Debates conference on social media and information literacy

The first Debates (Digital dE-BiAsing Techniques for an Engaged Society) conference, sponsored by the CILIP Information Literacy Group, will take place on 18th May, 2016, at Northumbria University, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK.

The overall topic of the one-day conference is the issue of negative behaviours in online social media, and how these can be analysed and addressed by the research community.

The call for papers closes on Friday, 11th March 2016. The conference costs £50 for CILIP IL Group members, and £80 for other delegates.

Keynotes and conference format

The keynote speakers are:

Professor Annemaree Lloyd – Professor Swedish School of Library and Information Sciences, University of Boras, Sweden

Professor Stephan Lewandowsky – Chair in Cognitive Psychology, University of Bristol

Professor Heidi Julien – Professor of Library and Information Studies, University at Buffalo, USA

Carl Miller – Research Director, Centre for the Analysis of Social Media (CASM) at Demos

Debates is a one-day conference with a difference:

  • Each keynote will set out their theme based around their main theoretical lenses, which are then carried through into the strand
  • The invited speakers pick up the theme and then the pecha kuchas further articulate this (selected from the call for papers)
  • In the morning plenary, the keynotes with invited speakers will lead a themed plenary with presenters and audience to identify possible research ideas and collaborations
  • The most promising ideas and collaborations are to be developed in outline and displayed on the Unconference boards with a named lead
  • These then form the basis for the Unconference sessions in the afternoon
  • Conference committee members will have a roving brief to capture the highlights for the final plenary
  • The plenary will identify the research themes and collaborations that have emerged.

Pecha kucha papers

The conference organisers are accepting abstracts for pecha kucha papers on the following themes:

The analysis and/or addressing the issue of negative online social media behaviours through the main theoretical lenses of:

  • Psychology – papers on the use of mis-information theory are especially welcome
  • Information behaviour – abstracts on everyday information seeking will be particularly welcome
  • Information literacy – especially those papers that have an information practice focus
  • Policy studies – in particular papers focusing on where interventions need to be (policing, legislation or the social media companies) and/or how to influence decision-makers

Creative and educational approaches to this issue are also welcomed.

The conference organisers are interested in hearing from early career researchers, as well as those who are more established.

Abstracts format

Guidance for contributors to prepare their submission:

Structured abstracts of 500 words, with a title of no more than 15 words and references in Harvard style (references and keywords will not be included in the word count).

Headings for structured abstract as follows:

  • Purpose
  • Design/methodology/approach
  • Findings
  • Research limitations/implications
  • Practical implications
  • Originality/value
  • Keywords – up to 5
  • References

These submissions will be double blind refereed. Those authors who have their papers accepted will be invited to submit a full article to a special edition of Online Information Review (2014 Impact Factor: 0.918).

Authors whose papers are accepted for the conference will be given full instructions on how to create a pecha kucha presentation.

Authors will be notified of decisions by Friday, 11th March 2016.

Please send your completed abstracts to: by Friday, 19th February 2016.

Find out how to apply for CILIP IL Group sponsorship of your information literacy event (.doc)


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