Travelling to DREaM event 2

Edinburgh bus

Edinburgh bus (Photo credit: WindwalkerNId)

Those travelling to the second of the DREaM project events in Edinburgh this week are reminded to check the travel advice on the workshop page.

The detail here has been updated again this morning to take into account changes to the city centre bus services. These are due to the on-going tram works on Edinburgh’s Princes Street.

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.


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.

DREaM event 2 speaker insight: Professor Charles Oppenheim

Charles Oppenheim

Professor Charles Oppenheim

In the third in our series of speaker insights ahead of the LIS DREaM2 Workshop in Edinburgh next week, Professor Charles Oppenheim gives us a punchy introduction to the theme of his session, which will examine research ethics and legal issues. He described the mental approached required to undertake ethical research and why LIS researchers need to take heed.

Professor Charles Oppenheim is a co-investigator of the DREaM project. He is also a member of the Legal Advisory Board of the European Commission, and of the Libraries and Archives Copyright Alliance.

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

Legal and ethical issues associated with doing research

How have these issues affected your own research?

Although I have little doubt I have made mistakes in my research in the past, I try wherever possible to ensure that any research I do takes into account things like data protection/privacy and freedom of information. I also try to ensure that research methods I use are fair to respondents and are analysed correctly. It’s more to do with a state of mind than anything more specific.

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

I am aware of too many poorly designed questionnaires, and research methods adopted by others that threaten respondents’ privacy.

Where can people will find more information?

A search on Amazon using the terms “research ethics” provide several useful reference books on that side. There’s no one single source on the legal side though.

To find out more about the workshop, please see the workshop programme.

DREaM event 2 speaker insight: Professor Andy McKinlay

Professor Andy McKinlay

Professor Andy McKinlay

In the second in our series of preview posts ahead of the LIS DREaM2 workshop, Professor Andy McKinlay discusses some of the issues he will be covering in his workshop session An Introduction to Discourse Analysis. He explains what this research technique involves, how he has applied it in his own work and why he feels it will be of benefit to the other LIS researchers attending the workshop.

Professor Andy McKinlay is head of the school of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences at the University of Edinburgh.

What research techniques will you be discussing with the workshop participants?

I will be exploring with colleagues the ways in which one particular form of qualitative research – discourse analysis – can be employed in LIS research. The essence of discourse analysis is to examine the fine grain details of spoken and written discourse to develop an understanding of how people accomplish social actions in discourse. This includes understanding how people ‘socially construct’ versions of people, actions and events.

How have you applied these techniques in your own research?

Across a number of years I have been interested in understanding how people use discourse to socially construct their own identities and the identities of other people. How, in other words, people use text and talk to create a sense of who they are and also to create a sense of who other people are. One element of my research has focused on how people use discourse in this way to avoid, or deal with, becoming the targets of prejudice.

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

First, LIS researchers can use discourse analysis to understand how LIS functions as one of a set of socially-embedded structures and practices: How do LIS professionals view LIS? How do other ‘stakeholders’ such as funders and users understand LIS? How do people make sense of the complex societal relationships that exist between LIS and other aspects of society, e.g. what do they see as the relationship between the library and the community? Are there broader ideologies in society that conditions the way that LIS functions?

Second, LIS involves people: LIS professionals, user groups, and different groups of other relevant people such as related professionals, colleagues within the broader work environment, those involved in regulatory activities, or those involved in funding. In what ways does the LIS professional create an understanding of what these people are like? And how do these people create a sense of what the LIS professional is like? How do these viewpoints interact (or even collide)? What are the social action outcomes of people viewing each other in these ways? These are questions that can be pursued using discourse analysis.

Where can people will find more information?

People might want to pursue these themes by looking at the text I co-wrote with Professor Chris McVittie: McKinlay, A. & McVittie, C. (2008). Social psychology and discourse. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

Another useful text is: Tuffin, K. (2005). Understanding critical social psychology. London: Sage.

For full details about the workshop, please see the workshop programme.

DREaM event 2 speaker insight: Dr Louise Cooke

Dr Louise Cooke

Dr Louise Cooke

We are now only a week away from the first LIS DREaM workshop, which will be held in Edinburgh next Tuesday.

In the first of our series of preview posts ahead of the workshop, Dr Louise Cooke gives us a taste of what she intends to cover in her session, in which she will be introducing the participants to social network analysis. She explains why she feels this technique can be of value to LIS researchers and provides a really useful reading list so you can find out more about the issues involved.

Dr Louise Cooke is a Senior Lecturer at Loughborough University, where she teaches the MSc Information and Knowledge Management programme.

What research techniques will you be discussing with the workshop participants?

I will be discussing the potential uses of Social Network Analysis (SNA) in LIS research. SNA is a research technique that focuses on investigating the relationships between entities (e.g. who communicates with whom?), rather than the properties of the entities themselves. We will be doing a practical exercise using UCINET software which will investigate the research links between workshop participants.

How have you applied these techniques in your own research?

I have carried out a relatively simple SNA project, similar to that which we will be undertaking at the DREaM workshop. This analysed research networks between LIS PhD students at Sheffield University and at Loughborough University. I have also supervised MSc students using SNA for their dissertation research. In one case, for example, the student analysed information and knowledge flows in an academic department at Kyambogo University in Uganda. I am also currently supervising a PhD student who plans to use SNA as one element of his research strategy: his overall research project focuses on knowledge management (KM) in organisations.

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

SNA is particularly useful in the field of KM. It is increasingly being used by researchers and business consultants to analyse patterns of information and knowledge flow in organisations. In particular, it enables the identification of individuals playing important structural roles in the knowledge network, for example as bottleneck or gatekeeper; peripheral; central connector; boundary spanner etc. It also enables sub-groups, such as cliques, to be identified. Importantly, this enables organisations to make interventions that improve the overall knowledge flow. SNA is also useful to LIS researchers with regard to the exploration of patterns of online communication, for example, within online communities, and is the underpinning theory on which citation analysis is based.

Where can people will find more information?

The most useful (and accessible) text for me has been that by Cross & Parker, The Hidden Power of Social Networks, published by the Harvard Business School in 2004.

A very useful free resource is the introductory handbook written by Robert Hanneman (University of California) and Mark Riddle (University of Northern Colorado) . It is a good starting point if you plan to use UCINET software for SNA.

For an understanding of the potential uses of SNA the paper by Otto and Rousseau would be a good place to start: Otte, E & Rousseau, R (2002) SNA: a powerful strategy, also for the information sciences. Journal of Information Science, 28 (6) 441-453.

Finally, if you are really serious about gaining expertise in the techniques of SNA, I would recommend attending the University of Essex Summer School in Social Science Data Analysis course in SNA – I did this myself, and found it immensely useful.

Dr Cooke will be presenting her session Introduction to social network analysis and will also introduce the workshop 1 game/task. For full details about the workshop, please see the workshop programme.

Preparing for the DREaM project workshops

Edinburgh Napier Craighouse.

Edinburgh Napier Craighouse campus (Photo credit

With the first of the three DREaM project workshops at Edinburgh Napier Craighouse campus under two weeks away, it’s been a busy week for the DREaM project team.

If you’ve signed up for the workshops, in the past couple of days you will have received an e-mail from Christine Irving about the first workshop, which takes place in Edinburgh on Tuesday 25th October. Christine will be contacting delegates again next week with the final joining instructions for the event.

While Christine has been looking after the delegates, our event amplifier Kirsty Pitkin has been talking to the workshop 1 speakers about the topics that they will be covering in Edinburgh. Keep an eye on these web pages to read previews of each of the sessions. The speakers have also been working on their presentations and other session material. Tomorrow and Monday we’ll be sending masters of these, along with other documents, to be printed for the workshop 1 delegate packs. Kirsty will amplifying the event on 25 October. So, by then, all the presentations will be available to view online, and remote delegates will be able to follow proceedings from a CoverItLive site (to be set up by Kirsty) as well as from the Twitter hash tag #lis_dream2.

At the same time the DREaM project co-investigators Hazel Hall and Charles Oppenheim have been planning the rest of the schedule for the set of three workshops. The full programme for the second workshop in London on Monday 30 January is now available. For the third workshop on 25 April in Edinburgh we have all but one speaker name already confirmed.

Our DREaM workshop delegates have also been busy. A few more have joined the DREaM online community, started following @LIS_DREaM on Twitter, and added their names to the lanyrds for the three DREaM workshops. It’s been good to see delegates corresponding with one another in advance of the first workshop, and to witness the flurry of congratulation messages conveyed to the six PhD student/new professional bursary winners after they were announced on Tuesday. (We have also added everyone for whom we have a Twitter name to the DREaM participant Twitter list.) Some of the workshop delegates local to Edinburgh are currently planning an informal social get-together for anyone who will be in the city on the evening of Monday 24 October, the day before the first workshop. Details of this will be sent out to delegates next week in the workshop joining instructions e-mail.

We have now closed online registrations for the workshops. However, if there is anyone else who would like to make an enquiry about registering, or who has a query about an earlier online registration, please contact Hazel Hall by e-mail.

David Stewart awarded CILIP Fellowship

David Stewart

David Stewart

The Library and Information Science Research Coalition is delighted to congratulate David Stewart on his award of Fellowship of CILIP.

David is the Strategic Health Authorities Library Leads representative on the LIS Research Coalition’s Board. He is also the founder of the HEALER network which brings together those interested in health library services research. David is currently Director of Health Libraries North West. Previous posts include Director of Information Services at the Royal Society of Medicine, and Deputy Director of Health Libraries at Oxford University.

Congratulations to the six winners of the DREaM workshop travel bursary award

Winners of the DREaM workshop travel bursaries

L to R: Aislinn Conway, Katie Fraser, Paula Goodale, Paul Gooding, Lauren Smith, Sara Wingate Gray

We are pleased to announce the names of the six PhD students and new professionals who have won bursaries of up to £150 to help support their participation in the DREaM workshops and the DREaM project network. They are:

  • Aislinn Conway, a new professional who works for University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust as a Clinical Evidence Based Information Service Specialist.
  • Dr Katie Fraser, a new professional who works for the University of Leicester as an Information Librarian. (To find out more about Katie see her blog Chuukaku).
  • Paula Goodale, a PhD student at Sheffield University, working on a thesis entitled Constructing personal narratives through pathways in cultural heritage collections online. (Paula has recently started a blog entitled Allpathsleadto.)
  • Paul Gooding, a PhD student at University College London, working on a thesis entitled What is the Impact of a Million Books?
  • Lauren Smith, a new professional who currently works as a learning and teaching support officer at the University of Leeds, and will soon be embarking on a PhD at Strathclyde University. (To find out more about Lauren see her blog Walk you home.)
  • Sara Wingate Gray, PhD student at University College London, working on a thesis entitled The anthropology of the public library. (To find out more about Sara see her web site at

In their applications each winner gave an excellent account as to why the award of a bursary to him/her in particular will help the DREaM project meet its goal of developing a UK-wide network of LIS researchers. In exchange for the award, the winners will write reports of the workshops. These will be communicated to a wider audience from this web site. The content of the reports will also discussed further amongst members of the DREaM project online community.

The first DREaM project workshop takes place in Edinburgh on Tuesday 25th October 2011. Online registration for the set of three workshops (Edinburgh 25 October, London 30th January, Edinburgh 25th April) is still open. If you would like a place, please hurry: there are only a couple left, and we will be closing registrations soon.