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Using your blog as a research journal

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Mark Carrigan

on 7 June 2015

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Transcript of Using your blog as a research journal

Should academics blog about their research?
Ensuring your research is visible (inside/outside)
Finding people who share your research interests
Building an audience for future publications
Faster way to get your research findings out
Practicing communication with non-specialist audiences
The more you write, the easier writing gets
Cory Doctorow:
"my major way of thinking through the stuff that matters to me"

Blogs as Research Journals
Generates interest in your ongoing work
An open archive (useful to you and others)
Notes taking on a life of their own (stimulating dialogues and provoking reactions in others)
The more you write, the easier writing gets
Helps generate dialogues at each stage of the process
Risks? Someone might 'steal' your ideas but research journals establish ownership & history
Are the risks any greater than talking at conferences?
Ethical issues for those working with data: identifiability, risks of trying out ideas
Reflecting on literature
Posting extracts from books, papers, chapters
Briefly reflecting on these extracts
Tagging them comprehensively and identifying emerging themes (oblique connections)
Conversations with others about extracts that have interested you
Clarifying your thoughts on the literature that you're engaging with
Sharing paths into the literature and establishing your expertise
Deepens engagement with what you're reading
Capturing 'fringe thoughts'
"various ideas which may be by-products of everyday life, snatches of conversation overheard on the street, or, for that matter, dreams" - C Wright Mills
Enables more systematic thought (revise and review)
Helps "keep your inner world awake" and inculcate habit of elaborating upon your initial thoughts/feelings
Digital journal accessible from anywhere (acting on the 'feel of an idea' rather than waiting)
Public notebook creates pressure to spell out implications rather than idiosyncratic shorthand
Avoids perils of poor handwriting!
Between thought shrapnel and 'proper' publishing
Longer pieces of writing as intermediaries between blog posts and formal academic publishing
People like "observing ideas in motion" (Daniel Little)
Reflections on practice or particular substantive issue
Helps connect fragmented ideas and insights into networks of concepts that can be subject of paper or chapter
Great way to prepare for challenges (upcoming writing, conference talks, PhD submission, lectures)
Risk of self-plagiarism!
Sharing 'homeless' work
Bits of writing that have been cut from papers, chapters etc
Lets people see things that didn't quite fit into a formal publication
Opportunity for feedback on ideas that you're still working on but aren't happy with your current statement of them
Detaches the impulse to share from formal opportunities for publication
Archiving fragments
Natural place to collect all materials produced in the research process
Inculcates sharing as a habit (slides, podcasts, videocasts)
Living archive of your research career
Encourages reflexivity about what you're doing, why you're doing and how it all fits together
Facilitates an active online presence without massive investment of (additional) time
Makes you a better researcher?
Should academics blog about their research?
What Stuff Matters To You?
How Do You Think It Through?
What do you do as researchers?

How could blogging be incorporated into it?
Full transcript