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Showing posts from 2009

Ofer Bergman wins Best JASIST Paper for 2009

DIS post-doc Ofer Bergman's co-authored article on 'The user-subjective approach to personal information management systems design paper' has won the 2009 Best JASIST Paper Award. The jury considered the paper to be 'well-argued and documented, effective, intelligible, and potentially useful and applicable'. The article was published in JASIST 59 (2) and you can read more about the user-subjective approach at

Somsak wins Best Paper award at ICKM

Somsak Sriborisutsakul's paper on Evaluating Intellectual Assets in University Libraries received a Best Student Paper award at today's closing ceremony of the 6th International Conference on Knowledge Management in Hong Kong. The paper, which was co-authored and presented by Somsak's supervisor Sheila Corrall, was ranked in the top three papers of more than 100 papers in all categories presented at this year's conference.

Department student publishes in the Emergency Medicine Journal

Haleh Ayatollahi, one of the PhD students in the Health Informatics Research Group, has had a paper published in the Emergency Medicine Journal (EMJ). The Emergency Medicine Journal is the journal of the College of Emergency Medicine and is part of the BMJ Journals; it can be accessed at:

The paper reports the findings of the first phase of her research, a qualitative study, in which she interviewed 34 staff in an Emergency Department. The study found that while staff believed that improving access to patient information could improve the delivery of emergency care services, they had concerns about the confidentiality of patient information. It concluded that the design of information systems in the Emergency Department should achieve a balance between accessibility and confidentiality.

The paper was co-authored with Dr. Peter Bath and Professor Steve Goodacre (ScHARR). The article can be accessed at:

Sheila Corrall in Hong Kong

Prof Sheila Corrall is visiting Hong Kong this week to present a paper on Evaluating Intellectual Assets in University Libraries at the International Conference on Knowledge Management. The paper is based on Somsak Sriborisutsakul's doctoral research in Thailand. During her visit Sheila will also be meeting colleagues at Hong Kong University to discuss further development of collaborative links with DIS.

Visiting scholar Nuria Ferran Ferrer

From August to October we were visited by Núria Ferran Ferrer, an academic in Information and Communication Science Studies, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (Open University of Catalunya). Núria has been involved in research projects related to cultural heritage (COINE), and open educational content (OLCOS). Her Ph.D. research is about the information behaviour of e-learning students in their academic, workplace and daily life contexts. Núria is pictured here with Sheila Webber (centre), Director of the Centre for Information Literacy Research, and (on the right) Phussadee Dokphrom, a doctoral student in the Department.

IS students and staff win awards at ISHIMR 2009

Congratulations to Haleh Ayatollahi, Liz Brewster and Barbara Sen for their awards at ISHIMR 2009.

Haleh Ayatollahi won the Best Student Paper award for her presentation entitled " Factors influencing the use of IT in the Emergency Department: a Qualitative Study" at ISHIMR 2009, the 14th International Symposium for Health Information Management Research, which was held in Kalmar, Sweden from 14th to 16th October 2009.

Liz Brewster and Barbara Sen won the Best Poster Award for their presentation entitled "An evaluation of Information Prescriptions." at ISHIMR 2009.

The awards were made on the basis of votes by delegates attending the ISHIMR 2009 conference.

Further details of the conference are available at:

ISHIMR 2010 will be held in Thessaloniki, Greece. Please contact Peter Bath ( if you wish to receive details about the conference.

Barbara Sen wins Individual 2009 Service Excellence Award

Congratulations to Barbara Sen on being one of only 6 staff in the whole University to win an Individual 2009 Service Excellence Award.

Barbara was nominated by last year's students for excellence in every aspect of managing and delivering the MA programme and for the outstanding quality of her help and support for the Librarianship students. The award was made on the strength of the students' comments.

DIS - iSchool

The Department of Information Studies was recently invited to join iSchools, an association of schools of Information "interested in the relationship between information, people and technology". We are the only UK Department in the association at present. The website is at Professor Mike Eisenberg has produced a video "What's an iSchool"

Staff and students at ISHIMR 2009 conference

Members of the Health Informatics Research Group and the Centre for Health Information Management Research (CHIMR) are attending the 14th International Symposium for Health Information Management Research (ISHIMR 2009) in Kalmar, Sweden this week.

Haleh Ayatollahi is presenting a paper entitled "Factors influencing the use of IT in the Emergency Department: a Qualitative Study", co-authored with Peter Bath and Steve Goodacre (ScHARR).

Wen-Chin Hsu is presenting a poster entitled "Older people’s use of the NHS Direct telephone advice and information service", co-authored with Peter Bath and Shirley Large (NHS-Direct).

Reza Rabiei is presenting a poster entitled "User Satisfaction with the England Choose and Book Service: the Role of Training and Information Technology Support", co-authored with Peter Bath and Allen Hutchinson (ScHARR).

Liz Brewster is presenting a poster entitled "An evaluation of Information Prescriptions", co-authored with Barbar…

Spotlight paper at ISWC 2009

Daniela Petrelli's paper at the International Semantic Web Conference ISWC 2009 has been selected as Spotlight Paper: "papers designated by the program chairs and vice chairs [...] to be of special interest to all members of the ISWC community." The paper titled "Multi Visualisation and Dynamic Query for Effective Exploration of Semantic Data" will be presented in the section: 'User and the Social Semantic Web', just after a paper co-authored by Tim Berners-Lee considered by many the father of the Web and the Semantic Web.

CILR series transcripts

Transcripts of the chat conversation from the last 5 discussion/presentation sessions held in Second Life (the virtual world) are available. This is the Centre for Information Literacy Research (CILR) series. There are links to material from all previous sessions (about 30) at
If you have a Second Life avatar, you can also go inworld and find boards with links and notecards in the CILR on Infolit iSchool at
The events, which took place in July and August 2009, were: Report on IL at the IFLA 2009 Conference; EDINA and SL (discussion); Information providers in a virtual world (research presentation); Intellectual Property (IP) and SL (discussion); Inquiry Based Learning (IBL) and the First Year Experience (FYE)(research presentation)

Social networks in learning research seminar

Speaker: Nashrawan Taha

A Study of the Evolution of Networks among International Students in Formal Learning Communities

Wednesday, 9th September, 13.00 RC204

Social network analysis (SNA) has been used to study the pattern of interaction among learners in different online and offline communities. However, there is still not much research that focuses on the study of the evolution of the social network in a face to face formal learning context. By combining the use of SNA and qualitative data, this research aims to study the social network evolution of international students and the factors that shaped these changes in a face to face formal learning context. Combining social network analysis and qualitative methods, helps to provide a fuller picture of the network and obtain better quality and more accurate data. This research also explores the role of Web 2.0 in general, and Social Bookmarking technology in particular, in studying the social network relations.

Research seminar on risk management in IS Development

Risk Management in Information System Development Projects in the Thai Context

Speaker: Nipon Parinyavuttichai

Thursday, 10th September, 12.00 RC204

Information System (IS) companies have invested a large amount of effort and
resource in developing IS projects. However, many IS projects still
underperform, over run their budgets, or even end in failure. Hence, it is
important to identify risks behind the development of IS projects (ISD) and
implement appropriate risk management practices to the IS projects. Once these
IS risk management activities are put into action, IS projects trapped in a
failing course of action can be turned around to successful projects.

This research aims to 1) understand how an IS project evolves over a period of
development, 2) identify and analyse risks contributing to the outcome of an IS
project, and 3) examine how risks identified from the project are developed and
managed throughout the IS project. In order to achieve these objectives, case
study is chosen …

Factors Influencing Perceived Trust and Risks of e-Voting Solutions: A Study Within The Bahrain’s Elections

Research Seminar

Sayed Jalal Naser
Thursday September 3rd
(12.00, RC204)

Since it was declared as Kingdom in 2002, where municipal elections and parliamentary elections were held in the same year, Bahrain has taken a strategic decision to the application of ICT in boosting the democratic operations. Bahrain has partially applied e-Voting in 2002 parliamentary election, and has prepared for its full application in 2006 election. However a sudden decision was taken to put 2006 e-Voting programme on hold till 2010.

Within the above framework, studying the barriers and exploring the challenges facing applying e-Voting in Bahrain represent the area of the research described by this presentation. The research aimed in particularly at investigating what determines Bahrainis voters’ evaluation of the trustworthiness of an e-Voting solution.

The study follows a mixed research strategy for building and expanding the theory. The first stage which would be a qualitative one includes interviewing Membe…

Webber on IFLA section committee

Sheila Webber was attending the World Library and Information Conference last week in Milan: this is the annual conference of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA). Sheila is a new member of the IFLA Information Literacy Section Standing Committee (pictured here, she is second from the left), and she has blogged about the conference on her Information Literacy Weblog.

Strategic information literacy

Professor Sheila Corrall is delivering a presentation on Information Literacy: The Case for Strategic Engagement as part of the Staff Development Week at Trinity University College, Carmarthen, which will be attended by staff from Trinity and from University of Wales Lampeter.

Seminar this week - System-mediated & User-mediated Collaborative Information Seeking (CIS)

Chirag Shah from University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill presented a talk entitled.

System-mediated and User-mediated Collaborative Information Seeking (CIS)


Information seeking is typically seen as a single person activity, done in isolation without the support of other people. It is time we revise this assumption and acknowledge that seeking and using information can be a social activity, done in collaboration with others. Many situations call for such collaboration while seeking information. For instance, a couple planning a vacation have the same information need, but may have different expertise and opinions about how, where, and what aspects of the trip. In most such situations, we end up using different tools, such as browser, messenger, email, etc., in ad hoc manner to accomplish the common goal. Integrated solutions that not only provide the support for such activities seamlessly, but also encourage and facilitate collaborations in impromptu fashion are highl…

Discussion: EDINA and Second Life (SL)

When: Thursday 20 Aug 12 noon SL time; Where: Infolit iSchool, in SL, the virtual world
(You need a SL avatar and the SL browser installed on your computer to participate)
EDINA ( ) is a public-funded UK data centre, whose mission is to "enhance the productivity of research, learning and teaching" in UK colleges, universities and research institutes, with online services and learning materials. Nikla Tokyoska (Nicola Osborne, Social Media Officer) and Edina Taurog (Andrew Bevan, User Support Deputy Team Manager) will briefly introduce EDINA and then want to chat about ideas around how they, as academic service providers, could use SL (and perhaps other virtual worlds) to support or extend EDINA's services.
This is part of the Department's Centre for Information Literacy Research SL discussion series.

Why study Librarianship and Information Management?

According to the Independent newspaper, it's because "this is not a degree for the old fashioned but for future managers. A new dawn of librarian has arrived...are you in? ... These days the degree is really broad and is a cross between computer science and management."

The Independent A-Z of Degrees
August 2009

As you will see, their objective overview of Library and IM degrees around the country places the University of Sheffield firmly at the front.

Presentations online

Three of the four presentations from the information literacy event held at Sheffield University on 6th August are available online. These were reports on projects that were undertaken for the Information Literacy Research module that is an option on the Masters programmes here. These presentations are all linked from the event page on the new Centre for Information Literacy ning: . Photo by Sheila Webber: Presenters (left to right) David Brown, Samantha Abrahams, Kate Coleson and Chloe Furnival after the event.

Web 2.0 use

Sheila Webber has been interviewed for the JISC SIS Landscape Study blog "created to collect evidence about UK HE use of Web 2.0 services in preference to those provided by JISC or HE institutions." Her "case study" is at All the "case studies" are at (Sheffield University library and Jamie Wood from CILASS are also featured)

Sheffield student presents at Arab League workshop

Huda Farhan presented at a workshop on updating and improving the Arab league thesaurus. The workshop was held at the Arab league building, Cairo 26-27 July 2009.

A number of specialists (thesauri development and organization of information) attended the workshop by invitation. Six predefined papers were presented in addition to three new papers requested based on the workshop discussions. The workshop resulted in a suggested framework to update the Arab league thesaurus and a committee of 7 members to follow up the updating process.

Free afternoon event 6th August in Sheffield: Reports from 4 information literacy projects

Centre for Information Literacy Research event: IL in strategies; thesauri; inspiration; schools: project reports
Free afternoon with presentations on three information literacy projects completed earlier this year, and a report of ongoing doctoral work.

When: Thursday 6 August 2009: 1.45pm-4.20pm (Registration from 1.15)
Where: Room 204, Regent Court, Department of Information Studies, University of Sheffield (map at
How to register: This event is *free* but please EITHER notify us on, OR go to and join the Ning community to RSVP, if you want to attend

1.15pm Registration and tea/coffee
1.45 pm Sheila Webber. Introduction: Information Literacy, an evolving concept
2pm Kate Coleson and Chloe Furnival. Developing a thesaurus for information literacy
2.30pm Samantha Abrahams and Hannah Wood: Analysis of Departmental Learning Teaching and Assessment Strategies’ (DLTAS) treatment…

Activities this week

This week Sheila Webber and Professor Sheila Corrall will again be contributing to a number of events.
Tuesday 14 July
Sheila Corrall is chairing a panel session on The future of professional education in which representatives of different LIS sectors will debate the fitness for purpose of current provision and priorities for the future at the Umbrella conference.
Sheila Webber is presenting a paper on Inquiry Based Learning as a First Year Experience at the Learning Through Enquiry Alliance conference taking place in Reading.

Wednesday 15 July
Sheila Corrall is speaking on The changing librarian: librarians of the future at the ARLIS 40th anniversary conference, Tradition and Transformation, in Cambridge.
Sheila Webber is co-presenting (with Keri Gray of Weekes-Gray Recruitment) a session Professional inspiration to join the communities of Second Life at the Umbrella conference.

Thursday 16 July
Sheila Corrall is speaking at RIN/RCUK expert workshop (in London) on improving information-handl…

Surviving the Data Deluge

On Wednesday, 8th July 2009 the Department was host to the Excellence Hub running a successful event entitled, “Surviving the Data Deluge”. Twenty Year 12 students from Harrogate and Bradford attended engaging sessions ran by Mark Sanderson & Paul Clough (Google – how to be a successful search engine), Andrew Cox (The Internet in Everyday Life) and Peter Stordy (Invisible Web). The facilitator for the day, Eli Softley said “… it went really well and the students seemed to have a good time”.

Jodie Walker wins place at Umbrella Conference

MA Librarianship student, Jodie Walker, has won a fully-funded residential place to attend this year's CILIP Umbrella Conference at the University of Hertfordshire on 14-15 July. Jodie's attendance is being funded by the Yorkshire & Humberside section of the CILIP University, College & Research Group. The competition was open to both students and professionals who had not previously attended Umbrella.

Presentations from Professor Sheila Corrall and Sheila Webber

Professor Corrall and Sheila Webber have given a number of presentations recently.

Professor Corrall:
Information Literacy: The Case for Strategic Engagement: Invited presentation to Rector, Chairmen of Scientific and Pedagogic Councils and other professors, Universidade Nova Lisboa, Lisbon, 16 June 2009Hybrid Roles and Blended Professionals: What competencies are needed and how can they be acquired? Plenary address to SCONUL Annual Conference, Bournemouth, 10 June 2009Exploring the Development of Information Literacy Strategies Plenary address to Network of Government Library and Information Specialists (NGLIS) Annual Conference, London, 3 June 2009Sheila Webber:Exploring information behaviour in Second Life. Paper presented at the i3 (Information Interactions and Impact) conference held at Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, 25 June 2009Information Literacy in Second Life: Co-presented with Vicki Cormie and Denny Colledge. Workshop session at the 2009 CoFHE (Colleges of Further a…

Short Course on Chemoinformatics

The short course on Chemoinformatics, run by the Chemoinformatics Group (Val Gillet, John Holliday and Peter Willett) together with colleagues from industry (Richard Lewis, Novartis and Andrew Leach, GlaxoSmithKline) from June 16-19, was a great success. The 24 delegates from around the UK and Europe enjoyed a very intense few days consisting of lectures, extensive practical sessions and excellent evening meals. To quote from one of the delegates: "This has to be one of the best courses I have attended"

Daniela Petrelli Wins Design Study Award

Daniela Petrelli has won a design award to attend the 1st international workshop on Digital Object Memories. The design study, done with Ann Light (Communication & Computing Research Centre, Sheffield Hallam University) and entitled 'Memory Baubles and History Tinsels', beat the competition to the prize of 750 Euros (made available for travel and accommodation). The one day workshop will be held in Barcelona in July, part of a conference on Intelligent Environments. As it happens the design is for means of storing Christmas digital memories in traditional seasonal objects so it will seem rather inappropriate in the Spanish summer sun.

Department ranked high for 2010

The department has been ranked 1st in the Complete University guide, which is conducted in association with the Independent newspaper.

Confirming the department's high ranking status, in the Times 2010 subject lists it was placed 2nd. In the Guardian newspaper, where Library and Information Management departments are mixed with media studies, Sheffield was ranked 3rd. Higher than any other University with a Library and Information Management department.

Information retrieval expert speaks at department

Douglas Oard from the iSchool at the University of Maryland is speaking on "Evaluating E-Discovery Search: The TREC Legal Track".

Douglas Oard is an Associate Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park, with joint appointments in the College of Information Studies and the Institute for Advanced Computer Studies. He earned his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland, and his research interests center around the use of emerging technologies to support information seeking by end users. Dr. Oard’s recent work has focused on interactive techniques for cross-language information retrieval and techniques for search and sense-making in conversational media. He serves as a track coordinator for the TREC Legal Track. Additional information is available at

Civil litigation relies on each side making relevant evidence available to the other, a process known in the USA as “discovery” (and in the U.K. as “disclosure”). …

EAHIL - an international adventure for the DIS

Barbara Sen, along with PhD student Liz Brewster and former MA student Martin Coates (in conjunction with Peter Bath), attended the European Association for Health Information and Libraries (EAHIL) conference in Dublin last week. Liz and Martin presented papers on consumer health information, looking at the role of librarians and the public library, while Barbara gave a workshop on reflection as a technique for improving partnership working.

The theme of the conference was 'explore, engage, extend!' and with a series of empowerment workshops and informative paper sessions, this gave the opportunity to think in a cross-sector, international way about partnership working, using technology and improving personal skills.

Liz wishes to thank the John Campbell Trust for providing her with a travel bursary to enable her to attend the conference.

Information behaviour seminar

There will be a presentation and discussion The Information Environment is Affect-Driven on 21 May, in the Virtual World Second Life (SL). It will be at 12 noon SLT (8pm UK time; 12 noon Pacific time in the USA) and last an hour
Venue: Infolit iSchool iSchool/136/247/21/ (You need a SL avatar and a SL viewer installed on your computer to participate)
Presenter: Dr. Diane Nahl (SL Adra Letov) Professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa) She draws on research into emotional dimensions of information behaviour “A common thread is the finding that emotion is active & influential in every interaction involving the use & sharing of information. Information literacy needs to focus on strategies that enhance affective IL skills"
This is part of the University of Sheffield Centre for Information Literacy Research discussion series

Research student first prize winner

Congratulations to Maryam Nazari, who was awarded the prize in the Iranian Academics Symposium (UCL, London, 25-26 April), for the the best oral presentation in the Arts & Humanities: her talk was on Conceptions of geospatial information.

University of Warsaw visitors

Zuzanna Wiorogorska and Agnieszka Wrobel of the University of Warsaw Library have recently visited us, spending one week with people in Sheffield University Library and one week in the Department. This study visit was arranged under the ERASMUS programme. They have participated in some of our classes, and we (and our students) have also taken the opportunity to learn more about their library.

Peter Bath appointed Associate Editor of the Health Informatics Journal

Peter Bath has been appointed Associate Editor of the Health Informatics Journal (HIJ), one of the leading academic journals in the field.

Recently, Peter has been working closely with the HIJ editorial team to develop special issues of the journal and publish the best papers from the International Symposia for Health Information Management Research (ISHIMR) conferences, which the Departemnt co-ordinates. In December 2008, the journal published papers from the 2007 ISHIMR conference, and the papers from the 2008 ISHIMR conference in Auckland, New Zealand will be published in September 2009.

Details of the 2009 ISHIMR conference to be held 14-16th October in Kalmar, Sweden can be found at the ISHIMR 2009 conference web-site.

The Health Informatics Journal homepage can be found at the Sage Publications web-site.

Strong DIS presence at LILAC Conference

There was a strong presence from the Department at the LILAC (information literacy) conference held last week in Cardiff, Wales.
- Sheila Webber led a symposium about Information Literacy in Second Life (together with Vicki Cormie (St Andrews University), Lyn Parker (Sheffield University), Marshall Dozier and Denny Colledge (Edinburgh University).
- Three of the five free student delegate places were taken by students on our MA Librarianship programme: Samantha Abrahams, Susan Clayton and Katie Fraser.
- Sheila Corrall and CILASS’ Pam McKinney ran a session on Exploring Information Literacy through inquiry.
- Sheila Corrall led the judging panel, which also included Sheila Webber, for the CILASS award for the best paper on Inquiry Based Learning.
- George Davies, a student taking the "Information Literacy Research" module collected data for a project, asking delegates "What book, article or web resource do you think has been the most inspirational for your teaching and learn…

Peter Bath co-authors paper in the British Medical Journal

A research paper by Peter Bath and colleagues in the School of Health Related Research (ScHARR) has been published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ). The paper reports a study to investigate the benefits of providing an information sheet to patients with acute chest pain in an Emergency Department.

The paper was published in the print version of the journal on 21st March 2009 and can be viewed at: the following link

Chemoinformatics group at American Chemical Society meeting

in Salt Lake City, March 21-25.
Richard Martin and Iain Mott both win CINF Scholarships for Scientific Excellence for posters entitled "Wavelet Compression of GRID fields for similarity searching and virtual screening" and "Multiobjective approach to optimising scoring functions for docking" respectively.
Val Gillet presents paper on "De Novo design using reaction vectors: Application to library design" and Eleanor Gardiner presents "Development of test systems for pharmacophore elucidation".

New members for AHRC PRC

Several members of the Department have just been accepted into the Arts and Humanities Research Council Peer Review College, starting in 2009 or 2010: Dr Ana Cristina Vasconcelos, Briony Birdi, Dr Daniela Petrelli, Professor Steve Whittaker and Sheila Webber.

Sheffield student featured in Guardian

“Forget stuffy types in sensible shoes and musty old buildings…today's information professional is also likely to be immersed in the virtual world of search engines, tags and all manner of web-based tools, working in a variety of settings.”

So you want to study ... A master's in Librarianship, Saturday 24 January 2009

MA Librarianship student and AHRC scholar Katie Fraser features in an article in the Guardian on librarianship as a career. Katie was amongst other students and staff from the University of Sheffield, the University of Loughborough and the University of Aberystwyth who offered advice and their eperiences to people wanting to enter the profession.

Katie commented on what the course covers, funding opportunities and job prospects. “It's a field that's changing quite a lot, with new technologies having a big impact and libraries starting to get more involved in providing services like online portals.”

UG student's project work published in prestigious journal

Congratulations to Chadwyn Tann for co-authoring a paper in the Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, one of the best known journals in the field. The paper is titled "Are Web Based Informational Queries Changing?". It describes the results of a survey conducted by Chad into the searching intentions of users. The striking result of the survey is that Google does not appear to be as dominant a search engine as it once was.

Chad graduated from the IS department in 2006 on the BSc Information Management course.

Sheila Corrall at U3A, raising awareness of Information Literacy

On 8 January, Prof Sheila Corrall extended her promotion of information literacy to a new audience with a talk to the Dart Valley Branch of the University of the Third Age (U3A).

Her presentation discussed benefits and problems in gaining access to information via the Internet and World Wide Web, before explaining the concept of information literacy and outlining how library and information professionals in different sectors were helping individuals and communities to become information literate.

Stephen Adams - Myths and misconceptions about patent information

Stephen Adams, of Magister Ltd will be speaking in the department on Thursday the 8th of January at 1pm in room 204.

His talk will address some of the common misunderstandings about the role of published patent information and its place in the wider intellectual property system. The documents are commonly viewed as “difficult” or “obscure”, yet they are amongst the most widely available technical publications in the world, and subject to a high degree of bibliographic control and standardisation. The task of the professional patent searcher is to understand the complex mix of science, law and information retrieval skills which enables the industrial user to make sense of the documents and to exploit their contents effectively.