Connect with other researchers
and develop yourself

How to connect with other researchers and develop yourself; including professional networking sites and social media.

Professional and networking sites

Academia.edu allows you to follow the latest research in your field.

MethodSpace allows you to network, and share research, resources and debate.

ResearchGate is a professional network for scientists and researchers, providing opportunities for making connections, plus information on conferences and jobs.

For those who don't enjoy networking, take a look at Sacha Chua's blog post Shy Connector, or Susan Cain's TED talk The Power of Introverts.

Using social media to make connections

Social media (eg blogging, micro-blogging, social citation tools) are becoming increasingly visible and valuable in the research world.

Blogging

Blogs are increasingly being used to share ideas, both individually and collaboratively.

For more information on why blogging can be a positive academic activity, have a look at the University World News article, Academic bloggers everywhere, or this blog post on the Value of Academic Blogging. For a professor's point of view, try Why do I bother?, by Steve Wheeler from Plymouth University.

The Academic Blog Portal is a useful starting point to locating academic blogs.

The Research Whisperer also has a blog post on how find researchers to collaborate with.

Micro-blogging

Twitter is the best known form of micro-blogging. If you are unsure about Twitter, try reading Dorothy Bishop's blog posting "A gentle introduction to Twitter for the apprehensive academic".

"Can anything of academic value ever be said in just 140 characters?" LSE have produced a helpful guide Using Twitter in university research, teaching and impact activities.

Social citation

These services offer a means of storing and sharing citations, and faciliate academic networking. Citeulike and Mendeley are two of the best known resources of this type. Ariadne has a good article outlining Citeulike, A researcher's social bookmarking service. You can read a review of Mendeley in this blog post from Library Sphere.

To use, or not to use?

For advice on the use of social media, read Social Media: a guide for researchers, produced by the Research Information Network. Vitae have produced a Handbook of social media for researchers and supervisors and run social media events for researchers. Find out more at their Digital Researcher page. There are also a couple of useful JISC resources: Research 3.0: how are digital technnologies revolutionising research?, and Web2Practice: emergent technologies and innovative practice

Want more information?

For more ideas about how social media technologies can help you, try this online guide to Web 2.0 for researchers, developed at Newcastle University for Arts and Humanities researchers, for some useful tips.

Researcher development

Research Business and Innovation is the central UWE Bristol support for research and related activities.

Vitae provides personal and professional development for researchers.

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