Dr Andrew M. Cox

Senior Lecturer

BA (Open), MA (TVU), MSc (UWA), MA (Open), MEd (Sheffield), PhD (Loughborough)

Andrew Cox 2014


+44 (0)114 222 6347


My main research interests are in three somewhat interconnected areas:

  1. Communities of practice as a theoretical construct and increasingly the application of practice theory (Schatzki, Nicolini) to information science, to theorise how people seek and create information and unravelling the complex process of technology adoption and use.
  2. The evolution of the concepts of virtual community, Web2.0 and social media, especially related to information sharing, creation and use in “serious leisure” pursuits, such as photography and running.
  3. The nature of the information professions, informed by Abbott’s theories of competition for jurisdiction between professions. My current interest is in the response of information professionals to issues around Research Data Management, arising from the “data deluge” and calls for open sharing of research data.

Most of my research uses qualitative methods, including using visual methods.

I am interested in supervising PhD students in Virtual Community and Communities of Practice.

I am head of the Digital Societies Research Group.


Current PhD Students

Maram Alajamy: The Role of Academic Librarians in Institutional Information System Strategic Planning: A Grounded Theory Study of Syrian Governmental Universities

Anas Alsuhaibani: Investigating the Role of Social Media in Supporting International Students Transition to Study in the UK

Penny CS Andrews: The Role and Influence of Current Research Information Systems (CRIS) in UK Higher Education and Scholarly Communication

Bethany Aylward: Web-archiving needs of archives in South Yorkshire

Linhao Fang: Conception, Design and Development of a Self-Directed E-Learning Component of a Phonetics Blended-Learning Environment

SKina Ehdeed (Sukaina): The Emergence of Libyan Networked Publics: Social Media Use during and after the Libyan Uprising

Paula Goodale: Supporting Information Access in Digital Cultural Heritage Collections

Daniel Grace: Creating the convivial library: exploring the effect of technology on the public libraries capacity to promote community resilience

Catherine Hoodless: Subject v. functional: the relationship between changing organisational structures and the transformation of academic libraries and the profession of librarianship

Itzelle Medina Perea: The socio-cultural life of personal health data flows in the UK healthcare sector

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


Completed PhD Students

Preeyanuch Voravickositt: Understanding the relationship between users' reading attitudes, behaviours and e-books collection management in Thai academic libraries.

Melanie Benson: Information Use of Migrational Individuals and Public Library Space: An Ethnographic Study.

Piyapat Jarusawat: Lanna Information Management.

Nicolas Kylilis: Social participation in online and offline communities.

Titima Thumbumrung: Knowledge sharing across boundaries in interdisciplinary scientific and technological research projects in Thailand.

Mashael Al Omar: Scholars research related personal information management: An investigation of PAAET, Kuwait.

Abadelkarim Agnawe: An investigation of the influence of cultural dimensions on the use of the Internet by Libyan academics.

Nordiana Ahmad Kharman Shah: Factors influencing academics' use of microblogging in teaching and learning.

Soureh Latif Shabgahi: The impact on information seeking and sharing behaviour of the adoption of social networking tools by SMEs.

Xuguang Li: A study of knowledge sharing and construction in virtual product user communities.

Martin Simmons: Exploring the value of different aspects of culture: a mixed methods study focusing on the perspectives of the public and culture providers in Derbyshire.

Nora Agustero: The Collaborative behaviour of academic libraries: The case of library consortia in the Philippines.

Khalfan Al Hijji: Strategic Management and Planning Practices in Academic Libraries in Oman.

Meshal Al-Fadhli: Technology Adoption in Academic Libraries in the State of Kuwait.

Elizabeth Brewster: An investigation of experiences of reading for mental health and well-being and their relation to models of bibliotherapy.

Inaam Idrees: Clique and Elite: Inter-Organisational Knowledge Sharing across Five Star Hotels in the Saudi Arabian Religious Tourism and Hospitality Industry - a Grounded Theory Study.

Gibran Rivera Gonzalez: The use of Actor-Network Theory and a Practise-Based Approach to understand online community participation.

Nashwaran Taha: Factors Shaping the Network Dynamic of International Students in UK Higher Education.


Research Projects

Place-making for sustainable development: Learning from Xochimilco

TuOS GCRF QR funding Principal Investigator £6,800 1 January 2019 6 months

The purpose of the project is to explore how to capture and share narratives of placemaking for their role in sustainable development, from a case study of Xochimilco, Mexico.

TUoS Teaching fellows fund: Remapping learning landscapes on campus

TUoS Senate teaching fellows fund Principal Investigator £6,969 1 January 2018 18 months

A project to explore and expand the ways that students and staff use different spaces as an essential part of their learning.

SCONUL Transformation Group: Mapping the Future of Academic Libraries

The Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL) Co-Investigator £9,600 1 April 2017 6 months

A study of the future academic library for the next 10 to 15 years, in the context of the decline in importance of the printed book and its repercussions for use of library space, development of services, and deployment of staff.

Faculty of Social Science student use of library and informal learning space

TUoS Faculty of Social Science Principal Investigator £1,950 January 2016 3 months

In preparation for the proposed new building for the Faculty of Social Sciences, the study seeks to investigate how students currently use library and informal learning spaces, especially the Diamond since this has been little studied.

Competencies for bibliometrics

Lis-bibliometrics group Principal Investigator £1,400 March 2016 12 months

Development of a set of bibliometric competencies for librarians.

Wicked Ways with Research Data Management

Leadership Foundation for Higher Education Principal Investigator £8,565 1 April 2014 12 months

Many issues in UK universities have all the hallmarks of being wicked problems: complex, hard to solve issues that stakeholders perceive in very different ways. Leadership has to be different in such contexts. A new wicked problem for universities that has emerged in the last few years is what to do about improving research data management (RDM). The aim of the Wicked Ways project is to bring together a network of those involved in tackling the wicked RDM problem in different institutions and through an iterative, reflective and participative process construct an open educational resource about leadership in wicked problem contexts. This resource will be freely available to the wider UK HEI community and help promote the understanding of the wicked problem concept. The process will also itself help to create a supportive community of practice for participants. The collaborators in creating the learning resource are drawn from the various stakeholders in RDM: researchers, research administrators, IT professionals, librarians and record managers and facilitated by the Sheffield Information School. They will be drawn largely but not exclusively from the White Rose Consortium partners, the Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York. As people currently engaged in addressing this wicked problem space, they will have immediate experiences to reflect on and opportunities to try out ideas in practice.


Digital Society Network

University of Sheffield Steering Group Member £24,000 1 February 2014 18 months

The Digital Society Network (DSN) draws together an interdisciplinary team of researchers engaged with research at the cutting-edge of society-technology interactions. Underpinning the network is a concern not only with how societies and individuals use digital technologies, but also the social implications and outcomes of an increasingly digitised world on numerous scales. In this way, digital society is understood as being the social aspect of the digital - a concern with who uses and does not use digital technology, for what purposes digital technologies are being used, how effective technologies and platforms are, and the implications and outcomes of these practices.



Joint Information Systems Committee Investigator £60,000 1 July 2012 12 months

A JISC funded project to produce taught and continuing professional development (CPD) learning materials in Research Data Management (RDM) tailored for Information professionals. RDMRose developed and adapted learning materials about RDM to meet the specific needs of liaison librarians in university libraries, both for practitioners CPD and for embedding into the postgraduate taught (PGT) curriculum. Its deliverables included OER materials suitable for learning in multiple modes, including face to face and self-directed learning. RDMRose brought together the UK’s leading iSchool with a practitioner community based on the White Rose University Consortium?s libraries at the Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York. Development of content and teaching was iterative, based on a highly participative curriculum development process and with a strong strand of student evaluation of learning materials and activities.



Higher Education Academy Principal Investigator £2,858 2 January 2008 5 months