Publications and Research

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My research focus may be characterized as computer-mediated human information behavior, positioned at the intersection between information-intensive online environments and the people that use these systems. Put succinctly, my research investigates issues associated with how people interact with digital content and with others in online environments to meet information needs. More specifically, my major areas of research are in mobile information sharing and seeking, social media perceptions and practices, and gamification techniques for shaping user perceptions and motivating behavior.



This is my list of publications from Google Scholar. You may also request copies of my publications from me via email at


Gamification Techniques for Shaping User Perceptions and Motivating Behavior

Attracting user participation, motivating high-levels of usage and sustaining long term use are important considerations for mobile content sharing systems and social media platforms. One promising stream of research that extends the frontiers of computer-mediated human information behavior and addresses user participation issues is gamification. Put succinctly, gamification may be defined as the utilization of game design elements in non-gaming contexts to engage users, motivate behavior and shape perceptions. Here, one area of my research concerns human computation games (HCGs) which utilize games as motivators to encourage user participation in performing computational tasks. In my work, I employ HCGs for content creation, focusing especially on the mobile platform. Types of research conducted include uncovering the motivations for using HCGs, an investigation of usability and playability issues, as well as how HCGs influence the perceptions, behaviors and types of content created. This work led to a NRF grant of $824,160 to investigate the role of multiplayer pervasive gaming elements in mobile content sharing activities. A second area of research expands the notion of gamification to health interventions, examining how games motivate desirable behaviors. In particular, I was co-PI of two grants (one from NRF and one from NIE totaling $472,182) that examine how computer games could be used to inculcate social problem-solving skills in children and adolescents to alleviate the problems of aggression and other antisocial behaviors.


Social Media Perceptions and Practices

Related to mobile information sharing and seeking is my interest in studying social media perceptions and practices. My research may be broadly characterized as examining how social media shapes the way people behave, focusing especially on activities centered on information creation, seeking and use. One area of my work examines the types of social media features available in organizations across different domains and how users perceive them. A second area of work concerns the use of social tagging for organizing and retrieving content, examining whether tags are an effective means for resource discovery. A third area investigates perceptions and practices in specific contexts and social media platforms. This includes the role of microblogs (e.g. Twitter) in crisis situations, the influential factors behind news sharing in social media, and an examination of how high quality user-generated answers could be identified and reused across questions, among other areas.


Mobile Information Sharing and Seeking

Mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, equipped with a multitude of features, such as GPS, cameras and Internet connectivity, have become pervasive and indispensible in modern society. Within the mobile landscape, one stream of research that I am excited about is the area of mobile information sharing and seeking. My focus is on the information needs of people on the go, how people use mobile applications to meet information needs, the motivations for sharing mobile content, and the design and evaluation of mobile applications for sharing and seeking content. Such research is conducted across different domains as well, including tourism, people with physical disabilities, and geography education. As part of my effort in this stream of research, I applied for and was awarded an A*STAR grant of $650,589, which was a first for the Wee Kim Wee School in 2007.


publications and research | teaching and supervision | home