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Current Position

Assistant Professor
School of Information, The University of Texas at Austin, since 2016.

Previous Position

Assistant Professor
School of Information Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, 2014 – 2016.


Doctor of Philosophy, Information Studies, 2014
University of California, Los Angeles.
Dissertation: Born Networked Records: A History of the Short Message Service Format

Master of Library & Information Science, 2008
Specialization in Archival Studies
University of California, Los Angeles.
Thesis: Understanding Cell Lines as Records: Some Implications for Archival Theory in Biotechnology

Bachelor of Arts, Comparative Literature and Women’s Studies, 2006
University of California, Irvine.

Selected Publications

Mayernik, M. S. and Acker, A. (2017), Tracing the traces: The critical role of metadata within networked communications. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology. doi:10.1002/asi.23927 .

Acker, A. (2017). Ambient Intimacy and the Habituation of Software Updates. No More Potlucks, no. 46. Retrieved from:

Acker, A. (2017). “When is a Record? A Research Framework for Locating Electronic Records in Infrastructure” In A. Gilliland, A.J. Lau, and S. McKemmish, eds. Research in the Archival Multiverse, Social Informatics Monograph Series. Monash University Press.

Beaton, B., Acker, A., Di Monte, L., Shivrang, S., Sutherland, T., and S. Tracy (2017). “Debating Data Science: A Roundtable.” Radical History Review. doi: 10.1215/01636545-3690918 .

Fidler, B. and A. Acker. (2016). “Metadata, Infrastructure, and Computer Mediated Communication in Historical Perspective.” Journal of the Association Information Science and Technology 68(2): 412-422.
doi: 10.1002/asi.23660 .

Acker, A. (2015). “Radical Appraisal Practices and the Mobile Forensic Imaginary.” Archive Journal 5(1). .

Acker, A. (2015). Toward a Hermeneutics of Data. Annals of the History of Computing, IEEE, 37(3): pp. 70-75. doi: 10.1109/MAHC.2015.68 .

Acker, A. (2015). “How Cells Became Records: Standardization and Infrastructure in Tissue Culture.” Archival Science 15(1): pp. 1-24. doi: 10.1007/s10502-013-9213-x .

Acker, A. and J. Brubaker. (2014). “Death, Memorialization and Social Media: A Platform Perspective for Personal Archives.” Archivaria 77: 1- 23.

Acker, A. (2014). “The Short Message Service: Standards, Infrastructure and Innovation.” Telematics and Informatics 31: pp. 559-568. doi: 10.1016/j.tele.2014.01.004 .

Acker, A. (2014). “The Global System for Mobile Communication: The Hidden Influence of Standards in Text Messages and Wireless Communications,” Standards Engineering: The Journal of the Standards Engineering Society.

Published Conference Proceedings, Interviews, Reviews, Technical Reports

Acker, A. and L. Bowler. (2018). “Youth Data Literacy: Teen Perspectives on Data Created with Social Media, and Mobile Device Ownership,” In System Sciences (HICSS), 2018 51 Hawaii International Conference.

Acker, A., & Kriesberg, A. (2017). Tweets may be archived: Civic engagement, digital preservation and Obama white house social media data. Proceedings of the Association for Information Science and Technology54(1), 1-9. 10.1002/pra2.2017.14505401001 .

Bowler, L., Acker, A., Jeng, W., & Chi, Y. (2017). “It lives all around us”: Aspects of data literacy in teen’s lives. Proceedings of the Association for Information Science and Technology54(1), 27-35. 10.1002/pra2.2017.14505401004 .

Acker, A. and L. Bowler. (2017). “What is Your Data Silhouette? Raising Teen Awareness of their Data Traces in Social Media” In SMSociety ‘17 2017 International Conference on Social Media & Society. ACM. 10.1145/3097286.3097312 .

Acker, A. (2017). Review: Digital Research Confidential: The Secrets of Studying Behavior Online. Internet Histories. Retrieved from:

Acker, A. (2017). Review: Smartphones as Locative Media, Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 61:1, 182-184, DOI: 10.1080/08838151.2016.1273935 Retrieved from:

Acker, A. and B. Beaton. (2017). “How Do You Turn a Mobile Device into a Political Tool?” In System Sciences (HICSS), 2017 50 Hawaii International Conference. Best Paper Nomination. URI:

Acker, A. and B. Beaton. (2016). “Software Update Unrest: The Recent Happenings Around Tinder and Tesla.” In System Sciences (HICSS), 2016 49 Hawaii International Conference. IEEE. doi: 10.1109/HICSS.2016.240

Weiss, M. B., Lehr, W. H., Acker, A., & Gomez, M. M. (2015). “Socio-Technical Considerations for Spectrum Access System (SAS) Design.” In Dynamic Spectrum Access Networks (DySPAN), Stockholm. IEEE.

Lyon, L., Mattern, E., Acker, A. & Langmead, A. (2015). “Applying Translational Principles to Data Science Curriculum Development.” iPres 2015: Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Preservation of Digital Objects, November 2-6, 2015. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. 

Acker, A., Burton, M., Geiger, R. S., & Ribes, D. (2015). Trace Ethnography Workshop: iConference 2015. University of California, Irvine. URI:

Fidler, B. & Acker, A. (2014). Metadata and Infrastructure in Internet History: Sockets in the Arpanet Host-Host Protocol. In A. Grove (Ed.), ASIST 2014: Proceedings of the 77th ASIS&T Annual Meeting (n.p.), Volume 51.

Acker, A., M. Goodnight. (2013). “Critical Thinking as an Everyday Practice: A Discussion with Sandra Harding about the History of InterActions, Interdisciplinary Scholarship, and Her New Book.” InterActions: UCLA Journal of Education and Information Studies, 9(1). Retrieved from:

Acker, A., M. Burton, M. Chalmers, T. Lodato, G. Wythoff. (2013). “Learning with Polyphony: AmpDamp.” Social Media Expo, iConference 2013. Retrieved from:

Abreu, A. and A. Acker. (2013). “Context and Collection: A Research Agenda for Small Data.” iConference 2013 proceedings. Retrieved from:

Burke, J., Shilton, K., and Acker, A. “ReCoding Innovation: Ethics as a Creative Force in Science & Engineering.” Two documentary short films funded by the National Science Foundation under Grant # IIS-1033026. Available at

Abreu, A., Acker, A., & Hank, C. (2012). New directions for 21st century digital collections. In Proceedings of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 49(1). Silver Spring, MD: ASIS&T. doi: 10.1002/meet.14504901148

Abreu, A, and A. Acker. (2012). “Traces of Heritage: An Archival approach to digital collections.” Heritage Matters Workshop. CHI ’12. Retrieved from:

Acker, A. and K. Shilton. (2010). Final Report: US Intelligence Community Tools. Washington, DC: Council on Library and Information Resources. Retrieved from:

Acker, A., M. Lukac, and D. Estrin. (2010). Technical report: Participatory Sensing for Community Data Campaigns: A case study. UC Los Angeles: Center for Embedded Network Sensing. Retrieved from:

Awards, Fellowships, Grants

UT iSchool, John P. Commons Teaching Fellowship, FY 2017-2018.

UT iSchool, Vara Martin Daniel Regents Professorship in Libraries, Archives, & Information Studies, FY 2016-2017.

Institute of Museum and Library Services Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program grant for “Exploring Data Worlds at the Public Library,” a two-year project exploring data literacy and LIS curriculum development opportunities to prepare data literate information professionals. Co-principal Investigator, $109,399.00 awarded. 2016-2018.

National Science Foundation grant for “Social Facets of Data Science,” a workshop that brings together sociologists, information scientists, historians, and STS-ers to address the present and future directions of studying social aspects of data science. Co-organizer, $24,941.00 awarded. 2016-2017.

SPROUT Hive Grant, Co-Principal investigator for “Blue Slide Laboratory,” a research project aimed at developing playful situated learning scenarios in urban playgrounds, using augmented reality mobile apps. 2015.

ProQuest Doctoral Dissertation Award,
Association for Information Science and Technology, 2014.

Eugene Garfield Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship,
Beta-Phi-Mu, 2014.

Dissertation Proposal Award, Department of Information Studies,
University of California, Los Angeles. 2013

Harold Borko Memorial Fellowship, Graduate School of Education & Information Studies,
University of California, Los Angeles. 2013.

World Standards Day Paper Competition, Second place: “The Global System for Mobile Communication: The Hidden Influence of Standards in Text Messaging and Wireless Communication.” Society for Standards Professionals. 2013.