Social Informatics colleagues at the School of Computing New Year research conference 2020

Yesterday, on 15th January 2020, the School of Computing at Edinburgh Napier University held its annual New Year research conference. The format of the event included sessions on REF2021 led by Professor Ben Paechter and Professor Emma Hart, good practice in PhD supervision led by Professor Ahmed Al-Dubai, data management plans led by Dr Lindsay Ramage, research culture led by Dr Frances Ryan, and a series of short presentations on on-going research projects within the School. There were also good opportunities for networking in the breaks.

The Social Informatics group members had a good presence at this event: Dr Gemma Webster gave a research talk on her Carnegie-funded research on social media by proxy; Dr Frances Ryan devised and chaired in plenary the group discussions on research culture; and Peter Cruickshank and I acted as facilitators for Frances’ session.

It was interesting to hear the full ‘story’ of the Carnegie project, not least because at this same event last year Frances introduced the work to the School, just as the point that it was about to start. Gemma reported that she and Frances are currently writing up the work for publication, and that the work completed provides a good platform for a large grant application that she is currently preparing for submission.

The way in which Frances formatted the exercise to prompt discussion on research culture also worked very well. This allowed us to:

  • recognise our existing good practice: members of the group that I facilitated found it easy to give examples of this in our School
  • identify habits that we should do our best to break: ours focussed on the timing of events that bring us all together
  • suggestions for new initiatives to strengthen the research environment within the School as a whole: my group members were most keen to see our research seminar programme coordinated at the level of the School, rather than research group

The discussion in plenary at the end of Frances‘ session revealed that most of us were in agreement on the topics discussed in our groups, and gives us a good starting point to act upon suggestions made in the session.

The photographs in the slideshow give a flavour of the event.

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What’s your reputation? Newly published research on parallels between academic and personal reputation building, management and evaluation

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Build, manage, and evaluate: information practices and personal reputations on social media platforms, has just been published in the December 2019 issue of Information Research. I co-authored this paper with Dr Frances Ryan, Peter Cruickshank, and Alistair Lawson. Its content draws on some of the findings from Frances’ doctoral study on the use of online information in the management of personal reputation. Continue reading

RIVAL event 2: review and resources

#lisrival bagsLast month Dr Bruce Ryan and I hosted the second of four Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) funded Research Impact Value and Library and Information Science (RIVAL) network meetings. This event took place on Thursday 7th November 2019 at St Cecilia’s Hall in central Edinburgh.

It was an excellent day that prompted great feedback on the programme content on the day: ‘exciting’, ‘fantastic’, ‘fascinating’. Continue reading

RIVAL returns! Follow #lisrival today follow to hear the latest from the RIVAL network on research, impact, value and LIS

Today Dr Bruce Ryan and I are hosting the second of the four Royal Society of Edinburgh funded Research Impact Value and Library and Information Science (RIVAL) network events. The members of the RIVAL network are meeting in central Edinburgh at St Cecilia’s Hall from 10:00 onwards to discuss the impact and value of library and information science research and – in particular – the ways to maximise this in practice. Continue reading

An award and an appointment at ASIST in Australia #asist2019 #asist19

Last week many members of the worldwide Information Science community gathered in Melbourne, Australia for the 82nd Annual Meeting of the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIST). I was sorry not to be there myself. This was due to my teaching commitments this semester, in particular my final year undergraduate Knowledge Management module.

Abebe Rorissa, Brian Detlor, #asist2019, #asist19, Hazel Hall, Clarivate, teacher, award

Dr Abebe Rorissa presents Dr Brian Detlor with Hazel’s ‘Outstanding Information Science Teacher’ award (Photo credit: Becky Willson)

Despite my lack of physical presence at the conference, I kept an eye on the hash-tagged tweets from the event (#asist2019; #asist19). I was particularly interested in the Twitter stream around breakfast time (in the UK) on Tuesday 22nd October when the delegates in Melbourne were sitting down for the conference dinner and awards ceremony. This was because Visiting Professor to the Centre for Social Informatics Dr Brian Detlor had kindly agreed to step up to the stage to accept the 2019 Clarivate Analytics Outstanding Information Science Teacher Award on my behalf.

The award was presented by Abebe Rorissa of the University of Albany – thank you! I should also thank Rebekah (Becky) Willson of McGill University for taking photographs during the presentation. Continue reading

Social cognitive theory literature review article now in print

‘Applications and applicability of Social Cognitive Theory in information science research’ is now available in issue 51(4) (December 2019) of the Journal of Librarianship and Information Science (JoLIS). The article covers the origins and key concepts of Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) and its value to Information Science research. Particular reference is made to the applicability of SCT – and its applications – in studies of information-seeking behaviour and use, and knowledge sharing. Continue reading

RIVAL Network event 1: review and resources

#lisrival RIVAL event 1 delegate badgesLast Thursday 11th July 2019 Dr Bruce Ryan and I hosted the first of four Royal Society of Edinburgh funded Research Impact Value and Library and Information Science (RIVAL) network events. Thirty-five people in total came to Edinburgh Napier University’s Sighthill campus for a day of presentations, discussion, and networking. Continue reading