DREaM event 4 speaker insight: Hazel Hall

Professor Hazel Hall

Our final preview interview ahead of DREaM event 4 is with Professor Hazel Hall from the LIS Research Coalition. She will be leading a session on research impact at the workshop entitled: Impact snakes and ladders.

In this interview, Hall discusses the importance of impact and describes how her session will help participants to consider the impact of their research in the planning stages.

 
 

What is the theme of your session?

The theme of the session is research impact. We’ll be considering how researchers can ensure that their research projects are designed with reference to their potential impact on practice, and what makes the practitioner audience receptive to using the output of library and information science research in their practice of information services delivery.

Have you used your knowledge of strategies to increase research impact this in your own research work?

Yes, when we plan research projects in my research centre at Edinburgh Napier University we take care to consider means of ensuring that the work we complete does not simply end up sitting unnoticed in a formal project report or journal article. A recent example is the second part of our Research in Librarianship Impact Evaluation Study (RiLIES) project. Here, for example, we have been involving practitioners in the project from the outset (currently we have a practitioner poll open, which we are keen for LIS practitioners to complete), and the primary role of one member of the project team is to develop the strategy for embedding the research output in the LIS practitioner community.

How do you think the topic of impact is relevant to LIS researchers?

The theme of impact is relevant to all research, particularly at a time when value for money in public spending is paramount, and the forthcoming UK assessment of academic research (REF2014) requires the submission of impact evidence for research by universities. In short, it’s a question on return on investment.

Where can people will find more information?

Our report from the first part of the RiLIES project Enhancing the impact of LIS Research Projects identifies factors that increase/hinder the impact of research findings on those who deliver library and information services. The report also includes an extensive reference list of material related to the theme of research impact.

Professor Hazel Hall will be presenting a session titled: Impact snakes and ladders: workshop exercise on links between research and its impact on practice at the fourth DREaM workshop at the Edinburgh Napier University on Wednesday 25th April. She will also be concluding the workshop task. For full details about the workshop, please see the workshop programme.

DREaM event 4 speaker insight: Phil Turner

The third of our preview interviews ahead of DREaM event 4 is with Dr Phil Turner from Edinburgh Napier University. He will be covering techniques from psychology, focussing specifically on repertory grids.
 

Which research technique will you be discussing with the workshop participants in your presentation?

The use of repertory grids (“rep grids”) to elicit experiences. Rep grids are a well established interviewing technique based on personal construct theory. Rep grids, in conjunction with specialist software, are a useful means of visualising an individual’s experience.

Have you used this in your own research?

Yes, and the talk will include material from a recent journal publication.

How do you think this might be useful as a method in LIS research?

It already has been used successfully in the library/information science domain.

Where can people will find more information?

You want me to tell library people where to find more information – really? (Note from workshop organisers: At the end of Dr Turner’s PowerPoint slides he provides a reference list. This will be made available from Wednesday 25th April.)

Dr Phil Turner will be presenting a session introducing techniques from psychology at the fourth DREaM workshop at the Edinburgh Napier University on Wednesday 25th April. For full details about the workshop, please see the workshop programme.

DREaM event 4 speaker insight: Kevin Swingler

Kevin Swingler


 

The second in our series of preview interviews ahead of DREaM event 4 is with Kevin Swingler from Stirling University. In this interview, he introduces us to his topic of data mining and reflects how this might be applied to LIS research.
 
 
 

Which research method will you be discussing with the workshop participants in your presentation?

I will be discussing data mining techniques. These are methods for using data to ‘teach’ a computer to perform a task. Data mining is less concerned with understanding the data or the process that produced it than most techniques. In this sense it is task oriented – we use the data to predict future events or classify situations as being similar to those seen in the past.

How have you used this in your own research?

My own research includes devising new data mining techniques and using existing ones – mostly for commercial applications such as predicting consumer behaviour, spotting fraud in banking or insurance, and predicting medical outcomes.

How do you think this might be useful as a method in LIS research?

An example of where data mining might be useful in LIS is automatic sentiment classification in social media. This is the process of training a computer to tell whether the attitude in a social media message is positive or negative. It can also be used to find posts on certain topics where simple keyword lists are not enough.

Where can people will find more information?

I have a series of lecture slides on data mining from my course at Stirling University. You can see them here.

A good book is Data Mining: Practical Machine Learning Tools and Techniques by I.H. Witten and E. Frank

Kevin Swingler will be presenting a session introducing data mining at the fourth DREaM workshop at the Edinburgh Napier University on Wednesday 25th April. For full details about the workshop, please see the workshop programme.

DREaM 4 speaker insight: Dr Harry J Woodroof

The fourth LIS DREaM event is just around the corner already and we’re getting ready to welcome the cadre back to Edinburgh Napier’s Craighouse campus for what promises to be a fascinating series of presentations, ranging from horizon scanning and data mining to impact and techniques from psychology.

Once again we will be interviewing our expert speakers to get an insight into their sessions ahead of the workshop. The first of these interviews is with Dr Harry J Woodroof from the Defence Science & Technology Laboratory, who previews his session on horizon scanning for us now…

What will you be discussing with the workshop participants in your presentation?

I will explain the reasons that organisations – such as Government – need to carry out horizon scanning. The principal one is to inform today’s decision-makers about both the risks and the opportunities of the future, and their implications. I shall describe what horizon scanning is, and why, compared to some other techniques, it can be particularly helpful to policy-makers and others who need to understand and manage the uncertainties that characterise the future. I shall compare two of the horizon scanning processes in use within UK Government: those in the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) and in the Foresight Horizon Scanning Centre within the Government Office for Science.

How have you used this in your own research work?

I will briefly describe two examples of how horizon scanning work that I was involved in has been used in UK Government: the National Security Strategy update of 2009 and the analysis phase of the Comprehensive Spending Review of 2007.

How do you think this topic might be relevant to LIS researchers?

Horizon scanning can be part of the overall “knowledge mix” of a research-focussed organisation.

Where can people will find more information?

Details of the work of the Foresight Horizon Scanning Centre are their website. Its published scan – the Sigma Scan – is at www.sigmascan.org.

You can also follow this link is to a paper published by two of my colleagues which describes some aspects of Dstl’s horizon scanning work.

Dr Harry J Woodroof will be presenting a session introducing horizon scanning at the fourth DREaM workshop at the Edinburgh Napier University on Wednesday 25th April. For full details about the workshop, please see the workshop programme.

Follow #lis_dream3 online

Final preparations are underway for the next DREaM workshop, which will be held this coming Monday 30th January at the British Library conference centre. If you are not able to come to the workshop in person, but still have an interest in the themes under discussions, you can follow the workshop online and even get actively involved in the debates and activities using social media.

Here is an overview of what will be available…

Resources

From Monday morning you will be able to access resource pages for each session directly from the workshop programme. At each of these you will find the speaker’s slides, handouts, and details about how to get involved with the discussions surrounding the session throughout the day. After the event, these pages will be updated with video recordings and session summaries to help you recap.

The video recordings from the sessions and photos from the event as a whole will also be made available in the LIS DREaM community.

Discussions

Once again, we will be providing a live commentary of the event on Twitter from the @lis_dream account, using the event hash tag #lis_dream3.

If you are tweeting about the event, please include the #lis_dream3 hash tag so that others following the event can engage with you.

If you are not a Twitter user, you will be able to follow both the commentary and associated discussions through our CoverItLive session. Here you can also add your own comments without the need for any form of login or account.

If you are following online, please let us know if you have any questions at all – either about the event or the content of a specific session. If you have a question for a speaker we can relay this for you and let you know the answer that was given either via Twitter or via CoverItLive. Simply post your question in CoverItLive or tweet to @lis_dream and we will respond to you directly.

Workshop Exercise

We are pleased to announce that the workshop exercise, run by Dr Thomas Haigh, will be available for online participants. If you are following the event online and would like to take part, the exercise will be available for you to contribute between 11:30 and 15:00. Details will be released on the day.

Archiving Event Tweets

As many of you will know, the very useful Twitter archiving tool Twapperkeeper is no longer available, so we have been investigating other ways to capture the Twitter discussions surrounding the event. We will be trying out the Twitter Archiving Google Spreadsheet (TAGS) tool created by Martin Hawksey. If you have any questions about the archived tweets will be used, please let us know.

Support

Our event amplifier, Kirsty Pitkin, will be on hand to support you as you follow the event online, so if you have any problems or questions please do let her know via one of the channels described above, or by commenting on this post.

Homework

There is small “homework” task that Professor Mike Thelwall has set in preparation for his session on webometrics. If you plan to follow this session online, please watch this short YouTube video from the Department of Library and Information Science, Delhi, sign in to YouTube and leave comments, and replies to earlier comments, on the video. This should not take you more than a few minutes. The contributions will form part of the discussion at the end of Mike’s session, and include reference to the self-declared age and gender information from YouTube. The network shows whatever age and gender you enter – so Mike says that you can lie if you want to!

We look forward to welcoming you to the workshop on Monday whether you attend in person or online.

DREaM event 3 speaker insight: Thomas Haigh

Thomas Haigh

Dr Thomas Haigh

In the last of our preview interviews leading up to next Monday’s DREaM workshop at the British Library, Dr Thomas Haigh gives us a detailed introduction to his session, in which he will help participants consider techniques from history.

In this interview, Haigh outlines his efforts to raise the profile of information history within the history of technology world and encourage a more interdisciplinary audience to engage with debate in the field. He also explains the value of historical thinking and how this can help LIS researchers think more deeply about the ways in which they conceptualize research problems.

Dr Haigh is an Associate Professor at the School of Information Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.
 

What research issues will you be discussing with the workshop participants in your presentation?

The session is about historical methods for research in library and information science. During the session we’ll begin by looking broadly at what history is and why people study it. Then we’ll look at the broad new concept of “information history” proposed in recent years as a way of bring together formerly separate specialties such as library history, history of information technology, and history of information science.

One important challenge is who undertakes historical research in information history and why – should it be confined to questions and audiences within the library and information science field (the “internalist” approach) or are the opportunities within information history to engage with topics and questions of interest to much broader communities of historical scholars. This leads to another challenge: how to integrate historical insights into LIS research projects conducted by non-historians.

How have these issues affected your own research?

My own career as a researcher focused on the history of information technology has made me very much aware of the issues of disciplinary identity and culture. I began in computer science, earning two degrees from the University of Manchester. For my Ph.D. I shifted to history, earning a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. For eight years I’ve worked in the School of Information Studies at the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee. As a consultant or volunteer I’ve worked on historical issues with the Association for Computing Machinery, the IEEE Computer Society, the American Society for Information Science & Technology, and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. Within the Society for the History of Technology I chair the Special Interest Group on Computers, Information and Society and have worked hard to bring an interdisciplinary audience to the group’s sessions and workshops as well as to raise the profile of information history within the history of technology world. So while my research is published mostly in journals and books aimed at specialist historical audiences I’ve been constantly challenged to explain historical perspectives to non-historians and promote the value of history to technical communities.

How do you think these issues might be relevant to LIS researchers?

Historical thinking helps us to look more critically and creatively at present day issues. One of the most important historical topics is the construction of identity. The information field has never had a stable identity, and incorporates concepts and assumptions derived from different disciplines. Yet it can also be rather insular. Its composition has evolved rapidly in response to a shifting technological and institutional landscape. History teaches us to look at where ideas come from, who promotes them, and how they reflect broader historical shifts. That will help researchers to think more deeply about the ways in which they conceptualize research problems and the unexamined historical assumptions buried in their work.

Much of the presentation will be spent discussing different historical approaches relevant to information researchers, such as intellectual history, social history, and institutional history. During a group exercise, participants will be asked identify a specific historical question relevant to their personal research and work in a small group to select a specific historical approach and set of possible sources to address this question.

Where can people find out more information?

All those interested in the history of information technology are encouraged to join SIGCIS (free of charge) and use its resources at http://www.sigcis.org. I surveyed the literature on the history of information technology and its questions recently in “History of Information Technology,” Annual Review of Information Science and Technology 45 (2011): 431-487. Like most of my other writing, this is available in preprint form from http://www.tomandmaria.com/tom.

The case for information history more broadly was made by Alistair Black in Information history, Annual Review of Information Science and Technology 40, 2006, pp. 441-473.

Dr Thomas Haigh will be presenting a session titled: Techniques from history at the third DREaM workshop at the British Library on Monday 30th January. He will also present the workshop game in his session. For full details about the workshop, please see the workshop programme.

DREaM event 3 speaker insight: Peter Beresford

Peter Beresford

Professor Peter Beresford OBE

In the third of our preview posts leading up to next week’s DREaM workshop, Professor Peter Beresford gives us a an insight into his opening session, in which he will discuss action research in a presentation titled: User Involvement In Research: Making sense of a radical new development.

He outlines the research approaches he plans to touch upon and explains why he feels user involvement should be important to library and information science researchers.

Professor Peter Beresford OBE is Professor of Social Policy and Director of the Centre for Citizen Participation at Brunel University.
 
 

Please tell us about the research approaches that you will be discussing in your presentation.

I shall be discussing research approaches that are concerned with user involvement, user control and collaborative approaches to research. These include emancipatory disability research, survivor research and what is called “user-controlled” research.

How have you used these approaches in your own research?

As a service user and academic researcher I have been involved in the development as well as use of such research approaches, undertaking such research from within a user controlled organisation as well as in academic settings. This includes research projects concerned with mental health, disability, end of life care, welfare reform, social work, social care and social policy.

How do you think the issues that you raise may be of particular interest to library and information science researchers?

I think user involvement approaches raise complex issues around research methodology, values, principles and practice and I am guessing that the people you are asking about want to be in touch with these and have chances to explore them.

Where can people find out more information about the issues that you will be covering?

Check out NIHR Involve’s website.This reference will hopefully also be helpful: Sweeney, A. Beresford, P. Faulkner, A. Nettle, M. Rose, D. (editors), (2009), This Is Survivor Research, Ross-on-Wye, PCSS Books.

Professor Beresford will be presenting a session entitled User Involvement In Research: Making sense of a radical new development (action research) at the third DREaM workshop at the British Library on Monday 30th January. For full details about the workshop, please see the workshop programme.

DREaM event 3 speaker insight: Mike Thelwall

Professor Mike Thelwall

Professor Mike Thelwall


 
In the second of our series of posts previewing our upcoming DREaM 3 workshop, Professor Mike Thelwall gives us a taster of his session, in which he will provide an introduction to webometrics. He describes the scope of the session and provides links to a plethora of publications for those who want to find out more ahead of the workshop.

Mike Thelwall is Professor of Information Science and leader of the Statistical Cybermetrics Research Group at the University of Wolverhampton, UK. He is also Docent at Åbo Akademi University Department of Information Studies, and a research associate at the Oxford Internet Institute.
 
 
 

What research issues will you be discussing with the workshop participants in your presentation?

I will discuss webometrics – quantitative methods for analysing web-based information from an information science perspective. The talk will discuss tools to gather and process data from the web and methods to analyse the data. It will also describe methodological limitations and a number of case studies, including discussions about YouTube videos.

How have these issues affected your own research?

This talk is a survey of some of the research tools and methods developed in my research group and it is core to our research approach.

How do you think these issues might be relevant to LIS researchers?

The techniques have wide potential to be useful in information science research for issues that are either online or have an online component. The methods are particularly useful for pilot and exploratory studies to quickly get an overview of an issue from online data.

Where can people will find more information?

Publications are available on my home page including the book “Introduction to Webometrics” (2009).

Professor Thelwall will be presenting a session introducing webometrics at the third DREaM workshop at the British Library on Monday 30th January. For full details about the workshop, please see the workshop programme.

DREaM event 3 speaker insight: Nick Moore

We are rapidly approaching the next LIS DREaM workshop, which will be held at the British Library on Monday 30th January. We are looking forward to welcoming back our “cadre” for an exciting range of workshop sessions tackling action research, webometrics, historical techniques and research policy issues.

Nick Moore

Professor Nick Moore

In the first of our series of preview posts leading up to the workshop, Professor Nick Moore gives us a an insight into his session, in which he will discuss “Making the bullets for others to fire” focussing on research and policy. He explains how he feels his personal journey of exploration through policy issues might help other LIS researchers and even offers up his archive!

Professor Moore is the Managing Partner in Acumen, a research and consultancy company which explores a wide range of issues concerned with the use of information in society.
 
 

What research issues will you be discussing with the workshop participants in your presentation ?

I spent 10 or 12 years exploring the policy issues that were raised by the transition to information- and knowledge-based societies. In so doing, I began to develop a theroetical and practical approach to information policy. In my talk, I plan to describe the main features of the journey that I took, drawing out the lessons that might be applicable to others undertaking policy-related research.

How have these issues affected your own research?

It really was a process of trial and error with, looking back, the emphasis on error. Were I to repeat the exercise now, I would not do many things very differently. Working in a nationally-important policy research institute was a great advantage, although it made me very conscious of the difference between my relatively unsophisticated approach to research, compared with the high level of skills possesed by the other senior researchers. I was also helped enormously by a group of young, enthusiastic researchers.

I guess I ended the process with a much greater awareness of my own limitations.

How do you think these issues might be relevant to LIS researchers?

I hope that others might be able to learn from, and profit by, the mistakes that I made. But everyone needs to find their own way and to make their own errors.

Where can people will find more information?

I have always tried to publish quite widely and people should be able to track down a variety of books, chapters, articles and conference papers, along with 50 or so research reports – all of which will be showing their age. I keep trying to give my archive away to some body, but none seems interested. If any of the DREaM participants feels like becoming the host…

When I was more active, I maintained a website at www.acumenuk.co.uk. It is still there but in great need of updating, but it will give people a flavour of the things we were trying to do.

Professor Moore will be presenting a session entitled Making the bullets for others to fire (research and policy) at the third DREaM workshop at the British Library on Monday 30th January. For full details about the workshop, please see the workshop programme.

Following DREaM event 2 online

Final preparations are now underway to welcome participants and speakers to the first DREaM workshop in Edinburgh tomorrow. However, if you are unable to make it in person you can follow the event online using the range of resources we will be making openly available:

Session resources

When you visit the event programme tomorrow you will find links to individual pages for each of the workshop sessions. These contain the slides and handouts relating the session, so you can follow along with access to all of the relevant materials.

We will be recording each session so we can make the videos and full written session summaries available on these pages shortly after the event. The videos will also be made available at the DREaM online community, along with interviews with participants and photographs from the event.

Twitter

Our event amplifier, Kirsty Pitkin, will be providing a live commentary via Twitter using the @LIS_DREaM account. Please follow this account for updates throughout the day. If you are outside of the event and would like to ask a question of one of our speakers or the group as a whole, please tweet this to @LIS_DREaM and Kirsty will relay it for you.

We also have an event hashtag: #lis_dream2. We would encourage you to tag any of your own tweets with this so other within the extended event community can see your comments and respond.

Live blog

If you are not a Twitter user, you can follow the conversation and take an active part in the event online without a Twitter account by following our live blog of the event. This does not require any login details.

More information

For more details about the event, please visit the workshop programme page. If you have any questions about the event or how you can follow online, please leave a comment on this post or tweet @LIS_DREaM.

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