Category / Research themes

New blog on Open Access publishing

authoraid-2016Some months ago Andy Nobes asked my colleague Prof. Padam Simkhada and I if we could write a blog about why we had so many papers in freely available online journals in Nepal.  Andy is the Programme Officer, Research Development & Support at INASP, which is an international development charity based in Oxford working with a global network of partners in Africa, Latin America and Asia.

We had a whole range of immediate answers to Andy’s question, including ones like: we both love Nepal; we are on the editorial board of a few journals that are part of the NepJOL group; and editors invite us to submit articles and/or editorials. Moreover, we feel reasons for Open Access publishing are very similar to our key reasons for working in a low-income country like Nepal. These principles are (a) conducting applied academic research in low-income countries for the greater good; (b) helping to build research-capacity; and (c) telling the world about our research through quality academic publications.  This week saw the publication of our blog ‘Publishing in journals of the NepJOL family’ on the AuthorAid website, click here to read the post.

Edwin van Teijlingen, Professor of Reproductive Health Research at Bournemouth University and Padam Simkhada, Professor of International Public Health at Liverpool John Moores University and BU Visiting Faculty.

Top three most accessed 2016 paper BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth

bmc-media-luce-et-alIt is always nice to receive some good news just before Christmas.  The journal BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth informed us that our paper ‘“Is it realistic?” the portrayal of pregnancy and childbirth in the media’ was in the top three most popular papers [1]This interdisciplinary paper crosses the boundaries between the study of maternity care & midwifery, sociology of health & illness, and that of the media.  With BU’s Dr. Ann Luce as first author, it is one of the top three accessed articles of nearly 400 articles published in 2016 (as of Dec 16th).     



  1. Luce, A., Cash, M., Hundley, V., Cheyne, H., van Teijlingen, E., Angell, C., (2016) “Is it realistic?” the portrayal of pregnancy and childbirth in the media BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth 16: 40

The Personal in Research

I am starting researching and writing up my new book Heroism, Celebrity and Therapy in Nurse Jackie under contract with Routledge, and thinking about the notion of representation and therapeutic potentials, as this is a key aspect of the book. The lead character of Nurse Jackie within the TV series (played by the wonderful Edie Falco), offers a therapeutic representation of the ‘other’, as a heroine who whilst flawed through her addiction to prescription drugs, may be considered as a vulnerable outsider trying to find her way in a complicated world. Her representation inevitably means something to a whole range of audiences who might not only find entertainment in her performances, but also might think though personal aspects of vulnerably, culpability, morality and self-worth.

With this in mind, I recall the time when I was about to be awarded the contract for the book. In June this year I was on my way back from an international conference. I had turned up early at Chicago O’Hare Airport, getting there at 6.30 am, and then found out that the flight was delayed for 13 hours. Much frustration as you can imagine. With so much time on my hands, I knew that I could make use of this and work on the book proposal in the working areas of the airport, fine tuning the details. As I moved from one work station to the other (for various reasons of interruption) over the domain of airport, in one break/shift I wandered into a newsagent, and the latest edition of People magazine caught my eye. The cover depicted the recent shootings in Orlando Florida, at the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) night club Pulse, where a gunman had murdered 49 people – which occurred just a week or so before. The cover image offered a collage of the many people lost in the shooting. I purchased the magazine, and read through the article thinking about all the loss.  As part of this I reflected on a moment earlier on the trip when I had spoken publicly at the Consoling Passions Conference in Notre Dame, Indiana.  I had contributed to an informal event, allowing individuals to share emotional responses to the events in Orlando.   Almost unconsciously I had found myself speaking up at the conference, critiquing some of the mainstream news coverage of Orlando that seemed to be ranking the value of LGBT lives. Added to this even earlier in the trip when I had spoken publicly about HIV/AIDS activist Pedro Zamora at my book launch of his biography in San Francisco, the question of how to respond to Orlando was raised by the journalists that interviewed me, making me think of what this might mean to Pedro as a Latino from Miami himself – if he were alive today.

Later back in the Airport and now on the flight home, as there were no ‘watchable’ movies – I turned to the music on my IPhone, and ambivalently selected Christina Aguilera’s and Ricky Martins ‘Nobody wants to be Lonely’ followed by the Communard’s ‘For a Friend’. The former being a Latino up beat dance number with a laconic twist, and the latter being a melancholic piano based tribute penned by Jimmy Somerville and Richard Coles in memorial of LGBT activist Mark Ashton who passed away in 1987, after illness attributed to HIV/AIDS (who happens to be the main lead political character in the film Pride (2015)). These songs made me feel incredibly emotional, thinking about the loss of the optimistic nightclub goers at Pulse in Orlando that were out celebrating their individuality and their sense of belonging, who like Mark Ashton had their lives cut short.

Flash forward a few months to today, I note that the new video from John Legend of his song ‘Love me Now’ features a depiction of people that survived the massacre in Orlando, besides representing individuals who have survived catastrophic events in Northern Iraq, Puerto Rico and a reservation in North Dakota. Such a blending of human struggles, framing issues of peril, vulnerability and innocence, rekindle all those feelings and reflections that seemed so vivid back on that trip in June.

Contemporary media in diverse forms such as print, video and drama, offer a place of popular cultural identification, that on the one hand seems ephemeral, mass produced and transient, whilst on the other offers ways of feeling, identifying and thinking through. This is particularly relevant for Nurse Jackie, where the central character is an outsider to the norm, who attempts to find her way in life, offering a therapeutic vision, where individuals might relate to her thinking through their own sense of isolation and at points dysfunction or rejection, on life’s journey. In working on this book, I will think not only of all the therapeutic potential of that particular text and its meaning in popular culture, but also think about the wider meaning of research framed within the personal, and our goals or aspirations.

In a similar manner that representations of those lost at the Pulse night club in Orlando back in June, offers a sense of sadness, loss and eternal memory/feeling, we progress within our research not only reflecting back, but also looking forward. In the manner that I look back on my time in reworking my book proposal on Nurse Jackie on that trip back in June, emotion is the driver of research, allowing us to make connections that might seem personal, but also are political. It’s not necessarily how we distance ourselves from our research that is central or imperative, rather it is the ability to move from one space to another, making connections as much as building bridges.

Christopher Pullen

History and Biography in the Sociology of Welfare: The importance of student fieldwork

Sociology, as an emerging discipline, developed within the crucible of historical studies of changing lives, transforming events and a search for alternative ways to understand history. We see this in the works of such illustrious progenitors of sociology as Tocqueville, Marx, Durkheim and Weber but it has itself been marginalised, even hidden, as social, political and historical events have unfurled and a turn to biography has displaced the historical. Furthermore, historical sociology has taken something of a battering since John H Goldthorpe decried its relevance towards the end of the last century. However, it is perhaps this railing against the historical which has lent itself to a resurgence through such key figures as Barrington Moore, Charles Tilly, Theda Skocpol and Shmuel Eisenstadt amongst others. But what of its place within contemporary undergraduate sociological education?

In an attempt to introduce today’s BU undergraduates to the important interdisciplinary fusion of the social, the biographical and the historical we have developed an innovative exploration of the histories of social welfare that students take in their second year of full time study. This involves the broad study of social and political welfare initiatives through to the Poor Law, its reform and the implementation of the Welfare State, retrenchment and contemporary attacks on welfare and those who claim benefits. So what? You may say. This is similar to most programmes of study charting welfare policy. However, two specific aspects mark out this module. The first is the assessment, reported elsewhere, which requires groups to explore the experiences of characters in specific historical periods through the construction of a narrative. This allows students to enter into the social and political worlds of individuals in need of social welfare and support.

The second innovative aspect relates to the continuing strands running through our explorations – we take Richard Lachmann’s approach to historical sociology to understand how the present, and future, is contingent on the past. Throughout the course, we examine seemingly inconsequential events leading to change, and why ‘transformative’ events, such as the introduction of the British Welfare State in 1948, occur when they do. Moreover, we embed this learning in a hands-on fieldtrip to the historic market town of Sherborne. Though a visit to the historic St Johns’ (two of them) almshouses, the architecturally stunning abbey, students are exposed to the religious beginnings of charity and alms, the turn to the Parish and the body politic in dispensing poor relief and an appreciation of the overt discrimination between deserving and undeserving. Indeed, they experience that the ‘poor are always with us’ and also they are stratified in society by those with power. As one student stated:

The trip … showed us how throughout history policies have changed, yet some have remained the same as 600 years ago. It made us appreciate and value history more. We learned how the welfare state changed with time to adjust to the environment and the social conditions (war, economic state, health condition of people etc).

The students undertaking this trip have experienced the importance of an historical sociological approach to social welfare policy and application marrying this with the contemporary focus on biography and merging analytic thought, and an appreciation of the affective. This was particularly evident in discussion of the contemporary foodbank provision which religious and lay people undertake to offset some of the hardships experienced by those requiring benefits today:

I also found it interesting how the food bank is run. I think it is so lovely that the people of Sherborne deliver the food bags to the people who cannot come to collect them. I have never heard of anywhere else that does this before and think it shows just how close a community can be and that we should all work together to help each other.

This takes historical sociology into a contemporary arena in which the biographical is included, and offers the students a chance to bring in the personal and to reflect on experiences whilst acknowledging the historical and the structural:

I was really surprised to find out that there are people still living in the alms houses today! I was not expecting that. I found it really interesting how there are still so many similarities to how it was ran when it began to how it is ran now. Before the trip my understanding was that to live in the alms houses wouldn’t have been a nice experience but from the trip I was able to understand that it was actually built with the intention to help people and that is exactly what it did and still does today. I made connections with the histories of social policy and welfare when I understood that the people who came to live in the alms houses were the ‘deserving poor’.

Jonathan Parker (Department of Social Sciences and Social Work), Nezhat Habib and Bonnie Brown (students on BA Sociology and Social Policy programme)

Sherborne Abbey

Sherborne Abbey

Four new FHSS publications


Congratulations to Dr. Carol Bond and Dr. Osman Ahmed in FHSS on the publication of their latest academic paper ‘Can I help you? Information sharing in online discussion forums by people living with a long-term condition’ [1].    Further congratulations are due to Osman who recently had three other papers accepted for publication [2-4].


Prof Edwin van Teijlingen



  1.  Bond, C., Ahmed, O., 2016. Can I help you? Information sharing in online discussion forums by people living with a long-term condition. Journal of Innovation in Health Informatics, 23 (3).
  2. West L.R., Griffin , S., Weiler, R., Ahmed,O. 2016 Management of concussion in disability sport: a different ball game? British Journal of Sports Medicine doi:10.1136/bjsports-2016-096767
  3. “Educating the masses: Suggestions for improving online concussion information via the mainstream media” in Concussion (not available online yet)
  4. “Do Neurocognitive SCAT3 Baseline Test Scores Differ Between Footballers (Soccer) Living With and Without Disability? A Cross-Sectional Study” in Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine (not yet available online)



Researcher in residence programme

Technology in the hands

Open call

Digital Catapult and the RCUK Digital Economy (DE) Theme is now accepting applications for the Researchers in Residence Programme, to be hosted at the Digital Catapult Centre in London or at one of the local centres (Northern Ireland, Yorkshire, Brighton and North East & Tees Valley).

Projects can either be applied or more strategic in nature:

Applied projects will generally be user-centred and focused on impact generation in the short to medium term. Proposals should be relevant to one or more of the current Digital Catapult technology layers.

Strategic projects will help shape current Digital Catapult projects, and drive the creation of new activities or projects relevant to Digital Catapult’s overall mission. Proposals that highlight potential new directions, new users and novel means of impact generation are encouraged. The focus should be impact generation in the broadest sense. Projects could be undertaken on either a full time basis or via a series of short secondments to Digital Catapult.

Eligibility: Open to those with a contract of employment at a UK university, or PhD students who have submitted their thesis by the closing date, Sunday 8 January 2017.

Timeline: The closing date is 23:59, Sunday 8 January 2017 with decisions due by early March. The programme will run until 2018, with two funding calls each year. The next round will open for applications in summer.

Funding: all residencies will benefit from a grant of up to £25,000 to cover expenses, including travel and accommodation.

Further information

Newsletter and more information about Digtal Catapult



Sound recording, stories and memory: listening to stories ‘told’ by a tree

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


Speaker: Dr Panos Amelidis  (Bournemouth University Lecturer In Music & Audio Technology).


Title:     Sound recording, stories and memory: listening to stories ‘told’ by a tree


Time: 2:00PM-3:00PM

Date: Wednesday 7th December 2016

Room: P409, Poole House, Talbot Campus


Abstract: The village of Sellasia in Southern Greece has perfect conditions for the cultivation and production of olives and olive oil, an activity very important for the economy of its inhabitants. But, can an olive tree be transformed into a fictional conduit of storytelling using audio recording technology and its possibilities? This seminar refers specifically and discusses three aspects of a practice-based research project, an audio-visual installation, ‘Stories of a Tree’ based on the sound produced by the olive tree as well as the soundscape of Sellasia. The first aspect is the concept and research questions of the project. The second concerns the methodology which was implemented for its realization, and the content in which it was placed. The third is the artistic challenge of communicating something about history and memory, related to the Sellasia village, through the medium of composed sound and interactive technology using a mixture of field recordings and interviews collected during the author’s staying at the village, as part of a residency organized by McGill University.


We hope to see you there.

New edition qualitative research book

hollowaygalvin-2017Congratulations to BU Professor Emerita Immy Holloway and FHSS (Faculty of Health & Social Sciences) Visiting Faculty Professor Kathleen Galvin on the publication of the latest edition of Qualitative Research in Nursing and Healthcare [1].  This new edition offers insights into both the abstract ideas in qualitative research and its practical procedures. Structured into four sections, the new edition looks at the initial stages, methods of data collection, qualitative approaches and analysis of collected data.  Professor Galvin is Professor of Nursing Practice in the College of Life, Health & Physical Sciences, at the University of Brighton.  Both Immy Holloway and Kate Galvin are affiliated with BU’s Centre for Qualitative Research (CQR), the longest running research centre in FHSS.



Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen



  1. Holloway I & Galvin K. (2017) Qualitative Research in Nursing and Healthcare. Wiley-Blackwell 4th ed.


SHIVA project progresses with innovation funding


The SHIVA Project has received Higher Education Innovation Funding (HEIF) that runs for 12 months from August 2016 until July 2017. (HEIF 5+1+1.)

The HEIF funding will be critical in terms of supporting the development of networks locally, nationally and beyond. The key aims will be to link user groups and stakeholders in education, health and wellbeing related to children, young people and adults, through the creative digital innovations offered by the SHIVA project.

This project which brought innovative virtual sculpting tools to children with complex disabilities, enabling them to partake in creative digital activities from which they had previously been excluded was recognised in the Time Higher Awards last November winning the Outstanding Digital Innovation in Teaching or Research Category.

Originally the SHIVA project on 3D modelling and 3D printing for young people with disabilities was funded by the EU Interreg programme with the duration from 2010 to 2015.

The original project team worked with the Victoria Education Centre (VEC) in Poole.  As the project ended in 2015, it was clear there was scope to take this project beyond the initial funding and the SHIVA project has successfully been awarded impact acceleration funding and more recently HEIF funding.

A new Research Assistant, Michelle Wu, an NCCA graduate (2016), is the latest member to join this team. Michelle will be involved in turning the SHIVA system into a deployable product with proper installation, configuration and usage instructions. This area of work will help make SHIVA accessible to all potential users in the UK and further afield and strengthen the potential for developing networks that will benefit from this award winning technology.

For more information on this project contact Alexander Pasko or Oleg Fryazinov within the Faculty of Media and Communication.

Jayne Codling within RKEO co-ordinates the HEIF project portfolio for BU. Feel free to contact Jayne if you have any questions regarding HEIF at BU or knowledge exchange activities including business engagement and innovation funding.

Bournemouth University Researchers Win ‘Innovation Oscar’ for Third Year in a Row

iet-awardBournemouth University researchers Professor Venky Dubey and Dr Neil Vaughan have won a prestigious Information Technology Award at the IET Innovation Awards for their Orthopaedic Simulator.

Funded by the Wessex Academic Health Science Network, the simulator allows surgeons to practice on a virtual engineering-based hip model, which will improve safety and durability in hip replacements.

With the growing aging population, there are 66,000 hip replacements performed annually in the UK. The simulator helps to improve surgeon’s accuracy and skill, by enabling them to practice, which will reduce the amount of surgeries which dislocate. This number currently stands at 20%.

As well as being a considerable resource for trainee surgeons, the device will also enable current surgeons to improve their accuracy. The simulator will allow NHS surgeons to focus more on their patients, by freeing up consultancy time and reducing training costs.

The IET Innovation awards are considered a ‘Technological Oscar’ in science, engineering and technology.

The judging panel commented, “The simulator was an excellent entry that is receiving international acclaim in the important application of 3D technologies within the global health industry.”

The simulator has been developed by research undertaken in a partnership between Bournemouth University and Royal Bournemouth and Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trusts.

When asked about the award Professor Dubey commented, “It is marvellous winning another innovation award. This is testimony of our hard work and ingenuity that we put in to our projects. This is the third year in a row that we have won the Innovation Awards,”

“This confirms that BU is second to none when it comes to innovation. We’d like to thank our collaborators and partners who have supported our projects over the years.”

Surveys at Avebury and Stonehenge on German TV

Collaborative research between Professor Tim Darvill in the Centre for Archaeology and Anthropology at BU and Professor Fritz Lüth of the German Archaeological Institute in Berlin was featured in a short television programme made by ARD, the first German channel, first broadcast on 26 November. The programme focuses on the extensive high resolution geophysical surveys being undertaken within the Avebury and Stonehenge World Heritage Site, and was filmed during the 2016 fieldwork season in September. Click here to view the programme.