Whilst I recycled
or passed on quite a bit of my PhD office’s contents, I brought home the things
I would need in my academic career (books, notebooks, and office supplies*). I
also brought home things that won’t move with me to my next academic office,
but things that serve as invaluable artefacts from my rewarding PhD experience
(certificates, awards, and name badges).
were collected over my time as a PhD student from various conferences,
seminars, training events, and speaking engagements. For example, there are name
I don’t know if my collection is on par with what other PhD students would acquire over the course of their studies, but for my personal situation, I feel that I have amassed a decent little haul. Each little piece of the collection tells a big part of my PhD story, and each carries with it a treasured memory from my student life.
I am grateful to have had the opportunity to do my PhD at an institution that recognised the importance of supporting students in not only their studies but in their wider development as budding academics. These experiences have helped me to become a more capable and confident researcher and have provided me with the skills I need to succeed in my academic life.
Of course, now I
have to figure out what to do with all of these wonderful artefacts!
* For the record: I only brought home the office supplies that I purchased myself, and not those that were from the school’s supplies. I am quite picky about my office supplies, and would rather spend my own money on my preferred stationery supplies and tools. Yes, I am a stationery geek!
ABSTRACT: Introduction. The broad theme of this paper is the use of information to build, manage and evaluate personal reputations. It reports the findings of a study that considered the extent to which social media users replicate in online environments the established information practices of academics when they assess their peers. The three platforms considered are Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Method. A multi-step data collection process was implemented for this work. Forty-five UK-based social media users kept journals and took part in semi-structured interviews. Analysis. A qualitative analysis of the journal and diary data was undertaken using NVivo10. Information practices were analysed to consider the similarities or difference between social media practices and related practices deployed by academics related to citations. Results. The findings expose the ways in which social media users build, manage, and evaluate personal reputations online may be aligned with the citation practices of academics. Conclusion. This work shows where the similarities and differences exist between citation practices and related information practices on social media as related to personal reputations. Broadly, the findings of this research demonstrate that social media users do replicate in informal online environments the established information practices of academics.
I will be presenting on Wednesday, 19 June during the “Information Management” session (13.00-14.00; Room 4).
Not attending the conference? Don’t worry! The presentation slides below will allow you to engage with my presentation from afar.
Last week I presented at the 8th annual Information Science Doctoral Colloquium (iDocQ). The presentation was in the form of a PechaKucha, also known as a “20×20”. These presentations can be quite fun and exciting, especially if you are a confident and experienced communicator. However, if you are neither of those things, the idea of presenting 20 slides for 20 seconds each (for a total of 6 minutes and 40 seconds) might be a bit daunting.
This presentation style seems to be quite popular in the academic world—at least here in the UK. However, there seems to be a lot of confusion over what a 20×20 is (as well as what a 20×20 isn’t). And that’s where this post comes in.
OK, then. What is a 20×20? In the original form, they should be delivered as 20 images, on 20 slides, that each run for 20 seconds.
However, it seems that the image part has been overlooked by many in academia. That means that you see a fair amount of 20×20 slides that are filled with text. Lots and lots of text. Of course, that is not always the presenter’s fault. Often times, the person organising the talks doesn’t know what a 20×20 is meant to be (or has decided that they don’t care) so the only instructions presenters have is that they must have 20 slides over the course of a 6-minute, 40-second talk. Some organisers might insist that the slides automatically forward every 20 seconds, and others might not realise that little rule.
Ideally, 20×20 slides should be image-based no text. However, this can be a bit challenging for academics who are accustomed to developing text-heavy presentations. (But don’t do that. Really. Less is more!) Slides should not have any animation or transitions. Slides should also be set to advance automatically.
But why? It’s because the slides should be there to add visual stimulation to your intellectually stimulating words. They should not require your audience to read and should never include information that is vital to your talk. So, skip the detailed graphs and tables. (A 20×20 talk should be able to be presented without slides and still be just as informative.)
Heck, even for those of us who enjoy presentations, the idea of such a restrictive format can be a challenge. And with my habit of ad-libbing and going on wee rambles about a sub-point, it’s even more of a challenge! But I have learned a few tricks to make 20×20 presentations a bit easier to plan, prepare, and present.
Before you start putting slides together, have a think about what you’re going to say.
Prepare your spoken words before you prepare your slides (talk it out and time it as close to 6:40 as possible). Think very clearly about the theme of your presentation and start to build out your presentation. Your talk might be a single, descriptive storyline (Mary had a little lamb) or it might be a series of interconnected points (research questions, methods, findings, and conclusion). Either way, you are sharing a narrative that must flow together with ease.
Break your spoken words into 20-second segments (based on ideas or themes) then practice those segments. Think of your talk as sections or chapters and put breaks into the talk as those sections come along. Don’t forget to include pauses in each segment. Those pauses will give you time to breathe whilst your audience has time to process the information you’ve just shared with them.
Give each point or idea the time it needs! You can use more than 20 seconds for a point, but all points should fit with multiples of 20 seconds. If you need a full minute to make a point, take a full minute! But give some thought to how you’re delivering those 60 seconds so that you can switch-up the slide image to reflect the point every 20 seconds. For example, if your point is about social networking sites, you might change the image to reflect a different aspect such sites every 20 seconds, as it relates to the point. (You cannot use the same slide twice; each slide must be different.)
Make a note of non-vital sentences that can be dropped if you start to fall behind. This will allow you to catch up a bit, even if it takes 2-3 slides to get back in synch. A few seconds’ lag-time is hard to avoid for beginners, but it is better to drop sentences in the middle so that you finish on time. That way, you still have time to deliver your punchy, vital concluding sentences—and maybe even take a theatrical bow!
Now that you’ve got your talk ready, you can begin to illustrate it. Yes, this is the point when you can start working on your visuals.
Think of your talk as a visual storyboard. What one image illustrates each 20-second segment? If you’re talking about Facebook, there are lots of obvious options. But if you’re talking about something a bit vaguer, this is your chance to get creative and whimsical. For example, if you’re talking about the history of modern beer production, you might use a photo of hops growing on a trestle.
Find image inspiration on Google or Flickr. If you don’t know how to illustrate a point, enter some of your keywords into a Google image search to see what comes up. This can help you to see how others visualise your concepts, which might also help you to think more creatively about how you present your work in the future.
Mind your copyrights! It is easy to just swipe images from the Internet, but be mindful about copyright infringement. Wherever possible, use works that have a Creative Commons copyright (or get really creative and take photos of your own!). Also, pop a wee copyright attribution on the slide. If done correctly, these do not need to detract from the presentation. (You can see examples of how I’ve done copyright attributions on my SlideShare presentations.)
Practice, practice, and practice some more! Ideally, you can do this in front of an audience that will provide you with practical, constructive feedback to help you improve your delivery. But if that is not possible, consider recording yourself so that you can see how well you do. Or, ideally, do both! It can be awkward watching yourself present, but it can also be a great tool for improving your presentation skills.
Right. Presentation day is here now, and you should be ready to go. Here are four more tips to getyou through the day.
Dress for success on presentation day! For me, that means I wear smart, professional clothes and shoes that I am comfortable in. (And never a new stuff. I like to test-run my important clothes!) I realise that some research students present in their every-day clothes (which might be tattered jeans and a t-shirt) and that is considered acceptable in modern society. However, I personally feel that presenting your research is also an opportunity to present yourself to potential future colleagues or employers. So, put on your Sunday best (or similar) and strut your stuff! (Yes, I realise that sounds a bit snobby. Sorry.)
Remember your pauses and remember that you have specifically built in drop-sentences that you can ditch if you start to get backed up on your 20-second intervals. If you find that you’ve talked faster than your slide changes, just take a big breath and let the slides catch up to you. And if you’ve talked really fast and need more than one big breath, shrug it off and make a joke (practice those ahead of time, too).
Step away from the podium. Unless you need to be near the microphone, step away from the podium and stand where your audience can see you. (But don’t block your slides!) You have practiced this talk. You know your subject. And your slides are all images that will automatically advance every 20 seconds. So there is no need for you to stand by the computer. Be brave; come out and engage with the audience!
Have fun! Presentations can be quite stressful, especially if you don’t have much experience. However, 20×20 presentations are an opportunity to have fun whilst challenging yourself in a laid-back atmosphere. It’s quick and punchy, and it can be a chance to show that you can have a sense of humour when things go wrong.
During my time as a PhD student, I have relaxed my rigid ways so that I can be more in line with how others present 20x20s. That means that I will sometimes use a bit of text (only a bit!). I have also started to use simple diagrams and paired photos on some slides. However, I have decided that I am going to return to the basics with my next 20×20.
Of course, I will also need to revisit my tips above because, as you can see, I didn’t do any planning or practicing for my last go. It wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t great. So, if you want to know what a 20×20 looks like when you haven’t prepared, here you go!
Photo credit: Alicja Pawluczuk and iDocQ Video production and editing credit: Dr Bruce Ryan (no relation)
This qualitative study used participant diaries and in-depth, semi-structured interviews as data collection tools. It involved 45 UK-based participants, and data collection took place between October 2015 and January 2016.
The content of the poster shares findings related to three areas of identity building. These are:
The creation and use of online “personas” and identities
The use of anonymity and pseudonyms through information sharing – or concealment – practices
The ways in which private and professional selves blur or merge together in online environments
The main finding presented in this work is that individuals present elements of their offline lives using online information to showcase different “personas”. However, they do not do this with the intention of building identity. The findings explored in this presentation are contextualised with reference to identity building in the more formal setting of academic reputation management, i.e. through the use of citations.
Please stop by the poster session to learn more about this research and my doctoral studies as a whole. You can also find me during the coffee breaks or other social activities.
Not in attendance? Don’t worry! As part of my “professional persona” I like to share information online. The links below will allow you to engage with my presentation from afar!
Building identity in online environments: an Information Science perspective
Abstract: The research presented in this poster is concerned with the ways in which people use information to build identities for themselves online with reference to the themes of personal reputation management. To date these two themes have been under-explored together in the research literature, both in general, and from an Information Science perspective. The poster content shares findings related to three areas of identity building: (1) the creation and use of online personas and identities; (2) the use of anonymity and pseudonyms through information sharing – or concealment – practices; and (3) the ways in which the blurring or merging together of participants’ private and professional selves. This study used participant diaries and in-depth, semi-structured interviews with 45 UK-based participants. The main finding presented here is that individuals present elements of their online persona or personality using online information, but that they do not do so with the intention of building identity. The findings explored in this presentation are contextualised with reference to identity building in the more formal setting of academic reputation management, i.e. through the use of citations.
I will share a digital version of the poster and handouts before the conference poster session. I will also be tweeting during the whole of the event, so be sure to follow me on Twitter (@FrancesRyanPhD).
This past week was spent in Aberdeen attending what I like to call “iWeek”. It included a one-day doctoral colloquium (iDocQ) followed by a four-day international conference (i3)—both at Robert Gordon University.
This year’s iDocQ started off with a series of “One Minute Madness” presentations. The slide template we were given was a bit challenging, but I feel that I managed to make it work for me. (See it here!) The big thing I learned from the quick presentations was that I need to develop a couple new versions of my “elevator pitch”. I am quite good at a layman’s explanation of my research (social media and reputation; people get that!). However, I find it difficult to explain my conceptual framework clearly in a short time span because I have to explain what bibliometrcis and citation practice means. And if I mention altmetrics, it’s even harder! The reality is that I will rarely need to explain that in 60 seconds, but it would be great to find a simple explanation that is true to my research. (Note to self: Sort this out before your viva!!)
After the presentations, we enjoyed a keynote talk by Dr Luke Sloan of Cardiff University. (Via Skype: Technology to the rescue after our speaker’s cancelled flight from Cardiff.) Sloan’s talk was titled “Social Science ‘Lite’? Understanding Who Uses Twitter & What This Can Tell Us About the Social World. It was an interesting look at who uses Twitter and asked questions about how we are able to accurately identify those users. The keynote was very fascinating and I took some great notes that (I hope) will help me as I write up my methods chapter for my thesis. (Which is slowly getting written.)
The rest of the day was spent in a series of workshops and discussions on writing, being adaptable (and accepting rejection), and a Q&A panel. It was a very insightful day, though a bit long for me, leaving me to skip out on the after-event pub session.
The conference was a great opportunity to connect (and re-connect) with other Information Science academics. I was very pleased with the programme’s offerings as there were several papers that were of great interest to me. I especially found great interest in listening to the methods others are using for their research as I am keen to consider new modes of investigation for my own future work. (Though I must finish that darn PhD first!!)
I have been given the opportunity to submit an extended version of the paper for review as a full journal article. I will be working on that article over the next few weeks and hopefully, I will have some good news to share about its acceptance before the end of the year. In the meantime, the slides from my conference presentation are below. (Please get in touch if you have any questions about the presentation or my research as a whole.)
Oh! And as a wee inside joke, I developed a new model to share at the end of my presentation. For those familiar with the contentious topic of “not another [censored] model”, this is a funny thing. Trust me.
Last week I delivered a half-day workshop at the Scottish Graduate School for Social Science’s Summer School. The workshop, “Building your academic reputation online”, was designed for PhD students at any stage of their studies. There were two primary goals for the day: (1) to get students thinking about the impact of online information on their academic reputations and (2) to provide students with a basic understanding of not only how to use social media to build and manage their reputations but also why they should.
The desired outcomes of the workshop included:
An increased awareness of how online information impacts professional and academic reputations—including how it may relate to job seeking and career development
A stronger understanding of how different social media platforms work, and what role they may play in the building and maintenance of academic reputation
A better understanding of online profile management, including potential benefits and risks
The first half of the workshop considered what reputation meant as well as how academics build reputation. The second half was then dedicated to discussing the different platforms that could be used for building reputation. If I had it to do all over again, I would have agreed to a full-day workshop. That would have allowed for more time on the practicalities of using social media platforms. It also would have provided more time to get into questions about privacy issues and the blurring between private and professional lives. Still, I think that the students found (at least some of) the workshop valuable.
You can view the slides from the workshop below or on my SlideShare account here. And please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions about the workshop or want to discuss academic reputation in more detail!
I was the first of four speakers and shared an overview of how academic reputations are built—including the use of altmetrics. When I prepared my presentation, I worried that the altmetrics portion might be too basic, but it seems that most of the delegates were unfamiliar with what they were (or how to use them). It made for some interesting questions and discussion at the end of my talk though—and hopefully, it has given the audience something to think about as they continue to build their own reputations online.
In addition to altmetrics, my talk shared information about different tools that can be used to create online profiles and why they should be used. I also tried to make the point that you don’t have to use all of the tools. And, in fact, it is better to use fewer tools well and with confidence than it is to use every online tool under the sun with uncertainty.
The other speakers at the workshop were:
Nick Blackbourn, Content Officer at Edinburgh Napier University, who discussed practical ways and specific tools for building an online audience. He talked about using a “work out loud” approach and encouraged participants to tweet along as he spoke.
Vanessa Heggie, University of Birmingham, talked about the risks and rewards of social media. She shared some insights into different tactics, hacks, and coping mechanisms we could use to make sure we present ourselves (and our research) well in public—whilst having the most positive experience online that we can.
Steven Vass is the Scotland Editor of The Conversation, an original and essential outlet for comment and analysis. He was the last speaker of the day and shared with us ideas of how to turn our research into articles that will open eyes and reach the widest possible audience. He encouraged short, 100-word pitches to start with—and got me personally thinking about my own submission. (Which won’t happen until after I submit my thesis!)
The one-day workshop will offer practical tips on how to increase the impact of research by maximising the potentials of social media engagement. Delegates will also be asked to critically consider the ethical issues around online identities and importance of building academic reputation in the digital age. (In case you’re new here, that’s basically what my research is about: Online information and reputation!)
I will be the first speaker of the day and my talk will be about how academic reputation can be built and maintained using common social networking platforms (i.e. Twitter and LinkedIn) as well as other social media tools such as blogs and university researcher profiles. I will also cover topics such as bibliometric impact and h-indexes, and the role that “altmetrics” plays in the building and evaluation of academic reputation.
My session is not about how to use social media in your academic life—it’s about why you should use it! I am hoping that it will be a fairly engaging session with some good discussions (or at least some interesting questions) and a bit of audience participation.
The other speakers at the workshop are:
Nick Blackbourn, Content Officer at Edinburgh Napier University, who will run a workshop exploring practical ways and specific tools for building an online audience and using a “work out loud” approach. He requests that delegates bring a connected device to access their Twitter accounts, so there’s no doubt he’s expecting audience participation!
Vanessa Heggie, University of Birmingham, is running a session that will consider the risks as well as the rewards of social media, and will work through a series of tactics, hacks, and coping mechanisms to make sure we’re not only presenting ourselves (and our research) well in public, but also having the most positive experience online that we can.
Steven Vass is the Scotland Editor of The Conversation, an original and essential outlet for comment and analysis. He will remind us that what we do is both valuable and fascinating, and provide ideas of how to turn our research into articles that will open eyes, make waves and reach the widest possible audience.
My conference paper, Blurred reputations: Managing professional and private information online, has been accepted for Information: Interactions and Impact Conference (i3) in Aberdeen, Scotland. The paper is co-authored by my PhD supervisors and is based on some of the findings from one of the four research questions being investigated for my doctoral thesis (How do individuals use online information to build and manage their reputations?).
The conference will take place 27-30 June at Robert Gordon University. I will present the paper the morning of the 29th (full programme here). I have 45 minutes (including time for questions) to discuss the paper and share some of the key findings, which I’ve highlighted below.
Blurred reputations: A pre-conference teaser:
The subset of findings to be shared at the conference are concerned with the ways in which private and professional lives blur online. The data analysed is relevant to information behaviours and literacies revealed four primary behaviours deployed by participants. These are: (1) portraying only parts of their personas for different audiences, (2) managing the type of information that is shared on different platforms, (3) managing the means by which they connect with others, and (4) undertaking various levels of self-censorship. For example:
Portrayal of persona parts for different audiences Showcasing different aspects of a personality or different ‘personas’ is a tactic used to help build or manage professional and private reputations online. Personas may be deployed to minimise the levels of blurring between professional and private lives, with some participants actively and intentionally splitting out parts of their personas to ensure that they were maintaining an acceptable ‘professional’ reputation. This online presentation of personas aligns with Goffman’s seminal work about showcasing different aspects of one’s ‘self’ based on the situation.
Management of different types of information for different platforms Similarly, participants interviewed for this study noted different information behaviours based on perceived audiences for their social networking sites and their understandings of a platform’s primary use. Whilst these behaviours are similar those related to personas, there is a nuanced difference in how the information shared across different platforms is limited. These behaviours are designed to create or manage a professional ‘reputation’ through the use of intentional strategies for the different types of information and vary based on individuals’ understanding of a platform’s primary purpose. For example, LinkedIn is seen as a professional platform whereas Facebook is seen as ‘private’.
Connections with others The determination of a platform’s primary use also impacts how participants determine who to connect with. For example, as a professional platform, LinkedIn predominantly a space for professional connections, Facebook is viewed as a largely private networking platform, and Twitter falls somewhere in between. These determinations help to determine who participants will connect with on the different platforms, sometimes as a way of creating a public connection for the express purpose of reputation building. However, decisions on who to connect with on which platform can also be made to keep different groups of contacts away from each other.
Self-censorship Self-censorship also plays a part in the management of this private/professional blur. These self-censorship behaviours are even more obvious when participants have professional connections on the platform in questions or when a colleague or employer might be able to gain access to the information. Indeed, some types of information might not be shared online in any form (for example, controversial views) whilst other types of information might be shared in a more controlled manner, such as with a subset of friends in a private group (for example, inappropriate photos). This is more important when an individual’s professional reputation is in question.
The pre-conference doctoral workshop was a great experience and left me feeling a bit more confident about my theoretical framework. Well, maybe a better way to say that is that the advice helped me to feel more confident about how to explain my theoretical framework for my thesis write-up, anchoring it firmly within information science. I think that knowing the overall concept made sense to established academics in the field helped to build that confidence, too!
In addition to the feedback and advice I received directly related to my own research, the workshop mentors shared some great general advice for the entire group. The advice wasn’t unique, as I’d heard it all before in different contexts and with slightly different wording. However, each time I hear these things I am further inspired by them as they sink in just that little bit more. A common theme to the mentors’ advice was a reminder that “you are not alone”. Despite a PhD being a lonely process on many levels, we have our supervisors and other academic mentors, as well as an entire community of other PhD students. And whilst we are all working on (and struggling with) our own research, we can share the common struggles and stresses. (Blah, blah, blah. Sorry. I have a love-hate relationship with motivational soundbites. I think it’s because I am equal parts hopeful and cynical. But I digress…)
The main conference was an opportunity for me to present a full paper on some of my early findings for Generation X. (Slides below.) I was very pleased with the feedback I received on both the delivery and the content of my presentation—and the further feedback and interest in the paper as a whole. It was a bit of a challenging presentation because I was behind a lectern when I am generally more comfortable walking around a bit so that I can better point and indicate to the slides. However, my (healing, but still poorly) ankle meant that I was safer standing in one place where I was able to lean on the podium for support. I was a bit distracted by the discomfort, but I don’t think it had a negative impact on my delivery.
Of course, the conference as a whole provided me with great opportunities to listen to and network with other academics in my field. There were a few papers delivered at the conference that will be of great assistance to me when I re-visit my literature review this winter. I also made some great connections with established academics whom (I hope) I will be able to contact with questions as I start pulling everything together into one (hopefully!) cohesive PhD thesis.
And I can’t really share a post about ISIC without giving special thanks to the on-site volunteers and coordinators. I’ve always been grateful for those working behind the scenes (especially having been part of event planning teams in the past!) but this time, I am even more grateful than ever. I mean—wow!—what a great group of people! They were alerted ahead of time about my broken ankle, so the moment someone saw me hobbling towards the venue, I was greeted and whisked away to my own personal elevator. The volunteers were really good about making sure I was comfortable and had everything I needed. Yes, at times I felt that I didn’t need the assistance because I felt fine… but maybe I felt fine because I was being given the special treatment! So… thank you to all of the great student and staff volunteers; you are superstars!
The last week was spent preparing my presentation slides. I always find that to be a challenge because I need to be able to convey enough information to make people want to read the paper—but not so much to where I send them to sleep before my third slide. I am feeling pretty confident about my slides though and hope that the combination of my drawings, photos, humour, and—of course!—interesting research keeps my audience entertained and engaged. (I will add a link to the slides the morning of the conference. Promise.)
I’ve also been preparing for a one-day doctoral workshop before the official start of the conference. I attended the workshop at the last ISIC conference two years ago and found it quite useful, and I’m confident that this year’s workshop will be just as beneficial. I am hoping to use the time to discuss how best to anchor a multidisciplinary thesis theme, such as mine, in the domain of information science when writing up my main thesis. Yeah, it’s a hard one to wrap my head around. Especially when my undergraduate and master degrees are from outside of the information science arena.
Now that all the academic preparations are completed, it’s time to prepare the practical things. Like mending and washing clothes before putting them in my suitcase. And backing up all of the files on my phone and laptop so that (God forbid!) if something gets lost, broken, or stolen I am only losing hardware and not files and photos. And I need to paint my fingernails too. Oh! And I should make sure my phone’s address book is up-to-date so that I can send postcards of Croatia to family and friends back home (both homes: America and Scotland).
I really wish I could enjoy Zadar with two working legs, but I’d rather have the experience with a (healing) injury than not at all! Stay tuned for a conference update—and maybe a few fabulous photos from some of the great cultural sites I’m hoping to see in between doing serious academic stuff.
The conference will take place 20-23 September at the University of Zadar and I will present my paper the morning of the 22nd (full programme here). I have 30 minutes (including time for questions) to discuss my paper and share some of the key findings presented in the full paper. The challenge will be to share enough of the highlights to motivate people to read (and cite!) the full paper, but not so much to where I bore my audience to tears.
The full paper will be available in Information Research in 2017, after which I will happily share a link to the publication. In the meantime, you can read the paper’s abstract below. (I will share my presentation slides in September.)
Abstract Introduction. The means by which individuals evaluate the personal reputations of others, and manage their own personal reputations, as determined by information shared on social media platforms, is investigated from an information science perspective. The paper is concerned with findings from a doctoral study that takes into account prior work on the building and assessment of reputations through citation practice, as explored in the domain of scientometrics.
Method. Following the practice of studies of everyday life information seeking (ELIS), a multi-step data collection process was implemented. In total forty-five participants kept diaries and took part in semi-structured interviews. In this paper fifteen of these participants are represented.
Analysis. A qualitative analysis of the data was undertaken using NVivo10 to consider the information practices of one of three age group cohort generations: Generation X.
Results. Results generated from this initial analysis show some clear alignments with established knowledge in the domain, as well as new themes to be explored further. Of particular note is that social media users are more interested in the content of the information that is shared on social media platforms than they are in the signals that this information might convey about the sharer(s). It is also rare for these users to consider the impact of information sharing on personal reputation building and evaluation.
Conclusion. The analysis of the full dataset will provide further insight on the specific theme of the role of online information in personal reputation management, and contribute to theory development related to the study of information seeking behaviour and use.
In addition to delivering my paper, I will be attending a doctoral workshop prior to the official start of the conference. I attended the conference and doctoral workshop two years ago when it was in Leeds, England. At that time (in addition to presenting a poster), I was given some great input that helped me in the development of my research methods. This time, I am hoping for some great insight into the finishing touches of my thesis and maybe the next steps after graduation.
There will also be time to do some non-academic sightseeing whilst I’m in Zadar. I have a short list of “can’t miss” churches and geocaches, but I’m more than happy to take tips on other great places to visit!
My own contribution to the day was to give one of the 20×20 presentations based on my research. Sadly, several weeks’ illness followed by a long recovery (and the pile-up of work because of it) meant that my presentation was put together at the last minute and my slides were only delivered to the conference committee the night before the event. (Bad form, I know.)
As you may know, the idea with a 20×20 is that you have 20 image-based slides that auto-advance every 20 seconds. So you really have to have your timings down. I had ordered my slides in a manner that meant if I finished speaking early, I could start talking about the next slide before it advanced and that if I over-talked, the next slide would be relevant enough to let me finish. (It’s all about segues!)
However, I (kind of) knew what I would say to each slide… but I couldn’t remember what order the slides were in. So there were a couple of instances where I’d finished talking about one slide but had no idea what the next slide was… so I couldn’t keep talking!
Yeah… maybe a bit more practice would have been good.
I suppose the good thing is that I was very confident in my delivery. And that’s a very good thing!
I have been invited to speak to a group in Edinburgh at the end of August, then I’ll be presenting a conference paper in September. Only I’ll be sure to give myself a bit more time for preparation and practice for both of them!
Anyhow, Thesis Summer is off to a good start and I am feeling confident that I will be successful in reaching my summer goals. So stay tuned for more great updates!
[Note: Click here to skip to the day’s highlights.]
The day began with a welcome by the Principal of the University, Professor Andrea Nolan, who reminded us of the importance of collaborative research and the wider university research culture. We then enjoyed an entertaining keynote by Dr Peter Barlow who managed to enthuse the audience with equal measures of great insights into research along with Bob Dylan quotes. (Come on, that’s pretty cool.)
We then broke into skills-building workshops. I opted to attend the “Winning research funding” workshop, as I need to start thinking about my post-PhD life… which will likely require a successful grant application. And after the workshops, I presented in the Three Minute Thesis session along with 10 other PhD students. My less-than-stellar showing meant that I wasn’t really expecting my name to be called out along with the winners at the end of the day. And that was OK.
Following the thesis presentations and lunch (where we enjoyed a poster presentation), there was a short series of presentations by academic staff across the University. As with the Three Minute Thesis presentations, they were geared towards a general research audience, meaning I could understand the research that was being discussed. (I do enjoy a good general explanation of people’s research!) There was even a wee pitch for Bright Club, which I think more academics should participate in. (Like I did!)
At the end of the formal conference day, winners for the Three Minute Madness (Matt Wale and David Whiteley), posters session (Iris Buunk), and staff presentations (Dan Ridley-Ellis) were announced.
But it was the Principal’s Research Excellence Awards that I was interested in, as I found myself very hopeful that my name might be called. In part, because I knew for a fact that at least three people nominated me for the category of “Outstanding contribution to university life by a research student”. However, even though I knew I was nominated, and even though I was hopeful, I also knew that there were other students in the university who might have been just as outstanding as I believe I am.
The outstanding student award was the last one announced, and I was trying to convince myself not to be upset if I didn’t win. In fact, I had distracted myself so much that I hadn’t quite realised that my name had actually been called!
As I made my way to the stage to collect my award, it was explained that I was nominated, in part, because of my work on various committees, mentorship roles, and different initiatives I’ve worked on at the school and university level. But the best part was when it was said that, in addition to these civic roles and responsibilities, I am also producing good research (as noted by my best paper award in January).
It was a truly wonderful feeling to hear from others how valuable they find my contributions to the school and the university. And it was even better to learn that the award includes a small amount of funding for future research spending. (Acknowledgement is great, but money talks!)
With less than a year to go until I submit my thesis (God willing!), I have now had to start saying “NO” to many (most) requests for work outside of my actual PhD research. I admit that I feel a bit bad about that, especially after learning how much people appreciate my non-PhD work, but I also know that if I keep saying yes, I’ll have to say no to the PhD. And that would just be silly.