The Attic (a name which commemorates our first physical location) is, first and foremost, a site for the research students of the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester: a virtual community which aims to include all students, be they campus-based and full-time, or distance-learning and overseas. But we welcome contributions from students of museum studies - and allied subject areas - from outside the School and from around the world. Here you will find a lot of serious stuff, like exhibition and research seminar reviews, conference alerts and calls for papers, but there's also some 'fluff'; the things that inspire, distract and keep us going. After all, while we may be dead serious academic types, we're human too.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Webcasts, the Internet and new technologies part two, or Blogs: aren't they great?

Ceri and I were talking the other day about how much we're loving The Attic and how we really enjoy the process of writing a blog. Well, I enjoy it so much that I've started a research blog. It's already proving to be an invaluable means of gathering together all the different links and resources that I've collected over the past eighteen months. And I'm trying out Wordpress' free online blogging software where I increasingly feel The Attic's future might lie.

I can imagine that blogs will lead to all sorts of new ways of disseminating and publishing our research, but at the same time, I can also envisage lots of issues to do with copyright and plagiarism - and for those reasons I will be using my blog to talk about the research process, rather than as a vehicle to present my research findings.

We already know about Mary's and Lynn's research blogs. Are there anymore out there? Perhaps we have some secret research bloggers in our midst who need outing! ;) Either way, if you're a research blogger, or know of a good research blog, then c'mon, spread the word!

8 comments:

Anna said...

Well Done Amy for starting your own blog - I had a quick look just now! I like reading other peoples blogs but the thought of having one of my own...it's scary.. what would I write on it? If it was a research blog I think it would just say the same thing every day i.e. 'I worked on my data today'or 'I mucked up my data some more today', or 'spent the day sorting out yesterday's mistakes'!

This is your captain (formerly known as 'Amy') speaking... said...

Well, it just kind of happens. You can write about anything you like! I think the thing to remember is that you're not (necessarily) writing with an audience in mind, except yourself. I find writing a blog a really useful way of collecting my thoughts, but also getting into the habit of writing - anything - regularly. It's definitely a skill that you have to keep working at and honing. And, like I said earlier, it can be a 'time-waster', but at least it's a constructive time-waster. I could be playing solitaire instead! ;)

But, having said all that, I agree - it's great just to be able to read about other people's research and their experiences of studying at this level. Very reassuring and often inspiring.

Kostas said...

Hi Amy, Anne Galloway is one of the pioneers in using her blog to reflect on her PhD research (since 2002). Her blog was also shortlisted for this year's Edublogs awards. I highly recommend it.

Anna, see how Anne reflects on her research blog here

Hi to everyone.

Kostas said...

And here is the correct link to Anne's post.

This is your captain (formerly known as 'Amy') speaking... said...

Thanks Kostas - this looks really good. When I get a chance I'll have a proper read. Must remember to put a link to your site on here too. :)

Ceri said...

Well I have been inspired to get my own research blog too because I am fed up of writing things on scraps of paper and losing them. I will post the link once it says something interesting (I also have a silly blog for random thoughts which I also advise everyone to have... I find it declogs my brain of trivial thoughts but that might just be me!!)

Jeremy said...

Hi Amy, like yer blog! You've been very busy with it. I also write a research blog, but have kept it private because if it's to be a really useful scrapbook for me there sometimes needs to be sensitive stuff in there e.g. related to commercial relationships we're involved in at work. Because it's just for me it has become much less readable than yours - yours is pretty diary-like whilst for the most part mine is much more of a rag-bag without the decent prose or contextualisation of my thoughts. All the same, I find the same as you: it's a really useful way of organising ideas of odds and ends of info as you go through the day. I've got a del.icio.us feed in there too (and Flickr), which is the other place where I stow useful stuff. Perhaps Zotero will follow.

This is your captain (formerly known as 'Amy') speaking... said...

Thanks Jeremy, and nice to hear from you! Yep - it's good for declogging the brain and it's good for organising thoughts. I think Jeremy's description of a blog operating as a scrapbook is a good concept. That's how I envisage mine working out. Though I guess there's a log, or diary aspect to it as well. I get myself into a right tizz sometimes, convincing myself that I don't do enough work. By recording it I have a permanent record of what I have done, which I'm hoping will help soothe my anxious mind and chart my progress and the development of my ideas. Oh, and if anyone is interested, I've got to grips with Creative Commons licences this evening, so if anyone needs to know about how to protect their work online, I'm your girl. ;)