OCLC Research and the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE) have awarded research grants to Lynne Bowker of the University of Ottawa, Kyung-Sun Kim of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and Sei-Ching Joanna Sin of Nanyang Technological University and Sanghee Oh of Florida State University. The awards were presented January 24 at the ALISE 2013 Annual Conference Awards Reception in Seattle, Washington.
• Lynne Bowker, Ph.D., of the School of Information Studies at the University of Ottawa, will consult with Spanish-speaking newcomers to Ottawa who are users of the Ottawa Public Library (OPL) in the project, “Can machine translation facilitate outreach to newcomers? A pilot study investigating the needs of Spanish-speaking users of the Ottawa Public Library.” The results of this study will help to determine if machine translation can be used as a partial solution for finding a cost-effective means of translation that would allow OPL to offer a wider range of translated texts to the under-served newcomer community.
• Kyung-Sun Kim, Ph.D. of the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and Sei-Ching Joanna Sin, Ph.D., of the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information at Nanyang Technological University, will use a combination of surveys and focus group methods to collect data from over 600 undergraduate students in the United States and Singapore in the project, “Social Media as Information Sources: Use and Evaluation of Information from Social Media.” The focus of this study is to investigate what types of social media are used as information sources and how they are used and evaluated. Based on this research, suggestions will be made to improve information literacy education and social media interfaces, which will support the effective use and evaluation of social media as information sources.
• Sanghee Oh, Ph.D., of the School of Library and Information Studies at Florida State University, will investigate the health information needs and sources people most likely seek and share in social Q&A by analyzing the content of health questions and answers. Findings from the project, “Understanding Health Information Behaviors in Social Q&A: Text Mining of Health Questions and Answers in Yahoo! Answers,” will help health information professionals better understand the health information behaviors of their patients or customers and improve their services or systems.
OCLC/ALISE Library and Information Science Research Grants support research that advances librarianship and information science, promotes independent research to help librarians integrate new technologies into areas of traditional competence, and contributes to a better understanding of the library environment. Full-time academic faculty (or the equivalent) in schools of library and information science worldwide are eligible to apply for grants of up to $15,000. Proposals are evaluated by a panel selected by OCLC and ALISE. Supported projects are expected to be conducted within approximately one year from the date of the award and, as a condition of the grant, researchers must furnish a final project report at the end of the grant period.
More information about the OCLC/ALISE Library and Information Science Research Grant Program can be found at www.oclc.org/research/grants/. A list of previous grant recipients is at www.oclc.org/research/grants/awarded.htm.