Successful submissions to #isic2018 for the Centre for Social Informatics

#ISIC2018 logoCongratulations to Alicja Pawluczuk and Lyndsey Middleton (née Jenkins) on the recent news that the conference submissions that they made in March this year to Information Seeking in Context (ISIC) 2018 have been accepted. The conference takes place in Kraków, Poland, 9-11 October 2018.

Alicja‘s contribution to the conference will be a full paper entitled ‘Digital youth work: the youth worker’s balancing act between digital innovation and digital literacy insecurities‘. At the conference Alicja will present an analysis of data that she collected by interview with 20 digital youth workers in 2017 on the ways in which they perceive, and evaluate, the social impact of their work. The main finding to be shared is that externally-governed evaluation practices fail to engage digital youth workers in the development of the skills necessary for the assessment of the impact of the interventions that they manage. For example, rather than being encouraged to evaluate the changes that arise from their work, they are more focused on identifying evidence of impact.

Alicja has completed this research as part of her doctoral study. For further information about Alicja and her PhD research, which is co-supervised at Edinburgh Napier University by Dr Gemma Webster, Dr Colin Smith and me, please see https://www.alicjapawluczuk.com.

Lyndsey‘s contribution to the conference will be a poster entitled How do we use information to help us learn to innovate in the workplace? A case study of a Scottish University. This has been accepted on the basis of an abstract that includes details of 33 interviews and 8 focus groups that Lyndsey conducted at a Scottish university in 2017. These generated data for analysis that have allowed for the exploration of the relationship between (a) information behaviours and (b) the use that employees make of information when learning how to innovate. The main findings to be presented in the poster are that: (1) information literacy contributes to the initiation of workplace learning; (2) information sources (primarily external information, internal databases and people) are important to workplace learning; and (3) ease of access to information, as well as information sharing, facilitate the learning of innovative work behaviours in the workplace.

Lyndsey has completed this research as part of her ESRC and Skills Development Scotland funded doctoral study. For further information about Lyndsey and her PhD research, which is co-supervised by Professor Robert Raeside, Dr Laura Muir and me, please see https://lyndseyjenkins.org.

Alicja Pawluczuk and Lyndsey Middleton

#isic2018 presenters Alicja Pawluczuk and Lyndsey Middleton

Measuring the social impact of digital youth participation: new paper available on OnlineFirst

The seventh (and final) article that I recently co-authored for publication in the Journal of Librarianship and Information Science (JoLIS) has now been published as an OnlineFirst paper. Entitled ‘Youth digital participation: measuring social impact‘, the content of the article concerns scholarly debate around digital participatory youth projects, and approaches to their evaluation. My co-authors Alicja Pawluczuk, Colin F Smith, Gemma Webster and I reveal (1) an over-reliance on traditional evaluation techniques for such initiatives, and (2) a scarcity of models for the assessment of the social impact of digital participatory youth projects. Continue reading

Tacit knowledge sharing in online environments: paper available on OnlineFirst

Iris Buunk

Iris Buunk

The sixth of the seven articles that I recently co-authored for the Journal of Librarianship and Information Science (JoLIS) has now been published as an OnlineFirst paper. This is ‘Tacit knowledge sharing in online environments: locating ‘Ba’ within a platform for public sector professionals‘ by Iris Buunk, Colin F. Smith, and Hazel Hall. It reports findings from Iris‘ doctoral study, which I supervise with Colin.

With reference to the concept of Ba (Nonaka and Konno, 1998), and based on empirical research conducted in the UK public sector, we draw two main conclusions in our article. First, online social platforms play a strong role in the facilitation of tacit knowledge sharing, and this leads to outcomes of learning, expertise sharing, problem solving, and innovating. Second, such platforms are important to the initiation of discussions among experts, the fostering of collective intelligence, and making tacit and personal knowledge visible and accessible quickly, with minimal effort. Continue reading

Blurred reputations: new research on managing professional and private information online available on OnlineFirst

The fifth of the seven articles that I recently co-authored for the Journal of Librarianship and Information Science (JoLIS) has now been published as an OnlineFirst paper. In this article the paper co-authors – Frances Ryan, Peter Cruickshank, myself and Alistair Lawson – report on some of the main findings of Frances’ doctoral study on personal reputation building and management in online environments with specific reference to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Continue reading

Applications and applicability of Social Cognitive Theory in information science research: paper available on OnlineFirst

Lyndsey Middleton née Jenkins

Lyndsey Middleton (née Jenkins)

The fourth of the seven articles that I recently co-authored for the Journal of Librarianship and Information Science (JoLIS) has now been published as an OnlineFirst paper. The article is entitled ‘Applications and applicability of Social Cognitive Theory in information science research’. Its content is concerned with the origins and key concepts of Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) and its value to Information Science research. Particular reference is made to SCT and its applicability to, and applications in, studies of information-seeking behaviour and use, and knowledge sharing.

This work is related to the ESRC/Skills Development Scotland doctoral study of Lyndsey Middleton (née Jenkins). It extends content that Lyndsey presented as a conference paper at Information: interactions and impact (i3) 2017 in June last year (slides available on SlideShare). The full manuscript of the article is also available to download from the Edinburgh Napier repository. Continue reading

Investigating the online and offline contexts of day-to-day democracy as participation spaces: newly published research by Ella Taylor-Smith and Colin Smith

Information, Communication and Society coverCongratulations to Centre for Social Informatics colleagues Dr Ella Taylor-Smith and Dr Colin Smith on the publication of their article ‘Investigating the online and offline contexts of day-to-day democracy as participation spaces’ in Information, Communication and Society.

The main theme of the article is citizen-led participation in democracy, and the online and offline spaces – introduced as ‘participation space’ – in which people work together to influence those in power, and to improve their communities. The findings draw upon a sociotechnical analysis of data from three case studies to expose the relationship between activities of local, grassroots democracy and the characteristics of the online and offline spaces in which it occurs. Continue reading

UK public library roles and value: paper available on OnlineFirst

The third of the seven articles that I recently co-authored for the Journal of Librarianship and Information Science (JoLIS) has now been published as an OnlineFirst paper. The article is entitled ‘UK public library roles and value: a focus group analysis‘. Part-time PhD student, and award-winning practitioner-researcher, Leo Appleton is the first author of this article. Continue reading