Friday, 12 February 2010

CSU Master's Student has paper accepted at the Special Libraries Association Arabian Gulf Chapter 2010 Conference

Congratulations to Mohamed Boufarss, from the Petroeum Institute in Abu Dhabi who is about to graduate with a Master of Applied Science (Library and Information Management) from the School of Information Studies at CSU. Mohamed has had a paper based on his research project for the subject Research Projects in Information Studies INF553 accepted for presentation at the 16th Annual Conference of the Special Libraries Association, Arabian Gulf Chapter 2010 - Virtual Knowledge in Information Institutions: Issues and Perspectives March 2-4 2010. His paper is titled Institutional Repositories Among Faculty At The Petroleum Institute.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Introduction to Statistics using SPSS

Some of the SIS staff (Damian, Jake, Asim, Bob, Tanya and Mary Anne) were privileged to attend a workshop titled "Introduction to Statistics using SPSS". It was conducted by Anindito Aditomo (Nino) of the CoCo Research Centre at the University of Sydney and the Faculty of Psychology at Surabaya University.
While Nino worked on improving our knowledge, skills and understanding the guys at the back
(you know who you are :-)) provided relevant
entertainment. The workshop was very useful
and should see an increase in the use of descriptive
and inferential statistics in research within the School.
Thank you Nino.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Research Applications in Library and Information Science (RAILS)

The Research Applications in Library and Information Science (RAILS) 6 conference was held on Friday the 22nd of January, 2010 at Charles Sturt University’s Canberra Campus. Academic, student and practitioner researchers from around Australia gathered to share their research, renew friendships, and dream up new projects.

The organising committee for this year's RAILS consisted of Dr Anne Lloyd, Dr Bob Pymm, and Damian Lodge - many thanks to them for their efforts, much appreciated. On behalf of ALIA, Derek Whitehead, University Librarian at Swinburne presented the ALIA RAILS 6 Scholarship to Jia Tina Du, PhD candidate at QUT (above left).
The program was diverse with papers on a wide range of topics, from an analysis of the choices and decisions that inform entry into the library and information profession, to the role of cognitive coordination in web search. The full program is available at:
An important part of any meeting is the social networking - at right Kerry Smith from Curtin infiltrates a table of blokes at lunch (Gobinda Chowdury, UTS; Peter Macauley,RMIT; Michael Olsson UTS; Damian Lodge, CSU; Mike Middleton QUT and Mark Brogan, ECU )! Apologies to all the other people I took photos of. I am a very poor photographer, and you wouldn't thank me for posting them :-) Here's to meeting in another year at the next RAILS!

Sunday, 24 January 2010

ALIA Higher Educators' Forum. Thursday 21 January 2010

On Thursday 21st January ALIA hosted a Higher Educators Forum. The venue was CSU's campus in Canberra. Academics from the universities offering bachelors and masters programs in library and information studies were invited to attend. Educators attended from Curtin University; Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove and Gardens Point; RMIT University; University of South Australia; University of Technology, Sydney; University of Canberra; Edith Cowan University; and of course, there was a large contingent from CSU. Employer and ALIA representatives also attended - Sue Hutley, Dianne Walton-Sonda, Damian Lodge, Robyn Ellard and Gillian Hallam (ALIA), Derek Whitehead (Swinburne and ALIA), John Shipp (University of Sydney and CAUL), Jasmine Cameron (NLA and ASLA) and Deirdre Kiorkgaard (NLA). Items discussed included course recognition/accreditation, fieldwork placement, recognition of prior learning, the proposed RDA changes and research in the LIS sector. While agreement was not reached on all topics, valuable discussion and community building occurred. The photo is of some of the attendees who enjoyed dinner together afterwards at the Kurrajong Hotel.

Monday, 7 December 2009

ADCS 2009 (Australasian Document Computing Symposium)

The Fourteenth Australasian Document Computing Symposium (ADCS) was held in conjunction with The ARC Network in Human Communication Science (HCSNet) SummerFest at UNSW on 4 December. ADCS is a major forum for Australasian researchers and practitioners working in the areas of document management, information retrieval and digital libraries. This year's presentations covered a variety of topics within these areas, including collaborative recommender systems, text categorisation, sentiment analysis, search log analysis of Wikipedia use and information retrieval (IR) system evaluation. Mark Sanderson's plenary speech provided an overview of the history of IR evaluation in the construction of test collections and recent trends in user evaluations that move beyond simulations of search performance. Of particular interest are the papers that attempt to model human judgment behaviour, including Newman and Karimi's 'External evaluation of topic models' and Turpin and Scholer's 'Modelling disagreement between judges for information retrieval system evaluation.'

I had a chance to talk to other IR researchers who are also interested in user interactions with IR systems from RMIT and CSIRO. Since this conference is part of HCSNet week long big bang event, it provides the opportunities for connecting with related areas of research, such as speech and language technology and music communication science. Overall, this conference is well-planned and very successful in promoting innovative interdisciplinary research.

Friday, 27 November 2009

IR (Information Retrieval) Talk at CSIRO ICT Centre

Dr Ying-Hsang Liu gave a presentation to a group of researchers with special interests in information retrieval, data mining and document computing at CSIRO ICT Centre in Canberra on 23 November.

His presentation was concerned with the impact of state-of-the-art controlled vocabularies, exemplified by MeSH (Medical Subject Headings), on search effectiveness by different types of searchers in the genomics domain. The study suggested that MeSH terms were more useful for domain experts than for search experts in terms of the precision measure, even though domain experts did not perceive that MeSH terms were useful.

He also met several researchers at CSIRO whose current research projects range from distributed IR (also known as federated searching in information studies), enterprise search, patent classification, tweets as annotations to intelligent search tools for answering clinical questions. The knowledge sharing in this discussion group has stimulated many exciting ideas for future collaborative research.

SWITCH: Public Libraries in a Changing Environment

Suzanne Lipu reports that:

The Public Librarian's Conference (in Sydney Sunday 22 November 2009 to Tuesday 24 November 2009) went well, and the SIS booth was well attended. There were 290 delegates with a good number of local government councillors, 5 representatives from Wagga City Library, a couple of mayors, and of course lots of metro, regional and rural librarians (including an Indigenous Knowledge Centre librarian from WA). Many of the attendees were library managers and/or team coordinators. We had some excellent talks from Hugh McKay, Frank Panucci (Director, Community Partnership of the Australian Council of the Arts) and Michael Pascoe (a very entertaining and amusing presenter for an economist!). All other papers (including mine) was presented as part of either a Social Sustainability, Economic Sustainability, or Cultural Sustainability strand - 4 speakers in each - followed by an interactive panel with the audience for about half an hour. This was facilitated by Lucy Broad from the ABC and this arrangement fostered lots of discussions, and questions directed to me.

My talk focussed on the new courses available, particularly the Community Networking strand (since these were public librarians) and as a result of the talk I got many queries about that strand, as well as the change in courses and other offerings.

Next year the South-West Zone of Public Libraries NSW Country will be holding a conference in Albury from 13-16 July at the Albury Entertainment Centre for those of you who might be interested.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Usability Laboratory

Earlier this semester Dr. Asim Qayyum of the School of Information Studies and Alice Ferguson of the Division of Library Services hosted an open house of the new Digital Library Usability Lab. The Lab has been setup to facilitate Human Computer Interaction (HCI) research and transform the experiences that people have with new technologies.

The objective is to study the needs of computer users to evaluate and develop technologies, and to ensure that the needs and practices of users are reflected in future software applications and information technologies.

Primary activities will include carrying out research to study and design user interfaces, and to carry out usability studies.

CSU Researchers can book the facilities available in the lab for project use.

Equipment available in the lab:

  • Three high end desktop PCs running on Windows XP, equipped with microphones, headset, and Webcam.
  • Morae 3 software with Manager, observer, and recorder modules to record interactions.
  • Two rooms to accommodate researcher and experiment participants.
  • One way mirror between rooms to facilitate observation.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

ASIST 2009 Annual Meeting: Thriving on Diversity - Information Opportunities in a Pluralistic World

Each year the American Society for Information Science & Technology (ASIS&T) holds an annual meeting. It is a key conference for those working and researching in the field of information science and technology. Ideas and research are shared, networks formed and agendas set. The theme for the conference this year was “Thriving on Diversity: Information Opportunities in a Pluralistic World”. This year I was privileged to attend the 2009 ASIS&T conference in Vancouver as an invitee to the Doctoral Seminar for Research and Career Development. There was such a wide variety of papers I won’t attempt to do a summary, but from the Keynote presentation by Tim Bray of Sun Microsystems were three pithy lines which represent some of the topics. “The killer app of the Internet is people”; “What happens on the Internet stays on the Internet … forever” and “The culture of online is epistolary … we are in a golden age of writing …”.

While at ASIS&T I met many interesting people, including Dr Heidi Julien from the University of Alberta who we will welcome as a visiting professor at CSU next year. I also met Chang Liu, who was co-author of a poster paper titled “To Search is to Believe: A Comparative Study of health Information Use” with our own Dr Ying-Hsang Liu. Attached is a picture of Chang Liu with their paper. There were many interesting and creative papers, panels and workshops. One particularly interesting session which focused on future directions for information behaviour research mentioned the work Dr Annemaree Lloyd is doing in the area of information practice as something to watch.

Vancouver is a beautiful city. I did not really have the opportunity to explore, as I was only there for such a short period. I did, however, manage a daily walk, on one of which I discovered their very interesting city library building pictured here.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Doctoral Paper Award - Congratulations Sally Burford!

The SIS Research Development Committee (RDC) is pleased to report that the winner of the SIS Doctoral paper award for 2007-2008 and the accompanying $500 prize is Sally Burford for her conference proceeding:

Burford, S. 2008, “Understanding How Organisations Achieve Effective Web Information Architecture using a Grounded Theory Approach.” AusWeb 08: The 14th Australasian World Wide Web Conference, 5-9 April 2008, Ballina, NSW, Australia: Conference proceedings. AusWeb 08.

After reviewing the paper, the Committee agreed that it was an interesting paper on an interesting topic. We should acknowledge that Sally also received the best paper award at the AusWeb 08 conference for this paper. CONGRATULATIONS SALLY!

The RDC would like to encourage Doctoral students to take this Doctoral paper award as an incentive to publish their work as they progress through their studies and to submit their papers for awards as opportunities arise to do so.