Friday, 21 July 2017

What do you want from CILIP?

Did you know you have a voice on the CILIP Board of Trustees?

They say you only have a few seconds to grab someones attention, did it work? Are you now intrigued as to how you can have your say? Perhaps you are wondering what CILIP is and why it matters? Well here it goes.

Being a New Professional can be difficult, you've just finished your course (or are about to) and are thinking about how to get on to that professional career ladder. When you need advice, training and a really good job board, you can turn to The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP).

You may have heard about CILIP and been told about the benefits of being a member already. Great! Once you start using the services provided and get involved with what is on offer (remember you get out what you put in), you may want to feedback a few suggestions.

I'd like to encourage you to feed them back to me. My name is Chloe Menown, I am the co-opted New Professional on the Board of Trustees. Our job is to guide the direction of the charitable trust (CILIP), I've only been a Professional Librarian for 3 years so I bring a different view to the highly experienced board. With your help, I can represent New Professionals to my full ability.

If you want to have a chat, make a suggestion or just tell me about your experience with CILIP so far. Please email me at Chloe.Menown@anglia.ac.uk or Tweet me @CMenown

I'm here to bring the New Professional view to the floor, so give me your views to bring.

https://www.cilip.org.uk/

Blog written by Chloe Menown, CILIP.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Dr Briony Birdi speaks at Engaged Learning Conference

At the Engaged Learning Conference 2017, hosted by the University of Sheffield 6-7 July 2017, Senior Lecturer Dr Briony Birdi gave a paper on 'Engaged learning and the development of cultural awareness and social responsibility in students', as part of a session on 'Active citizenship and social change'.


It has been argued that universities will become socially irrelevant unless they develop and maintain strong links with the local communities in which they are based, and unless their research is perceived by those communities as related to their real-world concerns. Although many of our degree programmes provide students with a set of vital tools to function effectively within an organisation in a particular field, are we failing to fully equip them with the skills they need to operate effectively within a broader public, societal context? What are these skills, and how can they be developed within a higher education degree programme?

Firstly, Briony made a case for the value of an engaged learning and teaching approach, by presenting key arguments in support of the inclusion of cultural awareness and social responsibility in degree programmes. Secondly, using an approach that has been tested on students on Masters programmes in Library and Information Science, she presented a simple model which has been developed to provide students with an opportunity for reflection, giving them the time and space to apply what they see in the communities outside the classroom, and to start understanding and even modelling that behaviour themselves.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

CILIP Conference 2017: Highlights by Hannah Beckitt

I was fortunate enough to receive a student bursary from the University of Sheffield to attend the CILIP Conference 2017 in Manchester. As a distance-learner I was excited to finally meet some iSchool staff and fellow students in person! It didn’t disappoint, and I really enjoyed talking to attendees on the iSchool stand, sharing my experiences of managing full-time work with intensive study.

The conference was crammed with interesting keynotes, my favourites were:
  • Dr Carla Hayden (Librarian of Congress) addressed us as her ‘British Peeps’ and described her job interview with Barack Obama. She was passionate about engaging the public with library services, particularly ones that are traditionally research institutions, and heralded the British Library as an example of getting this right. Dr Hayden called upon the younger and older generations of librarians to work together, bridge the gap and benefit from each other’s skillsets. 
  • Luciano Floridi (Professor of Philosophy and Ethics of Information at the University of Oxford) talked about the philosophy of information science and its relationship with ‘power’ in todays’ society. He advocates a more questioning society, and in the game of Q & A, we need a society where more questioning is allowed/ encouraged, but answers don’t always have to be given. We are not there yet. 

My workshop highlights:
  • Terry Kendrick’s popular workshop on quick-win marketing. It is important to know users in depth and not just at a superficial level, there will be different sub-groups within your users and marketing should be targeted accordingly. We need to get into their lives rather than their job – what is going to grab their attention and be worth their time? Marketing is not about telling users things, it is about getting their attention! Relationship building is key, and questionnaires are generally a waste of time. We aren’t good at communicating with various stakeholder groups. We need to prioritise and target specific groups rather than trying to cast our net wide and be available to everyone. 
  • The Breakfast seminar sponsored by Sheffield iSchool was full of lively debate. Helen from the New Library Professionals Network talked about why they set up the network and the views of NLP they have met. In general, I found much of the criticism did not apply to the LISM course at Sheffield and I kept wanting to stand up and shout defiantly! I politely tweeted my indignation instead! 
  • Listening to David McMenemy talking about ‘Our Common Values”, he deliberately raised controversial ethical considerations e.g. Ranganathan’s core values are western-biased; should we use learning analytics in universities to collect data through surveillance of students learning habits?; internet filtering - there was no debate, it just happened, and it is censorship. Apparently CILIP’s Royal Charter is actually very good and we should all read it! 
  • The Information Standard with Jane Fox and Jonathan Berry. (This is different to the ‘Accessible Information Standard’, which is a legal requirement to provide information in different formats if people need it). Organisations can apply to be assessed and awarded the Information Standard. 43-61% of working age adults do not understand the health information that we produce. The Information Standard logo gives confidence to consumers that the information provided is evidence-based, suitable for its audience, and has been through a quality assurance process. Most NHS organisations are following the 6 principles anyway so it shouldn’t be an onerous process to join the scheme. See www.healthliteracy.org.uk and www.healthliteracyplace.org.uk for curated resources. 

Thanks to The University of Sheffield iSchool for my bursary. I was able to network with colleagues old and new; be thoroughly inspired; and feel excited about embarking on a career in the library and information profession.

Hannah Beckitt
MA Library and Information Services Management student

CILIP Conference 2017: 'Fostering the Infosphere' - Spotlight by Itzelle Medina Perea

The CILIP Conference 2017 was held last week, in Manchester. This is one of the most important events for the library and information professionals across the UK, it provides a great opportunity for collaboration, debate and networking. This year the programme included interesting sessions on topics such as managing information, literacy and learning and copyright and ethics and the presentation of three keynote speakers: Dr Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress, Professor Luciano Floridi, and Neil MacInnes, Strategic Lead for Libraries, Galleries and Culture at Manchester City Council. I found the sessions on Information Governance and Ethics very useful as they addressed topics that are relevant for my PhD research. Furthermore, I met some information professionals and students from different backgrounds and was really interesting to share ideas an experiences with them.

One of the highlights of the conference was, without doubt, the keynote delivered by Professor Luciano Floridi: Fostering the Infosphere. In this great session, Floridi discussed the changes that have been provoked by the emergence of digital technology. He also explained how the new environment created by the convergence between the digital and analogue challenge the entire society to re-interpret concepts and practices of daily life. Professor Floridi talked about how power relationships have changed in this new era. From his perspective, questions are today the key to power, not answers, which means that uncertainty is controlled by the questions. For this reason, the role of the library also requires a major transformation: “the role of LIS & libraries in information societies is to counterbalance the power to control/influence people’s behaviour through uncertainty by guaranteeing and facilitating the free and effective formulation of questions”.


This was a powerful message, a call to action, a reminder that information professionals still play a key role in society and that we have a great responsibility.

During these two days of conference the Information School had the opportunity to promote the postgraduate programs offered at the School. The iSchool stand was located in the exhibition area and in addition to attending the sessions of the conference I spent some time at the stand and provided potential students with information about the courses. I shared my experience as an Information School student, talked about the practical skills and theoretical knowledge I acquired during my MA degree and PhD, and the advantages of studying at the University of Sheffield.

Overall this was a great event, well organised and with excellent content. Thank you to the Information School for providing me with a bursary to attend the CILIP Conference 2017.

Itzelle Medina Perea
PhD student

CILIP Conference 2017: 'Syrian New Scots, Libraries and Plenty of Tea' - Highlights by Lucy Sinclair

Last week, I represented the Information School at the annual CILIP conference in Manchester. This was a huge deal for two reasons; it was my first major library conference and as a ‘southerner’, I got the chance to explore a bit more of the north. My first port of call on arrival was to man the Information School stall. This was an excellent opportunity to interact with distance learners and talk about my own experiences on the MA Librarianship course to potential students. I even got the chance to meet someone from the area that I’m moving to; networking has its advantages.

Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress opened up the conference with an incredible speech on the importance and diversity of the librarian profession. She reminded all of us that ‘Librarians are the original search engines’ and I plan on buying a t-shirt with that phrase asap. The fact that such a superstar librarian applauded library students showed just what an inspiration she is.

Dr Konstantina Martzoukou, a senior lecturer at Robert Gordon University gave a passionate talk about the everyday life information literacy issues that Syrian new Scots face. Practically humming with energy, Dr Martzoukou brought her paper (“Lost in Information? Syrian new Scots Information Literacy Way-finding practices”) to life. The seminar highlighted the difficulty Syrian new Scots faced in finding health information, language barriers. However, it also showed just how much local support was in place to help Syrian new Scots settle within the community. The local public libraries played a huge part in connecting people together, yet these issues need to a increase in awareness beyond the library profession. A video clip at the end of the seminar, showing the devastation in Syria, had me in tears.

This seminar hit me on a much more personal level than just listening to an interesting topic. Through the Information School, I have volunteered with a Sheffield based charity since March. Every Tuesday, I have helped refugees practice their reading and writing skills, a project that has brought me a lot of happiness and the opportunity to work with wonderful people. It’s thanks to the Information School that I’ve had this opportunity and it was heart warming to see other library schools furthering their research in this area.

In an action packed two days, I saw just how the library profession interacts on a global scale. As a soon-to-be new professional, it was incredible to see how much the librarian field impacts on society. I arrived back home brimming with ideas, excited to enter the profession and desperately in need of a lie down on my bed. The only negative thing I can say is that I drank so much tea at the conference; I couldn’t face having my normal morning cuppa the next day.

Lucy Sinclair
MA Librarianship student

CILIP Conference 2017: 'The Possibilities are Endless' - Thoughts by Erica Brown

For the opening keynote of the CILIP conference I was careful to take an aisle seat in the lecture theatre as I knew I would have to leave early for a telephone interview. This had an unexpected benefit.

To my surprise and delight Dr Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress, was making her way up the steps, chatting with delegates as she went.

When was near me, she called out “Any students here?” My hand went up! She came over and asked me what I was going to do – I told her I had a telephone interview that morning. She smiled warmly and told me “You’ll be fine!” and not to worry about slipping out.

Keynote speakers are supposed to set the tone for the rest of the conference, and Carla Hayden did this in her walk up those lecture theatre steps. Her warmth and supportive attitude were shared by all people I talked with over the two days of the conference.

In my previous career as an academic I have attended many conferences. They are usually a mixed bag – some people are friendly and collegial, some are not; some presentations are lively and engaging, some are not.

At the CILIP conference all the sessions were either practical or inspirational or thought-provoking or all of these at once.

Whilst I value all the practical learning from the conference, I think the most important thing I got out of it was a sense of the sheer range of inspirational work taking place in the library and information sector.

Before attending the conference, I expected to work in a university, because of my academic background. The conference has helped me to think beyond this. To borrow the slogan of Manchester Libraries, I left feeling that “the possibilities are endless”.

I would encourage anyone entering the profession to try and attend the conference. Conferences can be very expensive, so my thanks go to the University of Sheffield Information School for the bursary that enabled me to go.

Erica Brown
MSc Digital Library Management student

CILIP Conference 2017: 'Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Companies' - Highlights by Jaimee McRoberts

The conference started off with an uplifting keynote speech by Dr. Carla Hayden, the current Librarian of Congress. One of the comments she made towards the start of her talk was that ‘the colleagues you meet now will be with you for the rest of your career’. This resonated strongly with me as the conference proved to be an opportunity to connect, and re-connect, with a number of peers I don’t often get to see. I found myself connecting with professionals from around the country, including current and former work colleagues, fellow students, and those I’ve come across ‘in the profession’, particularly through my volunteer work with CILIP. If these are the peers I will be working with for the rest of my career, then I am truly fortunate as they are all intelligent, motivational, and hard-working!

During the 'Using Data and Information' seminar, Caroline Carruthers raised the interesting concept of data hoarding, saying how we have 'forgotten the value of the information within the data we hold' and how, by holding onto all of it, we have become 'data hoarders'. She suggested 'Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Companies', which is described in her presentation [See Image]. I recognise this tendency to hoard data within my own actions, with a habit of keeping every single work email I ever receive for fear of losing something important or which I might later need for some unexpected reason. This is something for which I now recognise I require ‘therapy’ for.


Moving ahead, the last seminar I attended at the conference was an incredibly versatile session on ‘Engaging Audiences'. First I had the pleasure of hearing Lucy Crompton-Reid speak on 'Increasing Reach and Access Through Wikimedia', gaining further insight on the growing role of open content on the internet. We were invited to imagine a world where 'every librarian added one more reference to Wikipedia', both supporting the free sharing of knowledge and combating the 'fake news' trend with reputable and factual evidencing practices. Lucy also summarised the role Wikipedia can play in the research process: 'Wikipedia is a starting point for research, not an end point. It is not a source, but a source aggregator.'

The very last session of the day, with Ian Anstice, was my absolute favourite of the whole conference. Ian had an intelligent and viable rebuttal to every single ‘sound bite’ that exists for the continued closure and de-funding of public libraries. Some examples:
  • 'I don't need a public library' -- fine, that's great. But it's there for people who DO need it. 
  • 'Everyone has the internet these days.' Actually, no they don't. 
  • 'My library is grotty.' Yes, some of them are, but that's because they've been underfunded for the last 20-30 years. This is a mark that libraries need investing, not closing.
Throughout, Ian reiterated CILIP’s campaign of ‘My Library By Right’: We need more funding, and real trained staff, to ensure that every citizen has access when and if they need it.

Jaimee McRoberts
MA Library and Information Services Management student

CILIP Conference 2017: 'Starting Out in Your Career' - Spotlight by Louise Wasson


Despite the impressive range of fascinating keynotes and innovative sessions on offer, this Day 1 session instantly appealed to me on first reading the CILIP 2017 programme. Having attended this session I certainly was not disappointed. Delivered by CILIP development officers Juanita Foster Jones and Jo Cornish, and with input from CILIP Assistant Director of Workforce Development Mandy Powell, the session was engaging, informative and practical, with a range of career stage appropriate advice for all participants. My only regret would be that I hadn’t attended this session at a slightly earlier point in my library course. Nevertheless, there was a wealth of advice available on a diverse range of topics and CPD opportunities, as well as several genuine and sincere offers of future help and support post-conference.

The session consisted of three main group activities which involved:
  • a brief SWOT analysis of personal skills and skills gaps 
  • an overview of the CILIP PKSB and the chance to rate your skills against the PKSB 
  • an elevator pitch 


Having previously attended various non-library conferences, I have always found that faces tend to fall, shoulders drop and enthusiasm quickly wanes when on entering the room to a session expected to be delivered in lecture or presentation format, it is revealed that the session is in fact a practical workshop involving participation! However, this was not the case with this session which is testament to the skilled, engaging and accessible delivery used by Juanita Foster Jones and Jo Cornish. The activities facilitated speed networking with those around the table while also allowing each individual to actively reflect on their own practice and skills base with a view to planning their future career path and identifying those areas (which we will all always have) for development.

Information and guidance was also provided on the various routes to professional registration and there was a strong encouragement towards becoming involved with CILIP Special Interest Groups within your sector or area. I found this advice particularly useful as a newly qualified LIS professional with a background in academia and a skills gap around direct management and supervisory experience. Overall, the session was an incredibly useful, memorable and valuable experience which I will draw on in years to come.

My sincere thanks to the University of Sheffield iSchool for their generous Student Bursary and kind hospitality. The opportunity to not only attend my first CILIP conference but also to meet other LIS professionals and course members significantly added to the overall experience. I look forward to remaining an actively engaged CILIP member and attending future conferences in order to make the most of the knowledge and expertise available via this impressive yet welcoming professional network.

Louise Wasson
MA Library and Information Services Management student

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Wasim Ahmed featured in European Student Chapter of Association for Information Science and Technology Newsletter promoting iConference 2018

PhD student Wasim Ahmed has been featured in the European Student Chapter of Associate for Information Science and Technology which is now in its 10th edition.

Wasim reflected on the 2017 edition of the conference which took place in Wuhan, China and raised awareness of the 2018 conference which takes place in Sheffield March 2018. The link to the full newsletter can be found here. The call for papers for the conference is now open and can be found here.

Friday, 14 July 2017

McKinney, Webber, Holdridge engage with Technology Enhanced Learning #TELfest

Pamela McKinney, Sheila Webber and Peter Holdridge represented the iSchool at Sheffield University's annual celebration of Technology Enhanced Learning: TELfest.  

McKinney and Webber gave a presentation Comparing use of TEL in an on campus class and a distance learning class, reporting on ways in which Technology Enhanced Learning is used in the on-campus and distance versions of the core Information Literacy module. The presentation is available here: https://www.slideshare.net/sheilawebber/comparing-use-of-technology-enhanced-learning-in-an-oncampus-class-and-a-distance-learning-class
Sheila Webber (one of the educators on the University of Sheffield Exploring Play MOOC) contributed to a panel on Learning Through Play. She talked about Dr Peter Stordy's innovative use of Lego in the Information Organisation module, and about learning playfully in the 3D virtual world, Second Life (including learning through virtual dance!)

Peter Holdridge was a panel member for TEL Frameworks: Encouraging quality or stifling innovation? He was talking about the leading work carried out by the iSchool in researching student preferences to develop a template for iSchool modules in the University's Learning Management System.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Professor Peter Willett awarded honorary membership of MGMS

We are delighted to say that Professor Peter Willett has been awarded honorary membership of the Molecular Graphics and Modelling Society (MGMS), an international society for the application of computer techniques for the discovery of novel drugs.



Honorary membership is bestowed on people who have made an excellent and lasting contribution to the MGMS's area of science, with Peter's award reflecting his significant contributions to the development of chemoinformatics over the last forty years. There are 8 current honorary members,one of whom, Martin Karplus, is a Nobel Prize winner!

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Prof Paul Clough interviewed for Machine Minds podcast

Earlier this month, Professor Paul Clough was interviewed on the first episode of Machine Minds, a podcast about the influence of technology in modern life.

The episode, entitled 'Search Engine and Bias', looked at bias in search engines and Paul's input was based on work he undertook with Dr Jo Bates from the Information School and Jahna Otterbacher from Open University Cyprus.

You can listen to the podcast here.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

LISM student cycling London to Sheffield for Sheffield Hospitals Charity

Current MA Library and Information Services Management student Billie Coxhead is cycling from London to Sheffield to raise money for Sheffield Hospitals Charity, along with her friend Gracey Power. The three day ride begins tomorrow, Wednesday 12th July.

The Sheffield Princess Royal Spinal Unit looked after Billie's brother Keir after a car crash, so the funds from this trip are both a thank you to them and a help in continuing this work for others.



You can read about Billie's ride and cause, as well as donate money, on her JustGiving page here.

Webber and Elmore present at #i3rgu : Critical Information Behaviour and Information Sharing

At the i3 (information interactions and impact) conference held in Aberdeen, Scotland, there were two presentations from the iSchool. Sheila Webber presented a paper coauthored with Professor Nigel Ford, Dr Andrew Madden and Mary Crowder, reporting on quantitative findings from a project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) on Deep critical Information Behaviour. The paper was entitled Mapping the development of critical information behaviour through school and university and the slides are at https://www.slideshare.net/sheilawebber/mapping-the-development-of-critical-information-behaviour-through-school-and-university
Jessica Elmore, who had ealier received the Mark Hepworth Award for Best paper at i3, presented on Information sharing in the ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) classroom: a case study. Sheila Webber (who co-supervises Jessica's PhD with Dr Peter Stordy) liveblogged her talk at http://information-literacy.blogspot.co.uk/2017/06/information-sharing-in-esol-classroom.html

Friday, 7 July 2017

International project to tackle risk, crisis, disaster and development management

Researchers from the Universities of Sheffield (Dr Paul Reilly from the Information School) and Leicester, in collaboration with Kansai University in Japan, have received a prestigious funding award from Kansai University in order to develop a Future Leader programme for disaster risk management.

In attendance at the project launch(from Left): Dr Paul Reilly, Professor Peter Jackson, Dr Nibedita Ray-Bennett, Dr Hideyuki Shiroshita, Professor Kenji Koshiyama, Dr John Atibila, Dr Kaori Kitagawa and Mrs Denise Corsel.
This collaborative research project will capture feedback from educators, governmental and non-governmental organisations, United Nations and students who have completed university courses relating to risk, crisis, disaster and development management to develop a bespoke programme for practitioners in Japan and the UK.

You can read more about the project in this press release.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Dr Giuliana Tiripelli to present book about peace in the Middle East at British Society of Criminology

Research Associate Dr Giuliana Tiripelli is attending the British Society of Criminology annual conference at Sheffield Hallam University between 4-7 July 2017.

Dr Tiripelli will be presenting her book Media and Peace in the Middle East as part of a panel entitled 'Compromise after Conflict: The role of political prisoners in Northern Ireland, (re)presenting peace and the transformations of resistance'.


Friday, 30 June 2017

Graduate Intern Blog - Stuart Crowley


As our graduate intern over the last six months, Stuart Crowley has worked on improving our provision for our iLab facility. On his last day in the department, he has written the following blog about his work here.


After my graduation in English Language and Linguistics and an arduous stint of unemployment, I successfully applied to become a graduate intern for The Information School. For the past six months, I was tasked with evaluating and improving the state of the iLab facilities, a research facility with the purpose of observing and analysing human interaction with and without electronic devices. Thus, the iLab can be used to test website design and accessibility as well as analysing social interaction accompanied or unaccompanied by electronic devices – a potential goldmine for innovative and creative research projects.

Before I arrived, the iLab was not always reaching its full potential. To evaluate this, I researched the needs and wants of previous and potential users of the iLab through surveys and interviews. It became apparent that, for the iLab to reach its full potential to be taken advantage of by students and staff, the HCI module that previously used the iLab for teaching must be reinstated. Reinstating this module would also be extremely valuable for students of The Information School, as the methods taught are both compatible and fundamental to the ethos of the iSchool organisation.

Following this, I created a website and user guide for the iLab to ensure a greater understanding and organisation of the facilities as well as in the hopes of increasing the potential usage of the iLab. In fact, in the coming months, three dissertation projects will be conducted in the iLab; one of which will analyse the human use of a computer game.


In the near future, we aim to increase the profile, knowledge, presence and visibility of the iLab online as well as within The Information School, across campus, and further afield. With this intention, I hope that the iLab will reach its full potential to achieve our university’s goal of being a leader in both research and teaching – an intention that should always be at the heart of any university – for the benefit of students and communities, local, national, and global.

While in any programme or scheme that are areas for improvement, this internship has provided me with more skills and varied opportunities than I expected. I would certainly recommend this scheme to future graduates, as you will be provided with development opportunities rarely found in other organisations and schemes.

I would like to thank everyone in The Information School for being extremely welcoming, and particularly those within the Professional Services office in which I have spent a large chunk of my time – I now realise and appreciate to a greater degree how vital their role is in keeping the university running smoothly and effectively to achieve our goal of producing valuable research and teaching.

Stuart Crowley

Thursday, 29 June 2017

MA Librarianship student Lucy Branford-White to attend 2017 G20 summit in Hamburg

MA Librarianship student Lucy Branford-White has been selected as a Policy Analyst to join a team of staff and students going to the G20 summit in Hamburg next month. Lucy has been selected as part of the Faculty of Social Sciences' Global Leadership Initiative, which is part of GLOSS.


The 2017 G20 Hamburg summit will be the 12th G20 meeting. It is planned to be held from July 7th to 8th in Hamburg, Germany.

G20 was initiated in 1999 and consists of Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Republic of Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union (EU).

Before the outbreak of global financial crisis in 2008, G20 meetings of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors were held to discuss international financial and monetary policies, reform of international financial institutions and world economic development. The first G20 Leaders' Summit was held in 2008. In September 2009, the Pittsburgh Summit announced G20 as the premier forum for international economic cooperation, marking an important progress in global economic governance reform. The most recent G20 summit was held in Hangzhou, China in September 2016.

Lucy and other students will write policy briefs and blogs for the Global Policy Journal, pertaining to discussions held at the summit.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

PhD student Jess Elmore receives Mark Hepworth Memorial Award

Information School PhD student Jessica Elmore (co-supervised by Sheila Webber and Dr Peter Stordy) is recipient of the inaugural Mark Hepworth Memorial Award. The award commemorates Professor Hepworth  (1955-2016). 

Jessica received the award for submitting the best abstract to the i3 (Information: interactions and impact) conference. Her paper, which she presents on 29 June at i3, is entitled "Information Sharing in the ESOL (English Speakers of Other Languages) classroom: a case study"

She is shown here with i3 Chair Professor Peter Reid and Professor Graham Matthews, from Loughborough University, where Mark was a faculty member.


Monday, 26 June 2017

Wasim Ahmed and Peter Bath deliver invited talk on social media research ethics at a CERN workshop in Geneva

Doctoral student Wasim Ahmed and Professor Peter Bath, pictured below, from the Health Informatics Research Group, recently delivered a talk at a CERN workshop in Geneva. The talk was based on the industry and academic perspectives on social media research ethics, and the also talk highlighted the approach that has been undertaken by the University of Sheffield. 


Wasim Ahmed, pictured below, also presented a poster on his PhD research during the CERN workshop.



Wasim’s poster was based on his PhD research which is examining how people talk about infectious disease outbreaks such as Swine Flu and Ebola on Twitter. Wasim also touched on the benefits of engaging with research blogs such as the LSE Impact blog.

Dr Elisa Serafinelli presents AESOP Guidelines at IMPROVER workshop

Dr Elisa Serafinelli presented the AESOP Guidelines for effective communication between Critical Infrastructure operators and members of the public during crisis situations at the IMPROVER project workshop that was held at the Joint Research Centre, in Ispra Italy on the 11th and 12th May 2017. Recommendations included: creating platforms and/or channels of communication that can provide feedback about CI operators’ services before, during and after a major incident. The guidelines was published along with the deliverables for task 4.2.















Researchers, operators and the IMPROVER consortium joined forces for two days of presentations, knowledge sharing, and networking. The workshop was also an opportunity to present IMPROVER project activities and results in order to get feedback from critical infrastructures (CI) operators.

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: http://bit.ly/2qyUPM5

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.


#UKSG17

McKinney reports on #infolit from #lilac17

The iSchool's Pamela McKinney (pictured right) has been giving regular reports on the LILAC conference being held in Swansea, Wales, 10-12 April, both through the iSchool's Twitter account and via the Information Literacy Weblog. She's reporting on the last day of the conference today.

Friday, 7 April 2017

eMentoring

Information School students have the opportunity to take part in the University’s eMentoring scheme which partners students with professionals working in their target field. Through engaging in the scheme and talking with mentors, students gain insights into particular job roles, gain valuable advice about the recruitment process and develop important industry knowledge. Students have two opportunities to register for the scheme, and are matched to a professional volunteer mentor in a relevant job role. All students who applied for the scheme in 2016-17 were successfully matched with a mentor. The student and their mentor meet virtually for 7-10 weeks to discuss technical and professional topics, share experiences of job search and recruitment and discuss applications and CVs.

Students who have taken part in the scheme report that they feel better informed about their career options in their field, have improved confidence and feel better equipped to apply for jobs and attend interviews and have developed important networking skills. 98% of those who took part would recommend the scheme to other students.

In 2016-17 20 Information School students took part in the scheme and were matched with mentors from a huge range of sectors and job roles:

· Learning and teaching librarian (university)

· Strategy consultant (corporate)

· IT architect (Corporate)

· Data coordinator / social analyst (Corporate)

· Head of library services (University)

· Metadata specialist (Public sector)

· Business development manager (corporate)

More information about the eMentoring scheme can be found here: http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/careers/explore/ementoring

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Information School @ LILAC Conference

Information School lecturer Pam McKinney and PhD student Jess Elmore will be attending the 2017 Librarian’s Information Literacy Annual Conference LILAC in Swansea next week.

LILAC is organised by the CILIP Information Literacy Group, and brings together Information Literacy practitioners and researchers with the aim of improving approaches to IL teaching across the world.

Pam has a long history of presenting at LILAC with colleagues and students and is delighted to be representing the Information School at this year’s conference. Pam and Jess will be available in breaks and lunchtimes for delegates to discuss the on-campus and distance learning Masters programmes, and options for full and part time PhD study with the Information School.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Expert Group Contribution to the World Investment Report 2017 from the Information School

The World Investment Report is the flagship annual report produced by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). This year it will focus on the importance of investment in the digital economy, highlighting that the digital economy is increasingly a crucial aspect of national economies, both in the Global North and South.

Dr Chris Foster (Information School) was part of last week’s Expert Group Meeting in Geneva, which is supporting the production of this report. His contribution was based upon his previous in-depth research on the digital economy in East Africa, as well as his work on policy constraints and drivers for effective digital innovation.

The report, the first to explore the global implications of the digital economy related to foreign investment, will be released in June 2017


Tuesday, 4 April 2017

PhD student Matt Seddon wins CINF Scholarship for Scientific Excellence

Matt Seddon, PhD student in the Chemoinformatics research group, has won the CINF Scholarship for Scientific Excellence at the American Chemical Society meeting in San Francisco, April 2-6. The scholarship program of the Division of Chemical Information (CINF) is designed to reward graduate and postdoctoral students in chemical information and related sciences for scientific excellence.

The award was made for his PhD work which he presented as a long abstract and in poster format:

Global spectral and diffusion geometry descriptors of 3D molecular shape for virtual screening
Authors: Matthew Seddon, David Cosgrove, Martin Packer and Val Gillet


Matt also gave an oral presentation.

Matt Seddon (second from right) and colleagues


Matt's PhD is being funded by a BBSRC Industrial CASE Partnership Studentship in collaboration with AstraZeneca. He is supervised by Professor Val Gillet.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Wasim Ahmed – iConference 2017 Highlights

Last week, members of the Information School attended the 2017 iConference in Wuhan, China. One of our PhD students, Wasim Ahmed, gives his highlights below, along with some of his photos from the trip.
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My highlights from my trip included me presenting a poster on my pilot study from my PhD, and which received good interest from delegates, particularly concerning the methodology that was used. A number of very useful connections were made from across the world, and there was a lot of interest in the 2018 edition of the iConference which will take place in Sheffield hosted in collaboration with Northumbria University.

 
I also enjoyed visiting the Yellow Crane Tower, Hubei Provincial Museum, the East Lake, Wuhan, and the Yangtze River. Wuhan is a beautiful city, and the people are very friendly. I read online that the people in Wuhan are unusually nice, and I have to say that this is very true and I felt very welcome in the city.


It was also really good to meet Lee (Dr Xuguang Li) an Information School alumni who is now working as an academic in Wuhan. Lee was a very popular student among the iSchool, and I had heard many great things about him, so it was great to meet him, and we are very grateful that he showed us around Wuhan. I look forward to working with Lee in the future.


I am looking very much forward to the iConference in 2018 and welcoming delegates from across the world to Sheffield. I was born and raised in Sheffield and studied both my undergraduate and masters degrees here. Sheffield is a brilliant city, and I think delegates will really enjoy visiting the city as well as enjoying the conference.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Alumni Event in Wuhan, China

After the events of the iConference in Wuhan, China last week, the Information School held an alumni event on Saturday 25th March at Hyatt Regency Wuhan Optics Valley, attended by several of our past students who live in China.

Information School staff Dr Andrew Cox and Dr Jorge Martins attended, as well as former staff member and MSc/PhD alumnus Dr Miguel Nunes.

Our alumni travelled from Beijing, Shengzhen, Hainan and Guangzhou to Wuhan to attend the gathering and everyone had a very enjoyable time.



Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Dr Andrew Cox - iConference 2017 Highlights

Last week, members of the Information School attended the 2017 iConference in Wuhan, China. One of our academic staff, senior lecturer Dr Andrew Cox, gives his highlights below, along with some of his photos from the trip.



My highlights of the 2017 iConference included one of our PhD students, Piyapat Jarusawat, presenting her excellent paper "Community involvement in the Management of Palm Leaf Manuscripts as Lanna Cultural Material in Thailand" to a packed audience. The paper was shortlisted for the award for Most Interesting Preliminary Research Paper.

Another of our PhD students, Shuyang Li, also gave an excellent research presentation.


Our Head of School, Professor Peter Bath gave a presentation announcing Sheffield as the venue for the iConference in 2018. We are hosting this event in collaboration with Northumbria University.

We held an informal social dinner with some of our Chinese alumni around the conference proceedings, which was lovely. I also bumped into another alumni, Yidi Jiang, by chance on a train station platform on the way to the airport - what are the chances?


Of course there was also the chance for some good sightseeing. We visited the Hubei museum (above) and the Guiyuan Temple (below).



There was some lovely cherry blossom on the Wuhan University campus tour (above) and we had some great views of the Yangtse river (below, and top).


Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Professor Stephen Pinfield co-authored OA Market Analysis Report

Professor Stephen Pinfield has co-authored a major new report on the Open Access market, conducted on behalf of OpenAIRE and the European Commission in late 2016 and early 2017.

This report could make important policy recommendations relating to the future of Open Access.

The report can be read about on the LIBER blog here and read in full in the Zenodo repository here.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Article by Pam McKinney featured in Informed Librarian Online

An article entitled "The Use of Technology in Group-Work: A Situational Analysis of Students' Reflective Writing", written by our lecturer Pam McKinney, has been chosen as a featured article for this month's Informed Librarian Online.

Each monthly issue of Informed Librarian, in addition to linking directly to the latest tables of contents of over 320 journals, with links to full-text as available, selects a few journal articles to highlight for many thousands of readers.

The Informed Librarian Online also offers our members access to ILOSearch, our database of over 341,000 journal articles and documents from the library journals we index. It is a fully-searchable sophisticated database which functions as an index to the library literature.

Members can find the article at http://www.informedlibrarian.com/.


Monday, 13 March 2017

Doctoral student Wasim Ahmed delivers guest lecture at School of Health and Related Research

Our doctoral student Wasim Ahmed recently delivered a guest lecture at the School of Health and Related Research. Wasim’s talk centred on looking at some new technologies which can be used for disease surveillance.


Friday, 24 February 2017

Dr Paul Reilly co-authored submission to UK Government inquiry on young peoples' mental health

A written submission to the UK Government inquiry on children and young people's mental health, co-authored by Senior Lecturer Dr Paul Reilly, has been accepted and published. Based on the findings from a Wellcome Trust project, the report addresses the role of social media in raising awareness of mental health issues amongst these groups.

The submission can be viewed here.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Dr Paul Reilly presenting at International Studies Association Convention in Baltimore

Senior Lecturer in Social Media & Digital Society Dr Paul Reilly is presenting two papers at the International Studies Association annual convention in Baltimore this week. Paul will be presenting at the panel entitled 'Social Media and Activism: Power and Resistance in the 21st Century' on Thursday 23rd of February.

The first paper, authored by Paul, is entitled 'Twitter, affective publics and public demonstrations in divided societies: The 2014 and 2015 Ardoyne parade disputes in Northern Ireland.'

Abstract:
Can social media help facilitate peacebuilding in divided societies such as Northern Ireland? Are they safe spaces in which antagonistic groups are able to reconcile their differences and agree to work together for mutual benefit? This paper adds to this debate by examining how citizens used Twitter in response to the contentious Orange Order parade in the Ardoyne district of North Belfast. 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.

Paul also co-authored a paper entitled 'Telling it like it is: A comparative perspective on the use of personal stories in online grassroots advocacy', along with Filippo Trevisan and Mariana Leyton Escobar of American University.

Abstract:
Storytelling transcends cultures. It can speak to global audiences, change public attitudes, serve as policy evidence, and challenge dominant media narratives on sensitive social issues. Thus, advocacy organizations and activist networks increasingly use social media to crowd-source, co-create, and distribute personal stories, which originate in the private sphere and become public narratives online. Yet, story-based advocacy is also controversial as sharing the intimate accounts of groups that have been discriminated against may foster further stigmatization. Communication scholars have yet to discuss the implications of this global advocacy trend for digital citizenship. Whose voices do we really hear in online stories? How are they collected, edited, and re-mediated? Ultimately, who is empowered by this approach? To address these questions, this paper compares the use of personal stories in online disability rights campaigns in the UK and the United States. By combining the analysis of blog posts and YouTube videos featuring stories of disability with interviews with leading advocates in both countries, different digital storytelling practices are revealed. In particular, a trade-off between maintaining spontaneity and editing personal accounts to achieve policy effectiveness is identified and discussed in the context of different political cultures, media systems, ethical principles, and policy-making traditions.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Doctoral student Wasim Ahmed speaks at PubhD

Doctoral student Wasim Ahmed recently presented about his PhD in a pub at a PubhD event. The concept is to use a whiteboard and a marker pen to explain your research in 10 minutes, followed by 20 minutes of questions.


Wasim noted that the event is a great way to test out your public speaking and engagement skills and as a delegate it is a fantastic opportunity to learn something new. You can read more about PubhD on their website