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2019 ASIS&T SIG-USE Symposium

June 8, 2019

2019 ASIS&T SIG-USE Symposium: Re-envisioning the Impact and Engagement of Information Behavior Research

Date: October 19, 2019 (Saturday)
Time: 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Location: Crown Conference Centre, Melbourne, Australia

About the 2019 SIG-USE Symposium

The 19th Annual SIG-USE Research Symposium focuses on the impact and engagement of information behavior research. This symposium is an opportunity for researchers, students, faculty and information professionals who are interested in information behavior and practice research to discuss the impact of that work, particularly the translation of findings and discussions into professional practice in today’s “anyone, anywhere, anytime” information environment. The symposium will facilitate information exchange among scholars and information professionals, provide a place for those new to information behavior and practice to engage critically with the field, and allow both scholars and practitioners to get feedback on preliminary and ongoing work. The symposium will feature a dynamic panel, full paper sessions and posters, as well as engaging breakout discussion sessions to explore different subthemes regarding impact and engagement.

Call for Participation

SIG-USE Symposium organizers invite poster (500 words or fewer) and full paper (2,500–5,000 words) 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, on the theme of impact and engagement in information behavior/practice research.

A productive and effective research field should make an impact, whether through social change, economic development, or technological innovation. In recent years, many scholars have voiced concerns that the field of information behavior (or practice) has not been making such an impact, and there have been recent calls for researchers in the field to consider new paths for making impact. Moreover, research should recognize and respond to its contemporary situation to make the world a better place. Our world is facing a number of challenges. To name but a few: environmental sustainability, privacy and security, extremism, and urban living. How can information behavior research engage with and respond to such challenges?

In this symposium, we will ask: as a research community, how do we make an impact? How can we? How should we? How are our findings making their way into practice and technology? How is our work contributing to other fields? Relatedly, we ask: how do we identify or demonstrate the impact we are making?

We invite considerations regarding questions of impact and engagement, including, but not limited to:

  • the impact we have made, are making, and want to make in the world—considering our engagement with other fields, our research methods, and more
  • the methods we use or can use to assess our impact and engagement with other research fields and the world writ large
  • the role information behavior/practice research can play in solving (or contributing to the solution of) today’s biggest issues
  • how our measurements and understanding of impact and engagement have changed across time, looking both to the past and the future
  • institutional and organizational issues regarding impact and research, including funding and disciplinary legitimacy
  • the prognosis of information behavior/practice as a research area in the coming years and decades

We also invite considerations that challenge the assumptions made here. Is impact the proper goal of research? Is impact the correct or best term for this construct? What is the relationship between impact and engagement?


Full Papers (2,500–5,000 words):

  • Will be followed by small group discussions, so submissions that generate stimulating dialogue and exchange are ideal
  • Tend to have richer discussion of the methods and results
  • Provide more contextualization of the work within the background literature
  • Presenters will be allowed 15 minutes plus 5 minutes of Q&A.

Posters (500 words or fewer):

  • Provide an opportunity for more one-on-one feedback on early work and work-in-progress.
  • Empirical results are not required.
  • Can be multimedia, technology demos, etc.—not just traditional posters.
  • We encourage submissions that showcase (digitally through a video, animation, etc.) some novel ways of engagement with communities or ways of telling our research stories (e.g., information visualization techniques).
  • Poster presenters will stand next to their posters and present a 1–2-minute introduction to their research and have the chance to discuss their work during the 30-minute Poster Break

Submission details

  • Please access the submission website to upload your submission:
  • Please submit an anonymized Word or PDF file.
  • Early bird deadline: July 15, 2019, to receive a decision by July 31, in time for early bird registration.
  • The final deadline for submission is August 15, 2019 (extended to August 29!). We will send out notifications of acceptance for this deadline by September 13.

Important Dates

Early bird deadline: July 15, 2019 (by 11:59pm anywhere on earth)

Early bird acceptance notification: July 31, 2019 (by 11:59pm anywhere on earth)

Final submission deadline: August 15, 2019 August 29, 2019 (by 11:59pm anywhere on earth)

Final acceptance notification: September 13, 2019

Additional Details: Panel, Edited Book, and More

The accepted submissions will be made available online prior to the beginning of the conference to allow community members to provide feedback and generate questions on the contributions prior to the symposium. This platform will be open to all the IB international community, so that even those who cannot make it to this year’s annual meeting (SIG-USE members or otherwise) will have a chance to contribute to the discussions. These discussions will be used to seed breakout session discussions during the workshop itself.

In addition to paper and poster sessions, the Symposium will feature an invited panel who will discuss issues related to impact and engagement and invite attendees into conversation.

The symposium will conclude with the announcement of SIG-USE award recipients. Notably, the symposium will include a 15-minute presentation from the recipient of last year’s Elfreda A. Chatman Research Proposal Award.

We anticipate that the contributions to this symposium will become part of an edited book proposal. Contributions will include the full papers from the symposium, and we will invite the panelists and poster presenters to prepare substantive contributions.

Additionally, we will implement a system to capture the discussions and conversations that happen in the breakout sessions so that they don’t get lost, such as hashtags for social media or a designated scribe. These will be collected and published online after the symposium.

Tentative Schedule

The Workshop will take place over a half-day. It will be comprised of Short Paper and Poster presentations, break-out group discussion sessions, and Awards presentations. Below is our anticipated schedule. This is subject to change.

13:00-13:15 Welcome and overview of the Symposium
13:15-14:00 Panel discussion
14:00-14:15 Responses to panel, large-group discussion
14:15-15:15 Paper presentations I
15:15-15:30 Breakout group discussions
15:30-15:45 Poster Introductions
15:45-16:15 Poster session/break
16:15-17:15 Paper presentations II
17:15-17:30 Breakout group discussions
17:30-18:00 Award presentations and closing

Registration Fees

Early Bird
(Through Aug 2)
(Aug 3 to Oct 4)
After Oct 4
ASIS&T Members$100$125$150
Student Members$60$85$110

All prices in U.S. Dollars.

The registration fee will cover Symposium costs and an afternoon break with snacks.

You can register for the Symposium while registering for the Annual Meeting. To register for the 2019 ASIS&T Annual Meeting and the SIG-USE Symposium, visit:

You may register for the SIG-USE Symposium even if your submission is not accepted, or if you did not submit anything.


SIG-USE, the ASIS&T Special Interest Group for Information Needs, Seeking and Use, wishes to promote holistic, contextual studies of human information-related behavior and practices, and to consider how research findings can be applied to the provision of information services and to the design of information systems. SIG-USE ( members are concerned with people’s behavioral and cognitive activities, as well as their affective states, as they interact with information all along the information–communication chain. These concerns include, but are not limited to:

  • the generation and recognition of information needs
  • the seeking (and non-seeking) of information
  • the exploration of information sources available in a given context or situation
  • the retrieval of information from available information sources
  • the uses that are made (and not) of information
  • the sharing of information with others
  • the management of personal information

2019 Symposium Chairs

Please don’t hesitate to contact the Symposium Chairs with any questions you may have. We hope to see you in Melbourne!

  • Tim Gorichanaz, Drexel University –
  • Waseem Afzal, Charles Sturt University –
  • Millicent Mabi, University of British Columbia –

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