One Health—The Role of Emerging Communication Technology in Human Behavior
One Health is the concept that human, animal, and environmental health are interconnected and that the knowledge and study of these interconnections has benefits. Antibiotic resistance, zoonotic disease, and climate change are examples of One Health challenges. At MSU, I am leading research efforts to push forward an NIH-supported initiative, One Health—The Role of Emerging Communication Technology in Human Behavior. I am specifically investigating the role of emerging ICTs in addressing complex issues in the domain of One Health, with a focus on relationships between human information practices and decision-making and ICTs. Currently, in collaboration with researchers in communication and animal health, I am investigating veterinarians’ decision-making process and their information seeking and sharing practices in the context of antibiotics use, focusing on the role of ICTs.
College Knowledge Challenge
As a postdoctoral researcher on the College Knowledge Challenge research project, I worked with a team of researchers to study the use of a series of social media applications, social websites, and educational games designed to help low-income and first-generation students apply to college and persist through graduation using a variety of methods, including surveys, interviews, and experiments. For instance, one of the studies involved in the project investigated how a Facebook application that allows users to visualize their network of Facebook friends influences adolescents’ identification of people who could serve as good sources of information about college. Results suggest that social media can make hidden resources in one’s network more visible, thus helping users better reap the benefits of that network.
Social Search in a Social Q&A Setting (Dissertation research)
To better understand the influence of emerging social technologies on Web search behavior, my dissertation examined how people use a social question-answering (Q&A) service for social search. I applied the framework of “social search” to capture the social aspects of individuals’ online information-seeking behavior. Specifically, my research defined “social search” as a process of finding information by utilizing distributed social resources through interactions enabled by social technologies. Ultimately, the project highlighted ways in which social interactions can affect processes of information seeking.
Credibility 2.0 Project
In a series of studies involved in this project, we conducted a lab experiment and both face-to-face and telephone interviews to address how user-generated content contributors assess and establish credibility, and how such perceived credibility and credibility establishment strategies relate to users’ online participation. One of the studies involved in the project investigated this in the context of blogs. In this study, we developed the concept of audience-aware credibility, defined as “how bloggers signal their credibility based on who they think their audience is and how they provide value to them.”
Value of Search Project
We investigated how much time people save by using search engines for their information needs compared to offline sources, as well as how online searching affects both search experiences and search outcomes. In a controlled experiment, we compared online and offline search experiences and outcomes by using questions generated from a random sample of queries from a major search engine and a sample of reference questions from the Internet Public Library (IPL). Our research is the first to quantify the productivity gains from online search, contributing to the evaluation of the impact of search technology on search outcomes and productivity in everyday life.