a girl and a woman sit looking at an iPad together

Our research areasInformation engagement

Understanding how people engage with information.

We research how and why people engage with information, as well as how to increase user engagement, particularly in the domains of digital health and social media. This term is most common in patient studies, but can include a broad range of online information interactions, such as browsing, searching, finding, describing, sharing, repurposing, and interacting with information.

Our work in information engagement with cultural heritage has focussed on how to develop and evaluate new ways to understand and appreciate museum exhibits. This has led to novel interactive exhibits in museums and large evaluation studies of information engagement in national and local museums. 

Our group’s leader, Dr Diane Rasmussen Pennington, is a Senior Lecturer in Information Science and serves as the Chair of CILIP’s Metadata & Discovery Group (MDG). She has held a range of academic posts at universities in America and Canada as well as participated in research partnerships with third sector organisations and government agencies in Scotland, Canada, America, and Australia.

Further current and recent projects

  • Developing non-textual, qualitative research methods to categorising information needs and behaviours on social media platforms
  • Analysing and making recommendations for implementing linked data applications in libraries and museums
  • Understanding how people select videos in leisure settings
  • Applying machine learning classification techniques to identify predict health-related behaviours in relation to mental health conditions, needs of older adults, and COVID-19
  • Identifying and addressing the spread of mis/disinformation and conspiracy theories online

Latest publications

Albassam., S., & Ruthven, I. (2019). Dynamic aspects of relevance: differences in users' relevance criteria between selecting and viewing videos during leisure searches. Information Research, (25)1, 1-17.

Alshahrani, H., & Pennington, D. (in press). “Maybe we can work together”: Researchers’ outcome expectations for sharing knowledge on social mediaGlobal Knowledge, Memory and Communication.

Alshahrani, H., & Rasmussen Pennington, D. (2019). “How to use it more?” Self-efficacy and its sources in the use of social media for knowledge sharing”Journal of Documentation, 76(1), 231-257.

Rasmussen Pennington, D., & Cagnazzo, L. (2019). Connecting the silos: Implementations and perceptions of linked data across European librariesJournal of Documentation, 75(3), 643-666.

Ducheva, D., & Rasmussen Pennington, D. (2019). RDA in Europe: Implementations and perceptionsJournal of Librarianship & Information Science, 51(2), 387-402.