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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


2016 ASIS&T SIGUSE Awards Winners

October 28, 2016

Best Information Behavior Conference Paper Award

  • Recipient: Devon Greyson
  • Affiliation: University of British Columbia
  • Title: Evolution of Information Practices over Time

Best Information Behavior Conference Poster Award

  • Recipients: Saguna Shankar, Heather O’Brien, Elissa How, Wendy Lu, Millicent Mabi, and Cecelia Rose
  • Affiliation: University of British Columbia
  • Title: The Role of Information in the Settlement Experiences of Refugee Students

Elfreda A. Chatman Research Proposal Award

  • Recipients: Heather O’Brien, Saguna Shankar, Elissa How, and Peter Wanyenya
  • Affiliation: University of British Columbia
  • Title: The Information Worlds of Student Refugees in Canada

Student Travel Awards

  • Recipient #1: Yiwei Wang
  • Affiliation: Rutgers University

  • Recipient #2: Manasa Rath
  • Affiliation: Rutgers University

  • Recipient #3: Saguna Shankar
  • Affiliation: University of British Columbia

Interdisciplinary Conference Travel Award

  • Recipient: Devon Greyson
  • Affiliation: University of British Columbia

Innovation Award

  • Recipient: Tim Gorichanaz
  • Affiliation: Drexel University
  • Title: A Gardener’s Experience of Document Work at a Historic Landscape Site

Outstanding Contributions to Information Behavior Research Award

  • Recipient: Karen Fisher
  • Affiliation: University of Washington

Dr. Karen Fisher is the 2016 recipient of the ASIS&T SIG USE Outstanding Contribution Award

October 1, 2016

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Karen Fisher is the 2016 recipient of the ASIS&T SIG USE Outstanding Contribution Award.

Dr. Fisher is a well-known contributor in the field of Information Behavior, as well as other interdisciplinary areas.  She is a strong advocate for humanitarian rights and causes, as shown through her work with young people in a range of contexts. Her forthcoming MIT Press chapter on the Information Worlds of refugees adds to the international ICT literature on fieldwork in conflict zones and how displaced people experience information and technology.  In addition to information seeking behavior among older adults, professionals, teens, and migrant farmers, she has long researched information and technological use of young people, and co-led the InfoMe project, exploring how young people serve as ICT wayfarers or intermediaries on behalf of others. Her current research focuses on the UNHCR Za’atari Refugee Camp in Jordan, where she employs multiple methods to enrich our understanding of displaced people in the EU as well as how people, particularly youth, use information and technology.

She has developed new theories focused on how professionals seek information, information flow in communities, and mis- and dis-information. Her Information Grounds framework illuminates how people experience information in informal social settings, and stands as one of the few place-based frameworks created in our field. In 2010, Dr. Fisher co-led the U.S. Impact Study on the benefits of public access technology in libraries. Her research in Information Behavior offers an example for aspiring researchers in the field.

As a past Chair, Dr. Fisher has long supported SIG USE. She co-edited the SIG USE / ASIS&T publication Theories of Information Behavior, which continues to be the organization’s top selling book, featuring in teaching and research internationally.  

Dr. Fisher is a professor at the University of Washington’s iSchool in Seattle, and a visiting professor at Newcastle University Open Lab in the United Kingdom and the Abo Academie University in Finland. She serves as a consultant for UNHCR Jordan.