Gyuri Kang and Alex Wingate won top awards at the annual ILS Doctoral Research Forum, a conference for Information Science Ph.D. students that provides opportunities to present research in a professional setting. It’s designed to motivate students to participate in innovative research through information and library science, policy studies, technologies and other interdisciplinary fields.
Megan Vladoiu and Meredith Dedema earned runner-up recognition during the forum, which was organized by Ph.D. students Shohana Akter, Gordon Amidu, Sasha Goryl and Mary Nelson.
Kang and Wingate received $200 prizes. Vladoui and Dedema each won $100.
Kang presented, “How Uncanny is the Realist Novel?: Text Mining English Novels of the Long Eighteenth Century”
Wingate was honored for her presentation, “A Novels and the NSTC: A Quantitative Study of Legal Deposit.”
Vladoiu’s presentation was titled, “Proactive Chat Reference in an Academic Library.” Dedema was recognized for her topic, “Socio-technical Issues in the Platform-mediated Gig Economy: A Systematic Literature Review.”
The featured speaker was University of Washington professor Kate Starbird. Her talk, “Online Rumoring, Misinformation and Disinformation: A Retrospective on a Decade of Research,” was followed by a Q-and-A session and discussion.
Participants received feedback from peers and mentors, and learned about each other’s research.
Pnina Fichman, professor of Information Science and Information Science Ph.D. program director, praised the presenters’ polished and professional approach as they highlighted their innovative and wide-ranging research.
“It is such a joy to be part of this annual event, when our doctoral students demonstrate the range, rigor, and creative research that is being done in our department,” she said. “I am proud of the students who presented their work and grateful to the students who organized it.”
Kang used existing data to analyze 18th Century English literature. She said her research showcased the importance such literature placed on animals, plants trees and rocks.
“It was nature themed,” she said.
“I found this very important because the 18th Century is known as the Age of Enlightenment. In the beginning of the century, the literature cared more about enlightenment and the social lives of women and people in general. By the end of the century, they cared more about the uncanny elements of non-human entities in magical realism and surrealism. It was the speculative element in gothic fiction.”
Wingate’s presentation was based off a two-semester independent study she did with Allen Riddell, associate professor of Information Science. She analyzed the Nineteenth-Century Short Title Catalog, used by book historians as a quantitative data source.
“I wanted to evaluate its quality as a data source and also try to demonstrate how one could use the database to do quantitative book history despite its drawbacks,” Wingate said. “I decided to use it to study 19th-century British legal deposit since the database is based on the five historical legal deposit libraries of the United Kingdom.”
Wingate presented her research as a poster at the recent 2023 ASIS&T conference in London. She also plans on publishing it as an article.
Vladoiu focused on politeness in library chat reference services. She said she’s looking at proactive chat compared to traditional embedded chat.
She works at the library reference desk. The library recently started a proactive chat.
“I’m curious if there are any differences in how people interact with it compared to the previous chat system,” she said.
Vladoiu said she was nervous about presenting.
“I tricked my FitBit into thinking I had done cardio because my heart rate was up a little bit,” she said with a smile. “It was a little nerve wracking, but also exciting and rewarding.”