Search This Blog


Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Social Media for Researchers - A Sheffield Universities Social Media Symposium

I attended the first joint University of Sheffield and Hallam University social media symposium for researchers yesterday at Hallam. I was there to deliver a presentation alongside Information Resources colleague and writer for this blog Claire Beecroft on Altmetrics in the Academy.
The event was run jointly by Hallam’s SHaRD Programme and Think Ahead Sheffield to help early-career researchers build a good career through workshops, mentoring and work-experiences.

The day was jam-packed with six presentations from colleagues at both institutions, one from The University of Derby and one from SciConnect. Given that social media has been the buzz term on the Web for the last couple of years the implications, potentials and threats to academia are far and wide and were all covered throughout the course of the day.

Whilst despite regarding myself to be fairly tech-savvy with a good grasp of the Web I found the sessions all to be really useful. In fact it was the first time in a long time that I had attended a full day’s event of any kind to see such an engaging and knowledgeable set of speakers. Also the dreaded fear of speaking last, in that some of your audience have dipped out early, fallen asleep, lost the will to live or in most cases heard it all before was not to be. The previous presentations drilled down into different areas of the social web from big data to blogging all with considerable expertise and thought.

The day started with an entertaining and balanced look at why researchers should engage with social media by Tristram Hooley, who is Professor of Career Education at the University of Derby. Tristram talked about the research cycle of identifying, creating, reviewing and disseminating knowledge and how Social Media could aid this thanks to the ease and opportunities of collaboration it brings. Tristam spoke about the theories behind networks and Dunbar’s Number that we are only capable of maintaining so many stable social relationships and how this could be applied to social media and the online relationships we build on top of real-life ones. Tristam went on to give important tips on how you build networks, who is worth knowing and that in essence you do not need to know everyone.

Next up was Sue Beckingham who is an Educational Developer and Senior Lecturer at Sheffield Hallam. Sue is one of the many people who I originally found on the Web through the many useful Tweets Sue was posting in addition to collections she curates on the excellent Scoop.It! tool about learning and social media. As anyone will know by using social media it is a great icebreaker and that you often have conversations or at least get an idea of what someone’s interests are before you meet them, Sue is one of those connections for me. I’d seen Sue speak at the joint Sheffield Google Apps for Education conference earlier this when I’d also delivered a presentation. Sue delivered a very measured, knowledgeable talk on why researchers should engage with social media. Sue touched onto an idea that I have long propagated, that she referred to as ‘positive interconnectedness’ meaning that you look to maximise your outputs by connecting your various web presences together by linking, embedding and sharing. It is something that I would refer to as a ‘Web 2.0 state of mind’ that you look for opportunities to minimise your workload but maximise your presence, reach and consistency. I very much liked Sue’s take on the idea of lurkers should not be referred to as that but listeners, giving it a much more positive feel in the educational setting at least. Sue’s session also touched on that growing problem, certainly something that grows bigger the more you use social media; that being the blurring between personal and professional boundaries online. It’s a point that anyone who has used social media in a personal and professional capacity will have come across. The biggest challenges being what do you say, how do you say it and where do you post and to whom. The hard and fast rule is not to say anything that you would not be prepared to say on the street in public, or at least to your grandmother. LinkedIn received huge praise from Sue as a powerful search engine and knowledge base, and the ability to use groups to share and find useful information with similar people.

Next up was Dr Farida Vis who works opposite me as a researcher on the other side of the quadrant at Regent Court at the iSchool amongst various herv other roles. Farida talked extensively about the work she had done looking at big data and analsying content coming from the social web. With involvement in a myriad of projects and programmes Farida explained the complexities, technical and ethical relating to capturing user-generated content for research. Farida talked about the possibilities for researchers using this data but explained the pitfalls from earlier interventions which were initially heralded but later proved to be flawed. One example being that of Google Flu Trends, which at the time looked like a better predictor of possible Flu epidemics than the data captured by the Centre of Disease Control in the United States. Farida told the delegates about the data collected by Google based on searches for ‘flu’ that in turn became biased as the flu story was reported in the media, causing more non-infected users to search for flu and whether outbreaks were happening in their locality. Farida gave various definitions of what big data meant with one that stuck out for me with regards to social media that it is: “Qualitative data on a quantitative scale” originally promoted by Francesco D’Orazio. The presentation gave valid arguments as to the benefits and pitfalls of big data from validation to privacy issues and whether having more data actually means better answers. Farida talked about the work she had done in the field of journalism and the problems they face in trying to verify accurate and quality information with the idea that information is treated as false until verified and gave a link to the useful Verification Handbook.

After a superb lunch, Dr Tom Stafford from the University of Sheffield’s Psychology and Cognitive Science department talked about his experience of blogging and managing social media profiles. As someone who runs six blogs, Tom talked about the reasons behind blogging and how it does not have to be a public thing, in that Tom has one blog to capture his own thoughts and reflections from his work and teaching. Tom spoke of the issue of creating large social networks for the sake of it, that if you have a small field of peers in real life, that this can be reflected on social media and they are only group you need to interact with. He also touched on the issue of popularity and that social media is full of big celebrities who have massive followings and that they can be allowed to dilute your experiences of social media if you let them. I liked Tom’s unique approach of using the session more like a flipped classroom, in that after a few sessions had already been delivered and given everyone in the room had some knowledge of social media he treated it more as a surgery to solve individual’s questions about blogging and managing online presences. Tom talked about Twitter being like having one foot in the conference bar which went down well with the attendees.
Tom’s presentation can be viewed here

The penultimate presentation came from Dr Claire Ainsworth who is the Principal Trainer for SciConnect. Again this was another very engaging and educational session on the benefits of blogging, especially when trying to reach wider audiences and make an impact, even more so when talking about what can be niche topics. Claire talked about her own husband’s research website and videos that had reached hundreds of thousands of visitors and viewers. Whilst the use of traditional media, such as television news should not be played down in the age of mass communication being on the Web.

Finally was mine and Claire’s presentation, which is embedded below and focused again on the pros and cons of using social media in research and academia. In that once you take the plunge into social media there are certain rules and etiquettes to adhere to. The main focus of the presentation was on altmetrics, what they were, the arguments behind them and whether they had the potential like MOOCs and open access to shake up academia. We explained the idea that altmetrics is not just using social media to communicate and share research outputs but also the ability to measure them in new and meaningful ways that go beyond the download and share button. For example this may mean metrics such as where was the paper read globally and how long did someone have a research paper open for on their computer. As with any aspect of social media the debate will continue and it is unlikely that we will see at any time soon a mass move by academics to use these platforms for their research outputs and connections. Nevertheless there is a growing band of academics wanting to know more about the benefits - of which there are many - and pitfalls which sometimes you only need one to really fail. A session like this one can only go some way to educating academics to such opportunities and threats.

I have to praise the organisers of the event, especially with it being such an excellent collaborative affair. The standard of talks were of very high quality, and were very balanced. All too often with technologies you get biased reporting - meaning the presenter talks just about the positives of something, almost like a sales pitch, whilst this symposium had the right balance of encouragement alongside that of care and attention. Also with a topic like this, or such innovations you invariably find yourself speaking to the same, friendly, supportive faces on campus, for me and Claire this was not the case - they were friendly, new faces. It was great to see so many researchers and professionals attend and hopefully take away a few new ideas and practices.

Twitter accounts of all the speakers:

Monday, 22 September 2014

Sound and Vision - MmIT 2014 National Conference Retrospective

Sound and Vision was the theme for the latest Multimedia and Information Technology (MmIT) national conference run by myself and colleagues from the MmIT Committee hosted at The Edge in Endcliffe Village on the 11th and 12th September. The MmIT Group is a special interest group as part of The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals and focuses on the topic areas around multimedia and technology, as you can imagine from the name.
The focus of this year’s conference was simply ‘Sound & Vision’ and hosted a selection of high quality and diverse talks on everything from Augmented Reality to building sound and vision archives.

The conference ran over two days and began with the traditional welcome by MmIT Chair Leo Appleton. Leo then introduced The University of Sheffield’s new Pro-Vice Chancellor for Learning & Teaching, Professor Anne Peat. Anne spoke about the various areas the University was working hard on to implement new platforms of delivering learning and sharing research from iTunes U to MOOCs. The iTunes U theme continued as The University of Sheffield’s Senior Learning Technologist, Dr. Graham McElearney delivered the first plenary of the conference explaining the motives and benefits of creating and hosting academic content on Apple’s education sharing platform. Graham gave evidence as to the far-reaching impact podcasts and videos can have hosted on such a platform that is available in parts of the world, which others are not and gave impressive usage and download statistics. Graham then opened up the presentation to group discussion asking delegates how they could apply something like iTunesU in their own organisation.

Delegates at MmIT discussing possible uses for iTunes U in their own organisation

In the afternoon, four workshops were run, firstly by Helen Fitton who delivered a very useful session on Box of Broadcasts which allows users to record any TV programme from the last 30 days and from over 60 channels. It allows users to create clips and compilations and embed them into their teaching materials. Whilst in the other room, Penny Andrews showcased the brilliant LibraryBox, an inventive private wireless hub for hosting all kinds of media. By connecting to the wi-fi signal generated by LibraryBox, users can browse the files hosted on the USB stick that connects to LibraryBox, stream films, read and save documents amongst other uses. LibraryBox has real potential for such as on-the-fly teaching, conferences, working in poor or rural areas and much, much more, we’ll certainly look to invest in one for ScHARR.
Later there were two parallel sessions looking at augmented reality. One from Peter Beaumont from Edge Hill University and one from Farzana Latif and Pete Mella from the Learning Technologies Team at the University of Sheffield. Both sessions gave users a real chance to play with augmented reality and look at everything from a 3D role playing game to an interactive periodic table of elements.

Storytime with Tony Thompson

In the evening conference delegates were treated to a superb three course dinner followed by an engaging after dinner talk by MmIT’s previous Chair, Tony Thompson. Tony gave a humorous, anecdote-filled and at times personal history of the emergence of analog sound and vision media. Going way back to the 19th Century, Tony waxed lyrically about wax cylinders, photographs, television, the VHS versus Betamax wars, video laser discs and anything else that any sound and vision archivist would have come across in the last hundred or so years.

After a hearty breakfast, day two of the conference started where one had finished with a second plenary from Liz McGettigan, the Director of Digital Library Experiences at SOLAS on augmented reality. Liz showcased the work that had been done in her time as head of Edinburgh Libraries using augmented reality, showing delegates the children’s reading initiative Mythical Maze. Liz talked about the possibilities for AR with a strong message that the age of passive learning was now over.
Four more workshops took place in the morning, with a useful session looking at the various hardware devices that can be used to capture sound and vision by Chris Clow and Tommy Wilson from The University of Sheffield. They showcased the work they had done building a creative media team and suite that allowed staff and students 24 hour access to create, edit and publish videos and sound recordings. Whilst Stephen McConnachie delivered a session on embedded metadata mapping and automated extraction in the other workshop.Myself and Claire Beecroft showed delegates what they could do with very little money to produce good quality, edited and hosted video and audio. Valerie Stevenson from Liverpool John Moores University ran a session archiving British Culture and showed the diverse collection that her institution holds. In addition their work on translating content from analogue to digital and the creation of a small sound studio and digitisation suite to help the transition.

After lunch the Head of Sound and Vision from The British Library, Richard Ranft gave a tour of the library and their audio and visual archives which numbers into the millions of items. Richard talked about the complexities of trying to build systems to help users navigate the databases and libraries to find what they were after. He explained the importance of this as many of the materials were important historical artefacts and that the solution lied in a combination of human and machine-driven enrichment and visualisation tools. 

In the afternoon John Hardisty delivered a workshop on how technology had helped improve library services for people with sight loss. John spoke about various interventions that had been created to help visually-impaired people and how new technologies such as smart devices were being used to help print disabled people. John’s session covered the new inventions and ideas being applied right now and what was on the horizon to help people with sight loss have access to the materials that many of us take for granted. The other parallel session was run by Iain Logie Baird who is the Associate Curator at the National Media Museum and looked at vision and sound collections in science museums. You may recognise his surname as he is the grandson of John Logie Baird, who invented the first mechanical television. He talked about the three museums in the group, The London Science Museum, National Media Museum and the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry and their extensive sound and vision collections.

Finally Leo Appleton closed what was a small, but without perfectly formed two day event and spoke about the high quality talks that were delivered. I think everyone took at least one or two things away from the conference considering the quality of speakers in attendance. Once the dust has settled MmIT will look forward to the 1st December and their AGM hosted at CILIP and two guest talks from library activist, PhD student and Voices of Library co-founder Lauren Smith and from Sierra Williams Editor of the LSE Impact of Social Sciences Blog. The theme of the talks will be around the use of social media in libraries, for professionals and information sharing. The event is free to non-MmIT members, hopefully we’ll see you there.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Mobile Apps for Higher Education Videos

There has been a lot of discussion over the last year or so on the Web over the merits of using tablets and apps within education, more notably primary and secondary schools. In higher education there have been various initiatives to encourage staff and students to get more value from their smart devices going beyond the stock use of email, calendar and Social Media. Yet there is an increasingly growing conversation on the Web that the tablets have not changed learning and teaching in the way they were heralded a couple of years ago. Some academics are reaping the benefits of their mobile devices by using a multitude of apps, but from my own personal experience these are in the minority. Part reason for this is there are still only a small number of good quality academic apps out there, or ones that can be applied to higher education. 

Again for the most part staff are using their devices as bigger screen versions of their smartphones to access emails and calendars with some taking and reading notes. Tablets represent a great example of the Gartner Hype Cycle, although according to the technology forecasters we were on the slope of enlightenment a year ago and probably should be somewhere near the plateau of productivity any time soon. It may be the case for many uses for tablet devices, as I said school education, there are no shortage of useful apps for kids (when you remove the U.S biased ones), in addition to apps on cooking, consuming, playing and communicating. Whilst some of these can be applied to higher education, the list of really useful, mass-appealing academic apps remains just a handful and rarely used by most academics and students. The reasons for this lack of uptake is many, that some of the apps are no good, poorly designed or just do not do enough compared to their desktop/laptop counterparts; that it could be argued that the app was created for the sake of having an app. That staff and students do not invariably have the time to explore these apps beyond the ones key to their work, email, calendar, PDF reader and those they are instructed to use institutionally, Turnitin, Pebblepad etc. There are of course exceptions to these rules and communities, student doctors use tablets increasingly to diagnose patients and check medications, whilst for anyone working out in the field, archaeologists, engineers and suchlike there is greater uptake. For the majority of mostly office and lecture-theatre based academics and their students there is still so way to go before they truly do reach the heady heights on the plateau of productivity.

Whilst tablets will increasingly seep into our working environment there needs to be a better understanding of not only how they work, how to stay safe using them and maintaining them but what apps are out there and how can they be employed within a university environment; in a streamlined process rather than just for the sake of it. The reality is that most apps have very small learning curves and are often just lightweight versions of software packages, that an awful lot of them are free and some are hidden gems not always spotted by certain communities. Take Evernote for example, the tablet version allowing for note, image and audio capture are perfect for students in classrooms and academics at conferences, yet many do not apply an academic use for it beyond taking meeting notes. 

The Evernote issue is understandable as with many applications it often takes a colleague or friend to explain and show the benefits of using a certain technology. It very much feels like the period shortly after Web 2.0 had arrived in 2005, and a couple of years later when innovative platforms like Prezi, Mendeley, Dropbox and Twitter appeared and where starting to gain popularity, yet the academic uptake was still fairly low. The reason behind that takes us back to the Hype Cycle again and reasons behind many technology adoptions, that users are wary of new technologies, cannot afford them, do not have the time to explore them and can often feel overwhelmed by them, the same is happening again but on a bigger scale as we have more platforms than before.

With regards to apps there have been Initiatives at our own institution through workshops, short seminars and such as the App Swap Breakfast idea. Another option is by making short videos that not only explain an app's use but also that it exists in the first place, awareness at least opens the mind to the possibilities. At present I have created just seven short videos hosted on the Information Resources YouTube channel and later on the University's iTunes U, but the intention is to create more. The videos explain briefly Evernote, BibMe, Harvard Easy Referencing, Mendeley, Readability and Browzine - the series can be viewed here.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Wear your jeans to work

As part of the Master Cutlers Challenge, the Department of Finance at the University of Sheffield have held a Wear your jeans to work day.

Here in IR, six members of the team have bravely agreed to take on this challenge and donate to the two Master Cutlers Challenge charities - Whirlow Hall Farm Trust and Sheffield Hospitals Charity.

Here is a picture of our intrepid jeans wearers - some of whom have never been seen wearing jeans to work and others who wear jeans very regularly (I'll leave you to guess which is which).

Pictured are Anthea, Louise, Anna, Magda, Helen and Andy.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Teaching in Information Resources - Public Health Informatics

Here in Information Resources we have a very wide portfolio of teaching, from teaching Information Skills through our innovative IRIS course, our dedicated support to staff and students through one to one training and InfoSkills Clinics and our teaching across the many courses that are offered by ScHARR.
One module that has been designed and led by staff within Information Resources is the innovative module on Public Health Informatics. Conceptualised by Andrew Booth in 2009 and delivered by Andrew, Louise Preston, Claire Beecroft, Helen Buckley Woods and Andy Tattersall since 2009, the module takes an technology based look at how specific public health problems can be better addressed using technology. 

Image from University of Sheffield Asset Bank

Public Health Informatics is a rapidly growing and increasing relevant topic for Public Health and Informatics professionals alike. The opportunity to undertake this module offers students a different perspective on the area in which they work and is an innovative addition to the course in both content and delivery. The module is delivered online (to Information School students) as well as face to face (to ScHARR students) – we utilise innovative technologies and teaching methods in order to deliver teaching in an appropriate way. The subject matter of the module means that we are constantly revising and refreshing our material to ensure that it is as up to date as possible - new technologies and new diseases are included in the module as soon as feasible to ensure that we are addressing the issues of real importance to our students. More information on the module is available here and here. As Louise Preston will be away from the University in the 2014/2015 academic year, the module will be led by Helen Buckley Woods (face to face version) and Andy Tattersall (online version). 

Louise Preston, August 2014

Monday, 14 July 2014

InterTASC Information Specialists’ Sub-Group (ISSG) Workshop

Suzy Paisley, Anna Cantrell, Ruth Wong, Fiona Campbell, Rachid Rafia, Nick Latimer and Eva Kaltenthaler from HEDS attended the first InterTASC Information Specialists’ Sub-Group (ISSG) Workshop hosted by the University of Exeter on Wednesday 9th July.  135 delegates representing various stakeholders (InterTASC members, NICE, pharmaceutical industry, and event sponsors) in Health Technology Assessment were present at the workshop. The day was very busy with the first half comprising talks on views from four different stakeholders (Evidence Review Groups, pharmaceutical industry, NICE and ISSG).  Suzy Paisley presented on the views and reflections from the ISSG group. This was followed by an hour of questions and discussion.

Four posters from HEDS were presented at the workshop:
Anna Cantrell “Do we need to search MEDLINE and Embase for RCTs when CENTRAL should be sufficient?: a case study of search methods trialled in a HTA review of interventions to prevent postnatal depression”
Ruth Wong “Assessing searches in Single Technology Appraisals: a comparative study of UK and German checklists”
Louise Preston “Improving search efficiency by limiting searches for diagnostic studies to Medline and EMBASE: an exploratory study”
Nick Latimer "Treatment switching in randomised controlled trials: implications for trial design"

Anna Cantrell (left) and Suzy Paisley in Exeter
In the second half of the day, three useful talks were given on trial registers searching, web-searching for HTA reports, and finding information on adverse drug effects. The workshop finished with an interesting talk by Tom Jefferson on Hayashi’s problem: The use of regulatory information for research synthesis. More details about the speakers and workshop can be found here.
Words and image by Ruth Wong

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

App Swap Breakfast - Changing Landscapes Webinar

I was lucky enough to be invited to contribute to a UCISA (Universities and Colleges Information Systems Association) webinar last week focusing on the growing interest in App Swap Breakfasts which we have started at The University of Sheffield. I'd come across the idea after presenting at the UCISA conference Changing Landscapes back in January at The Edge in Sheffield. I'd seen an inspiring presentation by Fiona MacNeill, Beth Hewitt and Joyce Webber from the University of Brighton talking about initiative. The event was run by UCISA and was a continuation of their Changing Landscapes, hosted by Jane Hetherington and featured reflections from myself, Fiona, Joe Telles from the University of Salford about our own App Swap Breakfasts.
The recording of the webinar can be viewed/listened to here:

Webinar recording -
Fiona MacNeill et al's presentation from the Changing Landscapes can be viewed here:

UCISA Case Study Slides: App Swap Breakfasts: Pedagogy, Mobile Devices and Learning Discourse over Breakfast from Fiona MacNeill

In addition I was invited to give a presentation to University of Sheffield staff as part of CiCS LeTS Snap, App & Tap lunchtime series to help colleagues get more from their mobile devices. I ran a session on tools to help staff and students carry out research on the go and looked at Mendeley, Evernote, Harvard Reference, CLA search amongst other useful tools. The slides are below, and I will be looking to turn this into a future ScHARR Bite Size event.

Future dates for the remaining Snap, App & Tap can be viewed below and signed up for via the University's Learning Managament System.

Weds 3rd September: The Collaborative Classroom: This session will give you a taste of how mobile devices can be used collaboratively and/or interactively in a classroom setting. You will get the chance to experience a lesson learning something which may be new to you and seeing how it feels to be a student using these technologies. The session will cover some / all of the following - synchronous use of Google docs, Nearpod, Feedback tools such as Poll anywhere, Socrative, Google moderator and Blackboard mobile.

Weds 10th Sep: Reading on your mobile device - a good idea? There are differences in the way that we read electronic texts and paper-based texts. There are also differences between reading on a computer screen and on a mobile device. How do these differences affect our experience, our work and our students? What are the advantages and disadvantages? The session will look at which options are available for reading on a mobile device, what advantages there are, what the options are for annotating and sharing reading, how the screen size affects our ability to read, accessibility / disability and reading on screen. 

Weds 17th September: Keeping a diary, journal or reflective log on a mobile device. A mobile device can be the perfect tool for a journal, diary or reflective log as it is often with you wherever you go. This session looks at the tools available for keeping your notes and how they can be exploited for academic purposes. It covers the apps available for diaries, journals and reflective logs, how notes can be moved from one place to another and tools available to transform your notes into valuable data.

Weds 24th September: See Hear! You or your students can create audio-visual resources on your mobile devices. This session will cover the reasons why we may use audio-visual resources and look a various tools that are available such as iMovie, Explain Everything, voice recorder.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

European Association for Health Information and Libraries (EAHIL) conference

The 14th EAHIL conference was held in Rome and organised by the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (Italian National Institute of Health) and held at the National Central Library of Rome. Details of the slides and posters can be found here.
There were a variety of speakers, mainly from Europe as you might expect, but also some presenters from Canada and the US.  I presented a poster and gave a “gone in 60 seconds” presentation in a poster plenary session about the LIRG work that I did with Andrew Booth. The focus of the poster was on the use of ephemeral evidence in a scoping review of LIS practitioner’s relationship with research. I had quite a few visitors during the poster session and I can definitely cite colleagues from Ireland, Sweden and Norway who introduced themselves.  The poster session was a very busy two hours as it was scheduled straight after the poster plenary, which provided a taster of the work.
Aside from the poster I attended a number of other events:

There are a number of special interest groups in EAHIL, one of which is the Public Health Information Group. This is co-chaired by Sue Thomas from Public Health Wales and Tomas Allen from the WHO. I attended a friendly meeting with people interested in a variety of different aspects of public health information such as HINARI, patient information, cancer patients, open repositories, documents in native languages, systematic reviews and WHO.
I also attended the board meeting which featured reports from key officers in the usual manner. The representative of JEAHIL encouraged people to consider submitting to the journal  (the next copy deadline is 5th August). She also recommended three key sections of JEAHIL as being good for current awareness: “take a look”, “new publications” and “emerging challenges” which is a tech column.
Also mentioned at the meeting was the council election. There are vacancies for country representatives across Europe including the UK. If you want to vote (or stand), you have to be a member and it is free to join, you can register here. There is more information on all this in the journal and the September issue will be dedicated to the conference.

Maria Cassella from the University of Turin was the keynote speaker. She talked about the “open paradigm” (open access, open source, open data, open learning, open knowledge) and the changing environment of increased marketisation, global competition and student demand. She referred to the G8 open data charter and the open research data pilot from Horizon 2020. She described Altmetrics as open social peer review and as being complementary to traditional metrics. One problem is that Altmetrics are not standardised and she referred to the NISO Altmetrics project which aims to develop a published standard. She suggested that more granularity is required with the need to drill down to article level metrics and gave the example of Plos One articles where you can do this. The NISO Altmetrics standards white paper is open to public consultation until July.

Valeria Scotti also spoke about Altmetrics and gave a useful introduction to the topic, linking to  Her research involved comparing the Altmetrics scores from a number of academics at her institution with the citations received in Web of Science, number of Mendeley readers and PubMed citations.  She described Altmetrics as covering academic and social impact and referred to a couple of sources:
Impact story –

Shona Kirtley presented on the EQUATOR library of health research reporting guidelines. “The EQUATOR (Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research) Network is an international initiative that seeks to improve the reliability and value of published health research literature by promoting transparent and accurate reporting and wider use of robust reporting guidelines.” (Info from EQUATOR website). The group provides online toolkits aimed at different user groups such as authors, librarians and teachers. They are also hoping to set up an international librarian network, an advisory group and representatives from each country to feed into this work.  Please get in touch if you are interested in any of these opportunities – or just join the network at  Contact details There are also promotional leaflets which can be downloaded freely from the website to display and promote the service. Suggestions on how to support EQUATOR

Patrice X. Chalon presented an update (from their JEAHIL article) on the SuRe information project run by the HTA IR group which aims to identify, appraise and summarise relevant literature on information retrieval for HTA. There are currently 34 appraisals and 7 chapters on the website. Four chapters are in preparation to be published in 2015. The project is a contribution to evidence based information retrieval practice and can be used to update institution’s own methods handbooks or for use in designing teaching sessions. They are looking for people to participate in the project and contribute to the writing, so please feel free to get in touch if interested. 
Janet Harrison and Barbara Sen did a double header reporting back on two EAHIL 25th Anniversary research grants awarded in 2012:  European Library Quality Standards and experiences of European health information professionals respectively. The full report for project WHIPPET (Barbara Sen’s project) is in the White Rose repository.

Wichor M. Bramer gave a presentation on the most effective and quickest ways to remove duplicates when conducting a search for a SR. Working with a group from the Netherlands and the US, they firstly compared the performance of a number of reference manager tools in de-duplication – using the default settings. He had an interesting table which showed how many false duplicates were removed, so worth checking out the slides for this. They then looked in more detail at the algorithm and how easy it was for the user to adapt this to improve the de-duplication performance. The team went on to develop their own algorithm for Endnote which they found speeds de-duplication and has a good precision rate.  Using this algorithm they have de-duplicated libraries of 10,000 records in less than 30 minutes. Secondly, working with colleagues from the medical library at the university medical centre in Rotterdam, Wichor Bramer presented a poster on the search methods for systematic reviews which have been developed to support over 200 SRs a year. They work with the PI for each project to develop an optimised search strategy checking the added value of individual terms. Working in a step by step way they identify missing thesaurus and free text terms.  When a search strategy is arrived at, they use macros which they have developed in MS Word in order to translate the optimised search into the appropriate syntax for other databases

Elena Springhall from the University of Toronto gave a presentation about blended learning (also known as the “flipped classroom” or “hybrid instruction”) which provided useful background knowledge to this way of teaching.  She described a piece of research which is currently in progress to assess the effectiveness of this approach and review its use in teaching Medical students at the UoT. Preliminary finding suggest that achieving an optimal balance between the two elements of online and F2F teaching is difficult but is still overall a useful pedagogical approach. The project is due to be completed this summer. Anecdotal info from the presentation include: make teaching sessions mandatory or the message is that they are not important; she also commented that her medical students often disliked the reflection side of her classes and struggled with this skill. She also talked about having “online office hours”.
Marte Odegaard from University of Oslo gave a presentation on knowledge management and her teaching on an EBP course for final year medical students. She described a piece of research she undertook where she analysed the methodology chapter of 29 final assignments in order to establish the students understanding and improve her teaching methods. Focusing on the students' choices on knowledge management and search techniques, one of her methods was to use elements of FRESNO and the PRESS checklist in order to grade the PICOs that students had written. The illustrations from students’ work gave the usual contradictions such as students declaring that a comprehensive search had been undertaken (which they defined as a certain range of data sources) and then they searched  only one source. She also mentioned that less experienced students often investigated clinical effectiveness questions with students in later years taking organisational / management type questions.
Louise Farragher spoke about the theory and use of systematic reviews and other review types, based on the work of Grant and Booth (2009) and Gough et al. (2012). She also reported on the experiences of the team at the Irish Health Research Board which was set up by the Department of Health to conduct “evidence reviews”. She highlighted that a different approach is required from that of a traditional SR to develop a rapid or scoping review to inform policy decisions. She referred to a diagram from the Gough paper which outlines review approaches. It indicates the different philosophical bases of review types, for example some reviews rooted in an idealist philosophy, which in turn informed the methodology – inductive, exploring or generating theory and the search process – iterative and emergent. She commented on some of the challenges to producing reviews to inform policy and how researchers sometimes found it ideologically challenging to reduce information to small concepts in order to present to policy makers.

The Embedded librarian is obviously a concept we are familiar with at ScHARR and also, of course, common in the NHS with the clinical librarian role. Norbert Sunderbrink, working in a teaching hospital library in Hamburg, reported on how this role had been developed at one of the departments in his institution, where an IS had been employed separately from the University library. He gave a background to the notion of the embedded librarian/informationist/ISIC (Information specialist in context), before covering some of the main advantages and disadvantages of the role. One feature he described was of the embedded librarian being a “power user” of the institutional library services and able to identify information needs of researchers sooner, as in situ. He also spoke about “the move from a transaction based to relationship based model”.
Other highlights include – the development of a new ontology to translate indexing concepts into Finnish, which is a language which has no structural relationship to Indo-European languages such as English, French or German: “FinMESH” presentation by Raisa Livonen (University of Helsinki)
Valerie Durieux spoke about collaborative tagging and folksonomies.  Molinari et al from Italy conducted a survey to capture the location of HTA centres in Europe and the extent to which information professionals are involved in the HTA process. (poster number 16)

Finally, the next EAHIL conference is in Edinburgh, 10-12 June 2015. The theme is research; doing research, supporting research, promoting research…

OK, that’s it, “Arrivederci Roma