Hi! Thanks for taking an interest in my research!! I’m really excited about my work and am thrilled to be able to share some updates on it here 🥰

I mainly do fan studies research because I’m a giant nerd. If you’re interested in getting updates about my fandom-related research projects or would be interested in possibly participating in a future study, you can fill out this interest form, and I’ll send you an email when I’m recruiting or have any cool updates!

“I Know What I’m About”: FanFiction and the Information-Seeking Behaviors of Young Adult Readers

UMD IRB Approved 2 April 2021
Funding: Research Improvement Grant – Maryland iSchool (Awarded 26 February 2021)

Problem Statement:
As fanfiction becomes more and more prominent, it becomes increasingly important to understand the behaviors of youths participating in this space. With more comprehensive tagging and search systems, fanfiction may be easier for these young readers to find than traditional fiction, and the methods they use to search for fanfiction could prove useful to improving library services and support for this demographic.

Research Questions:
RQ1: How do young adults find fanfiction to read?
RQ2: How do young adults find fiction to read?
RQ3: How do the methods that young adults use to find fiction and fanfiction differ?
RQ4: Are there differences between young adults who have been reading fanfiction longer versus those who are newer to the genre?

Population: Readers between the ages of 18 and 23

Method: Semi-structured interviews

For the purposes of this study, “fiction” will refer to any sort of written creative work that has been published in a physical or eBook format like novels or short stories but not works that have self-published online (e.g., works on Wattpad).
Fanfiction” refers to any self-published, fan-created, written work that is derivative of or based on an existing piece of media (e.g., TV shows, books, video games) or celebrities (e.g., YouTubers, musicians, athletes).
Fanfiction that has been reworked and later published more traditionally such as 50 Shades of Grey by E.L. James or The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare will be considered “fiction.”

Current Progress:
10/10 interviews completed.
3/10 interviews transcribed and coded

Presentation – FanLIS Symposium
City, University of London
20 May 2021
Publication forthcoming — Transformative Works and Cultures (2022)

Presentation Description: Young people in fandom today have more platforms than ever to choose from when it comes to reading fanfiction. These platforms often differ in terms of how a user can search and browse for stories to read, and as such, young adult readers may have to develop higher-than-average search literacy skills in order to find fanfiction that they are interested in reading. By investigating the information-seeking behaviors that young people exhibit when searching and browsing in fanfiction communities, we can potentially leverage these behaviors to help young people develop search literacy, including the development of tools to help young adults improve their search literacy skills. This presentation will share findings discovered from semi-structured interviews with young adult readers reflecting on their search experiences in fandom communities and other platforms, and the various search methods they used to find both fiction and fanfiction to read. The presenter will make recommendations on ways search literacy instruction for young adults can be enhanced based on the findings of this study.

Careers in Play

Position: Graduate Research Assistant, Summer 2021
Supervisor: Dr. Phil Piety

I am part of the community model/map, curriculum, and research teams. One aspect I am working on focuses on identity in relation to the gameplay experience. I will also be interfacing with undergraduate play testers for a game designed to help students explore careers in STEM.

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