What in the World are We Talking About:  The Differences That Definitions Make in Core Concepts  (SIGs SI & USE)
Wednesday, October 27, 2010, Full Day 8:30am - 3:45pm, Lunch included (workshop fee)

All those interested in information needs, seeking and use -- as researchers, practitioners, and/or designers -- are invited to a one-day dialogue whose focus is "What in the world are we talking about.... the differences that definitions make in core concepts." Participants will be divided into concept working groups to discuss differences in labels and definitions for commonly used core concepts with the goal of growing in understanding what accounts for these differences. The intent will be to inform and illuminate rather than homogenize.

The workshop will open with 7 keynoters each answering briefly the question: "Why we need to ask 'what in the world are we talking about?' " 

Those wishing to participate actively are invited to submit brief concept proposal papers for concepts they would like to see discussed. These brief 1200 word maximum proposals are "think pieces" in which each proposer is asked to explore their chosen concept, the definitions and labels they use, the definitions and labels they see others use, and how they understand the differences. Submissions accepted September 1-25. Full instructions, details, and contact information on the workshop are available at: 

In addition, you can see proposals as they are accepted posted at the workshop wiki


Charles Cole, McGill University
Brenda Dervin, Ohio State University
Michael Olsson, University of Technology, Sydney
Soo Young Rieh, University of Michigan
Howard Rosenbaum, Indiana University
Steve Sawyer, Syracuse University
Christine Urquhart, Abersytwyth University, UK


Members $100, non-members $105, before Sept. 10, 2010
Members $105, non-members $110, after Sept. 10, 2010

If you are a member of SIG SI or SIG USE, you will receive a $5 discount.

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