The 15th Annual Social Informatics Research Symposium (Full-Day Workshop)

Practical Social Informatics: Collaboration across Fields, Sectors, and Borders

Call for papers and submission:


ASIS&T Special Interest Group Social Informatics (SIG SI) has held fourteen annual Social Informatics Research Symposiums at ASIS&T Annual Meetings as pre-conference events. With the purpose of disseminating and discussing current research and research in progress that investigates the social aspects of information and communication technologies (ICT), the symposiums have included ASIS&T members across many areas and served as an annual forum for social informatics (SI) researchers to present and discuss their work. We define “social” broadly to include critical and historical approaches as well as contemporary social analysis and define “technology” broadly to include traditional technologies, computer/ networking systems, mobile and pervasive devices, as well as data analytics and artificial intelligence.

This year, to emphasize the theme of the ASIS&T Annual Meeting, “Information…Anyone, Anywhere, Any Time, Any Way,” we propose to hold our 15th Annual Social Informatics Research Symposium as a pre-conference workshop with the title of “Practical Social Informatics: Collaboration across Fields, Sectors, and Borders.” With SIG SI’s signature focus on the interaction of people, technology, and society, we are especially interested in the practical aspects of social informatics and collaborations among different groups of academics and practitioners within and across academia or industry.


Data protection, privacy, misinformation, and the ethical issues surrounding artificial intelligence (AI) have drawn much attention in recent years and created many challenges for various organizations in both public and private sectors, including government agencies, businesses, and research institutions. ICT researchers and practicing professionals are increasingly in need of collaborative efforts and theoretical lenses to examine the various aspects of the new developments in the information landscape such as big data, AI, virtual and augmented reality technologies, investigating the social consequences of such developments.

As this Melbourne conference is bringing ASIS&T into the Asia-Pacific for the first time, our event will also take strategic advantage of recent events that have drawn special attention to concerns that have long been part of our domain. The release of the report from Australia’s Royal Commission into Banking and growing concerns about the federal government’s use of linked data (MyGov) for a range of government services online has heightened interest in sociotechnical and ethical considerations related to data and the challenges of AI and automated decision making. These are concerns spreading throughout Asia Pacific, where China is a very large player in AI innovation.

Understanding the social impacts of these emerging technologies and practices requires a sociotechnical approach as well as local, national, and international collaborations across different disciplines and sectors. With a strong interest in understanding how information and technology professionals explore SI in practice, this SIG SI annual symposium provides a great opportunity for sharing and exchanging experiences and ideas and suggesting theories and directions for future work among social informatics researchers and practitioners internationally.

Theme and Topics

We are particularly interested in collaborative work that explores the human and social aspects of ICT (broadly defined) in professional or practical settings and any work that assumes a critical stance towards the symposium’s theme, “Practical Social Informatics: Collaboration across Fields, Sectors, and Borders.” However, we will also continue our tradition to solicit research on other related social informatics topics. Submissions for the symposiums may include empirical, critical and theoretical work, as well as richly described practice cases and demonstrations. We encourage all scholars interested in social aspects of ICT to share their research and research in progress by submitting a short paper, an extended abstract of their work, or a poster and attending the symposium. The symposiums are also the venue for the presentation of the best social informatics paper awards for each year. The topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Data protection, privacy, and ethics
  • Ethics of AI and Automated Decision Making
  • Collaborative work in social informatics
  • Ethics and security of the Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Digital equity and digital divide
  • Freedom of expression, hate speech, and the role of platforms
  • Human rights to information and technology
  • Sustainability, environmental concerns, and information technology manufacturing
  • AI, automation, and the impact on job markets
  • Implications and social influence of ICT design
  • Implementation and use of ICT on industry, government, local/national/global community, and other contexts
  • Practical solutions to problems of ethics and sustainability
  • Transferability of social informatics from theory to practice
  • Social informatics concepts, methods, frameworks, and theories

Intended Audience

The workshop intends to reach a broad audience of academics and professionals in the ASIS&T community, particularly those with an interest in sociotechnical approaches to information, social informatics, and ethical issues about new technologies. We especially welcome professionals from industry and business sectors, ICT communities, and human rights organizations.

Since our first annual symposium in 2004, the SIG SI ASIS&T Annual Research Symposium has hosted a large amount of papers, posters, and panels from established scholars, young researchers, and ICT professionals interested in the sociotechnical approach to information and technology. We have also given cash awards for the best papers published by social informatics scholars and students in the preceding years. We will gather again this year to celebrate the intellectually challenging and engaging work in SI and hope to attract presenters from around the world. We expect an engaging discussion with lively interactions from the audience.

Activities and projected schedule

The workshop is scheduled for Saturday, October 19, 2019, from 9:00 – 17:00. The workshop will incorporate different types of contributions including papers, panels, posters, and a keynote speaker.

Workshop Schedule (9-17)

9:00 – 9:15         Introductions and Opening Remarks

9:15 – 10:15        Keynote

10:15 – 10:40      Coffee Break

10:40 – 12:20      Paper Presentations & Feedback (4)

12:20 – 13:30      Lunch Break and Poster Session

13:30 – 14:20      Best Paper and Best Student Paper Awards (2)

14:20 – 15:15      Panel, followed by Q&A

15:15 – 15:30      Coffee Break

15:30 – 16:45      Paper presentations & feedback (3)

16:45 – 17:00      Closing Discussion and Remarks.


On June 1st, we will begin to solicit paper abstracts (1000-1500 words), panel proposals (1,000 words), and poster abstracts (500 words) to be submitted by July 10, 2019. Submissions can be made at

Acceptance announcements will be made by August 1, 2019, in time for conference early registration (ends August 2, 2019).

Symposium Chairs

Xiaohua Zhu (University of Tennessee, Knoxville)

Theresa Anderson (University of Technology Sydney)

Program Committee

Xiaohua Zhu (University of Tennessee), Theresa Anderson (University of Technology Sydney), Adam Worrall (University of Alberta; Awards Coordinator), Catherine Dumas (Simmons University), Rachel Simmons (University of Texas at Austin), Kolina Koltai (University of Texas at Austin), Kirstin Phelps (University of Illinois), Kenneth Haggerty (University of Memphis), Emad Khazraee (Indeed, Inc.), Kristin R. Eschenfelder (University of Wisconsin-Madison).

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