Monday, 14 October 2013

10.00 – 17.00
, Information Specialist and Independent Consultant
, Online Searcher magazine

Click here for a detailed description

Sharpen your search skills, keep up with the changing web world and learn the vital elements of effective research at WebSearch Academy.

Effective research on the web is a critical job skill in many work environments. Although anyone can enter a few words into a search box, what sets information professionals apart is their ability to use multiple search engines, advanced search techniques and specialised sources to quickly hone in on relevant, reliable answers. WebSearch Academy offers the perfect opportunity to learn from world-class power searchers. This 1-day event will enhance your search creativity, provide essential information about changes in search engines, introduce new resources, and put it in context for serious researchers -- information professionals, librarians, documentalists, freelancers, journalists, information managers, and others who take research seriously.

Revisit how you use the internet for research, whether it is for academic data, competitive or marketing intelligence, company information, business news, or scientific/technical research. Rethink your approach to search. Join search veterans and industry observers to learn the latest strategies and techniques for searching online.

Academy topics include the following:

  • Search Engine Update: The newest developments in search engine technologies, such as Google, Bing, Yahoo! and others.
  • Alternative Search Engines: Move beyond Google to explore the value of other search engines, such as Blekko, DuckDuck Go, Yandex, and others.
  • Social Search: Find out how to tap into the social and real-time web to glean the intelligence necessary for serious research.
  • Niche sites: Learn specific web resources for business, news and current events, science, technology, medical and people research.
  • Strategising Search: Discover little known and overlooked search query strategies and learn how to effectively develop a research plan that will deliver high quality search results. Learn what works and contribute your own ideas.

Who should attend

  • Corporate, academic, public and government librarians whose searches are the basis for major business decisions, scientific and scholarly research, or technical evaluations.
  • Internet researchers in corporations, firms, government agencies and labs, where information has a major impact on products and programs
  • Information professionals, webmasters, journalists and strategic planners who need an advance look at where web search is going and how they should react
  • Market researchers whose research frequently moves from one subject area to another
  • Competitive intelligence specialists who need the most sophisticated search skills to monitor their industry and spot competitive trends Information consultants whose clients demand quality information on a wide range of topics Anyone whose job requires understanding the web and searching for the very best results

About the instructors

Phil Bradley provides training and consultancy on the use of the Internet for business, social and collaborative web tools, and on accessing and managing information resources. He speaks here in a personal capacity

Marydee Ojala edits Online Searcher magazine, writes for information industry publications and is a frequent speaker at international conferences

Arthur Weiss' company, AWARE, is a UK based marketing and management consultancy that offers clients business support services that helps them get the best from their resources.


Schedule for WebSearch Academy


London, UK, Hilton Olympia

14 October 2013


State of play with web search

            What's going on with major search engines in this time of rapid change? We look at what's the latest with alternative search engines, how these changes vary by geography, and the implications for serious researchers. Is there increased or decreased functionality? Find out what's new, what's vanished, and what's on its way out.

            Marydee Ojala and Phil Bradley


Surfacing the deep web

            Although the terms invisible web and deep web seem a bit dated, the notion that a huge amount of information can be found by knowing where it may be hidden, that it's not necessarily revealed by a standard web search, and how to conceptualize the query sets the professional researcher apart from the casual searcher.

            Arthur Weiss


Social search expanding and extending its reach

            Does the future of search lie in social aspects? It seems that many search engines believe so. Incorporating social elements into search raises many questions apart from how it affects the search experience. It makes us wonder about the very nature of news, of qualified search results, and of the role of the individual versus the website. Information professionals can take advantage of this emphasis on social by creating their own engines and guiding tools.

Phil Bradley


Questions & Answers


Moving to the media

            As audiovisual becomes increasingly important in peoples' expectations of delivered information, effective research can no longer be text dependent. The ability to search for information, beyond the trivial, in audio files, image database, and video websites becomes an information professional imperative. Think about searching iTunes for university courses, video search beyond YouTube, and "channel surfing." There's additional challenges surrounding the mechanics and legality of downloading media.

Arthur Weiss


Evaluation concerns and techniques

            Librarians and other information professionals have long stressed the importance of using information from sources that are trustworthy, accurate, timely, and unbiased. In today's web world, ascertaining the quality and reliability of websites is exacerbated by technological wizardry, peoples' sometimes naïve acceptance of dodgy data, and information overload. Although some evaluation techniques remain constant, there are new elements to incorporate into our evaluation toolboxes.

Marydee Ojala


What to do with information after you've found it

            What's the best way to present the data that results from your web searches? There are home pages, infographics, guiding tools, curation tools, not to mention standard report writing. What you're trying to accomplish, who your audience is, and how you gathered your data may steer your format decision. Creativity in presentation is the order of the day!

            Phil Bradley


Search tips and techniques

Each of our search experts share their five top tips and techniques for gleaning pertinent, relevant answers from search engines and web sites. Then they turn it over to the audience to tap into the knowledge of what has worked for them and what their favourite approaches are.

            Phil Bradley, Marydee Ojala, Arthur Weiss




10.00 – 17.00
, Cetis, University of Bolton
, Department of Communication and Systems, The Open University

Despite the uncertainties faced by librarians and information professionals, technology continues to develop at breakneck speed, offering many new opportunities for the sector. At the same time, technological developments can be distracting and may result in wasted time and effort (remember the excitement provided by Second Life?!).

This workshop session will help participants identify potentially relevant technological developments by learning about and making use of 'Delphic' processes. The workshop also provides insight into processes for spotting 'weak signals' which may indicate early use of technologies which could be important in the future.

But having identified potentially important technological developments, organisations need to decide how to respond. What will be the impact on existing technologies? What are the strategic implications and what are the implications for staff within the organisation?

The interactive workshop session will provide opportunities to address the challenges in understanding the implications of technological developments and making appropriate organisational interventions.

Who should attend

Librarians and information professionals from all settings with responsibility for, or an interest, the application of technology in libraries.

About the instructors

Brian Kelly is an independent consultant. Between 1996 and 2013 he worked for UKOLN at the University of Bath. In his JISC-funded role as UK Web Focus he advised the UK's higher and further education communities on best practices in use of the Web.

Tony Hirst is an Open University academic, open data advocate and part-time data storyteller with the Open Knowledge Foundation/School of Data. A regular blogger and speaker on data matters (wrangling and visualisation), he is a firm believer in appropriating digital tools and technologies for useful ends, irrespective of what those tools and technologies were actually designed to do.

10.00 – 17.00
, Birmingham City University
, King's College London
, ScHARR University of Sheffield
, Syracuse University School of Information Studies Director, Information Institute of Syracuse
, ScHARR University of Sheffield

MOOCs are massive in every sense of the word, engaging huge numbers of diverse learners from all over the world. For academic institutions, MOOCs present a significant opportunity to draw in new audiences and enhance their reputations. It’s no surprise that many institutions are putting such a high priority on MOOC development – with budget and resources to match.

There are plenty of opportunities for library services to apply expertise to support and contribute to MOOCs, from supporting digital engagement to collaborating with faculty in the creation process. But how are libraries getting involved in MOOC initiatives?

This one day meeting focuses on MOOCs from the library perspective. With expert speakers, the conference will explore the current MOOC landscape in Europe and North America, identify ways in which libraries and librarians are already playing a part – and highlight further opportunities for involvement.

If your university is currently developing a MOOC, or thinking of starting one you need to attend. Also if you would like to understand more about the MOOC phenomenon, and to start to position your library services and your own personal skills to make the most of the opportunities, this could be the most important day you spend all year.

Topics covered include:


  • MOOCs: the state of play
  • Getting a seat at the table – what can libraries (and librarians) offer? Who should we be working with?
  • Getting involved  - supporting faculty; supporting learners; supporting digital literacy and research skills
  • Making it work - technology and infrastructure challenges; content and licensing issues; managing scarce resources; exposing content and collections
  • New roles - what skills are needed to support MOOCs? How can libraries get involved in MOOC production? What are the skill gaps?
  • Bringing it back - can lessons about online engagement be translated back into the local library environment? How do MOOCs fit into the ongoing radical changes in the provision of Higher Education? What are the next steps for libraries?


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