Dr David McMenemy


Computer and Information Sciences

Personal statement

I am a Lecturer in the Department of Computer and Information Sciences where I also serve as Deputy Director for Postgraduate Teaching.

My research interests encompass information law and ethics, including intellectual freedom, and freedom of expression, freedom of access to information, digital citizenship, privacy, and the philosophy of information.  I have also extensively researched around public library policy and development in the UK.

Recent research outputs have included a report in collaboration with Scottish PEN on the impact of government and corporate surveillance on Scottish writers, an exploration of how character building can be incorporated into information literacy education models, a white paper on digital ethics, and a paper on how the hollowing out of public library services has impacted the service in England.  

I am author of The Public Library (Facet, 2009) and was Editor of Library Review between 2006-2011 as well as co-author of Librarianship: an introduction (2008), and A Handbook of Ethical Practice (2007).

Prizes and awards

Emerald Literati Highly Commended Paper Award - New Library World
Emerald Literati Outstanding Paper Award - New Library World
Elsevier/CILIP Library and Information Research Group Research Award

more prizes and awards


BA (Hons) English Studies (Strathclyde)

MSc Information and Library Studies (Strathclyde)

MA Philosophy (Open University)

LLM Internet Law and Policy (Strathclyde)

PhD Computer and Information Sciences (Strathclyde)

FHEA (Fellow of the Higher Education Academy)

FRSA (Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts)


Governance of public library services : how philosophical approaches to a public service impact on practice
McMenemy David
Public Library Governance (2020) (2020)
'To be understood as to understand' : a readability analysis of public library acceptable use policies
Robinson Elaine, McMenemy David
Journal of Librarianship and Information Science Vol 52, pp. 713-725 (2020)
The hollowing out of children's public library services in England from 2010-2016
Robertson Catriona, McMenemy David
Journal of Librarianship and Information Science Vol 52, pp. 91-105 (2020)
Character building in children's online information behaviours : applying a virtue epistemology perspective to information literacy
McMenemy David, Buchanan Steven
Information Literacy in Everyday Life European Conference on Information Literacy 2018, pp. 73-82 (2019)
Scottish Chilling : Impact of Government and Corporate Surveillance on Writers
Williams Nik, McMenemy David, Smith Lauren
Young people's conceptions of political information : insights into information experiences and implications for intervention
Smith Lauren N, McMenemy David
Journal of Documentation Vol 73, pp. 877-902 (2017)

more publications


I teach several modules at both postgraduate and masters level, including on the department's graduate apprenticeship schemes:

CS 955 - Information Law

CS 211 - Professional Issues in Computing 

CS 978 - Legal, Ethical, and Professional Issues for the Information Society

CS 800 - Health Information Governance

CS 812 - Information Security Fundamentals (Graduate apprenticeship - MSc Cyber Security)

CS 255 - Professional Issues (Graduate apprenticeship - BA IT: Software Development)


Research interests

  • Information law and policy, especially around issues regarding freedom of access to information and freedom of expression, and privacy.   
  • Information ethics
  • Digital citizenship
  • Philosophy of information
  • Public library policy and development

Professional activities

Using Turnitin in Supporting Plagiarism Detection
"Is digital surveillance creating a culture of self-censorship?"
Advocacy through impact: a practical workshop
Privacy and the library patron: an ongoing ethical challenge
Privacy, surveillance and the information profession: challenges, qualifications, and dilemmas?
The ethics of our profession and sustaining our common values

more professional activities


Self-censorship and surveillance concerns of Scottish writers
McMenemy, David (Principal Investigator) Smith, Lauren (Co-investigator) Williams, Nik (Co-investigator)
In the human rights and free expression communities, it is a widely shared assumption that the explosive growth and proliferating uses of surveillance technologies must be harmful—to intellectual freedom, to creativity, and to social discourse. But how exactly do we know, and how can we demonstrate, that pervasive surveillance is harming freedom of expression and creative freedom? We know—historically, from writers and intellectuals in the Soviet Bloc, and contemporaneously from writers, thinkers, and artists in China, Iran, and elsewhere—that aggressive surveillance regimes limit discourse and distort the flow of information and ideas. But what about the new democratic surveillance states?

The question of the harms caused by widespread surveillance in democracies, is underexplored. In partnership with Scottish PEN, we are conducting a survey of Scottish writers to better understand the specific ways in which awareness of far-reaching surveillance programs influences writers’ thinking, research, and writing.
01-Jan-2016 - 01-Jan-2017
Scottish ESRC Doctoral Training Centre DTG 2011 | Robinson, Elaine
McMenemy, David (Principal Investigator) Poulter, Alan (Co-investigator) Robinson, Elaine (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2014 - 04-Jan-2019
PAUL: Policy-development for Acceptable Use in Libraries
McMenemy, David (Principal Investigator)
02-Jan-2014 - 27-Jan-2015
AHRC Capacity Building Scheme | Liddle, Calum Douglas
McMenemy, David (Principal Investigator) Poulter, Alan (Co-investigator) Ruthven, Ian (Co-investigator) Liddle, Calum Douglas (Research Co-investigator)
Scotland finds itself so often in receipt of praise for having a stronger freedom of information regime. Media narration of high profile refusal notices south of the border, disclosures and, of course, any ensuing scandal which follows have been, perhaps, matters key to this all-too-common view. Are the overtures made to Scottish FOI otherwise justified? How the legislative differences play out on the ground is unknown: the consequences, if any, unheard. The Scottish provisions do, in actual fact, legislate for far stronger information rights for the applicant but there is, put plainly, a distinct paucity in any research which concerns comparative law and practice. The research offered a comparative study of the home nation FOI regimes; it afforded an investigation of the diverging trajectory in operational practicality. The analysis of the statutes was complemented by case law, qualitative inquiry, the application of FOI as a sui generis research method and a nod to contemporaneous events and official information which, in all the circumstances, looked to suggest that UK reverse-engineering is weakening the operational practicality of FOIA 2000 while FOISA 2002, to the contrary, maintains stronger information rights for the applicant in real-world practice.

PhD thesis will soon be available from the Andersonian Library, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland.
01-Jan-2012 - 01-Jan-2015
Epsrc Doctoral Training Grant | Imperatore, Gennaro
Dunlop, Mark (Principal Investigator) McMenemy, David (Co-investigator) Imperatore, Gennaro (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2012 - 03-Jan-2016
Buchanan, Steven (Principal Investigator) McMenemy, David (Co-investigator) Mycock, Jane Victoria (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2012 - 02-Jan-2016

more projects


Computer and Information Sciences
Livingstone Tower

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