Two SILS faculty members named finalists for iConference 2019 best paper award

February 28, 2019

UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS) Associate Professor Melanie Feinberg and Assistant Professor Mohammad Hossein Jarrahi are authors on two of the five papers named as finalists for the best full research paper award at iConference 2019. The Lee Dirks Award for Best Paper recognizes the most exceptional completed paper presented at the conference each year. The winner will be announced at the conference’s opening plenary on April 1 in Washington, D.C. In addition to the recognition, the award includes a $5,000 prize.

Outdoor portrait of Mohammad Jarrahi
Dr. Mohammad Hossein

Outdoor Portrat of Melanie Feinberg
Dr. Melanie Feinberg

Jarrahi is lead author on “Algorithmic Management and Algorithmic Competencies: Understanding and Appropriating Algorithms in Gig work,” with SILS graduate and current University of Washington PhD student Will Sutherland (MSIS ’17) as co-author. Building on an empirical study of Upwork users, this paper makes it clear that gig workers who utilize the platform are not passive recipients of algorithmic management. They develop a literacy for understanding and working with algorithms, and some use their knowledge to manipulate the algorithms in order to retain some professional autonomy.

Feinberg’s doctoral advisee, Ayse Gursoy, is the first author for "Understanding Change in a Dynamic Complex Digital Object: Reading Categories of Change out of Patch Notes Documents.” The paper, which reports on part of Gursoy’s dissertation project, analyzes several years of patch notes for the digital game League of Legends through the methodology of reading to construct categories of kinds of changes and interpret the different roles of those categories. Gursoy’s dissertation examines the concept of change as a significant property for the preservation of complex digital objects, such as games. Gursoy, a student at the University of Texas at Austin, is co-advised by Feinberg and Karen M. Wickett of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, who are co-authors on this paper.

The iConference best paper award is named in memory of SILS Distinguished Alumnus and former Board of Visitors member Lee Dirks (MSLS '90), who was a friend and longtime supporter of the conference.