Matthew Johnson (MSLS '18) wins ASIS&T’s Pratt Severn Award

July 31, 2019

Matthew Weirick Johnson (MSLS ’18), graduate of the UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS), has been selected as the 2019 recipient of the Pratt Severn Best Student Research Paper Award from the Association for Information Science & Technology (ASIS&T).

Portrait of Matthew Johnson
Matthew Johnson (MSLS '18)

Johnson’s paper, titled “Dating Apps, Categorical Fields, and Health Information Sharing: Exploring the Utility of Dating Application Features Related to HIV, STIs and PrEP for Promoting Regular Testing and PrEP Usage” was chosen from among a pool of outstanding candidates, according to a news positing on ASIS&T’s website. Entries were judged on criteria including technical competence in information science, significance of findings, originality, and clarity of expression.

In selecting Johnson’s paper, one juror said, “I believe that this paper makes a significant contribution to two LIS areas of increasing concern – health informatics and the sociocultural nature of information practices…I would cite it in conversation with some of my own research findings.”

Another juror said, “The study of queer men’s behavior on dating apps is original and well executed. The author was investigating the effect of several dating app features of behavior based on the qualitative inquiry. The literature review is extensive and grounds the study well in theory.”

Upon learning of his selection as the Pratt Severn Award winner, Johnson said, “I’m honored to receive this award and grateful for the opportunity to share my work at the annual meeting and in JASIST. I’m thankful to the members of the jury, my advisor [SILS Assistant Professor] Amelia Gibson, and the participants who agreed to share their stories with me. I look forward to continuing this line of research.”

Johnson is a Humanities and Social Sciences Librarian at the University of California, Los Angeles. During his time at SILS, he coordinated the Community Workshop Series (CWS) and won the 2017 Miriam Braverman Memorial Prize from the Progressive Librarians Guild.

He will receive the Pratt Severn Award at the 2019 ASIS&T meeting, which will be held in Melbourne, Australia, October 19-23.

Adapted from a news story by Lydia Middleton, ASIS&T