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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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

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

How do young people use networks when job seeking? Publication in press with the Journal of Documentation

Networking as an information behaviour during job search: a study of active job seekers in the Scottish youth labour market‘ is about the role of networking amongst 16-24 year old active job seekers living in Scotland. 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

Congratulations Dr Alicja Pawluczuk!

Alicja Pawluczuk Gemma Webster

Dr Alicja Pawluczuk and Dr Gemma Webster

Congratulations to our Centre for Social Informatics colleague Dr Alicja Pawluczuk! Alicja was one of nine School of Computing PhD graduands at the Edinburgh Napier University graduation ceremony at the Usher Hall yesterday afternoon.

Alicja’s PhD is entitled Youth digital culture co-creation: measuring social impact in Scotland. The purpose of the research was to develop knowledge of social impact evaluation of youth digital projects in Scotland. Dr Gemma Webster was Alicja’s Director of Studies, her second supervisor was Dr Colin Smith, and I was her third supervisor. For further information about the specifics of the research questions, outcomes, theoretical contributions, and recommendations from the work, please see Alicja’s #digiIMPACT page on her web site at www.alicjapawluczuk.com.

Following the graduation ceremony, several of Alicja’s colleagues and fellow PhD students joined her at Café Grande in Bruntsfield to toast her success. Continue reading

Congratulations to Katherine Stephen for an excellent Masters dissertation on metaskills

Katherine Stephen

Katherine Stephen

Congratulations to our PhD student Katherine Stephen, who last week learnt that she was awarded 80% for the Masters dissertation component of her 1+3 PhD. Katherine’s studentship is a collaborative award funded by the ESRC and Skills Development Scotland, and comprises a Masters year at the University of Edinburgh (2018/19) prior to three years of doctoral study at Edinburgh Napier University (2019/22).

Katherine’s Masters dissertation took the form of an extended PhD proposal, and thus has the same title as her doctoral study: Metaskills maturity for future workplaces. The work that she completed for the dissertation last year included a small pilot study entitled Metacognitive experiences of artificial intelligence in the workplace.

In her dissertation Continue reading