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I am an assistant professor in the College of Information Science & Technology at Drexel University. My areas of interest are in information policy, government information, and ethics. I completed my Ph.D. at the University of Washington in July 2010. My dissertation, Identifying the enemy: Social categorization and national security policy, was a critical discourse analysis of the way threat is constructed in government-sponsered media campaigns.

I'm still recovering from a busy October attending and presenting at conferences:

  • It all began in late September with the SMILE conference which was held in Richmond, Va. I had the honor of sharing a panel session with Sergeant Mike Phibbs from the Richmond PD, Morgan Wright,and Andreas Addison: "The social tightrope between building community participation and being Big Brother"
  • Next was a presentation at the ICSTI: Enabling Science and Innovation (International Council for Scientific and Technical Information). The annual conference was held at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. I had the honor of being asked to present my current research on law enforcement's adoption and use of social media.
  • Directly following this event I was able to attend my first AoIR conference Internet Research 13.0 in MediaCity:UK at the University of Salford, Greater Manchester. The Association for Internet Researchers is an excellent group and the conference was fantastic. I participated in a panel presentation with colleagues from Sweden. I presented a paper based on ongoing research with Ann-Sofie Axelssen, Sean Goggins, and Christopher Mascaro; "Exercising Control: A Comparative Study of Government Agencies and their Relationships with the Public Using Social Media."
  • And, finally, just in time for Hurricane Sandy, I was pleased to have Adam Townes, one of our great PhD students, present a poster of work he and I have done on social media use and the Open Government Iniative at the Annual Meeting of ASIS&T.

Research areas
Information policy, Information ethics, Surveillance studies, Policing, Government information, Critical discourse analysis, Cognitive work analysis

Government publications, Information policy, Information ethics

Winter quarter I will be teaching: INFO 680: US Government Publications and a Special Topics Course INFO 480: Information Policy.

Recent and upcoming Publications

Unsworth, K., Axelsson, A-S., Goggins, S. and Mascaro, C. (2012). Selected Papers of Internet Research (SPIR). (Available at

Unsworth, K. and Townes, A. (2012). Transparency, participation, cooperation: A case study evaluating Twitter as a social media interaction tool in the US Open Government Initiative. dg.o '12: Proceedings of the 13th Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research. ACM.

Morris, V. and Unsworth, K. (2012). Morphing distance education into social media communities of practice. Proceedings of the 2. DGI Konferenz: Social Media und Web Science: Das Web als Lebensraum, Düsseldorf. Ockenfeld, M., Peters, I. and Weller, K. (Eds.). pp. 101-108. Frankfurt am Main: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Informationswissenschaft und Informationspraxis e.V.

Meyers, E.M., Nathan, L.P. and Unsworth, K. (2010). Who's watching your kids? Safety and surveillance in virtual worlds for children. Journal of Virtual Worlds Research 3(2). (Available at

Identifying the enemy: Social categorization and national security policy. (2010). University of Washington. PhD thesis.

Unsworth, K. (2009). Ethical concerns of information policy and organization in national security. Cataloging and Classification Quarterly 47(7). (Abstract available at:

Conferences presentations and guest lectures
The surveillant gaze: Citizen participation in security paper presented at the 17th International Conference of the Society for Philosophy and Technology, University of North Texas, Denton, TX. May 26-29, 2011.

Public & private surveillance (2010) invited guest lecture for the course Visual Culture: Ways of Seeing at Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle, WA.

Citizen participation in the global surveillance society: An obligation to inform? presented at the 4th Biannual Surveillance and Society / SSN conference, City University, London UK. April 13-15, 2010.

Professional organization memberships and activities
Association of American Law Libraries (AALL)

American Library Association (ALA) - GODORT Legislation Committee

American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T) - SIG Information Policy list moderator

International Center for Information Ethics (ICIE)

Surveillance Studies Network (SSN)