Thursday, 29 July 2010

AHRC research award "Developing deep critical information behaviour"

The Department has been awarded a grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council to study how young people’s ability to develop and engage in deep critical information behaviour – to seek, find, evaluate and use information effectively – might be enhanced.

There is evidence that relatively “surface level” approaches to information behaviour are not uncommon amongst young people at both school and university level. This behaviour is characterised by relatively unsophisticated and ineffective information seeking based on a “least effort” principle, and a relatively uncritical approach to evaluating information in terms of its authority and appropriateness in relation to task needs.

This is problematic in that a deeper (i.e. more reflective and critical) approach to information seeking, evaluation and use has been empirically linked to academic performance, and is key to the development of the independent evidence-based learning and problem solving required to participate fully in work and personal life in modern society.

The research will seek answers to the following questions:
  • What are the nature and extent of relatively deep and surface information behaviours amongst young people at school and university?
  • What are the effects of these behaviours?
  • How might they be explained (what are their underlying mechanisms)?
  • How might deep critical information behaviour be enabled and fostered?

Monday, 26 July 2010

PhD alumnus, now co-chair of major Japanese search engine evaluation exercise

Hideo Joho, who graduated from the department in 2005 has just been appointed evaluation co-chair of the leading Japanese search engine evaluation conference NTCIR. Hideo will be working with Tetsuya Sakai from Microsoft Research in Beijing. The conference meeting will be in Tokyo, December 2011.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Graduate Kallehauge published in Journal of Information Science

Journal of Information Science has published quantitative research by Jesper Kallehauge, a PhD student who graduated rom the Department in 2008. Jesper's supervisor was Professor Nigel Ford.

The title of Jesper's article is 'Stage-driven information seeking process: Value and uncertainty of work tasks from initiation to resolution' (vol. 36, no. 2, 2010, pp. 242–262, DOI: 10.1177/0165551509360142).


"The stage-driven information seeking process to reduce uncertainty and increase value was systematically validated with real users (n=60) with real work tasks from social sciences and applied sciences domains in a UK and Danish university. A broad set of information sources are applied and core relevance criteria are measured. The research seeked to test the hypothesis that the information seeking process is seen as a dynamic and iterative development to reduce uncertainty through four stages until the problem is solved: (1) problem recognition: kind of problem, (2) problem definition: nature of the problem, (3) problem resolution: finding an answer to the problem, (4) solution statement: answer to the problem or how to deal with it. The hypothesis was rejected in this case since there was no significant decrease in uncertainty level from stage 1 to 4."

Friday, 9 July 2010

5th Joint Sheffield Conference on Chemoinformatics

The Department hosts the Fifth Joint Sheffield Conference on Chemoinformatics from 13th to 15th July 2010, in the University's Octagon Centre. More details can be found here:

The conference will showcase the research of the Department alongside presentations from the field's leading researchers from across the world.

Friday, 2 July 2010

Daniela Petrelli giving a talk at the British Library

On Monday 5th July, Daniela will give an invited talk at the British Library in London at 'A Digital Life' research seminar from the 'Personal Digital Manuscripts Project' at the British Library.

The talk will be a reflection on the findings from her research in the context of the EU Marie Curie project 'Memoir: Remembering Things Past', an examination of personal digital objects as the source of memories, most especially autobiographical. The design and impact of digital devices that are integrated in everyday life and enable ready recollection and reflection will be contemplated.