I have been accepted to present a poster at the 80th Annual Meeting of the Association for Information Science and Technology. This year’s event will be held in Washington, DC. It will be my second time attending the conference, and my first time presenting at it.
The poster is based on the findings from one of my four research questions, “How do individuals use information to build identities for themselves online?” It is co-authored with my PhD supervisors, Peter Cruickshank, Professor Hazel Hall, and Alistair Lawson.
Building identity in online environments: an Information Science perspective
The research presented in this poster is concerned with the ways in which people use information to build identities for themselves online with reference to the themes of personal reputation management. To date, these two themes have been under-explored together in the research literature, both in general and from an Information Science perspective. The poster content shares findings related to three areas of identity building: (1) the creation and use of online personas and identities; (2) the use of anonymity and pseudonyms through information sharing – or concealment – practices; and (3) the ways in which the blurring or merging together of participants’ private and professional selves. This study used participant diaries and in-depth, semi-structured interviews with 45 UK-based participants. The main finding presented here is that individuals present elements of their online persona or personality using online information, but that they do not do so with the intention of building identity. The findings explored in this presentation are contextualised with reference to identity building in the more formal setting of academic reputation management, i.e. through the use of citations.
I will share a digital version of the poster and handouts before the conference poster session. I will also be tweeting during the whole of the event, so be sure to follow me on Twitter (@FrancesRyanPhD).