Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Web Health Information Lecture

The second 24 Hour Inspire Event takes place at the University of Sheffield on Thursday 27 and Friday 28 March 2014.

Professor Peter Bath of the Information School will be giving a lecture as part of Friday’s programme of activities entitled “Trust me, I’m a website: problems and pitfalls of patients using health information from the web”.
Many of us know someone who has been diagnosed with a serious illness and when people receive a diagnosis they may need information to help them through the illness.  Many patients use the web to find this information and, increasingly, people share information about their condition using social media and blogs. While this can be helpful, not all of the information on the web can be trusted and Peter’s lecture will discuss some potential problems of obtaining health information from the web.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Funding awarded to Dr Jo Bates and Dr Farida Vis

Congratulations to Dr Jo Bates and Dr Farida Vis of the Information School who have recently been awarded funding for some of their work. 

Jo has been awarded funding in collaboration with Professor Hamish Cunnigham (Department of Computer Science) and local artist Bo Meson, for a two day Festival of the Mind event called ‘Open Data | Open Hardware: Resilient Cultures’.
With the advent of cheap, easily configurable computing devices (of which the UK's Raspberry Pi is the most prominent example), and the opening of significant amounts of data for anyone to use and re-use, the boundary between creative culture and information engineering is re-opening. 

The event, which will be held on Friday 19th and Saturday 20th September, will celebrate developments in open hardware, open data and maker culture.  It will bring together collaborations between extraordinary performance, science and engineering practitioners with around a dozen exhibits plus a regular stage show. 

The exhibits will feature two Information School projects: Farida Vis’ work on open allotment data and everyday growing cultures; and Jo’s project on the Secret Life of a Weather Datum for which an exhibit on building your own Raspberry Pi weather station and contributing your data to the Met Office Weather Observations Website (WOW) will be developed. 

Farida has received USE Enterprise Curriculum Development funding which will be used to enhance her module on Research Social Media by inviting guest speakers and providing student placements. Key stakeholders from government, policy and the commercial sector will be invited to present guest talks and ‘pitch sessions’ so that students get a better understanding of the real world scenarios they might apply their skills to.  This will help them to think more concretely about the final assignment they submit for the module.  It will also allow them to think about how they might explore this as part of their dissertation projects and wider studies.   

The module will also be enhanced by creating a number of placements for the strongest and most motivated students.  These placements will take place in summer 2014 and will be completed over one to two weeks.  The project placements will be with a number of government departments both in London and in Sheffield as well as wit leading social media analytics company Face.  The placements provide standalone opportunities for students, though for some they may fit with their wider studies or dissertation projects.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Upcoming Libraries Project

Briony Birdi of the Information School and Anna Barton of the School of English at the University of Sheffield are set to collaborate on an Arts Enterprise project, which was recently funded by the Faculty of Arts and Humanities.  

The project is entitled 'Sheffield public libraries: now and then'.  It aims to explore the origins of the free library network in Sheffield and to consider the use and value of these public spaces both at their inception and today.  It will make use of the extensive records of the public library's founding committee and the original library visitor’s books held by Sheffield Archives, alongside visual, verbal and textual footage of the libraries today.  This will be used to create an exhibition, a publication and a permanent online record that will serve as an interactive document of the library's ongoing legacy at a crucial time for the public library system in Sheffield.  The work will be carried out between September 2014 and April 2015.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Improving the Student Experience

Dr Peter Stordy and Dr Andrew Cox of the Information School have been awarded funding from the University of Sheffield’s Faculty of Social Science for a project which aims to generate new sustainable ways in which the Information School Student-Staff Committee members can bring about a better student experience. 

This project began in February 2014 and is based upon Appreciative Inquiry (AI).  AI is a strengths-based approach to change and aims to look towards the future and make changes and improvements based upon positive experiences and strengths. 

To date, the project team of staff and students has explored the learning experiences which students have found to be positive and memorable during their time in the Information School.  These in turn have been used to help shape and inform student wishes for the future which will help to change and improve the student experience.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Information Literate University

Sheila Webber's work with Bill Johnston on the Information Literate University is the lead feature in the latest Institute for Learning and Teaching newsletter of Okanagan College, Canada. Sheila, who is Director of the iSchool's Centre for Information Literacy Research, and Bill (Honorary Research Fellow at Strathclyde University) were invited by Okanagan librarian Jennifer Sigalet to provide the keynote for this issue, which focuses on information literacy. Jennifer had previously attended an invited workshop run by Sheila and Bill on Building the Information Literate University at the University of Alberta, Canada in 2011. Jennifer said "Your workshop inspired the theme of this issue and your lead article created a perfect framework and focus for the topic! The process of involving many interested contributors to this issue has been a step towards helping create an awareness of information literacy at our institution and stimulating an awareness of building an information literate institution. ... This is exciting!" The issue can be accessed from
Photo by Sheila Webber: information literate cupcakes

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Information School Represented at iConference 2014

The 2014 iConference takes place in Berlin between 4 and 7 March.  2014 is the first year in which the Conference has taken place in Europe and a number of staff members from the Information School will be attending to speak and deliver sessions. 

These include a session on research data management in the UK Higher Education sector by librarians, IT professionals and research administrators; and discussions on working in the health information profession and exploring PATHS in the context of user characteristics and construction of cultural heritage narratives. 

More information can be found on the iConference website.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Royal Geographical Society Recognises Dr John Holliday

Dr John Holliday of the Information School has been awarded the Royal Geographical Society GIScience Research Group Masters Dissertation prize for the dissertation completed in his recent MSc Geographical Information Systems at Leeds University.   

His paper appeared in the recent edition of the Journal of Information Science which marked the 50th anniversary of Information School and was guest edited by Professor Peter Willett of the Information School.