23things, posters, presentations, research

It’s good to share

CC 2.0 thanks to https://www.flickr.com/photos/nanpalmero/
CC 2.0 thanks to https://www.flickr.com/photos/nanpalmero/

My younger son loves all things sweet, and his method of licking his lips and saying ‘it’s good to share’ whenever someone nearby is eating something sweet is remarkably effective in eliciting the desired response. Sharing applies to more things than just food, though. Thing 13 from 23 Things is making and sharing media:

https://23thingssurrey.wordpress.com/2014/10/20/thing13media/

I found this post interesting because I have very little idea about the technicalities of making podcasts and videos. It’s certainly something I’ll consider doing in the future. I’m helping to organise a series of seminars about running http://runningdialogues.org/ and we are hoping to record these seminars in some format if we can, as there will be many people interested in finding out more but unable to attend. So watch this space! I have a couple of friends who make vlogs to document their running training, and it’s surprising what you can do with a phone, a friend and a sense of humour. I was even interviewed mid-run for one of these vlogs, which was quite entertaining! Quite frankly, I have enough of listening to audio recordings for my research to want to have to listen to any more of my own voice right now, but it’s something I might do in the future, if I feel inspired.

Sharing research online is Thing number 14:

https://23thingssurrey.wordpress.com/2014/10/20/thing14sharing/

This is quite a big ‘thing’, encompassing Prezi, Powerpoints, posters and probably some more things starting with p. I’ve never used Prezi, though obviously I’ve seen talks which use it. I’m sure it has plenty of potential, though you need to be very careful that it doesn’t get overly swoopy and gimmicky. I’ve done a blog post on Powerpoints before, which shows that sometimes things don’t need to be complicated to be beautiful, you can see my post about a lovely presentation Emma White (PhD student at Surrey Uni) did here: https://katyleighkennedy.wordpress.com/2014/07/21/the-prettiest-powerpoint/ I also blogged some basic stuff about posters, though I think I might need to revisit that blog in the light of an excellent workshop on posters I attended, run by Surrey Uni RDP which made me reflect further on what makes a good poster. In the meantime, my less knowledgeable former self was waffling on about it here: https://katyleighkennedy.wordpress.com/2014/04/06/what-i-learnt-about-making-a-conference-poster/
(As an aside, I just edited this to add a link to a recorded presentation my friend and seminar co-organiser Simon Cook literally just popped onto his blog. Talk about serendipity… Nice job, Simon!) https://panopto.lshtm.ac.uk/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=2c7c91d1-3904-49a1-94ee-ec612c89403f

In terms of when you might share your research in the format of uploading a presentation, I think popping your presentation on Slideshare or similar can be useful for people who have attended your talk or for someone who’d like to get the gist of your talk. The issue is that talks are soooo much more than just a few Powerpoint slides. Less is more on slides, and the best talks may not necessarily make an awful lot of sense without the accompanying verbal explanation. Nevertheless, sharing presentations can be helpful with these caveats. There are also other less complicated ways of sharing information: the other day someone I follow on Twitter tweeted a photo of a conference poster on a study of sedentary behaviour. The photo was of good enough quality to read all about the study, and I found the methodology interesting and tweeted a comment back. Sometimes a simple medium can be as effective as a complex one, depending on what you want to get across.

Overall, Thing 14 is a pretty huge topic, I think I need to revisit it at a later date to do it more justice than I have time for right now!

Finally, Thing 15 is Altmetrics
https://23thingssurrey.wordpress.com/2014/10/20/thing15altmetrics/

I knew nothing about altmetrics, other than seeing the odd journal which includes ‘tweetations’ to papers I’ve tracked down online. I find the system for tweeting about papers varies enormously across journals, and to be brutally honest, most of them do a dreadful job of it! They provide a link describing the paper in the most B.O.R.I.N.G way possible, or in more than 140 characters (wake up and join 2015!), so I tend to give my own summaries of any interesting papers over Twitter. I didn’t know about the altmetric bookmarklet, but I just added it to my bookmarks and gave it a go on one of the biggest papers in my field to have a look at the number (surprisingly low, but then it is from 2011, I imagine the more recent papers will have much higher numbers!). This looks like a handy tool, though obviously needs to be treated with a bit of caution…
The other handy thing I learnt today was how to get an OCRID, a unique academic identification code. I popped onto the website http://orcid.org/ and set one up (piece of cake!) so I’m all ready when I finally get something published (longitudinal studies are badly needed in my field, but gosh they can be frustratingly slow beasts to work with when you’re impatient for some results!)

And talking of pieces of cake, my deadline for finishing the 23 things is going to be the 20th April, as the RDP people are giving us tea and cake to celebrate us finishing 23 things. I look forward to sharing with the other 23 Thing-ers (sharing some discussion, that is. Not sharing the cake. Not everything needs sharing…)

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2 thoughts on “It’s good to share

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