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Blogging and your academic profile

First presented at the INTECOL Workshops for Early Career Researchers, August 2013 - http://innge.net/?q=node/343

Jon Tennant

on 19 August 2014

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Transcript of Blogging and your academic profile

Does blogging enhance your academic profile?
What's all the fuss about?
"Science communication is at a tipping point. For decades, we’ve been making the case for broader engagement. Whether it’s framed as a moral imperative, a financial obligation, or a pragmatic undertaking, the question is settled. “Should we?” Yes. The hard question remains “How?”" Liz Neeley, 15th May, 2013, Nature Blogs
Opens up research - access and accessibility
Communicating with different audiences
Impact case studies for REF
Feedback and discussion about your research
Natural development of online profile
Why blogging?
Why the blog format?
What have I learned?
Other benefits?
Don't take it from me though..
"Don't feel pressured into blogging. Do it only if you are excited to try and have a good idea for an original blog." John Hutchinson, Professor of Biomechanics, RVC
What does it all mean?
#reachingoutsci series: http://www.nature.com/spoton/tag/social-media-case-study/
Social media for academics: http://www.exeter.ac.uk/btg/socialmediaforacademics/
An introduction to social media for scientists: http://www.plosbiology.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pbio.1001535
"Group blogging can be a good way to start - more content, less work for any one person." Lou Woodley, Nature Communities Specialist
"Exciting to begin, but challenging to sustain given the inevitable time sink. Guest blog is easier." Mary Bourke, Senior Researcher, Trinity College
"By blogging mine and others' work, I learn and amplify great research, and get helpful feedback on new ideas." Nate Matias, MIT
"Blogging is a way for academics to write with less formal language. They can write for a general audience, not specialists. Academics can get feedback from a worldwide audience very quickly." Joe Kraus, Librarian, Colorado
"Even as someone beyond academia, I find blogging about science an immensely powerful medium. Outreach is key." Graham Steel, Open Science Machine
"As a person starting out in academia, blogs have given me a great insight into the awesomeness and challenges I might expect." Nathan Chrismas, PhD Student, Bristol
"Make your scholarly work a conversation, not a monologue. Less lonely that way." Barbara Fister, Librarian
"As the open science movement is demonstrating, the solitary genius of individuals is rarely superior to the speed and power of expert networks. We are stronger, wiser, and more creative as a community. And we are going to need all of that." Liz Neeley, 15th May 2013, Nature Blogs
PhD student (noob year)
@Protohedgehog (don't ask)
Time.. Never enough time..
Privacy and over-sharing
Can be seen as 'self-promotion'
==> Strategic approach needed
Does not have peer-reviewed 'stamp of approval'
What roles can blogging play in the digital age of science communication, and enhancing the academic experience?
Does blogging enhance your
academic profile?
Aidan Horner: Views on blogging are polarised - a lot like marmite..
Dr. Chris Chambers: Being anti-blogging is "..narrow ivory-tower hypocritical bollocks"
Key question: What does it mean to be an academic?
Be brave. It’s a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no telling where you might be swept off to..
You will get better over time. Don’t expect to become Ed Yong or Carl Zimmer overnight. It takes at least 3 weeks to hit that kind of status.
There is a danger that you might, be perceived as ‘self-promoting’ by your peers or others. Let them have their opinions; as long as you are promoting your science, then passive self-promotion is a natural part of this.
"Having something like blogging on your CV may help you get grants in the future because they provide an avenue where you can "communicate your research to the public", something which many grant bodies are now requiring" - Indeterminate rock nerd, ICL
Misc top blogger: 'Blogging, tweeting, public events, TV and radio, whatever whatever. They do NOTHING AT ALL to directly help you get a job. At the very least, they subtract your time and energy from what actually gets you a job (publications..) and at the worst they can count AGAINST you because critics suspect you are flakey, not committed, can't juggle it all, don't know all the wonderful benefits'
Full transcript