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RGU lecturer recognised in iSchools 2018 Doctoral Dissertation Awards


The results are in, and the winner of the 2018 iSchools Doctoral Dissertation Award is Dr. Galen Panger of the iSchool at the University of California, Berkeley (USA). The runner up is Dr. Paul H. Cleverley of the iSchool at Robert Gordon University (Scotland).

Paul CleverleyThe iSchools organization congratulates both honorees, and will present their awards during iConference 2018 in Sheffield, UK. 

The iSchools Doctoral Dissertation Award recognizes the best iSchool dissertations of the preceding year. Nominations are solicited from all members of the iSchools organization, now more than 80 institutions worldwide, and judged by an award committee drawn from leading international schools. This year’s committee was chaired by Dr. Joseph Tennis of the University of Washington (USA) and Dr. Vivien Petras of Humboldt University (Germany).

The Award Committee lauded the winning dissertation for its unique approach to the study of social media. “Dr. Panger’s thesis ‘Emotion in Social Media’ is a novel addition to the literature on the evolving state of self-representation in online environment.

Contrary to stereotype, Panger found that people tend to wind down while browsing Facebook and Twitter. This combined with the other aspects of his study call for a more nuanced appreciation of the role of social media in our emotional lives. The skill with which Panger crafted the research question and research design set it apart from others in the competition. This, combined with his skill to communicate his research work at the intersections of conflicting concepts in the literature made it the clear winner for this year’s competition.”

The Committee had this to say about the runner up: “Dr. Cleverley’s dissertation ‘Re-examining and re-conceptualising enterprise search and discovery capability: Towards a model for the factors and generative mechanisms for search task outcomes’ utilizes a mixed-methods longitudinal case study with over 220 participants to develop a socio-technical framework for enterprise search information needs, search modalities and the factors impacting the search outcomes. The combination of the different empirical methods with the theoretical perspectives of the cultural and historical activity and complexity theories resulted in a sophisticated model, which achieved the runner-up position in the 2018 competition.”

Dr. Panger and Dr. Cleverley will be recognized during a presentation at the iSchools annual banquet, which takes place Tuesday, March 27 at this year’s iConference. The winner will receive a cash prize of $2,500 US, the runner up $1,000. The iSchools will begin accepting nominations for next year’s Award in July. All member schools are invited to submit a nomination. The iSchools Doctoral Dissertation Award was established in 2013 to honour outstanding work in the information field.

Details on current and former honorees can be found online:

The iSchools organization was founded in 2005 by a collective of Information Schools dedicated to advancing the information field in the 21st Century. It has since grown into a consortium of more than 80 universities and institutions spanning five continents. The organization is incorporated as iSchools Inc. in Washington, DC.

The iSchools organization supports student achievement through its annual Doctoral Colloquium and Doctoral Dissertation Award, as well as other special contests and mentoring opportunities. The iSchools also provide collaboration tools and other support to assist faculty in their teaching and research endeavours. Every year, the iSchools organization presents the iConference, a forum in which information scholars, researchers and professionals share their insights on critical information issues in contemporary society. The next iConference is scheduled to take place March 25-28, 2018 in Sheffield, UK.

Release by Kate Yuill
Communications Officer
Press and Media Enquiries