Hums idea of timing releasing too much specific information. Business student anything shared must be on a reciprocal basis.
Researcher Wiki: experiences, analysis and reflections on using the read/write web to build researcher communities. Rush
Researcher Wiki: experiences,
analysis and reflections on using the
read/write web to build researcher
Assistant Librarian: Business
De Montfort University, Leicester.
• Background to the project
• Demonstrate / assess the wiki
• What went wrong/right
• Lessons for the future
Background ... How we support
• Research Training Programme for research students :
– Mandatory course on Literature Searching and Reference
Management – must be completed before transfer to PhD.
– New optional courses offered since 2008 on Advanced
EndNote and ‘Keeping up to date’.
– Designated research student areas in the library
• DORA; Sconul Access; Focus Groups; Collection
Background ... How we would like to
• Improve the university’s research web pages
• Clear from the Research Training Programme that
there was a lot of tacit knowledge, know-how and
expertise beyond the formal training provision that
would be beneficial to share. But how?
• 2008: Roberts funding for a small-scale project to
develop a wiki aimed at research students and early
career researchers drawing from content from the
wider research community and integrating with the
Why a wiki?
A wiki was chosen as it seemed the best way
to facilitate peer to peer learning. It is:
Easy to use
Online resources all ready in existence, e.g. Resin.
• The project was
developed during the
summer of 2008.
• Time was bought to
give me time to create
• Launched at the
beginning of 2008-9
• Have a look at the
questionnaire distributed to
researchers and work
• Would you have done
Problems creating the wiki
• Software glitches
• Too much content
• Time constraints
• Plenty of views but little
• Needs promoting within a
• Emphasise the value of the wiki
• Must be recommended by
• Has been useful to disseminate
information, e.g. on REF
• Strategic integration
– Just because we can do
something doesn’t necessarily
mean we should.
– Do the users perceive the
value or are we creating
solutions to problems that do
– Do your new tools fit in with
More lessons learned
• Is there a clear vision? Defined goals?
• Cost and time
• Size/heterogeneity of the research community
When I share
information I want to
prompt a debate ...
Business PhD student
I’d like to think I’m
generous but ...
Humanities PhD student
Even more lessons learned
• Researchers’ learning lives - the 7 ages model
Attitudes and needs vary at discrete ages
Early researchers are in a transitional stage
Middle researchers become from information
producers as well as consumers
• Asking a researcher to record experiences can make
them feel vulnerable.
• Consider new web pages for
researchers using wiki content
but with collaborative elements
• Look out for the RIN project on
using web2.0 to support
• Sometimes as librarians we are guilty of trying to
force web 2.0 to solve problems where a more
traditional response is more appropriate.
• There is a place for web 2.0 within IL and the
research community but it is important that its use is
driven by the researchers themselves.
• There are inherent dangers in innovating for the sake
of innovation – without clear aims.