The 13th Annual Social Informatics (SIG-SI) Research Symposium: The Social Informatics of Knowledge

We are soliciting papers on the Social Informatics of Knowledge for a pre-conference ASIST workshop.  Specifically, we are looking for extended abstracts and papers that advance the concepts, methods and theories that support the social informatics perspective.  Social informatics is the study of the connections among people and the technologies they use is a lens to understand a wide variety of topics linked by a recognition of the “integration of information and communication technologies into organizations…[which has] now spread from organizations…[into] people’s social lives” (Fichman & Rosenbaum, 2014, p. x). We are particularly keen to see submissions that look at questions about how knowledge – broadly conceived – can be better understood when we look at the social contexts in which knowledge is created, generated, organized, shared, and used.

Kling (2000) pointed out that in socio-technical models of ICT in society, “…knowledge and expertise are inherently tacit/implicit…” (p. 220) as opposed to explicit: all too often, the processes of knowledge generation and discovery are hidden behind (or within a black box of) technology. There is obviously considerable research on knowledge in a variety of outlets (see Hislop, 2013 for a comprehensive review). This said, many of these focus on specific practices of knowledge management and are often constrained to the realms of formal organizations (Grant, 2011) instead of the broader socio-technical questions of how knowledge practices are embedded within and enabled by technical systems. Ackerman, Dachtera, Pipek, and Wulf (2013) in their survey of computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW) highlight the development of our understanding of knowledge and information in organizations.  By way of comparison, Hara and Fichman (2014) argue that we can use social informatics and the concept of boundaries to better understand knowledge sharing in the social media space, while Auernhammer and Hall (2014) focus on how leadership and social conditions within organizations are reflected in knowledge creation processes.

We seek submissions that extend our understanding of how we can better explain knowledge practices by looking at the connections between people and technologies, which we have elsewhere called ‘examining the hyphen’ in the socio-technical sphere (Meyer, 2014) that represents the connections of the social to the technical. Interested participants are also encouraged to look at Kling’s foundational paper on the nature of the entanglement between the social and the technical in which he wrote that social informatics is “the interdisciplinary study of the design, uses and consequences of information technologies that takes into account their interaction with institutional and cultural contexts” (Kling, 2007, p. 205). We expect an engaging discussion, with expert feedback on papers and lively interactions with the audience.

The topics of this workshop and associated special issue include, but are not limited to, social informatics empirical research and/or theory development in the areas of:

  • Knowledge:
    • Creation
    • Dissemination
    • Screening / filtering
    • Validation / authentication
    • Consumption
    • Impact
  • Knowledge generation and sharing platforms
    • Online knowledge spaces
    • Changing knowledge standards in news and politics
  • Novel approaches to knowledge generation, including:
    • Big data approaches
    • Machine learning
    • Computational models
    • Topic discovery
    • Scientific workflows
  • Knowledge discovery techniques, including:
    • Corpora-based information extraction
    • Data mining
    • Data visualization and other exploratory efforts
    • Trace data collection
    • Multiple methods
  • Collaborative scientific practices, including:
    • The roles of groups/teams/collectives in knowledge generation
    • Group memory and knowledge sharing
    • Distributed scientific collaboration
    • Knowledge and innovation



The ASIST pre-conference workshop will serve as an optional paper development workshop for a special issue of JASIST on Social Informatics (final submission due January 15 2018).  Workshop participants will be given the opportunity to present their papers-in-development for feedback and discussion, and will also have the opportunity to discuss how social informatics can be embedded in their work. Special issue co-editors Eric T. Meyer, Kalpana Shankar, and Steve Sawyer will be on hand and give feedback to individual paper presenters. A half-hour mini-workshop will end the symposium, with information both on the special issue procedures and goals and more general information on successful publishing in JASIS&T and elsewhere.

Authors who wish to take full advantage of the opportunity for mentoring and feedback on their papers are encouraged to submit optional full or draft papers by 15 October.

NOTE: Authors who are unable to attend the workshop will not be disadvantaged – all papers will go through a full peer review process to decide which papers to include in the special issue. The workshop is designed to help those who want some guidance that might not be as readily available locally to have access to the expertise they need to develop their papers or just want some extra feedback before submitting.

For more information on the planned special issue, see LINK.

Call for papers and posters:

Please submit an extended abstract of up to 750 words by August 15, 2017 with author names, affiliations, and contact information with ‘SIG-SI Workshop’ in the subject line to and Accepted extended abstracts will be shared with other workshop participants.

Papers that explicitly advance social informatics concepts, theories, or methods will be given priority in the review process.

Acceptance announcements will be made by September 1, 2017 in time for conference early registration (ends Sept 15).

Late submissions up to Sept 30 will be considered on a rolling basis, and will only be accepted if there is still space in the program.

We aim to have an interactive workshop to enable the fullest exchange of ideas amongst attendees. For this reason, we encourage participants from both SIG-SI members and non-members, and enthusiastically support attendance and participation even if you don’t have a paper to present.

 Tentative Schedule

The workshop is scheduled for Saturday 28 October 2017 from 8:30 – 12:30 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City, VA.

Opening keynote: 8:30-9:00

Paper presentations & feedback: 9:00-10:30

Paper awards, followed by coffee break: 10:30-11:00

Paper presentations & feedback: 11:00-11:30

Closing keynote: 11:30-12:00

JASIS&T special issue mini-workshop: 12:00-12:30


Members: $115
Non-members $125

Symposium Organizers:

Kalpana Shankar
University College Dublin (Ireland)
Eric T. Meyer
University of Oxford (UK)






Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: