Category: Essential ‘how-to’ Guides

How to plan, create and launch a successful multi-author academic blog

A multi-author blog collective is an effective way for a university or other knowledge-based institution to host discussion and debate. As part of a series previewing their book Communicating Your Research with Social Media, Amy Mollett, Cheryl Brumley, Chris Gilson and Sierra Williams look at how to set up an institution-based multi-author blog platform; from planning all the way to launch. Planning and launching a social […]

So you’ve decided to blog? These are the things you should write about

The centuries-old tradition of writing for advocacy is continued into the digital era by blogging. But what should you be writing about? As part of a series previewing their new book Communicating Your Research with Social Media, Amy Mollett, Cheryl Brumley, Chris Gilson and Sierra Williams consider the various different types of blog posts and how each might be used by academics. Blogging has become ubiquitous […]

A number of freely available tools can help you improve your literature review routine and stay on top of published research

The sheer proliferation of newly published research articles can make staying on top of the literature a daunting, time-consuming task. Moreover, not being a deadline-driven activity, it can also fall down lists of priorities and be difficult to integrate into the everyday routine. Erzsébet Czifra-Tóth and Jon Tennant have put together a short sequence of steps and flagged a number […]

Writing a peer review is a structured process that can be learned and improved – 12 steps to follow

Peer review not only helps to maintain the quality and integrity of scientific literature but is also key to a researcher’s development. As well as offering opportunities to keep abreast of current research and hone critical analysis skills, writing a peer review can teach you how to spot common flaws in research papers and improve your own chances of being […]

Why has submitting a manuscript to a journal become so difficult? A call to simplify an overly complicated process

It is widely acknowledged that submitting a paper to a journal is a fraught activity for authors. But why should this still be the case? James Hartley and Guillaume Cabanac argue that the process has always been complicated but can, with a few improvements, be less so. By adopting standardised templates and no longer insisting on articles being reformatted, the […]

Using Twitter as a data source: an overview of social media research tools (updated for 2017)

Following his initial post on this topic in 2015, Wasim Ahmed has updated and expanded his rundown of the tools available to social scientists looking to analyse social media data. A number of new applications have been released in the intervening period, with the increasing complexity of certain research questions also having prompted some tools to increase their data retrieval […]

“Remember a condition of academic writing is that we expose ourselves to critique” – 15 steps to revising journal articles

Before having your paper accepted for publication in a peer reviewed journal you’ll almost certainly be required to revise your manuscript at least once. But for less experienced authors this may not always feel so straightforward. Deborah Lupton has compiled a list of quick tips for authors who have been asked to revise their article. Remember that being exposed to […]

The role of ego in academic profile services: Comparing Google Scholar, ResearchGate, Mendeley, and ResearcherID

Academic profiling services are a pervasive feature of scholarly life. Alberto Martín-Martín, Enrique Orduna-Malea and Emilio Delgado López-Cózar discuss the advantages and disadvantages of major profile platforms and look at the role of ego in how these services are built and used. Scholars validate these services by using them and should be aware that the portraits shown in these platforms depend to a great extent […]

Essential Guide: Eight ways research gets into Parliament

Discussions about research and policy have a tendency to be more reflective about policy-making in general, rather than focusing on the more practical aspects of how research filters through a variety of networks and into policy discussions. Sarah Foxen looks at eight specific ways research currently gets into Parliament and provides some helpful links on where to start to get more involved. I recently attended […]

Meetings can be a waste of time: Seven strategies to get the most out of your meetings and discussions.

One of the main sources of frustration and boredom in the workplace is unnecessary meetings. And yet meetings remain a central component of intellectual communication, departmental strategy and academic committee structures. Geoff Mulgan suggests seven ways to improve meetings, based on systematic research and experience. Many of us spend much of our time in meetings and at conferences. But too often […]