Friday, 30 June 2017

Graduate Intern Blog - Stuart Crowley


As our graduate intern over the last six months, Stuart Crowley has worked on improving our provision for our iLab facility. On his last day in the department, he has written the following blog about his work here.


After my graduation in English Language and Linguistics and an arduous stint of unemployment, I successfully applied to become a graduate intern for The Information School. For the past six months, I was tasked with evaluating and improving the state of the iLab facilities, a research facility with the purpose of observing and analysing human interaction with and without electronic devices. Thus, the iLab can be used to test website design and accessibility as well as analysing social interaction accompanied or unaccompanied by electronic devices – a potential goldmine for innovative and creative research projects.

Before I arrived, the iLab was not always reaching its full potential. To evaluate this, I researched the needs and wants of previous and potential users of the iLab through surveys and interviews. It became apparent that, for the iLab to reach its full potential to be taken advantage of by students and staff, the HCI module that previously used the iLab for teaching must be reinstated. Reinstating this module would also be extremely valuable for students of The Information School, as the methods taught are both compatible and fundamental to the ethos of the iSchool organisation.

Following this, I created a website and user guide for the iLab to ensure a greater understanding and organisation of the facilities as well as in the hopes of increasing the potential usage of the iLab. In fact, in the coming months, three dissertation projects will be conducted in the iLab; one of which will analyse the human use of a computer game.


In the near future, we aim to increase the profile, knowledge, presence and visibility of the iLab online as well as within The Information School, across campus, and further afield. With this intention, I hope that the iLab will reach its full potential to achieve our university’s goal of being a leader in both research and teaching – an intention that should always be at the heart of any university – for the benefit of students and communities, local, national, and global.

While in any programme or scheme that are areas for improvement, this internship has provided me with more skills and varied opportunities than I expected. I would certainly recommend this scheme to future graduates, as you will be provided with development opportunities rarely found in other organisations and schemes.

I would like to thank everyone in The Information School for being extremely welcoming, and particularly those within the Professional Services office in which I have spent a large chunk of my time – I now realise and appreciate to a greater degree how vital their role is in keeping the university running smoothly and effectively to achieve our goal of producing valuable research and teaching.

Stuart Crowley

Thursday, 29 June 2017

MA Librarianship student Lucy Branford-White to attend 2017 G20 summit in Hamburg

MA Librarianship student Lucy Branford-White has been selected as a Policy Analyst to join a team of staff and students going to the G20 summit in Hamburg next month. Lucy has been selected as part of the Faculty of Social Sciences' Global Leadership Initiative, which is part of GLOSS.


The 2017 G20 Hamburg summit will be the 12th G20 meeting. It is planned to be held from July 7th to 8th in Hamburg, Germany.

G20 was initiated in 1999 and consists of Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Republic of Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union (EU).

Before the outbreak of global financial crisis in 2008, G20 meetings of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors were held to discuss international financial and monetary policies, reform of international financial institutions and world economic development. The first G20 Leaders' Summit was held in 2008. In September 2009, the Pittsburgh Summit announced G20 as the premier forum for international economic cooperation, marking an important progress in global economic governance reform. The most recent G20 summit was held in Hangzhou, China in September 2016.

Lucy and other students will write policy briefs and blogs for the Global Policy Journal, pertaining to discussions held at the summit.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

PhD student Jess Elmore receives Mark Hepworth Memorial Award

Information School PhD student Jessica Elmore (co-supervised by Sheila Webber and Dr Peter Stordy) is recipient of the inaugural Mark Hepworth Memorial Award. The award commemorates Professor Hepworth  (1955-2016). 

Jessica received the award for submitting the best abstract to the i3 (Information: interactions and impact) conference. Her paper, which she presents on 29 June at i3, is entitled "Information Sharing in the ESOL (English Speakers of Other Languages) classroom: a case study"

She is shown here with i3 Chair Professor Peter Reid and Professor Graham Matthews, from Loughborough University, where Mark was a faculty member.


Monday, 26 June 2017

Wasim Ahmed and Peter Bath deliver invited talk on social media research ethics at a CERN workshop in Geneva

Doctoral student Wasim Ahmed and Professor Peter Bath, pictured below, from the Health Informatics Research Group, recently delivered a talk at a CERN workshop in Geneva. The talk was based on the industry and academic perspectives on social media research ethics, and the also talk highlighted the approach that has been undertaken by the University of Sheffield. 


Wasim Ahmed, pictured below, also presented a poster on his PhD research during the CERN workshop.



Wasim’s poster was based on his PhD research which is examining how people talk about infectious disease outbreaks such as Swine Flu and Ebola on Twitter. Wasim also touched on the benefits of engaging with research blogs such as the LSE Impact blog.

Dr Elisa Serafinelli presents AESOP Guidelines at IMPROVER workshop

Dr Elisa Serafinelli presented the AESOP Guidelines for effective communication between Critical Infrastructure operators and members of the public during crisis situations at the IMPROVER project workshop that was held at the Joint Research Centre, in Ispra Italy on the 11th and 12th May 2017. Recommendations included: creating platforms and/or channels of communication that can provide feedback about CI operators’ services before, during and after a major incident. The guidelines was published along with the deliverables for task 4.2.















Researchers, operators and the IMPROVER consortium joined forces for two days of presentations, knowledge sharing, and networking. The workshop was also an opportunity to present IMPROVER project activities and results in order to get feedback from critical infrastructures (CI) operators.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Students Representing the Information School at CILIP Conference

CILIP Conference (5-6 July, Manchester) is a highlight of the professional calendar for library and information professionals in the UK, and this year the Information School is delighted to award bursaries for six postgraduate students to attend the conference and share their experiences. Our bursary award-winners are:
  • Hannah Beckitt – MA Library and Information Services Management
  • Erica Brown – MA Digital Library Management
  • Jaimee McRoberts – MA Library and Information Services Management
  • Itzelle Medina – PhD (and previous MA Librarianship student)
  • Lucy Sinclair – MA Librarianship
  • Louise Wasson – MA Library and Information Services Management
All are looking forward to making the most of the conference programme, including excellent keynotes by Carla Hayden, the Librarian of Congress, and Luciano Floridi of the Oxford Internet Institute, and the Your Career track, which is sponsored by the Information School. Watch out for tweets and blog posts from our students about their conference journey via @InfoSchoolSheff.

Information School Lecturer, Paula Goodale, will also be managing an exhibition stand throughout the conference. Drop by stand no.19 to find out about our exciting range of CILIP-accredited PGT courses (campus and distance learning options), and to explore opportunities for PhD research. Our students representatives will also be there so you can find out what it’s really like to study with us!

On Conference Day Two (July 6th) we will also be hosting a careers breakfast seminar, with a focus on networking for new and early career professionals. Everyone is welcome, no matter what your career stage, and Sheffield alumni are especially welcome, as we’d love to catch up with what you’ve been up to since graduating with us.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Dr Paul Reilly published in UK General Election report

Senior Lecturer Dr Paul Reilly has had an article published in a new report on the 2017 UK General Election edited by Einar Thorsen, Dan Jackson and Darren Lilleker from Bournemouth University. This rapid response report features 92 contributions from over 100 UK and international academics.

Paul's article presents some preliminary findings from a study of 1,842 tweets posted during the BBC Northern Ireland Leaders’ Debate, which took place a few days before polling day. ‘ It explores the response of Northern Irish tweeters to statements made by the representatives of the main political parties during the debate.

The article can be accessed here and the full report is available to download from here

Friday, 16 June 2017

Special issue of AJIM journal honours late Information School alumnus Mark Hepworth

The latest edition of the Aslib Journal of Information Management is a special issue honouring Mark Hepworth, Emeritus Professor at Loughborough University and an alumnus of the Sheffield Information School, who died on 21 December 2016. For many years he pushed forward the boundaries in studies of people's information behaviour and experience.

To honour Mark's contribution to library and information science, his friends, colleagues and students contributed articles to the issue, reflecting topics that characterised his career: health information, development studies and information behaviour.

Mark studied an MSc in Information Studies at the Information School before moving into a career that took him from industry into academia. He worked at Datasolve Limited in customer support care before becoming Business Development Manager for the Pearson/Financial Times group. He was appointed Senior Lecturer at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore in 1993 where he helped to develop a new MSc programme in Information Studies. He finally moved to Loughborough University in 1999 where he was eventually promted to Chair in People's Information Behaviour before retiring in 2016. His research at Loughborough concentrated on how people interact with and use information to enable them to achieve their objectives.

You can read the special issue here.

Wasim Ahmed represents Information School at expert panel at London School of Economics and Political Sciences (LSE)

The ‘Assessing the Value of Blogs and Social Media to Research Communication and Impact’ panel was held at LSE on Wednesday 14 June at 5.00pm. The panel featured doctoral student Wasim Ahmed, from the Information School.

The event was very well attended with over 70 delegates. Wasim noted that engaging with social media and blogs has the potential to generate more interest in academic work.

Picture as the panel was underway. Credit: Carlos Arrébola
Other panellists for the sessions included Kieran Booluck (Editor, LSE Impact blog); Chris Gilson (Editor, LSEUSAPP blog); Kathy Christian (Altmetric); Professor Daniel Miller (UCL ‘Why We Post’); Cheryl Brumley (The Economist); and Sierra Williams (Peer J). The panel was chaired by Amy Mollett (LSE Social Media Manager).

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Pam McKinney receives Faculty teaching award

Information School Lecturer Pam McKinney is one of only a small number of Faculty of Social Sciences staff to win a 'Teaching Excellence in Social Sciences (TESS) Award for Outstanding Practice in Learning and Teaching' this year.

The award follows research-informed teaching methods she has employed, especially around group work. You can read some of her research on the topic in her paper 'The use of technology in group-work: a Situational Analysis of students' reflective writing.'

Director of Learning and Teaching for the School, Dr Peter Stordy, has this to say:

"Pam is an inspiring and reflective teacher who is highly respected by both staff and students. She consistently attracts glowing comments in student module evaluations and motivates students to produce a high standard of work. Her tenacious determination to provide genuine opportunities to develop students' employability and team work skills distinguishes her from other excellent teachers. Furthermore, Pam continually is at the 'cutting edge' of teaching, maximising opportunities to improve the student learning experience 

These achievements have led to seven outstanding learning & teaching peer reviewed journal papers and a vignette related to reflective writing, teaching information literacy and group work. A Faculty Award is well-deserved."

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Dr Paul Reilly interviewed on BBC Radio about social media

Senior Lecturer Dr Paul Reilly was interviewed this week on BBC Radio Leicester's Jonathan Lampon show on the topic of oversharing on social media.

You can find the show here - skip ahead to 2:44:30 for Paul's interview.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Information School staff awarded Faculty Learning & Teaching Award for Library & Information Services Management programme

Professor Stephen Pinfield, Dr Briony Birdi, Dr Sheila Webber, Pam McKinney, Peter Holdridge and Paula Goodale have been awarded a Teaching Excellence in Social Sciences Award for Outstanding Practice in Learning and Teaching' by the Faculty of Social Sciences.


The award recognises the team's delivery of our innovative distance learning programme, MA Library & Information Services Management.

The award will be presented at the TESS End of Year Celebration event later this month.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Information School hosts Faculty-funded event - Researching Social Media: A Theoretical and Practical Overview

Doctoral candidate Wasim Ahmed, in collaboration with Chrysi Dagoula from the Journalism Department hosted an event at the Information School on Tuesday the 30th of May on the theoretical and practical aspects of social media research. The event was attended by delegates from across the UK ranging from PhD students, post-doctoral researchers as well as a number of senior academics.

Dr Andrew Cox congratulates co-organiser Wasim Ahmed for successfully running the event 

Dr Andrew Cox, Senior Lecturer, introduced the event and highlighted its interdisciplinary nature and thanked the Faculty for funding the event. The event also featured a talk by Sally Sanger whose PhD looks at alcohol online support groups. Event organisers would like to thank Xiaomei An for taking pictures of the event throughout the day.