Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Information School Society Launch Event

To celebrate the launch of the iSchool Society, a coffee afternoon was held on the 6th of October in the iSpace. This is the first official Information School society registered with the Students Union. Postgraduate taught and research students had the opportunity to vote for future events and to sign up for membership. One of the key aims is to bring together postgraduate taught and postgraduate research students in take part in inclusive social events.

The committee is formed of four postgraduate research students as followed: Marc Bonne (President), Liliana Garcia (Secretary), Wasim Ahmed (Publicity and Inclusion Officer), and Itzelle Medina (Treasurer). The Information School Society has a Facebook page where you can keep up to dates with events, and a Twitter account which will contain information on any event cancellations or alterations. Membership can be purchased from the website of the society.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

What do professionals supporting bibliometrics need to know?

The first in-depth study of bibliometrics work has identified the key things that professionals need to know to work at different levels of specialism in this area.

It is hoped this will help define training needs and improve recruitment.

View the published research.

View the latest version of the competency model.

The work was by Andrew Cox and Laura Sbaffi, with colleague Sabrina Petersohn, Bergische Universität Wuppertal, Germany and Lizzie Gadd, from Loughborough University. It was commissioned by the lis-Bibliometrics group and funded by Elsevier Research International.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Information School Contribution to Information Economy Report

Last week saw the release of the UNCTAD Information Economy Report for 2017. This is a flagship report that is distributed amongst policy makers globally and often sets the agenda for policy around ICT and digital in developing countries. This years' focus is on ‘Digitalization, Trade and Development’. 


Information School lecturer Christopher Foster has been closely involved in this years report, contributing to chapters which explore the practical and policy implications of digitalisation in small firms. This work, which draws on his research examines the current state of digitalisation within small exporting firms and some of the potential gains and challenges related to digital exclusion, platforms and automation. His background paper on the topic "Digitalisation and Trade: What Hope for Lower Income Countries?" is now available.

The wider Information Economy Report provides an extensive outline of the latest thinking on digitalisation including exploring topics such as future automation technologies, online work and a consideration of what jobs and skills are important in this changing economy.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Dr Paul Reilly recognised as Dedicated Outstanding Mentor by University of Sheffield

Senior Lecturer Dr Paul Reilly has been recognised by the University of Sheffield's Research and Innovation Service as a Dedicated Outstanding Mentor. His nomination can be read here.

One of Paul's mentees wrote this about his mentoring skills:

“It made me reflect on my options and I feel that now I have agreed formal timelines, I am more likely to action my ambition to be a P.I on a project, sooner. I think it is reasonable to say that I would have applied to be a P.I at some point, but feel the support has really pushed me on, and also helped me realise that there are other options open to me.”

Friday, 6 October 2017

Information School staff visit Bletchley Park

On Friday 31st August 2017, members of the Information School (Dr Ana Vasconcelos, Prof Paul Clough and Dr Simon Wakeling) and Professor David Ellis (Department of Information Studies, University of Aberystwyth) visited Bletchley Park to meet with staff and discuss potential collaborative research activities.

Following an initial discussion about the role of Bletchley Park in WWII – home of the top-secret codebreakers and what is now GCHQ – the visitors were provided with examples of archival materials held at Bletchley, such as the cataloguing system maintained with index cards, examples of intercepted coded messages and synthesised highlights created each day and sent to people such as Winston Churchill. They also toured the site at Bletchley Park, which is a major UK visitor attraction and film location for the Oscar-nominated film “The Imitation Game”. 

Thanks go to Dr David Kenyon (research historian) and Peronel Craddock (Head of Collections and Exhibitions) from Bletchley Park Trust.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

PhD student and supervisors from the Information School win second prize in Best Paper competition at TPDL'17

David Walsh, a part-time PhD student at the Information School (also works as a Senior Lecturer at Edge Hill University) has won second prize for Best Paper at the International Conference on Theory and Practice of Digital Libraries 2017 (TPDL'17) in Thessaloniki, Greece.

David's paper explored categories of visitor to the National Liverpool Museums website via a large-scale museum user survey in which data on a wide range of user characteristics was collected to provide well founded definitions for the user group's motivations, tasks, engagement, and domain knowledge. The results highlighted that the general public and non-professional users make up the majority of users and allow us to clearly define these two groups. David is supervised by Paul Clough and Jonathan Foster from Sheffield and Mark Hall from Edge Hill.

Walsh D., Hall M., Clough P., Foster J. (2017) The Ghost in the Museum Website: Investigating the General Public’s Interactions with Museum Websites. In: Kamps J., Tsakonas G., Manolopoulos Y., Iliadis L., Karydis I. (eds) Research and Advanced Technology for Digital Libraries. TPDL 2017. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 10450. Springer.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

PhD student Emily Nunn on her work placement at the British Library

My name is Emily Nunn and I am just starting my third year as a PhD student in the Information School. Over the summer, I completed a one-month placement at the British Library, conducting a piece of research for them on open access to scholarly research outside academia. Financial support for the placement was part of my PhD funding from the White Rose College of the Arts and Humanities (WRoCAH), who provide great opportunities for research students to undertake placements with external organisations.

I found the placement through social media (which is why I would recommend that PhD students give Twitter a try). Torsten Reimer, the Head of Research Services at the British Library, contacted me after seeing information about my doctoral research, and we worked out a placement that would be beneficial to both of us.

The British Library are currently working on exciting new projects to develop their support for open access. As a national library, they have a responsibility to provide access to resources not only to researchers, but to a range of different stakeholders outside the academy (for instance, charities, practitioners, small businesses, citizen researchers and patients). However, we only have limited understanding of how OA might benefit these groups – something I am exploring in my PhD. Therefore, the BL asked me to conduct a series of interviews with members of staff at medical charities, to find out their views on both OA and the British Library itself. 

I was made to feel very welcome by the team at the BL, especially by Torsten and his colleague Matt Hunt, and had a great time whizzing around London on the tube visiting various medical charities. Thanks to all the enthusiastic participants who gave their time (and biscuits) so generously, I ended up with a huge amount of interview data to transcribe, and a lot of new ideas.
I also got the chance to attend a couple of events for PhD and placement students at the BL, including a ‘one minute thesis’ session, which meant that I was kept very busy.

I produced a report with recommendations for how the BL could support OA outside academia, which I hope will help them in their future work in this area. I am pleased to have been invited back in the new year to present my findings to BL staff, and talk to them some more about their projects. The placement really helped me develop my thinking on how to make my PhD research useful to libraries and other organisations, and will make an important contribution to my thesis.

On a less academic note, the staff canteen at the British Library was very good and cheap, and it was lovely being able to spend a month in central London, with so many galleries, theatres and things to do right on my doorstep. I would highly recommend the experience to other research students, especially if you are able to get financial support. 

Monday, 2 October 2017

Dr Elisa Serafinelli to present at 'Ways of Being in the Digital Age' review conference

Research Associate Dr Elisa Serafinelli is due to present her recent paper 'Mobile Mediated Visualities: An Empirical Study of Visual Practices on Instagram', co-authored by Professor Mikko Villi from the University of Jyväskylä, at the 'Ways of Being in the Digital Age' review conference at the University of Liverpool. This conference will close the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) review.

Dr Serafinelli's paper discusses how social platforms and smart mobile devices are affecting individuals’ visual, social and digital practices. In particular, it examines the social exchange of photographs online in order to advance an in-depth reading of contemporary mobile media. In its conclusions, this paper offers a conceptual apparatus that can help to understand the visual hyper-representation of social practices exemplified by the current trend of giving to everything a visual justification.

You can find out more about the conference here.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Professor Emeritus Tom Wilson awarded ASIS&T Award of Merit.

Professor Emeritus of the Information School and leading figure in the information field Tom Wilson has been awarded the ASIS&T (Association for Information Science & Technology) Award of Merit, the Association's highest award, which recognises sustained contributions to the field of information science. The award marks a lifetime of achievements for Professor Wilson, who now joins a list of well-respected figures in information science who have won the award previously.

Asked about winning this prestigious award, Professor Wilson said 'I was very surprised the receive the Award, having been retired since 2000. But, of course, I am delighted to receive it, since there is no higher award in the field.'

Professor Tom D. Wilson has worked in the information field since 1961, holding positions in the public sector, industry, colleges and universities. Following retirement he was awarded title of Professor Emeritus and now Visiting Professor at Leeds University Business School and Senior Professor at the Swedish School of Library and Information Science.

Professor Wilson has made significant contributions to information research, particularly in the areas of information management and information behaviour for over half a century. Professor Wilson has an extensive publications record, with over ninety journal and conference papers: the first recorded in Web of Science, on chain indexing, was published in Library Journal as long ago as 1963 and the most recent, on models of information behaviour, in Information Research last year. His career has thus stretched over more than half-a-century, during which time he has also published almost three-hundred book and software reviews and presented innumerable conference papers around the world. His research has been widely recognised, with the Web of Science recording over 1,800 citations to his publications (and almost 15,000 citations on Google Scholar). He is best known for his work on models of human information behaviour.

In addition to his publications, Professor Wilson has made significant contributions to LIS as the founder and editor of two of the leading journals in the field. In 1980 he founded Social Science Information Studies, which became the International Journal of Information Management in 1985, the change of name reflecting Professor Wilson’s early, and continuing, advocacy of the concept of information management. Then, in 1995, he founded Information Research; an international electronic journal, one of the very first open-access e-journals in LIS and one that he continues to edit to the present day.

Professor Wilson was head of the Department of Information Studies at the University of Sheffield from 1982 to 1997, which in itself is an impressive achievement as the role is typically only undertaken for 4 years. During this time he managed to successfully grow the size of the department and increase student numbers, despite political and economic pressures. Under Professor Wilson’s leadership the department was built up and remains one of the leading information schools in the UK and worldwide. 

Friday, 1 September 2017

PhD student Wasim Ahmed completes work placement at Manchester United

My name is Wasim Ahmed and I am a PhD student at the iSchool, where I also obtained my MSc in 2013. I recently completed a work placement at Manchester United within the analytics department on a social media research project. The collaboration was made possible due to a University of Sheffield scheme known as the Postgraduate Researcher Experience programme. I have been a life-long fan of the club, so I was really happy to have had this opportunity.

I found the placement to be very beneficial for a number of reasons. This is because after spending a number of years working in an academic context, I had not fully considered the intelligence that could be extracted from social media platforms for commercial uses. My academic research, as a result of the internship, has improved and I will now consider potential uses of a research project, as well as the academic insight that can be gained.

As a research student you will develop a number of skills that can be applied in an industry setting, and by undertaking a work experience placement this really becomes apparent. My confidence has really improved in terms of considering careers post-PhD. I think research skills that students will gain from completing a PhD can be applied across a number of industries.

Everyone was really friendly at the club and there was a real team spirit in the office. On the last day of the job, I was given a pair of tickets to Michael Carrick’s testimonial which I thought was a really nice touch. I also had the opportunity to look around Manchester in the evenings, and it is a great city with a lot going on. As a result of my positive experience, I would highly recommend work placements to research students.

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Dr Chris Foster published in SPERI comment blog

Information School lecturer Chris Foster recently published a new post on the SPERI comment blog entitled "The balancing act of Brexit and digital trade"

As the UK leaves the EU it risks a potential ‘digital cliff-edge’. How it navigates its way through global tensions around digital trade rules will orientate the shape of the economy for years to come.

This post is part of his ongoing research looking at cross-border data flows and the political economy of digital trade.

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Dr Paul Reilly interviewed on BBC Radio Leicester about nomophobia

Earlier this week, Dr Paul Reilly was interviewed on BBC Radio Leicester's Jonathan Lampon show about recent research findings on nomophobia.

Nomophobia is anxiety associated with not being able to access and use smartphones, and recent research suggests that it is becoming an increasing problem amongst young people. Dr Reilly spoke about this and also whether or not it affects older smartphone users.

The article which sparked this conversation and references this research was this one from the Daily Mail.

You can listen to Dr Reilly's interview by clicking here and skipping forward to 1:46:40.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

iConference 2018 Call for Submissions

We invite contributions for iConference 2018, which will take place March 25-28, 2018 at the University of Sheffield. The iConference is presented by the iSchools organisation, a worldwide consortium of information schools dedicated to advancing the information field, and preparing students to meet the information challenges of the 21st Century. Affiliation with the iSchools is not a prerequisite of participation; and we encourage all information scholars and practitioners to take part in this, the thirteenth iSchools conference and the first to be held in the UK. The theme is “Transforming Digital Worlds” and the aim is to bring together thinkers and leaders from academia, industry and not-for-profit organisations, to discuss emerging challenges and potential solutions for information and data management in our rapidly changing world.

The conference is being jointly organised by the iSchools at the University of Sheffield and Northumbria University and will include not only peer-reviewed papers and posters but also workshops and sessions for interaction and engagement. In addition to tracks related to the conference theme, we shall be continuing with the iSchool Best Practices and iSchools and Industry Partnership tracks that were introduced in last year's conference, and early career and next generation researchers can engage in the Doctoral Student Colloquium and the Early Career Colloquium. The submission date for contributions is 18th September 2017.

Full details of the tracks and the submission procedures for contributions are available via the conference website at http://ischools.org/the-iconference/call-for-participation/, and we look forward to seeing you in Sheffield next year.

Monday, 21 August 2017

'Open Access in Theory and Practice' project awarded £182,087 funding from AHRC

Professor of Information Services Management, Stephen Pinfield, along with his Co-Investigator, Professor David Bawden (of City University London), have been awarded £182,097 by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) for the 'Open Access in Theory and Practice' project. The project will investigate the uses of theory in open access research and their relationship with practice. The project will recruit a full-time Research Associate to be based in Sheffield.

"We are delighted to have received this funding from the AHRC”, says Stephen. “We believe our project will make an important contribution to current discussions about open access and also about the relationship between theory and practice – both really important issues with wide implications for the role that academic research can play in society."

The project will start in the first quarter of 2018 and will last for 18 months.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Professors Paul Clough and Stephen Pinfield visit CERN

On 13th and 14th July Professor Paul Clough and Professor Stephen Pinfield visited CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research which is located near Geneva.

The visit was to meet with Xiaoli Chen, a PhD student being funded by CERN and supervised by Stephen and Paul, along with Dr Sunje Dallmeier-Tiessen an Information Manager at CERN and working on the INSPIRE digital library that serves the High Energy Physics (HEP) community. Xiaoli’s PhD is investigating how INSPIRE can better support the Open Science practices of the HEP community.

Paul and Stephen’s visit included a visit to the office where Tim Berner’s Lee invented the World Wide Web as well as visiting Geneva and its beautiful city centre. 

Paul and Stephen also gave invited talks to staff at CERN. Paul gave a talk entitled “Competent men and warm women: Gender stereotypes and backlash in image search results” based on a CHI’2017 paper written with Jo Bates from the Information School and Jahna Otterbacher from Open University Cyprus. Stephen gave a presentation entitled “Open-access mega-journals: the future of scholarly communication or academic dumping ground” based on his recent AHRC-funded project on mega-journals.