Maria Cecil at iConference 2024

PhD student Maria Cecil recently participated in the European/African leg of the iConference 2024 doctoral colloquium. Here she gives an overview of the event.

Monday 15th of April 2024, 11:00am BST

The doctoral colloquium was hosted online over Zoom with a panel of international Information Science experts (chaired by Widad Mustafa El Hadi) and PhD students. The purpose of the event was to allow the PhD students to present their work to date to a panel of knowledgeable academics who could provide detailed feedback and recommendations for development/improvement. The PhD students were encouraged to actively engage with the experience and were thus given the opportunity to review and comment on each other’s work.


I was the first to present my PhD research on ‘gendered information landscapes and their routes into and through apprenticeships’ to the panel. I had prepared a 20-minute slide show, in which I outlined the rationale and aims for the PhD, the key relevant  theories and concepts, the research plan and methods, and the initial findings of my research so far. 

Once I had completed my talk, the floor was opened up to the panel for comments, questions, and feedback which included the following points:

  • I was asked to explain the importance of the Information Landscapes concept in the context of my research and why I had decided to include it as a key theory. It was highlighted that the concept is multidimensional and that there are differing schools of thought about how people interact with and are influenced by information sources. A recent paper by Savolainen was recommended for further reading.
  • It was also recommended that it would be good to highlight the aspects of social justice in my research, with the panel agreeing that it is important to incorporate an intersectional, feminist philosophy into my research design, data collection and data analysis.

The second presentation was given by Silvia Maccarinin from the University of Carlos III in Madrid, who discussed awareness of predatory publishing among research communities in Italy (her native country). This was an insightful presentation which highlighted the need for even the most experienced academics to be cautious about the types of publications they are submitting research papers to.

Finally, Romain Herault from Linnaeus University in Sweden gave a fascinating talk about his PhD study, entitled ‘Towards a Probabilistic Interactive Video Training Tool for Emergency Medical Services’”’. This presentation outlined plans to develop a new technology which will allow medical trainees to explore potential emergency scenarios with a view to testing whether they would select the correct, appropriate course of action.

Overall, this was a thoroughly enjoyable and useful event with a knowledgeable, experienced panel who underscored the importance of having a strong conceptual underpinning for the research being carried out.

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