I spent the past week in Aberdeen* for a couple of academic conferences. It was a great experience that allowed me to meet with other information science academics and to present some of my research. And, importantly, it was an opportunity for me to learn a bit about my academic self!
This was my first time delivering a paper at an academic conference and I’m pleased to say that it went quite well—despite my self-esteem-based fears.
My presentation was based on the literature review for my PhD thesis, which concerns how online information contributes to the determination of personal reputations. I worried that my childhood speech problems would trip me up during the presentation or—worse!—that people would think my research was [enter negative descriptors here].
However, other than getting a bit flustered when I was given my “five minutes” warning, I think it went rather well. I didn’t trip over my tongue (though I did have to use my special “speech therapy reminders” for a few words) and people actually seemed interested in my research.
Overall, the week’s activities have left me feeling a bit more confident. I can better see how and where my research fits within the wider domain of information science. I can also better see how I can proceed with my research.
I made some great contacts over the week** and engaged in some wonderful conversations with some well-established academics who seemed to have a bit of enthusiasm about my research. I now have several pages of notes to transcribe—much of which will help me to finalise plans for my pilot study.
Up next is to submit an abstract for another conference and to get my pilot study approved. Then I can go off and finally collect some data. Maybe then I’ll start to feel like a real researcher!
Here is a link to my presentation slides. Please do get in touch if you have any questions about the presentation or my research in general.
* Scotland, not Washington or South Dakota
** I even met with a couple of those contacts in Edinburgh the day after the conference. It was weird playing “local guide” in Edinburgh—as an American! But I do love showing off my adopted home. My “Heartland” as a friend calls it.