Researcher Communities - Get Connected
Engaging with other researchers will broaden your perspective;enhance your research practice; open up opportunities for interdisciplinary discussion; increase the reach of your research; and offer you with an avenue of peer-support. There are many ways to get connected with other researchers, the following is a small selection of the options that out there on different platforms. The Research Information Network (RIN) have produced a very useful Social Media Guide for Researchers.
Researcher Blogs RSS feed
RSS: aggregated Researcher Blogs feed Many Sussex researchers keep a blog of their research and research experiences. We have created an aggregated RSS feed from 28 Sussex researchers: some doctoral, some staff, a couple are professors. Find out about some of the research that's going on at Sussex, but more than that, it's a great way to engage with the researchers themselves. Often the posts are about experiences of the processes involved in research, and researchers find it valuable to discover that someone else is having similar successes or issues. Comments encourage a dialogue about how different approaches can differ, or have more in common than you might think.
Reading, and responding (if you want to) to the blogs can generate new ideas and drive forward the way you think about your project, and in a way that you may not be able to do as a researcher in isolation. Have a look through the recent posts and see if anything grabs your attention. If you blog yourself, increase your engagement with other researchers by letting us add your blog's RSS feed to the list (email Sarah S.L.Robins-Hobden@sussex.ac.uk).
#phdchat on Twitter
#phdchat The #phdchat hashtag on Twitter is a useful stream to learn what other doctoral researchers are up to. The stream is busy round the clock, as it's populated by researcher from all over the world. However, every Wednesday night, between 19:30 and 20:30 UK time*, a ‘brood’† of doctoral researchers from different time-zones gather under the Twitter hashtag #phdchat, for a synchronous chat about different aspects of doctoral research. Each week the topic is decided by a poll that is advertised on the same hashtag, so researchers can vote for the discussion theme. Lurkers are welcome, but why not join in? Overview and History of #phdchat - blog post by Martin Eve, doctoral researchers in English at Sussex
* UK time is UTC/GMT, with Summer daylight saving (UTC/GMT+01:00) between the last Sunday in March and the last Sunday in October.
† Collective noun for researchers. See www.vigay.com/nouns/inanim.html
PhDchat Wiki The Wednesday night live discussions from Twitter are archived in the Wiki, so if you miss one, of even if Twitter isn't your thing, you can engage with the researchers in this way. The Wiki is a superb resource containing experiences and materials used by and recommended by the doctoral researchers themselves.
Academia.edu is "a place to share and follow research". Researchers set up a profile, in the hierarchy of their institution, and from there can follow the work of other researchers. You can visually see the 'family' tree-type structure of departments and researchers in your institution, and more usefuly you can search by keywords and research interests. You can upload and share your papers, presentations, and experience, and connect with other researchers to keep up-to-date with theirs. Great for finding researchers all over the globe who share your research interests and approach.
ResearchGate is similar to Academia.edu, and targetted at Scientists of all research levels.