Dr Jonathan Foster

BA, MSc (Brunel), M.Ed. (Sheffield), PhD (Sheffield)

Information School

Lecturer in Information Management

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+44 114 222 2665

Full contact details

Dr Jonathan Foster
Information School
Regent Court (IS)
211 Portobello
S1 4DP

My principal research and teaching interests are in information governance, digital economy, and institutional and classroom perspectives on the implementation of information and communications technology in educational settings. I have higher degrees in Information Systems and in Education (M.Ed. in Teaching and Learning from the University of Sheffield), and received a PhD in Information Studies (Social Sciences) from the University of Sheffield. I have been PI for an externally-funded AHRC project investigating the implementation and evaluation of digital archives; and has led a number of learning and teaching development projects including Computer-Based Collaborative Learning (funded by TLTP) and Managing Innovation in the Digital Economy (funded by University of Sheffield). I am currently PI for a University of Sheffield Digital Transformations Research project on Collective Intelligence (2013-14); and a strand of this project is investigating shared understandings of the impact of technology on privacy, and organizations’ handling of personally-identifiable information.

University responsibilities

I am Programme Coordinator for the MSc in Information Management.

I have also previously acted as the School’s Research Ethics Administrator, UG Examinations Officer; and Sub-Dean for Undergraduate Affairs in the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Sheffield.

Research interests

My principal research interests are in information governance and digital economy.

I have been Principal investigator on externally-funded contracts worth £106,896 supported by the Arts & Humanities Research Council, and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (Connecting Communities for the Digital Economy) and leader of internally-funded University of Sheffield projects worth £31,419 in the areas of information governance, collective intelligence, and the digital economy.

I am currently University of Sheffield partner on a Worldwide University Network Project and led by the University of Rochester, on Data Diplomacy: Political and Social Dimensions of Data Collection and Sharing. Other universities involved are the University of Auckland, University of Bristol, and the University of Western Australia (2015, £35,712).

I have published more than 35 research outputs, including sole-authored papers in leading journals in information science and information management (e.g. Journal of Documentation, Annual Review of Information Science and Technology, British Journal of Educational Technology), and two edited books on Collaborative Information Behavior, and Consumer Information Systems and Relationship Management.

I supervise doctoral dissertations particularly in the areas of information governance, information management, and the digital economy.

I am a member of the Information, Knowledge and Innovation Management research group.


Edited books

  • Foster J, Lin A & Scifleet P (Eds.) (2013) Consumer Information Systems and Relationship Management: Design, Implementation and Use. Hershey (PA): IGI Global. RIS download Bibtex download

Journal articles


Conference proceedings papers

Website content

  • Foster JJ Governance of information is becoming vital. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Foster JJ From Amazon to iTunes, digital economy is the way forward. RIS download Bibtex download


  • Foster J, Al Wahshi J & Abbott P (2021) An investigation into the role of information governance in mitigating the risks of money laundering: A case study of the Omani banking sector. iConference 2021. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Foster J & Lin A (2011) Discourse 2.0 and the New Reputation Economy. Georgetown University Round Table on Languages and Linguistics (GURT) 2011. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Liu L The Role of e-Commerce in the Economic Empowerment of Women in China. iConference 2016: Partnership with Society. RIS download Bibtex download

Theses / Dissertations

  • Foster JJ Structuring Information Tasks: An Analysis of the Discourse Context Collaborative Information Seeking. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Foster JJ Deliberating for democracy: An Educational Inquiry into the Public Sphere. RIS download Bibtex download


  • Foster J & Lin A () Contextualising data work in healthcare: A preliminary analysis of the Care.data project. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Foster J, Price D, Benford S & Giannachi G () Navigating beyond text: On conversation and visualisation in the development of a digital archive. RIS download Bibtex download
Research group

Current PhD students

  • Hooria Ali Hafedh: Knowledge transfer from the perspective of a “Quadruple Helix”:  The banking sector in Bahrain
  • Jihad Al Wahshi: Data Analysis for Business Intelligence: A Critical Evaluation of the role of Business Intelligence and Data Analysis in Money Laundering and Fraud Detections in Oman Banking Industry
  • Elijah Chirwa: An Examination on the impact of digital disruptive innovations on central banks and formulating a strategy for the digital age
  • Meichengzi Du: Understanding Citizens Acceptance of Smart Transportation Applications in Shenzhen, China: A Mixed Methods Study
  • Ofulue Nchemko: Understanding Motivation and its Impacts on Governance within Crowdsourcing Platforms
  • David Walsh: Supporting information access in digital cultural heritage

Completed PhD students

  • Tuan Dang: E-learning Implementation in Vietnamese Universities.
  • Hasan Hashim: Developing Infrastructure for E-Government to Business Services: A Case Study of the e-Umrah System in Saudi Arabia.
  • Nabhan Al Harrasi: Understanding Omani Academic Library Collaboration: A Soft Systems Approach.

Research Projects

Accountability and Ethics in a Digital Ecosystem

EPSRC SPRITE+ Principal Investigator £49,683 1 April 2020 24 months

Tools for Life: Data Sharing and Public Health

Wellcome Trust Principal Investigator £97,799 1 October 2019 20 months

Data Diplomacy: Political and Social Dimensions of Data Collection and Sharing

Worldwide Universities Network Investigator £35,712 1 January 2015 12 months

Data Diplomacy is an emerging construct that integrates concepts from data science, technology, and computing, with social science, international relations, and diplomatic negotiation; and in some cases offers a new diplomatic tool that facilitates global relationships. Equally, questions surrounding burgeoning data creation and data sharing provide areas of tension in this new space e.g. issues related to privacy, security, free expression, and regulation as well as variances particular to national and international contexts. The project brings together stakeholders representing global, bilateral, and institutional interests and will engage the broad concept data diplomacy and explore this in a number of topic areas e.g. agency, privacy, ownership and freedom of information.

Collective Intelligence

University of Sheffield Investigator £11,209 1 September 2013 12 months

Riders Have Spoken: Designing and Evaluating an Archive for Interactive Performances

Arts and Humanities Research Council Principal Investigator £97,000 7 December 2009 9 months

New Research Processes and Business Models for the Creative Industries

EPSRC Co-Principal Investigator £210,000 1 April 2008 12 months
Teaching interests

I have made a sustained contribution to curriculum innovation for our information management and information systems students; having created new elective module in Information Governance (topics explore decision-making, management, and governance of information and data in organizational and networked contexts) and in Digital Economy (internally funded by the University of Sheffield).

I led a PGT curriculum review group (2012-13) aimed at enhancing the Information School’s MSc Information Management programme, an initial outcome of which was the decision to make Information Governance core to our curriculum, since it reflects the problems and issues of how to govern information and data in a digitally networked age.

My teaching is research-led and is concentrated on the areas of information governance, and the digital economy.