Don’t Forget To Be The Way You Are: How to Create a Meaningful and Sustainable Research Identity

Course Content

The course will be divided into four parts plus an introductory overview and summing up, and will require four hours in total. The three parts are: author name, personal research identity, writing good paper titles, and writing good abstracts.

Part 1: Your personal identity

Names are important, and they can be problematic. If you have a common name, making sure you get credit for your own work can be a challenge. If your name is unusual, you can have the same problem! We will discuss the challenges of avoiding split citation (where a single author is known by more than one name) and mixed citation (where a single name refers to more than one author). We will address known issues of discrimination during single-blind peer review, and how to minimize it. We will also discuss how author names work in different fields, and what to do if your name is originally written in a non-roman alphabet.

Finally, given all the evidence you now have, you will have time to consider the elements of the discussion that relate to your circumstances and select your own publication name with our support.

Part 2: Being true to your curiosities

Being able to label your research and talk about what it is is an important part of having a research identity. If you have a narrow specialism, this isn't likely to be a problem, but if you are an interdisciplinary researcher or you have broad research interests it can be quite challenging. You may be very aware of your research approach, but find it hard to articulate, or you might find it hard to identify the thread that links your research. In this section we will discuss a number of elements of practical research identity from the more superficial to the deeply held. These elements are:

· Research topics

· Preferred research methods

· Preferred type of research question

· Preferred type of research collaboration

· Research style—method versus question driven

· Underlying motivations for doing information research

After an overview of each element, you will do individual or small group activities to identify where you sit in each space. At the end of this session you will write a 100-word research biography.

Part 3: Naming your papers

In this session you will learn about the importance of paper titles, from communicating what a paper is about to potential reviewers and readers, to your paper being remembered by someone who wants to recommend the paper after reading it. You will learn a number of ways to name your papers, including how to maintain consistency between your papers, and how to avoid confusion between your work and that of others. You will also learn how to reflect your research identity in these papers.

This session will conclude with an exercise working with your own recent paper titles.

Part 4: Selling the paper with a good abstract

In this section we will examine what elements make up a great abstract--one that will sell your papers to reviewers, hiring committees and tenure committees. After we have discussed the elements of a great abstract, you will rewrite one of your own abstracts taking the challenges of writing one into consideration.