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Doctoral Dissertation Award

 

The iSchools Doctoral Dissertation Award recognizes outstanding work in the information field. Nominations are solicited from all members of the iSchools organization, now more than 80 schools worldwide, and judged by a selection committee drawn from leading international schools.

2017 Winner


Rachel Ivy Clarke, Ph.D.
University of Washington Information School
“It’s Not Rocket Library Science: Design Epistemology and American Librarianship”
Advisor: Allyson Carlyle

Biography: Formerly the cataloging librarian at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, Rachel Ivy Clarke is currently an assistant professor at Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies. She holds a BA in creative writing from California State University Long Beach, an MLIS from San Jose State University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Washington Information School.

Research Abstract: “Although creating information tools and services is an integral aspect of the field, American librarianship is typically considered a social science. This overlooks the idea of librarianship as a design-based field, leaving it to flounder alongside other successful information tools and technologies. Through humanistic critical analysis of seminal artifacts in American library history, such as Poole’s Index to Periodical Literature, America’s first bookmobile service, and the eXtensible Catalog project, I demonstrate that design is an appropriate epistemological framework for librarianship, offering opportunities for innovation, empowerment, and stronger explicit alignment with the values of the field.”

Remarks from the Award Committee: “This dissertation explores the role of design in American librarianship based on argument that design provides an appropriate epistemological framework for librarianship rather than traditional scientific epistemologies. It distills design principles and applies them to the critical analysis of three cases representing significant artifacts in library history. Examining the field of librarianship from the perspective of design epistemology reveals new insights and interpretations of library work. The reviewers agreed that the topic of this dissertation is novel and original and the findings provide significant implications for future library and information science education and library practice.

“The award committee agreed that this dissertation presents innovative and provocative research, exemplifying the integration of principles and approaches that were previously practiced in disciplinary silos. This dissertation research has the potential to have a profound impact in the iSchools community.”

Click here for more about this dissertation.

2017 Runner Up


Jasy Liew Suet Yan
Syracuse University School of Information Studies
“Fine-Grained Emotion Detection in Microblog Text”
Advisors: Howard R. Turtle; Elizabeth D. Liddy

Biography: Jasy Liew Suet Yan is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Computer Sciences, University of Science Malaysia. She graduated with a Ph.D. from the School of Information Studies, Syracuse University in 2016. Her research focuses on using natural language processing (NLP) techniques to detect expressions of emotion in text. Jasy’s dissertation research was also recognized with the Syracuse University iSchool 2016 Doctoral Prize. Her broader research interests include sentiment analysis, computational linguistics and affective computing. She aspires to become a scholar who can help people better interact with computers through the creation of more emotion-sensitive systems.

Research Abstract: “A richer set of emotions is expressed in microblogs than current automatic emotion detectors can identify. If more fine-grained emotion categories can be identified, we can build automatic emotion detectors that better represent the range of emotions expressed on microblogs. We develop a set of 28 emotion categories inductively from Twitter data. We show that it is feasible to extend machine classification on tweets to use these emotion categories. This thesis makes important contributions to the development of a taxonomy of emotion in text, and the creation of language resources and machine learning models for fine-grained emotion detection in text.”

Remarks from the Award Committee: “This dissertation develops emotional categories inductively from Twitter data, and creates a taxonomy of 28 emotion categories for the range of emotions expressed in tweets. The dissertation also extracted linguistic cues that can serve as indicators, and then evaluated the performance of machine learning classification using several classifier and feature combinations. The results show that extend machine learning classification on tweets is feasible and makes a significant contribution toward machine learning models for fine-grained emotion detection in text.

“The award committee agreed that this dissertation makes important technological contributions toward machine identification of emotion in text, and contributes positively to research in the iSchool community.”

Click here for more about this dissertation.

More about the iSchools Doctoral Dissertation Award

The iSchools Doctoral Dissertation Award recognizes outstanding work in the information field. Nominations are solicited from all members of the iSchools organization, now more than 80 schools worldwide, and judged by a selection committee drawn from leading international schools.

The winner receives a prize of $2,500 U.S., the runner up $1,000. Both honorees also receive a travel allowance so they can collect their award in person at the iConference. Past iSchools Doctoral Dissertation honorees can be viewed here.

Information about last year’s application process follows:

Click here for a pdf of our Award CFP.

Eligibility
Each member iSchool can nominate only one applicant for the award. The applicant should have successfully defended their dissertation and completed their doctoral degree (including all final revisions, if any, and all final paper work) within the 2015-16 academic year (July 1 2015 to June 30, 2016). The dissertation research can be on any topic in the information field, broadly defined, and use any methodology.

Timeline

  • Nomination deadline: October 31, 2016
  • Decisions announced: mid-January, 2017

Submission Materials for each Nomination
Submissions must be made by the school’s dissertation chair or Doctoral Program Director or equivalent. Individuals cannot self-nominate.

The following three items should be submitted. Item #1 (summary paper) and Item #2 (letter) must be submitted in English. Item #3 (complete dissertation) may be submitted in its original language, with the understanding that an English translation may be requested later, as explained under Review Process below.

  1. A summary paper of the dissertation research. The summary paper should be up to 10 double-spaced pages with 12 point Times New Roman font and at least one-inch margins (excluding the title page and the references), and should consist of three sections: Title Page, Body, and References. The Title Page should contain the title of the dissertation, author name, email, phone number, address, current institution, advisor name and contact information, degree granting institution, and dissertation completion date. The Body of the summary paper should provide a comprehensive summary of the dissertation, introducing, for instance, the topic, the research context and questions, the theoretical or contextual framework, the methodology and methods, and the findings. The summary paper should be written for blind review; hence, all identifying information should be removed from the body of the paper and, as necessary, the references. The first page of the Body should include title, an abstract for up to 200 words, and a list of keywords. Tables and figures can be embedded in the text or attached at the end; they count toward the 10-page limit. The References section should include a list of references formatted in any appropriate style.
  2. A letter from the dissertation chair or the Doctoral Program Director of the degree-granting institution. The letter attests that, (a) the summary paper is authored by the applicant only and is based on the applicant’s dissertation; (b) the applicant is eligible for the award (see Eligibility); and (c) the dissertation is regarded by the dissertation committee and the degree granting institution as being representative of the best level of their doctoral work.
  3. A PDF version of the complete dissertation.

The above three documents should be combined into a single zipped file and submitted to our secure submission website in time for the October 31 deadline.

Review Process
Awards submissions go through a rigorous two-phase review procedure. In the first phase, which is anonymous, each dissertation summary is reviewed and discussed by a team of three reviewers and one of the dissertation award co-chairs. Five dissertations are then chosen for closer scrutiny. In the second phase, a smaller committee reads and discusses the five shortlisted dissertations in great detail in order to make the final decision.

Judging criteria for the Award can be viewed here.

The author of the winning dissertation receives a cash prize of $2,500 US from the iSchools organization; the runner up receives a cash prize of $1,000 US. Both honorees will also receive a travel allowance to help offset the cost of attending the iConference.

Past iSchools Doctoral Dissertation honorees can be viewed here.

Dissertation Award Chairs

Questions

Questions about the Doctoral Dissertation Award should be addressed to the chairs listed above.

For general questions about the iConference, please contact iConference Coordinator Clark Heideger.

 

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Questions

  • Program questions can be directed to Program Co-Chair Wonsik Jeff Shim.
  • Questions pertaining to logistics in Wuhan can be directed to Dr. Fei Wang.
  • For general questions about the iConference, including sponsorships, please contact iSchools Communications Director Clark Heideger.

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