Thursday, 25 October 2012

ScHARR Bite Size for Teaching #27 - What the CICS Learning Technologist Team can do for You! 31st October - 2.30pm, Eric Wilkes Room

ScHARR Bite Size for Teaching continues with a brilliant CICS LTT double act - head of CICS LT Sarah Horrigan is joined by Senior Learning Technologist Graham McElearney. As always there will be cakes, please come eat, meet with colleagues and learn something new or your money back! 

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

More of IR in action at Internet Librarian International

Following on from Andy & Claire's post about "Video Saved The Library Star", Anna and I are also hot-footing it to Internet Librarian International next week to present about

The session covers a pilot we ran in one of our FOLIOz e-learning courses to deliver the materials via a Web 2.0 technology of the participants choosing, allowing us to deliver real "anytime, anyplace" type learning.  We'll be reporting on how it went, what the learners thought, and what we plan to do next!

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

FDMH Bite Size for Teaching #3 PebblePad - 30th October - 2.30pm @ Pool Seminar Room 4

As always there will be lovely Bite Size cakes - so please try and join us for a useful session on this teaching tool.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Video Saved the Library Star - Internet Librarian International 2012 Promo

Here's the promo video for mine and Claire's presentation on video for this years Internet Librarian International conference, I hope you can join us :-)

C104 - Video content

14.45 – 15.30
Video saved the library star
Andy Tattersall, ScHARR University of Sheffield CILIP MmIT Committee member
Claire Beecroft, ScHARR University of Sheffield

In 2011 Cisco predicted that video would make up over 50% of all consumer Internet traffic by 2012, whilst YouTube recently reported that one hour of content is uploaded per second. Like mobile technology, video is becoming increasingly important in our lives. ScHARR has identified a range of ways for libraries to employ video in research, teaching and marketing.

The European Directory of Health Apps

This will be of interest to any one involved in health technology in particular mobile applications in health. Press release taken from:  Patient View

The European Directory of Health Apps
This first edition of the European Directory of Health Apps was launched on October 3rd 2012 at the European Health Forum Gastein 2012. Gastein is a key event in the Brussels healthcare calendar—an annual gathering of European-level policymakers, academics, industry and patient groups

This unique Directory contains facts about 200 smartphone health apps capable of helping patients self manage their medical conditions. The Directory represents not just the first occasion on which such information has been gathered together on a large number of medical conditions—the key difference about the Directory is that the health apps it lists have all been recommended by patient groups and empowered consumers, then categorised and indexed in several ways (including by local language), to make the details easy for readers to find. Another distinction about the Directory is that it lists health apps on all of the major operating systems (Android, Apple, BlackBerry, Nokia, and Windows Phone), not just apps that are carried on one. Robert Madelin, European Commission Director General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG Connect) has written the Foreword to the Directory.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Take Five - October 2012

Photo by Daniel*1997
Post by Anna

The latest edition of Take Five is packed full of research funding opportunities, news and new websites.

An archive of the Take Five Newsletter and other research funding updates can be viewed here

Latest Research Funding Update: Projects and Programmes

Photo by The-E
Post by Anna

Previous editions of the update can be viewed here

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

SoPHR Diabetes Workshop

ScHARR is one of the eight members of the School for Public Health Research (SoPHR) funded by the NIHR to advance and promote applied public health research.

The NIHR School for Public Health Research will aim to increase the evidence base for effective public health practice by conducting research to increase the volume and quality of applied public health research and evidence, including evaluations and creating an environment where first class applied public health research, focussed on the needs of the public, can thrive.

As part of SoPHR, a team at the University of Sheffield, including Louise Preston of Information Resources (other team members are Alan Brennan, Jim Chilcott, Liddy Goyder, Nick Payne, Hazel Squires, Penny Watson and Mike Gillett and external collaborators from Cambridge, Peninsula Medical School and LiLAC) are working on a project to assess the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of population / community public health interventions and targeted identification and screening interventions for type 2 diabetes prevention using a common modelling framework to support translation of knowledge into action.

As part of this project, in early October we held a stakeholder workshop within ScHARR with external collaborators, local GPs and commissioners and patient representatives to work on the development of a conceptual model to support the project. This was followed up by a poster presentation at the annual SoPHR conference held in Sheffield. Work on the project involves modelling, reviewing and information retrieval to faciliate modelling and reviewing based on methods developed in the recently completed NIHR Fellowship by Suzy Paisley.

Louise Preston

Friday, 12 October 2012

ScHARR Bite Size for Research #29 CINAHL - Tuesday 16th October - 2.30pm - Eric Wilkes Room

Learn Something New in 20 Minutes...or Your Money Back

Claire Beecroft

Time is a valuable resource, whether it be in work or personal life, and we are all very busy people. So, finding a new resource, a new way to work or just a new idea can often sit on the back burner whilst the daily workload is dealt with. This is very odd considering we work in an innovative, creative and fast-paced environment. Our remit is to research, educate, help shape minds and ideas and help drive the whole system forward in a way that fits with modern times. Yet we all have our day-to-day jobs to deal with and while we do that we rarely get the chance to find a new way to work, or discover a new resource as time is a valuable resource.

At the School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR) we had been very aware of this problem and wanted to do something about. We were aware of the growing problem of staff not having the time to learn about existing and new services, technologies and ways of working. They were also aware that some of the established methods of staff development were not working, as people could either not spare half a day for training, or that when they did they got very little from it. So in 2010 Andy began developing 20-minute sessions introducing new technologies to support and enhance teaching and research. He saw a need for professional development, delivered in a format compatible with heavy workloads and busy schedules. After consulting Claire Beecroft, a ScHARR-based university teacher, the first two sessions were run. Simultaneously, Dr. Jenny Freeman was developing sessions on learning technologies for teaching. After running the first successful session on the social reference management tool Mendeley, Jenny contacted Andy about fusing together these two and Bite Size was born. 

The original inspiration for Bite Size came from Andy’s passion for cricket and the development of Twenty20. This new format of the game came as a reaction to falling numbers attending games as people struggled to commit a full day to following the game and getting new devotees had become increasingly hard. This was a common problem when trying to get staff to attend development sessions- they just did not have the time. Also, how could they be guaranteed they would get something from a session?

Twenty20 Cricket
Image used under a Creative Commons By Attribution Licence ©  by vijay_chennupati

This is where ScHARR Bite size stepped in and represents the very best in collaborative effort designed to benefit all, with clear, demonstrable improvements in learning and knowledge of both staff and students. To achieve this whilst taking into consideration the aforementioned problems it became apparent that Bite Size would focus on planting seeds and making connections. After running a few sessions it soon became apparent that are no shortage of new ideas, technologies and resources across the campus that can be turned into a lively 20 minute session.  
Bite Size are short development sessions where staff and students (and indeed anyone in the University) bring a hot drink and we supply cake! They include a 20-minute presentation using technologies such as Prezi, videos and interactive demonstrations, with time for discussion. Sessions so far have covered topics on teaching and research practice, emphasising emerging technologies, resources and innovations in teaching and learning pedagogy and practice. They directly link the technologies and innovations to learning and teaching activities: according to Graham McElearney, since his Bite Size session ScHARR has become the biggest departmental user of MyEcho in the University.

The  team use their expertise in marketing, promoting BiteSize within ScHARR and the wider university, using blogging, Google Sites ( and uSpace. They developed screencasts and podcasts of sessions enabling staff to watch/listen later:

Attendance is regularly over 20. Of 54 people who participated in a recent evaluation: 87% felt Bite Size helped them work better; 100% felt Bite Size was an effective way of learning new ways of working:

“I always learn something gives me an insight into lots of aspects of work that people are doing”

“Quick, informative, straight to the point. You learn about things you weren't aware of”

Most importantly, staff on the new distance-learning MSc International Health Technology Assessment found BiteSize vital in enabling them to choose which technologies to use and gained inspiration in how to use them.

The team have spread the word about Bite Size via conference presentations (2), posters (3), a workshop and journal article and have even had enquiries from Australia about copying the idea!

The Bite Size team is a unique combination of experience, talent and enthusiasm enabling Bite Size to be what it is: Andy’s technology focus, Claire’s enthusiasm for new ways of teaching, Jenny’s wealth of teaching experience and links to pedagogical experts and specialists in the wider learning community. Jenny also secured financial support at Faculty level and sourced excellent administrative support from Uzzie Laubscher, without whom Bite Size would be poster-less, room-less, computer-less, and cake-less! We have learned the value of collaborative working: by leveraging diverse skill sets, a great idea has become a successful reality. This collaboration has created something greater than the sum of its parts: Bite Size shows what happens when staff whose paths would not normally cross are brought together by a shared passion for learning.

More recently Bite Size has expanded into the Medical Faculty and launched a separate series of sessions that re-runs some of the best ScHARR sessions such as Voiceworks, Google Apps and How NOT to Display Data. There are also plans afoot to start up other Bite Size sessions across the campus, whilst other institutions including the University of Leeds are looking to start their own 20 minute sessions.

When Bite Size started in 2010 there was one simple problem- how to create a programme that that stays fresh and relevant. It soon became apparent that this was irrelevant as the 50+ sessions have proved there is no limit to what you can cover in 20 minutes. Think about any time you have attended a lecture, workshop or seminar and thought: “ Did this really need to be an hour long?” With Bite Size,  at best you have been introduced to a new resource or a smarter way of working, at worst you have lost a mere 20 to 30 minutes of your working day. Also you had a cake, saw colleagues you rarely cross paths with and at least tried something new by attending. What’s not to like?

To stay abreast of ScHARR and Faculty Bite Size@
Add the calendar to your own -


Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Open access will change the world, if scientists want it to

Re-blogged from The Conversation
By Terry Sunderland, Centre for International Forestry Research

While the Australian Research Council considers its policy on open-access publication and others within the scientific community call for the increased sharing of scientific data, the British are already a step ahead.
They are implementing plans to make all publicly funded scientific research available to anyone by 2014 – for free. This signals a dramatic change for British universities and academics whose current scientific research is only available through expensive subscription-based journals.
But as we edge closer to open-access publishing, there has been much hand-wringing among the scientific community.
The dilemma is this: all scientists want to publish in high-impact journals but we also want our work accessible to as wide an audience as possible. In other words we want the prestige, but we also want the popularisation of our work that open-access publication can bring.
But for scientists in developing countries, the open access movement could mean the world.

Circulating ideas

So what is the issue? Basically, scientists who work for public-funded institutions rely on the global tax-payer to underwrite much of what we do. And so, you would think, what we produce should then be made public for the global public good.
But as a scientist, the “publish or perish” mantra is taken very seriously. Failure to do so represents not only a shortfall of professional responsibility to account for the funds made available for our research, but individual careers are often made (or broken) on one’s publication record.
Unfortunately, many of the journals in which we publish are owned by large publishing houses that control access to scientific information. This is primarily through the levy of subscription fees and these are increasing.
Between 1986 and 2002 overall subscription rates increased by 227%, making most journals prohibitively expensive to all but the better-resourced institutions. Such high fees also contribute to the vast profits of the publishers. The Economist recently reported that publishing house Elsevier alone made a profit of US$1.2 billion in 2011.
Essentially, subscription journals privatise the public investment of science – a process scientists contribute to through the voluntary peer-review process.

Developing disadvantage

If you are able to pay subscription costs, as most northern institutions are, then it is relatively easy to keep abreast of new scientific developments. But if you are a developing-country scientist from a government research organisation or university that cannot afford subscription fees, the likelihood is that you won’t be able to access the latest science.
Inevitably, you will get left behind.
This precipitates a cycle in which well-resourced colleagues dominate the scientific literature. In rank order, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, France, Canada, Italy and Switzerland produce 85% of the world’s most cited publications.
But this trend is changing.

Trying something new

The fact the Guardian and the Economist, two of the UK’s most respected media outlets, are covering the issue of open-access publishing is indicative of the fact it’s an important subject, worthy of discussion.
At the time of writing, more than 11,000 scientists have signed up to a boycott of Elsevier which controls a major share of the market.
In an incredible act of altruism, or as he describes it, a possible “toxic career move”, Winston Hide of the Harvard School of Public Health recently resigned as Associate Editor of the journal Geonomics in protest against:
… a system that provides solid profits for the publisher while effectively denying colleagues in developing countries access to research findings.

Following the lead

Open-access publishing is now being advocated by many institutions. Even such a well-endowed entity such as Harvard University is encouraging its scientists to focus on open-access publishing both for ethical reasons and the fact that subscribing to what are essentially private journals is “fiscally unsustainable”.
The Wellcome Foundation, which funds a great deal of medical research, has insisted much of the findings resulting from its portfolio are published in open-access journals. It is expected that many other institutions and foundations will follow such examples.
My own institution, the Centre for International Forestry Research, will soon be undertaking a review of the costs and benefits of open-access versus subscription journal publication, an issue that myself and colleagues discussed not so long ago (admittedly in a subscription journal!)
For scientists, the debate represents a considerable dilemma. The historical model of scientific dissemination, and our own career paths, still promotes publishing our work in “exclusive” high-impact journals.
But open-access publishing can increase one’s citation index considerably – something all scientists pay considerable heed to – often by up to 127%.
More and more open-access journals are seeing their impact factor increase significantly (see, for example, PloS, PNAS). This is only achieved by scientists being willing to submit high-quality research papers to such journals.
The more this happens, the more open-access journals will be seen as credible and prestigious. And in terms of popularisation, open-access publishing makes our research available to anyone with an internet connection.
Who wouldn’t want that?
Further reading:
Terry Sunderland does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations.
The Conversation
This article was originally published at The Conversation. Read the original article.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Developing Research Excellence and Methods (DREaM) Conference

 Image from jbelluch

In July (apologies for late posting!) I attended a one day conference at the British Library on “Developing Research Excellence and Methods” (DREaM) in Information Science. The conference was the last in a series which had the aim of developing a network of LIS researchers across the UK.
It was chaired by Professor Hazel Hall (Edinburgh Napier University).
There were a number of speakers and a “one minute madness” session which I participated in.
Professor Carol Tenopir from the University of Tennessee gave the keynote presentation on “Building evidence of the value and impact of library and information services: methods, metrics and ROI.” She focussed on journal collections and reading and scholarship but the project covers many areas including learning and teaching and digitisation. She talked about how value is defined and a number of methods and metrics that can be used to measure this.
Full details on this project can be found at
Dr Louise Cooke from Loughborough University gave a presentation on network analysis and showed how she had mapped the network of attendees across all the DREaM events and how the network had evolved.
Dr Ben Goldacre (of “Bad Science” fame) gave a presentation on the problem of publication bias in evidence based medicine. He spoke about the difficulties of finding all the evidence when some results are never published and some data from RCTs are published partially in different formats (e.g. conference presentation, protocol, journal article, trials registers etc). and the difficulties of trying to work effectively as a doctor when the evidence is hidden. He also mentioned a project he wants to get going “all” which would pull together these bits of partial information to create a fuller picture of medical research. He invited Information Specialists to contact him if they wanted to contribute ideas or volunteer their time to work on this project.
Full details on all the presentations, contact details and more information on “all” available at