Dr Sophie Rutter
BA (SOAS, London), MSc (Sheffield), PhD (Sheffield), SFHEA
Lecturer in Information Management
+44 114 222 2659
Full contact details
Regent Court (IS)
I joined the Information School at Sheffield as a Lecturer in Information Management in March 2019. I am currently researching the importance organisations and employees attach to hand hygiene in the workplace, and the use of Internet of Things smart sanitisers in the office environment. Previously as a research fellow in communication design at the University of Leeds (2018-2019), I worked with children on a co-design project to transform school toilets and motivate hand hygiene.
My PhD (Sheffield, 2017) focused on children’s use of search technologies and the influence of the school environment.
Prior to academia, I worked in industry for several years as the web and communications manager for the Port of London Authority (2001-2006), a project manager for Futura Interactive (2000-2001), and as an online publication coordinator for Donovan Data Systems (1993-1999).
- PGT Ethics Coordinator
- Module Coordinator INF6060 Information Retrieval: Search Engines and Digital Libraries
- iLab promotion
- Research interests
I am a principal investigator on a smart sanitisation project funded by Innovate UK. The project, conducted in collaboration with the University of Leeds and Savortex (an SME specialising in hand hygiene technology), will develop and evaluate a smart IoT (Internet of Things) hand sanitiser. This innovative technology will be able to monitor sanitiser use in real-time and send reminders to staff to sanitise their hands, and can connect into a building's SMART operating system. At Sheffield we
- aim to understand the importance organisations, and their employees, attach to hand hygiene in the workplace setting
- investigate how people feel about the use of SMART systems and the sharing of personal data in their workplace
- analyse the effectiveness of the SMART hand sanitisers in promoting hand hygiene.
I am also interested in how the environment influences the way people interact with information, what techniques people use to search for information, and how information use can be evaluated in different environments. My research so far has been broadly focused on school children, workplace settings, search interfaces and health communication.
I am interested in supervising PhD projects in the following areas
- Application and evaluation of Internet of Things in context(s)
- Human Machine Interface (HMI) studies
- Hand hygiene and more broadly health communication
- Information seeking behaviour of children and other user groups
- Human Computer Interaction (HCI) studies conducted in the i-lab (https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/is/research/facilities)
- Effectiveness and efficiency of persuasive space graphics (PSG) in motivating UK primary school children’s hand hygiene. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(7). View this article in WRRO
- The visual representation of germs: a typology of popular germ depictions. Visual Communication. View this article in WRRO
- Representing search tasks in an information use environment : a case of English primary schools. Journal of Documentation, 75(6), 1370-1395. View this article in WRRO
- The intelligent library: Thought leaders’ views on the likely impact of Artificial Intelligence on academic libraries. Library Hi Tech, 37(3), 418-435. View this article in WRRO
- Academic libraries’ stance toward the future. Portal: Libraries and the Academy, 19(3), 485-509. View this article in WRRO
- Evaluating children’s handwashing in schools: an integrative review of indicative measures and measurement tools. International Journal of Environmental Health Research. View this article in WRRO
- Extending McKinsey’s 7S model to understand strategic alignment in academic libraries. Library Management, 40(5), 313-326. View this article in WRRO
- Search tactics used in solving everyday how-to technical tasks: Repertoire, selection and tenacity. Information Processing & Management, 56(3), 919-938. View this article in WRRO
- Communicating Handwashing to Children, as Told by Children. Health Communication. View this article in WRRO
- View this article in WRRO Using classroom talk to understand children’s search processes for tasks with different goals. Information Research, 24(1).
- How the information use environment influences search activities: a case of English primary schools. Journal of Documentation. View this article in WRRO
- Interlending and resource sharing in UK public libraries: A mixed methods study. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 50(2), 168-185. View this article in WRRO
- How do children reformulate their search queries?. INFORMATION RESEARCH-AN INTERNATIONAL ELECTRONIC JOURNAL, 20(1).
- View this article in WRRO Using FaceReader to explore the potential for harnessing emotional reactions to motivate hand hygiene. Journal of Infection Prevention.
Conference proceedings papers
- Youth Information Interaction Research in the Pandemic: Adjustments, Innovations, Implications. Wiley
- Conducting Information Science research during pandemics: Experience and Reflections of the Information Retrieval Research Group in Sheffield. Information Science Trends - ASIS&T European Chapter Series, 9 June 2021 - 11 June 2021. View this article in WRRO
- Complex search task: How to make a phone safe for a child. CEUR Workshop Proceedings, Vol. 1798 (pp 34-36)
- Primary school children's single topic search over multiple search sessions. Proceedings of the 5th Information Interaction in Context Symposium on - IIiX '14, 26 August 2014 - 30 August 2014.
- Shefleld submission to the CHiC interactive task: Exploring digital cultural heritage. CEUR Workshop Proceedings, Vol. 1179
- Search or browse? Casual information access to a cultural heritage collection. CEUR Workshop Proceedings, Vol. 1033 (pp 19-22)
- Research group
I am a member of the Information Retrieval research group.
Current PhD students
Current Postdoctoral researchers
1 Dec 2020
Awarded £109,060 from Innovate UK as part of a £570,562 funded project in collaboration with Savortex (SME) and University of Leeds. The project is to develop and evaluate a smart (IoT) hand sanitiser system for use in the office environment.
- Teaching activities
I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. I teach information retrieval (INF6060), public and youth library services (INF6031 / 6531), HCI (INF6430) and dissertation research methods (INF6340, INF6000).
- Professional activities
Membership of professional bodies
- Senior Fellow of the HEA
Editorial board membership
- Pakistan Journal of Information Management & Libraries
Journal and conference reviewing
- CHI (Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems)
- Health care
- Environmental Health Insights
- International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
- Journal of Information Management
- Library and Information Research
- Online Information Review
- Pakistan Journal of Information Management & Libraries
- Rutter, S. (2021). Communicating and evaluating health messages during a pandemic. Keynote. Information Science Trends - ASIS&T European Chapter Series.