2021 UNILISA Conference

Call for abstracts

In the digital age, information serves as a key resource in addressing a multitude of contemporary societal challenges. Although the digital age has significantly sped up the dissemination of information, it has also exposed humankind to all sorts of information disorder (both solicited and unsolicited), from diverse sources. Information disorder is characterised by misinformation (false information which someone shares without knowing it is untrue); disinformation (false information that is shared with the intention to harm) and malinformation (true information that is used to harm). Information disorder not only distorts the information ecology, but also presents a fundamental global threat, sowing confusion and hampering the realisation of a sustainable society. The use of disinformation has an impact on attitudes and policies related to crucial ecological, social and political issues that may alter perceptions and decision making at the national, regional and global levels. Research shows that information disorder spreads significantly faster, deeper and more broadly than accurate information – a notion which has prompted references to a ‘disinfodemic’ (unreliable and false information accompanying the Covid-19 pandemic).

In the battle for truth, information professionals have been promoting ethics and integrity, while de-incentivising the production and publication of false information and results. To achieve this, they make their voices heard at conferences, in publications and by using other resources which work to combat all forms of untruths. In effect, Goal 16 of the United Nations’ SDGs seeks to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development; provide access to justice for all; and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. Supporting the achievement of this and other SDGs implies that information professionals are, more than ever before, challenged to intensify their efforts to enhance access to those information services that will mitigate the communication of accurate information, in ways that facilitate the realisation of a sustainable society.

Bearing this in mind, the question then is: What role do information professionals, information enterprises and researchers play in an era of information disorder?

In light of the above, the organisers of UNILISA 2021 call for the submission of abstracts from all interested persons, including librarians, researchers, archivists, records managers, information professionals and other practitioners, to address issues within the following sub-themes:

  • Archives, data curation and preservation
      • archives, records, cultural heritage materials
      • digital data curation
      • digital libraries
      • archival diplomacy
      • digital preservation
      • digital forensics
  • Data science, analytics and visualisation

    • big data analytics
    • data science, data analytics, data mining, social analytics
    • data and information management
    • open data movement
    • open access
    • personal data protection
    • data curatorship
    • block chain technology
    • cloud and grid computing
      open health data
  • Ethical and privacy concerns, and scholarly communication
    • emergency remote learning
    • information dissemination
    • information disinformation and the post-truth era
    • governance accountability and transparency in information
    • information ethics, computing ethics
    • information policy
    • open access
    • information and society
    • information security
    • information privacy
    • international information issues
    • copyright and intellectual property
    • disinformation and the Covid-19 pandemic
    • health information research online (esp. during a pandemic)
    • misinformation
    • malinformation
  • Information and knowledge management
    • information theory 
    • knowledge economy, evaluating and sourcing knowledge
    • the history, theory and philosophy of information
    • information organisation, knowledge organisation, knowledge representation, metadata, classification
    • learning organisation
    • intellectual capital
    • information architecture, information design
    • information retrieval, social information retrieval
    • information visualisation, images and sound
  • Fourth Industrial Revolution
      • artificial intelligence
      • virtual reality
      • smart technologies
      • cybersecurity
      • voice computing
      • robotics
    • information and knowledge for sustainable development
  • Library and Information Science
    • altmetrics, bibliometrics, infometrics, scientometrics
    • e-learning, e-books, education in information sciences
    • digital literacy, multiple literacies, information literacy
    • health information-seeking and health information use
    • health information literacy
    • health information behaviour on social media
    • health information disclosure (privacy concerns, privacy paradox)
    • libraries, museums, and other cultural institutions, information services
    • scholarly communication and new modes of publishing
    • current trends in LIS research
    • disability and inclusiveness
    • bioinformatics
    • business informatics
    • medical informatics
    • social and community informatics
    • user and information services
    • research methods in library and information science


Abstracts related to the above topics should not exceed 400 words, and should address or contain the following:

  • Theme and title of the paper, which also reflects a clear description of the topic and its importance or relevance
  • Name(s) of the author(s)
  • Contact details of the author(s), inclusive of e-mail(s) and contact telephone number(s)
  • Institutional affiliation(s)
  • Main category within the conference outline to which the abstract relates
  • Keywords

The above information does not form part of the 400 words allocated to the actual content of the abstract.

Abstracts should be e-mailed to Prof Mabel Majanja at majanmk@unisa.ac.za and copy to unilisaconference@unisa.ac.za

Last modified: 2020/10/08