Speaking about RIVAL at #CILIPS21

I was delighted to speak about the RIVAL project Royal Society of Edinburgh funded Research Impact Value and Library and Information Science (RIVAL) project, at the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals Scotland 2021 conference (#CILIPS21) on Tuesday 8 June. This, and Hazel’s presentation at SCURL, would be a fitting coda to all the work I, Hazel and others have put into this project, and the successes it has generated. NB it’s a coda, not a finis.

My script for this presentation is below the cut, my slides are in this PDF and the video of my presentation is on CILIP’s public GoogleDrive. So I’ll just note the main points here.

  • Creating collaborative networks of academics and practitioners is possible and worthwhile
  • We have a model for doing so, based on our previous work and experience, e.g. DREaM, RiLIES, digiCC workshops. This model is likely to work in other situations where there are research-practice gaps.
  • We had to adapt to COVID-19/lockdown, by learning from other online events and conferences.
  • RIVAL survived and succeeded – it created the network we wanted to build, and helped close the LIS research-practice gap in Scotland.
  • RIVAL created many resources that are free to use – all on lisrivalcom.

Here’s that model:

  • Networking events are free to attend
  • The first meeting is a ‘taster’.
  • After that, members should be strongly encouraged to come to all subsequent meetings, to maximise network- and relationship-building.
  • Networking events have enticing, relevant content
  • Networking events have activities to break ice and build relationships
  • Communications and info-sharing between events
  • Members are a mix of academics and practitioners
  • Board reflects membership, experience and diversity
  • Members have some control over content and outputs
  • Aim to create tangible outputs and resources

And thank you to the audience at #CILIPS21 for all the questions and interaction afterwards!


RIVAL provided many lessons to us as organisers and participants during its lifetime (summer 2019 to spring 2020). But it wasn’t done yet. Its final lesson was an expression of Sod’s law – what can go wrong will go wrong– even if you have checked and rechecked the technology!

I’d practiced my presentation several times. (Thanks CSI colleagues, Hazel, Rachel, Sean and Elly!) Of course this included checking that the slides would play, and I could be heard clearly via my iPad, both via Teams (Napier’s preferred online channel) and Zoom (used at #CILIPS21).

But when it was time to do this publicly, Zoom/Powerpoint/my iPad conspired to not show the slides. So

  • frantic grab for my MacBook Air
  • wait for it to verify Outlook, Zoom and PowerPoint
  • get my iPad to stop giving feedback (just quitting Zoom didn’t work. Nor did taking it into another room far from the Mac. Switching it off completely did)
  • get Zoom on the Mac to screenshare the PowerPoint.

Thank you to my session chair for keeping me calm! Fortunately, CILIPS had sensibly arranged for presenters to come online 10 minutes before they were due to start. So this vindicates a lesson on my slides: accept there are risks. It also provides another one: in online events, allow time for technology to do its worst! Continue reading

Published! @hazelh @spartakan @bruce_research @gemmaducat @librarygryphon @MetaskillsPhD @ilauramuir @FrancesRyanPhD

Tuesday 15 December was a bumper day for the Centre for Social Informatics (CSI), with the publication of six articles in Information Research. These were conference articles presented at ISIC2020 and a paper on ‘imagined citizens’. Together these showcase some of the work we undertake.  Continue reading

What has Bruce been up to in the second half of 2020?

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]) Really miffed that we can’t get together in person this time. Click this link to see all the pieces in this series. Continue reading

Memories of #AECIST20

I recently attended an European chapter of ASIS&T Information Science Trends online conference This year it focussed on health information hehaviour. The following are my digitally-assisted memories of #AECIST20, i.e. adaptations of my live-tweets from the event. As ever, this report is mostly to help me sort what I need to do from what I want to do after being stimulated by many fascinating presentations. Any mistakes or misrepresentations in the below are of course my mistakes. Continue reading

What has Bruce been up to during lockdown?

It appears I’ve been relatively quiet during the past 5 months, at least on this blog. There have been personal reasons for this, as covered in my personal blog. Continue reading

PhD studentship available at Edinburgh Napier University

(adapted from an email from Professor Hazel Hall)

Edinburgh Napier University is keen to receive applications from Computer Science or Software Engineering Bachelors or Masters graduates (or final year/Masters students due to graduate) with (or on target for) a first class or 2.1 degree, and who have some experience of studying Artificial Intelligence, Natural Language Processing, or Machine Learning (e.g. as part of a module, or in a project). Continue reading

What has Bruce been up to in the last 6 months?


  • The RIVAL network: I’m PA to the ∏, administrator, map-creator, videographer, data-analyst and much more
  • IL measures paper: Peter and I are contributing a section to a paper by Gunilla Widen. This will report on the survey of community councillors, and how (not to) measure workplace information literacy.
  • marking: some marking of students’ placement reports.
  • information avoidance in diabetes: because I don’t want to know about my diabetes, but because I do want to know why this is. And I want to to help others with this bad combination, and to maybe generate some theory!
  • SFC GCRF map. This is to create a web map of SFC-funded GCRF projects. Draft version is here: http://bruceryandontexist.net/SFC/VA42-2019_11_19/. <insert moan about administrivia>
  • Failure: REDACTED


  • Still minutes secretary and web-weaver for 3 Edinburgh community councils
    • But I’ve worked out how to cut down on the hours while still doing what they want.
  • £eithChooses PB event: publishing, IT, web, admin…
  • Community Councils Together on Trams: minutes and asking important impertinent questions
  • Failure: I didn’t cease smoking. Instead Varenicline made me vomit.

Global Challenges Research Fund: sector meeting 29 October 2019 #GCRF

The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) ‘is a £1.5 billion fund announced by the UK Government in late 2015 to support cutting-edge research that addresses the challenges faced by developing countries’. Its delivery partners include the Scottish Funding Council (SFC). Earlier this year, I was commissioned by the SFC to produce a web-map of the GCRF projects it funds.

I was invited to present about the map at the SFC’s GCRF sector meeting at the sector meeting on 29 October.

Hence a major part of this post is to record what Isaid about the map. The other major part is slightly edited versions of my live-tweets from the meeting. The rest of the post is Bruce-thoughts tweeted at the time, in (round brackets), and Bruce-thoughts that occurred while writing this post, in [square brackets].

My work was very well received, so I am very happy to have boosted my reputation (and that of Edinburgh Napier University), with representatives of the other Scottish universities, and with a significant research-funder.

All photos and information reported below are © the presenters and their relevant colleagues. Click the images to see the full-size versions. Continue reading

PB Scotland Conference 2019 #PBConf19

As with many of my posts, the following is based on my tweets from the event. For other views, you might search Twitter for #PBConf19 (but watch out for tweets about a pharmacy conference using the same hashtag) or go to PB Scotland’s website. This also has mini-biographies of the speakers and information about the workshops.

Asides and Bruce-thoughts at the time of tweeting are usually in (round brackets). Extra text added while writing this post is in [square brackets].

NB the content of photos of slides and similar is all © their creators or other relevant ©-holders.

Continue reading