I’ve had a bit of involvement with a visit to Edinburgh Napier by Professor Brian Detlor, culminating in the RIVAL Reunion event on 25 May. One of the events during Brian’s visit was lighting talks by members of the Social Informatics research group on 19 May.
Five years ago – in 2018 – Dr Wegene Demeke and I were awarded £10,000 from the Global Challenges Research Fund for a visit to São Paulo City, Brazil, to begin to investigate the extent to which participatory budgeting (PB – Orçamento Participativo in Portuguese) benefits the very poor. Our research visit took place in January 2019, but it has taken to now – May 2023 – to get a paper accepted for publication. So why did this process take 5 years?
Please read more about our submission on Hazel’s post. Meanwhile, I look forward to 3 days of interesting discussions. As an information scientist, specifically interested in information literacy (IL), I begin to wonder how IL theory and practice can be used to engage with archives. A very, very quick online search didn’t bring up any hits, so perhaps there is a research gap here. Of course I stand ready to be proven wrong!
The Platform to Platform project that I led, and which transformed Lorna Lloyd’s Diary of the war into a podcast series has been highly commended as a runner-up for the British Records Association’s (BRA) 2022 Janette Harley Prize. This prize, awarded in memory of archivist Janette Harley (1951-2015), is intended to generate interest in archives, and raise awareness of research and achievements in the world of archives.
I write these pieces every 6 months. This one will be my ‘about my research’ contribution to the Applied Informatics research community gathering on Wednesday 11 February. (At previous Centre for Social Informatics all-centre gatherings I’ve been incapable of speech by the time it’s my turn to report. But this is mostly because I hate public speaking.) Click this link to see all the pieces in this series.
The purpose of the empirical study was to examine whether strategies shown to work well in one model of network development for library and information science (LIS) practitioners and researchers could be applied successfully in the development of a new network and contribute to the narrowing of the research–practice gap in LIS.
Overall, 32 members of a new professional network were surveyed by a questionnaire following the completion of a programme of four network events held between 2019 and 2021.
The analysis demonstrates the transferability of the existing model of network development to a new network and that it can be successfully adapted for online delivery of network events and activities.
The criteria deployed for the evaluation of the new network could be used in other similar settings. Funding bodies can also use these findings as demonstration of the value of their investment in network grants.
This contribution on means of growing collaborative networks to narrow the LIS research–practice gap stands out in contrast with prior research that tends to focus the support of research productivity of academic librarians in North American universities for the purposes of career development. Here wider aspects of research engagement are considered of value for LIS practitioners from a range of sectors and institutions, beyond North America, for purposes that are broader than personal advancement.
My research fits within the broad field of information science, so you might think that I’d be fascinated by information anywhere, all the time. But as far as my Type 1 diabetes is concerned, I’m an information avoider. I was curious to know more about this, especially after a presentation by Gunilla Widén.
Edinburgh Napier University funded a short project, supervised by Gemma Webster, to investigate information avoidance in young UK adults who have Type 1 diabetes. Some initial findings are on this poster. At the same time, Kristina Ericksson-Backa and Gunilla used the interview questions we’d devised to investigate this phenomenon in Finnish adults.
They have just published this paper (in which I’m third author) about their participants’ information behaviour – including avoidance – around diabetes. We all hope to undertake a larger study, and I really hope this would enable me to visit Finland!
Eriksson-Backa, K., Widén, G., & Ryan, B. (2022). Practices related to diabetes information in a group of Finnish adults living with Type 1 diabetes. Informaatiotutkimus, 41(2–3), 29–33. https://doi.org/10.23978/inf.122558
The final paper from the RIVAL project has been accepted for publication. In this paper, Hazel Hall, Rachel Salzano, Katherine Stephen and I examine whether strategies shown to work well in one model of network development for Library and Information Science (LIS) practitioners and researchers can be applied successfully in the development of a new network. The first model was centred the DREaM network, while the second was RIVAL.
We show that the model was indeed transferrable, and that it can be successfully adapted for online delivery of network events and activities. (I’m sure you remember all those moves to online as lockdown kicked in!) We believe that the strategies we tested can be used by yet further networking programmes, especially those aiming to bring together researchers and practitioners.
Time to be honest: while I did most of the grunt work in organising the RIVAL events, gathering the data reported in this paper and then analysing it (oh the joys of UCInet!), Hazel was the leader who made RIVAL happen and wrote the paper.
This is a senior full-time permanent research, teaching, and leadership role (grade 8, £65,573-£74,735) for an experienced academic whose research interests and expertise align with, and will develop, those of the Social Informatics research group. The group currently comprises ten academic staff, three research staff, one emeritus professor, one visiting professor, and nine PhD students (the majority of whom hold studentships awarded through our membership of the ESRC-funded Scottish Graduate School of Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership). The professor will be expected to play a key role in leading the research group, especially in terms of driving the research agenda and leading the exploration of new foundational research areas.
I write these pieces every 6 months, usually for the Centre for Social Informatics’ all-centre meetings. (I’m usually incapable of speech by the time it’s my turn to report.) Click this link to see all the pieces in this series.