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Blogging for researchers

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There are lots of ways that you can use blogging platforms to share your expertise or experiences, so it is important to think strategically about what you want to achieve and how blogging can help you develop as a researcher.

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Blogging for researchers

  2. 2. TODAY WE WILL DISCUSS How blogging can help you as a researcher Different approaches to blogging Blogging tips and best practice Continue the conversation online @SocialMediaQUB #QUBlogging
  3. 3. INTRODUCTIONS What is blogging?
  5. 5. ACTIVITY 1: REASONS FOR BLOGGING Refine your writing skills Reach a broader audience Enhance your online profile Network with other researchers Engage with non-academic community @SocialMediaQUB #QUBlogging
  6. 6. REFINE YOUR WRITING SKILLS Writing for a blog can help you develop your non-academic writing style and to clarify your ideas. Blog posts can evolve into conference papers or journal articles @SocialMediaQUB #QUBlogging
  7. 7. REACH A BROADER AUDIENCE Blogging is a variation of open access publishing, allowing you to contribute to the global knowledge pool. It can also increase citations and downloads of your publications (altmetrics) @SocialMediaQUB #QUBlogging
  8. 8. ENHANCE YOUR ONLINE PROFILE Blogging allows you to establish your reputation as an expert while you are waiting to have publications accepted Online communication skills are an important part of your career development @SocialMediaQUB #QUBlogging
  9. 9. NETWORK WITH OTHER RESEARCHERS “many bloggers are talking together in a kind of giant, global virtual common room” http://www.theguardian.com/higher-education- network/blog/2013/dec/02/why-do-academics-blog-research PatThomson and Inger Mewburn
  10. 10. ENGAGE WITH THE NON-ACADEMIC COMMUNITY Blogging can bridge the divide between academia and the public and help raise awareness of your research findings
  11. 11. BLOGGING OPTIONS • Blog owner writes most or all posts • https://sunfishresearch.wordpress.com/ • https://wasimahmed1.wordpress.com/Solo • 2-10 authors generate most content • http://blogs.qub.ac.uk/qubio/ Collaborative • Central editorial team collate posts from different authors • http://blogs.qub.ac.uk/compromiseafterconflict/ • http://qpol.qub.ac.uk/ • http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/ Multi-Author https://medium.com/advice-and-help-in-authoring-a-phd-or-non-fiction/shorter-better-faster-free-fb74bddaec03#.dqdobqxnf @SocialMediaQUB #QUBlogging
  12. 12. TYPES OF BLOG Reflective practice Academic life commentary Research commentary @SocialMediaQUB #QUBlogging
  13. 13. MAKING BLOGGING WORK Read other blogs Define your audience Plan your content Find your voice Promote your blog @SocialMediaQUB #QUBlogging
  14. 14. READ OTHER BLOGS Research blogging: http://researchblogging.org/ The higher education blogs network: http://www.theguardian.com/highe r-education- network/blog/2012/oct/05/the- higher-education-blogs-network
  15. 15. ACTIVITY 2: EVALUATING A BLOG • Search for a blog relevant to your research area • Evaluate it by answering the following questions: – What type of blog is it – solo, collaborative or multi-author? – What is the purpose of the blog? – Who is the intended audience? – Is it easy to navigate around the blog? – Are the theme and visuals appropriate? – What do you like/dislike most about the blog? @SocialMediaQUB #QUBlogging
  16. 16. DEFINE YOUR AUDIENCE YOU General public Academic community Industry professionals Why would I want to read your blog? @SocialMediaQUB #QUBlogging
  17. 17. ACTIVITY 3: WHERE TO BLOG? Take a look at the following blogging options and decide which one would be best suited for your blog: • Queen’s blogs - (blogs.qub.ac.uk) based on WordPress • WordPress - easy-to-use free blogging site that includes analytics • Medium - story editor that focuses on ideas and networks • Blogger - (blogspot) free weblog publishing tool from Google • Sunsed - low-cost blogging platform which includes analytics and SEO @SocialMediaQUB #QUBlogging
  18. 18. PLAN YOUR CONTENT Note down ideas and create a schedule around events you are attending or other activities that you can write about @SocialMediaQUB #QUBlogging
  19. 19. ACTIVITY 4: GETTING STARTED! • Think of a name for your blog – This will become your domain name so keep it short and quirky! • In one sentence, outline the mission statement for your blog – This can later be developed into your first blog post summarising the focus of your blog • Post your answers on the Blogging for researchers padlet: http://padlet.com/HelenDixon/blogging @SocialMediaQUB #QUBlogging
  20. 20. • Include a photo and a short ‘bio’ detailing your current position, research interests and any publications • Include links to your journal articles, other blog posts, online profiles
  21. 21. FIND YOUR VOICE • Interesting ideas • Lessons learned • Mistakes made Do your research • Don’t use jargon • Be concise Make it interesting • Use anecdotes or quotes • Include visuals Tell a story
  22. 22. WHAT MAKES A GOOD BLOG POST? A catchy heading A high impact introduction – fascinating fact, startling statistic or quirky quote Get to the point early – limit to 3 aspects Simple exhibits – images, charts, diagrams, tables Tell a story or be topical A strong finish that leaves a lasting impression
  23. 23. ACTIVITY 5: TURNING AN IDEA INTO A BLOG POST Choose one of the following questions • What have you learned as an academic? • What is the most interesting part of your work? • What is the key finding from your research so far? Think of a title and 3 key points that your blog post would make Identify possible visuals that your blog post could include @SocialMediaQUB #QUBlogging
  24. 24. BLOG POSTS VS JOURNAL ARTICLES Blog post Journal article Length 700 -1000 words 7000-10000 words Style Informal Formal Target audience Academic, professional or public Mainly academic Frequency Weekly – Monthly Yearly Content Colour images, tables, charts, diagrams, videos Black and white tables, charts and diagrams Accessibility Open access – unlimited audience Subscription – limited audience
  25. 25. JOURNAL ARTICLE TO BLOG POST Literaturereview One or two lines at start of post summarising main theories should be enough Methodologysection Briefly describe innovative methods Assume audience will understand established methods Findings What did your research discover or conclude? Include any key statistics Discussion What is your main finding or conclusion? What happens next? https://medium.com/advice-and-help-in-authoring-a-phd-or-non-fiction/how-to-write-a-blogpost-from-your-journal-article-6511a3837caa#.u764cclin
  26. 26. PROMOTE YOUR BLOG Share on social media Use relevant keywords (SEO) Invite readers to subscribe Tell people about it Add a link on your website Include a link in your email signature
  27. 27. SEO FOR BLOGS Links Titles Headings URLs Images Excerpts https://dailypost.wordpress.com/2016/03/10/six-seo-factors-you-should-know/
  28. 28. MEASURING SUCCESS It’s not just about metrics
  29. 29. ISSUES TO CONSIDER Time commitment Publishing unfinished work Journals want previously unpublished research Self-plagiarising Negative comments Reputational risk to you and the University @SocialMediaQUB #QUBlogging
  30. 30. BLOGGING TIPS Plan first few posts in advance Adopt an informal style – avoid jargon How would you describe your research to a friend? Use short sentences and paragraphs Use bullet points and lists Include images and video if relevant Use hyperlinks rather than a list of references @SocialMediaQUB #QUBlogging
  31. 31. “Be brief, be vivid, and be connected.” CoreyTomsons https://thoughtcapital.wordpress.com/2007/03/11/how-to-write-an-academic-blog/ 3 ESSENTIAL RULES FOR WRITING A GOOD BLOG
  32. 32. IF YOU BLOG, TWITTER CAN HELP! “see how people retweet you—their re-phrasings and summaries can often show you a better way of capturing what your post says” Prof Patrick Dunleavy (LSE) @Write4Research
  33. 33. DOING IT RIGHT! Discuss your ideas with your colleagues Read the University’s Social Media Policy Respect copyright and link to or cite sources Moderate all comments Respond to comments and Tweets Remain professional at all times!
  34. 34. USEFUL RESOURCES • Social Media support (policies and guides): http://go.qub.ac.uk/socialmedia • Social Media QUB blog: https://socialmediaqub.wordpress.com/ • Guide to setting up a WordPress blog: https://learn.wordpress.com/ • Blogger: How to start a blog: https://youtu.be/bU4gXHkejMo • How to write a good research blog post: http://scienceofblogging.com/how-to-write-a-good-research-blog-post/ @SocialMediaQUB #QUBlogging
  35. 35. SOME LITERATURE • Kjellberg, Sara. I am a blogging researcher: Motivations for blogging in a scholarly context. First Monday, [S.l.], jul. 2010. ISSN 13960466. http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2962/2580 • Riesch, Hauke, and Jonathan Mendel. "Science blogging: Networks, boundaries and limitations." Science as Culture 23.1 (2014): 51-72. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09505431.2013.801420 • Shema H, Bar-Ilan J,Thelwall M (2012) Research Blogs and the Discussion of Scholarly Information. PLoS ONE 7(5): e35869. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0035869 http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0035869 @SocialMediaQUB #QUBlogging