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Showing posts from 2007

Research seminar: Benchmarking Strategic Engagement with Information Literacy

Professor Sheila Corrall

Friday 7th December, 11.00-12.00, RC204, Regent Court

"Benchmarking Strategic Engagement with Information Literacy"

Information literacy is widely recognised as an essential competence for the information society and many universities are formulating institution-wide strategies for its development. This research investigated the extent and nature of strategic engagement with information literacy in UK universities and used the results to develop an evaluation framework to supportinstitutional self-assessment and peer comparisons. The study used qualitative content analysis on strategy documents identified through a website survey. The seminar will explain the methods used, discuss keyfindings and introduce the main elements of the proposed evaluation framework.

Ray D'Amore is now Dr. D'Amore

Ray D'Amore, a remote study student, studying and working in the US, yesterday, had his viva and (subject to minor amendments) obtained his PhD. His thesis was on the subject of automatically locating experts in enterprises. Congratulations Ray.

DIS research featured at Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society of America

Peter Bath will be attending the 60th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society of America from 16-20th November in San Francisco.

Research from the following research students will be presented at the conference: Haris Stavroulakis will be presenting a poster of his work on "Exploring the Information Needs and Information Behaviours of Young Women in Relation to Osteoporosis: A Qualitative Approach"; Juliet Harland's poster on "Making Sense of Dementia: Exploring the Different Ways in Which People With Dementia and Their Carers Use Information" will be presented and Chih-Ping (Lucia) Li will present a poster on her research on "Comparing Quality of Life Among Elderly People in the UK and Taiwan". In addition, one of Peter's former PhD students, Kyeung mi Oh, will be presenting a poster of her research entitled "Evaluation of a Nurse-led Rapid Response Service for Older People".

Abstracts of these posters will be poublished…

HEA-ICS project

MAIK – Multimedia Assessment in Information and Knowledge management

We have got a small grant from HEA-ICS for an action research project to investigate the issues around getting students to create multimedia as a form of assessment in a non-technical module (in this case Level 2 module, Information management in the learning organization, INF201). No skill in creating multimedia is assumed rather the focus is on demonstrating an ability to convey an idea that participates in substantive debates in the field conception through a very short multimedia presentation.

The main outcome of the project will be a reflective report on the benefits and issues (support, copyright, balance with other forms of assessment).

The value will be in extending the variety of available assessment methods and tapping into student interest in things like YouTube and the emergence of very easy to use tools such as and MS Photostory.

We hope spin-off benefits will include some student created material …

Willett gives talks on Chemoinformatics

Prof. Peter Willett will be giving two talks on the work of the Chemoinformatics Research Group in the next two weeks: on Wednesday 31st October he will speak at the Horsham Research Centre of Novartis on "Recent studies of ligand-based virtual screening", and then on Thursday 8th November he will speak at the IRF Symposium 2007 in Vienna on "Representation and searching of molecules in chemical patents".

Research seminar: NHS Choose and Book Service

Reza Rabiei

National Programme for IT (NPfIT): clinicians’ and managers’ perceptions of, and
satisfaction with, the Choose and Book Service

Friday 26th October

Choose and Book is a new service being implemented under the National Programme
for IT (NPfIT) in the UK National Health Service. It aims to provide an online
service for patients and GPs to book hospital appointments at a convenient
date, time and place.

This longitudinal qualitative research aims to achieve an in-depth understanding
of the views and experiences of people in primary and secondary care settings
towards the Choose and Book Service.

The main aim of this research is to examine clinicians’ (GPs and hospital
consultants) and managers’ (GP managers and hospital departmental managers)
perceptions of, and satisfaction with Choose and Book. Little research has
examined the Choose and Book Service or, at least, published information in
this area is scarce. Therefore, it is important to investigate the views and

Peter Bath wins in Trinity House photographic contest

Dr Peter Bath is a winner in the Trinity House 2008 Calendar Competition. His image of Trwyn Du lighthouse, below, was selected by a panel of judges, chaired by comedian and presenter Griff Rhys Jones, to appear in the 2008 Trinity House Calendar.

"Trwyn Du" - © Peter A Bath 2007

Relevance Criteria for Medical Images Applied by Health Care Professionals

Research seminar by Shahram Sedghi

Thursday 18th October13.00-14.00

Digital medical imaging has become a vital component of a large number of applications within the current clinical settings. Additionally, the aim of information retrieval is to find as many relevant documents as possible. Thus, the concept of relevance, relevance judgment process, and research relevance criteria are the topics of many researches in information science. Medical images contain useful information and these collections serve a variety of clientele with different levels of ‎subject knowledge in medical schools and departments, and health care professionals seek medical images expecting to find relevant items to satisfy their ‎needs. However, to my knowledge, no previous study among the large body of user-oriented relevance studies focuses on how health care professionals perform real medical image seeking with real information needs and how health care professionals choose medical images that they need. The…

Corrall at Ark Group Conference

On 18-19 October, Sheila Corrall will be in London for the Ark Group Conference on Demonstrating the Value of Knowledge Management, where she is presenting a paper on Knowledge management strategies in theory and practice: a higher education case study.

Obituary: Yvonne Brindley

Yvonne Brindley, the Department’s Clerical Assistant, died on 26th September, aged 54. Yvonne was one of the longest-serving members of the Department, having joined us in November 1990. During her time here, she was responsible for office supplies, student inquiries, all of our dissertations and other publications, and - most importantly - was a friendly, welcoming face in Reception, the Department’s interface to members of other departments, visitors to the University, and to literally hundreds of students over the years. She was a lovely person on whom one could always depend for a smile or for support when times were hard: it’s perhaps not surprising that no less than 22 of her colleagues, both past and present, attended the funeral at Grenoside Crematorium on 5th October. We shall miss her greatly.

How Could Internet Resources that are Specifically Designed for Adults at the Lowest Levels of Literacy Skill Benefit their Teaching and Learning?

Research seminar

Thursday 11th October 12.00-13.00 RC204
Simon Burtoft

A great deal of the current research into Adult Basic Skills Education has focussed on two areas which are the need to encourage adults to improve their literacy skills, particularly by accessing good resources to help them improve their reading skills and also the need to increase technology skills in adult education. Whereas these issues are often studied in isolation, the aim of my research is to combine these two important elements, that is to encourage and help adults with low literacy skills to improve their reading skills through the production of guidance for improved and more accessible Internet resources which should encourage them to use the Internet as a learning resource to practice their reading and improve their technology skills.An important element of my research will be to design a prototype website that aims to overcome the current problems with Internet resources, or indeed the lack of such online …

Discussions in Second Life

There is a further series of discussion in the Centre for Information Literacy office in the virtual world, Second Life. The dates are:
Thursday 4th October. -14-15.00 SL time (20.00 UK time) "Information Literacy and Media Literacy: what's the difference?"
Thursday 18th October 2007. 08.00 SL time (4pm UK time) Discussion based on an IL article (to be selected in advance - suggestions welcome!)
Thursday 25 October, 08.00 SL time (4pm UK time) "What is important for librarians to learn about Second Life and what role should they be taking?"
Thursday 1 November14-15.00 SL time (20.00 UK time) "Inquiry-based learning in SL"
All events are held in world in Second Life: Eduserv Island 200, 240, 43

Research seminar on Emergency Department Information Systems

Users’ perceptions of, and interactions with, Emergency Department Information Systems (EDIS)

Haleh Ayatollahi

Friday 5th October

This research has been designed to obtain a better understanding of using information systems in Hospital Emergency Departments. The main aim of this study is to explore users’ perceptions of, and interactions with, Emergency Department Information Systems (EDIS). Few research studies have examined the use of information and information systems in Emergency Medicine, so investigating users’ attitudes towards current information systems could be helpful to identify issues that may affect using these systems in Emergency Departments. Understanding these issues may help to design better systems in future.

The first phase of this research was an exploratory qualitative approach, in which participants were interviewed about their experiences of using the systems. The participants of the study were the Emergency Department staff who used at least one …

Careers Event For Third Years

Three speakers from Johnson & Johnson, including two members of staff on the current technology leadership programme, will be giving presentations to you from 12.30-13.30 on Wednesday 10th, October in RC204.

Soft drinks and nibbles will be served.

Julie from the Careers service will also be there to offer you some tips on how to make best use of the Yorkshire Autumn Graduate Careers Fair, 30th & 31st of October.

Eaglestone wins Best Paper at ICMC '07

Barry Eaglestone has been awarded the Journal of New Music Distinguished Paper award for best paper at the International Computer Music Conference 2007, in Copenhagen, selected from around 200 papers.

Barry also participated on two panels at the conference; 'ArtAbilitation', discussing technology-assisted music making for the disabled, and 'Music and Meaning'.

Spatial Information Literacy Development

There is the first Centre for Information Literacy Research research seminar on 4th September at 13.00. Maryam Nazari talks about A Case study in spatial information literacy development. It takes place in Regent Court Room 204 (2nd Floor). "In this presentation I will share my learning of the process of formation of, and some findings from, an inductive case study. My research aims at exploring concepts of geospatial information, Geographic Information Science/systems(GIS), and competencies GIS learners need to be able to find, evaluate, and use geospatial information and solve problems with GIS. The ability to understand a problem / task and to find, evaluate, and use information is a vital provision for problem solving. Information literacy has been proposed as enabler of this ability. However to enable people in different disciplines to solve problems requires understanding of that discipline, and of the nature and characteristics of information used in the discipline. Altho…

Ford keynotes

Professor Nigel Ford is presenting a keynote speech at the Higher Education Academy Subject Centre for Information and Computer Science's 2007 Annual Conference in Southampton this week. "This session will discuss some emerging technologies and trends in educational informatics of relevance to computing and information sciences, and their implications for helping us to enhance the effectiveness of learning - or not, depending on your point of view. Tensions between such points of view relating to a range of pedagogic issues including assessment, teaching and research, creativity and constraint, will be explored."

Albright at IFLA

Dr Kendra Albright is giving an invited talk on AIDS information and libraries in Sub-Saharan Africa, at the World Library and Information Congress organised by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions. This conference takes place in Durban, South Africa, this week.

Wilfred Leonard Saunders CBE, Professor Emeritus of the University of Sheffield and the first Director of this Department, died on 27th July 2007 after a short illness, aged 87.

Wilf was born and brought up in Birmingham and began his career as a library assistant in the Birmingham Reference Library in 1936. Following service in France, North Africa and Italy during the Second World War, he became the Deputy Librarian at the Institute of Bankers in London and then the founding Librarian of the Institute of Education at the University of Birmingham. He spent seven years there, during which time he developed a strong interest in library cooperation activities, before moving to the University of Sheffield in 1956 as Deputy Librarian, the start of a 26-year association with the University that continued until his retirement in 1982.

In 1963 he assumed the Directorship of the new Postgraduate School of Librarianship that was then being created in Sheffield; it subsequently changed it…

Nunes mention in Times Higher

This week’s Times Higher includes a feature on university league tables (p4) which compares the tables published in The Times, Telegraph and Guardian.

Miguel Nunes and Department of Information Studies are mentioned by name in the accompanying information about who compiles the data for each table, see

Information Literacy events in Second Life

Three events are planned so far for the Information Literacy Group in Second Life, the virtual world. All will be held in the Centre for Information Literacy Research Office (coordinates: Eduserv Island 200 240 43 – the SLURL is They will be informal discussions, with virtual refreshments available ;-) In each case there is a discussion leader to get things started.
Mon 13 Aug: 04.00-05.00 Second Life time (12-13.00 UK time) “The information literacy research map”
Mon 20 Aug: 13.00-14.00 SL time (21-22.00 UK time) “Search within Second Life: challenge or disaster?” (both these first 2 led by me)
Tues 4 Sept: 08.00-09.00 SL time (16-17.00 UK time) “How should librarians present themselves in SL, Facebook etc., with a professional or personal face?" (led by Lyn Parker, Sheffield University Library)

Centre for Information Literacy Research launched

The Department of Information Studies, University of Sheffield, UK, has launched the Centre for Information Literacy Research (CILR), with Sheila Webber as Director of the Centre. The Centre’s mission is to explore, illuminate and develop the field of information literacy through the conduct and stimulation of research and related activities.

CILR has a website at with details of goals and partners, together with information on the Department’s track record in information literacy and information behaviour research.

Through the Eduserv Foundation’s generosity, CILR also has office space in the virtual world Second Life (coordinates: Eduserv Island 200 240 43 – the SLURL is ).

There is a copy of the full news release, including photos of the launch in Second Life, at

Nunes and Zhou present in Wuhan

Dr Miguel Nunes gives a keynote speech on IS Research Issues at the ICM 2007 Conference in Wuhan, China.

Knowledge and Information Management PHd student Nick Zhou will also present a full paper at this same conference; his old University and home city. This paper on IS Risk Management is co-authored by Miguel Nunes and Ana Cristina Vasconcelos.

Press Association Head of Operations visits DIS

The Department of Information Studies today welcomes John Spencer, Head of Operations at The Press Association, the national news agency, who is visiting selected University of Sheffield departments on a fact-finding tour, with a view to furthering collaborative research.

The Press Association relocated a significant part of its operation from London to Howden in 2000, bringing capital investment to nearly £10m in Yorkshire and Humber. The project increased the number of PA employees in Howden from 100 -500 (ftes) and together with sites in Leeds and Wetherby now employs more than 800 people in the region. John is Chair of Howdenshire Forward, a member of Humber Forum and the Press Association's representative member of the Hull and and Humber Chamber of Commerce.

Albright and Bath co-organise ISHIMR 2007

Peter Bath, Kendra Albright and Tony Norris organise the 12th International Symposium for Health Information Management Research, ISHIMR 2007, hosted by the University of Sheffield, 18th - 20th July 2007.

Full information about the symposium can be found here:

Albright in Dubai

Dr Kendra Albright is leading an IFLA FAIFE Workshop (International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions Committee on Free Access to Information and Freedom of Expression) on developing AIDS information materials, being held in Dubai 22-27 July.

Kasusse talk, 12 July

On 12th July Michael Kasusse, Executive Director, Information Science Foundation of East Africa (ISFEA) & Librarian, Sir Albert Cook Medical Library, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda will give a talk Practicing Library and Information Work in Sub-Saharan Africa: Contributions to Regional Development by a University Library and a Professional Body. The talk will be at 11am, in room 204, 2nd floor, Regent Court.

Vasconcelos, Nunes and Peng in ECROM 2007

Ana Cristina Vasconcelos, Miguel Nunes and Alex Peng will be at the the ECRM 2007 (European Conference on Research Methods in Business and Management), in Lisbon, 9-10 July. The following papers will be presented:

Peng, G C A and Nunes, M B - Using PEST analysis as a tool for refining and focusing contexts for information systems research.

Vasconcelos, A C - The use of Grounded Theory and of Arenas/Social Worlds Theory in a discourse study.

Nunes in Lisbon

Dr Miguel Nunes is in Lisbon, Portugal, over the next couple of the weeks. His activities include lecturing on a PhD Summer School on Computer Science and Information Systems, Chairing the IADIS e-Learning conference on the 6-8th July and Chairing the 6th European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies on the 9-10th July.

DIS at Umbrella

Several staff participated at the Umbrella conference last week, held at the University of Hertfordshire and organised by the Chartered Instititute of Library and Information Professionals. Professor Sheila Corrall spoke on "IT governance", Dr Paul Clough and Dr Simon Tucker on "Trends in multimedia retrieval" and Dr Philippa Levy on "Theories of Change" as an approach to evaluating educational projects. Paul Clough and Dr Andrew Cox also produced a poster which identified "Web 2.0" research activities inthe Department, whilst Sheila Webber presented a poster outlining a "Map of Information Literacy Research".

Webber at HEA and i3 events

Last Wednesday Sheila Webber, together with Bill Johnston and Stuart Boon of Strathclyde University, gave a workshop session on The Phenomenographic approach at the Higher Education Academy workshop Introducing educational research, held at Strathclyde University in Glasgow. Sheila is currently attending the i3 conference in Aberdeen, held at Robert Gordon University. On Monday she and Bill Johnston gave a presentation on their research Chemistry academics teaching information literacy: Conceptions and implications. Today she chairs one of the confernce sessions.

REAL (PDP) described at the CRA and LTE

Our framework for PDP ("Personal Development Planning) entitled REAL ("Reflection, Learning And Learning") is now described at the CRA in their Issue 10 newsletter and at the University's LTE ("Learning Teacher Exchange").

Conference on Chemoinformatics this week

The Fourth Joint Sheffield Conference on Chemoinformatics takes place this week here, in the Octagon Centre, University of Sheffield, UK, 18th to 20th June, 2007. It is under the aegis of The Chemical Structure Association Trust and the Molecular Graphics and Modelling Society. The Chemoinformatics Research Group in the Department has naturally taken a key role in organising the conference.

SEERC Doctoral conference

Dr Miguel Nunes and Dr Ana Cristina Vasconcelos are attending the South East European Research Centre's (SEERC) Doctoral Student Conference(DSC 2007 - as part of the discussion panel. Six PhD students, from the Department passed the peer-review procedure and are presenting either full papers or posters, as follows:
Agustero, Nora - Academic Library Consortia in the Philippines: Current Practices and Future Needs (poster)
Alajamy, Maram - Role of Academic Librarians in University-Wide IS Strategic Planning: in Syrian Governmental Universities (poster)
Al-Mamari, Salim - The Barriers Associated with CRM Adoption in the Banking Sector (Full Paper)
Idrees, Inaam - Knowledge Sharing Barriers in Multicultural context: Hotels in Saudi Arabia (poster)
Katakalos, George - eLearning Environments: Group Interactions in Culturally Diverse Collaborative Learning (Full Paper)
Lihong Zhou, Nick - Knowledge Sharing in the Convergence of Traditional and Western M…

BIALL presentation

On Saturday Sheila Webber gave a presentation Information literacy: marketing and educational views … and some research, at the British & Irish Association of Law Librarians (BIALL) conference, held here in Sheffield. It included highlights of a delphi study undertaken by two students on the Information Literacy Research module, James O'Brien and Christopher Rhodes. As noted already, James had been awarded a free place at this conference.

Gillet at project meeting

Last week Dr Val Gillet spoke on "Selecting Drug-like Compounds for Biological Screening" at the first meeting of The Gregor-Mendel-Network, an association aimed at promoting computational biology in infrastructure, science and education in the Vienna-Brno area, which took place in Brno, Czech Republic. She attends a project meeting at Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre, Cambridge on 7th June.

Talks by Webber

On Monday, Sheila Webber gave the keynote talk at a seminar at the University of the West of England (Bristol, UK) on Information Literacy, reflective practice and critical thinking: how do they inter-relate? Sheila was talking about the research project on UK academics' conceptions of information literacy and pedagogy for information literacy. Last week she participated via the web in the conference on Web 2.0 na Ciência da Informação, taking place in Oprto, Portugal. Her presentation was on Blogging in LIS teaching and learning.

Sanderson at RIAO

Dr Mark Sanderson is presenting a paper at the RIAO (Recherche d'Information Assistée par Ordinateur) conference being held in Pittsburgh, USA, this week. The paper is co-authored with Hideo Joho (a former Research Assistant in this Department) and entitled Document frequency and term specificity

Reading promotion

Briony Train is visiting Portugal, to give a paper on Reading promotion in UK public libraries at the “Encontro Oeiras a Ler” book trade/public libraries seminar, and helping with various seminars on European cross-sectoral reading promotion.

Corrall at JISC meeting in Warwick

On Tuesday-Wednesday 22nd-23rd May, Sheila Corrall attends a meeting of the Learning and Teaching Committee of the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) of the HE Funding Councils at the University of Warwick. The first part of this extended two-day residential event includes a joint meeting with members of the JISC Organisational Support Committee, to discuss shared interests and concerns.

Further details of work of the JISC Learning and Teaching Committee can be found at

Rachel Adams and Sheila Corrall at SLA Europe Dissertation Awards

On Saturday, 19th May, Prof Sheila Corrall travelled to London to celebrate the SLA Europe Dissertation Awards at a special teatime event at The Lanesborough hotel, along with former MA Librarianship student, Rachel Adams, who received the award for her investigation into Information Literacy and the provision of information skills training in the government sector (which was supervised by Sheila Webber).

Saturday’s event was attended by SLA Europe Board Members, Barbara Robinson (Awards Organiser), Rachel Kolsky (SLA Europe President) and Sylvia James (SLA Europe and SLA Main Board Treasurer), along with students and staff from Brighton, London Metropolitan and Loughborough Universities. Rachel Kolsky had previously visited Sheffield to present Rachel Adams with her certificate at the Department’s Graduation Reception in December 2006.

The SLA Europe Dissertation Awards were established in 2006, following a round table discussion with Sheila Corrall and other LIS academics, as part of …

Cuban information policies

On Monday Maykel Perez, Lecturer, University of Havana, Cuba will give a research seminar on Changing the subject: Conceptual frameworks, legitimisation strategies, andcontradictions in Cuban information policies. "The seminar concentrates on outlining the main characteristics of the Cuban model of information production, transfer, and consumption that shapes and informs national information policies and strategies. The emphasis is placed onthe conceptual frameworks, discourses, metaphors, and representations that underpin and legitimise information policies. The aim is to illustrate how ruling groups in Cuba proactively work through discourse to control the appropriation and use of information systems to promote their own interests and priorities. "

Kalnikaite wins Best Paper at Human Computer Interaction Conference

Congratulations to DIS PhD student Vaiva Kalnikaite who was awarded a best paper (in any category) award at the ACM Computer Human Interaction conference in San Jose, USA for her work on Memory Prostheses.

This is a real achievement for an experienced researcher, but especially for someone who is just 18 months into their PhD. The overall acceptance rate is about 20% and 5 awards were made in total making the paper one of the top 1% for a very competitive conference. This is a real achievement for her as well as bringing esteem to the department.

BIALL bursary winner

James O'Brien, a student on our MA Librarianship programme, has been awarded a free place on the British and Irish Association of Law Librarians (BIALL) conference taking place this June.

Academic Library Consortia in the Philippines: Current Practices and Future Needs

Nora G. Agustero

Friday 18 May 07
Room 204

The long tradition of co-operation among libraries and the resurgence of interest towards participation in library consortia in recent years presume that it is crucial to how libraries cope with socio-cultural, political, economic and technological challenges. However, a number of practitioners expressed concerns or discontents with library consortia on issues like cost in terms of travel and staff time, time delays in terms of license negotiation or renewal, inefficiency, or sustainability. Therefore the focus of this research is not whether or not libraries should co-operate, but how they collaborate and with whom.

The right 'man' for the job? The role of empathy in community librarianship

Briony Train - Principal Investigator
Kerry Wilson - Research Associate

Tuesday 12 May 07
Meetings Room 324

This talk will present progress made so far on this AHRC funded research project looking at public library staff attitudes towards social inclusion policy and disadvantaged groups in society.

The two year project (March 2006 - February 2008) has been designed to investigate the relationships between staff's own social, cultural and professional background and their capacity to make an effective, empathic contribution to social inclusion objectives. The project explores the concept of empathy within a professional public service culture, using a combination of research methods including a national survey, focus groups and interviews with a stratified sample of public library staff in England.

Specific research objectives include an exploration of the appropriateness of organizational structures and recruitment policies, particularly with reference to the traditional profess…

Students talk about their modules

Recently two groups of students have given presentations about their experience of learning in the Department. Two MA Librarianship students from the Information Literacy Research class gave an IBL cafe (Inquiry Based Learning) session on 25th April (see, talking about their IL project and the module itself. On 30th April, level 1 BSc Information Management students joined with members of the teaching team in the Inquiry in Information Management module, to talk at the CILASS Staff/Student symposium, held in the new Information Commons (see

Chemoinformatics conference full!

It looks like a successful Fourth Joint Sheffield Conference on Chemoinformatics is in prospect, since the conference is already fully booked with a waiting list drawn up. It will be held in The Octagon Centre, University of Sheffield, UK, from 18th to 20th June, 2007, under the aegis of The Chemical Structure Association Trust and the Molecular Graphics and Modelling Society. The Organising Committee consists of Dr Val Gillet, Dr John Holliday, Dr Eleanor Gardiner, and Professor Peter Willett (all from this Department), plus Peter Gedeck, Novartis (on behalf of the Molecular Graphics and Modelling Society) and David Wild, University of Indiana (on behalf of the Chemical Structure Association Trust).

Whittaker at CHI conference

Professor Steve Whittaker presented two sessions at the Computer/Human Interaction (CHI) 2007 conference this week, taking place 28 April - 3 May, 2007 in San Jose, California, USA. Vaiva Kalnikaite (also from this Department) and Steve presented Software or Wetware? Discovering When and Why People Use Digital Prosthetic Memory. He was also copresenter with colleagues from IBM USA (John C. Tang, James Lin, Jeffrey S. Pierce and Clemens Drews) of Recent Shortcuts: Using Recent Interactions to Support Shared Activities. The abstract for this presentation is "We describe an empirical study identifying opportunities to support user work on shared activities through improved access to recently used computer objects and present a prototype to realize those opportunities."

Book Group

The next meeting of the Departmental staff and research student Book Group is on Monday May 21st, discussing Ursula Le Guin's The Lathe of Heaven. The June book will be The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood.

Cheoinformatics Research Group to present at UK QSAR meeting

Eight members of the Department of Information Studies' Chemoinformatics Research Group ( travel to the UK-QSAR meeting at AstraZeneca, Macclesfield on Tuesday 24th April.

Two of our members will be giving presentations, as follows:
Eleanor Gardiner: "Representing clusters of molecules using reduced graphs"Dave Wood: "The use of kernel discrimination algorithms in virtual screening"
For more information on the Spring 2007 meeting of the UK QSAR & ChemoInformatics Group, please see

Prof Corrall in MLA Olympic Games 2012 discussion

On Monday 30 April, Prof Sheila Corrall attends a by-invitation round-table discussion in London, hosted by MLA (the Museums, Libraries & Archives Council) to explore how libraries, archives and museums can contribute to the 2012 Olympic Games, through the development of Information Hubs and Media Centres.

This description from the MLA's invitation explains the event in more detail:

“Thousands of people and hundreds of organisations will be seeking information that will be used to document and recount the story of the once in a lifetime experience that is the Olympic and Paralympic Games. It is essential that we start planning now in a co-ordinated way to ensure that we can supply a comprehensive information service for 2012 that meets the needs of different users and fully reflects the local distinctiveness of the UK and our cultural relationship to this international sporting occasion.”

Prof Corrall to Chair MIMAS Management Board

Prof Sheila Corrall travels to Manchester on Tuesday 24th April to chair a meeting of the Management Board of MIMAS (Manchester Information & Associated Services), one of the two main UK National Data Centres, which is run by Manchester Computing at the University of Manchester and funded by JISC and the ESRC.

For more information on MIMAS, see

Designing a cv with WebCT

On Tuesday 24th April (10:00 to 12.00) Peter Stordy, along with Peter Lord of the University Careers Service, runs a workshop entitled "ePortfolio: Designing an extended WebCT CV that could be seen by prospective employers".

All DIS students are invited to attend, and during the workshop will be given privileged access to WebCT's ePortfolio. Using this, you can create an online portfolio to advertise your skills, experience and qualifications. You can add exemplar work, relevant photographs, your CV etc. When applying for a post, you can give the employer log-in details so they can also see the portfolio. You will be able to keep the ePortfolio after you leave the University.

Peter needs to create special WebCT accounts beforehand, so please e-mail him at if you would like to attend!

Prof Corrall at Library Association of Ireland

Continuing a busy week, Prof Sheila Corrall travelled straight from Birmingham to Dublin to speak at the Library Association of Ireland Academic & Special Libraries Section Annual Seminar, "Shifting Sands: Experiencing Change in the Library & Information Environment".

Prof Corrall gave the keynote presentation "Achieving Change: Theory and Practice", and designed and facilitated two workshop sessions of around 70 people each, looking at change situations.

Success at L+I Show

Prof Sheila Corrall's 18th April presentation at the Library & Information Show in Birmingham mentioned below, "Developing Information Literacy: Our Mission for the 21st Century," was a great success, with the venue so overfull that latecomers had to stand at the back!

Also at the L+I Show, Prof Corrall was Special Guest Speaker for the ISG (CILIP) / BookData Reference Awards Presentation.

Investigating the Information Behaviour of People with Dementia and their Carers

On Wednesday 25th April, Juliet Harland will present doctoral research which aims to enhance understanding of the different ways that people with dementia and their carers need, find and use information to make sense of their situation.

The background to the study will be explained, particularly exploring the potential of user-centred theories and models from information science to contribute to the practice of patient-centred medicine and improved information provision to this group. Although data collection is ongoing, 18 interviews have been completed and the methodological approach and methods will be discussed. Preliminary findings will be presented, focusing on the variety of ways that participants experience seeking and using information in their everyday lives.

Chemoinformatics in Paris and Skövde

In April, Prof Peter Willett travelled to Paris to visit Sanofi-Aventis, one of the five largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. There he presented his paper “Searching and clustering of chemical datasets using reduced graphs”.

Also this month, Prof Willett presented “Virtual Screening in Chemoinformatics: the Role of Data Fusion” at SWIFT 2007 (Skövde Workshop on Information Fusion Topics), University of Skövde, Sweden.

Corrall talk at L+I Show

Today Professor Sheila Corrall is giving a talk Developing Information Literacy: Our Mission for the 21st Century at the Library +Information Show at the NEC in Birmingham."Information literacy is recognised internationally as an essential competence for participation in a democratic society. Promoting the profession’s role in IL is one of CILIP’s strategic objectives. Discussion about IL usually concentrates on educational settings. This presentation takes a broader perspective in exploring how all information workers can contribute to developing information literate communities."

CILASS Staff-student Symposium

A staff/student team from DIS is presenting at the CILASS (Centre for Inquiry-based Learning in the Arts and Social Sciences) one-day Staff-Student Symposium, to held on the 30th April in the new Information Commons. David Toft, Viktor Naryzhny, Karim Jivraj, Kyle Massingham, Pratik Mehta, Dan Grech (BSc IM students) and Dr Andrew Cox & Dr Philippa Levy will be talking about our own Inf106 (Inquiry in Information Management) module. Dr Levy also Chairs the day, as Academic Director of CILASS. There is information about the day at

Information Literacy research

On 30th March the Department hosted a visit from the eminent information literacy researcher, Dr Christine Bruce, Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Australia. Dr Bruce led a seminar in the morning for Sheffield researchers (staff and students), and in the afternoon we held a free seminar which celebrated research at both QUT and here in the Department. Dr Bruce gave a presentation on information literacy models derived from QUT research, and Professor Nigel Ford and Sheila Webber talked about information literacy and information behaviour research in the Department.

There were also two presentations focusing on research projects funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Researcher and educationalist Bill Johnston (Centre for Academic Practice and Learning Enhancement, University of Strathclyde) and Sheila Webber talked about UK chemistry academics' conceptions of information literacy. Professor Ford and Dr Andrew Madden (Research Fellow in the Department) discuss…

LILAC conference

Today, 26th March, at the LILAC (information literacy) conference in Manchester, Professor Sheila Corrall delivered a paper on Developing Information Literacy Strategies and Plans (co-authored with Lyn Parker and Helen Dobson) and Sheila Webber facilitated a workshop on Writing articles for publication. Sheila Webber will be giving a further talk at the same conference on 27th March, on Reviewing the research literature (co-authored with Bill Johnston, Strathclyde University).

Careers Week: 23 - 26 April 07

The week commencing 23rd April (Week 9) is Careers Week here at the Department of Information Studies. Events will be of interest to both postgraduate and undergraduate students:

Tuesday 24th April
RC204, 10-12.00 "ePortfolio: Designing an extended WebCT CV that could be seen by prospective employers" with Peter Stordy. This session is suitable to both PGT and UG.RC204, 12-14.00 “Marketing yourself effectively” with Lawraine from Sue Hill Recruitment and Linda from University of Sheffield Careers ServiceRECRUITMENT AGENCY VISIT: TFPL

Wednesday 25th April

Thursday 26th April
RC204, 12-13.30 “Why you should think about doing a PhD...” led by Professor Steve Whittaker and with presentations by current research students. Nibbles served.RC204, 13.30-14.00 “How to get that First Job” by Francis from InfomatchRECRUITMENT AGENCY VISIT: Sue Hill
Friday 27th April

Interested? You'll find sign-up forms for individual ses…

Shock of the social

Dr Andrew Cox is giving a talk at the Shock of the social conference at the Said Business School, University of Oxford, on 22nd March 2007. The presentation, The use of blogs in inquiry based learning, is coauthored with Sheila Webber, Dr Philippa Levy and Peter Stordy, and draws on experience of teaching team and student blogging in our new core undergraduate module Inquiry in Information Management.

Information Literacy Research

The Department of Information Studies, University of Sheffield, is holding a free half-day event on 30 March 2007, on information literacy research, featuring speakers from The Department plus a visiting speaker: Dr Christine Bruce, Associate Professor, Faculty of Information Technology, Queensland University of Technology, Australia.

The Programme consists of: Introduction ( Professor Sheila Corrall, University of Sheffield); Guest keynote: Information literacy: models from research (Dr Christine Bruce); Information Literacy research in the Department of Information Studies, and the UK research agenda ( Sheila Webber and Nigel Ford); Conceptions of information literacy of UK Chemistry and English academics (Sheila Webber, University of Sheffield, and Bill Johnston, University of Strathclyde); Mining of search activity data to support information literacy (Professor Nigel Ford and Dr Andrew Madden, University of Sheffield). There will be opportunities for questions and discussion.

For m…

HCI 2020 forum

Professor Steve Whittaker is one of the invited participants to the HCI 2020forum, funded by Microsoft Research and being held 15th-16th March 2007 in Sanlucar La Mayor, Spain. "By bringing together the world's leading thinkers on this topic we hope to discuss, debate and define a new agenda for HCI [Human Computer Interaction] in the 21st century – one that puts human values at its core."

MGMS Silver Jubilee

Professor Peter Willett gives a paper tomorrow, A Bibliometric Analysis of Chemoinformatics, at the Molecular Graphics Modelling Society Silver Jubilee Meeting being held on 13 March, 2007, at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London.

Some recent publications from DIS staff

Boon, S., Johnston, B. and Webber, S. (2007) "A phenomenographic study of English faculty's conceptions of information literacy." Journal of documentation, 63 (2), 204-228.

Mansourian, Y. and Madden, A. D. (2007). "Methodological approaches in web search research." The electronic library, 25 (1), 90-101.

An Investigation into the Information Literacy Skills Needs of Undergraduate Students

Phussadee Dokphrom will give a research seminar on this topic at 1.30pm in room 204, Regent Court on Thursday 15th March. Her presentation will report on a study that aims to explore the information literacy perceptions of academic staff, students and librarians, their opinions regarding the information literacy skills students should possess, and the extent of information literacy education. The study will employ a case study approach and be carried out at the Faculty of Arts, Silpakorn University, Thailand. This presentation outlines the methodology, and reports on findings from pilot interviews and focus groups.

WUN presentation

Maryam Nazari, a research student in this Department, was recipient of a World Universities Network grant to support a visit to Penn State University for data collection purposes. She is giving a talk on her experience, Perceptions of GIS and GI in an online educational context in the USA, at a WUN e-seminar on March 7th as part of the Global GIS (Geographic Information Systems) Academy

In search of lost memory: mind, brain and culture

We announce a series of talks associated with the Memoir Marie Curie grant held jointly between ICOSS (Informatics Collaboratory of the Social Sciences) and the Department of Information Studies. The grant is associated with the development of computational tools for the creation and sharing of digital memories. Dr. Jens Brockmeier, a visiting Fellow for the project, will give a series of talks on multi- and interdisciplinary issues of memory research. All talks are held in ICOSS (219 Portobello Street, Sheffield) starting at 13.00. All welcome.
March 21, 2007: Locating oneself: Autobiographical remembering and narrative identity construction
April 19, 2007: Remembering Confucius: Autobiographical memory as cultural practice
May 17, 2007: Cultural memory: New spaces of remembering and forgetting.

Social activities

The next meeting of the Departmental photography group (PARDIS) is in the Lecture Room (Rm 204, Regent Court) at 4-5pm on Tuesday 6th March. The activity for this meeting will be for each person to present a panel/series of 6-9 of their own photographs/images on a particular topic or theme. All DIS staff and students welcome, contact Dr Peter Bath.

The next meeting of the Book Group for staff and research students is at on 19th March at 5.30pm in the Departmental common room, discussing Q and A by Vikas Swarup. The following session will be on 16th April, discussing Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe.

Staff activities

Last week Sheila Webber attended a meeting of the Management and Marketing Section of IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions). This was held at the University of Geneva Library. Dr Barry Eaglestone is currently visiting City College, Thessaloniki, as part of his study leave.

Call for Papers: 12th ISHIMR

The 12th International Symposium for Health Information Management Research (ISHIMR 2007) is hosted by the University of Sheffield from 18th to 20th July 2007 . This year’s theme is From Research to Development to Implementation: Challenges in Health Informatics and Health Information Management. ” Paper submissions from those in the international healthcare community are welcome, particularly from those with teaching/ research responsibilities in health information management and health informatics, with clinical responsibilities, and those involved in provision of information and knowledge services. Papers may be submitted reporting on research in any area of health information management or health informatics. For more information, please visit the ISHIMR website at:

Peter Bath: Organising Committee Co-Chair; Programme Committee Co-Chair
Kendra Albright: Organising Committee Co-Chair
Tony Norris: Programme Committee Co-Chair

Research seminar: The needs and responses of family carers post stroke

Dr Louise Brereton from the School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Sheffield will give a research seminar next Tuesday, 27th February, at 2pm in room 204, Regent Court: The needs and responses of family carers post stroke.

Family carers are essential to a good post stroke outcome (Intercollegiate Stroke Working Party, 2004) but little is known about the needs of these carers who suddenly adopt their role. This presentation outlines the methodology and findings of a doctoral study, one of the few longitudinal studies that have examined carers' needs and responses post stroke. Findings will make clear reference to carers' changing information needs and highlight how these relate to other needs.

Staff activities

Last week staff activities included Barbara Sen running a session on Marketing ourselves at the annual conference of the Health Sciences Libraries Group (HSLG) of the Library Association of Ireland, in Athlone, Ireland, on 16th February. Earlier in the week Professor Sheila Corrall attended as a member of the JISC Learning & Teaching Committee meeting in London. This part of JISC "is responsible for supporting the learning and teaching community by helping institutions to promote innovation in the use of ICT to benefit learning and teaching, research and the management of institutions." Dr Val Gillet attended a committee meeting of the Molecular Graphics and Modelling Society.

Albright in Africa

Dr Kendra Albright is returning this week from a visit to Africa which included time at Makerere University, Uganda, discussing a joint project. Dr Albright and Dr Elisam Magara (Makerere University) have just been awarded a British Academy grant for their project Information vaccine: development of an HIV/AIDS information curriculum in Uganda.

Last week Dr Albright was a also a participant at the African Information Ethics Conference:Ethical Challenges in the Information Age which took place in Pretoria, South Africa.

Week 1 visitors

Visitors this week included visiting Professor and Departmental Advisory Panel member Martin White, Managing Director of Intranet Focus Ltd. As well as meetings with staff members, he was checking up on some of the new facilities available in the teaching spaces he will be using later in the Semester when he provides valuable contributions to our teaching.
Various staff members also met with representatives of the South East European Research Centre, an international, multidisciplinary, not-for-profit research centre jointly established by the University of Sheffield and CITY Liberal Studies, located in Thessaloniki, Greece. We already have links, including jointly supervised PhD students. Photograph: Firth Court, Sheffield University.

New semester

Last week was the start of our Spring Semester, so it was a busy time for all our staff and students. A new module starting this year is the Inquiry in Information Management module which is taken by our 1st year BSc Information Management students as part of their core curriculum. This is gaining extra support from being one of our Departmental CILASS (Centre for Inquiry-based Learning in the Arts and Social Sciences) projects (scroll down the page to see information about this particular project).

Research seminar:

Dr Thomas Jackson, University of Loughborough, will be giving a research seminar Can seminar and computer-based training improve the effectiveness of email communication within the workplace, at 12 noon on Wednesday 7th February 2007, Room 204, Regent Court (Department of Information Studies, University of Sheffield).
"Email communication has become an integral part of the communication structure within organisations. However, we are far from efficient in using this organisational communication and knowledge sharing tool. We aim to improve workplace communications by improving the way email is used within the workplace. We undertake extensive two-phase research to demonstrate the need to give employees training regarding email communication, and conduct both seminar-based training and computer-based training. Findings indicate that email training can lead to significant improvements in the way that employees use email within the workplace with computer-based training (or e-learnin…

Willett tops h-index

Professor Peter Willett emerged top of a list of active UK academics in the information field, ranked by "h-index": an indicator of how frequently academics' papers are cited. Professors Nigel Ford and Steven Whittaker also ranked in the top 15.

Reference: Oppenheim, C. (2007) "Using the h-index to rank influential British researchers in information science and librarianship." Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 58(2), 297-301.

Welcome to our blog

This is the new blog from the Department of Information Studies, University of Sheffield. We hope to bring you news from our Department. This will include news of new publications, events, achievements, programmes and research. Photo (Sheila Webber): One of Sheffield University's buildings: church converted to lecture hall and student accommodation.