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Sessions for Interaction and Engagement


UPDATES: Below you will find a complete list of our 2018 Sessions for Interaction and Engagement (SIEs). SIEs are an immensely popular element of the iConference, and an ideal complement to the peer-reviewed research papers offered on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Similar to our Sunday Workshops, but typically spanning a shorter period of time, iConference Sessions for Interaction and Engagement involve participants as more than a passive audience, generating meaningful experiences and thoughtful reflection.


List of 2018 Sessions for Interaction and Engagement

The following sessions are open to all registered conference participants, with no special advance sign-up required. More detail can be found in our online program schedule.

SIE #1: Mini Maker Fest @ iConference 2018
Presenters: Xiaofeng Li, Sarah Barriage, Ross J. Todd, Leanne Bowler
Times: Monday, March 26, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm and Wednesday, March 28, 9:00 – 10:30 am

This two-part SIE provides an opportunity for conference attendees to engage in playful and creative makerspace activities and stimulating critical discussions about the current status and future directions of research in information science related to the maker movement. Participants will also be encouraged to use a mobile photography app to submit their creations to the mini Maker Fest Competition. Learn more

SIE #2: Supporting Group Work in LIS Education
Presenter: Pamela Ann McKinney
Time: Monday, March 26, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm

The purpose of this session is to provide participants with an opportunity to discuss the challenges and benefits experienced by students when they work collaboratively in groups in LIS education. There is increasing interest in visual methods in LIS research, and participants will actively engage with creation of visual data in the form of drawings and will develop their knowledge of the “draw and write” methodology. Learn more

SIE #3: Dériving Data: Wandering as a Research Method for Information Behaviour
Presenters: Melanie Benson, Andrew Martin Cox, Christopher Foster, Jorge Tiago Martins, Elisa Serafinelli, Xin Zhao
Time: Monday, March 26, 1:30pm – 3:00pm

The dérive or drift is a technique of urban encounter developed in Pscyhogeography. It is a playful wander through the city that seeks to uncover the interesting and strange in the everyday environment around us. It is also an opportunity for delegates to encounter Sheffield as a city in an interesting way. Learn more

SIE #4: ALPR DataDive: The Visualization and Analysis of Automated License Plate Recognition (ALPR) Databases – from Data Science to Data Ethics
Times: Monday, March 26, 1:30 – 3:30 pm and Wednesday, March 28, 11:00 am -12:30 pm
Presenters: Bryce Clayton Newell, Mike Katell, Jeff Hemsley

The growing ability of law enforcement to easily and affordably draw information-rich insights from the surveillance data they collect implicates important social, political, and ethical concerns. The purpose of this 2-part SIE is to provide scholars access to ALPR data and to provide an interactive and collaborative opportunity. Participants can go to http://bcnewell.com/alpr-data-dive/ to request access to the ALPR data prior to iConference 2018. Lean more

SIE #5: Data StorySLAM
Presenters: Michael B. Twidale, Kate McDowell
Time: Monday, March 26, 3:30pm – 5:00pm

In this SIE we will explore the potential of data storytelling by inviting the sharing of stories about data. We will also explore approaches to and challenges of teaching data storytelling, including teaching students who may not be at all familiar with this approach. Lean more

SIE #6: Collective Development of Open Educational Resources in Scholarly Communication
Presenters: Maria Bonn, Josh Bolick, Will Cross
Time: Monday, March 26, 3:30pm – 5:00pm

Understanding the issues at stake in scholarly communication is a core competency that new librarians need to acquire and that new scholars and researchers need to understand in relationship to their work. In this hands-on session, we ask individuals or small teams to design an open learning object like a video, lesson plan, game, or hack, that supports and maximizes the potential of our systems of scholarly communication. Lean more

SIE #7: Computational Thinking at the iSchools: Why Bother?
Presenters: Mega Subramaniam, Hai Hong, Marijke Visser, Melissa Johnston, Colette Drouillard, Stephanie Long-Murphy
Time: Tuesday, March 27, 11:00am – 12:30pm

This Session for Interaction and Engagement will stimulate discussion on research opportunities in CT that leverage the unique strengths and interests of iSchools and roles that iSchools must play in preparing information professionals who have CT skills; resulting in concrete takeaways related to CT in iSchools such as ideas for future research, redesigned courses and curricula, and other larger initiatives. Learn more

SIE #8: Contemplating Information in the Pleasurable and the Profound
Presenters: Kiersten F. Latham, Jenna Hartel, Tim Gorichanaz, Anh Thu Nguyen
Time: Tuesday, March 27, 11:00am – 12:30pm

Mindfulness, meditation, atmospherics, well-being, flourishing, happiness, positivity, spirituality-all part of contemplative studies, an academic understanding of how contemplative practices are used to interpret the world. What can information science learn from, and contribute to, contemplative studies? Learn more

SIE #9: When iSchool meets D-School
Presenter: ginger “all-lower-case” coons
Time: Tuesday, March 27, 3:30pm – 5:00pm

A comparatively new trend is the iSchool as graduate-level design school, offering courses and concentrations in fields like User Experience Design. In this session, the floor will be open for participants to discuss the experiences, ramifications, and tactics of negotiating design education in an iSchool setting. Learn more

SIE #10: Curators of the Infosphere?: What’s the Good of PI for LIS (and Vice Versa)?
Presenters: David Bawden, Lyn Robinson
Time: Tuesday, March 27, 3:30pm – 5:00pm

This is an interactive panel session, in which the panel members, and Luciano Floridi as discussant, engage with the audience to debate the value and potential of Floridi’s Philosophy of Information as a foundation for library/information science. Learn more

SIE #11: How Ethical will you be with my Deepest Story?
Presenters: Theresa Dirndorfer Anderson, Ina Fourie, Anika Meyer, Liezl Ball
Time: Wednesday, March 28, 9:00am – 10:30am

Transformation of digital worlds that secure social inclusion for all requires a deep understanding of information needs and lived experiences. The session will develop awareness of ethical concerns, offer an opportunity for shared sense-making and co-design of guidelines to help researchers build the confidence to engage in and report on this deeply personal form of research inquiry. Learn more

SIE #12: Standardizing Knowledge
Presenters: Heather Marie MacNeil, Jennifer Douglas, Fiorella Foscarini, Bonnie Mak, Gillian Oliver
Time: Wednesday, March 28, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Standards and standardized languages are frequently invoked as a reliable way to ensure consistency and interoperability in the management of information objects, from archives, libraries, and museums to the digital environment and beyond. This panel seeks to explore how the infrastructure of standards can transmit values and biases, and how those perspectives are embodied in the description, management, interpretation, and use of resources. Learn more

SIE #13: iSchools as an Inspirative Movement: Information Science Harmonization Issues
Presenters: Tatjana Aparac-Jelusic, Alen Doracic, Jan Pisanski, Juan Jose Bote Vericad, Maria Simi
Time: Wednesday, March 28, 11:00am – 12:30pm

This panel will provide an interactive platform for faculty members interested in designing Information Science (IS) educational programs and motivating students with different background other than in IS to become information professionals. It will introduce the goals and aims of the EINFOSE project (European Information Science Education: Encouraging Mobility and Learning Outcomes Harmonization) and debate the issues of harmonization of entry requirements and learning outcomes at graduate level programs in IS. Learn more

2018 SIE Call

Sessions for Interaction and Engagement (SIEs) are activities that involve participants as more than a passive audience, such as by:

  • introducing engaging topics that invite commentary from the participants, or
  • being directly engaging, through search contests, design sessions, hackathons, creativity spaces, or sessions that invite the participants to vote on, for example, ethical issues or policy ramifications, and then to talk more about the issues raised, or
  • providing a space for learning, reflection, and relationship-building through interactive installations or exhibitions
  • .

SIEs are some of the most well-attended and vibrant parts of the program. Installations also fall under the SIE umbrella. Given the given the number of intellectual communities involved, conference attendees will value sessions that provide engaging ways to explore and illuminate research issues and opportunities from across these many and often overlapping scholarly communities.

SIEs typically span one 90-minute session. However, proposals that span two or even three sessions will be considered if the format so warrants. For example, imagine two sessions held a few days apart so participants can be introduced to a situation or goal (e.g. analysis of a large data set, or interpretations of a video clip) and later meet to share their results and compare approaches.

We encourage creative activities that involve the attendees and generate both experiences and thoughtful reflection. Sessions that draw from alternative and emerging research paradigms are also welcomed, such as arts-informed and participatory approaches or contemplative education. We further encourage proposers to consider what outputs such as videos, artifacts and writings might come from an SIE experience to further emphasize engagement. Although traditional panel presentations are acceptable, SIEs are primarily about going beyond the traditional “sage on the stage” format. So think broadly! Research through design, online education, games with a purpose, privacy-confidentiality-security, information visualization, large-scale data, bio-health-medical-informatics, and many more topics are possible.


Submission: September 18, 2017
Notification: mid-Novemenber, 2017

Submission Guidelines

We are looking for creative, interesting, interactive activities that move people’s thinking, reflection, and creation of new ideas/things forward. The proposal should used the format listed below under “Format and Required information.” It should list the organizers and the key participants, the purpose, the activities planned, and any follow-on activities as appropriate.

The proposal will be reviewed by the SIE Co-Chairs and a committee of their choosing, in conjunction with the program chairs. Attention will be given to the quality and organization of content, justification of the format, evidence of interactivity and participation, and opportunities for learning and reflection that matter. We will provide feedback to those we accept and are happy to work with accepted SIE’s organizers to ensure a successful event. Accepted proposals will be archived to the conference website after the event; they will not be included in the official proceedings.

For more information and inspiration, we encourage you to review the official proceedings of past iConferences in the IDEALS and ACM repositories. In particular, we call your attentino to recent sucessful SIE proposals:

Format and Required Information

SIE propoals will be submitted in writing using our ConfTool submission system. All submissions must be in English and submitted as a pdf. The following format should be used.

Title: Event title

Organizer(s): Names and affiliations of all organizers

Key Participants: Names and affiliations of those who will be the main contributors, if appropriate. (Please note that all organizers, presenters, and speakers are expected to register and pay to attend the iConference.)

Abstract: A 150-word abstract to be published in the program schedule.

Description: A description of the event of up to 1,000 words, addressing each of the following:

  • Purpose and Intended Audience: Please state the audience to which your event is designed to appeal and the goals and/or expected outcomes for your event.
  • Proposed activities including agenda, ramp-up (development), and follow-through: Describe how your event will be organized. The format is up to you: we welcome creative ideas for lively events of all kinds. To advance beyond “sage on the stage,” explain the strategies you will use to engage session attendees. Also, please comment if you plan to prepare a report, proceedings, wiki, or website to disseminate the results of your event as follow-up.
  • Relevance to the Conference/Significance to the Field: Briefly state the focus of your proposal topic and note the importance, relevance, value, and/or interest to the broad iSchool community. Provide a brief explanation of how this event will appeal to the audience both with respect to content and format.

Duration: Indicate the number of 90-minute sessions your event will require.

Special Requirements: The iConference typically does not provide funding for SIEs. If your proposed event has technical or logistical requirements with budget rammifications, you must articulate them clearly for considertation by the chairs.

If you have questions or ideas that need help being fleshed out, please feel free to contact the SIE Chairs listed below.

Sessions for Interaction and Engagement Chairs


Questions about Sessions for Interaction and Engagement should be directed to the SIE Chairs listed above.

For general questions about iConference 2015, please contact iConference Coordinator Clark Heideger.



The Information School at Sheffield and The iSchool at Northumbria University



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Learn how you can become an iConference sponsor.

Papers Publisher

Accepted papers will be published in Springer’s Lecture Notes in Computer Science


  • For general questions about the iConference, including sponsorships, please contact iSchools Communications Director Clark Heideger.

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