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QSSLab at CAIS 2023

The 51st Annual Conference of the Canadian Association for Information Science/l’Association canadienne des sciences de l’information (CAIS/ACSI) will be taking place on June 6-9, 2023. Three members of QSSLab will be presenting their work at the conference as well as participating in the student research forum.

Geoff Krause will be presenting the work “Measuring Data Reuse in OpenAlex by Researchers, Institutions, and Countries”. Abstract: Open Data is a concept that is receiving increased attention and support in academic environments, with one justification being that shared data may be reused in further research. But what evidence exists for such reuse, and what is the relationship between the producers of shared datasets and researchers making use of them? This work in progress makes use of dataset citations in the OpenAlex bibliometric database to analyze the relationship between the creators of datasets and authors who cite them, at individual, institutional, and national levels.

Marc-André Simard will be presenting the work “The value of a diamond: Understanding global coverage of diamond Open Access journals in Web of Science, Scopus, and OpenAlex to support an open future”. Abstract: Open Data is a concept that is receiving increased attention and support in academic environments, with one justification being that shared data may be reused in further research. But what evidence exists for such reuse, and what is the relationship between the producers of shared datasets and researchers making use of them? This work in progress makes use of dataset citations in the OpenAlex bibliometric database to analyze the relationship between the creators of datasets and authors who cite them, at individual, institutional, and national levels.

Poppy Riddle will be presenting the work “The use of institutional Repository for self-archiving in Canadian Universities”. Abstract: This study investigates the use of institutional repositories (IR) for self-archiving journal articles in the U15 universities as well as the presence of institutional policies and publisher embargoes. While 45.1% to 56.6% of publications are available in open access (OA), only 0.5% to 10.7% are found in the IRs. We found only three university-wide OA policies, and embargo periods of 12 months or more for 25.6% of journal policies. This suggests that IRs play a minor role in OA practices, and a need for more policies related to self-archiving and the use of IRs specifically.

Find the official conference program here. Additionally, the CAIS Annual General Meeting will conclude the conference on Friday, June 9th; consider attending and participating in the vibrant Canadian Information Science community!

The theme of this year’s conference is “Imagining Information”: attendees are invited to consider imagining in its many senses and forms, from imagining potential futures for the field and our society, to the nature and function of imagination in information experiences and phenomena. We are delighted that our lab members are contributing their expertise and thoughtful perspectives to imagining better futures for the IS field and for society.

QSSLab at CAIS 2023
Profile on Remi Toupin
QSS Lab is looking forward to welcoming Rémi Toupin back to Halifax this spring. Remi is starting two years at Dalhousie as a FRQSC postdoctoral fellow. Here we profile Remi, learn about his recently completed thesis, and find out what projects he will be working on at the lab! Rémi, tell us about your doctoral thesis! What interested you in the subject and inspired you to dive deeper into this project? For my thesis, I worked on the contexts of climate change research circulation on Twitter. Specifically, I aimed to better understand how altmetrics and traces left by scholarly documents on Twitter could be used to examine the public attention to scientific articles about climate change. I looked at this by focusing on who tweeted scientific articles, their interactions in terms of retweets and mentions, as well as their resonance to said articles, that is the way users eventually relate to scientific articles through their experience of the world. I initially began my PhD because I wanted to do something that involved research about scientific communication and why it is so relevant. During my master’s degree in anthropology, I began to be involved in various initiatives to get a broader public interested in archaeological research… and why it was relevant to do archaeological research. This happened about at the same time as the 2012 Quebec student protests during I which I started to get more socially and politically involved, especially regarding environmental issues. I felt, and still believe, that reducing our footprint on nature is critical to leave the world a better place. So, my thesis was initially on the use of social medias to communicate the scientific aspects of environmental issues… which is quite a big topic! Gradually, I started to increasingly focus on Twitter, mostly because it was heralded as a key environment for the communication of scholarly articles and the development of altmetrics. I also got more critical of social media and metrics in general and wanted to do something that focused on the more qualitative aspects of the public communication of research, specifically how does it relate to those that are involved in it. What are the different research projects you are working on and what are you most looking forward to working on over the course of your postdoc? I have a few projects already going on with QSSLab for my postdoc. As for the fellowship I obtain from the Fonds de recherche du Québec, I’ll work on the gap between scholarly and public attention to marine conservation research. The general goal is to measure which topics in marine conservation research get the most visibility across various indicators like citations, tweets, policy mentions and the news, and better understand why some topics get more or less public attention, specifically in relation to their importance in the scientific literature. We already did kind of a pilot project about the scholarly-public attention gap in shark research, but I’ll look to expand it to other topics. I am also looking forward to work on various projects that involve scientific information and environmental issues. One such project involves helping with the bibliometric assessment of GESAMP (Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Protection) reports. I’ll also look to expand some of the work done during my thesis and how we can think differently about the societal impact of research. What are you most looking forward to working in the QSS Lab and/or living in Halifax? To meet the team! I had a lot of fun the last I came to Halifax and I’m looking forward to just be a part of the team at the QSSLab. Also, the fact that marine conservation and environmental information have are key research topics at Dal means I picked a great environment for my project. I hope to get involve in some science communication initiatives if I can. Otherwise, my plan is to enjoy the city and its surroundings as best I can with the people at the QSSLab! Whether it’s exploring various coastal environments on the South Shore or Cape Breton – something I oddly didn’t really experience much before last year, although I have been fascinated by the ocean since my childhood – or enjoying the local culture and city life, I want to make the most of my life in Halifax for the next two years.
New QSS Members
In September 2022, QSS Lab welcomed 10 new members! Please find the profiles of Toni Beaton, Naomi Richards, Mercy Chikezie, Keith MacKnight, Julia Crowell, Joana Hiemstra, Hailey Wills, Courtney Pearce, Catherine Gracey, and Blake Curry here. QSS is excited to grow its membership, expand its lab facilities, and develop as an academic organization. Many new projects are already underway as a result of the efforts and skills of our new members. “The distribution of scientific, media, and policy attention to Canadian forestry research” by Curry et al. uncovers the prominence of specific forestry themes and discourses across scientific, public, and policy spheres in Canada. “The intersection of shark research, policy and the public: a bibliometric and altmetric view” by Toupin et al. shows the diversity of shark-related research and its audiences and suggest a need for research evaluation to acknowledge that research impact can take many forms, as well as a need to develop strategies to ensure that research that is relevant to the public and policy-makers is adequately disseminated to these stakeholders. “Do You Cite What You Tweet?” by Hare et al. takes into account the research activity of tweeters and their relationship to tweeted paper to shed new light on the correlation between tweets and citations and sets the stage for new developments in altmetrics research. More projects are also in progress, involving unique collaborations between QSS lab members and our external collaborators. Stay up to date on our projects here.
New QSS Members
Profile on Poppy Riddle

Poppy Riddle is a doctoral student in the Dalhousie Interdisciplinary PhD (IDPhD) program where she combines her interests in library and information science (LIS) and human-computer interaction (HCI). This profile highlights the extension of Poppy’s thesis research in the Master of Information (MI) program into her PhD research, current projects she is working on, and her experience working in the QSS lab!

Poppy, what was your MI thesis topic? What interested you in the subject and inspired you to dive deeper?

My thesis looked at how keywords from peer-reviewed articles might be useful to compare two search terms during the exploratory search phase. I used a visualization to show how the keywords overlap in two search results. At the time, this was just a static visualization and a demonstration of the concept. However, I’m still working towards making this a working application to be used in a user study.

There was an article I read by Devon Greyson on ignorance and a call to revive agnatology as part of a reflective process on what information we include, exclude, or don’t know about. As the search interfaces we use in libraries return list based results, I can’t really see what I’m missing or I don’t know about. Coming from an art and design background, I’m used to using visual tools to explore and gain knowledge about complex things. What if our ability to search in libraries was augmented by a visual mode for exploration? Would I be able to be more aware of what articles or books I’m choosing and not choosing?

How has your thinking and research evolved since you began the IDPhD program? What are the different research projects you are working on and what are you most looking forward to digging into more over the course of your doctoral degree?

So, it turns out this is a much deeper problem and I’m learning so much in the PhD program about how other fields can inform and shape this problem. I’m working in both LIS and HCI fields right now and both are highly interdisciplinary. I’m learning cognitive science concepts, theories of cognition and emotion, ethnographic methods, user interface design and evaluation methods, natural language processing, virtual and augmented reality, immersive visualization and analytics, and of course more explorations in coding and the technical aspects of creating prototype applications. All of these, (just in my first year) are shaping, guiding, and clarifying my desire for a visual search interface.

I’ve been working on a quite a wide range of research from investigating open access and institutional repositories, LIS research in Canadian institutions, learning more about the OpenAlex database and mapping its contents, designing and learning to create applications, virtual reality authentication using graphical passwords, and contributing to course development in bibliometrics and data science. As varied as they seem, there is a thread joins all this together, albeit a very long one! However, despite all I’m learning, I’m really exicted for next year as I’ll be able to focus on my research and making visual search interfaces!

Congratulations on receiving the CARL research grant! Could you tell us a bit about the project you are working on?

The CARL research grant was awarded based on my masters thesis and the gap in understanding how visual metaphors of graphs, charts, maps, or networks affect viewers. This project is still being shaped by what I’m learning in coursework and the technical challenges of creating different ways of representing the data. I’m anticipating running the study in the summer.

What do you enjoy most about LIS/HCI?

HCI is a great overlap between my prior education in design and LIS, though HCI goes deep into the user research theory and methods. I find this both satisfying and daunting! I think there is also a good complement between HCI and LIS in theories and methods that are unique to each, but may cross over well. For example, cognition theories that HCI borrows from cognitive science may help LIS researchers understand how technological systems are shaping the perception and decision making of library patrons. Conversely, HCI seems to lack the critical perspectives that LIS brings to address social inequities and would benefit from reflective practices in identifying how design processes, theories, contexts, etc are continuing to enable inequalities and bias.

Finally, what are your favourite parts about QSS Lab?

The people! Perhaps its our curiosity, our shared ability to geek about anything, or how satisfying it is to hear about other’s successes. Its such a wonderfully supportive community. Second, I really like the breadth of our research topics. There’s technical work, (which can be really deep and satisfying), and there’s critical work of deconstructing, (which can be personally rewarding), and topics that genuinely interest me as well as those that are surprisingly interesting! ( I think anything can be interesting if you ask the right questions.)

Compared with prior professional experience, our QSS group and SIM as a whole are quite unique. There is a real chemistry at work that support collaboration, thoughtfulness, critical thinking, and communal goodwill. So, its quite unique and special in my opinion. I plan on being here for quite some time, thank you very much.

Mitacs Globalink Interns

QSSLab is looking forward to hosting two research interns this summer through the Mitacs Globalink Research program! Valeriia Moroz and JoonSeok Oh will be working with the lab from June until September 2023.

Valeriia Moroz is a third-year Bachelor of Cybersecurity at Sumy State University in Ukraine. She enjoy learning new things related to web development, collection, processing, and the protection of information. Find Valeriia’s profile here

JoonSeok Oh is an aeronautics major at Hanseo University in South Korea. He is also a commercial aircraft pilot! Find Joon Seok’s profile here.

Valeriia and JoonSeok will be working on a project entitled “The contribution of Atlantic Canada to the global production of knowledge” with Director Philippe Mongeon.

We are excited to welcome JoonSeok and Valeriia to the QSSLab!