Category / Research communication

Bournemouth Academic invited to present at Developing Social Data Science Methodologies workshop within the Alan Turing Institute

Katarzyna Musial-Gabrys was invited to present her work on complex social networks during the upcoming workshop organised by the Alan Turing Institute within the Foundation of Social Data Science initiative.tag_claud_2011

The Alan Turing Institute was established in 2015 as the UK national institute for the data sciences in response to a letter from the Council for Science and Technology (CST) to the UK Prime Minister (7 June 2013), describing the “Age of Algorithms”. The letter presents a case that “The Government, working with the universities and industry, should create a National Centre to promote advanced research and translational work in algorithms and the application of data science.” (
Katarzyna’s presentation will contribute to shaping the portfolio of research challenges to be addressed within the Alan Turing Institute.

Title of Katarzyna’s talk: Methodological challenges in data aggregation in complex social networks.

Abstract of the talk:
For the first time in history, we have the possibility to process ‘big data’ (gathered in computer systems) about the interactions and activities of millions of individuals. It represents an increasingly important yet underutilized resource because due to the scale, complexity and dynamics, social networks extracted from this data are extremely difficult to analyse. There is no coherent and comprehensive methodological approach to analyse such networks which is crucial to advance our understanding of continuously changing people’s behaviour.
One of the methodological challenges is to cope with the variety of available big social data. This data comes from multiple systems (email, instant messengers, blogs, social networking sites, google searches, YouTube, etc.); in each system user can have one or more accounts; this data describes different types of activities (commenting, sharing, messaging, calling, etc.) and relationships (direct, quasi-direct and indirect). In order to be able to effectively process gathered data using data science approaches we need to develop new methodology that will focus on the multirelational (more than one type of connections in a network) character of data.
In general, there are two methods to do that: (i) analyse each relation type separately and then combine results from different layers or (ii) merge all relation types in one layer and analyse this newly created layer. Both approaches require effort in terms of redefining existing network analysis techniques. Analysing each network separately means that methods for combining results from different layers need to be developed. Merging some/all connection types into one heterogeneous relation means that a new approach for aggregation of data from different layers is required. Only by developing rigid approaches to data aggregation, the analytics task can be performed.

If you are interested and you would like to get some further information please contact

Report on the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) Age 17 Survey: Consultative Conference

I recently attended the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS7) Age 17 Survey: Consultative one day conference held at UCL’s Institute of Education in London. Cohort studies are extremely valuable because data is collected over time working with the same sample of people. Longitudinal studies permit to describe the natural history of the same population and can identify risk factors for example, for optimal health, educational attainment chances and/or employment opportunities. Professor Emla Fitzsimons is the Principal Investigator of MCS,m strategically invited leaders of the ‘Activities and Daily Life’, ‘Cognitive Development’, and the ‘Socio-Emotional Development’ to harness conference delegates’ view on what are the important and key issues that society should know when examining 17 year old adolescents’ lives. The leaders provided an overview of their current strategies for capturing participants’ unique style of life. Then through a series of workshops the pros and cons of these were discussed and summarised. I don’t envy their jobs! To study the individual characteristics and the associated environmental factors in such a large sample is a huge undertaking. The attendees were from very varied inter- and multi-disciplinary backgrounds working at a wide range of organisations, including government agencies. The common objective was to create a dataset that can inform many governmental policies on a variety of topics. The process of decision making over every aspects of the 7th sweep of the MCS is extremely complex. The key aspect of longitudinal studies is comparability. Although, each sweep is unique because of the cohort is ageing, there has to be a trend of using the same methodology overtime. Studies like the MCS are facing constant funding crises because they are very expensive to run. There is an ongoing revision of time taken to collect data, finding proxy to gold standard measures and considering cutting expensive data collection methods like, FMRI scans, use of accelerometers to assess physical activity patterns and conducting physical tests. Despite all of these difficulties, data from such studies are invaluable. For example, in the 7th sweep they want to omit interviewing parents about their child’s mental health. I argued to include this data at this sweep, as most adolescents in the study are still living at home and others (like family members) are the ones most likely to identify early signs of mental health problems. Early detection is vital, especially when 1 in 10 adolescents known to develop at least one serious depressive episode in the UK by the time they are 18. Check out the MCS website if you are interested. You can also access all speakers’ slides by following the link ( Data from the previous 6 sweeps are available for researchers to interrogate.

FMC Research Seminar: Adapting to dominant news narratives: tax ‘fairness’ as a Trojan horse for anti-austerity politics: Wednesday, 9 December, 3-4pm, Room W240

FMC Cross-Departmental Seminar Series 2015-16

Time: Wednesday, 9th December, 3-4 pm

Venue: The Screening Room W240, Weymouth House, Talbot Campus. 

Adapting to dominant news narratives: tax ‘fairness’ as a Trojan horse for anti-austerity politics

Over the past five years the issue of tax avoidance has broken through into mainstream news media and public debate, after many years in which the campaigning efforts of NGOs, trade unions and a few investigative journalists were met largely with indifference.  Protest group UK Uncut have been widely credited with increasing public engagement in the issue.  News routines are less reliant on official and elite sources than in the past, and protesters less universally delegitimised in dominant news discourse, but the political claims of social movements still tend to be neglected or reduced to vague or naive opposition.  UK Uncut were conscious of the common pitfalls and attempted to fit their own framing of the issue into existing news frames.  In presenting a practical alternative to cuts, they hoped to substantiate an argument against the broadly accepted ‘necessity’ of public spending cuts, smuggling an oppositional claim inside a familiar narrative.

Their framing of the issue in terms of compromised political interests and ‘fairness to taxpayers’ fitted with dominant news narratives and was widely adopted by other sources, including the Public Accounts Committee, and by journalists, but generally in terms of individual and organisational wrongdoing and self-interest rather as a systemic critique.  This did little to challenge or disrupt the overarching dominant narrative of fiscal crisis, necessary cuts, and even of fair tax as low tax.  However, the playful performativity of the protests themselves – although part of an activist repertoire, risking distancing themselves from the mainstream – were successful in achieving some limited press coverage of the cuts that they claimed could be prevented by corporations paying their ‘fair share’, but those arguments were not picked up by other voices.

This paper analyses the extent to which this ‘adaptation’ approach to news framing (Rucht 2013) or intervention in dominant narratives (Hirschkop 1998) was successful in advancing political claims and objectives, and whether this case supports the contention that strategically performative and rhetorical interventions in the public sphere can compensate for marginality and lack of discursive power.

Jen Birks is an Assistant Professor in the department of Culture, Film and Media at the University of Nottingham, where she teaches political communication and public cultures.  She is the author of News and Civil Society (Ashgate 2014).

All are welcome!!

About the series

This new seminar series showcases current research across different disciplines and approaches within the Faculty of Media and Communication at BU. The research seminars include invited speakers in the fields of journalism, politics, narrative studies, media, communication and marketing studies.  The aim is to celebrate the diversity of research across departments in the faculty and also generate dialogue and discussion between those areas of research.


Contributions include speakers on behalf of 

The Centre for Politics and Media Research

The Centre for the Study of Journalism, Culture and Community

Narrative Research Group

Journalism Research Group

Advances in Media Management Research Group

Emerging Consumer Cultures Research Group

Public Relations Research Group

Academy of Marketing 3rd B2B Marketing Colloquium in Paris, 11-12 APRIL 2016: Opportunity to publish in Special Issue, Journal of Industrial Marketing Management (3* ABS ranking)

Dear All,

Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne in partnership with Bournemouth University is hosting 3rd annual colloquium for academics and professionals investigating the theory, context and practice of the B2B marketing.

Please see details on the theme, the indicative programme and submission instructions below. We are also pleased to inform that Professor Peter Laplaca is coming to facilitate the session aimed at helping you to write and publish in high quality journals. Moreover, the colloquium is sponsored by the Journal of Industrial Marketing Management (the lead ranking journal for the B2B marketing, 3* ABS ranking).

For any information related to the event and submission/registration process, do email Dr Elvira Bolat at and Dr Kaouther Kooli at



Organising team:

Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne

Bournemouth University

  • Dr Kaouther Kooli, Lecturer in marketing, Faculty of Management, Bournemouth University,
  •  Dr Elvira Bolat, Lecturer in marketing, Faculty of Management, Bournemouth University,
  • Dr Julie Robson Senior Principal lecturer   in marketing, Faculty of Management, Bournemouth University,
  • Dr Nektarios Tzempelikos, Tzempelikos , Senior lecturer in marketing, Anglia Ruskin University, Lord Ashcroft International Business School,

To-date, B2B research has examined the factors that drive successful buyer/seller relational exchanges in business markets. However, the focus has mainly been on the supplier, the customer and/or the interaction between them, with little attention being paid to the impact of macro-factors on these interactions. The result is limited knowledge of the complexities that the broader macro-environment encompasses, how these affect the theory and practice of B2B marketing and how their management could be a source of differentiation for B2B firms. In other words, the ‘big picture’ of where and how B2B firms operate is still lacking.

Macro-environmental changes are both major and uncontrollable. They range from political and legal changes, to demographic and social conditions, as well as technological developments, natural disasters and civil wars. These factors influence firms’ decision making, their strategies, innovation, technological prowess, and market performances. . This need, to address the big picture of the impact of the macro environment on B2B firms, provides the topical basis for this Call for Papers.

Relevant topics for the Colloquium and special journal issue include (but are not limited to):

  • Analysis of B2B relationships and firm responses to macro environmental changes.
  • The management of macro-environment changes by B2B firms in the present and the future.
  • The effects of political changes on B2B relationships g. the current discussions on Britain’s continued membership of the EU
  • Legal changes, g., the growth of patent applications and issues of Intellectual property as indicators of firms’ R&D and innovation activities in a country or countries.
  • Social and psychological effects of B2B activities with the business custom
  • The impact of technological changes, g. how Social media is affecting B2B firms’ intelligence gathering and product marketing for their B2B
  • How environmental factors affect (positively or/and negatively) relational exchanges in B2B m
  • Value co-creation between firms and/or sub-contractors in similar or different industries
  • Other topics affecting B2B firms, such us services marketing, customer relationship management, supply chain management and log

This colloquium is dedicated to researchers in B2B marketing. Day one will provide an opportunity for authors to present their papers and gain feedback from their B2B peers. On day two the keynote speaker will provide insight into how to get published in top B2B journals. Papers presented at this conference will be considered for publication in a special dedicated issue of Industrial Marketing Management.



Day 1

8.15-8.30         Welcome and refreshment

8.30-10.30      Parallel Session 1 Paper presentation ( 2 x 4 papers)

10.30- 10.45    Coffee break

10.45-13.00     Parallel Session 2 Paper presentation ( 2 x 4 papers) 13.00-14.00 Lunch

14.00-15.45     Parallel Session 3 Paper presentation ( 2 x 4 papers) 15.45-16.00 coffee break

16.00-17.30     Parallel Session 4 Paper presentation ( 2 x 4 papers)

19.00              Dinner

Day 2

7:30 – 8:00      Refreshment

8:00 12:00       Keynote Session: How to get published in a top B2B journal

Chair: Professor Peter Laplaca

12:00 – 12:15 Coffee break

12:15-14.00     Keynote Session: B2B research needs: Advancing the discipline & Close of Colloquium

Chair: Professor Peter Laplaca

14.00               Lunch



  • 11th January 2016 :   paper submission closes at midnight
  • 25th January 2016     Paper decision notified to authors.
  • 12th February 2016 Conference registration deadline for those presenting

Paper Format & Review

Full-length paper submission according to the guidelines of Industrial Marketing Management to

Manuscripts must be original, unpublished works not concurrently under review for publication at another outlet and are expected to follow the standard formatting guidelines for IMM (Guidelines can be found at management/0019-8501/guide-for-authors ). Do not submit a paper at the IMM paper submission website. Address questions regarding the special issue to any of the organising team.

The papers will undergo a rapid-response review process by end- January and must not be submitted to a journal prior or during this time. Success in the review will not guarantee publication in the special issue, but in order to be accepted for special issue publication, papers need to be presented at the colloquium.

Colloquium fees: Academics € 300 PhD students € 200


  • For any cancellation after the 01 March 2016 there will be no refund of the fees

To register for the colloquium please go to

What do we know about back pain? The Society for Back Pain Research AGM Bournemouth 2015


SBPR logo

I was delighted to attend and represent BU at The Society for Back Pain Research (SBPR) Annual General Meeting 5-6 November 2015 which was conveniently held in Bournemouth, at Anglo-European College of Chiropractic, a partner college of BU. SBPR was formed in 1971 to promote the study of all clinical and scientific aspects of spinal pain, including the neck (my area of interest), and to encourage research into its causes, treatment and prevention. There are now over 200 members of the Society, from a wide range of disciplines including all sorts of healthcare professionals and scientists. Suffice to say if there is anything about back pain this audience does not know it is probably not worth knowing! Having said that, attending this meeting reminded me just how much about back pain is still unknown…

Biological Factors in Non-Specific Back Pain

The title of this year’s meeting was ‘Biological Factors in Non-Specific Back Pain’ to place an emphasis on the ‘biological’. It has been over 25 years since the biopsychosocial model was applied to back pain but lately research has tended to be more concerned with psychosocial aspects, such as fear-avoidance behaviour or depression; research into physical findings to diagnose back pain has sadly not been very fruitful. [An important point was made by Professor Maurits van Tulder, that research has actually been largely focused on psychological factors, to the expense of social factors]. While psychosocial factors do seem to be important in influencing patients’ recovery, they don’t get us much closer to a diagnosis, to finding out what is producing and driving the patient’s pain.
However, one of the presentations at SBPR hinted at where the research focus as regards imaging (and MRI specifically) could perhaps go. One of Associate Professor Mark Hancock’s suggestions was that we need studies that focus on changes on MRI, in response to treatment (or no treatment). But how do we best measure such changes? Which treatments and for whom? Could findings on MRI in a person without back pain predict back pain in the future?

Want to know more? For a longer version of this blog, click here.

Many thanks to the Professional Practice Development community, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, for making my attendance possible.

Dr Jonny Branney

TetraGrip: A functional electrical stimulation (FES) device for restoring hand and arm functions in people with spinal cord injuries

We would like to invite you to the latest research seminar of the Creative Technology Research Centre.TetraGrip


Speaker: Lalitha Venugopalan


Lalitha is a Bournemouth University Creative Technology postgraduate student researching for a PhD in Biomedical Engineering based at the Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust.


Title:   TetraGrip: A functional electrical stimulation (FES) device for restoring hand and arm functions in people with spinal cord injuries


Time: 2:00PM-3:00PM

Date: Wednesday 18th November 2015

Room: P302 LT, Poole House, Talbot Campus



TetraGrip is a four channel upper limb FES device for restoring the hand and arm functions on people with C5-C7 tetraplegia. This device uses an inertial measurement sensor (IMU) for detecting the shoulder elevation/depression. The signal from the IMU is used for controlling the functions of the stimulator and for adjusting the grasp strength.


The stimulator is programmed to operate in the following modes: exercise, key grip and palmar grasp. Key grip mode (fig 1) is used to grasp smaller objects like a pen or a fork, whereas the palmar grasp (fig 2) is used to grasp larger objects like a glass. The exercise mode is used to strengthen the forearm muscles.


 The system will be clinically tried on ten able bodied volunteers to evaluate the repeatability and reproducibility. If the results from this study are found to be satisfactory, then the device will be clinically tried on tetraplegic volunteers for answering the following questions:

  • Is possible for a person with tetraplegia to generate the desired input signal to control the operation of the device?
  • Does the system improve the hand and arm functions of the user?
  • Is the system easy to use for people with tetraplegia?


We hope to see you there.

RKEO availability on Monday 9th November 2015

office moveRKEO’s office is being re-organised on Monday, 9th November 2015.  This will mean that most staff will not have access to computers or telephones for some parts of the day, but mainly the morning.  RKEO hope to be back up and running by the afternoon.  Please bear with us whilst we re-organise and if you have a deadline with us on Monday then please contact us by this Friday so that we can ensure that your work is not effected.

If there are any urgent matters on Monday that really can’t wait then please contact either Jo Garrad, xt. 61209 or Genna West, xt. 61538 and we will respond to your query as quickly as possible.

Thanks for your understanding.

New HEIF project commences: Modelling Natural Capital in Dorset

UK government policies relating to economic growth and the environment explicitly identify the need to create ‘a green economy, in which economic growth and the health of our natural resources sustain each other, and markets, businesses and Government better reflect the value of nature’ (Defra 2011). Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and Local Nature Partnerships (LNP), including those in Dorset, were specifically created to support achievement of this goal. Key challenges are the need to assess the economic value of ecosystem services and to factor them into decision making; and the need to develop integrated and multisectoral approaches to spatial development that improve synergies and reduce trade-offs, while supporting the sustainable management of natural resources.

This project is designed to overcome these challenges, through the development of a modelling toolkit that will enable the value of ecosystem services to be assessed and mapped, then linked with economic activity. While analysis of ecosystem services is now a major international research endeavour, linkage with economic activity (such as the inputs and outputs of different industrial sectors) is at a very early stage. The toolkit to be developed by this project will therefore be both innovative and timely. By piloting the toolkit using Dorset as a case study, this project will deliver a proof of concept, with potential global applicability if successful.

Funded under the Higher Education Innovation Funding (HEIF) initiative, any questions regarding the project can be addressed to P.I. Prof. Adrian Newton or Research Assistant Arjan Gosal.

Systematic Review Masterclass – 15-16 February 2016

We are pleased to announce a two-day Systematic Review Masterclass at Bournemouth University.

One way of collating and assessing the best possible evidence is through a method called ‘systematic reviewing’. Systematic reviewing is a specific research method whereby a structured, rigorous, and objective approach is used to provide a critical synthesis of the available evidence on a particular topic. This masterclass will examine the rationale for systematic reviews and take participants through the various elements of a systematic review: selecting (electronic) databases; literature searching; data extraction; data synthesis; interpretation and reporting.

The Masterclass will be held in the Executive Business Centre, Holdenhurst Road on 15 & 16 February 2016.

Booking price and information:

The fee of £200 for this masterclass includes two full days with the course facilitators, all refreshments and all class materials. Accomodation and travel costs are not included.

See the flyer – Systematic Review masterclass 2016 – for more details or book your place now. Places must be booked by 1 February 2016.

For further information please contact:

Tel: 01202 962184