PhD student Morgan Lundy won first place in the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE) /Jean Tague-Sutcliffe Doctoral Student Research Poster Competition for her poster, "'Have a flare with me!': A content analysis, grounded theory, and collaborative design approach to disability storytelling on TikTok." For the competition, posters were judged on practical/theoretical significance, design and method of research, the student’s oral presentation, and the organization, clarity, and aesthetics of visual materials.
Lundy's poster was based on her dissertation in progress, in which she seeks to understand the individual and collective storytelling and information creation practices employed by people with central sensitivity syndromes (CSSs) on TikTok. CSSs are a family of illnesses characterized by unexplained, invisible, and chronic pain and fatigue, such as fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Because these conditions are often stigmatized and difficult to understand and explain, they necessitate strong storytelling skills in diverse settings, Lundy said.
For her research, Lundy introduces a novel sampling approach—an algorithm training and hashtag searching (using medical and community language) process—to collect 75 hashtags, assessing each for relevance to collect the top-15 most relevant hashtags to pursue understanding of how, why, and with what abilities folks individually, collectively, and creatively tell stories about their disability experiences. In addition, she uses a "critical disabilities studies lens" to guide her dissertation research design and methods selection, for example choosing constructivist grounded theory methods to develop an understanding from the ground-up through collaboration with CSS TikTok community members and using participatory methods like codesign to develop storytelling toolkits by community members, for community members.
Lundy has found that people with CSSs use TikTok to tell stories about both the physical and social aspects of disability. She has also discovered that "algorithmically mediated online health communities" on TikTok do not develop around a single hashtag, limiting current research approaches.
Lundy's research centers on understanding and critically codesigning for social health information encounters, such as patient-to-patient information sharing in online communities and people's information creation behaviors through health storytelling on social media. She earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in English literature and MLIS from the University of South Carolina.