Lighting research-talks – photo

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.

Hazel has blogged about the content of these talks but the picture below doesn’t show me – thus relieving your eyestrain!

From left to right: Professor Diane Pennington, Drew Feeney, Maria Cecil, Tomasz Stupnicki, Aleksander Bielinski, Rachel Salzano, Dr David Brazier, Dr Peter Cruickshank, Emeritus Professor Hazel Hall and Professor Brian Detlor.

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‘It took how long?’: a story of publishing academic research

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?

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The power of audio – presenting archives via podcasts: submission accepted for Shaking the archives conference, Edinburgh, June 2023

Along with my colleagues Professor Hazel HallMarianne Wilson, and Dr Iain McGregor, I am delighted that the submission that we made earlier this year to the Shaking the archive – reconsidering the role of archives in contemporary society conference has been accepted.

This conference takes place at Queen Margaret University Edinburgh between 23rd and 25th June 2023. Delegates at this hybrid, multidisciplinary event will discuss the power of/within archives, while also exploring ways in which archives may be interrogated, re-imagined, and represented.

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!

National award recognises the Platform to Platform project: British Records Association Janette Harley Prize 2022 runner-up

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.

Read more about it on Professor Hazel Hall’s blog: https://hazelhall.org/2023/01/16/national-award-recognises-the-platform-to-platform-project-british-records-association-janette-harley-prize-2022-runner-up/

Huge thanks to team-mates who worked so hard on the production of the podcast series: Co-investigators Hazel Hall and Iain McGregor; student production team members Alex Gencs, David Graham, James McLachlan, Andras Peter, and Michael Suttie; performers Bethany Ray (Lorna Lloyd), David Monteath (Theo Lloyd), Richard Godden (newsreader), and Katherine Stephen(announcer).

We are very grateful for the support of the wider community in bringing Lorna’s writing into the public domain, with special thanks to Jake Berger and Emma Gibbs (BBC Archive); Faith Renger (Malvern Museum of Local History); Marianne Wilson (researcher on the sister HOPSS project); Stella Wisdom (British Library); P2P project board members: David Darlington, David MonteathGuy Puzey, Sarah Ames and Sue Dumbleton; the Blipfoto community; the project team at Creative Informatics; and the Lloyd family.

RIVAL paper accepted for publication

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.

The paper can be downloaded from Edinburgh Napier University’s repository, via the outputs on my Napier web-page, or via the link on my publications and outputs page in this blog. There’s a personal/chatty description of the network model in my post about presenting at CILIPS conference 2021.

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.

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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‘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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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.

‘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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Call to UK public library staff (any level) to contribute to study on services for refugees and asylum seekers

Do you work with refugees and/or asylum seekers (forced migrants) as part of your role in a UK public library? Can you assist a PhD student with her study on forced migrants’ use of UK public libraries? Perhaps you have colleagues or other contacts who could help out?

Rachel Salzano of Edinburgh Napier University seeks public library staff (at any level) willing to take part in interviews about their experience of delivering public library services to forced migrants. The interviews last approximately 1 hour and are organised at the interviewee’s convenience. Please contact Rachel on the contact form at https://librariansanslibrary.weebly.com/contact or email r.salzano@napier.ac.uk.

(Text and image shamelessly copied from Hazel Hall’s post.)