The New Yellow Journalism: Examining the Algorithmic Turn in News Organizations’ Social Media Activity

A monograph based on this research is under review at MIT Press.

Network analyses of culturally distinct news organizations' social media activity before and after implementing algorithmic news judgment (dissertation research)

This dissertation summarizes and contextualizes a study of the Twitter activity of three culturally distinct news organizations in the months preceding the 2016 U. S. presidential election, during which each entity migrated from social media strategies relying on human judgment to information practices based on algorithmic evaluation and prioritization of news items. 

Hyper-vigilance and Information Gleaning in the Surgical Waiting Lounge

Ascher, D. L. (2015). How is she? Information and the surgical waiting lounge. Proc. Assoc. Info. Sci. Tech., 52: 1–8. doi:10.1002/pra2.2015.145052010047

This project comprises a series of exploratory ethnographic studies of visitor information-seeking behavior in surgical waiting lounges. A model of information practice is examined in relation to existing information-seeking behavior theories, frameworks, and approaches. The finding that visitors’ information poverty and inhibited information-seeking behavior manifested in a process of information gleaning—notable for its hyper-vigilance and meaning inference—is discussed. Similarities are drawn between this behavior, crisis situations, and situational anxiety disorder. Finally, recommendations are described in the context of anxiety-reducing interventions and established post-operative information practices.

Relevant media: Ascher ASIST 2015

Network Analysis of Neo-Nazi Hate Speech on Twitter

Ascher, D. L., & Noble, S. U. (2018). Algorithmic bias, race, and online speech. In K. Gelber and S. Brison (Eds.), Free speech in the digital age. London: Oxford University Press.

This project examines the network structure of neo-nazi messaging distributed via Twitter.

Open Access version:

Network Analysis of News Coverage of the 2016 Presidential Election: Urgency & Calls to Action

An article describing this research is forthcoming. See also: Contextualizing Cambridge Analytica

This project takes a network analysis approach to evaluate the temporal aspects of social media posts concerning the 2016 U. S. Presidential Election.

Translating Data Management Priorities for Information Workers

Status: Ongoing

This project focuses on the development of techniques to aid information workers in prioritizing information practices that contribute to compliance with data management standards, emphasizing long-term disposition planning, interoperability, and contextualization, with particular attention to interface design, ease of use, and streamlined integration with legacy systems. This project aims to create a framework for integrating data management practices with existing information practices in organizations.

Motivating Information Practices for Sound Decision Making

Ascher, D. L., & Ascher, W. L. (2016). Inducing better stakeholder searches for environmental information relevant to coastal conservation. In B. H. MacDonald, et al. (Eds.), Science, information, and policy interface for effective coastal and ocean management (pp. 153–174). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

This project draws from information studies, public policy, and behavioral science to develop tools and techniques for motivating information practices that improve decision making.

Are We Teaching What the Field Is Seeking?

Status: Ongoing

This comparison of LIS curricula and LIS employment ads informs several talks and workshops.

Current reading

Past reading

Diana Ascher