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Archive for November, 2011

‘Thing 6’ of the “Digital Professional” course has introduced Academia.edu – a networking site which I had actually not heard of before, but one which I see has great potential, and will continue to grow as more academics add their profiles and research interests to it.

So far I have only added the basics to my profile: http://warwick.academia.edu/CarolynDawson   and a link to this blog – however I will try to update both sites in tandem as and when I have relevant news to add.

Academia.edu is a good site to keep people up-to-date with news regarding publications, conference appearances and presentations – and the ability to link with people via research interests definitely has potential for exploration…..

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A lack of updates and posts is indicative of a rather busy week, definied by two major themes – catching up with fellow researchers, and changing my research question.

Both of these themes have left me thinking, as many times before, how true the adage is that research is a “winding road” – sometimes the more work that is done the further away the end goal seems, or the foggier the field becomes.  Since I began researching Hand Hygiene in 2009 I must have changed, clarified, adjusted and re-evaluated various Research Questions, aims and objectives more than 20 times. 

Many times this is due to ‘new’ literature being found, or simply reaching a new level of understanding – but sometimes it is due to more negative reasons, of feeling unsure and uncertain as to where I have got to, or where I am going.  A Ph.D. can be a very isolating experience – whilst it is a key feature that you learn to be an independent researcher, working alone has the potential to be somewhat dispiriting. Fortunately I have the luck to be surrounded by some excellent peers, and this week have caught up with both current and past research students – where we’ve chatted about current issues relating to our research, academic life in general, and the challenges that exist in the post-doc world.  Being able to share issues is definitely the only way to keep the motivation going as the road gets ever more winding.  Plus it is an excellent opportunity for cake!  A blog dedicated to all things Ph.D. experience is imminent from one of these brilliant minds….I’ll let you know when it is up and running!

In the same vein Things 6 and 7 of the “Digital Professional” course are also linked to reducing isolation – through increasing networking opportunities and raising individual profiles within the academic community.  I’ll let you know how I get on with each of those shortly…..

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