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Learning from our Members: Findings from the SIGUSE Member Survey

October 11, 2017

In autumn 2016, the Special Interest Group Information Seeking and Use (SIGUSE) developed and administered a member survey. We wish to thank everyone who responded on a range of issues, including the SIGUSE Symposium held annually at the ASIS&T Annual Meeting, awards, prospects for continuing education, and communication channels.

Download the report: SIGUSE Member Survey Report (PDF)

Dr. Dania Bilal receives the SIGUSE Outstanding Contribution to Information Behaviour Award 

September 29, 2017

It is our great pleasure to announce the recipient of the SIGUSE Outstanding Contribution to Information Behaviour Award, Dr. Dania Bilal.

Dr. Bilal is Professor at the School of Information Sciences (SIS), University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Her research focuses on children’s cognitive and affective information behavior in using and interacting with information retrieval systems, and is situated at the intersection of information retrieval, information behavior, and human-computer interaction. She is one of the foremost experts in our field on children’s and youth’s information seeking and retrieval, and is one of the top 1% most cited researchers worldwide in this area. She conducts her work with young and older children nationally and internationally in schools, libraries and computer lab settings.

Dr. Bilal has contributed significantly to the field of information behaviour for the past two decades with more than 70 publications. Her most highly cited work appeared in the Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology (JASIS&T) in 2000 on “Children’s use of the Yahooligans! Web search engine: I. Cognitive, physical, and affective behaviors on fact-based search tasks.” She is co-editor of Information and Emotion: The Emergent Affective Paradigm in Information Behavior Research and Theory (Information Today, Inc., 2007) with Diane Nahl, and New Directions in Children’s and Adolescents’ Information Behavior Research (Emerald Publishing, 2014) with Jamshid Beheshti. Information and Emotion was awarded the ASIS&T SIG USE Book-of-the-Year Award in 2008. In 2014 she won a Google Research Award with Jacek Gwizdka (University of Texas-Austin) for their research project titled, Child-friendly search engine results pages (SERPs): Towards better understanding of Google search results readability by children. She has been recognized with two Research Achievement Awards (2003, 2007) by the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. A 2017 article published in Aslib Journal of Information Management put Dr. Bilal among the top 10 most influential researchers in information behavior worldwide. (Aslib Journal of Information Management, 69 (2),215-22, 2017).

Dr. Bilal teaches courses in information access and retrieval, human-computer interaction, Web mining, information systems design and implementation, and research methods. Recently, Dr. Bilal guided the development of the Youth Informatics Certificate program at the School of Information Science and developed a new Seminar in Youth Informatics course. In 2007 she was awarded the Association of Library and Information Science Education (ALISE) Teaching Excellence Award.
Dr. Bilal has served as mentor to doctoral students at both ASIS&T Annual Doctoral Colloquium and iConference Doctoral Colloquium.

Dr. Bilal has been active in SIGUSE and ASIS&T for many years. She served as Chair of SIGUSE in 2002-2003, and in 2003 the SIG was awarded “SIG-of-the-Year” by ASIS&T. Last year, Dr. Bilal was elected to the ASIS&T Board of Directors as Director-at-Large and appointed to ASIS&T 80th Anniversary Advisory Group, and to the Board’s International Relations Committee as liaison. She is the co-Chair of panels and workshops of this year’s annual meeting.

2017 ASIS&T SIG-USE Symposium Call for Participation

August 2, 2017

Framing Inclusion and Exclusion in Information Behavior Research and Practice

Date: ​October 28, 2017 (Saturday)

Time: ​1:30 pm – 6:30 pm

Location: ​Hyatt Regency Crystal City, Washington, D.C. (Arlington, VA), USA

Keynote: ​Dr. Paul T. Jaeger, College of Information Studies and the Information Policy and Access Center (iPAC), University of Maryland



The 17th Annual SIG-USE Research Symposium focuses on the theme of inclusion and exclusion. This theme acknowledges that advances in information and communication technology—such as the Internet, social media, and mobile devices—have afforded individuals and communities new ways of connecting with one another and of accessing vast quantities of information, but that many individuals and groups still remain at the periphery of the information society. These groups include, but are not limited to: older persons, geographically or socially isolated persons, migrant persons, disabled persons, economically disadvantaged and displaced persons, global youth, and others who are often considered at-risk and vulnerable. While some scholars have considered these populations and their information behavior and practices, the aims of this Symposium are to strengthen and build the community of scholars and information professionals who critically consider issues related to inclusion and exclusion in their work. It also aims to provide an opportunity for scholars and professionals to reflect and gain feedback on their ongoing studies, to take in new perspectives, and to engage in theoretical debates.


The Symposium format is designed to encourage and advance discussion around the theme of inclusion and exclusion in information behavior research and information professional practice. We expect the day to run in roughly this order:

  • 13:30: Welcome, participant introductions, and overview of the Symposium.
  • 13:45: Keynote presentation by Professor Paul T. Jaeger.
  • 14:30: Presentations and discussions.
  • 16:00: Break time.
  • 16:20: Presentations and discussions.
  • 18.20: Symposium wrap-up/close.


SIG-USE Symposium organizers invite poster (~500-word abstract) and short paper (<2000-word abstract) contributions that describe completed research and research-in-progress, and that showcase empirical, conceptual, theoretical, and methodological findings or rich practice cases and demonstrations, from researchers, graduate students, and practitioners.


Welcome topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Theoretical perspectives/frameworks that enhance understanding and offer new perspectives on the roles of information in relation to inclusion and exclusion. What theoretical perspectives are well-suited to studying this topic? Potential examples include activity theory, sense-making, or information grounds. Novel theoretical perspectives are also welcome.
  • Conceptual and methodological approaches for understanding the roles of information and technology in inclusion and exclusion. What are some of the relevant challenges and actual or potential innovations in this area?
  • Works discussing how diverse or marginalized populations engage with and through information, information seeking, information use, or information sharing—or discussing how such engagement can be promoted.
  • Works considering the adaptive information behavior and practices of diverse and marginalized populations in response to inclusion and exclusion.
  • ​Works considering the rise of digital spaces, and the challenges, opportunities, tensions, or benefits to using digital spaces to engage diverse or marginalized populations.
  • Works considering the ways in which developing an understanding of the information behaviors and practices of diverse and marginalized populations can inform the development and design of future information and communication technologies, information services, information management processes or tools, or educational strategies or opportunities.
  • Works, cases, or demonstrations considering individual, community, or institutional (e.g., organizational, governmental) perspectives on inclusion and exclusion.
  • Any works relating broadly to the theme of inclusion and exclusion.


Poster and short paper abstracts should adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Be submitted as two versions: the first should include (a) name(s), title, and institutional affiliation(s) at the top; the second should be blinded to facilitate review, and not include name(s), titles, or affiliation(s).
  • Be submitted as two .pdf files, named according to the following conventions: ‘2017_SIGUSESym_####_Lastname.pdf’ and ‘2017_SIGUSESym_####_Blinded.pdf’ (where ‘####’ is a 4- or 5-digit number of your choosing, to avoid multiple files with identical names).
  • Be e-mailed to Leslie Thomson ( by midnight EST on September 10, 2017.

Accepted documents will be circulated prior to and following the Symposium, when possible. Please indicate in the text of the submission 
e-mail whether or not we may post the abstract to the public SIG-USE website before and after the Symposium is held.

Presenters who have their abstracts accepted should plan on presentations of about 5-10 minutes in total, with some time allotted for questions. Short-paper presenters should also expect to e-mail slides in advance of the Symposium. Exact details of these requirements will be provided with notices of acceptance.


  • September 10, 2017: ​Abstracts due (midnight EST)
  • September 26, 2017: ​Notice of acceptance



(Early bird, pre-September 15, 2017 / Regular)

  • SIG-USE Members: ​$115 / $120
  • ASIS&T (but not SIG-USE) Members: $120 / $135
  • Non-Members: ​$140 / $145

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


To register for the 2017 ASIS&T Annual Meeting and the SIG-USE Symposium, visit: (early bird deadline: September 15, 2017). For more information about SIG-USE, visit:
Neither submission nor acceptance of an abstract are requirements for registration at the SIG-USE Symposium.


We hope to see you there!

Leslie Thomson:

Chi Young Oh:

Stan Karanasios:

2017 ASIS&T SIG-USE Symposium Co-chairs