Synthesis Lectures on Information Concepts, Retrieval, and Services

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    Mobile Search Behaviors

    Dan Wu

    Researching Serendipity in Digital Information Environments

    Lori McCay-Peet

    Chance, luck, and good fortune are the usual go-to descriptors of serendipity, a phenomenon aptly often coupled with famous anecdotes of accidental discoveries in engineering and science in modern history such as penicillin, Teflon, and Post-it notes. Serendipity, however, is evident in many fields of research, in organizations, in everyday life—and there is more to it than luck implies. While the phenomenon is strongly associated with in person interactions with people, places, and things, most attention of late has focused on its preservation and facilitation within digital information environments. Serendipity's association with unexpected, positive user experiences and outcomes has spurred an interest in understanding both how current digital information environments support serendipity and how novel approaches may be developed to facilitate it. Research has sought to understand serendipity, how it is manifested in people's personality traits and behaviors, how it may be facilitated in digital information environments such as mobile applications, and its impacts on an individual, an organizational, and a wider level. Because serendipity is expressed and understood in different ways in different contexts, multiple methods have been used to study the phenomenon and evaluate digital information environments that may support it. This volume brings together different disciplinary perspectives and examines the motivations for studying serendipity, the various ways in which serendipity has been approached in the research, methodological approaches to build theory, and how it may be facilitated. Finally, a roadmap for serendipity research is drawn by integrating key points from this volume to produce a framework for the examination of serendipity in digital information environments.

    Social Monitoring for Public Health

    Michael J. Paul

    Public health thrives on high-quality evidence, yet acquiring meaningful data on a population remains a central challenge of public health research and practice. Social monitoring, the analysis of social media and other user-generated web data, has brought advances in the way we leverage population data to understand health. Social media offers advantages over traditional data sources, including real-time data availability, ease of access, and reduced cost. Social media allows us to ask, and answer, questions we never thought possible. This book presents an overview of the progress on uses of social monitoring to study public health over the past decade. We explain available data sources, common methods, and survey research on social monitoring in a wide range of public health areas. Our examples come from topics such as disease surveillance, behavioral medicine, and mental health, among others. We explore the limitations and concerns of these methods. Our survey of this exciting new field of data-driven research lays out future research directions.

    iRODS Primer 2

    Hao Xu