Dr Laura Sbaffi
BSc (Urbino), MSc (Urbino), MA (Manchester Metropolitan), PhD (Trieste)
Senior Lecturer in Health Informatics
+44 114 222 2686
Full contact details
2 Whitham Road
I joined the Information School in June 2016. I started my academic career as Visiting Scholar at the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Cambridge between 1996 and 2000. In the years following my PhD degree I held research positions at the University of Urbino (Italy), the University of East Anglia (UK) and the Australian National University (Australia).
I then worked as research Scientist at the Australian Geological Survey Organisation (Geoscience Australia) for several years. In 2012 I completed my MA in Library and Information Management at Manchester Metropolitan University and, immediately after, I joined the Department of Information and Communications there, where I worked in the Information and Interactions Research Group.
In June 2015 I joined Ashfield Insight and Performance in Macclesfield as Healthcare and Scientific Researcher, where I specialised in current pharmaceutical market research strategies.
In 2021 I was promoted to Senior Lecturer.
- Head of the Health Informatics Research Group
- Unfair Means Officer
- Member of the Senate Discipline Panel
- Research interests
I have a number of ongoing research interests:
- I have been working on digital trust formation in relation to health information, by focussing on what modalities and cues young adults follow when looking for online health information and how they differ from those of more mature people. I have also worked on gender attitudes towards online information and trust judgements.
- I am conducting research both in the UK and Malawi (GCRF QR grant) to address the information needs of informal carers of people with degenerative conditions such as dementia and HIV. I am also looking at ICT solutions to promote the development of Shared Health Records to improve health data use for action within the Uganda health system.
- I am looking at strategies to reduce information overload in healthcare workers and, at the moment, am focusing on NHS emergency doctors and the factors influencing such perceived overload.
- I recently completed a Wellcome Trust Public Engagement Fund grant (217871/Z/19/Z) with Dr Jonathan Foster and Prof Suzanne Mason to improve our understanding of the factors that influence patients to consent to sharing their personal data for purposes beyond their direct care, e.g. research and planning.
I am also interested in topics beyond health informatics:
- I have been exploring the attitudes of academics towards open access publishing and regularly collaborate with Taylor & Francis on similar topics.
- I am interested in the Research Data Management policy and practice in countries around the world and currently focussing on China.
I would be interested in supervising PhD topics in the following areas:
- Information needs of informal caregivers from BAME groups
- Needs of informal caregivers in national and international settings, with a particular interest in the developing world
- Digital inclusion of under-represented groups
- Evaluating a pedagogical approach to promoting academic integrity in higher education: An online induction program. Frontiers in Psychology.
- Information overload in emergency medicine physicians: a multisite case study exploring the causes, impact, and solutions in four North England National Health Service Trusts. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 22(7). View this article in WRRO
- Peer-led information literacy training: a qualitative study of students’ experiences of the NICE Evidence search Student Champion Scheme. Health Information and Libraries Journal. View this article in WRRO
- Electronic health record and problem lists in Leeds, United Kingdom: Variability of general practitioners’ views. Health Informatics Journal. View this article in WRRO
- Maturing research data services and the transformation of academic libraries. Journal of Documentation. View this article in WRRO
- Progress in research data services : an international survey of university libraries. International Journal of Digital Curation, 14(1), 126-135. View this article in WRRO
- Competencies for bibliometrics. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 51(3), 746-762. View this article in WRRO
- Postgraduate students’ experience of a jointly-taught, distance learning degree : the example of a Russell Group university. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management. View this article in WRRO
- Information literacy in food and activity tracking among three communities: parkrunners, people with type 2 diabetes and people with IBS. Journal of Medical Internet Research. View this article in WRRO
- Modeling the online health information seeking process: Information channel selection among university students. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology. View this article in WRRO
- Corrigendum. Information Development, 35(2), NP1-NP1.
- Medical and health sciences academics’ behaviours and attitudes towards open access publishing in scholarly journals: a perspective from South Korea. Information Development, 35(2), 191-202. View this article in WRRO
- Novel insights into views towards H1N1 during the 2009 Pandemic: a thematic analysis of Twitter data. Health Information & Libraries Journal, 36(1), 60-72. View this article in WRRO
- Empowering people with type two diabetes through online support groups. Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine, 171(Suppl), 3-3. View this article in WRRO
- Academics' attitudes towards peer review in scholarly journals and the effect of role and discipline.. Journal of Information Science, 44, 644-657. View this article in WRRO
- Cross‐Classified Multilevel Modelling of the Effectiveness of Similarity‐Based Virtual Screening. ChemMedChem, 13(6), 582-587. View this article in WRRO
- Peer teaching and information retrieval: the role of the NICE Evidence search student champion scheme in enhancing students’ confidence. Health Information and Libraries Journal. View this article in WRRO
- Trust and Credibility in Web-Based Health Information: A Review and Agenda for Future Research. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 19(6). View this article in WRRO
- Academics' behaviors and attitudes towards open access publishing in scholarly journals. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 68(5), 1201-1211. View this article in WRRO
- Gender as an influencer of online health information-seeking and evaluation behavior. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 68(1), 36-47. View this article in WRRO
- Exploring information interactions in the context of Google. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 67(4), 824-840.
- Students' approaches to the evaluation of digital information: Insights from their trust judgments. British Journal of Educational Technology, 47(6), 1243-1258.
- Peer-based information literacy training: Insights from the NICE Evidence Search Student Champion Scheme. Library & Information Science Research, 37(4), 338-345.
- NICE Evidence Search: Student Peers' Views on their Involvement as Trainers in Peer-based Information Literacy Training. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 41(2), 201-206.
- Public libraries and non-users: A comparison between Manchester and Rome. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 47(2), 104-116.
- Students’ trust judgements in online health information seeking. Health Informatics Journal, 21(4), 316-327.
- Modelling trust formation in health information contexts. Journal of Information Science, 41(4), 415-429.
- Constraints on the magnitude and patterns of ocean cooling at the Last Glacial Maximum. Nature Geoscience, 2(2), 127-132.
- Composition and distribution of seabed and suspended sediments in north and central Torres Strait, Australia. Continental Shelf Research, 28(16), 2174-2187.
- Benthic foraminifera as environmental indicators in Torres Strait-Gulf of Papua. Special Paper - Geological Association of Canada(47), 329-347.
- Glacial Mediterranean sea surface temperatures based on planktonic foraminiferal assemblages. Quaternary Science Reviews, 24(7-9), 999-1016.
- Apparent long-term cooling of the sea surface in the northeast Atlantic and Mediterranean during the Holocene. GEOCHIMICA ET COSMOCHIMICA ACTA, 66(15A), A482-A482.
- Apparent long-term cooling of the sea surface in the northeast Atlantic and Mediterranean during the Holocene. Quaternary Science Reviews, 21(4-6), 455-483.
- Response of the pelagic environment to palaeoclimatic changes in the central Mediterranean Sea during the Late Quaternary. Marine Geology, 178(1-4), 39-62.
- Variability of the western Mediterranean Sea surface temperature during the last 25,000 years and its connection with the Northern Hemisphere climatic changes. Paleoceanography, 16(1), 40-52.
- Late Quaternary climatic variations on the Latium and Campanian Margin of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Rendiconti Lincei, 9(4), 293-313.
- Paleoclimatologia dell’ultima deglaciazione nel Bacino di Cefalù — Mar Tirreno meridionale. Rendiconti Lincei, 9(3), 177-200.
- LMIC-PRIEST: Derivation and validation of a clinical severity score for acutely ill adults with suspected COVID-19 in a middle-income setting. PLoS ONE.
- Addressing the information needs of informal carers in Malawi: a healthcare intervention based on co-creation. Journal of Documentation.
- External validation of triage tools for adults with suspected COVID-19 in a middle-income setting: an observational cohort study. Emergency Medicine Journal.
- Can all healthy adults use the current evidential breath alcohol analysers? An investigation using a large spirometry database.. Medico-Legal Journal.
- Promoting wellbeing among informal caregivers of people with HIV/AIDS in rural Malawi: a community-based participatory research approach (Preprint). Journal of Medical Internet Research.
- Information seeking amongst informal caregivers of people with dementia: a qualitative study. Journal of Documentation.
- Research Data Management Policy and Practice in China. International Journal of Digital Curation, 15(1), 18-18. View this article in WRRO
- Research Data Management policy and practice in Chinese University Libraries. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology.
- Factors influencing researchers’ journal selection decisions. Journal of Information Science.
- Living with endometriosis: the role of the Internet in supporting the diagnosis and treatment process. Journal of Consumer Health on the Internet.
- Investigating gender differences in journal selection decisions: a survey of academic researchers. Learned Publishing.
- The information trust formation process for informal caregivers of people with dementia: a qualitative study. Journal of Documentation.
- Embracing uMunthu: How Informal Caregivers in Malawi Use ICTs, Information and Communication Technologies for Development (pp. 93-101). Springer International Publishing
- Zika Outbreak of 2016: Insights from Twitter, Lecture Notes in Computer Science (pp. 447-458). Springer International Publishing
Conference proceedings papers
- Intersectional Analysis of the Challenges and Opportunities of Equitable Remote Operation in the UK Maritime Sector. Proceedings of the First International Symposium on Trustworthy Autonomous Systems
- Using a Narrative-based Gamified Teaching Approach to Improve International Students' Sense of Belonging. Proceedings of the 54th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education V. 2
- Using a 360° camera as a mobile data collection method towards understanding information types and use in running. Proceedings of the Association for Information Science and Technology, Vol. 57(1), 25 October 2020 - 29 October 2020. View this article in WRRO
- Trust in robot-mediated health information. The 29th IEEE International Conference on Robot & Human Interactive Communication Ro-man, Workshop on Trust, Acceptance and Social Cues in Human-Robot Interaction (SCRITA)
- Integrating fate/critical data studies into data science curricula: Where are we going and how do we get there?. FAT* 2020 - Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency (pp 425-435) View this article in WRRO
- Online support groups as a source of empowerment for people with type 2 diabetes. MEDINFO 2019: Health and Wellbeing e-Networks for All, Vol. 264 (pp 1893-1894). Lyons, France, 25 August 2019 - 30 August 2019. View this article in WRRO
- Moral Panic through the Lens of Twitter. Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Social Media and Society
- View this article in WRRO Using Twitter for Insights into the 2009 Swine Flu and 2014 Ebola outbreaks. iConference 2018 Poster Descriptions, 25 March 2018 - 28 March 2018.
- Measuring the Effect of Public Health Campaigns on Twitter: The Case of World Autism Awareness Day (pp 10-16) View this article in WRRO
- Millennial- to centennial-scale palaeoclimatic variations during Termination I and the Holocene in the central Mediterranean Sea. Global and Planetary Change, Vol. 40(1-2) (pp 201-217)
- The Benefits of Using Online Health Support Groups for Information Acquisition for People with Type 2 Diabetes in the UK. Proceedings of the 18th international symposium on health information management research
- Promoting wellbeing among informal caregivers of people with HIV/AIDS in rural Malawi (Preprint), JMIR Publications Inc..
- Prognostic accuracy of triage tools for adults with suspected COVID-19 in a middle-income setting: an observational cohort study, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
- Trust in robot-mediated health information, arXiv.
- Evaluating a Pedagogical Approach to Promoting Academic Integrity in Higher Education: An Online Induction Program, Center for Open Science.
- Information Overload in Emergency Medicine Physicians: A Multisite Case Study Exploring the Causes, Impact, and Solutions in Four North England National Health Service Trusts (Preprint), JMIR Publications Inc..
- Information literacy in food and activity tracking among three communities: parkrunners, people with type 2 diabetes and people with IBS (Preprint).
- Research group
Current PhD students
- Aisha Alshammari: Exploring and understanding factors that affect the adoption of Personal Health Records among healthcare providers and patients in Saudi Arabia
- Suzanne Duffin: A study of information needs and information sharing amongst people on the autism spectrum, using online support and discussion groups
- Rosie Higman: Open Access and the Role of the National Library
- Muntaha Alam Nafisa: Adoption of integrated medical dental records in the UK.
- Lee Pretlove: The quantified runner: the long-term value and preservation of parkrunners' self-tracking fitness data from the perspectives of the parkrunner, self-tracking device manufacturers and archival institutions
- Teaching activities
I coordinate (or have coordinated) several modules available here at the Information School:
- INF6514 Introduction to Health Informatics
- INF6535 Analysis of Health Information
- INF6580 Libraries, Information and Society
- INF6029 Data Analysis
- Professional activities and memberships
Membership of professional bodies
Journal and conference reviewing
- Online Information Review
- Health Informatics Journal
- Program, Perspectives in Public Health
- International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
- Journal of Medical Internet Research
- BMC Medical Education
- Journal of Information Literacy
- Next Generation Computing Applications 2017 July 19-21, Mauritius
- iConference 2018, Sheffield
- CILIP HLG Conference 2018, Keele
- EAHIL Conference 2018, Cardiff
- iConference 2019, Washington
- iConference2020, Borås
- PhD external examiner at Sheffield Hallam University and Huddersfield University
- Reviewer for the Italian Register of Scientific Experts (REPRISE)
- Advisor for the WellSpoken mark for quality accreditation of health online information