Maria Haigh, Ph.D.

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Research Projects

The last several years proved to be very productive for me. I have refocused my research for the long term future, collected new data and published several articles. Fulbright scholar award that I have received provided additional boost to my research agenda. My goal is to become a well known expert on Eastern European information practices, policies, and institutions. I have published multiple journal articles on the subject and have presented at a number of conferences. Enthusiastic reception of my papers indicates that the topic is little explored, but is of great interest to a wider research community. Within the last six months I have received invitations to present this work at Harvard University Law School, the National Library of Singapore and the National University of Singapore.

 1. The main focus of my current and future research is information practices, policies, and institutions in the former Soviet block.

This work was supported with a Fulbright fellowship award. During the fellowship I taught and researched at Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, one of Ukraine’s leading universities. While there I established personal links with senior personnel in the Parliament Library, the National Scientific Library, Kyiv’s central public library, and key regional institutions in southern and western Ukraine. I traveled to other cities within Ukraine, making numerous presentations in provincial cities and within Kyiv. My work was featured on four different television networks. Although I have now returned to Milwaukee, the collaborative ties established during the visit remain strong.

 My work on Ukraine can be further divided into two main areas:

 1) File-sharing practices in Ukraine, and their relationship to broader cultural understandings of the role of copyright.  

My interest in file-sharing practices in Ukraine, and their relationship to broader cultural understandings of the role of copyright evolved out of initial plans for a cross-national quantitative comparison of downloading practices and attitudes toward intellectual property. Pilot data was gathered at UWM, in Kyiv, and in Australia (in collaboration with Christopher Lueg). This data yielded some useful results. I presented initial findings at an ASIS&T SIGUSE workshop. My focus, however, has evolved toward a richer and more culturally grounded approach to the topic.


  My initial approach to this came through a paper called “Downloading Communism: Filesharing as Samizdat in Ukraine” (online) The paper has now been published in Libri and may also be included in a planned book produced from the World Computer Law meeting. This work also was very well received at the Social Informatics workshop at the annual meeting ASIS&T 2007 (abstract online). I have presented work on this topic at the Wisconsin Library Association meeting, "Information Resource Sharing in Ukraine: From Total Control to File Sharing Freedom" (slides online), the VI World Computer Law conference in Edinburgh, at the Social Studies of Science meeting in Vancouver (4S Annual Meeting), and in several invited locations in Ukraine.


During my time in Kyiv I collected a great deal of data on file-sharing practices, including examination of systems only accessible from IP addresses within Ukraine and interviews with students on their personal practices. This led me to a new conceptual framework, borrowing the concept of “moral economy” which originated in social history but has been used widely in other fields such as political science. Work within this framework received initial presentations at UWM SOIS Center for Information Policy Research (CIPR) “Thinking Critically: Alternative Perspectives and Methods in Information Studies” conference, the Society for Social Studies of Science annual meeting in Rotterdam, and the Canadian Association for Information Science meeting. Further work led to a more refined version of this thesis, presented at the Association of Internet Researchers conference (slides online) and published in its proceedings (online). As a result of that presentation I was invited to submit my work for an exclusive international workshop  on Free Culture Research held at the Beckman Center of Harvard University’s Law School. My ideas were very well received, and contacts from this workshop have already led to an invited presentation at the National University of Singapore. My latest paper on the topic appeared in Libri (draft online).


2). The social construction of Ukrainian libraries and library education, and their co-evolution with Ukrainian national identity.

bulletMy other main ongoing research area is the social construction of Ukrainian libraries and library education, and their co-evolution with Ukrainian national identity. Preliminary research on this topic, conducted prior to my arrival in Kyiv, resulted in an article “Escaping Lenin’s Library” (online),  published in The International Library and Information Review, examining the historical role of libraries within Soviet society and its relationship to the current state of library and information science education within independent Ukraine. I presented this material at the Crimea 2007 conference, the leading venue for information science research and practice in the former Soviet Union region. A revised version received a very positive reception at the Social Studies of Science conference in Montreal, the main international meeting for researchers in the field of Science and Technology Studies. That was part of a panel I organized on the topic of Institutional Ideologies of Information (slides online).
bulletSince then I have extended this work in two directions. The first goes more deeply into the specifics of library education in Ukraine, looking both at the Soviet period and recent changes. This has been published as a chapter Maria Haigh, “Two Steps Forward, One Step Back: Ideological and Historical Aspects of Library and Information Science Education in Independent Ukraine” (draft online) in the book LIS After the Fall: Post-Soviet Institutions and Practice, volume 27 in the series on Advances in Library Administration and Organization. I have another article under review which complements this study of the Ukrainian system for Western readers with a summary of the American library system for Ukrainian readers. Both are implicitly comparative.
The second strand places my interest in the relationship between libraries and national identity within a conceptual framework provided by Benedict Anderson’s work on nations as imagined communities. His work, influential across a range of disciplines, stresses the role of standardized national print languages in the emergence of modern nation states. Yet neither Anderson nor many of his followers have thought to explore the role of national libraries, public library networks, or classification systems in the development of shared national identities. My paper proposal on this topic for the 2009 annual meeting of the Canadian Association for Information Science was selected as one of the top six submitted for the conference, making it eligible for submission to a special issue of the Canadian Journal of Information and Library Science showcasing the conference highlights. This has now been published (online), but it is merely an initial overview of ideas I plan to explore in more depth in a series of future papers. I received a competitive grant from within SOIS to undertake more fieldwork on this topic during the summer of 2010. My work on this topic is receiving considerable interest, leading to an invitation to speak at the National Library Academy in Singapore.

I’m concluding my work on the following two projects:

 1. Stakeholders’ Shaping of Information systems

 My published work also reflects two other streams, now concluded. Like my more recent research, these focused on user experiences and on the interaction of technology with social roles.

My dissertation work was in the information systems field, exploring differences in perceived software quality priorities between various stakeholder groups (demarcated primarily on two axes: user vs. developer and managers vs. non-manager). This work fit into the well-established field of software quality research, a subfield within software engineering, and was presented at a number of competitive conferences and published in their proceedings:


Maria Sverstiuk, J.Verner, J.Hand, “Software Quality: What Is Really Important and Who Says So”, proceedings of Nimes TIC 2000, International conference on Systems Engineering and Information and Communication Technology, Nimes, France, September 2000, pp.241-246 (online).


Maria Sverstiuk, J.Verner, “Modeling Software Quality Through Organizational Position and Software Role: A Pilot Study” in Maxwell, K., S. Oligny, R. Kusters, and E. van Veenendaal, Editors, Project Control: Satisfying the Customer, Proceedings of the 12th European Software Control and Metrics conference, London, England, April 2001, Shaker Publishing B.V, pp.417-427(online).


Maria Haigh, June Verner, “Examining Stakeholder Priorities for Software Quality Attribute Requirements”, K. Cox, E. Dubois, Y. Pigneur, S. Bleistein, J. Verner, A. Davis, R., Wieringa, Eds, (2005), proceedings of the International Workshop on Requirements Engineering for Business Need and IT Alignment, UNSW Press, Sydney, ISBN: 0-7334-2276-4, pp.85-92 (online)

I have also published two lengthy articles from my dissertation research and have a third one under review for publication


Maria Haigh, “Research Versus Practice in Software Engineering: Comparison of Expert Opinions to Measured User Priorities”, System Research and Information Technologies,  pp.133-142, Volume 8, Issue 2, 2009 (online).


Maria Haigh, “Software Quality, Non-Functional Software Requirements and IT-Business Alignment”, forthcoming in the Software Quality Journal


I have another article based on my dissertation under review: Maria Haigh, "Requirements Engineering for Business Stakeholders: Applying Quality Views Framework" .

However this topic seemed a little too far afield for SOIS, and so since arriving at UWM I have gradually refocused my attention on information institutions rather than information systems.

2. Learning styles in face-to-face and online education.

My final research area is related to my teaching at SOIS. Like other faculty in the school I teach many of my classes online. Online teaching posed some new challenges, and I began to read in the academic literature on distance learning.This led to a research project in which I collected more than one hundred and fifty responses from SOIS students on comparison of learning styles between online and face-to-face sections of the same classes. This led to a peer-reviewed quantitative article called "Divided by a Common Degree Program? Profiling Online and Face-to-Face Information Science Students" (online), published in refereed journal Education for Information” . To focus my energies I have decided not to pursue further research in this area.

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© Maria Haigh  Email:  This page was last updated on Wednesday April 28, 2010