Call for applications: two fully-funded PhD places within the Centre for Social Informatics, Edinburgh Napier University

ESRC-SDS-Napier studentship logos

We are currently advertising two fully-funded PhD places within the Centre for Social Informatics at Edinburgh Napier University for an October 2019 start date.

Both opportunities are Skills Development Scotland Collaborative awards offered through the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science (SGSSS). One scholarship will be awarded to support a doctoral study on work-based learning and industry performance, and the other on career information literacy and the decision-making of young people.

  • Applications are due by Friday 22nd March 2019.
  • Interviews are scheduled for Thursday 11th April 2019.
  • The start date for successful candidates is Tuesday 1st October 2019.

Full details of each project, including eligibility criteria and the application process (through GradHub) can be found on the Current studentship opportunities page of the SGSSS web site by following the links below.

  1. Work-based learning environments for fostering industry-relevant skills and optimal economic performance, supervised by Dr Laura Muir and Dr Colin Smith
  2. Career information literacy and decision making behaviours of young people, supervised by Professor Hazel Hall and Dr Pete Robertson.

The successful scholarship applicants will be admitted to the PhD programme at Edinburgh Napier University.

Lyndsey Middleton, who is currently writing up her ESRC-SDS funded PhD study within the Centre for Social Informatics, has also blogged about these opportunities. To find out more about her experience as a student supported by one of these awards, please see: Come and study in the wonderful Centre for Social Informatics of Edinburgh Napier University! You can also read about our most recent PhD graduate Dr John Mowbray, who completed his ESRC-SDS study last year.

For further information about the current opportunities to join the Centre for Social Informatics as a PhD student on one of the projects described above please contact Dr Laura Muir (L.Muir@napier.ac.uk) or Professor Hazel Hall (h.hall@napier.ac.uk).

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

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

Blurred reputations: new research on managing professional and private information online available on OnlineFirst

The fifth 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. In this article the paper co-authors – Frances Ryan, Peter Cruickshank, myself and Alistair Lawson – report on some of the main findings of Frances’ doctoral study on personal reputation building and management in online environments with specific reference to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Continue reading

Applications and applicability of Social Cognitive Theory in information science research: paper available on OnlineFirst

Lyndsey Middleton née Jenkins

Lyndsey Middleton (née Jenkins)

The fourth 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. The article is entitled ‘Applications and applicability of Social Cognitive Theory in information science research’. Its content is concerned with the origins and key concepts of Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) and its value to Information Science research. Particular reference is made to SCT and its applicability to, and applications in, studies of information-seeking behaviour and use, and knowledge sharing.

This work is related to the ESRC/Skills Development Scotland doctoral study of Lyndsey Middleton (née Jenkins). It extends content that Lyndsey presented as a conference paper at Information: interactions and impact (i3) 2017 in June last year (slides available on SlideShare). The full manuscript of the article is also available to download from the Edinburgh Napier repository. Continue reading

UK public library roles and value: paper available on OnlineFirst

The third 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. The article is entitled ‘UK public library roles and value: a focus group analysis‘. Part-time PhD student, and award-winning practitioner-researcher, Leo Appleton is the first author of this article. Continue reading