Dr Chern Li Liew - Research Degrees Programme Director

Dr Chern Li Liew profile picture

Director of Research Degrees Programme School of Information Management


Teaching in 2019

Research interests

Social studies of information, information services and information systems; Users and impact; Digital cultural heritage; Socio-cultural informatics


Chern Li's research interests are centred around the social studies of information, with a focus on users and impact. Her research on digital heritage investigates the potential of participatory culture and participatory governance for preserving and enriching documentary heritage and cultural information services. She is interested in evidence-based information management policies and practices that support sustainable social cohesion.

Chern Li serves on the Editorial Advisory Boards of Online Information Review, International Journal of Digital Library Systems and The Electronic Journal of Information Systems Evaluation. She is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Consortium of iSchools Asia Pacific and member of the International Conference on Asia-Pacific Digital Libraries Steering Committee. Chern Li is a Visiting Foreign Research Fellow (Gaikokujin Kenkyuin) of University of Tsukuba (Japan).


BA (Hons) University of Brighton (UK), MSc Loughborough University (UK), PhD Nanyang Technological University (Singapore)

Administrative responsibilities

  • Director of SIM Research Degrees Programmes/ Chair of Research Degrees Committee
  • Member of SIM Research Committee
  • SIM Representative on the New Zealand Open Polytechnic Information & Library Studies Advisory Committee

Current research

Working title: Digital Te Reo Māori Collections: An Examination of Creative Use, Innovative Cultural Knowledge Transmission and Their Impact on Cultural Identity, Whanaungatanga and Social Cohesion

Digital heritage projects have promoted new forms of cultural transmission and cultural citizenship. There remains however, a significant gap in knowledge about communities’ usage of digital heritage collections, the impact of that usage on individuals and communities, as well as a lack of knowledge on how to assess and contextualise those impact. A previous research the project leader was involved in* found evidence that usage of digital te reo collections led to the development of a sharing and relationship system (whanaungatanga) among some users and communities. This research aims to further examine the nature and characteristics of such social relations and to understand the impact of digital technologies on cultural transmission, indigenous knowledge systems, cultural identity and contribution towards long-term social cohesion. The broader aim is to investigate the perception and expectations of the evolving roles of cultural institutions (archives, libraries, museums, public galleries) in the digital heritage space. (*https://interparestrust.org/assets/public/dissemination/Korerokiteareport_final.pdf)

This research is funded by VUW Foundation; Digital Innovation Fund (2018-2019).

Research team: Chern Li Liew (Project Lead), Karena Kelly (Te Kawa a Māui, FHSS), Jamie Yeates (Te Kawa a Māui) and Sydney Shep (Wai-te-ata Press)

Working title: From Shoeboxes to Shared Spaces: Cultural Institutions’ Roles in Personal/ Community Archiving and Participatory Heritage

I’m interested in examining not only what individuals and communities can bring to participatory heritage projects. I’m also keen to explore and examine the ways in which cultural institutions can enable and support personal/ communtiy archiving as well as in facilitating the movement of potentially significant contents from private and/or secluded collections to shared digital repositories (through providing expertise, advice and support in significance assessment, preservation, digitisation, organisation of information, accessibility and usability through digital platforms).

Research team: Chern Li Liew (Project Lead), Max Nichol, Reid Perkins (Heritage & Research Coordinator, UHCC)

Collaborators: Maja Krtalić, Anne Goulding, Jesse Dinneen

Selected publications

Tasker, G. and Liew, C. L. (Published online: Aug 2018). ‘Sharing My Stories’: Genealogists and participatory heritage. Information, Communication and Society (Taylor & Francis).

Misilei, J. and Liew, C. L. (2018). Perceived value of digital components in library programmes. Library and Information Science Research, 40(3/4), 219-236.

Zeng, M., Qin, J., Sugimoto, S., Lin, H., Liew, C. L. and Wang, X. (2018). Metadata modelling, deep image annotation and KOS vocabulary development for digital collections of cultural objects. NKOS/DCMI Regional Workshop at 20th International Conference on Asia-Pacific Digital Libraries (ICADL), Waikato, NZ, 19-22 November.

Goulding, A., Liew, C. L. and Tait, E. (2018). Exchange, Evidence, Experience, Expertise: Exploring practitioners’ experiences with digital cultural heritage through a knowledge exchange workshop. 2018 RAILS Conference, Melbourne, Australia, 28-30 November.

Liew, C.L., Oliver, G. and Watkins, M. (2018). Insight from social media use by memory institutions in New Zealand: participatory vs curatorial culture. Online Information Review. 42(1), 93-106.

Goulding, A., Chawner, B., Campbell-Meier, J., Calvert, P. and Liew, C. L. (2018). Location, location, location: The impact of organisational structure on library and information studies programmes. Journal of the Australian Library and Information Association (Taylor & Francis).

Campbell-Meier, J., Chawner, B., Goulding, A., Calvert, P. and Liew, C. L. (2018). Developing a framework for educating and training mid-career LIS professionals. Proceedings of ALISE 2018 Conference, Denver, Colorado (USA), 6-9 February (pp.61-65).

Liew, C. L., Calvert, P., Goulding, A., Chawner, B. and Campbell-Meier, J. (2017). Location, Location, Location: How does organisational structure affect information studies programmes? 2017 RAILS Conference, Adelaide, Australia, 28-30 November.

Boamah, E. and Liew, C. L. (2017). Conceptualising the digitization and preservation of indigenous knowledge: The importance of attitudes. Proceedings of 19th ICADL, Bangkok, Thailand, 13-15 November (pp.65-80).

Liew, C. L. and Harjadinata, J. (2017). Patient portal service: an exploration of patients' experience and perception. Proceedings of 11th International Conference on Digital Society and e-Governments (ICDS), Nice, France, 19-23 March (pp.87-98).

Morishima, A., Rauber, A. and Liew, C. L. (2016). Digital libraries: Knowledge, information and data in an open access society. Proceedings of 18th ICADL, Tsukuba, Japan, 7-9 December. Springer: Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS) 10075.

Liew, C. L. and Chowdhury, G. G. (2016). Digital cultural heritage and social sustainability. Journal of Community Informatics, 12(3), 173—196.

Boamah, E. and Liew, C. L. (2016). Involving source communities in the digitization and preservation of indigenous knowledge. Proceedings of 18th ICADL, 21-36.

Liew, C. L. (2016). Social metadata and public-contributed contents in memory institutions: ‘crowd voice’ vs ‘authenticated heritage'? Preservation, Digital Technology & Culture (PDTC), 45(3), 122-133.

Liew, C. L. and Cheetham, F. (2016). Participatory culture in memory institutions: Of diversity, ethics and trust? D-Lib Magazine, 22(7/8). http://www.dlib.org/dlib/july16/liew/07liew.html

Murphy, J. and Liew, C. L. (2016). Reflecting the science of instruction? Screen-casting in academic libraries. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 42(3), 259–272.

Crookston, M., Oliver, G., Tikau, A., Diamond, P., Liew, C. L. and Douglas, S-L. (2016). Kōrero Kitea: Ngā hua o te whakamamatitanga/The impacts of digitised te reo collections. https://interparestrust.org/assets/public/dissemination/Korerokiteareport_final.pdf

Liew, C. L. (2015). Collaborative construction of digital cultural heritage: a synthesis of research on online sociability determinants. D-Lib Magazine, 21(11/12).http://www.dlib.org/dlib/november15/liew/11liew.html

Liew, C.L., Wellington, S., Oliver, G. and Reid, P. (2015). Social media in libraries and archives: Applied with caution. Canadian Journal of Information and Library Science(Special issue on Archives, libraries and museums in the era of the participatory social Web), 39(3/4), 377-396.

Liew, C.L., King, V and Oliver, G. (2015). Social media in archives and libraries: A snapshot of planning, evaluation and preservation decisions. Preservation, Digital Technology & Culture (PDTC), 44(1), 3-11.

Siddall, B. and Liew, C. L. (2014) Seeking out collective wisdom: cataloguers’ use of social media. The Electronic Library, 32(5), 670-687.

Wellington, S., Oliver, G. & Liew, C.L. (2014). The allure of wine and cheese: exhibiting the archive. Presented at the 2014 Joint ARANZ /ASA Conference, Christchurch (NZ), 30 September – 3 October.

Liew, C. L. (2014) Participatory cultural heritage: A tale of two institutions’ use of social media. D-Lib Magazine, 20 (3/4). http://www.dlib.org/dlib/march14/liew/03liew.html

Liew, C. L. (2014) Towards dynamic and evolving digital libraries. The Electronic Library, 32(1), 2-16. (2015 Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence – Highly Commended Paper of 2014)

Liew, C. L. (2013) Digital cultural heritage 2.0: a meta-design consideration. Information Research, 18(3). http://www.informationr.net/ir/18-3/colis/paperS03.html#.WUb9qMuweUk

Sugimoto S., Urs S., Chowdhury G., Ke H., Khoo C., Liew C. L. & Wuwongse V. (2013) Collaboration efforts among Information Schools in Asia-Pacific. Workshop on Global Collaboration of Information Schools at 79th IFLA General Conference and Assembly, 2-10.

Liew, C. L. (2013) Vision, passion and compassion: social sustainability for digital resources. Presented at 5th TELDAP International Conference, Taipei, 14-16 March.

Liew, C. L. (2012) Towards accessible and inclusive digital libraries. In Chowdhury, G. and Foo, S. (Eds.), Digital Libraries and Information Access: Research Perspectives (pp. 97-111). Facet Publishing.

Burt, M. & Liew, C. L. (2012) Searching with clustering. Online Information Review, 36(2), 278-298.

Stanton, K. & Liew, C. L. (2012) Open access theses in Institutional Repositories: An exploratory study of the perceptions of doctoral students. Information Research, 17(1).

Ooi, K. & Liew, C. L. (2011) Selecting fiction as part of everyday life information seeking. Journal of Documentation, 67(5), 748-772.

Liew, C. L. (2011) Help with health information on the Web. The Electronic Library, 29(5), 621-636.

Lim, S. & Liew, C. L. (2011) Metadata quality and interoperability of GLAM digital images. Aslib Proceedings:New Information Perspectives, 63(5), 484-498.

Liew, C. L. (2010) Digital libraries for cultural heritage. In Mel Collier (Ed.), Business planning for digital libraries (pp. 195-205). Leuven University Press.

Lim, S. & Liew, C. L. (2010) GLAM Metadata Interoperability. Proceedings of International Conference on Asia-Pacific Digital Libraries (ICADL) (at the Joint JCDL/ICADL 2010 International Digital Libraries Conference), Queensland, Australia, 21-25 June, 140-143.

Liew, C. L. (2009) Digital library research 1997-2007: Organisational and people issues. Journal of Documentation, 65(2), 245-266.

Francis, K. D. & Liew, C. L. (2009) Policy and protocols for digitised indigenous knowledge in cultural heritage organisations in Australia and New Zealand. Proceedings of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIST) 2009 Annual Meeting: Thriving on Diversity - Information Opportunities in a Pluralistic World. 6-11 November 2009, Vancouver, Canada (pp. 37-54).


Teaching in 2019