On 25 January Jane and I took part in the ARLG Librarians As Researchers event at York St John University. For a change, we weren’t talking about ANCIL or even information literacy, as such – rather, it was an opportunity to share our experience of the research process, and invite fellow participants to think about some of the practical aspects of doing research while also holding down a day job.
Jane and Emma’ tips for doing research in your day job
1. Find your thinking space (hint: this may involve coffee/fresh air). Where’s yours?
2. Modify your attitude to time – your research may well become your hobby! When’s your best thinking time?
3. Build a partnership: working with someone else is highly motivating, boosts your confidence, and means you can divide up the work. Who could you buddy up with?
4. Look out for funding opportunities: keep an eye on networks, JISCmail lists, and other resources and contacts. Where might you start looking?
5. Find your niche. What do you do that no-one else is doing? What do you love about your research field?
6. Develop your online identity, for greater recognition and to take part in a wider conversation. What platform(s) will you use to do this?
7. Present your ideas early: share and develop your existing resources, slides or ideas. You can present your work through so many different channels: blogs, Twitter, Slideshare, Mendeley, JORUM … What platform(s) will you use to do this?
8. Think about whether you want ‘academic’ publication in addition to the channels you’re already using to publish your ideas (see point 7). If you do: listen to your students’ questions and conversations about how to present their work and where to publish. Learning from them not only helps us offer better support, it will also make us better researchers.