21 January 2020

Call for Papers: 2020 News Media joint with Digital Humanities–Digital Scholarship, FAIFE (Freedom of Access to Information and Freedom of Expression Advisory Committee), and CLM (Copyright and Other Legal Matters Advisory Committee)

Theme: "How Fake News Impacts and Engages the Library Mission and Services "


The News Media Section seeks proposals for papers to be presented at the IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Dublin, Ireland, from August 15-20, 2020. This open program is co-sponsored by the IFLA’s Digital Humanities / Digital Scholarship Special Interest Group, Freedom of Access to Information and Freedom of Expression (FAIFE) Advisory Committee, and Copyright and other Legal Matters (CLM) Advisory Committee.

What’s true in an age of fake news and alternative facts?

Fake news and alternative facts dog users of news media and media researchers.  The pace of this development is rapidly increasing in digital media.  With regard to this IFLA Open Programme Session, ‘fake news’ is defined as “news that conveys or incorporates false, fabricated, or deliberately misleading information, or that is characterised as or accused of doing so” (Oxford English Dictionary).  ‘Alternative fact’ is defined as “a theory posited as an alternative to another, often more widely accepted, theory” (Collins dictionary).

Possible Themes and Research Questions in This Session Could Include

  • Librarians and educators as gatekeepers and fact-checkers of news for their users: How do we identify what news what is real or fake?  What are the ethical, legal and practical implications we must consider when filtering news for users?  What role, if any, does library and information science have in defining fake news and alternative facts?
  • Through what channels and formats do fake news and alternative facts appear? How and why should fake news and alternative facts, if identified, be archived and preserved?
  • Where are the borderlines of politically- and ideologically-biased news, fake news, and alternative facts? When politicians “spin” information via the news media, how does this affect the freedom of speech of librarians and educators?
  • Fake news and alternative facts as a manufactured product: How do outlets for fake news and alternative facts attract users and consumers?  What roles do search algorithms and online advertising play in bringing fake news and alternative facts to users?  How can librarians and educators gain online authority and find their place in the digital public sphere?
  • What is the role of fact-checkers in the digital news environment? By what authority do fact-checkers do their jobs?  How can librarians and educators cooperate with them?
  • Fake news and alternative facts may seem to be recent phenomena, but they actually do have a long history. How do we know today which news and historical facts from a long time ago are real or fake?
  • Case studies about how libraries successfully address Fake News are welcomed.

Submission Guidelines

Proposal abstracts must be submitted by 29th February 2020, must be in English, and should clearly include:

  • Title of proposed paper
  • Abstract of proposed paper (no more than 500 words)
  • Name(s) of presenter(s) and position(s) and/or title(s)
  • Employer(s) / affiliated institution(s) of presenter(s)
  • Contact information including email address(es) and telephone number(s)
  • Short biographical statement(s) of presenter(s)

Abstracts must be submitted as an MS Word attachment to:

Minna Kaukonen
Email: minna.kaukonen@helsinki.fi


Ann Okerson
Email: aokerson@gmail.com

The Conference Planning Committee members and proposal reviewers include:

Spencer Acadia, Mazelan Anuar, Raphaëlle Bats, Laurie Bridges, Minna Kaukonen, Ann Okerson, Anke Winsmann, and Frederick Zarndt.

Selected presenters will be notified by 27th March 2020.

Accepted Papers

  • Complete accepted papers should be 3000-6000 words in length, be an original submission not published elsewhere, preferably be written in English, and must use the template that will be available with IFLA’s 2020 Guidelines for Paper Authors and Presenters.
  • Complete accepted papers must be submitted as MS Word attachments to the two committee members listed above, along with accompanying presentation slides, by 15th June 2020.
  • Approximately 15-20 minutes will be allotted for a summary presentation of the paper. It is strongly recommended that the presentation is supported by a visual element such as PowerPoint, Prezi, or other presentation software.

Important Dates

29 February 2020: Proposal abstracts due

27 March 2020: Acceptance notices sent to authors

15 June 2020: Completed papers and presentations submitted

Please note:

At least one of the paper’s authors must be present to deliver a summary of the paper during the program in Dublin. Abstracts should only be submitted with the understanding that the expenses of attending the conference will be the responsibility of the author(s)/presenter(s) of accepted papers.

The paper must be an original submission not presented or published elsewhere. All papers that are presented at the WLIC 2020 will be made available online via the IFLA Library under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.

Authors of accepted papers must complete the IFLA Authors’ Permission Form.

All expenses, including registration for the conference, travel, accommodation etc., are the responsibility of the authors/presenters. No financial support can be provided by IFLA, but a special invitation letter can be issued to author(s)/presenter(s) of accepted papers.

For further information please see the CFP Page.

Congress Participation Grants

List of opportunities for support is available on the Apply for Grants & Awards webpage.

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