Job vacancy: Professor in Social Informatics, Edinburgh Napier University (full-time, permanent)

Scotland’s top modern university for research power and impact is recruiting a new Professor in Social Informatics. Please pass the message on!

Full details of the job can be found in the advertisement on jobs.ac.uk, and by following the links on the Edinburgh Napier University ‘work with us’ page. The deadline for applications is Sunday 4th September 2022, with Interviews expected to take place in the week of 10th October 2022.

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.

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What has Bruce been up to in the first half of 2022?

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.[1]) Click this link to see all the pieces in this series.

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‘Platform to Platform’ update

This entry is more about my feelings than most posts on this blog.

This weekend I listened to all of Lorna Lloyd’s World War 2 diary entries recorded by Bethany Ray and the team for the Platform to Platform project I’m leading, after reading through a colleague’s nearly-finished PhD thesis. I’m wryly amused that after each recording ended, iTunes started playing songs from The Chemical Brothers’ Surrender or The Clash’s Combat Rock. From horribleness in the early twentieth century to either (sometimes brooding) dance music or depictions of the Vietnam War, U.S. foreign policy, and American society in moral decline. What would Joe Strummer make of today?

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Thank you Vladimir Agafonkin!

I’ve been using LeafletJS to create online maps since 2013:

None of this would have been possible without Vladimir Agafonkin. LeafletJS enables easy creation of online maps. An ecosystem of plugins enables use of different background maps and images, lines and shapes, different markers, overlays, clusters, heat maps, data visualisation, events and so much more! Much of this free and open-source. There is also a free WordPress plug-in, but you’ll need a paid WordPress instance to use plugins. Hence this map is elsewhere:

Click the image to get to the actual map!

Anyway, thank you Vladimir. I hope you and yours are safe, and that Mr Putin just stops!

What is Bruce up to in the first half of 2022?

I’ve just updated my list of projects (on my CV page) to include 5 projects that are now current or imminent. They are

  • Platform to Platform, investigating changes in reactions to a historical diary as it moves from a textual platform to an audio platform (podcasts)
  • Heritage organisations and podcasts: scoping study, investigating the research landscape on the role of podcasts in the work of heritage organisations
  • Information Literacy Impact Framework, reviewing relevant literature to create a framework of information literacy impact. (The link is to a post about several new projects in my research group.)
  • Animation and games legacy collection of Scotland, addressing gaps in the documentation of the Scottish animation, visual effects and games sectors
  • Community Councils online 2022, surveying community councils’ online presences.

I’m also doing some marking in April, and contributing to outputs from some previous projects. This includes waiting to see what changes the reviewers want me to make to a paper submitted to ISIC 2022. I can’t tell you how much I want to go to Berlin!

And a big shout out to my colleagues on these projects and outputs: David Brazier, Alison Brettle, Peter Cruickshank, Pritam Chita, Wegene Demeke, Paul Gooding, Hazel Hall, Ingi Helgason, Iain McGregor, Marina Milosheva, Jon Mortimer, Gemma Webster, Marianne Wilson, 2 MSc students on the MSc/CPP programme.

What has Bruce been up to in the second half of 2021?

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.[1]) I’m still really miffed that we can’t get together in person. Click this link to see all the pieces in this series.

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Creative industries in south-east Scotland – mapped

Recently, I created online maps of creative companies in Scottish Borders, the Lothians, Edinburgh and Fife (collectively ‘south-east Scotland’). This was commissioned by the Creative Informatics programme, which aims ‘to explore how data can be used to drive ground-breaking new products, businesses and experiences’, among other good things.

Without further ado, here are the maps:

Below I rant about the problems encountered in this project – they are almost all about the data.

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Some notes from ‘How to communicate your research using social media, blogs, video and infographics’

Last week I attended training on ‘How to communicate your research using social media, blogs, video and infographics’, run by CILIP’s UK eInformation Group. I am grateful to Napier’s School of Computing for funding my attendance and this training by Andy Tattersall of Sheffield University’s School of Health and Related Research.

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First time PI!

My first formal experience of leading an academic project has started. I am principal investigator of Platform to platform: an investigation into audience engagement with digitised archives and its transformative impact across different online formats. (The link is to Hazel Hall’s description of the project.)

The project will

  • create a non-fiction narrative podcast series based on the diary of Lorna Lloyd, a young woman who lived in Malvern at the start of World War II. Contemporary news content will be added to Lorna’s diary entries at key points in the narrative.
  • evaluate audience engagement with the podcast series following its launch at a public engagement event, provisionally planned for Tuesday 24th May 2022 in Malvern.
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‘Introduction to working with policymakers’ session by Nick Bibby of Scottish Policy and Research Exchange

This online session, hosted by Queen Margaret University on 24 November, provided an overview of how to get research noticed by government and other policy institutions. The ‘research questions’ were

  • What are policymakers looking for from research? 
  • What questions should researchers address? 
  • When is the best time to engage? 
  • Who should you contact? 

The following is my lightly edited notes of the presentation by the presentation by Nick Bibby, Director of Scottish Policy and Research Exchange, and the following Q&A session. Hence any mistakes or poor language are due to me, not Nick. Images are screenshots. If I receive the slides, I will update the images so they are clearer.

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