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Showing posts from 2008

Nina Jaswal at Online Information

Nina Jaswal, a student on the Department's BSc in Information Management, contributed to a panel session at this year's prestigious Online Information conference in London in December.

"I talked about communication tools used by Generation Y and how Generation X and Y diiffer. It was an interactive panel, with question and answer taking up most of the session. I discussed different ways tools such as social networking can be incorporated in organisations to help them be more effective."

Other panelists were from Chartered Institute of Management, TFPL and AAIPharma Deutschland GmbH.

FP7 project OrganiK now underway

FP7 project OrganiK, which aims at the development of a knowledge management framework and system for knowledge intensive SMEs in Europe, is now underway. DIS will be coordinating the activities involved in the state-of-the art review, qualitative case studies on collaborative work practices at SMEs and evaluation of project results.

DIS participation will be undertaken by KIM research group members Dr. Ana Vasconcelos (coord.), Dimitris Bibikas and Tim Zijlstra, in close collaboration with Dr. Iraklis Paraskakis at affiliated research centre SEERC in Greece.

Dimitris Bibikas is PhD candidate at DIS and research associate at SEERC, in Greece. The OrganiK project framework stems directly from some of his PhD results.

Tim Zijlstra has recently joined DIS as research assistant, having finished the MSc. in Information Management with distinction. Before coming to Sheffield he worked in various roles in libraries as well as working as an information manager in secondary education in the Nethe…

MSc student publishes dissertation work

Monica Lestari Paramita has just had her paper accepted for the European Conference on Information Retrieval (ECIR 2009) one of the 3 best information retrieval conferences. The paper described her dissertation work on spatial diversity in search results.

Monica was a student on the MSc in Information Management.

PhD student, Richard Martin wins prize

Richard Martin won a best oral presentation prize at the Young Modeller's
Forum ( in London on Friday November 28th for his talk:

"Wavelet Compression of GRID Fields for Similarity Searching and Virtual Screening"

Close to 40 abstracts were submitted; 12 chosen for oral presentation; and 3 chosen
for prizes.

Well done Richard!

Virtual and physical appearances

On Wednesday, Sheila Webber contributed to a virtual world panel at the US EDUCAUSE conference, via her avatar Sheila Yoshikawa in the virtual world. Secomd Life. She has been invited onto a further panel session at the Digital Library Federation's (DLF) Fall Forum panel, entitled Taking the Next Step With Digital Collections: Innovative Teaching, Learning & Research in Virtual Worlds, November 13, 2008.
Outside the virtual world, she gave a keynote Information Literacy: an international perspective, at the conference, L'education à la culture informationnelle [Education for/in information culture], held in l’Université Charles de Gaulle Lille3, Lille, France, 16-18 October.

Infolit iSchool Second Life Case Study

Sheila Webber, Director of the Department's Centre for Information Literacy Research, has been leading the University of Sheffield's explorations in Second Life by teaching both undergraduate and postgraduate students in this virtual world as well as engaging in several research activities in SL.

A short account of her recent ventures in our Infolit iSchool can be found in the latest Higher Education Academy Information and Computer Science Subject Centre Newsletter. Open Issue 11 - Oct 2008 and turn to page 6 for the article; 'Second Life case study: Infolit iSchool'.

Our students win SIFE European prize

A team of University of Sheffield students, including Information Studies undergraduate Jessica Butterfield, have won the SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise) European Symposium.

More information

Jessica and the winning team with their SIFE award.

MA Librarianship Students win places at RLUK Conference

David Brown and Katie Fraser, who joined the Department's MA Librarianship programme last week, have both won free places at the 1st Research Libraries UK (RLUK, formerly the Consortium of University Research Libraries) Conference on 'The Power of Knowledge' to be held at the University of Leeds on 22-24 October.

The competition was sponsored by RLUK in association with the Department. Applicants were asked to explain why they wanted to attend the event and how it would help their career development. The standard of entries was so high that the Department has awarded additional prizes of books on academic librarianship to two runners-up, Samantha Abrahams and Chloe Furnival.

Nazari presenting at EUGISES 2008

Maryam Nazari is presenting at the EUGISES 2008 Sixth European GIS Education Seminar taking place 11-14 September in Cirencester, U.K. The paper, based on her current doctoral research, is:
Nazari, M. and Webber, S. (2008) Model of Geo/Spatial Information Literacy (MG/SIL): an innovative model for transforming learning in GIS education.

DIS PhD student publishes at top GIS conference

Another one of our DIS PhD students, Rob Pasley, has been successful in publishing at a top international conference, this time in the field of GIScience. Rob has a full paper accepted at the 16th ACM SIGSPATIAL International Conference on Advances in Geographic Information Systems (ACM GIS 2008). This is quite an achievement with an acceptance rate of around 1:6 papers.

Pasley, R., Clough, P., Purves, R. and Twaroch, F. (2008) Mapping Geographic Coverage of the Web in Great Britian, In Proceedings of 16th ACM SIGSPATIAL International Conference on Advances in Geographic Information Systems (ACM GIS 2008), (in press).

Centre for Information Literacy Research activities

The Department is currently being visited by Dr Yazdan Mansourian, a former doctoral student who is now Assistant Professor at Tarbiat Moallem University, Tehran, Iran. Yesterday he gave the keynote talk at a Centre for Information Literacy Research event here in Sheffield, with four other presentations from current or former postgraduate students. The photo shows (l to r) Yazdan Mansourian, Phussadee Dokphrom, Maryam Nazari and Pam McKinney (the remaining speaker was Helen Dobson).

There are two of the powerpoints online in pdf form: Dr Mansourian'sImplications of the Information Visibility Model in Information Literacy Research and Practice at ) Pamela McKinney'sInquiry-based Learning and information literacy at

Centre for Information Literacy Research: summer event

Centre for Information Literacy Research: summer event

Date: August 13th 2008, 1.30-4pm
Place: Department of Information Studies, University of Sheffield, Regent Court building, Regent Street, Sheffield (see (Building 166 at G3) or (Multimap)

Description: This free half day event presents a keynote from a visiting academic plus reports on research and activities in progress. With a focus on higher education, the talks will appeal to anyone interested in information literacy in different disciplines and contexts. People can attend for just part of the programme if they wish. Please email if you would like to attend so that we can order the right number of teas and coffees for the break!

13.30 Welcome and keynote.

Welcome from the seminar chair: Sheila Webber (Director of the Centre for Information Literacy Research)

Dr Yazdan Mansourian, Assistant Profe…

Recent talks on information literacy and Web 2.0

Recently Sheila Webber has given a number of presentations associated with information literacy and with Web 2.0.
"Fostering Lifelong Learning through Information Literacy education: Exploring conceptions in different disciplines and framing pedagogies for lifelong learning" (see the powerpoint here) and "Information Literacy and Second Life" on 16 June at the Lifelong Learning conference, Yeppoon, Australia
"Using inquiry-based approaches with first year undergraduates" on July 1st at the First Year Experience in Higher Education conference in Hobart, Australia.
Workshops on "Social networking: exploring the possibilities" at the ARLIS conference in Liverpool, 24 July: see the resource she created here
She also organised and led the Second Life track of the Learning Through Enquiry Alliance conference 2008: see the conference wiki for photos, commentary and transcripts

MSc in Health Informatics featured in the Independent

MSc in Health Informatics student James Duncan is one of several students interviewed in the Independant, for an article about the benefits of distance learning master's programmes.

"Distance learning is helping workers' careers – and their pockets, too"

In the article, James explains how the programme directly helped him in his career in healthcare consultancy communications.

Paul Clough speaks at Cambridge University

Paul Clough has been invited to speak at a workshop entitled “Inspiration, Innovation, or Infringement: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Piracy and Copyright” to be held at Emmanuel College, Cambridge University on Tuesday 1st July. Paul will be talking on his PhD topic: text reuse in journalism. More details of the event can be found here:

Departmental staff present at International Conference on Chemical Structures

Val Gillet, John Holliday and Peter Willett, along with nine members of the Chemoinformatics Research Group, attended the 8th International Conference on Chemical Structures in Noordwijkerhout, Holland (May 31st-5th June 2008).

This three-yearly meeting is the premier conference on research on computer methods for chemical structure handling. The group presented a paper - Hina Patel speaking on "Knowledge-based de novo design using reaction vectors" - and seven posters, and the conference was also attended by ten ex-members of the group who are still working in the field.

Birdi featured in L&I Update

Key findings from Briony Birdi and Kerry Wilson’s investigation of empathy in community librarianship, Public libraries and social inclusion: How empathic are we?, have just been published in the June issue of CILIP’s Library & Information Update. Their article has been selected as part of the online content featuring on this month’s Update website - see

Peng and Nunes win Best Paper at EMCIS'08

Alex Peng and Dr. Miguel Nunes have been awarded the Best Practical Paper Award for their paper appearing at the EMCIS conference 2008, in Dubai.

The paper is entitled "Identification and Assessment of Risks to Successful Exploitation of ERP Systems in China". It presents and discusses the questionnaire findings derived from Alex's PhD research project, which is supervised by Miguel.

Rising star

Congratulations to Peter Stordy. Peter, University Teacher and DIS Learning & Teaching Advocate, is among a small group of only 5 university staff who have been chosen this year to receive a Senate Award for Excellence in Learning and Teaching in the Rising Stars category. This award recognises excellence in teaching and/or learner support demonstrated by staff who have been involved in university teaching and/or learner support for a period of less than six years.

Phenomenographic presentation

Sheila Webber presented at the Special Interest Group Phenomenography conference, held in Kristianstad, Sweden on 22-24 May. The presentation was Variation theory as a basis for designing a module on teaching information literacy and was coauthored with Stuart Boon and Bill Johnston from Strathclyde University. One of Sheila's research students, Eva Hornung, was also able to participate in the conference. The presentation is on Slideshare here.

BAILER Heads Meet in Sheffield

Today, the Department welcomes colleagues from across the UK and Ireland who have travelled to Sheffield for the half-yearly meeting of the Heads of Schools and Departments Committee of the British Association for Information & Library Education and Research (BAILER). Prof Sheila Corrall is Chair of the BAILER Heads Committee.

Talk at Las Jornadas CRAI

Sheila Webber is in Pamplona, Spain, give an invited talk "What does Information Literacy mean? Some examples from different disciplines" at the Las VI Jornadas CRAI . She was invited by Rocio Serrano-Vicente (pictured) who graduated from our MA Librarianship programme and is one of the organisers. Rocio is now one of the deputies in the Science library at the University of Navarra.

PhD Graduate Secures Prestigious Appointments

Jesus Lau, PhD graduate of the Department, is the president-elect of the Mexican Library Association and has joined the Governing Board of IFLA.

Jesus graduated from the Department of Information Studies in 1988. His thesis was entitled "A study of selected social factors influencing information development in low, middle, and highly developed countries : an assessment for the period 1960-1977."

SLA Europe Dissertation Award Celebration

On Saturday 10 May, Prof Sheila Corrall travelled to London to take part in the second annual SLA Europe Dissertation Award event, celebrating the success of recent MA Librarianship graduate, Clare Sinclair, who won one of three prizes awarded this year. Clare’s dissertation was a case study of Knowledge Management in Government, based on the Department for Work and Pensions, and the expertise gained through this project helped her to get her current job as Knowledge Management Projects Officer at the Royal Institute of British Architects.

SLA Europe Board Members attending the event included Penny Leach (President) from Goldman Sachs International and Marie-Madeleine Salmon, from Publicis Conseil, who travelled from Paris to join the celebrations.

More info about SLA Europe’s student awards can be found at

Educational Informatics book

Professor Nigel Ford has just published a new book.
Ford, N. (2008) Web-Based Learning through Educational Informatics: Information Science Meets Educational Computing. IGI Global. ISBN: 978-1-59904-741-6. 406 pages.
"The book presents developments in “educational informatics”, which represents the fusion of key concepts from library/information science, education and computing. The book seeks to offer a rigorous definition of educational informatics (differentiating it, for example, from educational technology by highlighting library/information aspects), and goes on to develop a new integrated conceptual framework for this field." Foe full details (table of contents, exerpts, etc.) please see:

Inquiry Based Learning talks

Sheila Webber gave presentations last week at the ESCalate conference, held at Stirling University (on Inquiry Based Learning in a first year undergraduate class) and at the CLIASS Staf-Student Symposium, held here in Sheffield in the Information Commons (on Inquiring in Second Life). In the latter talk she was joined by Masters student Tim Zijlstra in real life, and by St Andrews University librarian Vicki Cormie in Second Life.
Sheila was also quoted recently in a Guardian feature discussing students' use of information (,,2274796,00.html ), with her Second Life avatar referred to as a "blue haired babe"!

Head of Department Sheila Corrall speaks at Trinity College Dublin

Prof Sheila Corrall travelled to Ireland on Friday 4th April to participate in a one-day seminar organized by the Academic and National Libraries Training Co-operative, where she gave a presentation on aligning skills, abilities and competencies with the changing library environment. This event took place at Trinity College Dublin.

Head of Department Sheila Corrall briefs members of European Parliament

Prof Sheila Corrall travelled to Brussels on Wednesday 2nd April, to brief Members of the European Parliament on the impact of Digital Libraries on scientific research. The workshop was being organized as part of the EARNEST (Education and Research Networking Evolution Study) foresight study carried out within the GEANT2 project (Multi-Gigabit European Academic Network) funded by the Sixth Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development.

Two upcoming Second Life discussions

Two more discussions are taking place in Second Life (SL), the virtual world on the Department's island: you will need a SL avatar to attend. The first , Pitfalls for librarians in Second Life is on Thursday 17 April 2008, 12 noon SL time (8pm UK time), on Infolit iSchool (45, 202, 22). Discussion is led by Pam Dowsett (Pam Ribble in SL), who outlines some pitfalls for librarians setting up services in SL - and tips on how to avoid them! On Thursday 24th April, 12 noon SL time on Infolit iSchool (101, 211, 22) the topic is The role of libraries in reaching everyday SL users. Discussion is led by Margaret Ostrander (Testy Outlander in SL) who has spent the last two months conducting research about the information seeking habits of everyday Second Life (SL) users.

Logo jury

Sheila Webber has been invited to be part of the jury judging the UNESCO-IFLA Information Literacy Logo competition: a competition to produce a logo that will represent information literacy internationally.

Department at the top

A new paper ranking UK LIS academics shows Sheffield has 4 of the 10 most cited academics in the country. There are two other of our academics are in ranks 10-20. The paper will be published in the Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (JASIST). A pre-print of the paper can be downloaded from here.

Sheila Webber/Yoshikawa interviewed by Metaverse TV

Sheila Webber has been interviewed by a Second Life television company, Metaverse TV, in the guise of her avatar, Sheila Yoshikawa. Second Life (SL) is a 3D virtual world, and Sheila has been leading teaching and continuing professional development activities on our SL island, Infolit iSchool. The 20 minute feature can be viewed on the web at

DIS at LILAC 2008

The Department will have a strong presence at LILAC 2008, the Librarians’ Information Literacy Annual Conference, a major event in the information literacy calendar attracting an international audience, which this year is being held in Liverpool (Monday 17-Wednesday 19 March).

Prof Sheila Corrall will be presenting a paper on ‘Librarians as Teachers: the Pedagogical Knowledge and Development Needs of Subject Librarians’ which discusses the findings of an investigation conducted by former MA Librarianship student Laura Cox, who was awarded the Eduserv Prize for the best Information Literacy dissertation in 2007 and is now working at the University of Technology Sydney.

Prof Corrall is also presenting a poster on her own research on Developing an Evaluation Framework for Information Literacy Strategies and in addition she is co-presenting another poster on the work of the CILASS Information Literacy Network, a University interdisciplinary special interest group which she chairs on behalf …

Librarianship student Hammond wins Special Libraries Association award

Congratulations to Librarianship student Sarah Hammond, who has been awarded a student sponsorship to attend the Special Libraries Association Conference in Seattle, WA, USA at the Washington State Convention Center 15 - 18 June 2008.

"The conference will create an environment for networking, communication, learning and other developmental opportunities for information professionals".

CILR on Facebook

The Centre for Information Literacy Research is now a Group on Facebook (called simply: Centre for Information Literacy Research). Therefore if you are a Facebook user ( you can join up and be kept in touch with events, publications and any other conversation that comes up on the Group's wall. Currently it has details of the upcoming one day conference at Sheffield on 14th March and the Second Life discussion on Problem Based Learning in IL on the 13th March. 44 have joined the group so far!
This is in addition to the Centre's formal home at and its virtual home in Second Life on Infolit iSchool.

Free Information Literacy seminars 14 March

Information Literacy: strategy and research is the title of a free seminar day on Friday 14th March 2008 in Sheffield. The seminars are organised by the Centre for Information Literacy Research, Department of Information Studies, University of Sheffield. The morning seminar is Strategy for information literacy. The focus of the is session is on strategic issues, with a strong opportunities for participation in all three sessions.
- Professor Sheila Corrall: Strategic engagement with information literacy in higher education
- Sheila Webber and Bill Johnston: Towards an Information Literate University
- Strategic approaches for information literacy with Dr Patricia Senn Breivik.

The Afternoon seminar is Information literacy research. This session opens with a keynote setting the context for research and practice in information literacy. Presentations of research studies follow, highlighting three specialist areas and illuminating important areas of research in the workplace and in higher ed…

Daniela Petrelli's paper wins honour

Daniela Petrelli has been awarded an honorable mention for her paper appearing in the premier research conference ACM CHI, 2008. The paper is entitled "AutoTopography: What Can Physical Mementos Tell us about Digital Memories?", the work is based upon research conducted during the Memoir project.

Peter Bath wins Brightman Trophy

Peter Bath has been awarded the Brightman Trophy for the best slide of Sheffield, its Life and Environs in the 2008 Annual Exhibition of the Sheffield Photographic Society. Peter’s picture is entitled “Early morning walk, Botanical Gardens” and was taken in October 2006. The exhibition is being held from 14th to 17th February 2008 in the new 1554 Gallery at Sheffield Cathedral. Admission is free. Further details are available at:

"Early morning walk, Botanical Gardens" - © Peter A Bath 2008
Copies of the print are available from Peter Bath

Postrgraduate Graduation 2008

Congratulations to all recent graduates on the Department’s postgraduate programmes in Librarianship, Health Informatics, Information Management, Information Systems.

The following photos were taken at the reception held for our graduates, at which students were awarded prizes for their performance on the programme.


Professor Sheila Corrall, Head of Department, presents Alexandra Pooley (left) with the Ann Percy Memorial Prize for the best dissertation in the field of library/information service management and organization.


Christopher Rhodes (left) and James O’Brien (centre) after receiving their Eduserv Information Literacy Prizes from Professor Nigel Ford, Director of Research, for the best post-graduate projects.


Christopher Rhodes (left) after receiving the Henry Heaney Memorial Prize for the best dissertation in the field of academic librarianship from Martin Lewis, Director of Library Services and University Librarian.


Elizabeth Chapman (left…

Information Literacy/ Second Life

Last week Sheila Webber gave two presentations: one was at the SCONUL/CONUL conference in Dublin on 31st January, Information strategies for researchers, where she was giving a talk Information Literacy: a Researchers' perspective. The second was following the CILIP Commercial Legal and Scientific Information Group AGM, where she talked about Second Life and its uses. Both presentations are on Slideshare: go to
Also note that the Centre for Information Literacy Research now has a group on Facebook (search on the Centre's name: anyone can join the group). This will be used for news on events etc and for discussion.

Professor Tom Wilson research seminar

Friday 8th February
Professor Tom Wilson

Mobile computing, information systems and the police

The police forces in the UK have many officers who are 'mobile workers' - their work involves community patrolling and traffic monitoring. They need information on the move and a variety of strategies are employed to present that information or to provide access when the information is needed. This presentation will present some case studies that illustrate the problems and issues faced in this context, within an activity theory framework.

Second Life activities

Yesterday Sheila Webber hosted another discussion in Second Life (SL), the virtual world. This time the discussion was led by Oshun Akina, and it was about Samples and sampling in Second Life research. The transcript of the discussion is available at

The next meeting in Second Life in the Centre for Information Literacy Research Discussion Series is at 4pm UK time (8am SL time) on Thursday 17th January. Maggie Kohime (Lyn Parker in real life) will lead a discussion on Assessment of information literacy. The venue will again be Infolit iSchool (our island) in Second Life.

Later this week Sheila Webber will be leading a discussion in immersive learning experiences in virtual worlds, at the Power of immersive experiences conference being held at the University of Surrey.