School of Information Management

Research at the School of Information Management

The School of Information Management has a strong, vibrant research culture. We aim to produce research of the highest standard that is cutting edge and of value to both fellow researchers and practitioners.

Our stakeholders include both private and public sector organisations, along with individuals and communities involved in information management practices and pursuits.


Latest Research News

Best Paper Award to Dr Gillian Oliver

Gillian Oliver

Dr Gillian Oliver has won the Records Management Journal Award for the Outstanding Paper of 2013 for her paper "Recordkeeping informatics: re-figuring a discipline in crisis with a single minded approach".

The paper highlights the widespread crisis facing the archives and records management professions, and proposes recordkeeping informatics, a single minded disciplinary approach, as a way forward.

The paper was co-authored by Frank Upward (Monash University), Barbara Reed (Recordkeeping Innovation Pty Ltd) and Joanne Evans (Monash University).


Moving beyond the threshold: Investigating digital literacies and historical thinking in New Zealand universities

Digital Literacy words

Dr Sydney Shep has been awarded one of the eight national Teaching and Learning Research Initiative grants for her project: “Moving beyond the threshold: Investigating digital literacies and historical thinking in New Zealand universities”. 

The aim of this project is to understand how university students and teachers use digital media to support the acquisition and retention of disciplinary threshold concepts for transformative learning and improved student outcomes in history-informed subjects. A New Zealand-wide environmental survey, a massive online open course (MOOC)-enabled workshop series, and the development, implementation and evaluation of digitally-mediated coursework will provide research evidence to enhance teaching practice and benefit future-oriented student learning. Innovative features include the creation of a digital history portal for communication, project management, and dissemination, plus the use of self-reflective e-portfolios. Mentoring junior teacher-researchers who are at the forefront of digital adoption and e-pedagogy is a priority.

Funding allocation: $200,000 over two years.


Young Adults Shown to Behave Differently on Facebook

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Many young adults show more cruelty on Facebook than they do in everyday life, a Victoria Business School study has found.

Dr Val Hooper, an associate professor and Head of the School of Information Management, guided student research, in which young people aged between 18 and 20 were interviewed to determine what behaviour they regarded as acceptable and unacceptable in social networking.

A large number of respondents admitted that they gauge what is acceptable behaviour online by watching and copying others.

"They will try something and then watch to see to what extent their Facebook friends sanction their behaviour -- the reaction they receive determines how they develop their norms of interaction," says Dr Hooper.

Most respondents believed there were differences between the way people behaved offline and on Facebook. The protection of the computer screen and the ability to talk to someone without seeing their facial expressions meant that people felt freer to say what they wanted without worrying about the immediate consequences.

"If you post something hurtful you don’t see the hurt in the recipient’s eyes," says Dr Hooper.

"You also have time to think about how to word your post to have the most powerful impact."

Dr Hooper is concerned about the implications of an online world that does not have strong guidelines in terms of behavioural norms.

"There is potential for what happens online to spin off into the offline environment -- in fact we have seen evidence that it is happening. If young people become accustomed to bullying people online, what is to stop them becoming more violent offline as well?"

The study also showed Facebook to offer many benefits, especially for young people who are striving to establish their identity as young adults.

Positive experiences respondents mentioned included being able to catch up with old friends, getting to know people better, and meeting new people.

Most of the respondents’ negative experiences were associated with security, privacy and undesirable postings. For instance, the majority of respondents indicated that they didn’t want to see information that was too personal, particularly problems and private information such as explicit romantic and sexual details.

People also felt an obligation to befriend people they would normally avoid offline, with many confessing that they had Facebook friends they actually didn’t like.

Val Hooper "This has raised some interesting questions that would be worthwhile to explore further," says Dr Hooper.

"For instance, if we are supposedly freer online, why is there an obligation to accept unappealing friendship invitations?"

Dr Hooper's research also featured in a Fairfax Media story on Stuff 'Blood-pack' warning over Facebook, and a Bay of Plenty Times feature: New law sets a net for cyberbullies.