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Faculty Research Update: Spring 2018

Posted by SIM on May 4, 2018 in News, Research

The School of Information Management’s faculty and students engage in research initiatives designed to answer significant questions in the field of information management. Our research falls into seven overlapping clusters. Click here to learn more about our research.

We have captured recent highlights that showcase the breadth of our research impact below. We are always interested in collaborating.  Please feel free to contact us with your thoughts and ideas.

Jennifer Grek Martin

Since January, I have:

  • completed a directed study in Memory, Imagination, and Landscapes as the final course for my IDPhD
  • given an IM Public lecture on memory, imagination, landscapes, and fantasy film and literature
  • presented a version of this lecture at the American Association of Geographers’ Annual Meeting in New Orleans
  • accepted an opportunity to assist Bertrum MacDonald and Fiona Black in writing an entry on Geographic Information Systems [GIS] as a Book-History Research Tool for The Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Literature.

Vivian Howard

  • In November 2017, I was part of a team of FoM researchers (including Michelle Adams, Peggy Cunningham, Jeff Friesen, and Tony Walker and research assistants Allison Kader and Tyler Lightfoot) that conducted a national survey of perceptions of social license in various sectors (food retail, clothing retail, transportation, government departments and services).  This survey asked questions about trustworthiness, ethical practices, CSR, and sustainability. We had no sooner completed this survey when Loblaw reported that it had been involved in fixing the prices of packaged bread for 14 years and claimed this was an industrywide conspiracy.  How did this impact consumer trust in the retail sector?
  • My colleagues and I repeated the survey in March 2018, focusing exclusively on the food retail sector.  This survey revealed that overall trust in food retailers had dropped by 6.3% but trust in Loblaw had dropped by 10%.  In contrast, trust in Sobeys (which had strongly denied any involvement in price fixing) actually went up marginally. See media reports on the study

Keith Lawson

  • In February, at the Centre for Learning and Teaching, I gave a talk outlining the changes I had made to the Professional Communications Skills course (MGMT 3602) in creating an online version which ran for the first time this winter term.
  • This May, Laura Little and I will present papers at the 2018 Dalhousie Conference on University Teaching and Learning reporting on our efforts to create social presence in the online Professional Communications Skills (MGMT 3602) class. Laura Little, who has completed the first year of her MLIS degree, was a TA this past year in both in-class and online versions of the MGMT 3602.

Bertrum MacDonald

  • Bertrum MacDonald has received research funding from the Ocean Frontier Institute (OFI):
  1. $275,300, in collaboration with Dr. Patricia Manuel, Director of the School of Planning, for research on marine spatial planning and community decision-making in the OFI Module on Social License and Planning in Coastal Communities. Tobbi Dyer, MLIS student, will complete a thesis in this research group; and
  2. $100,000, in collaboration with members of the OFI Module on Ecosystem Indicators for Changing Oceans, to study the use of ocean science indicators by environmental decision makers.
  • Science, information, and policy interface for effective coastal and ocean management, edited by Bertrum H. MacDonald, Suzuette S. Soomai, Elizabeth M. De Santo, and Peter G. Wells was released in a paperback edition by CRC Press (Taylor & Francis) in February 2018. CRC Press has signed a contract with a Chinese publisher to publish a complete translation of the book in Chinese for the Chinese market.
  • Two papers were published by members of the Environmental Information: Use and Influence research team: a) Sarah D. Chamberlain, Peter G. Wells, and Bertrum H. MacDonald. (2018). The Gulfwatch contaminants monitoring program in the Gulf of Maine: Are its data being used for ocean protection, with special reference to Nova Scotia, Canada? Marine Pollution Bulletin, 127, 781-787; and b) Lee Wilson and Bertrum H. MacDonald. (2018). Characterizing bridger organizations and their roles in a coastal resource management network. Ocean & Coastal Management, 153, 59-69.
  • Two new Masters students joined the Environmental Information: Use and Influence research team in May 2018 – Jillian Pulsifer (MLIS student) and Curtis Martin (MMM student) – to undertake research projects as part of their graduate work.
  • Several members of the Environmental Information: Use and Influence research team are participating in the 12th BoFEP Bay of Fundy Science Workshop, Truro, 9-12 May 2018:
    1. to present a panel session on “Information Use at the Science–Policy Interface in Decision-Making in the Bay of Fundy Region” with Bertrum MacDonald, Suzuette Soomai, Simon Ryder-Burbidge, Rachael Cadman, and James Ross; and
    2. to present research posters:
      • “Global Resource, Local Needs: A Case Study of the Use of the International Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Abstracts Database” by Diana Castillo, Bertrum H. MacDonald, and Suzuette S. Soomai;
      • “The Important Role of Technical Working Groups in Evidence-Based Decision-Making for Marine Fisheries Management” by Kalene L. Eck, Suzuette S. Soomai, and Bertrum H. MacDonald;
      • “Sharing Victories: Enablers and Barriers to Collaborative Relationships within the Conservation Sector” by Rachael Cadman, Bertrum H. MacDonald, and Suzuette S. Soomai;
      • “Examining Socioecological Ocean Connections in a Coastal Community: Implications for Local Policy and Science Communication” by Simon R. Ryder-Burbidge, Bertrum H. MacDonald, and Suzuette S. Soomai; and
      • “Characteristics of the Science-Policy Interface: Scientific Information Use in Coastal and Ocean Decision-Making” by Suzuette S. Soomai, Bertrum H. MacDonald, James D. Ross, Peter G. Wells, and Lee Wilson

Mike Smit

  • We presented two papers at IEEE Big Data in Boston, with great feedback
  • Completed a major research project with DFO, and about to launch two newly funded projects
  • Attended Research Data Access and Preservation 2018 in Chicago
  • Looking forward to a busy summer with lots of students and papers underway

Louise Spiteri

  • Spiteri, L.F. (2018). Extending the scope of library discovery systems via hashtags. 15th International ISKO Conference, July 9-11, Porto, Portugal.
  • Spiteri, L.F., & Pecoskie, J. (2018). Expanding the scope of affect: Taxonomy construction for emotions, tones, and associations. Journal of Documentation74(2), 383-397.
  • Allam, H., Bliemel, M., Spiteri, L.F., & Blustein, J. (2018). Applying a 3-D hedonic concept of intrinsic motivation on the acceptance of social tagging tools: A theoretical model and empirical validation. Journal of the Association for Information Science & Technology.  (under review)
  • Allam, H., Bliemel, M., Spiteri, L.F., & Blustein, J. (2018). If you build it, they won’t come: What motivates employees to create and share tagged content. Journal of Knowledge Management(under review).
  • Spiteri, L.F., & Pennington, D. M. (2018). Social tagging for lined data across environments. London: Facet (Tentative publication date: Fall, 2018)

Sandra Toze

  • Along with Dr. David Brown she published an article on Information governance in digitized public administration in Canadian Public Administration 60(4):581-604.
  • Sandra will be presenting at the ARMA Canada Conference in Vancouver in May on Transforming through Open Data.
  • She will be a keynote Speaker at the CALL Conference in Halifax, speaking on Connecting Through Digital Transformation.
  • Sandra worked with her PhD student Elham Alghamdi and her committee on a paper Saudi Females in Human-Computer Interaction Studies: Challenges in Data Collection which was accepted for a Workshop at CHI 2018.
  • Over the summer Sandra will be partnering with Jeff Roy and Markus Sharaput from the School of Public Administration to complete a Training Needs Analysis To Build Digital Capacity within the Government of Canada. Stay tuned for more details.