The University of Sheffield (Department of Information Studies)

211 Portobello Street
Phone: 00 44 (0)114 222 2630
Fax: 00 44 (0)114 278 0300


The Department of Information Studies was founded in 1963 as the Postgraduate School of Librarianship. Its research has a strong multidisciplinary basis and falls into two main areas:
  • the computational tools that are required to support information systems of various sorts; and
  • the use of information and knowledge management techniques in a range of organisational contexts.

The Department has an international reputation for the quality of its research, the expertise of its staff and the achievements of its graduates. It was awarded the top rating in all the Research Assessment Exercises undertaken to date in the UK to assess University departments. In the OrganiK project, the Knowledge and Information Management Research Group will participate. The Group has a strong interdisciplinary flavour and draws on theoretical perspectives from information science, librarianship, information systems, information technology, and organisational and sociological theory.
The Group has expertise in both quantitative and qualitative social research methods, as well as design research, action research and evaluation methodologies. It focuses on the following core areas:
  • Theories of use of information and knowledge associated with specific organisational behaviours;
  • Social interaction, information behaviour and knowledge transformation in diverse social settings, with a focus on communities of practice and informal interaction and learning;
  • Information and knowledge management practices, policies and strategies in a variety of contexts, including studies of innovation, core competencies and intellectual capital valuation;
  • The use and relevance of underpinning ICTs and of information and knowledge management systems;
  • Issues of professionalism, discourse and identity in information and knowledge work.

Short profiles of staff
Ana C. Vasconcelos, BA (Lisboa, Portugal), PGDip (Lisboa, Portugal), PhD (Sheffield Hallam, UK), is lecturer in Corporate Information Management at the Department of Information Studies, the University of Sheffield. She has previously lectured at the School of Computing and Management Sciences, Sheffield Hallam University, and at the School of Information Management, Leeds Metropolitan University. Prior to that, she was a researcher at the National Institute Industrial Technology and Engineering (INETI) in Portugal. She has carried out research evaluation in the field of information technologies and the information society for the European Commission since 1992. Her research interests are in information and knowledge management and information systems adaptation, with a focus on information behaviour, discourse and identity in a variety of contexts, especially communities of practice and virtual communities and organisational and political arenas and strategy adaptation.

Tim Zijlstra, BA (HanzeUniversity Groningen, Netherlands), MSc (University of Sheffield, UK), is research assistant and PhD candidate at the Department of Information Studies, the University of Sheffield.
Before coming to Sheffield he worked in various roles in libraries as well as working as an information manager in secondary education in the Netherlands. His research interests include knowledge management and organisational learning, the implementation of educational informatics systems in secondary education and on-line collaboration using Web 2.0 tools.