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Showing posts from 2010

Webber active in Second Life

Sheila Webber has been very active in Second Life. On 9th December she gave an invited presentation on the University of Worcester Second Life island on Second Life and Inquiry Based Learning. There is a video of it here:
The previous day she had presented an exhibition of posters in Second Life relating to an activity in a Masters class "What information literacy means to my future career", which was attended by an international audience. Anyone with a Second Life avatar can visit the exhibition at
Other engagements in November were:
- Being interviewed in Second Life by Eleni Zazani, a librarian from Birkbeck College, as part of a live seminar that Eleni was conducting for staff development at Birkbeck;
- Invited panel guest on the virtual TV programme "Gridwrap", where Sheila was the focus of a 50 minute …

MA Librarianship paper published in Relay

Laura Steel, who completed our MA Librarianship programme in September, has had a paper on Digital Asset Management in University Libraries and Information Services published in Relay, the journal of the University College & Research Group of CILIP. Laura's paper, which was based on an assignment for the Academic & Research Libraries module, has been chosen as the freely available article in the current issue and can be accessed from the CILIP website via

Michael Lynch is the recipient of the 2010 Strix Award

The UK eInformation Group Strix award is an annual award for outstanding contributions to the field of information retrieval and is presented in memory of Dr Tony Kent, a past Fellow of the Institute of Information Scientists (IIS), who died in 1997. Tony Kent made a major contribution to the development of information science and information services both in the UK and internationally, particularly in the field of chemistry.

The Award is given in recognition of an outstanding contribution to the field of information retrieval, and the 2010 recipient is Emeritus Professor Michael F. Lynch for his work on the development of novel techniques for the processing of chemical and textual databases. Prof. Lynch received his award on 29th November at a one-day conference "Celebrating the history of chemical information" that was held at the Royal Society of Chemistry in London.

Talks at Web 2.0 Untangled, and SCONUL conference

Professor Philippa Levy is presenting a keynote speech at the SCONUL conference Proving the case - are our libraries and learning spaces making a difference? being held in London tomorrow. Her talk is entitled Evaluating learning space design: a 'theory of change' perspective.
Professor Levy also delivered a talk jointly with Sheila Webber last week, at the Web 2.0 Untangled conference held at Oxford University. Their presentation can be viewed below.
Starting as we mean to go on: Technology-rich Inquiry Based Learning in the first undergraduate year

Link to Liz Chapman's guest blog on professional librarians

PhD student Liz Chapman has written a new guest blog to the Voices for the Library website, in which she eloquently argues the case for professional librarians, however difficult the current economic climate. See

You may also be interested in the wealth of material now available on the Voices for the Library site (, to which 09-10 MA Lib student Lauren Smith is a key contributor.

Willett on Chemical Information History

Professor Peter Willett is speaking at a joint meeting of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Chemical Information and Computer Applications Group (CICAG) and the CSA Trust in association with the RSC Historical Group: Celebrating the History of Chemical Information on 29th November 2010. Professor Willett's talk is entitled Chemoinformatics: historical development of database methods.

Award from Ordnance Survey

Paul Hurst, who took our MSc IS programme last year took part in the Ordnance Survey (OS) sponsored dissertation programme (Paul was supervised by Dr Paul Clough). Following completion and assessment of his dissertation by OS, he was awarded the full £700 sponsorship. For the first time this year, OS also decided to award a prize to the university department of the top student on the programme. In recognition of the outstanding quality of Paul's dissertation, this prize has been awarded to the iSchool and will be used to improve learning and teaching related to Geographic Information Systems and Geiographic Information Retrieval.

Professor Wilson declared Doctor Honoris Causa

Professor Emeritus Tom Wilson received the award of Doctor Honoris Causa at a ceremony at the University of Murcia, Spain, on 30th September, 2010. The event was timed to coincide with the ISIC conference and participants at the conference were able to attend. Professor Wilson's "Guarantor", or promoter, was Professor Jose Vicente Rodriquez Munoz, Dean of the Faculty of Communication and Documentation.

Webber in Lund, Uppsala, Prague and York

Sheila Webber had an active September and early October with external enagagements. As well as presenting a poster at the Creating Knowledge conference in Bergen (as mentioned in a previous posting), in September Sheila was invited to present on the Information Literate University at Uppsala University and then at Lund University, Sweden. She also gave a workshop at Lund University for librarians and presented at a research seminar in the Department of Arts and Cultural Sciences.
These presentations were all given with Bill Johnston, Strathclyde University, and there is a video of their talk at Lund University at:
At the end of September Sheila was invited to present at the annual information literacy conference in the Czech Republic, on Using Second Life as a learning environment. This is the presentation:
Using Second Life as a learning environment
Finally, in October, Sheila presented a workshop sessi…

ISHIMR 2009 best papers published in HIJ

The best papers from the 14th International Symposium for Health Information Management Research (ISHIMR 2009) have been published in a special edition of the Health Informatics Journal, edited by Peter Bath and Göran Petersson.

The conference took place at Linnaeus University, Kalmar, Sweden in October 2009.

The special issue can be accessed at:

The next ISHIMR conference will take place in Zurich in September 2011.

Health Literacy in Second Life

There is a meeting in the virtual world, Second Life. You need the SL browser on your computer, and to have a SL avatar, to participate.
When: Wednesday 20th October, 12 noon Second Life time, 8pm UK time, see for other times around the world
Where: iSchool/46/28/21/: This is the Information School's Second Life island
What: There is a new "Health Information Literacy corner" on Infolit iSchool in Second Life. It currently has a health literacy quiz by Brielle Coronet, an HIV/AIDS information literacy exhibit by Robin Mochi, and (in the sky) a "Bird Flu" exhibit on a model of the 7 Pillars of information literacy. We will look at these, and also discuss further ideas for the corner.
This is a Centre for Information Literacy Research event.

Wong awarded special mention by LIRG

The Information School's MSc Information Management student Ruth Wong has been awarded a special mention in the The Library and Information Research Group (LIRG) and JIBS 2010 Student Awards, for her paper The scientific impact of the Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre by citation analysis.

Congratulations to Ruth - we'll release more information as it arrives.

Ahmad and Bath research published in British Medical Journal

Research by Rabiah Ahmad and Peter Bath and colleagues has been published in a paper published today in the British Medical Journal. The research article appears online at:

and will be published shortly in the print version.

The research build on research Rabiah Ahmad undertook as part of her PhD, which developed CoRGA (Cox Regression Genetic Algorithm) to identify risk factors for mortality in older people. As part of the Mortality Review Group, Peter Bath and Rabiah undertook additional analyses examining the relationship between hand-grip strength and long-term mortality in older people. The results are included in the meta-analysis presented in the paper.

Webber and Corrall at CKVI

Sheila Webber and Professor Sheila Corrall have been participatng in the Creating Knowledge VI conference 8-10 September in Bergen, Norway. Sheila Corrall ran an invited workshop on Mapping Staff Competencies for Information Literacy Interventions and Sheila Webber presented a poster roundtable on Developing diverse learners’ conceptions of information literacy through different tools and spaces

Gillet and Willett speak at Boston American Chemical Society meeting

Professors Val Gillet and Peter Willett were two of the invited speakers at a
symposium to honour the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Journal of
Chemical Information and Modeling. This is the world's leading journal in
chemoinformatics, and Sheffield was the only institution to be represented
twice amongst the speakers at this symposium, which was held on the 23rd August
as part of the Boston national meeting of the American Chemical Society

Our papers at the World Library and Information Conference

A number of Departmental members are speaking at the WLIC (IFLA conference) next week in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Firstly, in the main conference:

"We are here because you were there": minority ethnic genre fiction in UK public libraries
BRIONY BIRDI (Information School, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom)

Developing inclusive models of reference and instruction to create information literate communities
SHEILA CORRALL (Information School, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom)

The secret diary of Adrian Librarian MOLE. The value of using e-journals to reflect on learning and professional development in the area of management skills development for LIS students
BARBARA SEN (Information School, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom)

Sustaining learning for LIS through use of a virtual world
SHEILA WEBBER (Information School: the iSchool, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom) and DIANE NAHL (Library and Information Science Program, Information…

AHRC research award "Developing deep critical information behaviour"

The Department has been awarded a grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council to study how young people’s ability to develop and engage in deep critical information behaviour – to seek, find, evaluate and use information effectively – might be enhanced.

There is evidence that relatively “surface level” approaches to information behaviour are not uncommon amongst young people at both school and university level. This behaviour is characterised by relatively unsophisticated and ineffective information seeking based on a “least effort” principle, and a relatively uncritical approach to evaluating information in terms of its authority and appropriateness in relation to task needs.

This is problematic in that a deeper (i.e. more reflective and critical) approach to information seeking, evaluation and use has been empirically linked to academic performance, and is key to the development of the independent evidence-based learning and problem solving required to participate fully in wor…

Graduate Kallehauge published in Journal of Information Science

Journal of Information Science has published quantitative research by Jesper Kallehauge, a PhD student who graduated rom the Department in 2008. Jesper's supervisor was Professor Nigel Ford.

The title of Jesper's article is 'Stage-driven information seeking process: Value and uncertainty of work tasks from initiation to resolution' (vol. 36, no. 2, 2010, pp. 242–262, DOI: 10.1177/0165551509360142).


"The stage-driven information seeking process to reduce uncertainty and increase value was systematically validated with real users (n=60) with real work tasks from social sciences and applied sciences domains in a UK and Danish university. A broad set of information sources are applied and core relevance criteria are measured. The research seeked to test the hypothesis that the information seeking process is seen as a dynamic and iterative development to reduce uncertainty through four stages until the problem is solved: (1) problem recognition: kind of problem, …

5th Joint Sheffield Conference on Chemoinformatics

The Department hosts the Fifth Joint Sheffield Conference on Chemoinformatics from 13th to 15th July 2010, in the University's Octagon Centre. More details can be found here:

The conference will showcase the research of the Department alongside presentations from the field's leading researchers from across the world.

Daniela Petrelli giving a talk at the British Library

On Monday 5th July, Daniela will give an invited talk at the British Library in London at 'A Digital Life' research seminar from the 'Personal Digital Manuscripts Project' at the British Library.

The talk will be a reflection on the findings from her research in the context of the EU Marie Curie project 'Memoir: Remembering Things Past', an examination of personal digital objects as the source of memories, most especially autobiographical. The design and impact of digital devices that are integrated in everyday life and enable ready recollection and reflection will be contemplated.

Next Steps

Peter Stordy promoting the department's undergraduate degrees at the 'Next Steps Conference' (Doncaster College - see above) 28th June 2010

IBL, IL and SL

Sheila Webber has had a busy couple of weeks: last week she presented a poster on Second Life and Inquiry Based Learning at the CILASS Summer Festival, a further poster on Developing diverse learners' conceptions of information literacy through different tools and spaces at the Enquiry, Autonomy and Graduate conference held at Sheffield Hallam Conference, and (in the virtual world, Second Life) chaired the final event in the ESRC Research Seminar series on Children's and young people's digital literacies
in virtual online spaces
On Monday Sheila gave a talk, Why use Second Life, at the AULIC (Avon Libraries in Cooperation) Tech Day in Bath, and at the moment she is at the COLIS7 conference in London, where she has presented a seminar paper on information literacy.

Students shape Libraries of the Future

Rachel Bickley (MA Librarianship) and Simon Wakeling (MSc Electronic & Digital Library Management) were invited panel members representing next-generation professionals at a lively session on the future of academic libraries at the SCONUL Conference in Leeds on 17 June. Rachel highlighted the need for sophisticated space management and growth in the teaching work of librarians, while Simon argued that although the future landscape may look quite different, key professional values will persist. Read more about the Libraries of the Future project at

Rich Pictures in Exeter

Wafaa Al Motawah (PhD Student) and Prof Sheila Corrall travelled to the picturesque University of Exeter campus on 21 June to lead a workshop on 'Using rich pictures to investigate issues and solve problems in university and college libraries'. The workshop was part of the 5th Joint Conference of the Colleges of Further & Higher Education and University, College & Research Groups of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) and was inspired by Wafaa's use of the technique in investigating the role of university libraries in supporting the research of graduate students.

12th EAHIL conference, Lisbon

Professor Sheila Corrall, Barbara Sen and PhD student Liz Brewster all attended the 12th European Conference of Medical and Health Libraries in Estoril, near Lisbon in Portugal.

Barbara gave a Continuing Education Course on using group reflection to evaluate projects, which was very well received and enjoyed by participants.

Liz gave her first plenary, entitled "'Read this, it's good for you!': using qualitative methodologies to explore user needs and strategic aims". Feedback from the audience was highly positive, with one person commenting that it was the clearest explanation and rationale for using qualitative methods that he had heard. Liz was able to attend the conference thanks to the generosity of EAHIL and CILIP's Health Libraries Group Career Development group.

Sheila also gave a plenary, providing a framework for development based on positioning the health librarian as a blended professional. This was also well received by the audience, who both enjoye…

21-22 June : 'Memoir' of a Summer Solstice

To sign the end of the Memoir EU project, the Department is hosting a multidisciplinary and international workshop. Humanists, designers and technologists will jointly explore how autobiographical memories can be captured by innovative digital devices and preserved for generations.

Participants are as diverse as: philosophers, psychologists, historians, industrial designers, poets, sociologists, electronic engineers, computer and information scientists.
Guest institutions are: Free University of Berlin, Technical University of Eindhoven - the Netherlands, Helsinki Institute for Information Technology HIIT, Microsoft Research Cambridge, Nokia, General Electrics Digital Energy, Natural Interaction, University of Portsmouth, Manchester Metropolitan University and Sheffield Hallam University.

Major journal publishes Sheffield Librarianship student's dissertation work

Congratulations to Wei Meng Lee, one of our Librarianship students from last year.

Wei Meng Lee is a co-author on a full paper in the Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology; the leading international journal in our discipline. The paper was based on his dissertation work where he analysed a web query log provided by Microsoft Research. Wei Meng was one of our distinction students from last year.

What do Information Management graduates do with their degree?

What do IM graduates go on to do?

How do they experience the transition to working life?

What parts of their course prove most useful?

These are some of the questions that a Departmental project, funded by CILASS,
has set out to answer.

The project on early career stories of IM graduates will be interviewing former
students of the Department. The interviews are being conducted by two current
second year students, Mohammed Al-Daoud and Stephanie Rudd, and the project
manager is Andrew Cox. More information is available @

Sheila Webber in Lisbon and Prague

Sheila Webber was an invited speaker at two conferences recently: the Oiras a ler conference in Lisbon, Portugal on 20th May, and the INFORMA 2010 conference held in Prague, on 25th May. In both cases she was speaking about Information Literacy for the 21st Century: her presentations are here (Lisbon) and here (Prague)

Andrew Cox stars

Dr Andrew Cox has won a University of Sheffield Senate Award for Excellence in Learning & Teaching in the Rising Star category. This is a University-wide scheme that rewards teaching that is judged to be innovative, engaging, inspiring, motivational and supportive. Only a few awards are made in each category annually.

AHRC Beyond Text Grant Award

Jonathan Foster has been awarded a grant by the Arts and Humanities Research Council
as part of their "Beyond Text" programme to investigate the archiving of a performance work by British Artists Blast Theory. The project is called "Riders Have Spoken: Designing and Evaluating an Archive for Replaying Interactive Performances". The project is in collaboration with the Universities of Nottingham and Exeter, and will run from July 2009 to March 2010. Further information is available at:

EPSRC PhD studentship on "Information Appliances" available

Daniela Petrelli has been awarded a EPSRC studentship for a PhD on "Exploring the design, making and use of information appliances for the home"
The PhD is a cross-faculty initiative and is shared with the department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering. Interested students can get in touch, but they must have a background in Computer Science or Engineering and must be UK or EU.

The research is in line with Daniela's most recent research. Have a look at the Family Memory Radio video (papers available at

Visitors from University of Cape Town

Last week were visited by Karin de Jager and Mary Nassimbeni, from the Centre for Information Literacy / Department of Information Studies, University of Cape Town, South Africa. We discussed library and information curricula and our work in information literacy. Our visitors talked about their own work in Information Literacy and libraries, including work with public libraries, school libraries and academic libraries. They met with with staff (including Sheila Webber, Sheila Corrall and Pam McKinney) and students in the Department.

Nashrawan reflects on Network Learning conference

Nashrawan Taha reflects on participating in the 7th International conference on Network Learning []

"The conference was held in a small city in Denmark, Aalborg. It was a very good experience for me to participate in such a prestigious conference and to have had the chance to meet the leaders of the field, such as Caroline Haythornthwaite and also Etienne Wenger, who was the keynote speaker. My presentation was in the first session of the conference and I was the first one to present! I was really glad that Caroline Haythornthwaite, on whose work mine is based, was presenting her paper at the same session as me. I was overwhelmed to have the chance to meet her and discuss with her my research and get her comments and suggestions on my work. On the second day of the conference, I met Wenger and discussed with him few things about his theory (communities of pratice). It was a great honour for me to talk with these famous people in the …

Peter Willett wins Patterson-Crane Award 2010

Congratulations to Peter who is winner of the Patterson-Crane Award for 2010.

The Patterson-Crane Award is a biennial award administered by the Dayton and Columbus sections of the American Chemical Society. The award acknowledges outstanding contributions to the field of chemical information, including the design, development, production, or management of chemical information systems or services; electronic access and retrieval of chemical information; critically evaluated data compilations; information technology applications in chemistry; or other significant chemical documentation.

More details of the award are available at this link.

Peter Bath participates in BCS video debate on Health Informatics

Peter Bath recently participated in a video debate on Health Informatics for the British Computer Society (BCS) / Chartered Institute for IT. The video debate was made to coincide with the annual Healthcare Computing 2010 Conference. During the debate the panel of experts discussed potential career structures in Health Informatics and the NHS National Programme for IT

The video can be viewed on the web site of the British Computer Society.

Sheila Corrall in Portugal

Prof Sheila Corrall travels to Portugal this week to advise the Universidade Nova de Lisboa on the development of its Information Literacy Strategy. During her visit she will also be giving a public lecture entitled 'From Librarianship to the iField: the Development of the Information Discipline'.

Wen-Chin Hsu's research presented at British Geriatrics Society conference

Wen-Chin Hsu, a PhD student in the Health Informatics Research Group, and Peter Bath are presenting Wen-Chin's research on older people use of NHS-Direct at the British Geriatrics Society Spring meeting in Edinburgh on 22nd April.

Wen-Chin's research is a unique study of the calls made by, or on behalf of, older people to NHS-Direct in England and Wales. The research has been undertaken in collaboration with Shirley Large and Sarah Williams from NHS Direct. Shirley is a member of the Departemnt of Information Studies Advisory Panel.

Daniela Petrelli giving three invited talks

Daniela is an invited speaker at the Information Access for Personal Media Archives (IAPMA 2010) meeting, 28th March 2010

She is then giving a talk at Microsoft Research Cambridge, April 2010

and finally was invited to give a tutorial on “Essential HCI for the Semantic Web” at Extended Semantic Web Conference, 30th May 2010, Heraklion, Greece

ESRC Festival of Social Sciences event 18th March

We have an official event in the ESRC Festival of Social Science, Searching, shopping, sightseeing: literacies in virtual lives, organised by Sheila Webber (Sheila Yoshikawa in Secoond Life), with contributions from colleagues in Sheffield University's school of Education. This has official press release at As the press release says "Are you a Second Life resident looking to get a bit more out of your virtual world? If so, join Sheila Yoshikawa at 8pm (1pm Second Life time) on March 18 on Sheffield University's Second Life island, Infolit iSchool, for hints and tips on searching, shopping and sightseeing. The event is part of the Economic and Social Research Council's (ESRC) Festival of Social Science which runs from the 12 to the 21 of March 2010."
Sheila was also interviewed about the event for L'Atelier (…

Graduate Christopher Rhodes wins SLA Europe Early Career Conference Award

Christopher Rhodes, who graduated from the Department of Information Studies in 2007 with an MA Librarianship (distinction) has been awarded an SLA Europe Early Career Conference Award. He will be sponsored to attend the annual Special Libraries Association Conference in New Orleans, USA, 13-16 June 2010. During his time at Sheffield, Christopher was awarded prizes at both departmental and national level. Christopher currently works at the Statistics Resource Unit, House of Commons Library, and is the National Coordinator for New Professionals, Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals.

Six Sheffield Chemo-informatics researchers among the 50 most prolific authors in prestigious journal

Six current and ex-members of the department's Chemo-informatics group are among the 50 most prolific authors in the Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling's 50 years of publishing. Three current members of the group: Peter Willett, Val Gillet, John Holliday; are found in the list along with Michael F. Lynch (now retired) as well as ex members John M. Barnard and Geoffrey M. Downs.

ACCURAT project kicks off

The ACCURAT project run under the EU's FP7 programme started on February 2nd with a kick off meeting in Riga, Latvia. Sheffield is a major partner in the project involving both academics from Information Studies and Computer Science.