Monday, 30 November 2015

Article on climate change co-authored by Dimitrinka Atanasova published in Public Understanding of Science

An article co-authored by Dr Dimitrinka Atanasova, Information School and Dr Giuseppe Veltri, University of Leicester, has been published in Public Understanding of Science. Their article ‘Climate change onTwitter: Content, media ecology and information sharing behaviour’ studied the content, use of sources and information sharing in over 60,000 tweets using automatic thematic analysis, semantic network analysis and text classification. 
Findings about a major role still being played by traditional media come amid increasing media coverage of the United Nations climate conference COP21 taking place in Paris from 30 November until 11 December 2015.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

A Shared Space and a Space for Sharing: Online Health Forums

Professor Peter Bath and Melanie Lovatt from the Information School with Dr Julie Ellis have co-created A Shared Space and a Space for Sharing: Online Health Forums & Digital Exclusion blog in partnership with the Tinder Foundation.

The blog was created following a round-table event held on 10 November 2015 between Peter, Melanie and Julie and the Tinder Foundation to discuss research findings from their collaborative A Shared Space and a Space for Sharing project.

The ongoing study investigates how and why people choose to use online forums to find and share information that helps them deal with difficult circumstances, including long-term health conditions. The event was designed to find out how Tinder Foundation and its local and national partners could promote the use of online health forums among digitally excluded people.

The blog can also be accessed from the Tinder Foundation website.

Article by Professor Paul Clough published in India's Deccan Herald newspaper

An article by Professor Paul Clough of the Information School has been published in today's edition of India's Deccan Herald newspaper.

Paul's article 'Data Scientists are need of the hour' explains the growing field of Data Science and the organisational need for people who have the skills to manage, analyse, interpret and communicate data, in order to extract insight and value.

The Information School Society Presents Internet's Own Boy

Join the Information School Society for a showing of the brilliant documentary film that charts the tragedy of an information activist.

This free event will be held in the iSpace, 4:00-5:30pm today, Thursday 26 November 2015.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

PhD Research - Scholarship Applications Open

The Information School is the leading department of it's kind in the UK, with an international reputation.  We have consistently received the highest rating for our research in the regular Research Assessment Exercises (RAE) undertaken by the UK Higher Education Funding Council. 

We have a vibrant research culture with regular seminars by staff, students and distinguished guests from around the world. There are currently over 70 students from all over the world carrying out research degrees with the Information School.

Find our more about the University's University and Doctoral Academy Scholarships for 2016 and how to apply to the Information School.

Stephen Pinfield to Speak at Baeredygtig Open Access Conference

On 3 December 2015 Dr Stephen Pinfield will speak at the Baeredygtig Open Access Conference, Copenghagen. Stephen will present research carried out with Professor Peter Bath and Jennifer Salter on their work on open access for both a UUK report and other research

Professor Paul Clough and Dr Gianluca Demartini to provide tutorials at the 2015 Search Solutions event

On 25 November 2015 Professor Paul Clough and Dr Gianluca Demartini will provide tutorials at the annual Search Solutions event, London.

The event is organised by the British Computer Society and details of the tutorials can be found here.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Research by Dr Briony Birdi reported in the Sheffield Star

Research by Dr Anna Barton  and Dr Briony Birdi exploring the city’s public library services has been reported in the Sheffield Star.  Postcards asking one question, ‘What does your library mean to you?', were distributed to libraries across the city as part of the project between researchers at The University of Sheffield, the Our Favourite Places guide to Sheffield and the city’s library users.

Further information on the project website can be found here.

Dr Jorge Martins co-chairs mini-track at the Americas Conference on Information Systems

Dr Jorge Martins at the Information School is currently serving as a co-chair of a mini-track on 'Usage of Simulations, Educational Games and Gamification in Education' at the Americas Conference on Information Systems, which will take place in San Diego, 13-16 August 2016. The mini-track is part of the track 'IS in Education, IS Curriculum, Education and Teaching Cases (SIGED)'.

Simulations and games have existed even before the introduction of computers. However, the potentials and drawbacks of using them in education are still not fully understood. The research performed in the field is also complex, the complexities being related to simulations/game/gamification activity design or the complex social and cultural context in which they are used. The purpose of this mini track is to advance research, and to provide a forum that will allow a deeper understanding and knowledge sharing about the relevant issues, opportunities and solutions pertaining to the the usage of simulations, educational games and gamification. It provides an opportunity for educators and researchers engaged to exchange ideas about their experiences and outcomes obtained from integrating serious games, simulations, and gamification in educational settings.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Staff Changes at School

There have been several changes to staffing within the School during 2015.

Firstly, we are delighted to welcome the following new staff.

Dr Christopher Foster has joined as Lecturer in ICT and Innovation. Chris was previously a researcher at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, and his work focuses on the impact of digital technologies and information flows on innovation within organisations. With a background in engineering, IT innovation and R&D, Chris will mainly be contributing to teaching on the Information Systems and Information Management degrees.

Dr Paul Reilly is Senior Lecturer in Social Media and Digital Society and joins us from his previous posiiton as Deputy Director of Research, Department of Media and Communication at the University of Leicester. Paul has a particular interests in the study of online political communication and how social media is used to promote better community relations in divided societies, and he is the author of Framing the Troubles Online: Northern Irish Groups and Website Strategy and work package leader on two EU projects: CascEff and IMPROVER. Paul will be contributing to the teaching of research methods as well as developing a elective module in the area of social media.

Dr Xin Zhao has joined as International Teaching Associate. Xin (also known as "Skye") will be taking a leading role in supporting home and international students including academic, language, pastoral and careers support. Skye has recently been awarded both PhD and MA in Education from the University of Bath.

Harriet Godfrey-Holmes, has joined as Departmental Manager having previously undertaken a number of administrative roles in different departments across the University. Her last role was as Research Manager at the Management School, University of Sheffield.

Teresa Smith has joined as Marketing and External Relations Officer. Teresa was previously a Senior Marketing Officer at Sheffield Hallam University.

Natasja Mycock has joined as Admissions Assistant. Natasja joins us following a career in retail management including running her own business.

We have also said goodbye to several staff: Dr Barbara Sen has recently retired. More details on the contributions Barbara has made to the School can be found here. Dr Robert Villa has returned to Scotland to take up a post at EDINA, Edinburgh University. EDINA is a JISC Centre for Digital Expertise and Online Service Delivery. Peter Rosenberg has retired from the position as Departmental Manager, Rachel Hayes has taken up the role of Student Recruitment Support Manager in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Chris Shaw retired from her position as Admissions Assistant at the start of the year.

Dr Robert Villa left the University on 20 November 2015. Since joining us in May 2010 Robert made a significant contribution to the School and the MSc Digital Library Management Masters degree, Business Management, Business Management and Informatics, Accounting and Financial Management and Informatics degrees.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Dr Alex Peng Shortlisted for the Ernest Davies Award

Congratulations to Dr Alex Peng who has been shortlisted for the Ernest Davies Award for Advancing Parking Knowledge.  This is an industrial award provided by the British Parking Association (BPA).  

This shortlisting decision was made based on Alex's news article on London's smart parking service. The results reported in this article were in turn derived from Alex's smart city project funded by the University's IIKE Early Career Researcher Scheme.

Alex will be attending the BPA Member Dinner on 3 December 2015 where the final winner of this year's award will be announced.


Thursday, 12 November 2015

Would you share your health information online?

Please join us for today's ESRC Festival of Social Sciences event 'Building Trust & Sharing Health Information Online'  organised by Professor Peter Bath.

This free event will discuss how people with life-threatening illnesses share information online and how people trust others. Trust is very important among people with serious illnesses who share personal details online, how do people know who to trust and who not?

Further information on the project can be found here

Date: Thursday 12 November 2015
Time: 6:30-8:30pm (with refreshments served afterwards)
Venue: Crucible Theatre, 55 Norfolk Street, Sheffield
Registration: This free event is open to all, book your place here

Monday, 9 November 2015

Dr Miguel Nunes Awarded High-end Expert National Fellowship, Renmin University of China

Dr. Miguel Nunes has been awarded a High-end Expert National Fellowship at the School of Information Resources Management, Renmin University of China, Beijing (ranked as a top 10 university in China and 1st in Social Sciences).  This National Fellowship is awarded for the period of January 2015- December 2017 by the Chinese National State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs (SAFEA).

Dr Nunes visited Renmin University of China in April and June 2015 and during June 2015 he also attended and chaired a session at the International Conference on Digital Archival Resources organised by the School of Information Resources Management. On a more relaxed and celebratory note, Dr Nunes also attended the 2015 School's graduation and thoroughly enjoyed the interaction with recent graduates and staff.

As part of his duties in Renmin, Dr Nunes will continue to support and help develop the areas of qualitative research methods and information systems change management.  Dr Nunes already has some active engagement with PhD students and young staff members in these areas and is also involved in a number of research proposals to the Natural Science Foundation of China (NSCF) and the British Academy.  Dr Nunes has found the experience of working with staff and students in Renmin University extremely rewarding and positive and looks forward to visiting China again in March 2016.

This is not the first professional engagement of Dr Nunes with Chinese Universities, having been previously Visiting Professor at the Information Schools of Wuhan University and Nanjing University as well as at the Business School of Wuhan Huazhong University. The collaboration with Wuhan University has been particularly productive, resulting in a number of referred academic journal and international conference publications and co-investigator roles in one NSCF and one Wuhan University funded research projects.

Further information on the April visit to Renmin University of China can be found here. Details on the June visit can be found here with more information on the June Conference here.  

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

The Iconic Image on Social Media: A Rapid Research Response to the Death of Aylan Kurdi

Dr Farida Vis, Director, Visual Social Media Lab and Research Fellow at the Information School is working on a rapid research response focused on the images of three-year old Syrian refugee Aylan Kurdi after his body was found on Bodrum beach in Turkey, 2 September 2015.
The report, which will be launched on the 11th of November, involves 15 short contributions from leading researchers and practitioners. The report examines the iconic photographs, taken by Turkish journalist Nilüfer Demir to draw further attention to the Syrian refugee crisis. It examines four main areas:
1.     How social media responded to the image and the ways in which it spread from mainstream media to social media platforms.2.     The impact of the image in terms of political and personal responses and short and longer-term political effects.
3.     The impact of the image on social media from a historical perspective considering the iconography of suffering and press photography. 
4.     Whether the image should or shouldn’t be shown, from a human rights, journalistic and ethical perspective.
An extended summary, ahead of the forthcoming report, can be found here. The work is supported through funding from the ESRC as part of the Picturing the Social project.

Dr Xin Zhao joins the Information School

The Information School is pleased to welcome Dr Xin Zhao who joined today as International Teaching Associate.  Xin (also known as "Skye") will be taking a leading role in supporting home and international students including academic, language, pastoral and careers support.

Paul Reilly published in Information, Communication & Society

Dr Paul Reilly, Information School and Filippo Trevisan, American Unversity, have been published in Information, Communication & Society.  Their article ‘Researching protest on Facebook: developing an ethical stance for the study of the Northern Irish flag protest pages’ can be found here

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Would you share your health information online?

Please join us for ESRC Festival of Social Sciences event 'Building Trust & Sharing Health Information Online'  organised by Professor Peter Bath.

This free event will discuss how people with life-threatening illnesses share information online and how people trust others. Trust is very important among people with serious illnesses who share personal details online, how do people know who to trust and who not?

Further information on the project can be found here
Date: Thursday 12 November 2015
Time: 6:30-8:30pm (with refreshments served afterwards)
Venue: Crucible Theatre, 55 Norfolk Street, Sheffield
Registration: This free event is open to all, book your place here

Briony Birdi interviewed by the Yorkshire Post

On 29 October Dr Briony Birdi of the Information School was interviewed by the Yorkshire Post as part of the Library Stories project.

Library stories was initiated by  Dr Anna Barton  and  Briony as part of their wider research comparing the city’s public library services when they were first created, in the 19th Century, with those today.
Further information on Library Stories can be found here and further information on the project website can be found here.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Calling all Chinese speaking students

Are you looking for opportunities to acquire employability skills and utilise your knowledge of Chinese language and Chinese business culture?

The rapid development of the economy of China continues to provide UK businesses with great opportunities. Lack of knowledge of Chinese language, Chinese business cultures and the Chinese market can be major concerns for UK businesses.

Can you help?
The GREAT Ambassadors (China) Scheme is a new initiative between the government department, UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) and the University of Sheffield.

It aims to link UK organisations that are seeking to develop business opportunities with China with our students who have knowledge of Chinese language, by providing students with work placements with such companies.

The GREAT Ambassadors (China) Scheme offers excellent opportunities for our Chinese speaking students to acquire knowledge of UK business and improve their employability. It will also help them develop UK contacts for their future careers.

Advantages for you?
  • Your knowledge of Chinese language and cultures will help you to compete for placements in a very competitive market.
  • The length of the placements will vary from short term (3 months) to one year. This flexibility could help you to find a placement that ties in with the needs of your course.
  • You can learn about UK businesses; acquire valuable working experience and employability skills in the UK.
  • In the long run, you can develop valuable UK business contacts for your future career.
  • When you return home to progress your career or move to China, you will be the Great Ambassadors of UK and will help contribute to the UK-China long lasting business relationship.
To register your interest or to find out more information e-mail: or telephone: 0114 222 0938

PhD student guest lectures for Digital Research and Social Data Analytics’, Western Sydney University.

In collaboration with Western Sydney University, second year PhD student, Wasim Ahmed, from the Health Informatics Research Group recorded an audio lecture on software that can be used to capture data and analyse data from Twitter. The lecture was provided for a group of masters’ students on the Digital Research and Social Data Analytics (ST1007.1) specialisation.
The lecture was originally disseminated to students in August 2015. The slides are available on SlideShare and have proved to be very popular with over 1,541 views to date. The slides can be accessed here.

PhD student article published on Data Driven Journalism Resource

An article based on a conference paper written by PhD student Wasim Ahmed and Professor Peter Bath, has been published on the Data Driven Journalism resource. The original conference paper compared  the amount of tweets that are retrieved via the Search API and the Firehose API over a 3 day period related to the Ebola outbreak. The article can be found here.