So what has Bruce been up to recently?

Part of an occasional series of posts to try to show that I don’t lie around all day! This post covers the time since we got back from honeymoon in early September.  

At Napier

  • Working with my colleague Wegene Demeke on the initiation of a project to investigate some aspects of participatory budgeting (PB) in São Paulo [Wikipedia], Brazil. We’re particularly interested in whether and how PB benefits the very poor. This is going to be fun, not least because neither Wegene nor I speak Portuguese, but we have some excellent partners at the University of São Paulo.
  • Working with the Prof on a funding bid for some networking events. That’s ‘networking’ in the sense of connecting humans, not ‘plumbing‘! The bid has been submitted but we won’t know whether we’ve been successful for a while, so watch this space!
  • Taking part in a follow-up to research by the Scottish Community Development Centre (SCDC) on community councils.
  • Marking courseworks for an undergraduate course.
  • Drafting an idea for some public engagement/democracy work. Again, watch this space!

Elsewhere

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RIVAL (Research Impact Value and LIS) #lis_rival

I really enjoyed helping create this event, even though I was a bit nervous because during much of the organisation, the prof was on medical leave and about a week before the event, my left leg started playing very painful silly buggers.

Community, Knowledge, Connections

Hazel Hall and Bruce Ryan recently organised a very successful one-day event bringing together Library and Information Science researchers, users, and end-user beneficiaries to explore the impact and value of LIS research to services delivery in practice. The event aimed to encourage the strengthening of links between these interacting communities, to help narrow gaps between LIS research and practice, and to lay the ground for future research-related support and collaborations across the sector.

This post starts with access to the presentation slides and videos, followed by brief outlines of each presentation.

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Investigating the online and offline contexts of day-to-day democracy as participation spaces: newly published research by Ella Taylor-Smith and Colin Smith

Hazel Hall

Information, Communication and Society coverCongratulations to Centre for Social Informatics colleagues Dr Ella Taylor-Smith and Dr Colin Smith on the publication of their article ‘Investigating the online and offline contexts of day-to-day democracy as participation spaces’ in Information, Communication and Society.

The main theme of the article is citizen-led participation in democracy, and the online and offline spaces – introduced as ‘participation space’ – in which people work together to influence those in power, and to improve their communities. The findings draw upon a sociotechnical analysis of data from three case studies to expose the relationship between activities of local, grassroots democracy and the characteristics of the online and offline spaces in which it occurs.

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Some thoughts on e-voting

This post is inspired by my taking part in the Open Rights Group (Scotland)‘s e-voting round-table in February, and the Scottish Government’s Online Identity Assurance‘show and tell’ in March, and by a seminar by Professor Brian Detlor last week. (My notes from the ORG’s round-table should be available on the Open Government Network website. I’ve also posted them on my personal blog.) In this post, I assume that e-voting would be run on central servers, but votes would be cast via software running on personal phones, tablets and computers. Continue reading

Some thoughts on a seminar by Professor Brian Detlor

I had the privilege of attending two seminars by Professor Brian Detlor last week. The first of these, at iDocQ 2018, recounted Brian’s work on Digital Storytelling. However, this post is about my reaction to his seminar to the School of Computing on Promoting Digital Literacy: A Social Lab Approach.

This post is the first of two – the second will be an attempt to crystallise my thoughts about e-voting that bubbled up after Brian’s seminar. However, for now, this post is an attempt to show why Brian’s seminar was such a positive experience for me, but it is not an attempt to record all that Brian said. My reactions are in blockquotes. Continue reading

Online identity assurance programme: Scottish Government ‘show & tell’ (28 March 2018) #identityassurance @digitalscots

This post is my digital record of the Scottish Government’s Online Identity Assurance (OLA) ‘show and tell’. The day was very informative, and provided me the opportunity to catch up with friends in civil society circles. I’m especially interested because online identity is a natural precursor to online voting, another problematic area that greatly interests me.

The post starts with a recap of what was said at the event, then notes my input at the event. Next are my reactions to the event itself, followed by my thoughts on the whole OLA programme. In summary, while I think OLA is very worthwhile, and that the Scottish Government is trying to do it the right way, I have a lot of reservations about how useful it will be for those who most need government support.
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Long-term community development within a researcher network: a social network analysis of the DREaM project cadre

Hazel Hall

My co-authored article with Peter Cruickshank and Bruce Ryan ‘Long-term community development within a researcher network: a social network analysis of the DREaM project cadre’ is now available from Emerald as an EarlyCite paper for Journal of Documentation. Those with subscription access can download the full pdf. There is also a full text version available to view free of charge.

In the article we present the results from a study that investigated the extent to which an intervention to develop a community of library and information science (LIS) researchers – the Developing Research Excellence and Methods (DREaM) project – was successful in meeting its main objective three years after its implementation. Of particular interest are factors that support or hinder network longevity.

We report that members of the Developing Research Excellence and Methods ‘workshop cadre’ established in 2011 continued to work as a loose, but persistent, network…

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