Image of Nicola Osborne

My name is Nicola Osborne and I am Jisc MediaHub Manager / Digital Education Manager at EDINA, a Jisc-designated centre for digital expertise and online service delivery at the University of Edinburgh.  I have held this role since February 2015 and it’s a role I am delighted to share with Lorna M. Campbell.

I manage Jisc MediaHub, a multimedia platform offering a wealth of digital image, video and audio collections which is used by Universities and Colleges across the UK. I also work with Lorna to lead EDINA’s work in Digital Education. And, in both areas of work, we benefit from the expertise and creativity of our lovely EDINA colleagues and the wider University of Edinburgh community.

As of Summer 2015 I am the Convener of the University of Edinburgh elearning@ed forum, a community of practice that spans staff of all levels working in elearning, blended learning and TEL. I am also part of the University’s Crowd Sourcing and Citizen Science Network, a member of EDINA’s internal mobile group, and my colleague Ben Butchart and I are both members of the initial steering group for the University of Edinburgh-based Virtual Edinburgh project (more information coming soon).

I am currently (Sept 2014 – October 2015) part of the research team for the PTAS-funded Managing Your Digital Footprint project, along with Louise Connelly (IAD), Sian Bayne (Moray House School of Education), and Adam Bunni (EUSA) which is investigating students’ digital footprints and use of social media, and their implications for teaching and learning.

I am a guest contributor and tutor for MSc in Digital Education‘s Introduction to Digital Environments for Learning module, based at the School of Education (College of Humanities and Social Sciences). It is a delight to work with this innovative and inspiring team, particularly as I am also an alumnus of the programme – my dissertation looked at Continuous Professional Development in collaborative social media spaces.

I also regularly give talks and presentations on digital tracks and traces, social media, communicating research, and associated areas such as crowdsourcing and citizen science. If you are interested in attending one of these or would to have a look through materials from previous presentations see the Presentations & Publications area of the blog – these materials usually also appear on our official EDINA Presentations and Publications page which is well worth exploring. I also try to share news of events I am planning to attend – so do say “hello!” when you see me out and about.

Since April 2012 I have been a member of the Journal of Open Research Software Editorial Board. The Journal of Open Research Software (JORS) features peer reviewed software papers describing research software with high reuse potential.

From May 2009 until February 2015 I worked as Social Media Officer, a wonderfully innovative and varied role, advising colleagues, projects and services across EDINA and beyond on social media and related areas including crowd sourcing. I was also active in associated event amplification, public engagement, etc. You can see an overview of the social media presences I helped to develop and support on the EDINA Social Media page, and on that page you will also find a link to the EDINA Social Media Guidelines, which I authored with support from colleagues and which are available for reuse under a Creative Commons license. Those guidelines fed into the University of Edinburgh Social Media Guidelines, and I was recently part of the group reviewing and updating these for the latest revision (summer 2015). To read a bit more about my time as Social Media Officer, take a look at my post written as we were recruiting for our new EDINA Social Media Officer in Summer 2015. I continue to retain a strong interest in social media, particularly as it relates to teaching and learning, learning analytics, ethics, and related areas. In October 2015 I was included in Jisc’s 50 most influential higher education (HE) professionals using social media in recognition of my previous and ongoing work in this area.

I have previously worked on the teams for the AHRC funded Palimpsest/LitLong project, the EU FP7 funded COBWEB project, the Digging Into Data project Trading Consequences project, and the Jisc-funded AddressingHistory project, alongside many other of EDINA’s own services and projects (for more details see the Recent Projects section below). Since it began in 2013 I have also written and performed at the wonderful The Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas, an academic-led series of events at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe – you can find out more, and access a recording of my most recent show, Back to the Statistical Future, on the Statistical Accounts of Scotland blog.

Prior to becoming Social Media Officer I worked on the SUNCAT project team where I munged (programmatically manipulated) data, learned all about MARC21 and AACR2, and set up various social presences for the service. My background before that was a slightly peculiar blend of libraries, techie interests, film writing, website editing and creative interests which, it turned out, was an almost perfect grounding for working in all facets of social media and online communication, as well as multimedia and digital education.

Recent Projects

I am currently working with colleagues in the Institute for Academic Development (IAD) and the Moray House School of Education on the University of Edinburgh “Managing your digital footprint (research strand)” project, funded under the Principal’s Teaching Award Scheme. This project is associated with a wider student awareness campaign which I am also working on, alongside  IAD, IS, Student Information Points, Careers Service, and EUSA (Edinburgh University Students’ Association).

From August 2012, until the completion of the work in Autumn 2014, I was a Member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s Spreading the Benefits of Digital Participation in Scotland Inquiry Committee. We investigated the opportunities and challenges of increasing digital participation and supporting associated skills across Scotland. Read more about the inquiry at digiscot.net or read this blog post. The interim and final reports from the Inquiry can be accessed here.

From October 2012 until August 2015 I was the Course Leader for “The Role of Social Media in Science Communication and Public Engagement”, a core module for the University of Edinburgh MSc in Science Communication and Public Engagement (launched on-campus in 2012/13 and also online from 2014/15) which I designed and delivered. I have now handed this module over to colleagues at the School of Biomedical Sciences (College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine) as part of my change of role in 2015, but I continue to work with the programme team, based , to provide a guest week on social media for a Global Health Academy elective module on Science Communication and Public Engagement.

A significant amount of my time from November 2012 until February 2015 was spent working on the 4 year European Union FP7 funded COBWEB project, for which I developed the Communications Plan and worked with 13 project partners across five countries advising on social media and broader communications activities. The project is developing a generic infrastructure for citizen science projects, particularly focused on environmental projects based in UNESCO Biospheres including activities in the Dyfi Biosphere reserve, the Mount Olympus and Gorge of Samaria Biospheres in Greece, and the Wadden Sea and Hallig Islands Biosphere in Germany.

I was part of the AHRC-funded Palimpsest project, working with colleagues in the School of Informatics, the English Literature department and the University of St Andrews Computer Interaction Research Group. The project used text mining, georeferencing and visualisation to bring Edinburgh’s literary heritage to life for scholars as well as the wider public, via interactive and mobile-friendly interfaces, branded as LitLong: Edinburgh. This project built on the work of the Trading Consequences project, which involved applying similar data mining techniques to 19th Century trading records. This project was funded under the second round of Digging Into Data and my work involved guiding social media presences and managing the launch publicity around the project, working with project and press office partners to ensure that this work had impact in both specialist and mainstream press.

Previously I have also worked on the Spatial Memories (supporting several workshops), Will’s World (particularly the December 2012 Will’s World Online Hack event), AddressingHistory, JISC GECOSTEEV, USED and the “Support for Repositories and JISC Digital Infrastructure“, UK RepositoryNet+ project which is led by EDINA. I have also worked closely with colleagues on services including DigimapStatistical Accounts of Scotland, JISC Mediahub and Digimap for Schools.

From Spring 2012 until Spring 2015 I was the editor of the Social Media page for the University of Edinburgh BITS Magazine. And from 2009 until 2015 I was part of the organising committee for the annual Repository Fringe events. I was also part of the Host Organising Committee for the Open Repositories 2012 conference which was hosted in Edinburgh.

About This Blog

I tend to use this blog for capturing conferences, events, workshops, etc. that I attend. As Social Media Officer I got into the habit of live blogging and I continue to do this whenever I can as I recognise that it is a real privilege to have access to the events and ideas that my very flexible and varied role allows. Topics vary but at the time of updating this page digital education, multimedia and research using audio, visual, and moving image materials, learning analytics and maker events are all making appearances. As I work at EDINA I inevitably flag up interesting things that we are up to as an organisation but I try to also look out at interesting work and ideas elsewhere.

Finally I should say that this blog is a work in progress, so you can expect some aesthetic tweaks and improvements from time to time, and the writing and live blogging styles develop and shift over time. I also tend to have very busy spells where this blog may not be updated for a few weeks or more – though that will usually mean that some interesting materials will appear on my Presentations & Publications page. I would also like to add a small health warning: although this is a professional blog about my work and area of specialism at EDINA, the views are my own.

See Also

  2 Responses to “About”

  1. […] Nicola Osborne, EDINA’s social media officer, blogged the event live (and very comprehensively). […]

  2. […]  Nicola Osborne who works for EDINA is expert at liveblogging of events – a real skill – and she always posts something of use for those with an interest in social media and libraries. […]

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