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

Practices of community representatives in exploiting information channels for citizen democratic engagement: paper available on OnlineFirst

File:Journal of Librarianship and Information Science.jpgThe first 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, with the option to download it as a PDF.

In the paper entitled ‘Practices of community representatives in exploiting information channels for citizen democratic engagement‘ my co-authors Peter Cruickshank and Bruce Ryan and I explore how elected (yet unpaid) community councillors in Scotland exploit information channels for democratic engagement with the citizens that they represent. Continue reading

Information Literacy for Democratic Engagement (IL-DEM) project: findings

Information Literacy group logoPeter Cruickshank, Dr Bruce Ryan and I recently completed the Information Literacy for Democratic Engagement (IL-DEM) project. This work set out to investigate levels of digital and information literacy within Scotland’s Community Council system. It was supported by a grant from the CILIP Information Literacy Group.

We explored how community councillors develop the skills required to inform and engage with the citizens that they represent, and how libraries support this work. In doing so have extended further two established research streams within the Centre for Social Informatics: (1) Cruickshank and Ryan’s work on digital engagement in local democracy (such as our DigiCC workshops), and (2) mine with Christine Irving on information literacy and life-long learning. This work also builds upon our group’s track record in library and information science research. Continue reading

Information Literacy for Democratic Engagement: project update #IL-DEM

Information Literacy group logoThe Centre for Social Informatics is currently undertaking a project entitled Information Literacy for Democratic Engagement (IL-DEM).  Supported by a grant from the CILIP Information Literacy Group, our work investigates levels of digital and information literacy within Scotland’s Community Council system.

Specifically Peter Cruickshank, Dr Bruce Ryan and I are exploring how community councillors develop the skills required to inform and engage with the citizens that they represent, and how libraries support this work. In doing so we’re extending two established research streams within the Centre for Social Informatics: Cruickshank and Ryan’s work on digital engagement in local democracy (such as our DigiCC workshops), and mine with Christine Irving on information literacy and life-long learning. This work also builds upon our group’s track record in library and information science research. Continue reading

Online and offline spaces for democracy: Dr Ella Taylor-Smith to present at Skeptics on the Fringe 2016

Edinburgh is a fun place to be in August during the festival season. Amongst all the comedy, theatre, dance, music etc. there are also some more ‘serious’ events, many of which are led by academic experts. As ever, Edinburgh Skeptics is offering an excellent programme of such talks (free of charge), one of which is to be delivered by my colleague Dr Ella Taylor-Smith next Monday 15th August. Continue reading

Digital engagement report published #digiCC

digicc workshops353x250The Centre for Social Informatics has just published a report on digital engagement for community councils and registered tenant organisations. The report presents findings from the Scottish Government sponsored workshops led in October and November 2015 by my research centre colleagues Peter Cruickshank and Dr Bruce Ryan. In addition, the report includes links to all the workshop presentation and outputs (such as videos, slides and photographs), and to further reading and resources. Continue reading