Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Dr Jorge Martins is visiting the Finland Futures Research Centre, Turku School of Economics

From 14th to 25th January Dr Jorge Martins is visiting the Finland Futures Research Centre at the Turku School of Economics, University of Turku, Finland.

Jorge is hosted by Professor Markku Wilenius, who is an Advisor to the ESRC-funded Regional Technology Foresight project. Markku is Professor of Futures Studies and UNESCO Chair in Learning Society and Futures of Education.

Turku School of Economics

Finland Futures Research Centre

Jorge’s visit to the Finland Futures Research Centre will strengthen collaboration and knowledge exchange on a number of key areas of research: methodological approaches to foresight studies, organisational futures, industry 4.0 and smart specialisation.

During his visit Jorge will give three presentations of his work to academic colleagues and students at the Finland Futures Research Centre and the Turku School of Economics:

  • Regional Technology Foresight: linking foresight to the innovation capability of regions – at the Helsinki and Turku offices of the Finland Futures Research Centre; 
  • Knowledge collaboration routines at the organisation-region boundary: a Community of Practice approach – at the Turku School of Economics.

Friday, 18 January 2019

Digital Media and Society poster session

This week saw a poster session for the Faculty of Social Sciences BA Digital Media and Society students, a cross-department programme to which the Information School contributes two core modules.

The posters are the result of a 2 week 'group challenge' in which students had to develop a proposal for a digital media campaign aimed at raising awareness about how personal data are gathered from online sources to be analysed and used by different people for different purposes.

Well done to all the students involved, and particularly the winners of the Best Poster award, seen below!

Group 10, winners of the Best Poster award: Shuyue Deng, Yoonho Jeong, Su Hyun Kim, Luyi Ma and Jianuo Wang
Group 4, runners up: Shu Ki Cheung, Qinghanyue Li, Yijie Lin, Eun Phil Lee, Huiting Zhao and Shafei Zhuang

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Professor Stephen Pinfield to visit Sun Yat-Sen University

This week Professor Stephen Pinfield is visiting Sun Yat-Sen University in China. Whilst there, Stephen will be giving three lectures on recent research projects in which he has been involved and also discussing research collaboration opportunities. Stephen is hosted by old colleagues Miguel Nunes and Alex Peng, who are both Professors there; Miguel is Dean of the Information School.

The three lectures that Stephen is giving on his visit are as follows:

Open-Access Mega-Journals and the Future of Scholarly Communication (research conducted with Claire Creaser, Jenny Fry, Valérie Spezi, Simon Wakeling & Peter Willett):
Open-access mega-journals (OAMJs) represent an increasingly important part of the scholarly communication landscape. OAMJs, such as PLOS ONE and Nature’s Scientific Reports, are large scale, broad-scope journals that operate an open-access business model, and which employ a novel form of peer review, focusing on scientific ‘soundness’ only and not judgments of novelty or importance. This presentation will report the results of a major mixed-methods research study recently carried out on mega-journals, examining key issues including business models, peer review, and disciplinary community (and other stakeholder) responses to key developments. It will discuss some of the empirical evidence, theoretical models and practitioner responses generated by the project. The contribution of OAMJs to the wider Open Science agenda will also be considered.

Mapping the Future of Academic Libraries (research conducted with Andrew Cox and Sophie Rutter):
Academic libraries currently operate within and contribute to a rapidly changing environment. This presentation will summarise the findings of a recent report which aimed to map out the landscape in which libraries are now operating, summarising a set of major nexuses of trends which are transforming the role of libraries. A set of key challenges and opportunities libraries face in this context will be discussed, as well as how they can position themselves to best contribute to the work of their institutions in future. The need to create and communicate a compelling vision of the library’s current and future role in the institution is seen as crucial. At the same time, libraries and library professionals need to be ready to change, and to work in collaboration with others outside the library, whilst at the same time promoting the library’s own unique contribution. The report challenges traditional library ‘mantras’, such as relying on the library’s ‘strong brand’, which often go unquestioned, and suggests new paradigms for thinking about library futures which can feature in strategic planning. Follow up work by the research team on library orientations in relation to the future, strategic modelling, and libraries and AI will also be mentioned.

Research Data Management Maturity and University Libraries (research conducted with Andrew Cox, Mary Anne Kennan, Liz Lyon and Laura Sbaffi):
University libraries have played an important role in constructing an infrastructure of support for Research Data Management at an institutional level. This presentation will report a comparative analysis of two international surveys of libraries about their involvement in Research Data Services conducted in 2014 and 2018. The aim was to examine how services had developed over this time period, and to explore the drivers and barriers to change. Services in nearly every area were more developed in 2018 than before, but technical services remained less developed than advisory. Progress on institutional policy was also evident. However, priorities did not seem to have shifted significantly. Open ended answers suggested that funder policy rather than researcher demand remained the main driver of service development and that resources and skills gaps remained issues.

Thursday, 10 January 2019

Winter Graduation and Honorary Graduate Ciara Eastell

This week from Wednesday 9 - Friday 11 January 2019 winter graduations are taking place for postgraduates. It's a time to celebrate the success of our students as well as the dedication and hard work of colleagues from across the University. Graduands from the Information School will graduate at 12:30 on Friday 11th January.

From those who have taught, supervised and supported our students, to the people working to make sure everything runs smoothly behind the scenes on the day, thank you for the part you have played in helping our students enjoy this special moment with their families and friends.

Attending the ceremonies alongside our students are six prestigious honorary graduates, among them current staff and alumni of the University who have achieved extraordinary things. One honorary graduate is  Ciara Eastell, one of the UK’s leading public librarians.

"I am delighted that Ciara Eastell has been awarded an Honorary Degree (Doctorate of Letters) from the University of Sheffield in recognition of her work supporting the role of libraries in disadvantaged areas", says Professor Peter Bath, Head of the Information School. "Ciara completed her MA in Librarianship in the Information School (then the Department of Information Studies) in 1994 and went on from there to become the first Chief Executive of Libraries Unlimited and President of the Society of Chief Librarians (SCL)."

"She was also Head of Libraries, Culture and Heritage for Devon County Council and in 2017 she was appointed OBE in the New Year’s Honours list in recognition of her national contribution to public libraries."

"The School is very proud that Ciara has been awarded the Honorary Degree by the University.”

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Paul Fenn to present at SocMedHE18

ICT Manager and PhD candidate Paul Fenn will be presenting at the Social Media for Learning in Higher Education Conference on the 9th January.

Social media is now part of “the mainstream” but in terms of Higher Education it is the mainstream of marketing and selling education or an integral part of the mainstream of learning and teaching through developing digital confidence, capabilities and critique. 

The SocMedHE18 conference provides open spaces to share, discuss and develop notions of what and why we currently do, what we could do and what should we do next with social media within an Higher Education learning and teaching context.

Paul's session will be titled 'Exploring the impact of institutional policies on the use of social media in UK HE teaching'.

'The above will focus on my PhD, started Jan 2019', says Paul. 'At the conference presentation I will be discussing my research objectives, research methods and discuss part of my PhD research in terms of scoping social media guidelines to investigate policy accessibility and Social Media use in and outside the classroom.'

Follow the hashtag #SocMedHE18 on Twitter for more.