The Department of Information Science, of the University of Pretoria, was selected to host the annual ISIC conference, for 2020. As COVID-19 brought about immediate change to our daily behaviour, the conference could no longer be hosted as it had traditionally been done before. Thus, the Department of Information Science made history, by hosting the first virtual ISIC conference, from 28 September to 1 October 2020! The ISIC Steering Committee consisted of Professors Ina Fourie (head of the Department of Information Science), Heidi Julien and Ian Ruthven.
The ISIC conferences emphasize people’s contextualized relationship with information. The conferences encourage interdisciplinary information researching, such as information science, information studies, library studies, communication studies, computer science, education, information management, information systems, management science, psychology, social psychology, sociology, and other fields of study. For the 2020 conference, scholars were specifically encouraged to appraise issues regarding misinformation, as well as information behaviour-related research. The conference included full and short papers, panels, workshops, posters, and a doctoral workshop.
Full papers from the conference have been published in Information Research. For the full list of papers, please visit: https://doi.org/10.47989/irisicconf2020.
The local keynote speaker was none other then extraordinary professor, and previous head of department of Information Science, Archie L. Dick, with the title South African’s Long Walk to Information Freedom, while the international keynote speaker was Professor Gunilla Widen, from Åbo Akademi University, Finland.
The Department of Information Science was well represented at the conference, submitting four full papers and two posters. Furthermore, two of the possible three awards were also awarded to the Department of Information Science’s authors. The Best Poster Award was given to Liezl Ball and Prof Theo Bothma’s poster titled The capability of search tools to retrieve words with specific properties from large text collections, while the Best Local Contribution was awarded to Anika Meyer, Prof Ina Fourie and Prof Preben Hansen titled A participatory design informed framework for information behaviour studies.
To end off the successful proceedings of the first virtual conference, a virtual wine tasting was hosted by South African award-winning winery, Bouchard and Finalyson, to give conference goers a “taste” of South African culture.