Seminars & Workshops


14th Annual SIG/USE Research Symposium: Context in Information Behavior Research (SIG/USE)

The importance of context in information behavior research is well established. As information behavior and its meanings and purposes often vary depending on contexts, many research studies on information behavior have taken contexts into consideration. Often, however, the contextual aspects serve as the backdrop of a study rather than the focus. Stronger emphasis on context will enhance our understanding of information behavior.

In this symposium, researchers and information professionals will explore the role and impact of context, aiming to advance scholarship and knowledge concerning this key component of information behavior research. The symposium will focus on numerous themes and questions which might include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • Conceptual and theoretical aspects: What does context really mean? What is the nature of context in the research frameworks of information behavior studies? How are relationships among individuals, groups and contexts surrounding the information behavior conceptualized? What philosophical and theoretical perspectives and frameworks can be used to study contexts?

  • Methodological aspects: What factors need to be considered when selecting methods and/or instruments for studies of various contexts? What are the methodological challenges and opportunities of studying information behavior in a particular context?

  • Context-related research: What is the typical information behavior in a particular context? How different is the information behavior in one context from the other? How does the context factor interact with other factors (e.g., user characteristics)? 

  • Meta-analysis of context-related research: What kinds of research have been done in relation to contexts? How do different aspects of context impact different LIS areas (e.g., information literacy, design of information systems/services, etc.) and in what ways?

The symposium will feature a keynote address by David Johnson of the College of Communications and Information Studies at the University of Kentucky, followed by two rounds of Lightning talks. The audience will then engage in group discussions using a relaxed World Café format. At the end of the session, program committee members will summarize the brainstormed ideas, welcome additional comments on the themes and conclude the symposium.

The symposium welcomes all faculty, graduate students and practitioners who are interested in exploring the role of context in information seeking, information needs and information use and who are interested in sharing the related research or professional experiences.


Early-bird:  SIG/USE Members $90, Members $100, Non-members $120
Regular:  SIG/USE Members $105, Members $115, Non-members $135