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Online Researcher Communities - Who What And Why

Online Researcher Communities - Who What And Why



Workshop presented by Emma Gillaspy and Liz Dodson at the first Vitae Research Staff conference in November 2009 (www.vitae.ac.uk/researchstaffconference)

Workshop presented by Emma Gillaspy and Liz Dodson at the first Vitae Research Staff conference in November 2009 (www.vitae.ac.uk/researchstaffconference)



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  • Quick intro for both of us 5min
  • (Led by EG)Objectives of the session, any from the floor? 2min
  • (Led by LD)Let’s get the negative out of the way at the start of today’s session! We have brainstormed a few issues we believe affect research staff including…In your small groups, have a quick chat about these and any other issues you feel affect you5min inc feedbackBear these in mind throughout today’s session as you may well find advice and support to help you with these issues in the digital world.
  • (Led by EG)Now we have discussed some of the issues you face, consider how you are viewed and assessed by others around you in the research world. These activities are probably the main way other researchers and academics know who you are and what you do. Are there any other activities you would like to add to this list?
  • (Led by EG)Now consider those activities in light of the fact that we live in a digital world. Most of us are very used to using digital technologies on a day to day basis including Facebook, Twitter, Powerpoint, Email etc.
  • (Led by EG)In your groups, think about current activities and tools you use as a researcher, digital or otherwise, and how others may view them. – consider the pros and cons of these different toolsAlso have a think about how technologies can be used to help support those activities.5minFeedback to the group5min
  • (Led by EG)Here are a few activities I brainstormed around researcher roles. I have broken them down into the 4 main activities of writing/reading, multimedia, networking and information management. I have then listed some tools you might use to complete each activity. When you go away today, have a think about this diagram and design your own strategy for developing a digital identity that works for you.
  • (Led by EG)A good way of seeing the extent of your current digital identity is to Google yourself. Who’s done this and how did you feel about the results? Were you there in the top ten? Professional/private content? As expected or surprised? Pleased…disappointed…worried!?The more you engage with tools such as those on the previous diagram, the more you will see your digital identity enhanced.
  • Led by LD
  • (Led by EG)Here are 3 examples of using web 2.0 tools to develop your digital identity
  • (Led by EG)Cristina Mendes Da Costa is a researcher who has gone down the personal route for her blog and website. She has successfully integrated her personal and professional profiles and is well known in the digital world.
  • (Led by EG)Andrew Gray is Curator of Hepatology at the Manchester Museum. He is passionate about his research on a specific species of frog and has developed this frogblog all about this research area. He has a fabulous reputation through his work on the blog and his public engagement activities so this is a great example of a successful research area blog
  • (Led by EG)The GetSETWomen Blog is a really good example of a collective blog where women in the SET subjects can post about anything they like. It has developed a great sense of community and has many active and passive bloggers.
  • (Led by LD)As you may know the Vitae RS blog was recently launched…. (Liz to explain features/advantages of the blog and how easy it is to start blogging)Excellent way to reach out to other researchers and share experiences1 golden rule: think before you post
  • (Led by EG)Thinking back to the issues for RS we discussed at the start of the workshop, spend the next 10 minutes deciding what you need from an online community for researchers.Small group work10minFeedback5min
  • COS & LinkedIn - (Led by LD) JISCmail?http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/Others – (Led by EG)What does everyone else use and why?10min contributions from the floor

Online Researcher Communities - Who What And Why Online Researcher Communities - Who What And Why Presentation Transcript

  • Online researcher communities - who, what and why?
    Dr Emma Gillaspy, Vitae North West Hub Manager, University of Manchester
    Dr Elizabeth Dodson, Senior Researcher, Loughborough University
  • About us
  • Objectives for today
    Explore the digital world and how researchers can use it to:
    develop their reputation through a digital identity
    advance research
    decrease isolation
    Explore what the ideal online community for research staff would look like
  • Research staff - issues
    Gap in support from PGR to academic
    Fixed-term employment with limited opportunities for progression
    Lack of defined career path
    Independence from supervisor:
    Status and recognition
  • Your life as a researcher
    Academic outputs (papers etc)
    Professional development (formal and informal learning)
  • Living in a digital world
    Social bookmarking
    Podcasting (sharing audio)
    Slide sharing
  • Current activities and tools
    • What research activities do you currently do and what tools do you use?
    • How do you think technology can be used to support:
    • Group or project communication and collaboration
    • Research dissemination and wider community engagement
    • Conferences
    • Ways in which you present yourself and your work
    • Data collection and analysis
  • Developing a digital identity
  • Digital Identity:Google yourself
  • General Principles of Online Interaction
    Understand how public and permanent your online footprint is (see http://www.123people.com/)
    Be aware that your current or future employers could choose to explore that online footprint!
    Do not say anything online that you would not say face to face
    Avoid spamming and flaming
    Be aware that it is easy to misinterpret irony, sarcasm etc… without tone of voice or expressions to guide
    Consider who you are talking to…
  • Developing your digital identity - 3 examples of useful tools
    • Slideshare
    • Sharing PowerPoint presentations, disseminating your research to a wider audience, comments on your slides
    • Twitter
    • The latest news, ideas, conference back channel, social and work, community
    • Twitter in plain English http://www.commoncraft.com/Twitter
    • Top reasons to use Twitter http://online-social-networking.com/top-reasons-for-using-twitter
    • Blogging
    • Reflection, archive of research, peer critique, disseminating
    • Personal / research area?
    • Individual / collective?
    • Blogs in plain English http://www.commoncraft.com/blogs
    • Top reasons to blog http://elearningtech.blogspot.com/2006/10/top-ten-reasons-to-blog-and-top-ten.html
  • http://knowmansland.com/
  • http://frogblogmanchester.wordpress.com/
  • www.ukrc4setwomen.org
  • www.vitae.ac.uk/rsblog
  • What do you need from an online community for researchers?
    • What knowledge will it share and develop?
    • Content
    • Subject specific
    • Institutional / regional / national
    • What will success look like?
    • How will it survive and prosper
    • How will it benefit you
    How will the community operate?
    Existing or new
    Just for RS
    Who/what drivers
    What resources will it need?
  • Useful tools
    Communities of Science (www.cos.com): Free online professional profile, funding search, collaborator search
    LinkedIn (http://www.linkedin.com/): Professional Facebook!
    Connotea (www.connotea.org): Free online reference manager, access your references from any computer, share references
    Dropbox (www.getdropbox.com): Free online storage accessible in a Windows Explorer format, share and edit files/folders with others without having to download them locally, great for collaboration!
    Google (www.google.com): Google Scholar, Google Docs, iGoogle homepage, Picasa
    YouTube (www.youtube.com): Great ‘how to’ videos as well as a bit of fun!
    Ted.com (www.ted.com): World’s leading researchers and thinkers, great for inspiration and motivation, pick up tips for public speaking
    PubMed bookshelf (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books): Free online versions of many biomedical books
  • Our online presence
    Vitae NW Hub:
    Vitae RS blog:
    Liz Dodson: