Theme: Information Behavior on the Move: Information Needs, Seeking, and Use in the Era of Mobile Technologies

Date: November 2, 2013 (Saturday)

Time: 1:30 to 6:30 pm

Location: Centre Sheraton, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Caroline Haythornthwaite, Director and Professor of the School of Library, Archival & Information Studies, University of British Columbia


We live in a time when mobile technologies are becoming more ubiquitous within people’s everyday lives, facilitating new forms of information seeking, sharing, creation, and re-use of information and data. Personal computer ownership has been far surpassed by mobile phone ownership and nearly equaled by smartphone ownership. In many developing countries, mobile computing has leapfrogged over personal computing in order to provide online access where none existed. Such prevalent use of cellphone and mobile technologies to access information has a significant impact on the study of information needs, seeking and use. These dramatic changes in technology preferences and use can be seen as altering the very ecology for the study of information behavior, and indeed, blur the contexts of systems and users. It can be argued that even those interactions that do not involve mobile technologies are influenced by the increasing mobility of information use.

The 13th Annual SIG-USE Research Symposium at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Society for Information Science & Technology (ASIS&T) will explore the ways in which information “on the move” is transforming or changing the nature of people’s information behaviors and the ways in which people’s information behaviors are, in turn, shaping technologies, services, work and leisure. We will also consider the impact of this transformation on the general assumptions and premises informing the research domain of information behavior. In this Symposium, we will explore the above themes through a keynote speech, short presentations, and small and large-group discussions.


1:30-1:45 Welcome and introduction

1:45-2:30 Keynote presentation

2:30-2:45 Break

2:45-3:20 Small group discussions

3:20-4:10 First round of Ignite talks

4:10-4:20 Break

4:20-5:10 Second round of Ignite talks

5:10-5:45 Small group discussions

5:45-6:15 Chatman Award research presentations by 2013 winner(s) (5 minutes), and 2012 winners, Joung Hwa “Joy” Koo, Yong Wan Cho, and Melissa Gross of Florida State University (20 minutes). Joy and her colleagues will present their research regarding the information seeking practices of North Korean refugees in South Korea, with a focus on the relationship between the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms of this population and their information needs and information-seeking behaviors. Their award-winning research project is entitled “Is Ignorance Really Bliss?: Understanding the Role of Information-Seeking in Coping with Severe Traumatic Stress among Refugees.” This portion of the Symposium will conclude with a presentation of this year’s SIG USE awards (5 minutes).

6:15-6:30 Wrap-up: Large group discussion and evaluations


For the short presentations, we invite researchers, graduate students, and practitioners to submit a ONE page proposal (no more than 500 words) in which they outline the topic and themes they would like to address during their Ignite talk. Each presenter will have 5 minutes to deliver his/her Ignite talk - 15 seconds to address each of the 20 slides they will have prepared for their talk, and will have an additional 3 minutes to take any questions that SIG-USE attendees may have. For an example of an Ignite talk, see:

Proposed themes for submissions include:
* Theoretical perspectives/frameworks that constitute the social, cultural and technological underpinnings of information behavior “on the move”;

* The extent to which new information and communication technologies (e.g., social media, mobile technologies) are revolutionary vs. evolutionary within various information behavior contexts;

* How environments in which information is literally “on the move” are providing a technological platform that facilitates the kinds of informal, social information sharing practices desired by users;

* How a better understanding of people’s changing information behaviors might be used to inform the future development of information and communication technologies, services, practices, management and education;

* What innovative strategies of inquiry and methods of data collection might be used to systematically investigate and fully capture and map “information behavior on the move”?;

* Any other themes that relate to the Symposium topic of “information behavior on the move”

Submission guidelines for Ignite talk proposals:

- Include your name, title, and institutional affiliation at the top of your proposal

- Proposal text must not exceed 1 page (max. 500 words)

- Submit proposal in pdf format

- Name your file according to the following convention: ‘2013_SIGUSESymposium_Lastname.pdf’

- E-mail your proposal to Beth St. Jean ([log in to unmask]) by midnight EST on September 13, 2013. Please use “SIGUSE Ignite Talk Proposal” as the subject line of your e-mail.

- When you e-mail your submission, please be sure to indicate in the text of your e-mail whether or not we may post your proposal to the public SIG-USE website both before and after the Symposium is conducted.


September 13, 2013: Ignite talk proposals are due

October 4, 2013: Notification of acceptance of Ignite talk proposals

October 25, 2013: E-mail your slides for your Ignite talk for uploading

REGISTRATION FEES (Early bird/Regular):

* SIG-USE Members: $110/$125

* ASIS&T (but not SIG-USE) Members: $120/$135

* Non-Members: $135/$150

The registration fee will cover workshop costs, wireless Internet access, and coffee breaks.

Please forward any questions that you have to Mega Subramaniam ([log in to unmask]) or Beth St. Jean ([log in to unmask]).


Mega Subramaniam (Co-Chair), University of Maryland;

Beth St. Jean (Co-Chair), University of Maryland;

Isto Huvila, Åbo Akademi University, Finland;

Eric Meyers, University of British Columbia, Canada;

Pei Lei, Nanjing University, China;

Michael Olsson, University of Technology Sydney;

Maria Souden, University College Dublin, Ireland;

Xiaojun (Jenny) Yuan, University at Albany, State University of New York.

To register for the 2013 ASIS&T Annual Meeting: (early bird registration deadline: September 20, 2013)

For more information about SIG-USE:

Hope to see you there!

Mega Subramaniam & Beth St. Jean
2013 ASIS&T SIG-USE Symposium Co-chairs

Mega M Subramaniam, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Associate Director of Information Policy and Access Center (iPAC)
College of Information Studies
University of Maryland
(301) 405 3406
[log in to unmask]
Co-Editor, School Library Research
Twitter: @mmsubram