Events

Seminar Series

Presenter:

Pericles Giannaris

Date:

08-31-2015

Time:

11:00AM-12:00PM

Location:

S016 Memorial Union

Researching the communication structure of online health communities with social network analysis and computational linguistics, a group informatics approach

Online communities are virtual social structures that promote communication among Internet users on various discussion subjects.  Research has found that online communities make communication possible for every person and are highly active with almost every Web user being a member of a forum.  Online health communities connect people facing health concerns, exchange health information, and offer emotional support.  In health care, online support fora are shown to enable emotional support and information sharing.

Objective: This research analyzes the interactions of an online health community and study its participants’ interests and level of engagement.  The objective is to develop an informatics pipeline to improve our understanding of informational and social support in online communities and identify highly central participants.  The outcome can identify patterns that may be useful more generally across online health forum research.

Methods: Integrating qualitative research methods from grounded theory with computational linguistics and network analysis to aid a more systematic evaluation of the effectiveness of communication in online health communities.

Results: Network and text analyses of online community data project a central and highly influential participant, distribution of participants based on online discussions, correlation of discussion topics, and similarity between participants’ post structure.

Seminar Series

Presenter:

Miroslav Marinov

Date:

10-13-2014

Time:

11:00AM-12:00PM

Location:

222 EBW

Knowledge Discovery System for Research Hypothesis Generation from Serendipitous Findings

From the discovery of penicillin and x-rays to the development of many of today’s chemotherapy agents, serendipitous findings tangential to the researcher’s intended purpose, the “That’s funny…” moments, have greatly impacted the health and well-being of society. As an information behavior, these unexpected findings are an example of the Opportunistic Discovery of Information (ODI). ODI has been described in many contexts, from information behavior in virtual worlds to the impact of information encountering on health behaviors. Yet, little is known about instances of ODI within the context of scientific research. A major difficulty in the study of the ODI is the transient nature of the experience. People do not plan to find information unexpectedly, nor is it easy to develop an experimental environment that consistently fosters the ODI experience.

Content analysis may prove to be a useful methodology in revealing instances of ODI in documents, such as journal articles, and can be analyzed for both their manifest content (word use or count) and their latent content (themes and meanings). We believe that the current research literature holds latent references to these ODI experiences and can be systematically analyzed to reveal traces of this human information behavior.

We propose taxonomy of term use indicating the presence of serendipity in the research process and reveal the relationship between the authors’ word choice for serendipity and specific types of ODI experiences.

Seminar Series

Presenter:

Xingyan Kuang

Date:

10-06-2014

Time:

11:00AM-12:00PM

Location:

222 EBW

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