I’m participating in 23 Research Things Cambridge, a programme run by Georgina Cronin of the Betty & Gordon Moore Library here in Cambridge. The programme involves self-directed learning about research techniques, tips and tools, and I’m very much looking forward to taking part.
For those who don’t know me, I work as Reader Support Assistant at the Medical Library, a role which involves shared responsibility for most of the training delivery and research support of the library. This involves creating group training courses in everything from reference management and literature searching in databases, to writing for publication and research data management. I have also helped several teams of researchers produce systematic reviews, for which I am a coauthor in any eventual publications. I teach in one-to-one, small group, and lecture contexts, as well as via Twitter. My students range from University of Cambridge postgraduates, undergraduates and researchers to nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals working in the NHS, so I have to take a flexible and adaptable approach to teaching in order to make it appropriate for a variety of contexts.
My aims for participating in 23 Research Things Cambridge are as follows:
- Learn more about new research tools, tips and techniques, as well as making improvements in my use of those with which I’m already familiar;
- Where appropriate, make use of what I learn during the programme in my own teaching and research support activities; and
- Learn from other participants and get involved in the discussion and community.
This last aim feeds into my response to Thing 2 – thoughts about blogs as a platform and my experiences as a blogger.
While I am a fairly early adopter of blogs and other social media tools such as Twitter (I have been blogging since 2003 and on Twitter since 2009), I have always been much more comfortable using them in a social and personal, rather than professional, context. I set up the Librarian Errant blog, Tumblr and Twitter account as an attempt to get more involved with social media for professional purposes, but sometimes feel a bit like a perennial lurker, struggling to work out how best to participate. For this reason, a broader aim of participating in 23 Research Things Cambridge is to get out of my comfort zone with regards to blogging and using other social media as part of the ongoing conversations in my professional (i.e. library and research) context. I’m looking forward to meeting the other participants taking part in this programme, hearing about their experiences and learning from them. I’m particularly keen to hear from participants who are researchers, especially in scientific fields.
I’ll try to keep this blog updated regularly with thoughts and reflections on my progress through the 23 Research Things programme, and I look forward to hearing from other participants (as well as intrigued onlookers), in the comments or via Twitter. Those of you wishing to follow along can do so through the #23researchcam hashtag on Twitter.