Social Informatics colleagues at the School of Computing New Year research conference 2020

Yesterday, on 15th January 2020, the School of Computing at Edinburgh Napier University held its annual New Year research conference. The format of the event included sessions on REF2021 led by Professor Ben Paechter and Professor Emma Hart, good practice in PhD supervision led by Professor Ahmed Al-Dubai, data management plans led by Dr Lindsay Ramage, research culture led by Dr Frances Ryan, and a series of short presentations on on-going research projects within the School. There were also good opportunities for networking in the breaks.

The Social Informatics group members had a good presence at this event: Dr Gemma Webster gave a research talk on her Carnegie-funded research on social media by proxy; Dr Frances Ryan devised and chaired in plenary the group discussions on research culture; and Peter Cruickshank and I acted as facilitators for Frances’ session.

It was interesting to hear the full ‘story’ of the Carnegie project, not least because at this same event last year Frances introduced the work to the School, just as the point that it was about to start. Gemma reported that she and Frances are currently writing up the work for publication, and that the work completed provides a good platform for a large grant application that she is currently preparing for submission.

The way in which Frances formatted the exercise to prompt discussion on research culture also worked very well. This allowed us to:

  • recognise our existing good practice: members of the group that I facilitated found it easy to give examples of this in our School
  • identify habits that we should do our best to break: ours focussed on the timing of events that bring us all together
  • suggestions for new initiatives to strengthen the research environment within the School as a whole: my group members were most keen to see our research seminar programme coordinated at the level of the School, rather than research group

The discussion in plenary at the end of Frances‘ session revealed that most of us were in agreement on the topics discussed in our groups, and gives us a good starting point to act upon suggestions made in the session.

The photographs in the slideshow give a flavour of the event.

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Networking as an information behaviour during job search: Emerald EarlyCite paper now available

Image result for The article ‘Networking as an information behaviour during job search: a study of active jobseekers in the Scottish youth labour market‘, which I co-authored with Dr John Mowbray (University of Glasgow), is now available as an EarlyCite paper from the Journal of Documentation.

In the paper we show that young job seekers acquire a range of networked information throughout a variety of tasks related to job search, and demonstrate the value of active networking during this process. We also highlight that the propensity for job seekers to network is contingent on a host of factors. These include the occupational level of the job role sought, motivation to find a job, and an awareness of the utility of networking as an information behaviour. Continue reading

Centre for Social Informatics ‘all centre’ meeting December 2019

Social Informatcis staff and students all centre meeting December 2019

At the Social Informatics ‘All centre’ meeting, L to R: John, Peter, Lyndsey, Katherine, Rachel, Marina, Laura, Hazel, Leo, Ella, David H, David B, Frances, Colin, Wegene, and Bruce

Every six months the staff and research students from the Social Informatics group at Edinburgh Napier University gather for an ‘All centre’ celebration of their recent achievements. The December 2019 gathering took place on Wednesday 18th December, with 19 participants. The format of the meeting allowed for a maximum 5 minute update from each person. Continue reading

What’s your reputation? Newly published research on parallels between academic and personal reputation building, management and evaluation

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Build, manage, and evaluate: information practices and personal reputations on social media platforms, has just been published in the December 2019 issue of Information Research. I co-authored this paper with Dr Frances Ryan, Peter Cruickshank, and Alistair Lawson. Its content draws on some of the findings from Frances’ doctoral study on the use of online information in the management of personal reputation. Continue reading

30 years an academic

diary entry 11th December 1989

Diary entry/to do list, 11th December 1989: SuperCalc anyone?

Thanks to a minor staffing difficulty at a small Edinburgh HE college, exactly 30 years ago today, on 11th December 1989, I started my career as an academic.

One month earlier, on 9th November (the day that the Berlin Wall came down) I was interviewed for, and then offered, a temporary Lecturer post in the Department of Communication and Information Studies (CIS) at Queen Margaret College (now Queen Margaret University). The main purpose of this role was to undertake the teaching duties of Senior Lecturer Jim Herring (James E Herring) for two academic terms. Jim no longer had the capacity to teach ‘his’ classes because he had recently stepped up as Acting Head of Department of CIS while Head of Department Scott Allan was covering a vacant College Vice Principal post. Continue reading

RIVAL event 2: review and resources

#lisrival bagsLast month Dr Bruce Ryan and I hosted the second of four Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) funded Research Impact Value and Library and Information Science (RIVAL) network meetings. This event took place on Thursday 7th November 2019 at St Cecilia’s Hall in central Edinburgh.

It was an excellent day that prompted great feedback on the programme content on the day: ‘exciting’, ‘fantastic’, ‘fascinating’. Continue reading

How do young people use networks when job seeking? Publication in press with the Journal of Documentation

Networking as an information behaviour during job search: a study of active job seekers in the Scottish youth labour market‘ is about the role of networking amongst 16-24 year old active job seekers living in Scotland. Continue reading