Rachel Salzano contributes to the work of the Alan Turing Institute

Rachel Salzano

Rachel Salzano

The Alan Turing Institute is the UK’s national institute for data science and artificial intelligence. It was established in 2015 with headquarters at the British Library in London. The work of the Institute is achieved through collaborations between universities, businesses, and public and third sector organisations to address some of the biggest challenges in science, society and the economy.

Currently Rachel Salzano, a PhD student within the Centre for Social Informatics at Edinburgh Napier University, is contributing to the institute’s research on detecting and understanding harmful content online. She has been employed by the Institute in two roles.

In her first role, Rachel is a member of a team of annotators who have been assisting with research into online abuse and hate speech as part of the Hate speech: measures and counter-measures project. This work has involved reviewing comments and posts in Reddit threads, then annotating them for hate speech against identities (e.g. race, gender, class, age, religion, nationality) and affiliations (e.g. jobs/careers, political parties) using an established taxonomy.

Rachel’s second role at the Alan Turing Institute is as a Policy Analyst. Here Rachel is assisting in policy research on the use of hate speech tools by policy makers, and means of regulating and detecting online abuse. In this work Rachel supports the research team across a range of activities including literature reviewing, developing questionnaire/interview questions, and conducting statistical analysis on data collected for the project.

Rachel is carrying out this work while working on her doctoral study on the influence of culture on the information behaviour and use in public libraries of newcomer populations such as immigrants and refugees. To find out more about Rachel’s PhD, please see her blogged PhD musings on her web site Librarian sans library.

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How useful are social media for job hunting? Publication in press with the Journal of Information Science

journal of information science coverUsing social media during job search: the case of 16-24 year olds in Scotland‘ is about the the value of social media in providing information opportunities to young people seeking employment. This co-authored paper has recently been accepted for inclusion in the Journal of Information Science.

Based on an analysis of interview and focus group data, Dr John Mowbray (University of Glasgow) and I reveal that: Continue reading

A new role at the UN for Dr Alicja Pawluczuk

Alicja Pawluczuk

Dr Alicja Pawluczuk

Congratulations to our PhD graduate Dr Alicja Pawluczuk who today (1st April 2020) starts a new work role as Young Information and Communication Technologies and Development Fellow at the United Nations University Institute in Macau.

Over the next twelve months, Alicja will be examining current approaches to digital inclusion measurement, and investigating digital inclusion practitioners’ narratives of their experience of digital inclusion measurement. The objective of Alicja’s fellowship is to analyse the state-of-the-art of digital inclusion measurement and evaluation on the basis of a systematic literature review. It is anticipated that outcomes of this research will inform UN policy-making on issues related to ICTs and sustainable development. Continue reading

Networking as an information behaviour during job search: paper now published in Journal of Documentation

networking job search Mowbray Hall 2020Dr John Mowbray and I were delighted to learn this week that our paper ‘Networking as information behaviour during job search: a study of active jobseekers in the Scottish youth labour market‘ is now published. It available in both online and in print in the Journal of Documentation: volume 76, issue 2. Continue reading

Fully-funded PhD studentship opportunity: Natural language interfaces to support career decision-making of young people

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Updated with new deadline: midday 30th April 2020

We are currently advertising a fully-funded PhD place within the School of Computing at Edinburgh Napier University for an October 2020 start date.

The scholarship is a Skills Development Scotland Collaborative award offered through the ESRC-funded Scottish Graduate School of Social Science (SGSSS). It is for a doctoral study on natural language interfaces to support career decision-making of young people. The practical work to be undertaken for this PhD centres on the development of a dialogue system utilising existing data held by Skills Development Scotland, for young people to engage ‘in conversation’ about their career interests, aspirations, and strengths. The system to be developed is anticipated to take the form of an interactive avatar with identifiable human characteristics.

The doctoral study will supervised by staff from two research groups within the School of Computing at Edinburgh Napier University: (1) the Centre for Social Informatics (Professor Hazel Hall), and (2) the Nature-inspired Intelligent Systems group (Dr Dimtra Gkatzia). A third supervisor from the Social Sciences Research Group in the School of Applied Sciences completes the team (Dr Pete Robertson). Our group has a strong track record of supervising SDS collaborative studentships, with two completions to date (in 2018 and 2019) and three on-going studentships on this scheme.

This fully-funded studentship is offered full-time either as a three year programme (all spent on the doctoral project at Edinburgh Napier University), or a four year programme (one year on the MSc by Research in Science and Innovation Studies at the University of Edinburgh, followed by the three year doctoral project at Edinburgh Napier University). The length of programme to be undertaken by the successful candidate will depend on their existing qualifications. (These ESRC studentships can also be held on a part-time basis, subject to a minimum time commitment of 50%. In practice, this means that successful candidates who undertake the part-time route are permitted to work 18.75 hours in paid employment over the course of a week.)

We are keen to receive applications from Computer Science or Software Engineering graduates (or those due to graduate in these or other relevant subjects in summer 2020), who have some experience of studying Artificial Intelligence, Natural Language Processing, or Machine Learning (e.g. as part of a module, or in a project), and have achieved (or are on target for) a 1st class or 2.1 degree. The successful candidate will be interested in developing their skills in research methods and interdisciplinary approaches to tackling research problems, and in the application of computing in the social sciences (e.g. in Education, Information Science, Psychology), as well as to the core themes of this studentship.

  • Applications for this studentship should be submitted to GradHub by Thursday 30th April 2020 at midday
  • Interviews will take place in the week beginning 4th May (either online or at Edinburgh Napier University’s Merchiston campus)
  • The start date for the successful candidate is Thursday 1st October 2020

Full details of eligibility criteria and the application process (through GradHub) can be found on the Current studentship opportunities page of the SGSSS web site at https://www.sgsss.ac.uk/studentship/natural-language-interfaces/.

After successfully completing the SGSSS application process (i.e. submission of application documents to GradHub, successful interview in the week beginning 4th May, and studentship offer from SGSSS), the candidate to be appointed will be admitted to the PhD programme at Edinburgh Napier University.

For further information about this studentship, please contact Professor Hazel Hall (h.hall@napier.ac.uk) or Dr Dimitra Gkatzia (d.gkatzia@napier.ac.uk).

Networking as an information behaviour during job search: Emerald EarlyCite paper now available

Image result for The article ‘Networking as an information behaviour during job search: a study of active jobseekers in the Scottish youth labour market‘, which I co-authored with Dr John Mowbray (University of Glasgow), is now available as an EarlyCite paper from the Journal of Documentation.

In the paper we show that young job seekers acquire a range of networked information throughout a variety of tasks related to job search, and demonstrate the value of active networking during this process. We also highlight that the propensity for job seekers to network is contingent on a host of factors. These include the occupational level of the job role sought, motivation to find a job, and an awareness of the utility of networking as an information behaviour. Continue reading

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