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Blog: Can robots help tackle loneliness?

Can robots help tackle loneliness?Dr Dave CameronIt was announced this week that Robots to be used in UK care homes to help reduce loneliness. Dr Dave Cameron gives his thoughts on robots tackling loneliness.
What do you make of “companion robots”? Do you think they really could be the solution for curing loneliness in old age? Companion robots have a real potential as a research tool to better understand how people interact with each other and how social interactions progress. Their use in supporting people who are lonely is admirable but a lot of the ground work still needs to be done.I don’t think loneliness in old age could be solved just by using companionship robots. Companion robots may help though: they can provide entertainment, comfort, or distraction from loneliness, similar to other media, but not tackle the issue itself. They can offer a simulation of a relationship but that experience may be closer to the social connection felt when listening to a podcast or watching TV th…

Blog post: My new role at the Society for Spanish Researchers in the UK

Blog post: My new role at the Society for Spanish Researchers in the UK Dr Antonio de la Vega de Leon

Last week I became the secretary of the Society of Spanish Researchers in the UK (SRUK) and I am excited for the role (and a bit overwhelmed). I first met members of the Society shortly after I came to the UK in 2016, thanks to a science outreach event they had organised at the University of Sheffield. Since then, I became more involved with them, helping organise science outreach events throughout Yorkshire and making many friends. Before taking the role of general secretary, I was the secretary of the Yorkshire constituency for two years.

The Society has given me much over the years. My first research supervisory experience was with Elisa, an undergraduate student from Madrid that stayed with us at the iSchool for the summer funded through a SRUK mobility programme. I had the chance to visit the Spanish Embassy for the Emerging Talent Award they organise. I have also gained experie…

Blog: My year as a Data Science student

Blog: My year as a Data Science student Syeda Gulnoor Zahra  Data Scientist has been classified as the ‘sexiest’ job of the 21st century by the Harvard Business Review. This explains its popularity and hype all around the world. MSc Data Science is also one of the most popular courses offered by the Information School (iSchool) and has a higher eligibility criterion than other courses to ensure the quality of the course. The iSchool at The University of Sheffield has been ranked Number 1 in the UK. Choosing to study this course at iSchool has proven to be one of my best decisions. Hence, I would like to take this opportunity to share my experience with you as both an MSc Data Science student and as a Student Ambassador at The University of Sheffield. 
The course offers many interesting and technical modules. Out of which, my favourite ones have been Data Visualization, Database Design, Big Data Analytics and Data Mining (Machine Learning). From learning multiple software, computing p…

Media: iSchool Video Blog with Professor Peter Bath

Media: iSchool Video Blog with Professor Peter BathProfessor Peter Bath


Interview with Peter Bath, iSchools European Regional Chair, University of Sheffield - #4 from iSchools Inc on Vimeo.iSchools European Regional Chair and Executive Committee Member, Prof. Peter Bath, discusses the effects on working practices for academics during the COVID-19 pandemic and explains how it impacts his research and supervision of his PhD students.

New Book: Open Access in Theory and Practice

New Book: Open Access in Theory and PracticeProfessor Stephen Pinfield

A new book, By Stephen Pinfield, Simon Wakeling, David Bawden and Lyn Robinson has been published today in hardback and Open Access form. 
Professor Stephen Pinfield worked with alum, and former member of staff, Simon Wakeling and colleagues from City, University of London. 
Open Access in Theory and Practice investigates the theory-practice relationship in the domain of open access publication and dissemination of research outputs.
Drawing on detailed analysis of the literature and current practice in OA, as well as data collected in detailed interviews with practitioners, policymakers, and researchers, the book discusses what constitutes ‘theory’, and how the role of theory is perceived by both theorists and practitioners. Exploring the ways theory and practice have interacted in the development of OA, the authors discuss what this reveals about the nature of the OA phenomenon itself and the theory-practice relations…

Press: University support package hailed as 'creative and clever'

Press: University support package hailed as 'creative and clever'Professor James Wilsdon

A university bailout package announced by the government in the wake of the coronavirus crisis has been welcomed by research policy analysts.
Announced on 27 June by business secretary Alok Sharma, the package includes loans to make up for the unexpected loss of a cross-subsidy from international students, plus £180 million to support salaries and laboratory costs.
James Wilsdon, a professor of research policy at the University of Sheffield and director of the Research on Research Institute, told Research Professional News the package was “very welcome”.
Read the rest of the article on Research Professional News here.

Press: ECR Interview: Empowering the arts sector to tackle inequalities through data

Press: ECR Interview: Empowering the arts sector to tackle inequalities through dataDr Susan Oman

Our Lecturer, Data, AI & Society, Dr Susan Oman, has had some of her research highlighted by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
In partnership with Arts Council England, Dr Oman developed a new process to improve inequality measurement, including class background, in the UK cultural sector. Through funding from AHRC’s Creative Economy Engagement Fellowship scheme, Dr Oman’s research triggered the creation of a new network of arts and culture professionals working in publicly funded institutions which offers support in gathering and analysing Equality, Diversity and Inclusion related data.
Read more here.

Blog: My Year as a Library and Information Services Management Student

Blog: My Year as a Library and Information Services Management Studentby Rachel Colley

I’ve just finished my first year of my Master’s degree which is a Library and Information Services Management degree. This course has been challenging but in a way that has pushed me further in my academic studies. It has allowed me to write various types of assignments that I have not had experience of writing before in my undergraduate degree. These experiences have shown me that I am capable of more than I thought of when it came to my academic studies and assignments and what I have achieved because of this over the past year. 
Two of my favourite modules that I have had so far have been the Libraries, Information and Society as well as Leadership, Strategy and Change modules. These modules have both taught me in detail how the mechanisms of libraries work with the key different aspects along with how the management structure works within the library and information services setting as well. These…

Survey: Tools for Life Research Project Seeking Views on Patient Data

Tools for Life Research Project Seeking Views on Patient Data Dr Sarah Hargreaves

We are inviting members of the public, patients, and health professionals to take part in interviews which aim to explore what people think about sharing patient data/medical records for purposes beyond their individual care, e.g.for research to improve treatments or healthcare service. We are looking for people aged 25-44 or 65 plus and from a range of different backgrounds to take part.
Your participation would involve being interviewed to find out your opinions about sharing your patient data/medical record. The expected length of the interview is about an hour. This would take place at a data/time of your choosing, and via the telephone, or skype, or google hangouts.
To say thank you for your time, all participants will receive a £30 Amazon voucher which will be emailed to you after the interview.
If you have any questions about the study and to receive an information sheet with further details please con…

Survey Results: University library support to student mental health and well-being during COVID-19

Survey Results: University library support to student mental health and well-being during COVID-19Dr Andrew Cox


Andrew Cox and Liz Brewster (Medical School, Lancaster University) undertook a survey of how university libraries are supporting student mental health and well-being during COVID-19. 
The survey was open from 18th to 29th May 2020.
This is a brief report on some of the main results of the survey.
There were a total of 59 valid responses, representing 49 different institutions (some institutions gave more than one answer). Two were from outside the UK. For the purposes of this short initial report we have not de-duplicated responses. Of the responses 17 (29%) were from library directors and 13 (22%) from staff with a particular responsibility for the subject. 
We are offering limited interpretation of the data at this stage. Watch this space for a pre-print of the paper using the survey.
We would like to thank everyone who participated in the survey, and those who helped distribute…

Research Seminar: Back to better? post-pandemic challenges for research cultures, policies and prioritisation.

Research Seminar: Back to better? post-pandemic challenges for research cultures, policies and prioritisation.Professor James Wilsdon

** Please note that you will be sent a web address for this seminar on June 29th**
Book your place here.
Among the myriad disruptions and uncertainties of the Covid-19 pandemic, now rippling across all aspects of our social and institutional lives, within research systems, the crisis has triggered some rapid innovations in funding, peer review, dissemination and communication.
What evidence and insights can we draw from these responses to help in strengthening research systems and cultures over the longer term? Can we identify wider lessons for processes of research prioritisation; for the use of rapid or flexible funding mechanisms (e.g. https://fastgrants.org/ & the Covid-19 Therapeutics Accelerator); for wider process innovations (e.g. in collaboration, review and open research); and for longer-term changes to research practices (e.g. more digital mo…

Press: Understanding Europe’s Fashion Data Universe

Press: Understanding Europe’s Fashion Data UniverseDr Alessandro Checco

We are pleased to share coverage of the School's FashionBrain project on CORDIS website. The feature has been published in six languages. 
Using technology and big data, a team of European researchers is developing a number of tools to help fashion retailers improve the customer experience... You can read the article here.

Research: The Information Worlds of Informal Carers

Research: The Information Worlds of Informal CarersFrom Inform II Magazine

June 8th-14th 2020 marks Carers Week and we're taking a look back at some research featured in our Inform II Magazine about The Information Worlds of Informal Carers by Sheila Webber and Dr Pam McKinney. 
Here is the original article written by Richard Spencer, Sheila Webber and Dr Pam McKinney:
The combination of an ageing population, and the increasing frequency of people moving around the country to follow their ambitions is causing untold numbers of people real difficulties when it comes to caring for their elderly or infirm relatives whilst in different locations. ‘The original stimulus for the research was my experience of caring for my own mother at a distance’, says Senior Lecturer Sheila Webber, who is researching these issues with Dr Pam McKinney. ‘She was in Sussex whilst I was in Sheffield, and although I consider myself information literate, I was very stressed by the information problems I was ha…

Blog: My Year as a Librarianship Student

Blog: My Year as a Librarianship StudentBy Bethan Morgan

Whilst being in the midst of impending deadlines and the dread of job applications, I thought it would be a good opportunity to reflect on my year as an MA Librarianship student and a student ambassador for the Information School. Although it is fair to say that certain events (aka a global pandemic) have meant that my experience has been far from normal, it has nevertheless been a highly enjoyable and rewarding year. 
I have to say that I was slightly perplexed to be given a box of lego during the first session of ‘Information Organisation’ in Semester 1. However, it very quickly became entirely natural to start arranging the bricks into different categories on a table in the library (probably resulting in a few strange looks). I think this best sums up what I liked most about the course, which is the range of teaching methods and assignments within each module. For example, for ‘Information Literacy’ we were tasked with planning…