Post ISIC: some conference thoughts

Zadar is idyllic (see below), and was a beautiful setting for what turned out to be a very engaging and enjoyable ISIC 2016 conference .

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I attended the doctoral workshop on Tuesday 20th September, which took place immediately prior to the conference proper (Wednesday – Friday). Having been allocated into a group with another 5 research students at various stages of the PhD process, I gave a 10 minute presentation of my project and was given some extended feedback by two distinguished academics in the information science field. This conversation focused on problems with collecting data from elusive sample groups (i.e. young jobseekers). I have encountered some difficulties with this in recent months, and was given some very useful advice.

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At the conference itself I presented a poster of my project (see below), and gave two minute long elevator pitches (one about my topic in general, and one specific to the poster). During the poster presentation session I spoke to Professor Tom Wilson, a central figure in the field of information science, who has developed the theoretical framework which underpins my research on the networking behaviours of young jobseekers (A general model of information behaviour). Speaking to Professor Wilson was a highlight of the conference for me. I have read so many of his papers and have appropriated his ideas to make sense of job search, so it was a timely opportunity to hear his take on what I am attempting to do with my study.

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It was a pleasure to listen to so many other people from the field discussing their information seeking projects. However, the paper that really piqued my interest was the following: Lynne McKechnie, Roger Chabot, Nicole Dalmer, Heidi Julien and Cass Abbott. Writing and reading the results: the reporting of rigour strategies in information behaviour research as evident in the published proceedings of the biennial ISIC conferences, 1996–2014.

The paper presents an analysis of the published papers in the proceedings of the biennial ISIC conferences, dating back 20 years. What was notable from the results of the study was the lack of reporting of rigour strategies by the authors, with regards to the methodological approaches employed. It was a timely reminder for me to be thorough and as transparent as possible when it comes to relaying my methods – a chapter of the thesis I will be writing up over the next 2/3 months.
The conference was a great success, and extremely well organised/co-ordinated. A real credit to the University of Zadar and the organising committee. And it will be difficult to replicate these scenes.
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