Applications invited for ESRC Scottish Graduate School of Social Science Doctoral Training Centre studentship competition

Scottish Graduate School of Social Science logoAs a member of the Information Science Pathway of the ESRC Scottish Graduate School of Social Science Doctoral Training Centre (SGS-DTC) Edinburgh Napier University is currently inviting applications for this year’s studentship competition.

Information Science Pathway logoI would be pleased to hear from eligible candidates who would like to apply for a PhD place at Edinburgh Napier under this scheme, and whose interests match the focus of the Information Science pathway within the broader context of the ESRC SGS-DTC. The key areas of interests of the Information Science pathway are:

  • the social and economic impact of information;
  • the legal and regulatory context for the collection and use of information;
  • the technologies for the management of information;
  • information policy and strategy.

Applicants are expected to (a) already hold a Masters degree or (b) be on target to complete a Masters degree before the start of the academic year 2015/16. The Masters degree should be in a relevant subject, for example: Information Science; Information Management; Information Studies; Information Systems; Knowledge Management; Records Management; Science and Technology Studies. Ideally the Masters degree undertaken should be ESRC-approved. In addition, all candidates should hold a good first degree. Research proposals submitted as part of the application process should align with the key areas of interest of the Information Science Pathway, and the Centre for Social Informatics at Edinburgh Napier University.

In the first instance, interested candidates should contact me by e-mail at Then we can arrange a telephone or Skype call to discuss research proposal ideas, and potential supervision arrangements at Edinburgh Napier. The conversation will also provide an opportunity for me to explain in further detail the application process. This initial contact should be made by Monday 12th January 2015 at the latest (and preferably sooner).

Candidates whose research ideas and academic profile are deemed suitable will then be asked to complete a standard Edinburgh Napier PhD research proposal for an advertised PhD (see the Word document under the heading “How to apply for advertised studentship vacancies” on this page) to be submitted directly to me ( by midday on Monday 19th January 2015. (The application should not be sent to the general research degrees admissions e-mail address.)

Interviews will be held at the Merchiston campus of Edinburgh Napier University on Wednesday 28th January 2015. Decisions on who will be invited to take their applications to the next stage will be made by Monday 2nd February 2015.

Candidates who pass the internal Edinburgh Napier application process will then be authorised to start the application process on the ESRC SGS-DTC system: initial registration needs to be made by Friday 6th February 2015. Following ESRC elibility checks, candidates will then be invited to submit their full applications to the ESRC SGS-DTC system by Friday 20th February. The outcome of these applications is expected to be known by May 2015.

IIDI logoCandidates who are considering making an application to Edinburgh Napier University through this scheme are encouraged to explore how their research interests align with those of the staff and research students within the Centre for Social Informatics. This can be done by checking the Centre’s pages on the web site of the Institute for Informatics and Digital Innovation. From here you will see that we carry out research that is broadly concerned with the intersection of people, communities and technologies, and that incorporates themes such as: digital economies; e-democracy and e-participation; e-health; information governance and risk; information science; the information society; knowledge management; librarianship; and project management. Our recent and current research students within the Centre for Social Informatics engage in a range of doctoral studies on topics that include:

A visit from Dr Christina Banou and Dr Petros Kostagiolas

Dr Christina Banou and Dr Petros Kostagiolas

Dr Christina Banou and Dr Petros Kostagiolas

Yesterday afternoon I had the pleasure of meeting Dr Christina Banou and Dr Petros Kostagiolas for the first time. Both Christina and Petros work in the Department of Archive and Library Science at Ionian University, Corfu in Greece.

Christina’s work focuses on book publishing and book policy. Petros’ research interests include information seeking behaviour and use, intellectual capital management, and the contribution of information services to economic sectors such as healthcare and transportation. He is the author of Managing intellectual capital in libraries: beyond the balance sheet. In the course of our conversation we identified many shared interests, and I was particularly thrilled to discover that Petros is a graduate of the University of Birmingham, like me.

Petros' book

Petros’ book

Christina and Petros are currently on sabbatical and have chosen to spend part of their time away from their home institution here in the UK. They have recently visited colleagues in the Department of Information Management at Robert Gordon University. While they were in Aberdeen Petros gave a keynote speech on intellectual capital management for libraries at Grampian Information Conference 2014 (the slides for which can be found below).

Christina and Petros plan to spend early 2015 in Spain. They then hope to return to the UK in the summer to participate in the i3 conference (for which there is a current call for papers) at the end of June and the The 11th Northumbria International Conference on Performance Measurement in Libraries and Information Services (also currently calling for papers) at the end of July.

Yesterday we discussed plans for them to visit the Centre for Social Informatics at Edinburgh Napier University in July 2015 in the period between the two conferences. This would be a great opportunity for Christina and Petros to meet other colleagues in Edinburgh, including the research students whose doctoral work has overlaps with their research interests. Christina and Petros are keen to widen their network of professional contacts in the UK and I am hopeful that this activity will help them meet this aim.

i3 2015: call for papers

i3 logoSince 2011 I have served on the international programme committee of i3, the conference that brings together academic and practitioner researchers from across the world interested in exploring the quality and effectiveness of the interaction between people and information, and how this interaction can bring about change.

The conference is held every two years in Aberdeen, hosted by colleagues within the Institute for Management Governance and Society (IMAGES) and the Department of Information Management. In 2015 i3 takes place between Tuesday 23rd and Friday 26th June (with the Information Science doctoral colloquium iDocQ likely to be scheduled on Monday 22nd June, the day before the conference starts).

The call for papers for i3 2015 has recently been announced. This draws attention to the four conference themes of:

  • the quality and effectiveness of user/information interactions (e.g. information literacies)
  • patterns of information behaviour in different contexts (e.g. creativity, ethics, surveillance, ownership, information recycling/reuse)
  • the social, cultural and economic impacts of engagement with information, including the assessment of impact
  • the value of information and knowledge as enablers of resilience and change in organisations and communities.

Three types of submission are invited: (1) short paper; (2) full paper; and (3) round table discussion. There will be an opportunity for those whose full papers are accepted to develop their work for publication in a special issue of the Journal of Information Science in Spring 2016.

The submission deadline is Monday 19th January 2015. (For further details of submission requirements and where to send your work, please see the full call for papers.)

I have always very much enjoyed my participation at i3, and I’m already looking forward to being part of this excellent conference again in 2015.

To get a flavour of i3 and previous iDocQ events, please see:

Connecting with Edinburgh’s social media community

Napier Connect pensLast night I attended a Napier Connect event. Napier Connect is the networking group for female students studying computing, engineering and built environment subjects at Edinburgh Napier University. Its members get together regularly throughout the academic year to meet inspiring women from industry and potential employers – and to socialise. The events are organised by my colleague Student Project Officer Debbie Ratcliffe.

I’d been looking forward to this particular event for a while because I was involved in inviting the speakers for the evening. All seven women come from Edinburgh’s professional social media community. They did a fabulous job, each hosting a table where they spoke for around 5 minutes at a time to groups of students and staff about their work and their careers, in speed dating style.

It was a really fun evening, with a great mix of staff, students, and guests enjoying the experience of learning from one another in a sociable environment. The two key learning points that I took away from the evening are that you don’t necessarily need a highly technical background to get started in a career with social media, and many of the best career opportunities come through networking – both in person and online.

Speakers at the Connect social media event

Speakers Jennie Stamp, Beryl Preuschmann, Samantha Currie, Kelly Forbes, Darcie Tanner, Nadine Pierce and Wiebke Burnett

The evening’s speakers were Jennie Stamp, Beryl Preuschmann, Samantha Currie, Kelly Forbes, Darcie Tanner, Nadine Pierce and Wiebke Burnett (pictured above).

Jennie Stamp works at FreeAgent as the company’s Outreach Manager. She is involved in content creation, building relationships with partners and bloggers, and raising awareness of FreeAgent. Jennie herself is a former Edinburgh Napier student: she graduated with a BSc Information Systems from the School of Computing in 2011. Follow Jennie on Twitter at @jenniestamp.

Beryl Preuschmann works for spintopMEDIA. She is also the founder and Managing Director of, a personal travel concierge service. Beryl relocated to the UK from Germany in 2007, and has previously worked for the NHS, VisitScotland and SkyScanner. Follow Beryl on Twitter at @Miss_Beryl.

Samantha Currie works for Edinburgh-based company Optimise Limited, where she works on the blog Listening into Action, and runs the Twitter account @LiAJourney. Samantha started working in social media last year after 17 years as an IT trainer and eLearning author for a number of large companies including Computacenter and AstraZeneca. Follow Samantha on Twitter at @SamCurrie.

Kelly's sweets

Kelly shared supplies of museum rock

Kelly Forbes is Digital Engagement and Communications Manager at Museums Galleries Scotland. Her work includes social media training and helping museums and galleries to develop digital engagement strategies. Kelly also produces social media content for campaigns such as The Festival of Museums. Like Jennie Stamp, Kelly is a graduate of Edinburgh Napier University. Follow Kelly on Twitter at @Macfack.

Darcie Tanner is Head of Social Operations at Lost Boys, a global marketing and technology agency. She leads work related to new business, resources, client services, budgets, campaigns and projects. Darcie has recently written about her role on the Lost Boys web site in the post What the fk is social operations? Follow Darcie on Twitter at @darcie.

Nadine Pierce has recently been appointed as Marketing Manager for creative agency Tayburn. In addition she is the British Interactive Media Association’s representative in Scotland. This role involves running a number of events specifically for the digital community. Nadine also has interests in the food industry: she runs the popular Eating Edinburgh blog and chefr, and is a foodie writer for other publications. Follow Nadine on Twitter at @nadinepierce.

Wiebke Burnett recently worked alongside Andrew Burnett at with clients ranging from Channel 4 to the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra keen to encourage visitors to their web sites and increase their social media hit rates. Wiebke currently project manages new e-commerce stores for eBay UK Merchant Development. Follow Wiebke on Twitter at @wiieb.

Discussions of social media work with members of Connect

Discussions of social media work with members of Connect

Applications invited for three funded PhD places to start in early 2015

IIDI logoThe Institute for Informatics and Digital Innovation (IIDI) is currently advertising three funded PhD places to start in early 2015 (on a date between January and March). The full advertisement can be found at and on the Edinburgh Napier University vacancies web site. The closing date for applications is 21st November 2014, with interviews expected to take place in early December 2014.

Staff within my research centre – the Centre for Social Informatics – would be particularly interested in PhD applications that relate to: e-democracy, e-governance and e-participation; information risk and governance; the Information Society; library and information science research; knowledge management; and sociotechnical project evaluation. If you would like to discuss ideas for a doctoral study in any of these (or related) areas, please feel free to e-mail me. There is also further information on PhD study opportunities within the Centre for Social Informatics on my PhDs page.

The application form and other associated documents can be found at the Edinburgh Napier University PhD applications web page.

Edinburgh Napier University’s Ada Lovelace Day celebration in pictures

Edinburgh Napier University’s celebration of Ada Lovelace Day hosted by Equate Scotland and Edinburgh Napier University’s Athena SWAN team on 14th October was a great success, as can be seen in the photographs from the event.

Amongst the current students, staff, alumni and friends of the University who work in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine are pictured our speakers for the evening: Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell; Principal and Vice Chancellor Andrea Nolan; the Director of Equate Scotland Linda Somerville, and myself. Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Creative Industries Dr Sandra Cairncross chaired the presentations.

This first set of pictures shows everyone gathering at the drinks reception and poster display.

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After drinks we took our places at dinner.

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We scheduled the speeches to take place throughout the course of the evening: Principal and Vice Chancellor Andrea Nolan welcomed everyone just before the meal was served; I spoke between the starter and the main course; Linda Somerville followed me between the main course and pudding; and our keynote speaker Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell gave her presentation while we enjoyed coffee and tablet. Below are the photos of the speakers and our chair for the evening, Dr Sandra Cairncross.

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One of the participants, research student Frances Ryan, has also published a review of the evening’s celebrations on her blog Just a PhD.

Social network analysis and festival cities: newly published article in the International Journal of Event and Festival Management

Edinburgh: a festival city

Edinburgh: a festival city

The International Journal of Event and Festival Management has just published an article that I co-authored with colleagues from the School of Marketing, Tourism and Languages at Edinburgh Napier University. The article is one of eight brought together in a special issue on the festival and event experience.

David Jarman, Eleni Theodoraki, Jane Ali-Knight and I consider in ‘Social network analysis and festival cities: an exploration of concepts, literature and methods’ how social network analysis (SNA) may be used as a framework for research into festivals and events. We draw on the literature of SNA, tourism studies research, and festival industry publications, to reflect on the history of SNA, and to explore how its key concepts may be applied to festivals.

We conclude that although the importance of relationships sustained within networks has long been recognised within the industry, and that festival cities offer dynamic environments in which to investigate the workings of social networks, there is scant reflection of this in the event studies literature. A research method is proposed as suitable for application across a diverse range of festivals and events.

International Journal of Events and Festival ManagementThe full citation for the article is:

Jarman, D., Theodoraki, E., Hall, H., Ali-Knight, J. (2014). Social network analysis and festival cities: an exploration of concepts, literature and methods. International Journal of Event and Festival Management 5(3), 311-322.

The full text of the article is available from the journal web pages on the Emerald web site.