Today I’m presenting a research paper entitled ‘Creating a UK-wide network of LIS researchers’ at the library research symposium hosted by McMaster University in Canada. My invitation to speak at this event provides the first opportunity to present the initial findings from the DREaM Again project, which was completed in summer 2015. Continue reading
Seven weeks of dissemination
When Leo Appleton presents the slides for our joint-authored paper on the value and impact of public library services on citizenship development at the 11th Northumbria International Conference on Performance Measurement in Libraries and Information Services today, this will mark the end of a busy conference season for the staff and research students in the Centre for Social Informatics. Continue reading
Since the end of May my colleague Dr Bruce Ryan and I have been investigating the long-term impact of the AHRC-funded DREaM project (for which I was Principal Investigator in 2011 and 2012), and the forms that such impact has taken.
As part of this work we have been considering what ‘impact’ means in the context of library and information science (LIS), and how this relates to conceptions of the term in other domains where there is a perceived research-practice gap, such as policing, social work and nursing. This first part of the study has been based on an analysis of the extant literature. We intend to write this up as a review paper.
On 10th June 2015 I had the honour of opening the The European Association for Health Information and Libraries (EAHIL) conference, held in Edinburgh in collaboration with the International Conference of Animal Health Information Specialists (ICAHIS) and the International Clinical Librarian Conference (ICLC). This event is one of a series of biennial workshops and other related events designed to support healthcare librarians and information professionals in their work.
In 2011/12 I was Principal Investigator (PI) on the AHRC-funded DREaM project. The aim of this work was to develop a formal UK-wide network of Library and Information Science (LIS) researchers. The project ran from January 2011 to August 2012, and was supported by the Library and Information Science Research Coalition. We reported the initial successes of the DREaM project in a paper that I co-authored with Alison Brettle and Charles Oppenheim and presented at QQML 2012. Three years later, we are interested in any further lasting impacts of the project.
To this end I am working with my colleague Dr Bruce Ryan on a follow-up study that investigates any longer-term impact of DREaM, and the forms that such impact (if it exists) has taken. I mentioned these plans earlier in the month in a presentation at the Third International Seminar on LIS Education and Research, and then during my recent opening keynote paper at the 2015 EAHIL conference (the format of which was inspired by the DREaM project, and the event masterminded by Marshall Dozier, who was a member of the DREaM cadre).
I have recently been appointed Chair of the Research Councils UK Digital Economy (DE) Theme Programme Advisory Board (PAB). I take over the role from Brian Collins, Professor of Engineering Policy and Director of the International Centre for Infrastructure Futures at University College London.
My appointment builds on previous work that I have conducted for the DE Theme. This includes: serving on the 12-person panel that conducted the 2012 impact review of the DE Theme investment; involvement in an additional stream of DE research undertaken under the banner of “digital personhood” (I helped identify the scope of the investment and served as a mentor at the sandpit meeting where project ideas were germinated); and reviewing grant proposals and other panel work. I was first appointed a member of the PAB in 2014.
Christine Irving, part-time Research Fellow in the Centre for Social Informatics (CSI) at Edinburgh Napier University, is currently working on a thesis, provisionally entitled The development of a model of information literacy from a lifelong learning perspective, for the award of PhD by Published Works. This work will draw on Christine’s long track record of research and development work on information literacy and lifelong learning undertaken between 2004 and 2010 as part of the Scottish Information Literacy Project (2004-2010), and which continues with the Scottish Information Literacy Community of Practice The right information: information skills for a 21st century Scotland. I am Christine’s Director of Studies, and Dr Alison Brettle of the University of Salford is her second supervisor. Christine is required to submit her 25,000 word thesis by September 2015.
It’s rare that all the members of the Centre for Social Informatics (CSI) manage to gather together at the same place at the same time. However, we almost managed it last Thursday when we attended the inaugural professorial lecture of our CSI colleague Dr Alistair Duff. Apart from one PhD student and one researcher (who was at a conference in Finland presenting two papers, including one that I co-authored), there was a full turn-out of the academic staff, researchers, and research students of CSI at the event, all eager to hear what Alistair had to say about The information society and its challenges. Two PhD students made special journeys to attend the event from afar: Leo Appleton caught the train up from Liverpool and Nicole Van Deursen flew in from Spain.
Last year Dr Louise Cooke of Loughborough University and I worked on a research project that explored the applicability of Social Network Analysis (SNA) to Library and Information Science research. The novelty of this work was in its assessment of the value of SNA in the context of the development of researcher networks. The findings from our empirical work, which we wrote up for publication as a research paper, indicate the potential of a methodology that could be used as a replicable framework for further development of networks in other contexts.
The manuscript of our paper was accepted for publication in the Journal of Documentation (JDoc) in December 2012. JDoc is one of the top international information science journals and regularly achieves the highest citation ratings in ISI for comparable titles.
This afternoon I gave an invited presentation to staff at the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS). The RCAHMS is Scotland’s national collection of buildings, archaeology and industry. I’d been invited to contribute to the Commission’s research seminar series not for my knowledge of history, but to share my experience of using social media to support community development. My specific remit was to distil key lessons from the AHRC-funded Developing Research Excellence and Methods (DREaM) project completed in 2012, the main aim of which was to develop a formal UK-wide network of Library and Information Science (LIS) researchers. My full presentation is available on SlideShare.