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Professor Amanda Spink at ASIST & Australian Research Council grant

November 4, 2010

During late October 2010, Professor Amanda Spink attended the annual conference organised by the American Society of Information Science and Technology (ASIST), which was held this year in Pittsburgh.

Amanda Spink

Amanda Spink

The ASIST conference has been running for over 50 years and is considered by many experts in the field to be the single largest and most international information science conference in the world. Professor Spink has regularly attended ASIST for over 20 years, but this year, having recently taken up the role of Information Science Chair, she was attending on behalf of DIS. She also spent time networking with research partners and gathering “competitive intelligence and catching up” with other attendees at the conference.

During the week, Amanda received a substantial grant of AUD$463,000 (£286,672) from the Australian Research Council. This follows pilot study work along with other researchers focusing on the use of Google by children aged between five and six. “The aim was to understand their interaction with search engines, which provided some very interesting results”. The pilot study results convinced the Australian government to provide a much larger grant than requested in order to conduct the research on a larger scale by looking at young children’s interaction with the web. Commenting on the pilot study, she said  “It was the first study in the world that actually looked at whether children in early childhood were cognitively capable of being given a topic and then formulating an approach to finding the information on the web”.

After what she considered as an “exhausting but successful” week, Amanda is back in autumnal Loughborough, and is looking forward to working in the future with contacts she made at the conference.

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