The story of the iStories Lab began in a doctoral seminar at the UBC iSchool. A diverse group of scholars from different disciplinary backgrounds, we found ourselves looking for ways to overcome the communication barriers that were preventing us from sharing our research experiences and interests more effectively.
The more we spoke about these communicative issues, the more we realized that others in the wider community of information research might be facing similar challenges. After conducting a project on the importance of knowledge translation and exchange within and beyond the field of information research, led by Dr. Luanne Freund, we decided to expand our conversation to information scholars, practitioners, and members of the public whose values and perspectives we believe are integral to our work.
Our first research project, “iWords,” is our response to this shared challenge. As emerging scholars, we aim to investigate creative ways to build communicative bridges and pathways with each other. We take an interest in the identity of the information field and its sub-fields, and the ways in which these identities are constructed and deconstructed through language. We have observed that keywords within the field—such as design, information, practice, privacy, and relevance—signal our divergent methodologies, paradigms, and theories, as well as our continuing debates. Instead of shying away from the multiplicity of these disciplinary languages, worldviews, and paradigms, we are exploring the intersections, perspectives, and discoveries that they present to our individual and collective learning about the information field.
The formation of the iStories Lab represents our ongoing commitment to collaborative learning and discovery as we continue to negotiate the unique challenges and benefits of this interdisciplinary field. We look forward to exploring new issues collectively as a community of scholars boasting a wide range of backgrounds and expertise.