Friday, 15 April 2011

Blogging and its role in research. Discussion led by Angharad Roberts

To introduce the discussion topic, I spoke briefly about my interest in blogging and about my new research blog. I also mentioned the Research Information Network (2011) Social Media: A Guide for Researchers which I found particularly useful in the early stages of thinking about setting up a blog. The group then discussed some of the advantages and disadvantages of blogging and of researcher engagement with social media tools more generally. Some of the issues raised included:
  • The opportunities offered by private (as opposed to public) blogs, which facilitate collaboration between teams of researchers without the same potential degree of exposure as public blogs;
  • The potential ethical issues relating to the use of social media tools, particularly because of the spontaneous and informal style of communication which they encourage;
  • Potential issues relating to self-plagiarism when reusing blog content in more formal writing;
  • The lack of permanence of blog content - posts can be edited or deleted at any time;
  • How a blog can help to raise a researcher's profile;
  • The potential to use blogs as primary data sources - a form of auto-ethnography - in research studies;
  • Challenges in following other people's blogs and managing the large amount of information they provide.
I found Sheila's suggestions about ways to promote a blog particularly useful. These included: providing links to the blog when engaging with discussion lists or commenting on other people's blogs, tweeting about new posts, and including the blog address in email signatures and on presentations.

No comments:

Post a Comment