Thursday, December 28, 2006

Out-of-date Weblogs

Over the last two weeks I was so busy and consequently did not manage to find a time to update the weblog. However, I just came across an interesting finding of a study which shows more than 200 millions weblogs are no longer being updated. Luckily, my weblog was in this category only for a short period of time and hopefully I will update it again more often.

Sunday, December 10, 2006


I think I have already mentioned about the importance of evidence-based practice in LIS research and activities in the weblog. As a result of my interest about this issue I have recently joined the editorial team of “Evidence Based Library and Information Practice”.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

An Exploratory Journey

I wrote a brief note about my last 15 years education in three different universities. I called the article as "An Exploratory Journey during My Education Years" which was published in the International Student Newsletter, Issue 55, November 2006, Page 6. This is the link to it.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Libraries without Walls 7

Libraries without walls 7: Exploring ‘anywhere, anytime’ delivery of library services is organized by CERLIM (The Centre for Research in Library and Information Management). The conference will be held 14 - 18 September 2007 in Manchester. The keynote speaker is Professor Christine Borgman. The conference theme is very wide and reflects the diverse current developments in library service delivery, new kinds of service, library’s role within new models of scholarly publishing, service delivery in challenging environments, new technological solutions, assessment of information skills/literacies, and other similar issues.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

I was looking for the opening hours of Broomhill library in Sheffield to return a book and while searching for it, I came across which was interesting. The website describes itself as ... “ is the Internet version of Sheffield Local Studies Library's computerized image system. This website is only a representative selection from our collections, and most images are pre-1950. The site currently hosts 10,000 pictures from our collections.”

Monday, November 27, 2006

Departmental Club for Photography

I attended the first meeting of the Departmental Club/Society for photography in the Department of Information Studies in Sheffield. The club is going to be active in different aspects of photography including the way that we can share our ideas and photos and improve our skills of photography. We will soon have a weblog for the club with the photos that members will take or have already taken and like top share them with others. In today meeting each of us showed a photo that we have taken and explained why we like it. I also showed one of the recent photos that I have taken in Sheffield. Moreover, I mentioned this weblog and told the members of the club that I upload different photos to my weblog to make it more colourful and hopefully more interesting for the reader while there is no link between the contents of the entries and the photos next to them.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

ICWL 2007

International Conference on Web-based Learning (ICWL) is an annual international conference on web-based learning. ICWL 2007 will be the 6th ICWL conference and held in Edinburgh. Areas of interest include e-Learning Platforms and Tools, Web-based Learning for Oriental Languages, Mobile e-learning, Learning Resource Deployment, Organization and Management, Design, Model and Framework of E-learning Systems, E-learning Standards, Practice and Experience Sharing, and Pedagogical Issues.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

LILAC 2007

LILAC (Librarians' Information Literacy Annual Conference) 2007 will be held at Manchester Metropolitan University from the 26th-28th March 2007. This year's themes are recognising the need, advocacy, marketing and promotion, practical approaches to Information Literacy, Information Literacy and citizenship, new areas for practice and research and Ethical use of information.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

JECR on Web Search

The special issue of Journal of Electronic Commerce Research (JECR) on Web Search and E-Commerce will be published on E-Commerce Web search engines design, evaluation of E-Commerce Web search engines, consumer behaviors studies, cross-cultural comparisons and E-Commerce search effectiveness. For more information please visit the journal website.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Online Information Security

Online Information Review called fo articles on 'Online Information Security'. The suggested topics include, but are not limited to online shopping security, secure online banking transactions, personal security in the online environment, online trust, maintaining digital document integrity, the world of hacking, controlling viruses and worms, online lures and scams, scam Websites for stealing personal information and new information security threats. For more information please look at thisURL.

Friday, November 10, 2006


SEEK which stands for Sheffield Evidence for Effective and Knowledge is part of the University of Sheffield’s library. This is an example of works that shows how librarians can make a difference in digital age.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Off the Web

I used to have access to the web at home and always considered it as a bonus. I could not imagine a day without it. It was an indispensable part of my stuff at home. However, recently I do not have access to it at home and interestingly I found it very useful! I just noticed how much time I used to spend on the web. Now I spend that time on reading books which is much more enjoyable.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Evaluation of Digital Libraries

Library Hi Tech has announced a call for paper for a special issue on the “Evaluation of Digital Libraries". For more information follow the link.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Photos on this Weblog

I am posting this entry just to clarify some issues about the photos on this weblog. First of all, there is no link between the photos and the contents of each post. Therefore, please do not seek any connection between contents and photos because there isn’t any. I just upload photos to make the weblog somehow colourful and hopefully more interesting. Moreover, over a period of time this weblog has turned to a personal album for me and sometimes I look back and browse the photos which remind me the places that I have been. In addition, all photos on this weblog have been and are taken by me. I bought a digital camera three years ago and since then I have taken more than three to four thousands photos by it. Photos displayed on the weblog form only a small selection of that collection. Most photos have been taken in different parts of Britain and a few in Sweden. I can write a caption for each photo to explain about it, but to be honest I cannot spend any more time on the weblog and just keeping it up-to-date is time-consuming enough.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Web Science

Thank to my friend Alireza who informed me about ‘Web Science’. Recently, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Southampton in Britain are going to start a joint research program in Web science. Based on this piece of news in the New York Times, web science “… has social and engineering dimensions. It extends well beyond traditional computer science … to include the emerging research in social networks and the social sciences that is being used to study how people behave on the web … web science … shifts the centre of gravity in engineering research from how a single computer works to how huge decentralized web systems work. In particular I like the quotation form Berners-Lee in the news who said: “The Web isn’t about what you can do with computers … it’s people and, yes, they are connected by computers. But computer science, as the study of what happens in a computer, doesn’t tell you about what happens on the web.”

Friday, November 03, 2006

Teaching Assistants Away Day

Today I attended the annual teaching assistants away day which our department runs once a year to provide research students and research staff with an opportunity to share their experiences of teaching with each other and also enhance their teaching skills. Just like last year it was a wonderful experience and I enjoyed of participation in all the discussions and I learned a lot from the other participants' views. The workshop was held in the university Staff Development unit and my friend, Peter Stordy who works in our department as a University Teacher and Learning & Teaching Advocate, was the main organizer of it. We explored different issues such as Effective Listening, Effective Feedback, and Problem Management related to teaching. The session was very interactive and everyone did participate in different discussions and debates.

Upcoming Paper

A journal paper entitled ‘Methodological Approaches in Web Search Research’ written by me and my friend, Dr. Andrew Madden, is going to be published in The Electronic Library, Vol. 25, No.1, which scheduled to appear in February 2007. We developed the paper based on our experience of doing research in the area and a selective review of the past eleven years of research on information seeking on the web . As the title shows we mainly focused on the methodological aspects of research on web searching and tried to depict and overall picture of this issue.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

More on INF6350

My supervisor, Sheila Webber, has posted an entry on her weblog about our joint lecture. We will write more about this issue in the near future.

Social Aspects of the Web

I was listening to the radio four today morning. It was on the news that Sir Tim Berners-Lee who is the inventor of the web has called for more research on social aspects of the web and asked for further collaboration from researchers in different areas to do more studies on this issue. It means researchers in the technical-oriented camp are acknowledging the importance of the non-technical aspects of the web.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


Yesterday I delivered a lecture for MA students of librarianship and MSc. students of information management in the department. I was an invited lecturer for the sixth week of the module of INF6350, Access to Information Resources and Information Literacy. The lecture’s title was ‘Web Searching Behaviour: A Diagnostic Tool”. The lecture went very well. I tried to summarize my four years' journey from the 'invisible web' to 'information visibility' in a simple language. I don't know how successful I was in describing the research for the students but luckily they enthusiastically participated in an exercise which my supervisor and I had been designed to assess their search skills on the web in the light of the model that I developed in my PhD.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Search/Retrieve via URL

Search Retrieve via URL (SRU) is a successor to Z39.50. This website defines it as follows:
“SRU has a simpler syntax and is designed to be easier to implement, making it suitable for a wide range of applications in and outside of libraries.”

Friday, October 27, 2006

Virtual or Physical?

I was in the university main library’s stack today and thinking about the size of all the printed materials which are out there. We may have all these materials stored in electronic format some day in future. However, whatever we called it such as electronic resources or virtual libraries or whatever, it is still physical! In fact, imagine once we reproduce all of these printed materials in the electrical format, but at the end the hardware that contains these resources are physical. In fact, in an ideal world all resources of a big library can be converted into electronic materials which of course require much smaller place but at the end of the day this is still physical and not totally virtual and we need physical devices to get access to them. Of course, I have not forgotten other important issues like remote access, multiple users, one copy for the whole world and things like that. What I am trying to say is whatever we have in the virtual environment like electronic materials, or like this weblog that you are reading are somehow physical but in a different size and with different features. Perhaps you think this is too obvious to explain, but we sometimes get overexcited about the virtual world and forget the virtual world is still physical.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

e-Portfolio in HE

A workshop on the use and development of e-Portfolio systems will be held by the Higher Education Academy Centre for Information and Computer Sciences (ICS) at the University of Bolton on 6th December 2006. For further information follow this link.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

LILAC 2007

LILAC 2007 is going to take place in at Manchester Metropolitan University from 26t to 28th March 2007. The keynote speakers include Christine Bruce, author of the Seven Faces of Information Literacy, and some other well known figures in IL. According to their website, the conference themes are: Recognising the need, advocacy, marketing and promotion, practical approaches to Information Literacy, Information Literacy and citizenship, new areas for practice and research and ethical use of information. For further information have a look at the conference website.

Yahoo Answers

My friend, Hamid who is a PhD student in London, emailed me and some other friends recently about Yahoo Answers. As his experience of this service was interesting to hear I asked him to let me upload his email here. He wrote to us as follows:

“I'm sure you all have heard of Yahoo answers and probably have seen its ads around where you live. If you haven't tried it, make sure you do. It’s amazing how many people are spending time answering other people's questions. I've posted a couple of questions during the last few weeks and normally I got answers within seconds. If I was going to find the answers by browsing the web, it would've taken me hours. But with this service you have access to the experience and knowledge of many people. Especially if your questions have an element of point of view or recommendation, this is the way to find the answer. Of course it depends on the kind of questions."

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Joint Use Libraries

Joint Use Libraries: An International Conference will take place from 19 to 21 June 2007 in the Lowry, Manchester. According to the conference website: “ ... joint use libraries are libraries serving more than one group of users (eg school-public libraries, university-public libraries)".

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Content Accessibility

Since 1998 I have been interested in different methods that we can evaluate websites. I remember in 1999 I initially wanted to carry out my MA dissertation about the evaluation of library websites. However, I changed my idea later on and I did my dissertation about users’ satisfaction with the computerized information services. However, I remained interested about this topic. This link provides you with a good guideline about the assessment of ‘Content Accessibility’ as part of the evaluation of websites. Although this document has been published seven years ago, some of the fundamental aspects of it are still valid. Moreover, if you come across some points which are not valid anymore, it is good to see how the criteria for evaluation change over the time.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

i-Conference 2006

i-Conference 2006 will be held tomorrow, 15th October, and will continue until 17th, at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI. To learn more about the event you can follow this link.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Turn

I wrote a book review which has been published in the recent issue of Webology.

Mansourian, Y. (2006). "Review of: Ingwersen, P., & Jarvelin, K. "The Turn: Integration of Information Seeking and Retrieval in Context." Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer, 2005. Webology, 3(3), Book Review 4. Available at:

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Adaptive Hypermedia in JoDI

The Journal of Digital Information, JoDI, has published a new special issue on Adaptive Hypermedia. Based on the journal’s definition “… adaptive hypermedia systems are those that build a profile of the user and then deliver content that is appropriate for these needs, rather than the more traditional "one-size-fits-all" approach of the web.”

Sunday, October 01, 2006

ECIR 2007

In April 2006 I have been awarded a travel grant to attend the annual European Conference on Information Retrieval (ECIR). I attended the conference and it was very useful to keep abreast about the current issues and trends in IR. Next ECIR is going to take place in Rome. The conference’s website includes details the event.

Personal Information Management (PIM)

Personal Information Management (PIM) is one of my favourite areas and I believe there is a promising future for this area in terms of research and practice. The following website which contains many useful links to various PIM resources succinctly describes PIM as follows:
“… in the ideal world, we have the right information at the right time, in the right place, in the right form, and of sufficient completeness and quality to perform the current activity.”

Saturday, September 30, 2006

ITNG 2007

The International Conference on Information Technology- New Generations (ITNG) is going to take place from 2 to 4 April 2007, in Las Vegas. For more information see this link.

Sunday, September 24, 2006


One of my papers came out recently. The bibliographic information is as follows:

Mansourian, Y. (2006). "Adoption of grounded theory in LIS research". New Library World. Vol. 107 No. 9/10, pp. 386-402.

The paper is available on the Emerald.

Friday, September 22, 2006

For Today

I just post this entry to remember today. Today was a great day. Thanks God and thank to everyone who helped me in this long and challenging way.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Cognitive Invisibility

My supervisor and I have published a paper based on the findings of the first phase of my PhD research. The bibliographic information of the paper is:

Ford, N. and Mansourian, Y. (2006). “The invisible web: an empirical study of ‘cognitive invisibility’”. Journal of Documentation, Vol. 62 No. 5, pp. 584-596.

You can see the full-text of the paper in Emerald site.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

New Issue of EBLIP

The new issue of EBLIP is available here. Their website introduces the journals and its scope as follows:
“EBLIP is a peer reviewed, open access journal published quarterly by the University of Alberta Learning Services … the purpose of the journal is to provide a forum for librarians and other information professionals to discover research that may contribute to decision making in professional practice.”

Friday, September 15, 2006

IRCE 2006

This year’s Iranian Researchers Conference in Europe (IRCE 2006) will take place in different parts of the Europe mainly in the UK. According to the website, the conference aims to “gather Iranian researchers from different scientific backgrounds worldwide to exchange knowledge and expertise, to network and to forge links between international experts from scientific institutions inside and outside Europe.”
I also have a presentation in the IT and computing section of the conference which will be delivered at the University of Salford.
The abstract of my paper, ‘Web Literacy: An Indispensable Component of Information Competency’, is available. This presentation explores the concept of Web Literacy and explains why we need to consider it separately from broader concepts such as Information Literacy.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Getting in Deep

This link can be useful as an introduction to the meaning of the invisible web and the deep web for the new visitors of the weblog. The article is called ‘Getting in Deep: Finding the Deep Web When You Need It’ and has been written by Jamie McKenzie.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Social Search

The new service by Yahoo called Yahoo answer is called 'Social Search' by some people. I would call it ‘Collaborative Search’. I had a look at it today and I found it fascinating. However, this service is still in its infancy days and the quality of answers is not as good as it could be. Nevertheless, this is fantastic when we see how the communication aspect of the web is changing everything including the way that people seek and supply information.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

For the New Visitors

Sometimes I think about those readers who stumble across this weblog for the first time and do not know about the definition of the invisible web. They might find the contents of the weblog somehow confusion and not sure what I am talking about in this corner of the cyberspace. Actually, I need to add my understanding of the invisible web as a specific and visible part of the weblog for the new visitors. Meanwhile that I am developing that section please have a look at this address. Of course, my view about the invisible web in some way differs from what you will find in Black Holes in Cyberspace. However, until I add the section this link and similar ones do the job.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Valerie Broomhead Prize

One of my young friends in Sheffield has been awarded an excellent award from the University of Sheffield for his achievements in Science. For more details see this link. I would like to congratulate Koorosh on his success.

Monday, August 21, 2006


I think Clusty works more efficiently than other general-purpose search engines at present time. I like it because of the clustering method that it employs to present the search result. It seems very useful to me.

Monday, August 07, 2006

A Real Librarian

I am writing this post in the memory of a good friend, Mr. Mohammad Ali Khaksari, who was a real librarian with all desirable characteristics that an excellent librarian should have. Mr. Khaksari was one of my colleagues at the Main Library of Ferdowsi University in Mashhad who sadly passed away two days ago. I heard the sad news yesterday through the Iranian LIS discussion group and it was difficult for me to believe it. He was very humble with a great personality and so enthusiastic about librarianship. His commitment to a long period of hard work in that library, for more than 30 years, was admirable. He had a degree in philosophy and long time experience in different aspects of library science in general and cataloguing in particular. Mr. Khaksari was one of the pioneers in adopting LC classification method in Iranian academic libraries. His services to the library science in Iran will always be remembered. God bless him.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

SIGIR 2006

29th Annual International ACM SIGIR Conference on Research & Development on Information Retrieval is being held in Seattle from sixth to eleventh of August. The conference program is available here. Two years ago SIGIR 2004 was held in Sheffield and I was involved there as one of the volunteer students. It was a wonderful conference and I learned many things through attending the main conference and some of the workshops.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Google’s Early Days

I just came across a paper that has been developed by Sergey Brin and Larry Page, founders of Google, when they both were PhD students at Stanford University in 1998. In their paper they acknowledged the big challenge of indexing the web and explained: “... how to build a practical large-scale system which can exploit the additional information present in hypertext. Also ... how to effectively deal with uncontrolled hypertext collections where anyone can publish anything they want.”
Perhaps in that time they had not predicted such a huge success for Google. In fact, their wonderful search engine showed that addressing the above questions in the real search environment is an achievable task. Although all search engines including Google are still far from perfection, Google certainly does a great job and it deserves its popularity.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Against Information Literacy!

Peter Williams’ opinion about the role of information literacy has been published on the CILIP website. He has expressed his disillusionment with the real role of information literacy. In this argument he claimed that the necessity of information literacy has been overestimated by experts in this area and we all need to rethink about the ‘underlying tenets of the information literacy’. If you like to read the full text of this debate please click here.

Thursday, August 03, 2006


There is a CFP for 2006 Research Symposium of the Special Interest Group on Human-Computer Interaction of ASIS&T. The symposium will be held in November 1, 2006 at Hilton Austin. There is an interesting description about the difference between the concept of in HCI and in ATMs which explains why HCI is so important in information science.
"Unlike the interactivity coupled with ATMs, online ticket purchasing and accounting systems, the interactivity associated with information-intensive environments demands complex tools, innovative forms of interaction, and novel ways of visualizing and representing content. In this context, the study of human computer interaction (HCI) is unique due to the focus on interactions among people, content and systems. This half-day Symposium aims to rejuvenate the use and study of HCI within the information science context."

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Digital Preservation Management

'Digital Preservation Management: Short-Term Solutions to Long-Term Problems' will take place in October 1-6, 2006 at the Cornell University Library. Their website introduces the aims and objectives of the workshop as follows:
"The Digital Preservation Management workshop series is intended for those who are contemplating or implementing digital preservation programs in libraries, archives, and other cultural institutions. The goals of this initiative are to foster critical thinking in a technological realm and to provide the means for exercising practical and responsible stewardship of digital assets. "