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Research data management

I attended a meeting recently on this topic. And I am interested to know: have you had any training on managing your research data? I am thinking of things like:

what to backup and how;

what to delete and when;

what counts as "research data";

who will be able to access your data once your research is complete;

Data Protection and Freedom of Information;

sharing any software or code that you have written as part of your research.If you have, who organised it and who provided it?

If not, do you think it would be useful?

Comments are welcome - to this post or by email. I blogged about the meeting on the Library's blog.

PS - Latest Nature has interesting and timely column on data sharing in psychology - http://www.nature.com/news/psychology-must-learn-a-lesson-from-fraud-case-1.9513 (don't know if you all be able to see this in full but I can read it all on the UoL campus)

Could you be Graduate School Researcher Network Facilitator?

Applications are invited for this part time post (18.75 hours a week) based in the Graduate School Reading Room. The post is fixed term until the end of July 2012.

Do you have a background in research coupled with a keen interest in using social media and other Web tools to increase personal productivity and networking?

Based in the David Wilson Library’s Graduate School Reading Room, you will facilitate a virtual and physical support network of research students and early career researchers at the University of Leicester using widely available Web 2.0 tools and focussing on the development of research skills.

As well as promoting the wide range of research training available at the University, you will organise and deliver workshops of interest to the community on topics such as blogging, using RSS feeds for current awareness and using Web 2.0 tools in presentations. You will also provide a face to face enquiry service on the use of such tools and personal electronic devices for academi…

Research Practices 2.0: Social and Participatory Media in Academic Life

The Graduate School, University of Nottingham, have asked us to pass on details of this event, on 29th of October 2011.

Research Practices 2.0: Social and Participatory Media in Academic Life is free of charge and open to all PhD students and Early Career Researchers across the disciplines.

Attendees from outside the University of Nottingham are welcome and there are details at http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/graduateschool/events/social-media-launch-event.aspx. Places are going fast, so don't delay!

Change of zookeeper

Emma Kimberley has moved on to pastures new, and while we wait for a new zookeeper to arrive, Keith Nockels from the University Library will be keeping this blog and the Graduate School Reading Room web presence up to date. Unfortunately, drop in appointments in the Graduate School Media Zoo are temporarily unavailable, but emails will still be answered and this term there is a programme of workshops. The workshop programme is elsewhere on this blog, and also on the GSMZ website.

21st century reading habits

I've had my kindle for nearly a year now, and during that time it's been amazing to see how reading habits have changed in general. E-readers now seem to be the norm on public trainsport and in waiting rooms across the country, and they're increasingly being used in educational contexts. E-readers are now considered a requirement for some university courses, and many students report that they prefer e-ink or pixels to paper (read more on this).

I'm finding that my preferences are also shifting. I've been known to wish that I could increase the font size or improve the contrast on a paperback. I'm used to having everything I might want to read over the course of a long journey - from the newspaper, to journal articles, poetry and novels - on one small, light device, when I would have needed a suitcase to have that amount of choice before. Walking to the shop or the library now seems like a fairly difficult way of getting my hands on a book when I can download one…

Watching on the web?

According to Cisco, by 2015 most internet traffic will be video. Here's a breakdown of what the internet might look like by then.
But you don't have to wait until 2015 to find loads of video resources that support research and academic activities - the web is already full of information and advice caught on camera. YouTube is increasingly the go-to place for searches on any topic, and online videos and webinars are rapidly taking the place of events that require attendance in person. For the cash-strapped researcher, this is all good news. Face to face interaction might be your ideal, but the increasing volume of video on the web allows researchers to attend lectures and workshops from home, saving on time and money. So how can you use online videos to develop your writing, your time management and your career?

Want to beat writer's block, or write your thesis in record time? The Three Month Thesis videos have the answer, as well as some great suggestions for time management…

An academic career?

If you're thinking of a career in academia (and with the competitive job market it's never too early to start thinking) there are some excellent resources on the web to give you the inside scoop about what you need to be doing to prepare.

Whether you're a PhD newbie or an early-career researcher there will be something to help you on these sites:

* An Academic career
* Beyond the PhD
* Postgraduate Career Advice
* Academic career paths
* Working in Higher Education

Shelving assistant vacancies

Vacancies - Casual Staff
Student Shelving Assistants
(David Wilson Library)
Must be able to work from the 20 June until 22 July 2011


The David Wilson Library is recruiting students of the University to assist with book moves at the David Wilson Library. The duties involve moving books on the shelves, collecting books onto trolleys, moving trolleys and reshelving books at new locations in the correct sequences. Other duties will include relabeling books, using lists to locate books, general shelving, shelf-tidying and packing books into boxes. The work is physical and involves the lifting and carrying of irregular loads, manoeuvring trolleys and the use of kick steps and stepladders. You may also be required to work at the External Store at Nixon Court and the Clinical Sciences Library.

We will employ a small team of student shelvers to cover the following shifts on a rota basis.

The hours of work will be Mondays to Fridays 10.00 am to 12 noon and 1pm to 3.00 pm for a 5 week period 20 June…

Using Prezi for conference presentations

I've heard a lot of comments recently about the increasing number of people using Prezi rather than powerpoint for conference presentations, and had some interesting discussions on the success or otherwise of these attempts.

Prezi, for those who haven't heard, is a 'zooming presentation editor' that allows you to create mindmap-style presentations. To get the picture, watch the Prezi introductory video or take a look at the GSMZ prezi on Why Prezi is useful for researchers.

Prezi is particularly suitable for discursive presentations that have a narrative to tell and want to involve the audience in thinking through that narrative. The best Prezis seem to use a stimulating mix of text, sound and visual images to get their points across.

There's a general perception, however, that Prezi might be of limited use for the conventional 20 minute academic conference presentation that the delegate traditionally intones from behind a crumpled sheaf of papers with occasional re…

The GSMZ Web 2.0 Survey

The Graduate School Media Zoo would like to collect data about researchers' use of technology. We want to know what you use for research-related purposes, and how you use it. So here's your chance to let us know how you've used the technologies the Graduate School Media Zoo has presented over the past year and to influence our next programme of workshops. Take the GSMZ Web 2.0 survey to tell us what you use, why you use it and how often.
Your answers will help us to improve our service. Thank you for your help!

Getting things done

I've seen a slew of articles recently about getting re-started after the motivational dip of the holidays, some of which I've posted on the Graduate School Reading Room facebook group. Other favourites include this thesiswhisperer blog post. If you need a whole book to help you re-start your motivational motor, David Allen's classic guide to Getting Things Done is available in the Library both in hard copy and as an e-book (available on campus). Various techniques, such as the Pomodoro Technique and the Autofocus system seem to work for a lot of people. Or if you need some peer support to help you get started on a productive 2011 you could come along to the Thesis Forum in the Library on Tuesday 25th January to discuss motivation and the thesis-writing process. Whatever method, or combination of methods, you use to get writing, here's hoping you all have a productive and successful 2011!