Sunday, 30 November 2014

Bath Speaks at eHealth Institute

On Monday 1 December, Professor Peter Bath will speak at the ehealth Institute atLinnaeus University in Kalmar, Sweden.

He will speak on 'Information behaviours – how people seek and use health information'.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Strong iSchool presence at ECIL 2014

The iSchool had strong representation at the European Conference on Information Literacy held in Dubrovnik at the end of last month: Sheila Webber gave an invited talk (with Bill Johnston, Strathclyde University, Information Literacy as a discipline: a contemporary perspective), she chaired a panel session on Relating Research and Practice in Information Literacy (with panelists Dr Ola Pilerot and Professor Louise Limberg (University of Boras, Sweden), and Bill Johnston), was one of the academics providing feedback at the doctoral forum, and also presented a poster, Digital Citizenship: Global Perspectives Across Age Levels, created with Dr Valerie Hill (Texas Woman's University, USA). Two of her PhD students also presented at the conference: Syeda Hina Shahid presented in the doctoral forum on Early findings from a study of information literacy practices in primary schools of Pakistan. Evanthia Tramantza (with Konstantina Martzoukou, Robert Gordon University) gave a presentation on Novel links in embedded librarianship for information literacy.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Inaugural Expert Lecture - The importance of content quality in achieving user search satisfaction

The Information School's Inaugural Expert Lecture will take place on Monday 1 December.

Martin White, Managing Director of Intranet Focus, will present a lecture on 'The importance of content quality in achieving user search satisfaction'.

Martin is an intranet and information management strategy consultant, and information scientist. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) in 2006 for his work in information management for the pharmaceutical industry and serves the RSC as a member of its Publications
Committee and acts as the Chair of the eScience Advisory Group. He is also a member of the British Computer Society, the Association for Computing Machinery (USA) and an Honorary Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, and has been a Visiting Professor at
the Information School, the University of Sheffield since 2002.

His lecture will take place in Sir Henry Stephenson Building, Lecture Theatre 1, at 13:00 on Monday 1 December.  All are welcome to attend,

Friday, 21 November 2014

Partnership Between Information School and Wuhan University Launched

The Information School has established a collaborative partnership with Wuhan University’s School of Information Management.

Wuhan University is a top 10 University in China and a member of Project 211 and Project 985.  The School of Information Management at Wuhan was founded in 1920 and is China’s leading school in the field. Both the Information School and Wuhan’s School of Information Management are members of the prestigious international iSchools movement.

The partnership between the two schools is a collaborative education programme which aims to bring 20 students from Wuhan University’s School of Information Management to study on postgraduate courses in the Information School each year. Students from Wuhan who have completed the third year of the undergraduate degree programme will be able to apply for a place to study on one of four courses taught at the Information School:

  • MSc Digital Library Management
  • MSc Information Management
  • MSc Information Systems
  • MA Librarianship

On successful completion of their course at the Information School, the students will be awarded both an undergraduate degree from Wuhan University and a postgraduate degree from the University of Sheffield.

The partnership was developed by Dr Miguel Nunes of the Information School, over a period of five years. The relationship started with a visit to Wuhan in 2009, hosted by Professor Chuanfu Chen, then Dean and now University Provost, and was further developed through Information School PhD alumni Dr Lihong Zhou, who was supervised by Dr Nunes, and is now Associate Professor at Wuhan.

The partnership will be formally launched in November 2014 when Head of School Professor Val Gillet, Wuhan Programme Coordinator Dr Miguel Nunes and Information Management Deputy Programme Coordinator Dr Angela Lin visit Wuhan University.  They will visit the University on 24 November and will meet with Deans and the Head of the International Office before delivering a presentation to students at Wuhan’s School of Information Management.  Speaking ahead of the School’s visit to Wuhan, Professor Val Gillet said:

“The Information School is delighted to be working with Wuhan University.  We look forward to a positive partnership over the years to come, and to welcoming students from Wuhan during the next academic year.  As one of China’s top information schools, we are also keen to explore other partnership opportunities with Wuhan beyond our current agreement.”

In addition to visiting Wuhan University during their trip to China, Professor Gillet, Dr Nunes and Dr Lin will also visit Nanjing University’s School of Information Management and the School of Information Resources Management at the University of Renmin, Beijing.

Professor Paul Clough on Digital v Paper Maps

With the increase in the availability of digital maps, some may argue that there is not a place for paper maps anymore.

However, Professor Paul Clough of the Information School recently conducted a study which compared online and paper maps.  His study, based on the work of a former MSc student Paul Hurst from the Royal School of Military Survey, found that paper maps still have a key role to play.

The study was referenced in a recent Wall Street Journal article where Paul argued that paper maps still have an important role to play and he specifically mentioned the importance of paper maps over digital ones within the military:

“If you are in Afghanistan or Syria, you can’t have a signal dropout – that would be catastrophic.”

The full article can be found in The Wall Street Journal which is one of the USA’s leading national publications and a top publication worldwide. 

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Professor Peter Bath's Inaugural Lecture

On Thursday 13 November Professor Peter Bath gave his inaugural lecture entitled '"1966 and all that": Donabedians's model of quality applied to health informatics'.

During the lecture Peter discussed his research in Health Informatics over the last 20 years, focusing on his collaborations with PhD students and colleagues in the University of Sheffield. He described his research into the health information needs and information behaviours of patients, their carers and the general public. 

He discussed in detail Wen-Chin Hsu's PhD research into the use of NHS Direct by older people and the results of Healh Ayatolahi's PhD research, undertaken in collaboration with Professor Steve Goodacre from ScHARR, which identified the tension between making patient information accessible to clinical staff in Emergency Departments, while at the same time keeping it confidential. 

Peter also described the study he had collaborated on with the Palliative Care section which involved a study of over 2000 general practices throughout the UK looking at the provision of palliative care for patients. He also went on to discuss the new 'Space for Sharing' project, funded under the Emoticon programme, which is looking at the ways in which people share information in online environments when in extreme circumstances, and the role of empathy and trust in sharing. At the end of his lecture, Peter thanked all the students and colleagues he had worked with throughout his career.

Peter is pictured above with the Information School's Head of School Professor Val Gillet. 

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Using Social Media in Public Engagement

On Wednesday 26 November Dr Farida Vis is presenting a masterclass on using social media in public engagement.  

Farida will be using the successful social media engagement (and various impact measurements) around the recent Picturing the Social: Analysing Social Media Images conference as an example. This one day conference was part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science. 

Early booking is for the masterclass is recommended, and you can book online now.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Digital Archiving as Information Production Seminar

On Tuesday 18 November Dr Jonathan Foster of the Information School will present a seminar on ‘digital archiving as information production: using experts and learners in the design of subject access’. 

This seminar will present a framework that characterizes digital archiving as a form of information production.  The framework is then applied within the context of designing a digital archive for an electronic artwork called Rider Spoke.  The talk will discuss:

  • How students from the Information School at the University of Sheffield were invited to tag video content from the archive, and to develop terms and a vocabulary
  • How a subsequent content analysis on these tags was conducted, and a subject language developed.  The resulting subject scheme for the artwork with seven facets, sub-facets, and examples is then presented. 

The seminar will take place at 13:00 in lecture room RC-204 with refreshments beforehand at 12:30 in the Information School, Regent Court.  All are welcome and there is no need to book.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Vis is participant at the World Economic Forum's Summit on the Global Agenda 2014 in Dubai

Faculty Research Fellow Farida Vis has just come back from Dubai where she attended the World Economic Forum’s Summit on the Global Agenda. The summit offers an opportunity for members of the Global Agenda Councils to meet in person and discuss the most pressing issues identified within their council and connect these to wider global concerns. All councils started their new two-year terms this September:

The Global Agenda Councils make up the world’s largest volunteer network of experts. Every two years the network brings together leaders, pioneers and experts from business, government, international organizations, academia and civil society to provide innovative thinking on critical global issues and incubate projects, events and campaigns for the public good. In the 2014-2016 term, experts will be grouped into 86 councils, each addressing a specific issue. A full list of councils can be found here.

Farida serves (for a second term) on the Global Agenda Council on Social Media, which has 21 members from all over the world. The council is chaired by Emily Bell, Professor of Professional Practice and Director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at 
Columbia University. Together council members will continue to explore social media’s potential by developing a set of standards and metrics to better analyse the impact on society. The council will convene leaders to present them with actionable research and recommendations developed by social media experts, with the long-term aim of harnessing social media for good.

The Dubai summit also officially launched the ‘Outlook on the Global Agenda’, which identifies the top 10 trends for the world in 2015. This blog post by Al Gore provides a useful summary of the key global challenges identified for the next 12-18 months.

Members of the Global Agenda Council on Social Media have identified a number of areas that council members will work on. These include issues around best practices and use of social media for different stakeholders, user generated content (UGC) and the verification of social media data, most notably images, concerns over ethics and privacy, civic participation through social media, international use of social media, and algorithmic accountability.

Farida will lead a project on UGC, verification and ethics and will collaborate with four other council members, including Emily Bell. The group is planning to organise a first event at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism in New York next summer.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Cox Delivers Workshop on Supporting Research Data Services

On 28 October 2014, Dr Andrew Cox provided a workshop on training professional staff to support research data services.  This was delivered during ‘Open Research Data: The Future of Science’ at the École Polytechnique Federale De Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland.

Professional staff in IT, research administration and libraries play a key role in supporting research data management and open access.  Dr Cox’s workshop explored the issues around designing training for existing staff to support research data services.  It provided a framework for participants to reflect systematically about who should be trained, who should do the training, what knowledge and mindsets need to be developed and what pedagogic approach will be most effective.

Participants also explored learning resources that already exist, including those created as part of RDMRose and the concepts behind learning about research data management as a wicked problem.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Congratulations to Emeritus Professor Nigel Ford

On 27 October the Information School gathered to celebrate the career of Professor Nigel Ford and confer on him the title of Emeritus Professor for his "most distinguished services and contribution to the Information School”.

He was also presented with a bound copy of Volume 70 Issue 6 of the Journal of Documentation 2014, which is a special issue festschrift in his honour.  The issue is available online

The festschrift was organised, in secret, by Professors Elaine Toms and Peter Willet and contains articles written by Nigel's current students, ex-students and colleagues.  It even includes one for which Nigel is co-author - it's quite a feat to have kept this a secret!

Both these presentations represent very well deserved tributes to Nigel's outstanding career.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Digital Society Network Event

Following a successful launch event and a research incubator, the University’s Digital Society Network’s next event will take place on 21 November 2014.  The Information School is represented by a number of staff members in the Network, including steering group members Professor Paul Clough, Professor Elaine Toms, Dr Andrew Cox and Dr Farida Vis.

The event offers an opportunity to build upon shared research interests and to progress ideas for collaborative research.  Reports on events and activities supported by the Digital Society Network will be given at the event and details of the next round of calls for proposals to bid for money from the Network will be discussed.  There will also be an opportunity to discuss ideas with the steering group.

More information about the Digital Society network can be found on their website

The event is open to all and refreshments will be provided.  Please contact Dr Andrew Cox by emailing if you would like to attend.