Friday, 23 June 2017

Students Representing the Information School at CILIP Conference

CILIP Conference (5-6 July, Manchester) is a highlight of the professional calendar for library and information professionals in the UK, and this year the Information School is delighted to award bursaries for six postgraduate students to attend the conference and share their experiences. Our bursary award-winners are:
  • Hannah Beckitt – MA Library and Information Services Management
  • Erica Brown – MA Digital Library Management
  • Jaimee McRoberts – MA Library and Information Services Management
  • Itzelle Medina – PhD (and previous MA Librarianship student)
  • Lucy Sinclair – MA Librarianship
  • Louise Wasson – MA Library and Information Services Management
All are looking forward to making the most of the conference programme, including excellent keynotes by Carla Hayden, the Librarian of Congress, and Luciano Floridi of the Oxford Internet Institute, and the Your Career track, which is sponsored by the Information School. Watch out for tweets and blog posts from our students about their conference journey via @InfoSchoolSheff.

Information School Lecturer, Paula Goodale, will also be managing an exhibition stand throughout the conference. Drop by stand no.19 to find out about our exciting range of CILIP-accredited PGT courses (campus and distance learning options), and to explore opportunities for PhD research. Our students representatives will also be there so you can find out what it’s really like to study with us!

On Conference Day Two (July 6th) we will also be hosting a careers breakfast seminar, with a focus on networking for new and early career professionals. Everyone is welcome, no matter what your career stage, and Sheffield alumni are especially welcome, as we’d love to catch up with what you’ve been up to since graduating with us.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Dr Paul Reilly published in UK General Election report

Senior Lecturer Dr Paul Reilly has had an article published in a new report on the 2017 UK General Election edited by Einar Thorsen, Dan Jackson and Darren Lilleker from Bournemouth University. This rapid response report features 92 contributions from over 100 UK and international academics.

Paul's article presents some preliminary findings from a study of 1,842 tweets posted during the BBC Northern Ireland Leaders’ Debate, which took place a few days before polling day. ‘ It explores the response of Northern Irish tweeters to statements made by the representatives of the main political parties during the debate.

The article can be accessed here and the full report is available to download from here

Friday, 16 June 2017

Special issue of AJIM journal honours late Information School alumnus Mark Hepworth

The latest edition of the Aslib Journal of Information Management is a special issue honouring Mark Hepworth, Emeritus Professor at Loughborough University and an alumnus of the Sheffield Information School, who died on 21 December 2016. For many years he pushed forward the boundaries in studies of people's information behaviour and experience.

To honour Mark's contribution to library and information science, his friends, colleagues and students contributed articles to the issue, reflecting topics that characterised his career: health information, development studies and information behaviour.

Mark studied an MSc in Information Studies at the Information School before moving into a career that took him from industry into academia. He worked at Datasolve Limited in customer support care before becoming Business Development Manager for the Pearson/Financial Times group. He was appointed Senior Lecturer at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore in 1993 where he helped to develop a new MSc programme in Information Studies. He finally moved to Loughborough University in 1999 where he was eventually promted to Chair in People's Information Behaviour before retiring in 2016. His research at Loughborough concentrated on how people interact with and use information to enable them to achieve their objectives.

You can read the special issue here.

Wasim Ahmed represents Information School at expert panel at London School of Economics and Political Sciences (LSE)

The ‘Assessing the Value of Blogs and Social Media to Research Communication and Impact’ panel was held at LSE on Wednesday 14 June at 5.00pm. The panel featured doctoral student Wasim Ahmed, from the Information School.

The event was very well attended with over 70 delegates. Wasim noted that engaging with social media and blogs has the potential to generate more interest in academic work.

Picture as the panel was underway. Credit: Carlos Arrébola
Other panellists for the sessions included Kieran Booluck (Editor, LSE Impact blog); Chris Gilson (Editor, LSEUSAPP blog); Kathy Christian (Altmetric); Professor Daniel Miller (UCL ‘Why We Post’); Cheryl Brumley (The Economist); and Sierra Williams (Peer J). The panel was chaired by Amy Mollett (LSE Social Media Manager).

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Pam McKinney receives Faculty teaching award

Information School Lecturer Pam McKinney is one of only a small number of Faculty of Social Sciences staff to win a 'Teaching Excellence in Social Sciences (TESS) Award for Outstanding Practice in Learning and Teaching' this year.

The award follows research-informed teaching methods she has employed, especially around group work. You can read some of her research on the topic in her paper 'The use of technology in group-work: a Situational Analysis of students' reflective writing.'

Director of Learning and Teaching for the School, Dr Peter Stordy, has this to say:

"Pam is an inspiring and reflective teacher who is highly respected by both staff and students. She consistently attracts glowing comments in student module evaluations and motivates students to produce a high standard of work. Her tenacious determination to provide genuine opportunities to develop students' employability and team work skills distinguishes her from other excellent teachers. Furthermore, Pam continually is at the 'cutting edge' of teaching, maximising opportunities to improve the student learning experience 

These achievements have led to seven outstanding learning & teaching peer reviewed journal papers and a vignette related to reflective writing, teaching information literacy and group work. A Faculty Award is well-deserved."

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Dr Paul Reilly interviewed on BBC Radio about social media

Senior Lecturer Dr Paul Reilly was interviewed this week on BBC Radio Leicester's Jonathan Lampon show on the topic of oversharing on social media.

You can find the show here - skip ahead to 2:44:30 for Paul's interview.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Information School staff awarded Faculty Learning & Teaching Award for Library & Information Services Management programme

Professor Stephen Pinfield, Dr Briony Birdi, Dr Sheila Webber, Pam McKinney, Peter Holdridge and Paula Goodale have been awarded a Teaching Excellence in Social Sciences Award for Outstanding Practice in Learning and Teaching' by the Faculty of Social Sciences.

The award recognises the team's delivery of our innovative distance learning programme, MA Library & Information Services Management.

The award will be presented at the TESS End of Year Celebration event later this month.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Information School hosts Faculty-funded event - Researching Social Media: A Theoretical and Practical Overview

Doctoral candidate Wasim Ahmed, in collaboration with Chrysi Dagoula from the Journalism Department hosted an event at the Information School on Tuesday the 30th of May on the theoretical and practical aspects of social media research. The event was attended by delegates from across the UK ranging from PhD students, post-doctoral researchers as well as a number of senior academics.

Dr Andrew Cox congratulates co-organiser Wasim Ahmed for successfully running the event 

Dr Andrew Cox, Senior Lecturer, introduced the event and highlighted its interdisciplinary nature and thanked the Faculty for funding the event. The event also featured a talk by Sally Sanger whose PhD looks at alcohol online support groups. Event organisers would like to thank Xiaomei An for taking pictures of the event throughout the day.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Stephen Pinfield & Simon Wakeling present at SSP conference

This Friday, Professor Stephen Pinfield and Research Associate Dr Simon Wakeling will be presenting at the 39th annual Society for Scholarly Publishing Conference in Boston.

The SSP is a major international organisation in the field of scholarly communication and publishing.

Stephen and Simon will be presenting their work on open-access mega-journals. You can find details on their session here, and on the whole conference, which is running 31st May - 2nd June, here.

Friday, 26 May 2017

Paper co-authored by Paul Reilly, Elisa Serafinelli and colleagues nominated for ISCRAM prize

A paper co-authored by Senior Lecturer Dr Paul Reilly, Research Associate Dr Elisa Serafinelli and their colleagues from EMSC was nominated for a prize at the 2017 ISCRAM (Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management) conference.

This work, entitled 'Public expectations of social media use by critical infrastructure operators in crisis communication' and based on results from the EC H2020 IMPROVER project, explores public expectations of social media use by critical infrastructure operators during crisis situations.

Previous research into the role of social media in crisis communication has tended to focus on how sites such as Twitter are used by emergency managers rather than other key stakeholders, such as critical infrastructure (CI) operators. This paper adds to this emergent field by empirically investigating public expectations of information provided by CI operators during crisis situations. It does so by drawing on key themes that emerged from a review of the literature on public expectations of disaster related information shared via social media, and presenting the results of an online questionnaire-based study of disaster-vulnerable communities in France, Norway, Portugal and Sweden. Results indicate that members of the public expect CI operators to provide disaster related information via traditional and social media and to respond quickly to their queries on social media. CI operators should avail of the opportunities provided by social media to provide real-time information to disaster affected communities.

Find out more about the conference at its official website.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Wasim Ahmed delivers workshop at SITraN to the Society of Spanish Researchers in the United Kingdom on Communicating Science through Social Media

Wasim Ahmed, a Doctoral Candidate at the Information School, delivered a talk on communicating science through social media in collaboration with the University of Sheffield. Wasim shared his experiences on how he reached readers in over 136 countries and how he received over 250 thousand page hits across a number of channels within the first two years of his PhD.

Wasim noted that the event had an extremely good turnout for a Saturday afternoon, and noted that the atmosphere of the Society of Spanish Researchers in the United Kingdom was very lively and friendly. Wasim would like to thank the organisers and especially Margarita Segovia Roldan and Jacobo Elies Gomez pictured below left and right respectively of Wasim below.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Dr Paul Reilly gives seminar at Faculty of Media & Communication at Bournemouth University

Senior Lecturer Dr Paul Reilly is giving an invited research seminar at the Faculty of Media & Communication at Bournemouth University on Wednesday 24th May, 4-5pm. The talk is entitled 'Social media and contentious parades in divided societies: Tweeting the 2014 and 2015 Ardoyne parade disputes.'

The abstract for Paul's talk is below:

To what extent do social media facilitate debate between Catholics and Protestants about contentious parades and protests in post-conflict Northern Ireland? Do these ‘affective publics’ tend to escalate or de-escalate the tensions caused by these events? This paper addsresses these issues through a qualitative study of how citizens used Twitter in response to contentious Orange Order parades in the Ardoyne district of North Belfast in 2014 and 2015. Twitter provided a platform for ‘affective publics’ who expressed a myriad of sentiments towards the Orange Order, in addition to the residents who opposed the loyalist parade passing the predominantly nationalist area. This study focused on the extent to which these tweeters appeared to use the site to prevent a recurrence of the sectarian violence that followed the parade in previous years. A critical thematic analysis of 7388 #Ardoyne tweets, collected in July 2014 and July 2015, was conducted in order to investigate these issues. Results indicate that Twitter’s greatest contribution to peacebuilding may lie in its empowerment of citizens to correct rumours and disinformation that have the potential to generate sectarian violence. However, the site does not appear to function as a shared space in which cross-community consensus on contentious issues such as Ardoyne parade can be fostered.

Friday, 19 May 2017

MSc Information Management student runner-up for LIRG student prize

CILIP’s Library and Information Research Group awards a student prize each year for an outstanding research-based project on any topic in the general area of library and information science (LIS). Submissions for the prize are typically a postgraduate dissertation or a final year undergraduate project, with each LIS department being allowed to nominate one piece of student work.

The Information School’s nomination for this year’s prize was the MSc dissertation by Lynsey Taylor (nee Shenton), entitled “Perceptions of journal prestige in library and information science: a comparative analysis”.

Her study involved a survey of academics in UK LIS departments to identify the journals that they thought were most valuable for their teaching and research activities. A comparison of the results with those of an analogous survey conducted previously in the USA showed some significant differences between the UK and USA perceptions of value; and an analysis of submissions to the Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014) demonstrated that LIS research in the UK is wide-ranging in scope, and certainly much broader than if the discipline is defined by traditional LIS journals.

Lynsey was runner up for the prize this year. A paper based on Lynsey’s dissertation will be published in a forthcoming issue of the Aslib Journal of Information Management.

Read more here:

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

PhD student Wasim Ahmed published on LSE Impact blog: Using Twitter as a datasource an overview of tools (updated for 2017)

Extract taken from the LSE Impact blog:

Following his initial post on this topic in 2015, Wasim Ahmed has updated and expanded his rundown of the tools available to social scientists looking to analyse social media data. A number of new applications have been released in the intervening period, with the increasing complexity of certain research questions also having prompted some tools to increase their data retrieval functionalities. Although platforms such as Facebook and WhatsApp have more active users, Twitter’s unique infrastructure and the near-total availability of its data have ensured its popularity among researchers remains high.

You can read the full post here.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Dr Andrew Cox presents Bibliometrics findings at UKSG conference

Andrew Cox, working with Lizzie Gadd of the Lis-Bibliometrics Group, gave two workshops on the outcomes of the bibliometrics competency work they have been doing at UKSG conference this year.

The UKSG conference and exhibition is a major annual meeting of librarians, publishers and other intermediaries to consider developments in scholarly communication.