iSchool faculty, staff, and students presented their research at the Joint Conference on Digital Libraries (JCDL 2020), which was held virtually August 1-5. The event brought together international scholars focusing on digital libraries and associated technical, practical, organizational, and social issues.
The Illinois Open Publishing Network is excited to announce the upcoming release of two open access textbooks, Instruction in Libraries and Information Centers: An Introduction by Laura Saunders and iSchool Adjunct Lecturer Melissa A. Wong and A Person-Centered Guide to Demystifying Technology by iSchool Teaching Assistant Professor Martin Wolske. These textbooks represent the first in the Windsor & Downs Press series OPN Textbooks, which seeks to publish high-quality open access textbooks for higher education across the disciplines.
Assistant Professor Jodi Schneider has been named a 2020-2021 Linowes Fellow by the Cline Center for Advanced Social Research at the University of Illinois. The fellowship "provides exceptionally promising tenure-stream faculty with opportunities for innovation and discovery using the Cline Center'
Members of Associate Professor and PhD Program Director Jana Diesner's Social Computing Lab will present a tutorial, paper, and posters at the 6th Annual International Conference on Computational Social Science (IC2S2), which will be held virtually from July 17-20. The conference brings together academic researchers, industry experts, open data activists, and government agency workers to explore challenges, methods, and research questions in the field of computational social science.
Two projects led by iSchool faculty members have been selected as Humanities Research Institute (HRI) Research Clusters for 2020-2021. Formerly known as the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities, HRI fosters interdisciplinary study in the humanities, arts, and social sciences at the University of Illinois. HRI Research Clusters enable faculty and graduate students to “develop questions or subjects of inquiry that require or would be enhanced by collaborative work.” Projects selected as clusters receive grants of $2,500 to support their activities.
As its second year of new funding begins, there is new leadership at the Midwest Big Data Innovation Hub (MBDH), with a swap in principal investigators and the appointment of a new executive director. Catherine Blake, a co-principal investigator (PI) on the project, has moved into the PI role, while William (Bill) Gropp transitions to co-PI duties. Long-time Hub staff member John MacMullen was named executive director in January.
With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, many public health organizations have found themselves overwhelmed by the need to make fast, data-focused operation decisions, but often they do not have enough staff with the necessary data science skills. The University of Illinois, meanwhile, has a diverse student population with strong technical skills and professional expertise who would like to help combat the pandemic but do not know how to get involved.
Affiliate Professor Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe, professor and coordinator for information literacy services and instruction in the University Library, and Kyle Jones, assistant professor in the School of Informatics and Computing at the Indiana University-Indianapolis, have received the ALISE Best Conference Paper Award for "New Methods, New Needs: Preparing Academic Library Practitioners to Address Ethical Issues Associated with Learning Analytics."
The use of data science tools in research across campuses has exploded–from engineering and science to the humanities and social sciences. But there is no established data science discipline and no recognized way for various academic fields to develop and integrate accepted data science processes into research. Associate Professor Victoria Stodden has proposed a framework for guiding researchers and curriculum development in data science and for aiding policy and funding decisions. She outlines the approach in the journal Communications of the ACM.
Adjunct Lecturer Melissa Wong and Laura Saunders, associate professor of library and information science at Simmons University, have co-edited a new book, Reference and Information Services, 6th edition, which was recently published by ABC-CLIO. The first half of the book establishes a foundation of knowledge on reference service and frames each topic with ethical and social justice perspectives, while the second half introduces tools and resources used by reference professionals.
iSchool Associate Professor Masooda Bashir and Informatics PhD student Tanusree Sharma have published a paper, "Use of Apps in the COVID-19 Response and the Loss of Privacy Protection," in Nature Medicine. In the paper, they examine how digital surveillance used to contain the spread of COVID-19 may impact privacy rights.
iSchool PhD student Natã Barbosa and his advisor Associate Professor Yang Wang have received a $65,053 grant from Facebook for their project, "In-Situ Privacy Controls of Profiling and Ad-Targeting." The goal of the project is to design a privacy control framework that makes profiling and ad-targeting more transparent to ordinary Internet users.
Theresa Dirndorfer Anderson has been selected by the iSchool faculty as a research fellow for the 2019-2021 academic years. Research fellows are chosen because their work is relevant to the interests of the School's faculty and students. During the period of their appointments, fellows give at least one public lecture.
Associate Professor and PhD Program Director Jana Diesner is a new associate editor on the editorial board of Science Advances, the open access multidisciplinary journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The journal supports the AAAS mission by extending the capacity of Science magazine to identify and promote significant advances in science and engineering across a wide range of areas. Science Advances editors not only have stellar reputations in their disciplines but also have acknowledged breadth in recognizing and promoting interdisciplinary collaborations. Diesner brings to this role her expertise in computational social science, human-centered data science, network analysis, natural language processing, machine learning, and responsible computing.
Associate Professor and MS/LIS Program Director Maria Bonn and three iSchool alumni have received the 2020 Library Publishing Coalition (LPC) Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Library Publishing, which recognizes significant and timely contributions to library publishing theory and practice. Bonn’s coauthors include Katrina Fenlon (MS '09, PhD '17), assistant professor in the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park; Megan Senseney (MS '08), head of the Office of Digital Innovation and Stewardship at the University of Arizona Libraries; and Janet Swatscheno (MS '14), instructor and digital publishing librarian, University Library, at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
With schools resorting to virtual instruction during the pandemic, educators and families rely on online resources such as the National Park Service's Island of the Blue Dolphins website, which was developed by Sara L. Schwebel, iSchool professor and director of The Center for Children's Books, in partnership with the NPS. In this Q&A, Schwebel discusses how her research on the Island of the Blue Dolphins book led to her work with the NPS and future plans for the Books to Parks initiative.
Dawei Zhou and Yao Zhou, PhD students in computer science, will present the work of iSchool Associate Professor Jingrui He's research group, the iSAIL Lab, at The Web Conference 2020. The conference, which will be held virtually from April 20-24, will address the evolution and current state of the Web through the lens of computer science, computational social science, economics, public policy, and Web-based applications.
Professor Ted Underwood has received a $73,122 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to investigate the consequences of error in digital libraries. While digital libraries represent an immense storehouse of knowledge, the texts are full of errors because of the imperfect process by which they are transcribed optically.