Vulnerable Communities in the Digital Age (VCDA) Workshop at iConference 2017

Workshop#2: Vulnerable Communities in the Digital Age: Advancing Research and Exploring Collaborations

Workshop Co-Organisers:

  • Jia Tina Du, University of South Australia, Australia
  • Iris Xie, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, US
  • Bhuva Narayan,University of Technology Sydney, Australia
  • Elham Sayyad Abdi, Queensland University of Technology, Australia
  • Huijuan Wu, Northeast Dianli University, China
  • Ying-Hsang Liu, Charles Sturt University, Australia
  • Lynn Westbrook, University of Texas at Austin, US

Time: 1-5.30pm, 22 March 2017

Location: Room HUBEI II, Westin Hotel, Wuhan, China

Detailed Program

Part 1  Session chair: Jia Tina Du
1.00-1.10pm Welcome and introduction
1.10-1.50pm First keynote presentation (Prof Iris Xie)

Topic: Support Accessibility, Usability, and Utility: An investigation of blind and visually impaired users’ interaction with digital Libraries

1.50-2.05pm Short presentation 1 (Dr Mary Anne Kennan, Paper 9)

Topic: Library and information services for immigrant caregivers: Access to required services through Storytime?

2.05-2.20pm Short presentation 2 (Dr Natalie Pang, Paper 14)

Topic: Approaching the ‘Vulnerable’: Reflections from the field

2.20-2.30pm Introduction within each group
2.30-2.50pm First breakout discussion

Topic 1: Methodological and ethical issues accessing vulnerable communities

2.50-3.00pm Short video presentations (Bhuva Naranyan & Elham Sayyad Abdi)
3.00-3.30pm                            Break (Location: Pre-Function Space)

Poster presentations (Location: Hankou Hall):

Paper 3 (Hui Yan): Structural Origins of Digital Poverty in Rural China

Paper 4 (Oliver Haimson): Opportunities and Challenges for Transgender People in Digital Spaces

Paper 6 (Long Ma): Exploring Barriers Underlying Students’ MOOCs Adoption in Economically Disadvantaged Regions

Paper 7 (Jiang Wu): “Human-flesh Search” Efficiency in Vulnerable Communities: A Study of Agent-based Modeling and Simulation

Part 2  Session chair: Natalie Pang
3.30-4.10pm Second keynote presentation (Associate Prof Lynn Westbrook)

Topic: Learning about violence against women: Ethics in online practice

4.10-4.30pm Second breakout discussion

Topic 2: Strategies to support vulnerable communities

4.30-4.45pm Short presentation 3 (Mizanur Rahman, Paper 1)

Topic: Agent-Based Mobile Banking for Financial Inclusion of Vulnerable Population in Bangladesh

4.45-5.00pm Short presentation 4 (Dr Jia Tina Du)

Topic: Working with indigenous communities: Reflections on studies with Ngarrindjeri people in South Australia

5.00-5.20pm Third breakout discussion

Topic 3: Conceptualisation of vulnerable communities

5.20-5.30pm Panel discussion and next steps

Call for position papers

iConference is the main event of the iSchools consortium ( iConference is growing as a major event to publish new and on-going research and to develop the network of people studying at information schools. iConference 2017 is the 13th iConference and the first conference of the iConference series organised in Asia.

The intersection between digital information worlds and vulnerable communities is a critical research area within the iSchools movement. There have been concerns about issues regarding bias, social exclusion, cyber-racism, cyberbullying, digital divide, misinformation, and other information sharing hazards in the information experience of vulnerable communities. We seek to bring together a community of researchers and information professionals researching in this important area of our society. We will cover research across disciplinary borders, explore new opportunities for collaboration, and lay the groundwork for a journal special issue centered on vulnerable groups. The iSchools community provides an excellent place to discuss this crucial topic at the intersection of information, society, and technology.

We are going to run a workshop titled “Vulnerable Communities in the Digital Age: Advancing Research and Exploring Collaborations” (VCDA2017) at iConference 2017 to be held in Wuhan, China. Please read through this webpage if you would like to participate in this workshop and submit a position paper.

This will be an interactive workshop to enable the fullest exchange of ideas amongst attendees. All interested researchers, graduate students, and information professionals are invited to submit a short position paper (500-1000 words) in which they outline the topic and themes to be discussed during the workshop.

Submission guidelines for position papers:

  • Author’s name, title, and institutional affiliation should be included at the top of the paper.
  • Paper text must be 500-1000 words.
  • Submission should be in PDF format. The file should be named as ‘2017_iConferenceWorkshop_FirstAuthor’sLastName”.
  • All submissions must be made via the Easychair submission system by midnight Adelaide Time on 23 January 2017.
  • Accepted submissions will be made available on this webpage both before and after the workshop.

Topics include but are not limited to:

  • Vulnerable communities’ experience of information technologies
  • Big data and vulnerable communities
  • Digital libraries and vulnerable users
  • Everyday life information behaviour of older adults
  • Information experience of migrants and refugees
  • Information service model for minorities
  • Information behaviour of indigenous people
  • Homeless population, especially homeless youth
  • People with disabilities
  • Approaches or methods to study vulnerable groups
  • Ethical challenges of studying vulnerable population

Prior to the workshop, the accepted position papers will be used to organise small groups (with each group facilitated by a workshop co-organiser).

We welcome your position papers!

Important Dates:

  • 23 January 2017, 11:59pm ACDT: Submission deadline
  • 15 February 2017: Notification of acceptance
  • 22 March 2017: VCDA workshop
  • 22-25 March 2017: iConference

Program Committee Members:

  • Nadia Caidi, University of Toronto, Canada
  • Huw Davies, University of Oxford, UK
  • Safirotu Khoir, University of South Australia, Australia
  • Chang Liu, Peking University, China
  • Anne-Marie Oostveen, University of Oxford, UK
  • Yuxiang Zhao, Nanjing University of Science and Technology, China

Contact information:

For any queries, please contact Jia Tina Du (