Professor Isto Huvila: During the Pandemic, We Probably All Felt the Importance of Information Management and Communication

Professor Isto Huvila: During the Pandemic, We Probably All Felt the Importance of Information Management and Communication

Sukurta: 10 February 2022

isto huvila KFAn international scientific conference, "Expression of Information and Communication Theory and Practice 2022," will take place on April 28-29. There will be an opportunity to listen to representatives of the scientific field and present own research topics. Therefore, the conference organizers invite to participate and submit presentations related to information and communication topics.

This international scientific conference is organized by the Department of Organizational Information and Communication Research of the Faculty of Communication of Vilnius University. The conference aims to encourage scientists and practitioners to present the results of theoretical and applied research and initiate scientific discussions on relevant information and communication topics.

The conference will be attended by an exceptional guest professor Isto Huvila from Uppsala University in Sweden. The professor agreed to share his research areas, and a presentation read at the conference.

What is the main area of your research?

My research is about many things, but the red thread that goes through it is that I am interested in how people get to know what they need to know in their work and free-time and how different technologies and ramifications impact how people get informed and are able to inform others—and how information, data, and knowledge can be managed to serve better different goals people have. I have been working a lot with archaeologists and archaeological information management but have also been working on health information, libraries, archives, museums, and private companies.

Why do your studies matter?

This is a tricky question. What is the impact and relevance of my work? Even if mainly what I do is about understanding and clarifying what people think about information, information systems, tools, and sources they work with, why they choose specific ways forward and consider others less useful, a guiding perspective in my work stems from management. What I mean by this is that the ultimate aim of my work is to say something meaningful that helps people to do work better with information: to organise, preserve, share, document, manage, seek and retrieve it so that it is better available whenever it would be needed. This applies to all work contexts, whether the information is archaeological fieldwork data, medical record text, archival records, or museum collections.

Why, in your opinion, does the conference matter? What is the main goal?

I think that conferences matter very much in general. The exchange between scholars is crucial for advancing science in information and communication fields as it is in all scholarly domains. What I especially like about the themes of this year's conference is its focus on management issues. None of us has hardly failed to recognise during the past two years of our generation extraordinary circumstances how vital information and knowledge management and communication and how it is managed is for individuals, teams, and organisations. Simultaneously, it has become ever more apparent how we really have to understand and think about how things are communicated to be sensitive to differences in gender and culture, equal access, and opportunities when we suddenly need to adapt our routines to a different kind of reality we have not accustomed to. There is much demand for information, knowledge, and communication management and a need to rethink certain ground truths we might have thought would be here to stay.

What will you speak about at the conference?

I will talk about the documentation of information work, describing how information is produced, managed, and used. It is a question that is not always discussed in detail compared to how much ado there is about documentation of knowledge and information in terms of providing adequate metadata for finding and understanding what information is all about. It is obviously essential to know what information or data is about. However, in many cases, it would be equally important to know a lot about how the information was produced, what decisions were made, what tools were used, how it was processed, preserved, what was left out and why, and so on. Such things are not always documented in detail—partly for a good reason and partly because —well, they are not.

How does this message relate to your other work? Why is it important to speak about?

Why this all is really interesting right now and at this conference is that this is a crucial question or information and knowledge management and communication, not least when we might not always have access to our usual means of finding out things that are normally communicated tacitly when we are together in the same physical place. In the talk, you have to bear several examples from archaeological and heritage domains, but the issue is the same across academic, professional, and colloquial non-work contexts. We need to know where the information we rely on comes from and what it is and how and why it looks like it does to be able to trust it. Similarly, it is equally important to understand how we could communicate in the best possible way our doings with information we create to make it valuable and trustworthy for others.

The conference organizers invite presentations in the following areas of research:
• Information and knowledge management in the organization
• Communication management in the organization
• Gender expression in communication and other socio-cultural contexts

The conference will be held in English and Lithuanian remotely.
We invite you to submit abstracts in English or Lithuanian until 2022 February 15.

For more information read here.

Fill out the registration form here.