amyResearch Excellence Framework (REF) Impact Officer, Lancaster University Management School


Research Excellence Framework (REF) Impact Officer, Lancaster University Management School (December 2012 - November 2013)

Student Based Services, Lancaster University: (May 2007 - April 2013)

Industrial Trainee, IBM UK Ltd, Warwick (July 2003 - October 2004)


BA in Management, Information Technology and a Language (Spanish & Japanese), University of York (October 2001 - July 2005)

MRes in Information Technology, Management & Organisational Change, LUMS (September 2006 - September 2007)

PhD - ‘Classification Work and the Freedom of Information Act 2000’ (2007-2012):

This thesis offers an analysis of a series of vignettes from two public bodies (a government department and a university) to investigate what comes together to make classifications do their work and implement the legislation.

After completing a Masters in Research (MRes) in Information Management, Technology and Organisational Change (Distinction) at Lancaster University Management School, I was awarded a +3 Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Thesis Quota Award. After conducting online research into the contemporary activities of privacy advocates using 'webometric' methods, my thesis changed direction following a unique opportunity to study the practices and policy surrounding information rights across UK government through a collaborative internship between ESRC and the The National Archives.

My thesis was supervised by Professor Lucas Introna and Dr Niall Hayes.

ESRC/TNA Internship (March-May 2009)

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 came into force in 2005 to offer the ability to request access to any information held by a public body, be it contemporary or historical. Literature pertaining to FoI is growing as society becomes more knowledgeable about the Act and its potential. Little is currently known, however, about the operationality of the Act and FoI compliance.

The academic community had for many years prior to FOI, under the repealed Public Records Act 1958, been able to request 'privileged access', from the Lord Chancellor, to view closed documents. The research examines the extent to which privileged access or access outside the FOIA is still in operation in central and local government departments and the standardisation or differentiation between these processes. A series of interviews have already and continued to be conducted with officials of relevant research, data protection or information based departments in government who oversee these processes and academic researchers to establish their pre and post FOI experiences of requesting and reviewing closed files. The only other route, subject to departmental discretion, is to go 'outside the Act' and apply in accordance with the principles of the Data Protection Act 1998.


My research interests include studies of surveillance and the work of privacy advocates and their role in enacting transparency and accountability, access and information rights and the resultant effect on government policy and legislation.


Gibbons, A. (2011) ‘A Double Edged Sword: What are the Implications of Freedom of Information for HE Research?’ Ariadne Issue 67

Introna, L.D; Gibbons, A. (2009) 'Networks and Resistance: Investigating online advocacy networks as a modality for resisting state surveillance' Surveillance & Society, 6 (3): 233-258

'Assessing the Impact of Policy on Academic Research: The Freedom of Information Act 2000' The National Archives Research Newsletter, Issue 3 (July 2009)

Conferences, Seminars and Workshops: Papers and Presentations

‘The Viva Experience’ Department of Organisation, Work and Technology PhD seminar, 30th July 2012

‘Classification in Practice: Implementing the Freedom of Information Act 2000’ Department of Organisation, Work and Technology PhD seminar, 27th January 2012

‘Classification [at] Work: The Freedom of Information Act 2000', Quadrangular Conference on Technology, Organizations and Society, 2010: Critical Innovation Studies, 21st-23rd June 2010, LSE

'Research outside the Freedom of Information Act: A critique of 'privileged access' practices in government, Researchers Information Network, 14-15th September 2009, Glasgow University.

Closed records and academic research: exploring access outside FoI, LSE/UCL Constitution Unit Transparency Workshop, 10th July 2009

Assessing the Impact of Policy: The Freedom of Information Act 2000', 'Social Sciences at the Archives' Internship Seminar, 20th May 2009, The National Archives, Kew, Surrey

Surveying the surveyors: Using meta-surveillance to enact visibility and accountability', paper presented at the 3rd bi-annual Surveillance Studies Network conference 'Invisibilities', 2-3rd April 2008, Sheffield University



Management School Tutor, Widening Participation Mentoring Scheme, Lancaster University (April - May 2012 & March 2013)

Seminar Tutor, OWT 226 'Information Systems in Organisations', (January-March 2011)

Lecturer, LAW 317 'Legal Issues in Business' (Data Protection and Freedom of Information session only), 2010

'Privacy, Surveillance and the Law: Are We Being Watched?', Gifted & Talented Law Day, Department of Continuing Education, Lancaster University, 16th December 2008

Business Studies Tutor and Dissertation Supervisor, International Studies Centre, Study Group, Lancaster University (January-August 2008)


Hobbies and Interests

Learning languages (basic French and Japanese, intermediate Spanish), travelling, watching films, genealogy, bowling, dancing.