Working mostly from home, I don’t talk to colleagues as often as I used to. Also, being freelance, I don’t have as much opportunity to attend training sessions and conferences as I used to have, but nevertheless, it’s important for me to keep in touch with developments in my discipline and improve my skills, just like Siobhan O’Dwyer described in the case of early career researchers. There are some sources that I particularly value for keeping me informed and up to date, which I wanted to highlight here:
- For keeping researchers and their needs in mind, good lunchtime entertainment: Radio 4’s Inside Science and The Life Scientific.
- BrightTALK channels: I like to listen to these whilst doing other stuff, and if they’re really good then I tune in and look at the slides too!
- Email lists & newsletters: Jiscmail for the UK and the ALA for the US. Daily digests help to keep it manageable to follow these. I also get a regular roundup of news from ResearchInformation.
- Blogs: I especially like dipping into the Scholarly Kitchen, RetractionWatch, LSE’s Impact of Social Sciences, Nature blogs and lately, Danny Kingsley of the University of Cambridge. The easiest way to follow such blogs? Twitter feeds!
- Twitter: I like to keep an eye on the following hashtags: #ecrchat, #uklibchat, #librarians #altmetrics #OA and recent discovery: #publishinginsights Actually, I’ve been collecting academic hashtags along with colleagues from piirus.ac.uk, so if you want more then take a look!
- A MOOC? I did one MOOC module recently and blogged about it for my regular client, piirus. It was my first MOOC and it’s not an investment of time to be underestimated, but very much worthwhile. If you’re looking for one to suit you, then the platform for the one I did was edX, and you can find lots of courses on their site.
Finally, and this does count as a learning experience (honest!): I go to a local knitting group to pratice & keep up my German. It’s amazing what you can learn from such a group – and not only vocabulary!
What sources do you regularly turn to, or recommend?