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17 reasons why you should blog about your research

  1. It helps you become more clear about your ideas.
  2. It gives you practice at presenting your ideas for a non-specialist audience.
  3. It increases your visibility within academia.
  4. It increases your visibility outside academia and makes it much easier for journalists, campaigners and practitioners to find you.
  5. It increases your visibility more than a static site and allows people who find you to get an overall sense of your academic interests.
  6. It’s a great way of making connections & finding potential collaborators.
  7. It can provide an archive of your thoughts, ideas and reactions which can later be incorporated into more formal work.
  8. It makes it easier for people to find your published work and increases the likelihood they will and cite it.
  9. Its informality and immediate accessibility can help make writing part of your everyday life rather than being a source of stress and anxiety.
  10. Its a great way to promote events and call for papers. Particularly if you blog regularly and your blog is connected to Twitter.
  11. It helps ensure you can continue to develop strands of thought which, for now, don’t have any practical implications but might at some point in the future.
  12. It encourages you to reflexively interrogate and organise your work, drawing out emergent themes and placing isolated snippets of commentary into shared categories.
  13. It allows you to procrastinate for a further 10 to 20 minutes before going back to NVivo in a useful(ish) way.
  14. It helps you build a community around your ideas and interests – Kath McNiff
  15. It allows you to start a conversation that other researchers can join using comments – Kath McNiff
  16. It’s a tremendous way to access additional relevant information/sources through the connections you make – @drdjwalker
  17. It can also be a great way to increase your sample size by crowd sourcing contributions and through public scrutiny help prepare you for the peer review process when the time comes to publish your work – @drdjwalker

Any suggestions for more reasons? Put them in the comments box and I’ll add them to the list & note who they came from. If you’re on Twitter please include your twitter handle.

There’s a more up to date version of this post online here –> http://sociologicalimagination.org/archives/13910

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Mark

19 replies

  1. Great list!! I was just about to write a blog post about this very subject so if you don;t mind I’ll include a link to your post. One of the reasons that overlap into what you have already put for reasons 3 and 4 is that it allows your whole thesis as bitesize chunks. I am thinking of doing exactly that once I have completed my writing up stage (I am sending over a complete draft at the end of this week).. Teresa

  2. Thanks for this list, sounds convincing, maybe I really should start doing this.

    I’m not blogging about my research currently, because somehow my field doesn’t seem ready for it. I’m afraid I will get too many negative reactions, as I’m getting already because of Twitter & Facebook… Mostly comments about wasting time, no use etc. But yeah, maybe I should just try to start making a change…

  3. Love this list. I would add “Helps you build a community around your ideas and interests” or “It allows you to start a conversation that other researchers can join using comments”.

  4. Klara – yes definitely. If that’s likely to be a recurring problem in your field then a blog could allow you to make contact with those who are ready (there may be more than you think!) and perhaps influence some of those who are not 🙂

  5. Great list Mark. It’s a tremendous way to access additional relevant information/sources through the connections you make. It can also be a great way to increase your sample size by crowd sourcing contributions and through public scrutiny help prepare you for the peer review process when the time comes to publish your work. @drdjwalker

  6. Thanks for this post – it is further encouragement for me to continue on this new blogging venture. I wrote a post including a 5 point list on why I think blogging is a good idea for researchers – hope it turns out to be true!

  7. Great list! here’s one that’s worked for me. If you record in your blog your thoughts on articles others have written, this can provide a record of who said what in which article, which can be useful for those “wait, who was it that said that, and where?”moments. And it can be a useful starting point for writing a lit review and response for a later article of yours! @clhendricksbc

  8. This is a great list and has lead me to start blogging about my research again *Watch this space.* Point 1 is exactly why I think blogging one’s research is so important. Formalising your arguments at an early stage and having them on show for criticism forces you to be sharp and on point. Great post

  9. Thanks for doing this Mark…
    A couple mpre:
    – It allows you to publish ideas immediately without waiting two years while things go through peer review and more peer review and wait in a publishing queue
    – It’s fun
    @CelebYouthUK

  10. It’s a faster way to get your research findings out. Journal/book publishing and the peer-review/editing process can take FOREVER.

    Because C Wright Mills would have probably been a blogger. If not, he would at the very least have been a fan.

  11. great list – but it depends what you research involves. I wouldn’t want PHD students getting trolled because of a particular aspect of their research process or emmerging findings. We need to think about how we prepare students to discuss research ‘openly’, how would an institution support a student in this position.

  12. completely take your point but given how grossly inadequate this preparation is in pretty much every university in the country, is there a risk this caution could amount to simply curtailing the activity of PhD students ‘in their own bests interests’? i’m sceptical that most graduate schools, academic departments or phd supervisors are in position to gauge those interests in a rapidly changing environment.

  13. but yes i basically agree, just sounding a note of caution.

    “how would an institution support a student in this position”

    i don’t think it’s construed outside in these terms but the LSE blogs certainly serve this function. with sufficient investment in infrastructure, it offers a safe and effective way for PhD students to begin engaging online – the editors work to develop posts, help edit them, promote them and the whole thing has the safety of a corporate brand.

  14. No need to study in isolation if you are a distance learning student, blogging is one way to network, share ideas and your studies with fellow students around the world.

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