CV

Robert Douglas Ferguson, MA
Doctoral Candidate (YEAR VI)
McGill School of Information Studies

1          PERSONAL BACKGROUND

1.1      BIOGRAPHY

Robert is a doctoral candidate at McGill’s School of Information Studies. His doctoral work explores personal information management and information behaviours from a humanistic perspective. He completed his coursework and comprehensive exams in June 2013. Robert has presented his work at several academic venues including Computer Supported Collaborative Work, Social Media and Society, GRANDE NCE Digital Media Conference, and the Annual Meeting of the Association of Information Science and Technology. Robert holds a master of art degree in Social Anthropology from York University. His MA research investigated issues of privacy, research ethics, and intellectual property of free online personal health records within a mood disorder community on the social networking site PatientsLikeMe.com. As an applied anthropologist, Robert is research assistant to Karyn Moffatt (Assistant Professor – McGill School of Information Studies) on a GRAND NCE-funded project exploring information communication technology (ICT) use by hospice patients and families. Robert’s doctoral research is supervised by France Bouthillier (Associate Professor – McGill School of Information).

1.2      EDUCATION

2016   McGill University (Montréal, Québec)
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) – Information Studies

2012   York University (Toronto, Ontario)
Masters of Arts (MA) – Social Anthropology

2009   York University (Toronto, Ontario)
Bachelor of Arts Cum Laude (BA) – Maj/Min Anthropology/Psychology

1.3      ACADEMIC APPOINTMENTS

2014  McGill University, School of Information Studies: Teaching Assistant (Information and Society)

2014   McGill University, School of Information Studies: Teaching Assistant (Research Methods and Analysis)

2013   McGill University, School of Information Studies: Teaching Assistant (Information and Society)

2012   McGill University, School of Information Studies: Teaching Assistant (Research Methods and Analysis)

2012   McGill University, School of Information Studies: Teaching Assistant (Information and Society)

2011   York University, Department of Anthropology: Teaching Assistant (Introduction to Social Anthropology)

1.4      PROFESSIONAL APPOINTMENTS

2015  McGill University, School of Information Studies: Research Assistant (Accessible Computing Technologies Research Group)

2014  McGill University, School of Information Studies: Research Assistant (Accessible Computing Technologies Research Group)

2013   McGill University, School of Information Studies: Research Assistant (Accessible Computing Technologies Research Group)

2012   McGill University, School of Information Studies: Research Assistant (Accessible Computing Technologies Research Group)

2011   McGill University, School of Information Studies: Research Assistant (Accessible Computing Technologies Research Group)

2010   York University, Department of Anthropology: Graduate Assistant (Social Implications of Space Exploration and Astrobiology Database)

2008   York University, Institute for Social Research: Telephone Interviewer (Primary Care Access Survey)

1.5      STUDENT COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP AND VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE

2015   Association of Information Science and Technology, Montréal Student Chapter: Secretary

2014   Association of Information Science and Technology, Montréal Student Chapter: Interim Communications Officer

2013   McGill University, McGill Library and Information Studies Student Association: Doctoral Program Representative

2013   Archives Gaies Du Quebec: Volunteer Archivist

2012   Archives Gaies Du Quebec: Volunteer Archivist

2011   InPrint Collective, Fundraising: Volunteer

2010   York University, Social Anthropology Graduate’s Association: Chair

2010   InPrint Collective: Volunteer

2010   InPrint Collective, Toronto Culture Days Festival: Contributing Artist

2010   InPrint Collective, Fundraising: Volunteer

2009   York University, Social Anthropology Graduate’s Association: Treasurer

2008   York University, Vanier College: Student Peer Advisor

2007   York University, SEX-GEN Senate Committee: Student Member

1.6      FRENCH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE

2012   Commission scolaire de Montréal: Français lange seconde (Niveau 5 de 8 – Montréal, Québec)

2008   Council of Ministries of Education Canada: Explore French Language Exchange  (Niveau 4 de 8 – La Pocatière, Québec)

2007   Council of Ministries of Education Canada: Explore French Language Exchange (Niveau 2 de 8 – Moncton, Nouveau Brunswick)

2          RESEARCH

2.1      PROJECTS, AWARDS, AND DISTINCTIONS

Doctoral Research: Exploring Personal Financial Information Management Among Young Adults

Doctoral Awards and Distinctions:

2014  Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC): Doctoral Fellowship

2014  Association of Computing Machinery: Best Paper Award, Computer Supported Collaborative Work (CSCW) 2014

2013  McGill University: McGill School of Information Internal Travel Grant

2013  Graphics, Animation and New Media Networks of Centres of Excellence (GRAND-NCE): Highly Qualified Person Travel Subsidy, Social Media and Society 2013 (Dalhousie University, Halifax)

2013   McGill University: Graduate Excellence Fellowship

2013   McGill University: Vivi Martin Fellowship

2013   McGill University: Graduate Research Enhancement and Travel Award

2012   McGill University: Graduate Excellence Fellowship

2011   McGill University: Tim Casgrain Fellowship

2011   McGill University: Graduate Excellence Fellowship

 Doctoral Project Summary:

Financial experts express concerns that young adults exhibit poor financial habits. Poor financial habits can manifest in a vary of ways, such as high levels of credit card debt, low levels of saving, and difficulty creating or sticking to a budget. As a result, there is an explosion of educational and technological resources being developed specifically for young adults with the aim to increase their financial literacy and instill good financial behaviours earlier in life. Yet, many of these resources provide sparse instruction on how to manage the documentation associated with personal finance. This doctoral research project attempts to answer the following research questions: (1) what records and supporting documents do the personal collections of financial information of young adults typically contain?; (2) how do young adults “manage” their collections of personal financial information within a personal space of information?; and (3) what are the incentives, goals, tasks, and other factors that motivate the management of personal financial information among young adults? And why? This project aims to conduct approximately 40 guided-tour interviews with young adults (ages 18-26) in the Montreal area. Interviews will be structured using Cognitive-Work Analysis (CWA) and the theoretical framework of Human-Information Interactions (HII). Data analysis will use qualitative techniques inspired by grounded-theory. The anticipate outcomes of this research are a description of the actual contents of personal collections of financial information by young adults, an analysis of the processes and information behaviours associated with curation and exploitation of a personal collection of financial information, and an analysis of the environmental and personal factors that motivates personal financial information management among young adults.

Masters Research: Crowdsourcing health information: An ethnographic exploration of public and private health information on PatientsLikeMe.com

Masters Awards and Distinctions:

2010   York University: John A. Price Fieldwork Award

2010   York University: York Graduate Scholarship (Summer)

2010   York University: York Graduate Scholarship (Winter)

2009   York University: York Graduate Scholarship (Fall)

Masters Project Summary:

This is a study of the ways in which individual and community biosocial identities are produced and negotiated by members of PatientsLikeMe.corn’s Mood Disorder Community. In particular, I explore how the cultivation of presence and persona on a social networking site mediates the formation of identity, community, and patienthood. Over the course of five months, I engaged in participant-observations on the site and collected forum threads, blog posts, and policy documents. I argue that practices of reflexivity are built into the website’s interface – particularly within profiles integrated with personal electronic health records (PEHRs). Members participate on the site to obtain informal social support and information in the form of personal experience. Members restrict their participation to protect their privacy and resist commodification of personal health information. User generated content on the site is intricately linked to practices of remembering and hope.

Bachelors of Arts

Undergraduate Awards and Distinctions:

2009   York University: Member of Dean’s Honor Roll

2009   York University: Vanier College Peer Advising Distinction

2008   York University: Member of the Dean’s Honor Roll

2008   Council of Ministries of Education Canada: Explore French Language Exchange Bursary

2007   Council of Ministries of Education Canada: Explore French Language Exchange Bursary

2007   York University: York University Continuing Student Scholarship

2004   York University: York University Entrance Scholarship

2.2      FUNDS REQUESTED

2014   Social Science and Humanities Research Council: Doctoral Fellowship

2014   Fonds de recherche societé et culture Québec: Bourse de formation de doctorat

2014   McGill University: TelusHealth McGill Health Research Partnership Grant

2013   McGill University: CIBC Graduate Fellowship

2013   McGill University: Wolfe Graduate Fellowship

2013   McGill University: Graduate Research Enhancement and Travel Awards

2013   Canadian Institute for Health Research: Doctoral Fellowship

2013   Fonds de recherche santé Québec: Bourse de formation de doctorat

2012   Canadian Institute for Health Research: Doctoral Fellowship

2011   Canadian Institute for Health Research: Masters Fellowship

  2.2     PUBLICATIONS

(2014)  Ferguson, R., Massimi, M., Crist E., & Moffatt, K. “Craving, Creating, and Constructing Comfort: Insights and Opportunities for Technology in Hospice”. Proceedings of Computer Supported Collaborative Work (CSCW) 2014 (Baltimore, Maryland)

2.3      PRESENTED PAPERS

2015   Ferguson, R. “In Interfaces We Trust? Exploring Preservation of Personal Financial Information Among Young Adults” Archival Education Research Institute (University of Maryland College Park, Maryland).

2014   Ferguson, R., Massimi, M., Crist E., & Moffatt, K. “Craving, Creating, and Constructing Comfort: Insights and Opportunities for Technology in Hospice”. Computer Supported Collaborative Work (CSCW), (Baltimore, Maryland)

2013   High Impact Talk: “FROM EXPECTATION TO REALITY: AN EXPLORATION OF PATIENTS’ PERSPECTIVES ON RECIPROCITY AND FAIR USE OF DATA WITHIN PATIENTSLIKEME.COM”, Invited Speaker, 6th Annual Web2.U Symposium (Montréal, Québec)

2009   “Campus Friction: An Ethnographic Exploration of Protest in Vari Hall”, Playing the Field Conference (Toronto, Ontario)

2.4      WORKSHOP PAPERS AND PRESENTATIONS

2014   Invited Participant, Enabling Empathy in Health & Care: Design Methods & Challenges. Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems: Association of Computing Machinery Computer-Human Interactions 2014 (Toronto, Ontario)

2013   “An Anthropological Approach to Personal Information Management”, Personal Information Management Workshop 2013: Beyond the Cloud: Rethinking Information Boundaries. Annual Meeting of the Association of Information Science and Technology (Montréal, Québec)

2013   “Using the Information Senses Framework to Think About Patient-Centered Biomedical Recordkeeping”, Beyond Formality: Informal Communication In Health Practices Workshop. Computer Supported Collaborative Work 2013 (San Antonio, Texas)

2013   “Formal and Informal Messages: Early Reflections on how Context and Content ICT Use at the End-of-Life”, co-authored with Moffatt, K. & Massimi, M., Beyond Formality: Informal Communication In Health Practices Workshop. Computer Supported Collaborative Work 2013 (San Antonio, Texas)

2.5      POSTER PRESENTATIONS

2013   “The Information Senses of Whole Person Care: A PatientsLIkeMe.com Case Study”. First World Congress on Whole Person Care, (McGill University – Montréal, Québec)

2013   “Exploring Emergent Research Ethics and Attitudes Towards Privacy on PatientsLikeMe.com”. Social Media and Society 2013, (Dalhousie University – Halifax, Nova Scotia)

2013   “Supporting Communication at the End-of-Life: Comparing ICT Use by Families in Hospice Settings” GRAND NCE – CANADA 3.0 2013, (GRAND NCE – Toronto, Ontario)

2012   ““What Does Your Username and Picture Mean/Come From?”, Serendipitous Identity Discovery when Data-Mining Personal Health Information”, SCORE: Serendipity, Chance and Opportunity in Information Discovery, An International Workshop (McGill University – Montréal, Québec)

2.6     LITERARY AND ARTISTIC WORKS

2010   “PrtSc Button Monotype Series: Unauthorized Facebook Portraits Series” Toronto Culture Days Festival, InPrint Collective (Toronto, Ontario)

3          PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS, CONFERENCES AND AGENCIES

3.1      PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATION MEMBERSHIPS

2014   The Association for Information Science and Technology: Student Member

2014    Association of Computing Machinery: Student Member

2013   The Association for Information Science and Technology: Student Member

2013  Graphics, Animation and New Media Networks of Centres of Excellence of Canada (GRAND NCE): Highly Qualified Person (HQP)

2013  Health Canada Infoway: Student Member

2012  The Association for Information Science and Technology: Student Member

2012   Health Canada Infoway: Student Member

2012   Graphics, Animation and New Media Networks of Centres of Excellence of Canada (GRAND NCE): Highly Qualified Person (HQP)

2011   Health Canada Infoway: Student Member

2011  Graphics, Animation and New Media Networks of Centres of Excellence of Canada (GRAND NCE): Highly Qualified Person (HQP)

3.2      CONFERENCE ORGANIZATION AND PLANNING

2010   York University: Social Anthropology Graduate’s Association, Treasurer (Ethnographic Appetites and Feeding the Senses Conference)

2010   York University: Annual Anthropology Departmental Lecture, Student Volunteer

2009   York University: Social Anthropology Graduate’s Association, Banquet Coordinator (Playing the Field Conference)

Updated: Sept. 2015