the approach in classrooms to help students, especially newcomers, theorize information (Hartel, 2014). Whether employed as a research method or pedagogical strategy, iSquares bring information science into the visual Information Age and create a richer multimedia genealogy for our central concept. The goal of the webinar is to help other information scholars and professionals experiment with arts-informed, visual methods and iSquares, specifically. First, the webcast outlines the theoretical framework, research design, and data-gathering specifications to produce iSquares for the purposes of information research. Then the session provides classroom activities and assignments to utilize iSquares for information education. The webinar also marks the launch of a website that displays the corpus of images gathered thus far (n=400 and growing). References:

System Requirements

  • PC-based attendees: Required: Windows® 8, 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server
  • Mac®-based attendees: Required: Mac OS® X 10.6 or newer
  • Mobile attendees: Required: iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ phone or Android tablet

SIG-USE Annual Business Meeting Notes 2013

November 29, 2013

The SIG-USE Annual Business Meeting was well attended on November 4, 2013.  Below is a link to the meeting notes.


2013 ASIS&T SIG-USE Symposium: Call for Participants

July 2, 2013

2013 ASIS&T SIG-USE Symposium: Call for Participants

Theme: Information Behavior on the Move: Information Needs, Seeking, and Use in the Era of Mobile Technologies
Date: November 2, 2013 (Saturday)
Time: 1:30 to 6:30 pm Read more…

2013 SIG USE Awards – Call for Submissions **Deadline Extended

June 10, 2013


ASIS&T’s Information Needs, Seeking, and Use Special Interest Group (SIG USE) seeks submissions for six awards.  The deadline for submissions for all awards, which will be given at the 2013 ASIS&T meeting in Montreal, is July 15. Read more…

ASIS&T Web Presence Survey

June 10, 2013

ASIS&T is looking for input on its Web and social media presence. Take the ASIS&T Web Presence Survey and help with future planning: Read more…


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