Seven JoLIS paper acceptances for CSI #i3rgu

File:Journal of Librarianship and Information Science.jpgLast summer members of the Centre for Social Informatics delivered nine papers at Information: interactions and impact (i3) 2017. Following the conference, we were given the opportunity to develop this work into submissions for the Journal of Librarianship and Information Science (JoLIS). We took up this offer by working seven of the nine conference papers up to full journal article manuscripts. These were all submitted by the deadline of September 30th 2017. Following peer review and revisions all seven were accepted, and they will be published in JoLIS in due course. The manuscripts for all accepted articles have now been added to the Edinburgh Napier repository, and can be downloaded by clicking the article titles below.

UK public library roles and value: a focus group analysis
By Leo Appleton, Hazel Hall, Alistair Duff and Robert Raeside
Results from a longitudinal study on the role of the public library in the twenty-first century are analysed. Amongst active public library users there is a strong sense of the epistemic role of public libraries, conceived as safe, welcoming spaces that belong to local communities. Here public library users learn new skills, further their education, develop their careers, and make new contacts. Public library use also facilitates participation in society, and provides resources to allow individuals and communities to fulfil their societal obligations.

Tacit knowledge sharing in online environments: locating ‘Ba’ within a platform for public sector professionals
By Iris Buunk, Hazel Hall and Colin F Smith
With reference to the concept of Ba (Nonaka and Konno, 1998), and based on new empirical research conducted in the UK public sector, the authors draw two main conclusions. 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.

Practices of community representatives in exploiting information channels for citizen democratic engagement
By Hazel Hall, Peter Cruickshank and Bruce Ryan
Explored in the article are the practices of elected (yet unpaid) community councillors in Scotland as they exploit information channels for democratic engagement with citizens. The main finding of this CILIP-ILG group sponsored study is that community councillors engage with a range of information sources and tools in their work, the most important of which derives from local authorities. Recommendations from the analysis relate to (i) information literacy training; (ii) valuing information skills; and (iii) the role of the public library service in supporting community council work.

Applications and applicability of Social Cognitive Theory in Information Science research
By Lyndsey Jenkins, Hazel Hall and Robert Raeside
The origins and key concepts of Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) are introduced, and illustrated, with examples from the broad range of subject domains to which it contributes. A detailed analysis of SCT’s contribution to Information Science research is then given. The article concludes with reference to the part that SCT plays in an ESRC-funded study of employee-led workplace learning and innovative work behaviour.

Job search information behaviours: an ego-net study of networking amongst young job-seekers
By John Mowbray, Hazel Hall, Robert Raeside and Peter Robertson
Drawing on findings from an ERSC-funded study that deployed social network analysis, the authors argue that network contacts play a role in job-seeking that extends beyond the simple diffusion of information about employment opportunities. The outcomes of the work demonstrate the utility of studying job search from an information perspective, and generate recommendations for implementation at national policy levels.

Youth digital participation: measuring social impact
By Alicja Pawluczuk, Colin F Smith, Hazel Hall and Gemma Webster
Scholarly debate around digital participatory youth projects, and approaches to their evaluation, are explored to 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.

Blurred reputations: managing professional and private information online
By Frances Ryan, Peter Cruickshank, Hazel Hall and Alistair Lawson
Through a discussion of results from research on patterns of information behaviour and use on social media platforms conducted as a study of Everyday Life Information Seeking (ELIS), it is concluded that: (1) the portrayal of different personas online contribute to the presentation (but not the creation) of identity, (2) information sharing practices for reputation building and management vary from platform to platform, and (3) the management of online connections and censorship are important to the protection of reputation.

For links to all the i3 conference paper abstracts, slides, liveblogs, and project blogs for the work cited above, please see the table at the blog post Information: interactions and impact (i3) 2017 review #i3rgu, published on July 18th 2017.

Applications invited for fully-funded PhD studentship on workplace skills development within the Centre for Social Informatics at Edinburgh Napier University

ESRC-SDS-Napier studentship logos

We are currently advertising a fully-funded PhD studentship within the Centre for Social Informatics at Edinburgh Napier University. (See the advertisement on and the studentship details on the Edinburgh Napier University careers pages.)

The title of the doctoral study is Meta-skills maturity for future workplaces.  

  • Applications are due by Friday 30th March 2018.
  • Interviews are scheduled for Wednesday 18th April 2018.
  • The studentship will start on Thursday 1st October 2018.

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The impact of UKRC networking grants: a new publication on the long-term sustainability of the AHRC-funded DREaM network

DREaM again bannerAmongst the various funding schemes offered, the UK research councils support the development of research communities through schemes such as AHRC networking and EPSRC Digital Economy Network Plus grants. While it is possible to learn about the activities of these networks during their period of funding by reviewing their details on the Gateway to research, it is a more difficult task to discover their long-term impact.

This blog post concerns a new publication that addresses the question of network sustainability within a community of library and information science (LIS) researchers and practitioner researchers. Continue reading

Practitioner research: value, impact, and priorities #libresearch17

This Wednesday 8th November I will be the opening speaker at ‘Themes and trends in library and information research‘, a one-day conference hosted by CILIP in Kent at Canterbury Christ Church University. Entitled ‘Practitioner research: value, impact, and priorities’ my presentation covers four mains themes:

  1. The long-identified (and debated) research-practice gap in library and information science research
  2. The case for research-led practice and practitioner-led research
  3. Access to current research in library and information science research in the UK
  4. Means of generating new research ideas

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Centre for Social Informatics at the ‘Ways of being in a digital age’ review conference

Ways of Being in a Digital AgeThe Ways of being in a digital age review conference is currently underway at the University of Liverpool. The conference closes the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) project Ways of being in a digital age. The project was commissioned by the ESRC in 2016 to help identify and prioritise future areas and methods for research on the social, economic, political, psychological and cultural impacts of digital media and technologies.

Amongst the delegates at the conference is Centre for Social Informatics PhD student Alicja Pawluczuk. At the conference Alicja is presenting a paper that she has co-authored with the members of her supervision team: Dr Gemma Webster, Dr Colin Smith and myself. The paper is entitled ‘Digital culture co-creation: capturing the social impact of small-scale community projects’. The slides are available on SlideShare and below.

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