March 26, 2009

Academic Blogging: Promoting your Research on the Web

I did a workshop/presentation to York faculty as part of the Libraries' Research Frontiers series. As the title of this post suggests, it was on the usefulness of blogging to an academic career.

Here are the slides I used:

You can link to the slides here, and in our institutional repository here.

It was a pretty cozy session, which was ok since that lead to a lot of interesting questions and discussion.

Of course, I couldn't resist using Friendfeed as a way of working my way though some of the issues around academic blogging. I started by asking about potential titles for my session and ended up getting a pretty good discussion going around more general issues.

There were a lot of really great suggestions for titles, serious and not-so-serious and I was happy to be able to use those suggestions at the beginning of the presentation, both as a way to provoke discussion and as a way of demonstrating the usefulness and value of online communities. Needless to say, I'm very grateful to my freeps for all the input and suggestions.

I particularly liked what Cameron Neylon had to say:

I started up a blog and all I got was five invites to give keynotes, ten new collaborators, introduction to new funding bodies, an interview in Nature, an invite to scifoo, three papers...and a couple of t-shirts

Point very well taken.


Mickey Schafer said...

I love the 63rd slide! Very nice presentation, and I especially appreciate that the ppt slides managed to convey your message while still staying within the boundaries of what is considered good/useful/sexy ppt slide creation. And and and -- I actually felt that I understood the gist of the presentation despite not being there and no audio attached. This is remarkable: I've almost stopped following slideshare links b/c most presentations are opaque without audio and it's just frustrating. Loved the use of FF and blog to structure the talk itself -- there's a word for that in the comm/lit arena, but I'm just too damned spent from revising student papers all day to remember what it was. In any case, nicely done!

John Dupuis said...

Thanks for your kind words, Mickey.

I'm very gratified that the presentation has met with a very positive response.

Anonymous said...

Is Neylon the best example? Doesn't his blog focus more on "open science", communication tools, analysis of the way science is done, how scientists use technology, rather than on the actual hard data of his research in his given field, which is I believe chemistry? How many of those invitations were to talk about his chemistry experiments, and how many were to talk about open science etc.?

Is there a better example of someone blogging their research results who can point to positive outcomes based on those results? Not everyone is interested in being an expert on new tools and new ways to do science. There are very strong communities online based around being online. What about communities and effects for the average biologist or chemist who is more interested in research at the bench rather than in discussing new ways of being online as a scientist?

Unknown said...

Excellent Post. I really prefer and see the transition from Mainstream Media to New media a wonderful thing. Issues have copyrights and intellectual property has diminished to naught and cost of distributing knowledge has gone down to almost zero too, if you factor out the intangible intellectual costs that is.

John Dupuis said...

Hi David,

A good point. If you take a look at, nature network and scientific blogging, you will find people who blog their research. As well, is a useful place to look for more focused stuff.

David Crotty said...

The question is whether those people blogging actual research results are seeing tangible professional benefits from their blogging.

It strikes me that the majority of science blogging is about science blogging. So it's more likely you'd see a big response from blogging about new online tools from users of new online tools than such a response for blogging about your often obscure gene of interest or chemical structure.

If you do run across test cases of jobs offered or meeting/paper invitations based solely on blogging actual research, please do pass them along.

John Dupuis said...

I think a good example would be Jean-Claude Bradley who has gotten new collaborators via his blogging.

David Crotty said...

Thanks for the pointer. I'll dig into the 28 (28!) blogs he writes for details.

Jean-Claude Bradley said...

David - yes I do have a number of blogs for different projects :) The one John refers to is

David Crotty said...

Thanks for the pointer Jean-Claude. I am in awe of both your output and your willingness to experiment with new forms of communication. I'll dig through the blog as it will be good to have some positive examples to point to.

Anonymous said...

Great post and great presentation. I particularly liked the link to Hugh McGuire and the discussion on that post. It's only recently started using, but I'm already enjoying it, since it gives more "seriousness" to my blogging than what I had before.