Author Archives: Diane Pennington

Music conferences!!

I’m so excited to announce that I’ll be presenting an accepted paper called “Lookin’ for a sound that’s gonna drown out the world”: Resolving musical emotional ambiguity in U2’s POPVision” at the U2 Conference (U2CON 2018). It’s taking place from 13-15 June in Belfast. Follow @U2Conference for conference updates.

This past weekend, I presented an invited talk, “Searching for the right feelings: emotional metadata in music” at the Annual Study Weekend of the International Association for The UK & Ireland Branch of the International Association of Music Libraries, Archives and Documentation Centres. They live tweeted the conference, including my talk, at @IAML_UK_IRL. I had a fabulous time. My favourite talk was about the history of written music for the Highland Bagpipes and its associated bibliographic control. Also, the conference offered us tours of special music collections at the National Library of Scotland and the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Research Collections, as well as the amazing musical instrument museum at St Cecilia’s Hall. Here are a couple of photos I took on the tours:



Now, if you’ll excuse me, there is music information research to be done…

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My new grant!

I’m excited to announce my newly won grant, “Finding solutions to advance digital health for addressing unmet needs in relation to self-harming behaviours.” The Scottish Funding Council /European Social Fund is funding the project. I will be working in collaboration with Edinburgh-based charity Health in Mind.

Read more about it in the University of Strathclyde’s press release!

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Call for chapter proposals: Social tagging and linked data

I am so excited to announce that I have signed a contract to co-edit a book! Below you will find a call for chapter proposals. Please consider submitting a proposal, and feel free to circulate this call to your colleagues:

Book title: Social tagging for linked data across environments

Publisher: Facet


Dr. Louise Spiteri. Associate Professor, School of Information Management, Dalhousie University.

Dr. Diane Rasmussen Pennington. Lecturer in Information Science, Department of Computer and Information Sciences, University of Strathclyde


This book will explore how social tags can serve to link content across a variety of environments. Most studies of social tagging have tended to focus on discrete applications, e.g., library catalogues, blogs, social bookmarking sites, and so forth. Hashtags, in particular, can provide this level of linked data. Since hashtags are now used across different platforms (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, WordPress, Instagram), it would be interesting to explore the role of hashtags as a form of linked data without the complex implementation of RDF and other Semantic Web technologies; for example, a hashtag on a specific topic such as #PublicLibrariesInScotland could link to a conference on this topic, the research done by academics in the field, blogs from practitioners, newspaper articles, and so forth.

This book will explore social tagging behaviour. Most studies of this topic have focused on the types of tags that people assign to resources. Our interest is to examine how people interact with, and use, social tags to access and create resources and networks in linked environments.

It should be noted that, for the context of this book, the term “social tags” is used to include hashtags and geotags.

We welcome book chapter contributions centred (but not exclusively) on the following themes:

  • Social tagging and the creation of social networks.
  • The use and effectiveness of social tagging recommender systems.
  • The role of social tagging in information behaviour activities.
  • Social tagging behaviour in different domains.
  • Semantic or syntactic stability of social tags.
  • The role of social tagging in linked data applications and the Semantic Web.
  • The use and re-use of social tags for information discovery.
  • The role of social tagging in the formation of community networks.

Intended readers include practicing library and information professionals who implement electronic access to collections such as cataloguers and systems developers. Information architects and web developers would also have a particular interest in the book, as well as students in information management and cognate disciplines.

Submission Procedure:

Chapter proposal submissions  are invited  from researchers  and practitioners. Proposals should be limited 1000 words, explaining the mission and concerns of the chapter and how it fits into the general theme of the book. Please submit proposals to by June 30, 2017.


Chapter proposals:                                               Submission deadline:  June 30, 2017

Review proposals & contact authors:                By July 31, 2017

Chapters due:                                                        By  September 30, 2017

Review of chapters:                                              By December 31, 2017

Editing of chapters after review:                        By February 28, 2018

Submission of first draft to Facet:                      By March 31, 2018

Review of proofs & creation of index:               By April 30, 2018

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An article, a press release, and a reflection

This week, my article called “‘The most passionate cover I’ve seen’: Emotional information in fan-created U2 music videos” was published in the Journal of Documentation.

At the time of acceptance, I had to notify the university so they could document it in the institutional repository (it’s required). Shortly after, someone in Strathclyde’s communications office contacted me for an interview about the research. He said it would likely have broad public appeal, so he wanted to write a press release about it. He interviewed me and wrote the press release right away, but he wasn’t allowed to send it out until the article was published. The press release went out yesterday morning.

So I knew that was going to happen, but what I didn’t expect was all the other outlets that picked it up. It might be out on other places, but the communications office found it on the Irish Examiner, Yahoo!, Glasgow Live, and The National. They also found it on the live feed of BBC Scotland. @U2BreakingNews linked to the Glasgow Live and Irish Examiner stories as well as on and Other stories can be found on BT, Times of Malta, Science Daily, Crazy Engineers, (in Italian – here is the translation), Big News Network, The Hans India, and Inverse.

All this media attention is very exciting (if a bit overwhelming!) But I would like to clarify that I am the sole researcher responsible for this work. Depending on the outlet, I have been called “a group of students” and “a team of researchers”. I was also called “Ms Pennington” by one source, although it’s clear from the press release that I am “Dr Pennington”. I would like to thank William Hoffman, the Inverse writer, for taking the time to interview me on Google Hangouts last night to ensure he got all the facts correct and to gain a bit more insight into the research and my motivations for doing it.

I wonder where this will go? I will definitely continue this line of research. I have been working with Emotional Information Retrieval (EmIR) for a few years, and non-text indexing and retrieval for even longer; I just get more and more excited about them over time. Text search and retrieval is about as good as we can get it for now, but we have so much more work to do on how we find pictures, music, and videos online. Many of our searches for non-text items online are emotionally driven; for example, you might want to hear a happy song because it’s Friday afternoon, or a song that mellows you out because you need to focus on a task.

For now, I’ll just continue to enjoy my 15 minutes of fame, which is probably about over, even though my friends are calling me a “celebrity” on my related Facebook posts. Besides, as Bono sings in the brilliantly beautiful song “Original of the Species”:

Some things you shouldn’t get too good at
Like smiling, crying, and celebrity
Some people got way too much confidence baby


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Write for my series on computing for info pros!

Hello, everyone. I hope this spring is treating you well so far. Here is an update on a few of my writing projects.

I’m seeking authors for my edited series, Computing for information Professionals. The series will be published by Facet Publishing, which is the publishing company for the UK’s Chartered Institute for Library and Information Professionals (CILIP). For those of you outwith the UK, CILIP is similar to the American Library Association, but it encompasses all information professionals, whether they work in a library or another setting.

Here is the flyer about the series for information regarding scope and so on: Computing for Information Professionals. And here is the web page for the series.

In addition to editing this series, I’m also writing a book. You can read more about my forthcoming book, Mastering data and databases for information professionals, at Or, if you don’t feel like clicking, here’s the cover, which is one of the most exciting parts:


This book will be the first in the series, If you feel any inspiration for writing a book that helps information professionals learn about anything relevant in the range of computing/technology and how they can use it in their work, please get in touch with me at or leave a comment below.

I recently wrote a post for CILIP’s blog called 5 technical skills information professionals should learn. I am also working on an article for CILIP Update about linked data, which should be published in the May issue.

I look forward to hearing from you and all about your great book ideas!


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A new world and a new blog!

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged on my own blog, but I think it’s time! I have so much to share with anyone who might care… a new job in a new (to me) country, exciting new research projects coming up, a new book, and a new book series!

My new series will be called Computing for Information Professionals. After I submitted my proposal for my forthcoming book, Data and Databases for Information Professionals, to Facet Publishing, they not only wrote up a contract for the book, but they also talked with me about editing a series! I was so excited about the possibility! I’ve edited two books (Social Media for Academics: A Practical Guide as well as Indexing and Retrieval of Non-Text Information) as well as special issues in the ASIS&T Bulletin, but an entire series?! I can’t wait!

The premise behind my book, and the series, is deceptively simple: help information professionals learn how to do things with computers that they need to do. But the books won’t provide too much info, such as you’d find in a computer science textbook – or too little info, as you’d find in a 75-page introductory guide. For example, in Data and Databases for Information Professionals, you will not learn relational algebra, but you will learn how to create and work with relational data, semi-structured data, and unstructured data, and you will learn how data and databases work within library and information settings. (Hint: data and databases are hiding everywhere!)

My various experiences with databases are informing my writing for Data and Databases for Information Professionals: experience as a corporate database administrator, systems librarian days, teaching both basic and advanced classes in databases to library and information science students… oh, and I’ve been working with relational databases since Access 2.0 was all the rage in the mid-90s!

I’m still looking for authors for the series, so if you have an idea for a book, let me know. I’ll let you know how the writing is going on this blog, and I’ll blog about whatever else is of interest to me within library and information science. Watch this space – it’s about to get fun!

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