Thursday, 30 June 2016

iSchool Research Seminar - MEM0R1ES: Memory-based Information Systems

MEM0R1ES: Memory-based Information Systems

Dr. Michele Catasta
EPFL, Switzerland

Thursday 7th July | 12 noon (coffee from 11.30am) | Room 204, Information School, Regent Court

In this talk I will discuss the feasibility of memory-based information systems, namely, systems that take into account the idiosyncrasies of human memories. Departing from classical integrated
infrastructures providing static views over heterogeneous sources, we propose to mimic the way our brain stores and accesses information in order to provide a more natural extension of our cognitive functions when it comes to tap into the chaotic piles of digital information that we generate daily.
First, I will present our effort in redefining 3 fundamental information systems, taking into account the way in which human memories work. Namely, we rethought a search architecture over personal data, we devised a new crowdsourcing paradigm (leveraging the Transactive Memory paradigm), and we envisioned a novel Database Management System. In the second part, I will briefly introduce our long-term efforts to gain insights on the human memories in a non-invasive way, by developing appealing software applications that could reach thousands of users. Such work-in-progress has a fundamental importance when it comes to design novel information systems, because it allows us to rank the information based on its memorability. In what is currently called the “information era”, showing only what is memorable to the user could become the key feature to tame the deluge of data we are exposed to daily.

Michele Catasta is a research scientist and lecturer in Data Science at EPFL, Switzerland. During his PhD (EPFL, 2015), he let human memories and information systems have their first dance. To make this debut happen, he added new bells and whistles (human computation, machine learning, psychology) to his original researcher hat (big data analytics, information retrieval, semantic technologies). Michele was in the founding team of, the largest Semantic Web search
engine (now SIREn Solutions). He also worked for MIT Media Lab, Google and Yahoo Labs. In the past years, he received several awards and recognitions - among them, a focused grant from Samsung Research USA.
This event is free and there is no need to register.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Information School at CoLIS conference in Uppsala, Sweden

The Information School has been involved in the CoLIS 9 confererence, 27-29 June 2016.
PhD student Jess Elmore presented a poster on her doctoral research "English as a Second Language learners' information practices: Communicating research to participants."

Jess Elmore at CoLIS 9 conference
Dr Andrew Cox was involved in organising a panel on "What every body knows: the body in information behaviour and information practice", and participated in another entitled "Is there a need for re-claiming search in information literacy practices research?"

Conceptions of Library and Information Science (CoLIS) is a series of international conferences aiming to provide a broad forum for the exploration and exchange of ideas in the field of Library and Information Science, Information Studies, and related disciplines.

More information on the CoLIS 9 conference can be found on their website here. 

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

PhD student Wasim Ahmed published on the LSE Impact blog

A blog post written in collaboration with Information School PhD student Wasim Ahmed, and, the Head of Digital at the University of Sheffield, Stephen Thompson has been published on the LSE Impact blog

Featured image credit: irfanahmad1989 (pixabay public domain)
The blog looks at why organisations are adapting their processes to incorporate social media for crisis communications, and provides a practical overview of the social media tools that can be used to monitor and track crisis communication issues that may arise.

Monday, 27 June 2016

Andrew Cox visits Central China Normal University, in Wuhan, Hubei province

Dr Andrew Cox visited the Information School's former PhD student Xuguang Li, who is now an associate professor at the School of Information Management, Central China Normal University, in Wuhan, Hubei province in China.

Andrew participated in the summer school, teaching the students about Research Data Management.

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Clough and Goodale present at Digital Libraries 2016

Paul Clough and Paula Goodale were co-organisers of, and contributors to, a half day workshop on Accessing Cultural Heritage at Scale on June 22. This was part of the Joint Conference on Digital Libraries 2016: Big Libraries, Big Data, Big Innovation, held at Rutgers University, Newark, NJ, USA. Professor Clough also presented a paper coauthored with Daniel Grech: Investigating Cluster Stability when Analyzing Transaction Logs.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Wasim Ahmed delivers workshop and paper at CIET (2016) in Split, Croatia

In the first collaboration between Zagreb University of Applied Sciences, the University of Split, the Information School, University of Sheffield, and one of the largest food companies in the world, ranked within the top 100 on the Fortune Global 500, Wasim Ahmed successfully delivered a workshop on Twitter analytics at the Contemporary Issues in Economy and Technology (CIET) conference, 2016. The workshop was organised by senior Sergej Lugovic, whom is a senior lecturer in Technology Entrepreneurship & Digital Economy & E-Business.

Monday, 6 June 2016

McKinney presents on information literacy in Reykjavik

On 2nd June Pamela McKinney presented a paper, coauthored with Sheila Webber, at the 8th Creating Knowledge conference, which took place  in Reykjavík, Iceland. It is embedded below.

Friday, 3 June 2016

Wasim Ahmed to run workshop on Twitter analytics at CIET 2016, 16-18 June

Information School PhD student Wasim Ahmed is an invited speaker to the Contemporary Issues in Economy and Technology (CIET)conference, 16- 18 June 2016. The conference focuses on promoting sustainable development through all means of learning, including practical works and research in the areas of economy, engineering, technology and education.

Wasim is a member of the Social Media Research Foundation, a public charity incorporated in California, and his workshop will include practical demonstrations of NodeXL. Wasim’s workshop will also cover working with different stakeholders and his Research Associate role as a social media specialist.

Dr Paul Reilly to Speak at Social Media and Politics 2016 Symposium

On 3 June 2016 Dr Paul Reilly will present his paper ' YouTube, sousveillance and the policing of the 2013 union flag protests in Northern Ireland' at the Social Media and Politics 2016 Symposium, Ulster University, Belfast.

On December 3 2012, Belfast City Council voted to fly the union flag above City Hall on a number of designated days each year. In nearby East Belfast, the moderate pro-union Alliance Party was the subject of a controversial leafleting campaign, which suggested that they were responsible for this change to the previous policy of flying the flag 365 days a year and urged Loyalists to protest against the decision. The perception that the Alliance Party had sided with Sinn Fein during the controversial council vote led to Loyalist protests outside the offices of their councilors, and a series of death threats were issued to Alliance representatives such as MP for East Belfast, Naomi Long. The Ulster People’s Forum, led by North Down activist Jamie Bryson and the South Armagh victims’ campaigner Willie Frazer, was linked to a series of flag protests that disrupted rush hour traffic for short periods in towns and cities across Northern Ireland. While the majority of these protests passed off without incident, the first few weeks of 2013 saw the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) come under sustained attack from rioters in the Short Strand/Lower Newtownards Road area of East Belfast on a nightly basis.
Many of these protests were organised on Facebook pages such as Save Our Union Flag, which have functioned as spaces in which members of the Protestant Unionist Loyalist (PUL) tradition not only share information on upcoming demonstrations but also discuss related issues such as effectiveness of the strategy advocated by the Ulster People’s Forum. This paper focuses on audience responses to sousveillance (‘inverse surveillance’) footage shared on YouTube, which focused on incidents in which the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) was alleged to have been heavy-handed in their policing of the protests. It will add to the debate over how social media may be used to transmit citizen perspectives on civil unrest by reviewing the relevant literature on sousveillance and presenting the findings from a thematic analysis of 1146 comments posted in response to the four-most commented upon videos showing alleged PSNI brutality against the flag protesters. Results indicate that there was little rational debate about the events captured on camera or the controversial decision to alter the protocol on the flying of the union flag over Belfast City Council. Very few commentators perceived this footage as a form of sousveillance with many criticizing the behaviour of the protesters rather than the PSNI. In this way, the mainstream media narratives on the flag protests appeared to be reproduced by these commentators.   

Further information on the symposium can be found on the Social Media and Politics 2016 Symposium website.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

MSc Information Management Course recieves coverage in the The Tribune, India.

The Information School's MSc Information Managment course has been promoted in the Indian press, appearing in The Tribune on 1 June 2016.

Information School Visit to India 5 - 11 June 20156

Dr Jonathan Foster and Teresa Smith of the Information School will be visiting India between 5 and 11 June 2016.

They will visit four cities across India and will be meeting prospective students to discuss the School's range of courses and to allow them to find out why the Information School is the perfect choice for their postgraduate study.

Delhi - 5 to 6 June.
On 6 June there will be an opportunity for prospective students to meet Jonathan and Teresa at Edwise International between 11:00am and 1:00pm and at IPC between 2:00pm and 3:30pm.

Hyderabad - 7 June
Jonathan and Teresa are available to meet prospective students at Edwise International between 11:00am and 1:00pm.

Mumbai - 8 to 9  June
Prospective students will be able to meet Jonathan and Teresa between 11:00am and 1:00pm at Trivedi Educational Consultants  and from 2:00pm to 4:00pm at Edwise International.

Chennai - 10 - 11 June
There will be an opportunity for prospective students to discuss the Information School courses with Jonathan and Teresa at Edwise International between 11:00am and 1:00pm and SI-UK between 2:00pm and 3:00pm.

To find out more about their visit or to arrange to meet them during their time in India, please contact Teresa Smith, Marketing and External Relations Officer, by emailing

Prospective students can find out more information on the range of courses available at the Information School by visiting the Virtual Open Day.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Webber presents on "Trends and Challenges to Future Libraries: Exploring Research Approaches" at #QQML2016

Last week at the International Qualitative and Quantitative methods in Libraries Conference held in London, Sheila Webber gave an invited plenary talk: Trends and Challenges to Future Libraries: Exploring Research Approaches, which is embedded below. In it she presented the challenging future of (academic) libraries, described examples of phenomenographic, ethnograpic, autoethnographic, case study and action research, and finally explained how qualitative research can develop librarians and libraries and enable them to meet future challenges.