All set for #asist20

ASIST2020 logoFollowing three days of virtual pre-conference workshops and the annual doctoral colloquium, the annual meeting of the Association for Information Science and Technology 2020 ‘proper’ opens today.  The opening keynote speaker is Houman Haddad, Head of Emerging Technologies, United Nations World Food Programme (Nobel Peace Prize winner). He will present to the online audience on blockchain technology for humanitarian assistance at 09:00 EDT (13:00 GMT in the UK).

Several members of the Centre for Social Informatics are making co-authored contributions to ASIST 2020:

Tomorrow on Monday 26th October at 11:00 EDT (15:00 GMT in the UK), our Visiting Professor Brian Detlor of McMaster University Canada is presenting a poster entitled ‘Success factors affecting digital literacy training initiatives’ led by local community organizations’. His poster co-author is Professor Heidi Julien of the State University of New York at Buffalo (and visitor to our research group in 2016). The work to be presented concerns an in‐progress research study in which are investigated the factors that affect the success of digital literacy training initiatives led by local community organisations, including public libraries. The full text of the poster is now available in the conference proceedings.

On Wednesday 28th October at 11:00 EDT (15:00 GMT in the UK) PhD student Rachel Salzano is presenting a poster co-authored with two of the supervisors of her doctoral study (myself and Dr Gemma Webster). Entitled ‘Corralling culture as a concept in library and information science research’, the content of the poster is concerned with some of the main findings from the literature review that Rachel has completed for her doctoral study:

    • While culture is cited in the as an important influence on resource use in the library and information science literature, few researchers define culture as a concept in their work, nor do they explore in detail the factors that the term comprises.
    • In this work culture is used primarily in two ways: (1) to differentiate groups of library users; and (2) to draw attention to questions of integration.

The full text of this poster is already available in full text in the conference proceedings, and the manuscript is also held in the Edinburgh Napier repository.

My own contribution to ASIST 2020 is also on Wednesday 28th October. At 16:30 EDT (20:30 in the UK) I will be delivering a paper entitled ‘Research Impact Value and Library and Information Science (RIVAL): development, implementation and outcomes of a Scottish network for LIS researchers and practitioners’. In this paper, which I co-authored with my colleague Dr Bruce Ryan, I will discuss the implementation of the RIVAL project, its outcomes to date, and its anticipated future outcomes in respect of theory and practice. The full text of our paper can also be found in the conference proceedings, with the manuscript available from the Edinburgh Napier repository. The slides can also be viewed on SlideShare.


Meet the RIVAL network: members, skills, and locations all mapped

RIVAL logoDr Bruce Ryan and I have recently added new content about network members to the Research Impact Value and LIS (RIVAL) project web site. This includes:

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Bookings fill up fast for RIVAL events 2, 3 and 4

RIVAL logoFollowing the success of the ‘taster’ Research, Impact, Value and Library and Information Science (RIVAL) project event on July 11th 2019, most of the places for the set of three network events on 7th November 2019, 19th March 2020, and 9th July 2020 have been booked. Continue reading

Practitioner research: value, impact, and priorities #libresearch17

This Wednesday 8th November I will be the opening speaker at ‘Themes and trends in library and information research‘, a one-day conference hosted by CILIP in Kent at Canterbury Christ Church University. Entitled ‘Practitioner research: value, impact, and priorities’ my presentation covers four mains themes:

  1. The long-identified (and debated) research-practice gap in library and information science research
  2. The case for research-led practice and practitioner-led research
  3. Access to current research in library and information science research in the UK
  4. Means of generating new research ideas

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DREaM Again moves into the data analysis phase

DREaM logoSince the end of May my colleague Dr Bruce Ryan and I have been investigating the long-term impact of the AHRC-funded DREaM project (for which I was Principal Investigator in 2011 and 2012), and the forms that such impact has taken.

As part of this work we have been considering what ‘impact’ means in the context of library and information science (LIS), and how this relates to conceptions of the term in other domains where there is a perceived research-practice gap, such as policing, social work and nursing. This first part of the study has been based on an analysis of the extant literature. We intend to write this up as a review paper.

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DREaM Again project launch

DREaM again bannerIn 2011/12 I was Principal Investigator (PI) on the AHRC-funded DREaM project. The aim of this work was to develop a formal UK-wide network of Library and Information Science (LIS) researchers. The project ran from January 2011 to August 2012, and was supported by the Library and Information Science Research Coalition. We reported the initial successes of the DREaM project in a paper that I co-authored with Alison Brettle and Charles Oppenheim and presented at QQML 2012. Three years later, we are interested in any further lasting impacts of the project.

To this end I am working with my colleague Dr Bruce Ryan on a follow-up study that investigates any longer-term impact of DREaM, and the forms that such impact (if it exists) has taken. I mentioned these plans earlier in the month in a presentation at the Third International Seminar on LIS Education and Research, and then during my recent opening keynote paper at the 2015 EAHIL conference (the format of which was inspired by the DREaM project, and the event masterminded by Marshall Dozier, who was a member of the DREaM cadre).

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Applications invited for three funded PhD places to start in early 2015

IIDI logoThe Institute for Informatics and Digital Innovation (IIDI) is currently advertising three funded PhD places to start in early 2015 (on a date between January and March). The full advertisement can be found at and on the Edinburgh Napier University vacancies web site. The closing date for applications is 21st November 2014, with interviews expected to take place in early December 2014.

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