Review: Information Science Scotland advanced training for PhD students April 2016 #InfoSciScot

#InfoSciScot welcome signOn 12th and 13th April we hosted an ESRC-funded training event for doctoral students in Information Science at Edinburgh Napier’s Sighthill campus. There were 23 participants in total, representing the four partner institutions of the Information Science Pathway of the Doctoral Training Centre of the Scottish Graduate School of Science. In addition, we welcomed two visiting Greek academics to the gathering: Dr Petros Kostagiolas and Dr Christina Banou, both from the Ionian University of Corfu. Delivered over two days, the training comprised a mix of lectures and exercises with plenty of time for the students to renew friendships and make new connections, including a small drinks reception on the first evening.

For me the highlights of the event were the sessions delivered by Dr Diane Pennington, of Strathclyde University and Dr Frank Hopfgartner of Glasgow University.

  • Diane presented on theoretical frameworks for studies of information behaviour and use. She began with some core definitions and explanations, then illustrated how theoretical perspectives are deployed in Information Science research. In the latter part of her presentation Diane gave advice on how to devise a conceptual framework for empirical work. This was of great value to the students in attendance, whose PhD studies cover themes across a range of topics such as healthcare informatics, information poverty, innovation capacity, online learning, social media use, and tacit knowledge sharing.
Frank Hopfgartner presents at #InfoSciScot

Frank Hopfgartner presents at #InfoSciScot

My own contribution concerned organisational research and case studies. The slides from my lecture are presented below.

Following my lecture the students worked on an exercise that encouraged them to discuss the challenges of working with organisations in the context of doctoral research, and how to address them. The slides below summarise the outcomes of the discussion.

#InfoSciScot delegate packOf course events such as this comprise much more that the sessions. As well as catching up with colleagues from other institutions, we’re always keen to discover the contents of the delegate pack and have a keen eye on freebies such as stationery.

Since I was responsible for the organisation of this event, it was up to me to make up the delegate packs. I’d like to thank Facet Publishing and Emerald for their contributions, and to Iris Buunk, John Mowbray and Frances Ryan who were a great help on the afternoon when we stuffed the packs with all the goodies.

Facet also generously donated a copy of Alison Jane Pickard’s Research methods in information for a prize draw, which was won by Bukola Oduntan of Strathclyde University.

The next event to be hosted by the Information Science pathway is iDocQ in Glasgow on Thursday 23rd June. For further information please see my preview of the colloquium and the iDocQ web site. We look forward to seeing members of the Information Science doctoral community there.

Links to resources from the event available on SlideShare

Further reading

On theoretical frameworks

  • Anafar, V.A. (2008). Theoretical frameworks. In L. M. Given (Ed.) The Sage encyclopedia of research methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • Bates, M.J. (2005). An introduction to metatheories, theories, amd models. In K.E. Fisher , S. Erdelez & L.E.F. McKechnie (Eds.) Theories of information behavior. Medford, NJ: Information Today.
  • Case, D. & Given, L. (2016). Looking for information: a survey of research on information seeking, needs and behavior (4th ed). Bingley: Emerald.
  • Compton, B.W. (2014). Ontology in information studies: without, within and withal knowledge management. Journal of Documentation 70(3), 425-442.
  • Ravitch, S.M. & Riggan, M. (2017). Reason and rigor; how conceptual frameworks guide research (2nd ed.) Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • Sonnewald, D.H. (Ed.) (2016). Theory development in the information sciences. Austin, TX: University of Texas.
  • Wilson, T. D. (Ed.). Theory in information behaviour research. Sheffield, UK: Eiconics Ltd.

On literature reviewing

  • Jesson, J.K. Matheson, L. & Lacey, F.M. (2011). Doing your literature review: traditional and systematic techniques. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

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