Congratulations Dr John Mowbray!

PhD graduate Dr John Mowbray with his Director of Studies Professor Hazel Hall

PhD graduate Dr John Mowbray with his Director of Studies Professor Hazel Hall

Congratulations to Dr John Mowbray, who was awarded his PhD at the Edinburgh Napier University graduation ceremony at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh yesterday. I was John’s Director of Studies, and his second supervisor was Professor Robert Raeside.

John’s PhD was funded by an ESRC Skills Development Scotland Collaborative studentship. Robert and I won the grant for the award through a competitive process administered by the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science in spring 2014, and John came to us later in the October of that year having applied for the PhD studentship that we advertised in June 2014. Continue reading

Contributions from the Centre for Social Informatics to #ISIC2018

#ISIC2018 logo Information Seeking in Context (ISIC) 2018 takes place in Kraków, Poland, this coming week from 9th to 11th October 2018. Representing Edinburgh Napier University’s Centre for Social Informatics at the conference will be third year PhD students Alicja Pawluczuk and Lyndsey Middleton (née Jenkins). Continue reading

Congratulations to Associate Professor Dr Colin F Smith

Dr Colin F Smith, Edinburgh Napier University

Colin Smith

Congratulations to Dr Colin F Smith on his recent promotion to the post of Associate Professor at Edinburgh Napier University.

Colin is a member of the Centre for Social Informatics. His research interests include the role of the Internet for political parties in contemporary democratic practices, digital delivery platforms for public services, and the use of new technology by parliamentarians.

Colin also supervises the doctoral work of three of the PhD students in our group: Najla Almari on interactive education for female students in Saudi Arabi; Iris Buunk on tacit knowledge sharing supported by online social platforms;  and Alicija Pawluczuk on the social impact of digital youth projects.

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. Continue reading

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

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