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Researcher's Toolkit: D2 - Communication and dissemination

This researcher's toolkit has been developed to offer you practical advice and suggestions to help you design, carry out and write up a research project.

Keeping up-to-date (alerting Services)

Keeping up-to-date

If you are doing a piece of work over a length of time, alerting service and RSS feeds will save you time and help you stay up-to-date with newly published information in your subject area and save valuable research time.

Alerts and RSS feeds can send updated information to your e-mail address or to a 'Start' page using an RSS feed.

  • Many websites now have RSS feeds
  • Services such as ChangeDetection.com notify you when a change is made to a webpage you have registered interested in.

Database alerting services

  • Database alerts. Many of the University of Suffolk databases allow you to set up alerts to let you know whenever new articles matching your research interests are published.

Journal alerts

Journal alerting services, or current awareness services, such as Zetoc and Journal TOCs, alert you to new articles in your field by sending you a table of contents of new issues of journals of interest.

Other ways to keep up-to-date

For more advice about keeping up-to-date click here

Social Media - engaging the public

Today, researchers must make themselves visible and be prepared to engage with their research peers, journalists and equally as much with the general public.

Using social media can be an excellent way to build an online presence.  Building a 'PLN' Personal Learning Network, not only allows researchers to understand the wider context of their areas of interest, but to also share and increase the impact of their research.

Part of the social media strategy that researchers need to consider is filtering the amount of information they receive through their PLN.  Information overload can be a concern for people in the digital age, social media tools allow for the filtering of information, allow the researcher to only see what is relevant to them.

The final stage of creating an online presence is to look at effective use of social media tools.  In the digital world of Web 2.0 many of these tools can integrate and work together, making life for the researcher much easier to manage.

The diagram below shows a generic strategy with a blog sitting at the heart of the social media cycle.

Creating the strategy with a blog at its heart, allows the full use of the feature set, an easy to create website.  This site can be used to share thoughts, ideas and research, but with less limitations of other social media tools.  The blog can be thought of as the hub of the social media strategy.

Other social media tools, such as Twitter, Facebook and Google+ can then be used to share those thoughts, ideas and research direct from the blog.  Most tools allow this to be automated, so once posted to the blog, the other channels filter that our on their own.


Follow the link below to start investigating the use of Twitter as a tool for creating a PLN.

Social Media Online Taster Session

Publishing, Open Access and University of Suffolk Repository (OARS)

The Open access and repository guide provides information on 

  • Open Access and the Gold and Green routes for Open Access publication.
  •  REF 2021 exercise, including eligibility and assessment criteria as well as Frequently Asked Questions.
  • How and why you should deposit your research in to the University's open access repository OARS.
  • Publishing your research, including decision making on where to publish, and steps you should take to protect your intellectual property.
  • Finch Report and the requirements funding agencies make in relation to making your research available as open access.
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For support contact UoS copyright and IP guidance officer -  Ellen Buck ellen.buck@uos.ac.uk

Access OARS (Open Access Repository Suffolk)

OARS is the institutional repository for the University. It is an online archive which collects together all of our research, and scholarly activity, textual and non-textual, in a digital form, and makes it accessible to everyone. OARs enables University of Suffolk to collect all University of Suffolk research and scholarly outputs together. It enables University of Suffolk to monitor and report on research outputs, and promote and share the research being undertaken within the institution promoting knowledge exchange with local businesses and communities. An increased institutional profile will help to attract research partners and funding. 

Repository Queries 

Examining Research Doctorates

All research students will be examined on the basis of the submission of a thesis and defence by oral examination and according to specified criteria.

You should additionally familiarise yourself with the ‘The UK doctorate: a guide for current and prospective doctoral candidates’ which provides a useful overview of the assessment of doctoral candidates in the United Kingdom.

The UK doctorate: a guide for current and prospective doctoral candidates

The guide states the following in relation to assessment and the viva voce (pp.12-13):

Doctoral assessment includes a thorough review of the submitted written materials (and artefacts if appropriate), normally followed by a viva voce, or oral examination, which remains a significant feature and the form of summative assessment experienced by most doctoral candidates. The supervisor has no role in the examination of doctoral awards that he/she has supervised.

The viva voce ('viva') or oral examination provides doctoral examiners with the opportunity to probe the candidate on the research he/she has conducted, exploring how the research makes a contribution to knowledge, why specific methods were chosen to conduct the research, whether the data is robust and whether the conclusions derive from the data gathered. The viva process is governed by individual institutional regulations.

The appointment of at least one external examiner is required for each oral doctoral examination. External examining is a key feature in UK quality assurance in helping to demonstrate the equivalence of academic standards. The external examiner(s) at a doctoral oral examination helps to provide the assurance that the process is appropriate and that the candidate has met the required standard for the award of the doctoral degree.


Word length

These word lengths exclude any references and bibliography. Maximum word lengths for a thesis including creative output may vary depending on the format of the thesis submission.

Degree

Maximum Word Length

MPhil

65,000

PhD

100,000

 

In the thesis and examination, the candidate is required to show evidence of distinct ability to conduct original investigations, to test ideas (whether the candidate's own or those of others) and to understand the relationship of the theme of the investigations to a wider field of knowledge. The thesis should show evidence of adequate industry and application. The candidate is expected to take due account of previously published work on the subject, to show distinct ability in conducting original investigations and in testing ideas whether the candidate's own or those of others. The candidate is also expected to show understanding of the relationships of the special theme to a wider field of knowledge. The thesis should represent a significant contribution to knowledge. It shall not exceed 65,000 words in length. In making their judgement on the award of the degree, Examiners shall take into account that the substance and significance of the thesis should be of a kind which might be reasonably expected of a capable and diligent student after two years of full-time (or equivalent) study.

In the thesis and examination, the candidate is required to show distinct ability to conduct original investigations, to test ideas (whether the candidate's own or those of others) and to understand the relationship of the theme of the investigations to a wider field of knowledge. The thesis should show evidence of adequate industry and application. The candidate is expected to take due account of previously published work on the subject, to show distinct ability in conducting original investigations and in testing ideas whether the candidate's own or those of others. The candidate is also expected to show understanding of the relationships of the special theme to a wider field of knowledge. The thesis should represent a significant contribution to the development of understanding, for example, through the discovery of new knowledge, the connection of previously unrelated facts, the development of a new theory or the revision of older views. The thesis shall not exceed 100,000 words in length. In making their judgement on the award of the degree, Examiners shall take into account that the substance and significance of the thesis should be of a kind which might be reasonably expected of a capable and diligent student after three years of full-time (or equivalent) study.

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Presenting at conferences

Attending conferences and workshops that relate to your research project is important and an excellent way to receive useful feedback on your research and you convert conference papers into journal articles. Deadlines for external conferences are usually noted on academic bodies’ websites along with submission requirements and format guidance, Some conferences require full papers, while others will consider only abstracts.

Further benefits in addition to having an opportunity to test and publish your ideas include:

  • An opportunity to meet and network with people in your field, raise your own profile and discuss your ideas with like-minded people hear theirs – all of which will raise the quality of your research.
  • Learn from others on how to give good presentations.

It is a good idea to maintain the relationships you form at a conference via e-mail, and by re-establishing contact at each workshop or conference you attend. Sometimes these contacts will grow into opportunities to do collaborative research.

Some tips for preparing your presentation:

  • Be yourself.
  • Practice your talk in advance.
  • Make sure your talk fits in the time slot allocated.
  • Remember it is the strength of your research that you should be showcasing.
  • Know your audience
  • Use examples and/or pictures to illustrate and clarify your ideas.
  • Learn by observation: try to avoid things that other speakers do that bother you.
  • Don't talk too fast.
  • Be confident:
  • Think in advance about the types of questions you may be asked.

There are numerous opportunities at University of Suffolk to present your research at departmental research seminars, the annual Research and Scholarly Activity day, to your peers and supervisors if you are a PhD student.

Additionally there are workshops for postgraduate students and staff within the Researcher Development programme on presenting at conferences, a skill you will need throughout your academic career.

LINK to the RDP will be sent once available

There is a half-day session for postgraduate students entitled ‘Engagement, Influence and Impact’ that specifically looks at presenting talks and posters at conferences and academic staff is also welcome to attend.

10 tips for managing presentation anxiety

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ResearchGate

ResearchGate

ResearchGate is a social networking site for scientists and researchers to share papers, ask and answer questions, and find collaborators.

Misison 

Our mission is to connect researchers and make it easy for them to share and access scientific output, knowledge, and expertise. On ResearchGate they find what they need to advance their research.

ResearchGate website

Also relevant:

Attribution

All images included in this guide are available through Creative Commons licensing CC-BY-2.0