SI researchers get best ASIS&T paper

Beth St. Jean, Soo Young Rieh, Elaine Toms (conference co-cochair), and Ji Yeon Yang

Beth St. Jean, Soo Young Rieh,
Elaine Toms (conference co-cochair), and Ji Yeon Yang

Associate Professor Soo Young Rieh and doctoral students Yong-Mi Kim, Ji Yeon Yang, and Beth St. Jean received the 2010 American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T) Best Paper Award at the organization’s annual meeting in Pittsburgh on Oct. 26. Their paper, “A Diary Study of Credibility Assessment in Everyday Life Information Activities on the Web: Preliminary Findings,” appeared in the Proceedings of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 2010.

This was the first year that ASIS&T made the Best Paper Award to recognize the best research paper presented at its conference.

Rieh says this study “investigates how people’s credibility assessment processes have evolved as they engage in increasingly diverse types of online activities beyond seeking for information or reading online news. Using an online activity diary method, information on people’s online activities and their associated credibility assessment processes were collected at multiple points throughout the day for three days.”

The research, funded by the MacArthur Foundation, includes a preliminary analysis of 2,471 diary entries received from 333 respondents. From the content analysis of people’s descriptions of their online activities, 17 different types of information objects and 26 categories of online content were derived.

Rieh says that credibility judgments were examined on three levels: construct, heuristics, and interaction. The results, although preliminary, indicate that distinct credibility assessment heuristics are in fact emerging as people engage in online activities involving more user-generated and multimedia content. The unique contribution of this paper is its identification of the importance of taking a heuristic approach to credibility assessment by studying a large sample of heavy Internet users within the context of the everyday life information activities they conduct online.

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