Category / REF Subjects

Enhance your Impact in Preparation for the REF

The Research and Knowledge Exchange Office (RKEO) through the Research & Knowledge Exchange Development Framework (RKEDF) have a number of workshops in the coming months to assist you in developing and enhancing the impact that you can make with your research, with particular reference to the REF.

Please follow the links above to find out more and to book. You will then receive a meeting request giving the room location. Many of these events have input from external presenters; please ensure that you are in the room and ready to commence at the given start time.

If you would like to discuss impact outside these workshops, please contact the RKEO Knowledge and Impact Team.

BU hosts international conference on the state of the world, fifty years after it was turned inside out (circa 1967) and upside down (circa 1968)

Association for Psychosocial Studies Biennial Conference

Bournemouth University, 5th-7th April 2018

‘Psychosocial Reflections on a Half Century of Cultural Revolution’

A half century after the hippie counterculture of 1967 (‘the summer of love’) and the political turbulence of 1968 (‘May 68’), one aim of this conference is to stage a psychosocial examination of the ways in which today’s world is shaped by the forces symbolised by those two moments. It will explore the continuing influence of the deep social, cultural and political changes in the West, which crystallised in the events of these two years. The cultural forces and the political movements of that time aimed to change the world, and did so, though not in the ways that many of their participants expected. Their complex, multivalent legacy of ‘liberation’ is still developing and profoundly shapes the globalising world today, in the contests between what is called neo-liberalism, resurgent fundamentalisms, environmentalism, individualism, nationalisms, and the proliferation of identity politics.

A counter-cultural and identity-based ethos now dominates much of consumer culture, and is reflected in the recent development of some populist and protest politics. A libertarian critique of politics, once at the far margins, now informs popular attitudes towards many aspects of democratic governance; revolutionary critiques have become mainstream clichés. Hedonic themes suffuse everyday life, while self-reflection and emotional literacy have also become prominent values, linked to more positive orientations towards human diversity and the international community.


The programme is now available on the conference website:

There are five keynotes and eighty papers, with presenters from all continents, as well as a number of experiential workshops. As well as examining the main theme of societal change, there is an open stream of papers on a wide range of topics. Methods of psychosocial inquiry are applicable to most topics. As an academic community, the psychosocial is a broad church defined only by a commitment to exploring and linking the internal and external worlds – the deeply personal and the equally deeply societal as sources of experience and action.

BU colleagues can attend the whole conference at the hugely discounted rate of £40, or £25 per day.



Enhance your Impact in Preparation for the REF

The Research and Knowledge Exchange Office (RKEO) through the Research & Knowledge Exchange Development Framework (RKEDF) has a number of workshops in the coming months to assist you in developing and enhancing the impact that you can make with your research, with particular reference to the REF.

Please follow the links above to find out more and to book. You will then receive a meeting request giving the room location. Many of these events have input from external presenters; please ensure that you are in the room and ready to commence at the given start time.

If you would like to discuss impact outside these workshops, please contact the RKEO Knowledge and Impact Team.

Subjective Evaluation of High-Fidelity Virtual Environments for Driving Simulations

We would like to invite you to the latest research seminar of the Centre for Games and Music Technology Research.

Title: Subjective Evaluation of High-Fidelity Virtual Environments for Driving Simulations

Speaker: Dr Carlo Harvey
Birmingham City University

Time: 2:00PM-3:00PM
Date: Wednesday 14 March 2018
Room: PG10 (Poole House)


Virtual environments (VEs) grant the ability to experience real-world scenarios, such as driving, in a virtual, safe, and reproducible context. However, to achieve their full potential, the fidelity of the VEs must provide confidence that it replicates the perception of the real-world experience. The computational cost of simulating real-world visuals accurately means that compromises to the fidelity of the visuals must be made. This talk presents a subjective evaluation of driving in a VE at different quality settings. Participants (n = 44) were driven around in the real world and in a purposely built representative VE and the fidelity of the graphics and overall experience at low-, medium-, and high-visual settings were analysed. Low quality corresponds to the illumination in many current traditional simulators, medium to a higher quality using accurate shadows and reflections, and high to the quality experienced in modern movies and simulations that require hours of computation. Results demonstrate that graphics quality affects the perceived fidelity of the visuals and the overall experience. When judging the overall experience, participants could tell the difference between the lower quality graphics and the rest but did not significantly discriminate between the medium and higher graphical settings. This indicates that future driving simulators should improve the quality, but once the equivalent of the presented medium quality is reached, they may not need to do so significantly.

We hope to see you there.

Publishing’s Ratner moment: why eBooks are not ‘stupid’

File 20180227 36700 764jb.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1

shandrus via

By Bronwen Thomas, Bournemouth University

In the days before social media – and, presumably, media training – Gerald Ratner’s description of some of the products sold in his chain of jewellers as “total crap” became a byword for the corporate gaffe. Recently the chief executive of publisher Hachette Livre, Arnaud Nourry, seems to have suffered his own “Ratner moment” when he described ebooks in an interview with an Indian news site as a “stupid product”.

The interview, which was intended to address the future of digital publishing and specific issues facing the Indian publishing market, was widely misquoted and Nourry’s comments taken out of context. But there is no denying the fact that the publisher criticises his own industry (“We’re not doing very well”) and attacks ebooks for lacking creativity, not enhancing the reading experience in any way and not offering readers a “real” digital experience.

Some commenters on social media welcomed Nourry’s comments for their honesty. They highlight his seeming support for the idea that publishers should be championing writers and artists working to exploit the creative potential of digital formats to provide readers with experiences that may be challenging and disruptive, but also exhilarating and boundary pushing.

But many of the 1,000-plus commenters reacting to coverage of the story on The Guardian’s website spoke out against “fiddling for the sake of it” – claiming they were not interested in enhanced features or “gamified dancing baloney” borrowed from other media. They also listed the many practical enhancements that ebooks and ereaders do offer. The obvious one is the ability to instantly download books in remote locations where there are no bricks and mortar bookstores. But there are other less obvious enhancements, including being able to instantly access dictionary and encyclopedia entries (at least if you have wifi access) and the option to have the book read to you if you have visual impairments.

Elsewhere, Australian researcher Tully Barnett has shown how users of Kindle ereaders adapt features such as Highlights and Public Notes for social networking, demonstrating that even if ebooks are not that intrinsically innovative or creative, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they can’t be made so by imaginative users.

Nourry clearly isn’t averse to the provocative soundbite – in the same interview he went on to say: “I’m not a good swallower” when asked about mergers and conglomeration in the publishing industry. On the other hand, he also seems very aware of the special place of books and reading in “culture, education, democracy” – so his use of the word “stupid” in this context is particularly inflammatory and insensitive.

Dear reader

My research on digital reading has taught me that debating books vs ereaders is always likely to arouse strong passions and emotions. Merely mentioning the word Kindle has led in some instances to my being shouted at – and readers of “dead tree” books are rightly protective and passionate about the sensory and aesthetic qualities of physical books that the digital version possibly can’t compete with.

Mother and daughter Barbara and Jenni Creswell enjoyed Anne of Green Gables in both print and ebook format. Ray Gibson, Author provided

But, equally, my research has shown that enhancements in terms of accessibility and mobility offer a lifeline to readers who might not be able to indulge their passion for reading without the digital.

In my latest project, academics from Bournemouth and Brighton universities, in collaboration with Digitales (a participatory media company), worked with readers to produce digital stories based on their reading lives and histories. A recurring theme, especially among older participants, was the scarcity of books in their homes and the fact that literacy and education couldn’t be taken for granted. Our stories also demonstrated how intimately reading is connected with self-worth and helps transform lives disrupted by physical and mental health issues – making comments about any reading as “stupid” particularly damaging and offensive.

I would like to know if Nourry would still call ebooks stupid products after watching Mary Bish’s story: My Life in Books from our project. A lifelong reader who grew up in a home in industrial South Wales with few books, Mary calls her iPad her “best friend” and reflects how before the digital age her reading life would have been cut short by macular degeneration.

As well as demonstrating that fairly basic digital tools can be used to create powerful stories, our project showed that the digital also makes us appreciate anew those features of the physical book we may take for granted, the touch, smell and feel of paper and the special place that a book handed down from generation to generation has in the context of family life.

Bronwen Thomas, Professor of English and New Media, Bournemouth University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

The impact of strategic transformation on employee productivity

A strategic commentary on the interconnected areas of corporate strategy and employee performance are discussed in the latest issue of Strategic HR Review. The paper provides a longitudinal analysis of how two firms adapted, reconfigured and transformed their businesses to meet the demands of an operating environment characterized by inexorable changes in digital technologies. It presents data and conclusions on how the management of “human resources” had delivered different employee productivity outcomes over the long term.

50 FREE downloads are available at:

YouTube: a look into the future

The future of YouTube is focus of a new co-created paper by Dr John Oliver (FMC) and Emma Parrett, Strategic Partnerships Director at OMD UK. Published in the US based journal, Business Horizons, the paper presents theoretical and empirical findings on how Scenario Planning was used to enable media executives to strategize and prepare YouTube for multiple futures, with multiple strategies.

The paper combines imaginative and systematic thinking in a way that provides a unique insight into future media environments and how YouTube could compete in each scenario.
Dr Oliver commented that “this co-created paper illustrates the benefits of academics working with industry professionals to create knowledge and impact with multiple stakeholders”.

The full article can accessed from:

Himbasha and YouTube – field work with unaccompanied minor refugees

“Facebook! WhatsApp!” – shouts one of the Eritrean teenagers. “No, Viber!”  – contradicts his friend. The promt for this, was the question: what is your favourite app? I’m in a centre in the north of the Netherlands which accommodates 20 unaccompanied minor refugees. I’m here because we’re conducting an EU-funded Marie Curie project on how these displaced children (aged 14-18) use digital technology and (social) media.

I’m running the focus group in the mentors’ office, while in the kitchen some other boys are listening to Eritrean music. From one of the rooms, I can also hear Arabic music playing. Wherever I went during the two weeks field work in the Netherlands, music was the one constant. Most of the time YouTube was on auto play, and I watched some of the videos together with the teenagers.

“What is it about?” – I would ask. The girls would start laughing: “Ah it’s too complicated.” “Is it about love?” – I continued. “Yes!”- they’d reply and laugh even harder.

In the two weeks spent in the Netherlands, I interviewed 16 unaccompanied refugee children. In that time, I was lucky enough to be invited into their homes. Upon entering I was regularly offered tea, or in one house, a traditional Eritrean cake called Himbasha. Despite their struggles and constant waiting for their families to arrive from a different country, these teenagers were trying their best to live a fairly normal life.

I was also humbled by the work of their mentors. The mentors are employed by a Dutch non-governmental organisation, and have a very important role: to help young refugees adapt to their new country, help them understand the way Dutch society functions and to support them in their everyday life. From applying for a new bus card for the teenagers to asking them about school work, the mentors are basically a new family to them. Some of the mentors I’ve met, have themselves arrived as refugees to the Netherlands. Needless to say, their work is equally demanding and fulfilling.

The final aim of this project is to understand unaccompanied minor refugees’ lived media experiences in order to create media literacy educational materials for them. I hope that our work will be as beneficial as the work I’ve seen done by these mentors.


photo credits: Nidos, RedDishKitchen

I’m very grateful to the non-governmental organisations Nidos and Vitree for their support during this field work.


Latest editorial on Nepal by Dr. Regmi in FHSS

Last week the Journal of Manmoham Memorial Institute of Health Sciences based in Nepal published as its editorial ‘What can we learn from the Nepal Health Facility Survey 2015. [1]  The Nepal Health Facility Survey 2015 is a first of its kind.  It is a much needed start to help analyse and improve the workings of the country’s health system.  This is very important and timely as one of the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) is to reduce premature mortality by one-third from non-communicable diseases.  Success in this effort will depend on the concerted efforts on health facilities (for both health promotion, prevention and management) for an early and optimal care. The editorial also raises some of the ethical and methodological issues associated with the first ever Nepal Health Facility Survey 2015.  The lead author of the editorial is Dr. Pramod Regmi and our co-authors include Prof. Padam Simkhada (Visiting Faculty in the Faculty of Health & Social Sciences).  The Journal of Manmoham Memorial Institute of Health Sciences is an Open Access journal hence freely available to scholars and politicians and health managers across the globe, including those based in low-income countries such as Nepal.



  1. Regmi, P., van Teijlingen, E., Simkhada, P, Kurmi, O, Pant, P. (2017) What can we learn from the Nepal Health Facility Survey 2015? Journal of Manmohan Memorial Institute of Health Sciences (JMMIHS) 3(1): 1-5


Dig for…eco toilets!

Over the last week, the ‘Sustainable Green Toilet Project’ has begun in Kenya, where excavations have been completed and foundations are now being built. Bournemouth University Research Associate Katie Thompson from the Department of Life and Environmental Sciences (SciTech) is working alongside ACEF (Akamba Children’s Education Fund) charity volunteers and BU students to build the new toilet facility for 800 school children who attend and live at the Brainhouse Academy, in Nairobi, Kenya.

The newer, cleaner toilet facilities will feature a bio digester energy recovery system producing biogas for the school and liquid fertiliser. Innovative research will also be investigated into at this location, including utilising energy from microbial life forms to generate electricity.  Katie and the students  will be travelling to Kenya in March this year to continue to work on the project.  Their work is part of the re-designed Wessex Portal

If you would like to know more about the project and keep up to date with any progress, then follow our blog via: or contact Katie Thompson on or Genoveva Esteban