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Research Areas

We research many topics related to social media and disaster.

Usefulness and Trustworthiness of Social Media
We seek to understand how people, both emergency responders and members of the public, trust and use social media during crisis and disaster events.

Example Publications
Chauhan, Apoorva and Amanda L. Hughes (Forthcoming 2020). Trustworthiness Perceptions of Social Media Resources Named after a Crisis Event. In Proceedings of the Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW 2020), Minneapolis, MN.

St. Denis, Lise Ann, Amanda L. Hughes, Jeremy Diaz, Kylen Solvik, and Maxwell Joseph (Forthcoming 2020). 'What I Need to Know is What I Don't Know!': Filtering Disaster Twitter Data for Information from Local Individuals. In Proceedings of the 2020 Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management Conference (ISCRAM 2020).

Peterson, Steve, Kerri K. Stephens, Amanda L. Hughes, and Hemant Purohit (2019). When Official Systems Overload: A Framework for Finding Social Media Calls for Help during Evacuations . In Proceedings of the 2019 Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management Conference (ISCRAM 2019).

Chauhan, Apoorva and Amanda L. Hughes (2017). Providing Online Crisis Information: An Analysis of Official Sources during the 2014 Carlton Complex Wildfire . In Proceedings of the 35th International Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2017). ACM, NY, pp. 399-408.

Hughes, Amanda L. and Chauhan, Apoorva (2015). Online Media as a Means to Affect Public Trust in Emergency Responders . In Proceedings of the 2015 Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management Conference (ISCRAM 2015).


Digital Volunteers
Digital volunteers assist disaster response efforts remotely by completing tasks that can be done using an Internet connection and a computer. Digital volunteers have contributed to these efforts by monitoring and responding to social media, creating and updating digital maps, and helping to coordinate relief and recovery.

Example Publications
St. Denis, Lise Ann and Amanda L. Hughes (2018). Crisis Cleanup: Creating a Virtual Command Post to Support Relief Organizations on the Ground . In Proceedings of the 2018 Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management Conference (ISCRAM 2018).

Hughes, Amanda L., Tapia, Andrea H. (2015). Social Media in Crisis: When Professional Responders Meet Digital Volunteers . Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, 12 (3), pp. 679-706.

St. Denis, Lise A., Amanda L. Hughes and Leysia Palen (2012). Trial by Fire: The Deployment of Trusted Digital Volunteers in the 2011 Shadow Lake Fire . In Proceedings of the Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management Conference (ISCRAM 2012).


Software to Support Social Media Use
Social media have proven to be a useful resource for emergency managers to distribute crisis information, engage with the affected public, and find information that can help with response efforts. However, the large volume of online information available during a large-scale crisis event can be overwhelming and emergency managers often lack the skills and resources to monitor and manage this information. We seek to build tools to help.

Example Publications:
Hiltz, Roxanne, Amanda L. Hughes, Muhammad Imran, Linda Plotnick, Robert Power, and Murray Turoff (2020). Exploring the Usefulness and Feasibility of Software Requirements for Social Media Use in Emergency Management . International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 42.

Hughes, Amanda L. and Rohan Shah (2016). Designing an Application for Social Media Needs in Emergency Public Information Work . In Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Supporting Group Work (GROUP 2016). ACM, NY, pp. 399-408.


Social Media Behavior
An important part of building tools for social media monitoring and use during disaster is to understand the different types of behavior that social media support during a crisis event. Behaviors change over time, just as new behaviors emerge. We seek to understand the rapidly changing world of social media during times of crisis.

Example Publications
Hughes, Amanda L. (2019). Site-Seeing in Disaster: Revisiting Online Social Convergence a Decade Later . In New Media in Times of Crisis, (Ed) K. K. Stephens. Routledge, New York, NY, pp. 193-208.

Tapia, Andrea H., Amanda L. Hughes, and Nicolas J. LaLone (2018). The Verification Pause: When Information Access Slows Reaction to Crisis Events . International Journal of Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (IJISCRAM) 10, 3: 1–19.

Palen, Leysia and Amanda L. Hughes (2018). Social Media in Disaster Communication . In Handbook of Disaster Research (2nd edition), Havidan Rodrigues, Joseph E. Trainor, William Donner and Antonio Paniagua Guzman (eds.), Springer, pp. 497-518.

Reuter, Christian, Amanda L. Hughes, Marc-Andre Kaufhold (2018). Social Media in Crisis Management: An Evaluation and Analysis of Crisis Informatics Research . International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, 1-15.

Chauhan, Apoorva and Amanda L. Hughes (2016). Online Mentioning Behavior during Hurricane Sandy: References, Recommendations, and Rebroadcasts . In Proceedings of the 2016 Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management Conference (ISCRAM 2016).