This year’s iConference is fast approaching: over the course of next week (between the 28th of February and the 4th of March), scholars from all around the world will meet online to explore the conference theme “Information for a better world: Shaping the global future”. Hosted by University College Dublin, Kyushu University, and the University of Texas at Austin, the iConference will feature international keynote speakers and close to 100 presenters. Being delivered online for the third year in a row, the iConference boasts a truly remarkable range of online perks (such as the Media Library, which can be accessed anytime, and the easy to follow online agenda, which automatically adjusts to one’s time zone) and social activities (such as round tables, event feeds, contests, and games). By the looks of it, there is much to be excited about. I, for one, am looking forward to an action-packed week!
It is also terrific to witness the online conference format truly coming into its own. When looking up the iConference summaries for 2019, 2020, and 2021, I noted some interesting changes in participant numbers and registration fees over the years:
- In 2019, 593 participants registered for the iConference, whereas in 2020, participant numbers decreased, with 390 participants registering to attend virtually (likely due to the initial shock of the COVID-19 pandemic). In 2021, however, participant numbers went back to their pre-pandemic levels, and registered virtual participants were 520!
- The acceptance rate for full research papers remained relatively stable across three years, hovering at around 30% overall (it was 33% in 2019, 30% in 2020, and 31% in 2021). It appears that the acceptance rate is unaffected by the mode of delivery of the conference. Good news all around!
- One big benefit of the online conference format is the reduced registration fee, which is welcomed by many, and which widens access for research students, in particular. In 2019, the general registration fee was $650; in 2020, it was 3000 SEK, equivalent to about $312, and in 2021, it was $300. The student fee also decreased over time: in 2019 regular registration for students was $450, while in 2020, this fell down to 2000 SEK (about $207). In 2021, it was reduced even further, this time standing at $150. (As a side note, I attended the 2021 iConference for free. Students’ registration fees were waived that year, as they were covered by a generous grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation. Thanks, U.S. National Science Foundation!)
This year, I am pleased to be returning to the iConference as a presenter and as a doctoral colloquium participant (in the Europe/Africa region). I attended last year as well; read more about this here. This time around, I am going to present my PhD methodology. My dedicated slot is in Poster session 1, which takes place on Wednesday at 7:30 am UK time. That is quite early! Fortunately, my poster presentation is pre-recorded, so I will not be half asleep while presenting (although I may be half asleep while answering questions after the presentation, which is why I am going to have a pot of coffee on the ready!).
My presentation will be of immediate interest to anyone interested in information literacy and mixed methods research designs. In it, I will provide an overview of the research gaps I am addressing with my research, as well as my research questions and my methodology. I will highlight some of the benefits of my chosen methodology and I will talk about the next steps of my data collection. Two outputs are associated with this work: one poster abstract and one poster PDF. Both of them are already up on the Edinburgh Napier university repository, and are available to view ahead of the conference. Follow the links below to access the full-text poster abstract and the full-size poster PDF (in A3 format).