Download my CV in PDF form (current as of October 8, 2018), or view it below. You may also be interested in my separate lists of publications and presentations, which include more details on and link to PDFs of much of my work; my research, teaching, and service statements; and other materials found in my portfolio.

Adam Worrall

Assistant Professor, University of Alberta
School of Library and Information Studies
5-168 Education North, Edmonton, AB T6G 2G5
(780) 492-0179 | (587) 597-5838 |

Research Interests

In my research, I adopt social informatics, information behaviour, and information practice perspectives to study information-centric communities that are wholly or partially online. I am particularly interested in the roles played by information and communication technologies (ICTs) in online information-centric communities and the relationships and interactions they have with users—with an emerging focus on immigrants and expatriates—and their information sharing behaviours and practices within these contexts.


Ph.D. in Information Studies Aug 2009 - Aug 2014

School of Information (iSchool), Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL

Dissertation: "The Roles of Digital Libraries as Boundary Objects Within and Across Social and Information Worlds.” Committee: Michelle M. Kazmer (chair), Gary Burnett, Sanghee Oh, Deborah J. Armstrong (university representative, Management Information Systems)

M.S. in Library and Information Studies (MSLIS) Aug 2006 - Apr 2008

College of Information (iSchool), Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL

Specialized in Information Architecture and Information Organization. Significant coursework in digital libraries, information organization and metadata, usability analysis, information behaviour, and research methods.

B.S. in Computer Science Aug 1999 - Dec 2002

College of Engineering and Computer Science, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL

Graduated magna cum laude with University Honors. Significant coursework in computer programming and information systems development theory and skills, including C, C++, Java, database concepts, and technical writing.


Journal articles (refereed, accepted)

Journal articles (refereed, published)

Edited book chapters (refereed)

Conference papers (refereed)

Conference posters (refereed)

Journal and magazine articles (invited)

Conference posters (non-refereed)


Talks (refereed)

Panels (refereed)

Talks (invited)

Panels (invited)

Academic Experience

Assistant Professor Aug 2015 - present
School of Library and Information Studies, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB

Adjunct Professor Aug 2014 - May 2015
School of Information, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL

Doctoral Student Aug 2009 - Aug 2014
School of Information, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL

  • Lead Graduate Instructor Aug 2013 - May 2014
  • Graduate Teaching Assistant Aug 2009 - Dec 2009; Aug 2012 - Aug 2013
  • Graduate Research Assistant Jan 2010 - Aug 2012

Research Experience


Jul 2016 - present Exploring Socio-Emotional Motivations, Information Sharing, and Community Coherence in Stack Exchange Academia

Looks to further our understanding of the social and emotional reasons and motivations that lead users to ask and answer questions and otherwise participate, interact, and share information on social questioning-and-answering sites. Employing content analysis, a survey, and semi-structured interviews to explore users’ socio-emotional motivations and the influence of these motivations on the potential coherence of communities around their questioning, answering, and interactions in the Academia section of Stack Exchange, a social Q&A site for academics and higher education students. Analysis draws from the literature on socio-emotional motivations, Burnett and Jaeger’s theory of information worlds, and the concept of coherence from Star’s boundary object theory. Funded through a Support for the Advancement of Scholarship (SAS) Grant provided by the University of Alberta Faculty of Education.

Sep 2015 - present Immigrants’ Information Values, Sharing, and Cultural Memory: Interactions with ICT Use in an Online Community

Collaborative research with Alyssa Hyduk (research assistant Sep 2015 - Aug 2016 and MLIS student) investigating how the information and communication technologies used by immigrant and expatriate members of an online community interact with the information values and information sharing behaviours of community members and the cultural memory established by the community. Drawing on Burnett and Jaeger's theory of information worlds and key concepts from literature on cultural memory. Partially funded through a Start Up Grant provided by the University of Alberta Faculty of Education.

Dec 2012 - Jul 2014 The Roles of Digital Libraries as Boundary Objects Within and Across Social and Information Worlds

Dissertation research focused on the roles that two digital libraries, LibraryThing and Goodreads, play as boundary objects in facilitating translation, coherence, and convergence in pre-existing and new emergent communities. Drew on Star’s boundary object theory, Strauss’s social worlds framework, and Burnett and Jaeger’s theory of information worlds. Three roles were identified: (a) establishing community and organizational structure; (b) facilitating users’ sharing of information values; and (c) building and maintaining social ties, networks, and community culture. Funded by a Beta Phi Mu Eugene Garfield Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship and a Florida State University Esther Maglathlin Doctoral Research Scholarship.

Jan 2011 - Apr 2013 Quality Evaluation of Health Answers in Social Q&A: A Comparison Between Health Reference Librarians, Nurses, and Questioners

Collaborative research with Sanghee Oh (PI) and Yong Jeong Yi that investigated the influence of social media in and on health information seeking and sharing behaviours. Compared health reference librarians, nurses, and questioners’ quality evaluations of answers to questions on Yahoo! Answers, a social Q&A Web site. Found both objective and subjective strategies have a place in the seeking, sharing, and evaluation of information. Funded by a Florida State University First Year Assistant Professor (FYAP) grant awarded to Sanghee Oh.

Jan 2010 - Aug 2012 Virtual Scientific Teams: Life-Cycle Formation and Long-Term Scientific Collaboration

Graduate research assistant for this National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded 2½ year project (#0942855) with numerous Florida State University iSchool faculty under the leadership of Kathy Burnett (PI). Aimed to identify what social and organizational factors best support the transition from short-term, experiment focused, virtual scientific collaborations to long-term productive, innovative programs of scientific research. Found successful juggling of, bridging between, and adapting to multiple communities and lifecycles increases the likelihood of a team’s successful transition.


Jan 2018 - present Student Immigrants, Technology, and Information Sharing: An Exploratory Study

This study looks to further our understanding of information sharing and information and communications technology (ICT) use by international student immigrants to Canada, focusing for exploratory purposes on students at the University of Alberta. It employs interviews with international student immigrants currently studying at the University of Alberta, to explore four main research questions: (1) their use of ICTs in their academic and everyday lives; (2) the role(s) ICTs play in their settlement process; (3) how they choose to share everyday and academic information with others using technology; and (4) any differences in these activities between the different communities and environments they are part of, such as their new country vs. their original home, or academic vs. everyday life uses.

Jan 2010 - Apr 2010 Supporting Community-Building in Digital Libraries: A Pilot Study of LibraryThing

Piloted a survey instrument to measure the level of support provided by the LibraryThing digital library for community-building behaviours and activities by its users, under the guidance of Besiki Stvilia, as a first step towards my research goals. While only a pilot study with concomitant limitations, some interesting findings were nevertheless uncovered, discussed in my poster presented at ASIS&T 2010 (see above). My dissertation further explored these issues.

Teaching Experience

University of Alberta Sep 2015 - present

Assistant Professor
  • Technology, Information, and Society (LIS 598; special topics) Winter 2016, 2017, 2019(x2)

Graduate IT elective.

  • Foundations of Library and Information Studies (LIS 501) Fall 2015, 2016, 2017. 2018, 2019

Graduate core; two online sections per offering.

  • Digital Libraries (LIS 538) Winter 2018

Graduate IT elective.

  • Human Information Interaction (LIS 598; special topics) Winter 2017

Graduate elective.

Course Development
  • Technology, Information, and Society (LIS 598; special topics) Sep 2015 - present

Developed course outline / syllabus, readings, and assignments for a special topics course on the critical analysis of technology and information in our society. The course educates students in critical and interdisciplinary examination, from human and social perspectives, of technology in the context of libraries and information organizations and of the complex relationships between technology, information, and society.

Florida State University Aug 2009 - May 2015

Adjunct Professor / Graduate Lead Instructor
  • Technologies for Information Professionals (LIS 3353) Spring 2015; Spring 2014; Fall 2013

Undergraduate core. Supervised a teaching assistant Fall 2013 and Spring 2014.

  • Information Science (LIS 3267) Spring 2015

Undergraduate core.

  • Information Technology Project (LIS 4910) Fall 2014

Undergraduate capstone.

Graduate Teaching Assistant
  • Information, Technology, and Older Adults (LIS 5916) Summer 2013

Graduate elective. Helped choose readings and develop syllabus before and after this first offering of the course.

  • Information Systems and Services (LIS 3706) Spring 2013

Undergraduate core. Led and facilitated weekly lab sessions.

  • Assessing Information Needs (LIS 5203) Fall 2012

Graduate core. Led one class session on theories & paradigms in information behaviour research.

  • Technical Communication for Information Professionals (LIS 3021) Fall 2012

Undergraduate core. Led weekly lab sessions.

  • Digital Libraries (LIS 5472) Fall 2009

Graduate recommended elective. Led one class session on social aspects of digital libraries.

  • Information Security (LIS 5916) Fall 2009

Graduate recommended elective. Led one class session on access control. Helped choose readings.

Course Development
  • Qualitative Research Methods May 2010 - Aug 2010

Developed, in collaboration with Michelle M. Kazmer and Gary Burnett, a proposed syllabus for a new doctoral seminar at the FSU iSchool in qualitative research methods as an outgrowth of a directed independent study (DIS). Included writing objectives, selecting suitable readings, and determining appropriate assignments for students. After additional feedback, suggestions, and minor modifications by Kazmer and Burnett, the syllabus is now in use at the FSU iSchool.

Invited Guest Lectures

Professional Experience

Social Media Contributor Aug 2014 - Sep 2015

Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T), Silver Spring, MD

Contributed to and assisted in maintaining ASIS&T social media venues, including the ASIS&T blog, Facebook page, and Twitter feed. Promoted and encouraged engagement with ASIS&T HQ, SIG, and Chapter activities through social media venues. Helped coordinate with Special Interest Groups (SIGs) and Chapters on social media efforts. Assisted with surveys on social media use and ASIS&T's online presence.

Library Intern Jan 2008 - Apr 2008

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Miami Regional Library, Miami, FL

Evaluated, analyzed, and improved usability of digital library Web site interface; upgraded and secured database system and restored access to often-requested digital collections; digitized gray literature and scientific data; provided basic reference and customer services to patrons.

Information Technology and Systems Consultant May 2003 - Aug 2006

Self-employed, Miami, FL

Analyzed and resolved issues with users’ computer software and hardware drivers; installed hardware equipment and set up associated software; assisted and educated clients in using computers, information systems, and the Internet, solving information and technology problems.

Fellowships, Scholarships, and Colloquia

CSST 2016 Summer Research Institute Jun 2016

Consortium for the Science of Sociotechnical Systems, Stevenson, WA, June 27 – July 1, 2016

Invited to be part of a group of inter- and trans-disciplinary junior scholars studying the design and use of sociotechnical systems. The Institute included mentoring, peer networking, and skill building to help participants identify substantive ways that sociotechnical theories, approaches, and tools can advance their work with the design and understanding of critical sociotechnical systems.

ASIS&T 2015 Doctoral Seminar Nov 2015

78th Association for Information Science and Technology Annual Meeting, St. Louis, MO, November 10, 2015

Part of a group of top candidates from ASIS&T's dissertation and dissertation proposal competitions, meeting and discussing with primary mentor Ken Fleischmann and engaging in group interaction with other mentors and candidates about my research, teaching, service, and career objectives.

IR 14 Doctoral Colloquium Oct 2013

14th Annual Conference of the Association of Internet Researchers, Denver, CO, October 23, 2013

Discussed my research, challenges, and career progression with senior scholars and doctoral students in the interdisciplinary field of Internet studies. Mentored by Meghan Dougherty and Lori Kendall.

Eugene Garfield Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship Jul 2013

Beta Phi Mu International Honour Society

Competitive fellowship awarded to library and information science doctoral students completing their dissertation research. One of six students awarded for 2013-14.

JCDL 2013 Doctoral Consortium Jul 2013

13th ACM / IEEE Joint Conference on Digital Libraries, Indianapolis, IN, July 22, 2013

Presented paper titled Social digital libraries: Their roles within and across social worlds, information, worlds, and communities on my dissertation research-in-progress, and discussed my research agenda with faculty, practitioners, and doctoral students in the field of digital library research.

Esther Maglathlin Doctoral Research Scholarship Aug 2012 - Aug 2013

Florida State University School of Library and Information Studies

Competitive scholarship offered by the FSU School of Library and Information Studies and the Esther Maglathlin Trust, awarded to doctoral students completing individual or collaborative research.

College Teaching Fellowship Aug 2009 - Aug 2010

Florida State University

Competitive university-wide fellowship awarded based on academic achievement and recommendations. Served as a teaching assistant as part of fellowship (see above).

Academic and Professional Service

Organizational Affiliations

Organizational Service

University Service

University of Alberta
Florida State University

Theses and Dissertation Committees

Editorial Boards

Conference Program Committees

Peer Reviewer for

Journals Last review

Honours and Awards

Honour Societies

Other Honours and Awards