Evaluation of the British Library 'Growing Knowledge' exhibition
The British Library recently put on a ‘Growing Knowledge’ Exhibition - a major initiative designed to demonstrate the vision for future digital research services at the BL and provide a test bed for the evaluation of digital research tools and services to support researchers’ needs. The exhibition consisted of a number of features including digital signage, video demonstrations and a prototype “Researcher’s Desktop” application. CIBER (then at UCL) was commissioned to evaluate the exhibition and advise the BL on how the digital applications, and in particular social media, are likely to impact on research in the future – and what the implications are for research libraries such as the BL. My role in the project was to interview and observe users of the exhibitions tools and services and to use findings to contextualise computer logs of usage that were captured and to enhance survey results. The interview findings will play a key role in understanding the current and future needs of researchers and their future exploitation of digital media.
Authors’ first novel experiences
We worked with The University of Paris XIII on a comparative study of authors’ experiences in getting their first novel published. We will be looking at the roles of each of the players (author, publisher, editor etc. ) in the process, and subsequent author activities. Results will lead to recommendations for publishers so they can improve the process authors are required to negotiate.
Generation Y, IT and future work experiences
CIBER worked with a leading provider of IT systems, services and products, examining the potential implications for information technology and service provision of the increasing influence of Generation Y. This is the generation who have always known information technology and come to expect it in every aspect of their lives. The project examined the extent to which, if at all, large IT companies need to move to a service offering that meets the expectations and aspirations of Generation Y. A major question concerns what this cohort would expect with regard to working with systems and applications. Surveys of Generation Y and, for comparative purposes, older ICT users, were undertaken in addition to exploratory interviews with the company’s existing clients to elicit how they see their operations being affected as GY come into their workforce.
The value and impact of e-journals in academia
Publishers began to provide access to full-text scholarly journals about ten years ago, leading to a revolution in the academic communications landscape. But we know little about precisely how this has changed the behaviour of researchers in the UK. RIN (The Research Information Network) commissioned the CIBER research group at UCL to undertake a study to examine this topic. The project is now complete, and has created a substantial evidence base on e-journal use and information-seeking behaviour of UK researchers, as determined by computer log analysis followed by a major survey and over 100 in-depth interviews. Results are available on The Research Information Network website.
This was a research project funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council, exploring how scholars and authors manage their personal collections of digital information. Individuals are capturing and storing an ever-increasing amount of digital information about or for themselves, including emails, documents, portfolios of work, digital images, and audio and video recordings. The Digital Lives research project explored how existing archival practice needs to be adapted for a digital age - how collections currently being deposited are changing, and what implications there may be for collection development and practice. See: Williams, Dean, Rowlands and John, (2008); Williams, John and Rowlands (2009).
The information behaviour of the researcher of the future (aka The ‘Google Generation’ study)
The aim of this project was to discover: a) whether or not as a result of the digital transition and resources being created digitally, young people, the “google generation”, are searching for and researching content in new ways and if so, how this will shape the way they research and search in the future; b) whether or not new ways of searching and researching for content will prove to be any different from the way that existing researchers/scholars work. My part in the study was to undertake a meta-analysis of past research literature past research, so that we could make legitimate comparisons between different studies conducted at different times by different researchers.[See Williams, Fieldhouse and Rowlands (2008)]
Project @pple: Access and participation in ICT for people with learning disabilities
Work on an ESRC (PACCIT) funded project at the Rix Centre at UEL, developing ICT systems to help adolescents with severe learning disabilities self-advocate [See Williams, 2005, 2006; Williams and Minnion, 2007; Williams, Bunning and Kennedy, 2007; Williams, Jamali and Nicholas, 2006; Williams and Nicholas, 2006)].
A Department of Health funded project examining the use of digital TV and satellite to PC delivery of Continuous Professional Development training for NHS staff 2003-2004 [see e.g. Williams, Gunter and Nicholas (2006)]
The Information Needs of Operating Theatre Staff
An enabling project for the Specialist Branch Library for Theatres (NeLH), 2003 [see e.g. Nicholas, Williams, Smith and Longbottom (2005)]
Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund Website Evaluation
An evaluation of the effectiveness of websites of charities and voluntary organisations providing support for young people funded by the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund 2002-2003 [Williams and Nicholas (2005)]
NHS Direct Online Interactive Enquiry Service
An evaluation of the pilot stage 2001 [see e.g. Williams P, Huntington P, Nicholas D. (2003) Health information on the Internet: a qualitative study of NHS Direct Online users. Aslib Proceedings 55 (5/6) 2003, pp304-312]
Information technology and the changing face of consumer health information provision: a national impact study. 2000-2003 [see e.g. Williams, Nicholas and Huntington (2003)]
Capabil-IT-y - teaching key skills to undergraduates using information technology
Project evaluation 1999-2000 [see Williams (2001, 2002)]
The Media and the Internet
Studying the impact of the Internet on broadcast and print journalism and media librarianship 1997-1998 [see e.g. Williams and Nicholas (1998, 2001)