The topic of „Fake News“ has essentially followed us since the first day of our studies in the Information Management course at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Hanover (HsH). It started with the courses of the first semester, i.e. „Information Infrastructures“, in which we got to know the definition as well as the application of several fake news checking tools. One of these tools was the Checking Tool of IFLA, which was even a good eye-catcher when presented at the conference.
Another similarity with our studies was in the course „Research of Academic Information“, in which we conducted research on the topics of tracing fake photos and discovering certain tools for detecting fake images. In the lecture „Should you believe what you see“ we were given concrete explanations on how to discover unreal photos and videos and what is possible today with artificial intelligence. We also found a similarity in the talk of the two Croatian students on the first day. Their presentation was about metadata investigation with photos, which we carried out in the first semester in the subject „Basics in Indexing“.
The conference also enabled us to overcome our reluctance to speak English and the fear of making mistakes. We learned a lot about various cultures, views on fake news and the current IT situation in different countries, both during and beyond the presentations. The everyday life of students in other countries was also revealed in lectures and discussions. All these impulses for discussion and reflection would not have been possible without overcoming the English language and therefore the ability to ask questions and get in touch with other people. Of course, the conversation at the conference was also very helpful for internationalisation in general and gave us an idea of the need for good English language skills, especially in a global work setting.
Another important aspect regarding language improvement was the production of the blog entries (in this blog) and the posters, see BOBCATSSS 2020 – Day 3. In this way we practiced our writing skills and discovered how much vocabulary we could suddenly write down when we were in an English flow of thoughts.
With regard to our future and what we take with us in general, we think that we have made some mental progress through the conference: We are simply more sensitized not to believe every video, photo or text immediately, since we have learned again how well fakes can get.
Concerning the job search after graduation, we have learned that it can be very helpful to have a look at the possibilities of a job before you apply. For example the possibility to attend a conference and not to lose the perspective of other countries on the job market. And the opportunity to network. A company that offers these opportunities shows interest in personnel as well as in the further training of its employees.
The conference addressed many topics in the field of information management and provided us with many important insights. We look forward to the next BOBCATSSS.
Basilica minor Sacré-Cœur de Monmartre in the morning fog. Photo: Lena Krick
This day started with a last beautiful view of Paris. For that, we climbed a lot of stairs, but it was worth it. We saw the Basilica de Sacré-Cœur in the morning fog. After that, we had breakfast at our Hotel Avalon and started our journey back to Germany with a walk to the train station. Last souvenirs like macarons were bought there.
At 10.55 am our train to Karlsruhe Starter. Fein there we took another train back to Hanover. Even though our trip was fun, we were all happy to get back home. We arrived in Hanover shortly after 6 pm and our journey was finished.
First of all, we would like to thank our University of Applied Sciences and Arts Hanover, the faculty 3 and especially Mrs Blümel and Mrs Clausing for this opportunity to visit an international conference. Thanks to you, we were able to travel to Paris and enjoy the whole event without stressing out about anything.
We learned a lot, by networking with people from all over the world and listening to a lot of informative lectures. It was also very interesting to get different point of views how fake news influence people in different countries. There was a diverse group of speakers, which allowed us to choose between their lectures. But this wasn’t always easy, as sometimes you wanted to see two different lectures at the same time. Fortunately, our group was often able to split and to share what happened in the different lectures afterwards. We also had the option to visit some workshops that were around 1,5 hours long, in which we used our gained knowledge to improve it.
In conclusion, we learned a lot about Fake News and Disinformation in this 3 days, but also a lot about different cultures of students out of other countries. We were also able to see a bit of Paris in our last hours in the city and to enjoy the french culture as you can see in the picture of the triumphal arch. Again, thank you all for this great trip!
As digital natives children nowadays grow up with access to the internet from the start. Therefore it ist especially important for them to learn how to deal with the abundance of information online as early as possible. Friday’s invited speaker, school teacher Rose-Marie Farinella, gave us valuable insights into her work at a French primary school where she teaches media literacy to 10-year-old pupils. Over the course of one year the kids learn about online bullying, protection of personal data, viruses, how to deal with inappropriate content online and of course fake news.
At the beginning they get to know the difference between advertising and actual facts. Using that knowledge they can spot hidden ads and product placements in their favourite youtubers‘ and singer’s videos. They also find out about how journalists work and where information actually comes from. In a role play they themselves experience how difficult it is report for example on a car crash if witnesses contradict each other. Like real reporters they have to find out the truth.
Their next step to becoming a real ‚hoax buster‘ is to cross-check information from one article with other reliable sources verify it.
Another tool to evaluate information is contextualization: the kids learn to use Google to find out where a picture originally came from, if its caption or frame or anything else has been manipulated. They also discuss reasons why people use such images to spread false information, like clickbait or political interests.
At the end of the school year the kids are awarded a ‚Hoaxbuster diploma‘ and swear an oath: ‚Before I forward a piece of information, I will always check it!‘. In an exhibition they show off everything they learned with colourful self-made posters.
The pupils‘ posters. (Photo: Cäcilia Schröer)
Rose-Marie Farinella showed that fake news and misinformation online are topics that even young pupils can and should learn about.
Another interesting contribution was a talk by Kristina Wagner and Cassandra Bumann from the University of Hildesheim in Germany. They explained the challenges annotators face when they have to classify online content as offensive/hate speech or not.
It turns out that comments can convey very hateful statements without using easy to spot hateful expressions or keywords. Indirect insults or hate directed at unspecified targets are also problematic as well as sarcasm, group-specific language or emojis and their different meanings.
In the end these annotations shall be used to create a corpus as training data for automatic hate speech detection.
In the afternoon we finally had to say goodbye to this years BOBCATSSS conference in the closing ceremony.
During this our professor Ina Blümel was awarded ‚Bobcat of the year 2019‘.
Bobcat of the year 2019, Ina Blümel. (Photo: Anne Talk)
The poster ‚Teaching Primary School Students Media Literacy Skills with Educational Games‘ by Brian Van Der Steen , Niels Van Der Meer and Tim Van Waas won the price for best poster.
Finally next year’s conference host, ISCAP Porto, was revealed and the BOBCATSSS flag was handed over to them.
Hopefully we’ll all see each other again in 2021!
Flag ceremony. (Photo: Cäcilia Schröer)
HsH delegation group (from left to right: Cäcilia Schröer, Natalie Schlottke, Ina Blümel, Aline Brun, Alina Balandis, Lennard Stittgen, Anne Talk, Melanie Hartkopf, Pascal Wissner, Silke Clausing. Missing: Vanesa Kovacevic and Lena Marie Krick. Photo: nice conference guest)
After a long night having fun at the BOBCATSSS Gala Dinner, day 2 started with a healthy breakfast at our hotel „Ibis Marne la Vallée Champs“.
The second conference day of BOBCATSSS 2020 was opened by key note speaker Vincent Nozick from Gustave Eiffel University, France. His presentation under the topic „Should you believe what you see?“ gave us an overview of some common falsification tools and their evolution in regard to the emergence of deep learning. We observed how the human brain can be defenceless against computer generated contents and can be fooled if it drops its vigilance. Then he presented a set of digital image and video forensics methods to detect these forgeries. These techniques are based on computer programs where most of them can distinguish tiny details and pixel variation over the image that are imperceptible for the human eye. In the end we also saw the limit of technology to protect us against malicious contains.
PAPER SESSIONS I
With a conference as large as BOBCATSSS, it is common for sessions to run in parallel. So it is impossible to attend all sessions, so the following text only describes the presentations/workshops we attended.
A few of us listened to „University Students‘ Awareness of Fake News on the Web: the Role of Detection Plugins“ by Ivana Čarija, Katarina Brekalo and Josipa Bašić from University of Zadar, Croatia. Misinformation has become common in the online world, where anyone can create and quickly disseminate news to the public around the globe using social media. Young people make the majority of social media users, which makes this population particularly vulnerable to fake news and misinformation. Consequently, a number of plugin extensions exist to support fake news detection and warn users of unreliable and unverified content. The purpose of their paper was to better understand 1) what plugins are currently available in Croatia, 2) students’ attitudes and experiences with fake news and plugin detectors, and 3) how Croatian students evaluate news and their detection strategies.
The next presentation „Library Management of Personal Digital Legacy“ by Andor Nagy from National Széchényi Library, Hungaria was about operational models of digital legacy management services and outline a possible way for the libraries to play its part in managing personal digital legacies. His core message was: Libraries have the opportunity to become an active participant in the efforts towards preventing the 21st century from becoming an information black hole in history.
The last presentation before lunch time was hold by Zsuzsanna Arany-Nagy from Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary. It was about „How Can we Use Smart Classrooms in Library Usage Lessons?“ with the central question „How smart classrooms can change the students‘ learning motivation, and how is their performance changing?“
All in all the motivation changed radically. Students do not like library using lessons, but after the first class with the smart classroom, they changed their mind. They learned proper use of libraries easily. Before these tools, using alphabet was hard for some students, but nowadays they are much more confident with it.
After all this interesting paper sessions it was time for lunch – sadly there were no vegetarian/vegan meals available.
PAPER SESSIONS II
The next paper session was about „How Misinformation and Disinformation Affect the Organization and its Employees‘ Performance in the Digital Era“ from Cláudia Pinto, Milena Carvalho, Susana Martins and Inês Braga from ISCAP – Politécnico do Porto, Portugal. Through the literature review, they intended to reflect on various theoretical issues, highlighting ideas and good practices to combat the danger of this negative reality. These include the need for all employees of an organization to have media literacy skills, which can be fostered and formally provided by the institution through lifelong learning.
After this session Dalbert Marques Oliveira, Patrícia Miranda Pereira, Luis Silva Rodrigues and Inês Braga from Porto Accounting and Business School, Portugal presented „The Information Professional During a Curation Process at WhatsApp Business“. This paper described how the Information Professional manages information during a curation process through WhatsApp Business to ensure that information transmitted, individually or in groups, is current, true and verifiable. In this work it was possible to verify that the curation process can be facilitated with the knowledge and application of several free technologies, available online, which help in the verifiability and timeliness of the transmitted information, as well as the WhatsApp Business tools themselves.
The last paper session of the day for us was presented by Carina Mirassó Pedrós, Juan-José Boté from Universitat de Barcelona, Spain. Their topic was „Information Professional’s Role in Front of Fake News Phenomenon“. The goal of this paper is to analyze the main characteristics of the Fake News phenomenon in the Information Science field. With the digital era and the use of new technologies, new habits to consume information have appeared that have favoured the dissemination of distorted or false information on any digital platform. They reviewed papers and recommendations from a wide variety of institutions as well as international media to elaborate an implementation guide to be useful to the Information Units that are our workspace.
Next part of the day were the poster presentations. First every poster creator had to describe their poster in 1-2 minutes to the audience and then all the students had the chance to look around all the beautiful posters. The best rated poster has the chance to win a 25€ Amazon gift card. The winner will be announced tomorrow.
In the end of the day we were part of a workshop called „Learning how to avoid fake content playing games“ by Marina Encheva and Gergana Yancheva from University of Library Studies and Information Technologies, Bulgaria and Anna Maria Tammaro and Francesco Zanichelli from IFLA. Library Theory and Research Section (IFLA LTR) – The Hague, Netherlands. We had a lot of fun with the other international students.
Last but not least there was a „welcome reception“ with snacks and some champagne. It was a good opportunity to communicate with students from other countries and maybe the start of one or another new friendship.
Same procedure as every year, (bob)catsss… the first thing to do after arriving is: the registration. This year it was very quick – just picking up the name tag, receiving the goodie bag and rushing to the coffee.
Early morning arrival at the conference venue: Université Gustave Eiffel campus at Cité Descartes, on the outskirts of Paris (pholo: Natalie Schlottke)
BOBCATSSS 2020-Goodie Bag (Photo: Anne Talk)
After meeting a lot of familiar and new faces we were glad to join the opening ceremony. With brand new information on the social events and possible problems in public transport on Friday due to strike etc., we were ready for the first keynote of this year’s conference.
Opening ceremony in the main auditorium (pholo: Natalie Schlottke)
Matilde Fontanin from the University La Sapienza in Rome took a multidisciplinary view on fake news. Her central question is „Fake news: should LIS professionals be gatekeepers?“. She analysed the truth of information and the responsibility of librarians to deal with truth, fake news, disinformation and „alternative facts“, by giving broad definitions based on current literature. The impact of fake news and disinformation shall be part of libraries mission and codes of ethics.
Right after the first keynote María del Carmen Rodriguez López and Rafael Ceballos-Roa from the Universidad de León in Spain took us on a historical journey through their „Analysis of the Fake News as an Instrument of Political Propaganda and Social Promotion“ and in the end came to the conclusion, that information managers really can be the gatekeepers of trustworthy information.
Following this amazing talk, Krzysztof Przesmycki, Agata Ornaf and Zbigniew Gruszka from the University of Lodz in Poland gave us a exciting insight on the 2019 election campain in Poland, by presenting 11 different kinds of fake news used by the two big parties in poland. Their talk was titled „Types of Fake News During the 2019 Election Campaign in Poland“.
In the closing paper presentation of this session – titled „Fake News and the Ethics of Censorship“, Nancy Steffes (Wayne State University, School of Information Sciences, Detroit Michigan, USA) took us on her long journey and ethical struggles of finding her answer on a students question whether we as libraries and information professionals shall protect access to „fake news“.
After lunch time we joined the paper sessions in room red. The Session started with Mojca Brenko-Puzak from the Faculty of Transport and Traffic Sciences in Croatia on „Falsification, Fabrication, and Forgeries – an Overview of Fraud in Academia“. After a brief introduction on how scientists are able to manipulate their data in different ways, she showed a lot of interesting examples throughout science, showing how dangerous manipulated research data can be and how manipulated data is reused in following studies. One chance to get rid of data bias and manipulated information can be Replication studies. By repeating studies and taking a look on the results, as well as comparing these results scientific data and information can be verified.
The sessions second talk by Dr. Erzsébet Dani from the University of Debrecen, Faculty of Informatics in Hungary dealed with „Fake News – Predatory (Fake?) Journals: Misdirections in Scientometry“. She explained the problem of scientists who are forced to pubish (keyword „publish or perrish“) and how science is compared by impact factors, h-index and other scientometric tools. She explained how the „parasites of the scientific world“ – predatory publishers – try to appear trustworthy and that these low prestige journals are a problem for science. During the discussion many tools to check whether a journal is serious or predatory were mentioned, such as „❗Think ✔Check >submit“ (check it out here: https://thinkchecksubmit.org/ ). We also discussed if it is still needed to take close looks on impact factors etc. – especially in times when OA journals, which are new and therefore cannot yet have a high factor, are places where articles can be published with high range and visibility.
The last talk in this session by Magnus Rom Jensen of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim dealed with „The Library and Systematic Reviews in the Social Sciences“. He introduced us to his work as a subject librarian and how it enlarges on new tasks such as systematic reviews. He also gave us great tools to keep in mind if we or our institutions plan to do this kind of research for scientists such as endnote (or the free and open source alternative „zotero“ -> https://www.zotero.org/) for collecting large amounts of data, Rayyan (take a look here: https://rayyan.qcri.org/welcome) – which can analyse and highlight information in abstracts to help you keep it short and simple (and don’t read every single abstract in person 😉 ) and NVivo to easily visualize data (find it here: https://www.qsrinternational.com/nvivo/home).
After this information overload we all had to check in at our new hotel near the conference location and take a minute to breath… 30 minutes later we were on our way to central Paris to do a little sightseeing (we can sleep when we are home again 😉 ).
We started at Pont du Neuf and took a short walk to the Louvre and – although not taking a look insight – were amazed!
Louvre (Photo: Natalie Schlottke)
Notre Dame (Photo: Natalie Schlottke)
From there we headed to the Seine and passed by to Notre Dame (there is still no roof on its back, although it doesn’t look as damaged as you might think standing in front of it). Afterwards we walked throguh Quatier Latin, had a nice meal, shopped some macarons, walked back to the train and fell in our beds dreaming of the next BOBCATSSS day!
Some of us had a nice evening at the BOBCATSSS galadinner in a restaurant on Place du Tertre, the same spot we had just visited last night.
This year the BOBCATSSS conference takes place in Paris, France from January 22-24. Every year the conference is organised by students mostly for other students. The conference is titled “Information Management, Fake News and Disonformation“. BOBCATSSS was founded after the fall of the Berlin Wall to promote relationships between Eastern and Western Europe by having two universities work together to organize the conference. The 28th BOBCATSSS was organized by the Université Paris-Est Mame-la-Vallée and the University if Library Studies and Information Technologies from Sofia.
As in previous years the study programme Information Management at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Hanover participates with ten students and two teachers. In accordance with this year’s conference theme, the students prepared five contributions which will be presented as posters the day after tomorrow. The topics of the posters are „A Fake News Quiz“, „The effect of different kinds of document embeddings on the classification of medical records“, „Open Access – Solution or act of desperation?“, „Plagiarism Assessment – how plagiarism can be identified and effects on authors and institutions“ and „Predatory Publishing – a little guide on how not to be fooled“.
Like almost every year – e.g.remember the journey to the conference in Tampere(!) – something must go wrong on the way to BOBCATSSS: Our train was cancelled, which we discovered early morning – meaning that most of us woke up early, stressed because of the early departure, and then could sleep a little longer again… We took a train two hours later than planned, and after a 7 hour train journey we finally arrived in Paris at 5 pm.
Arrival at Gare de l’Est, photo: Aline Brun
We checked in our cosy hotel in Montmartre and got ready for a little sightseeing tour with our very own city guide (thanks to Mr Clausing!).
Evening walk through the artists‘ quarter around the Place du Tertre, photo: Aline Brun
We visited the church Sacré Cœur and enjoyed a lovely view of Paris at night. Afterwards we went to the Place du Tertre, which is famous for all the caricaturists and artists working there. It was quite late and cold, but we still went to look at the famous Moulin Rouge and the café where the movie character “Amélie” works. We finished our day at a cute little Georgian restaurant.
Dinner in Montmartre, photo: Aline Brun
We are looking forward to the next three days at BOBCATSSS!
Nach einem letzten Gang zum Campus der Universität durch das verschneite Osijek, wurde der dritte und letzte Konferenztag der BOBCATSSS 2019 am 24. Januar 2019 um 10 Uhr mit einer Keynote eröffnet. Milijana Mičunović (Universität Osijek) schaute in ihrem Vortrag „New industrial revolution, emerging technologies and information institutions: is there a roadmap to the future?“ eher skeptisch in die Zukunft der Informationswissenschaften.
Nach der Keynote konnten verschiedene Vorträge und Workshops besucht werden. Máté Tóth stellte in seinem Vortrag eine Studie vor, welche die Rolle von Bibliotheken in sechs verschiedenen europäischen Ländern untersuchte. Marika Kawamoto (Universität Tsukuba, Japan) ging in ihrem Vortrag darauf ein, ob Bibliotheken als physischer Standort überhaupt noch notwendig sind. Ein weiterer Vortrag wurde von Masanori Koizumi (Universität Tsukuba, Japan) gehalten. Er ging dabei auf das Verhältnis von Bibliotheken und Demokratie in Nordeuropa ein. Gleichzeitig wurde von Thore Davies und Astrid Elisabeth Jessen (Universität Kopenhagen, Dänemark) der Workshop „Google, the GLAM sector and the untouched potentials for participation“ angeboten. Einen spannenden und hochaktuellen Vortrag hielt Erika Bilicsi aus Ungarn zum Thema „Open Access“. Darin gab sie einen Überblick darüber wie weit Osteuropa auf diesem Gebiet ist und stellte die Situation exemplarisch für einzelne Länder vor. Sie sprach sich mit Nachdruck für mehr Unterstützung der Regierungen für Open Access aus. Nur dann sei eine nachhaltige Entwicklung hin zu dem Prinzip möglich.
Nach der ersten Session gab es wieder ein großes Angebot an Getränken und Speisen, um sich für die zweite Session zu stärken. Nach der Coffee Break fanden weitere Vorträge und auch Workshops statt. So stellte eine Kommilitonin der Universität Hildesheim ihre App „Kidsprint“ vor, mit der Kinder lernen können, wie man Energie spart.
Nach einer kurzen Pause wurde dann leider schon die Closing Session eingeläutet. Hierbei wurden der beste Workshop, das beste Poster und der beste Vortrag geehrt. Symbolisch wurde die BOBCATSSS-Flagge an den nächsten Gastgeber weitergereicht. Nächstes Jahr wird die 28. BOBCATSSS-Konferenz von der Université Paris-est-Marne-la-Vallée organisiert.
Am Abend fand dann noch das Konferenz-Dinner im Muzej Okusa statt, bei dem es ein leckeres 3-Gänge-Menü gab und die Möglichkeit sich in lockerer Atmosphäre mit den anderen Teilnehmenden aus aller Welt zu unterhalten.
Nach drei spannenden Konferenztagen treten wir Freitagmorgen mit vielen neuen Erfahrungen und Kontakten die Heimreise an und freuen uns schon auf nächstes Jahr in Paris!