Association for Information Science and Technology

Annual Meeting
November 12-17, 2004
Providence, Rhode Island

“Managing and Enhancing Information:
Cultures and Conflicts”

ASIS&T 2004 Annual Meeting Logo Rhode Island State House

Social Informatics Workshop for Library and Information Science Research
Half Day Workshop, Sunday, November 14, 2004, 8:30am-12:00noon (
separate fee)
Click here to register!

Social Informatics (SI) is a label for the study of the design, uses and consequences of information and communications technologies (ICT) that specifically takes into account ICT interaction with institutional and cultural contexts. This body of research has developed concepts and findings that are pertinent to understanding the design, development, and operation of usable information systems -- including digital libraries, web sites, intranets, courseware environments, knowledge management systems, electronic forums, digital reference environments, and electronic scholarly communications environments ­ which have been of interest to researchers in library and information science (LIS).

Drawing on social constructivist and socio-technical theorizing, SI research challenges the typical presentation of information and communications technologies (ICT) as “neutral tools;” instead, it investigates how actors embed interests, biases, and beliefs into ICT and it explores the effects of these embedded biases on use or effects of ICT. Social informatics research is known for its critical analysis of the design, development and use of information technologies within societies, organizations and groups. SI research challenges assumptions about the positive or negative effects of ICT, and views both the ICT and their social contexts as constantly shaping and reshaping one-another.

Carrying on the work of the late Dr. Rob Kling­ a leading proponent of social informatics within LIS - this half-day workshop is intended to encourage development of new social informatics research streams within LIS. The goals of this workshop are

  1. To introduce concepts and findings of social informatics
  2. Link these to pertinent and contemporary research in LIS
  3. Provide a forum for interested SI researchers (and those who are curious about the insights and approaches to conducting research from an SI perspective) to engage in the type of lively debate that was both a hallmark of Rob and a key vehicle for advancing the science of SI.
  4. Provide a forum for networking and knowledge sharing.

The workshop is organized as interactive and focused on small-group work.  Participant’s research interests will drive the sessions, and an experienced SI scholar will facilitate each group.  Through a combination of small group work and interactive discussion sessions the workshop will explore the utility of SI concepts to contemporary LIS research topics.

Scholars, both beginning and established, who would like to learn more about how to conduct SI research, who want to better understand what to expect from SI work, or who want to network with other SI researchers are encouraged to attend.  All participants will be engaged in the group work and larger discussion sessions this is a hands-on and heads-in workshop.


K.R. Escenfelder
N. Hara
R. Lamb
H. Rosenbaum
S. Sawyer

Members $50, non-members $65, before Oct. 1
Members $60, non-members $75, after Oct. 1
Click here to register!

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