The digital doctorate: one postgraduate researcher’s virtual journey

Yesterday I gave a presentation to some other postgraduate researchers on my experience of using social media in my PhD research. This post contains a bit more information on that presentation and the material that inspired it, but it’s an ongoing journey so feedback and ideas from others would be great – I still have a lot to learn!

The inspiration for both the title and some of the content of this presentation and post comes from Dr Paul Spencer at the UWE Graduate School and his Digital Doctorate blog, in particular the workshop he ran last year on ‘the Digital Researcher’ (see blog post). The workshop opened my eyes to the potential and possibilities of social media for me as a researcher, as well as getting me thinking more about the use of social media as a research tool.

So here’s the presentation (also my first attempt at using Prezi, which alas it seems it’s no longer possible to embed into blog posts).

As well as this blog and the usefulness (and distraction potential!) of Twitter I also talked about how useful I’d found the #PhDforum academic writing portal, which has a monthly virtual writing retreat. As I live in a different city from my university and often work from home, virtual connections can be really helpful. I wasn’t sure how it would work at first but found that using the portal planner was a great support in helping me to set some writing goals and hold myself to account. The mid-week Twitter chat was also really useful for some virtual peer support. The best thing was ending up with a first draft of my methodology chapter!

Then there’s the whole issue of using social media as a research tool, and the work I’m involved in with INVOLVE on using social media to support public involvement in health and social care research – but that’s for another post…