I had a very busy day on Tuesday this week with two external speaking commitments, one a training session for research students from across Scotland, and the other a public engagement event on the theme of the future of library services.
My first commitment was at the annual summer school of the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science. Here I led a session on the evaluation of the digital impact of research with my colleague Dr Elizabeth Tait (aka Lizzy) of Robert Gordon University. In the first hour I set the scene by covering the range of tools available to help increase research impact, and providing some recommendations on those that research students should use to develop an online presence for themselves, and for their work. At a minimum I recommend that all research students should have:
- A CV on LinkedIn
- An academic identity registered on the main ID services such as Orchid and ResearcherID
- Their publication track record on the main profile services such Academia.edu, Google Scholar, and ResearchGate
- An About.me page
This, and other advice, can be seen in the slides that accompanied my talk.
In the second hour Lizzy took over and considered how research impact achieved by using such tools might be measured.Immediately after the session I made a quick dash back from the Edinburgh University campus to my own for a meeting, then retraced my steps back into town to participate at a panel discussion entitled ‘Future libraries: the next 125 years’. This was a public engagement event organised by the staff of Edinburgh Central Library as part of the service’s 125th birthday celebrations. It was chaired by Marion Sinclair, Chief Executive, Publishing Scotland. Other speakers on the panel were:
- John Scally, National Librarian and Chief Executive, National Library of Scotland
- Philippa Cochrane, Head of Reader Development, Scottish Book Trust
- Duncan Wright, Senior School Librarian, Stewart’s Melville College
In front of an audience of about 90 people we covered a range of topics in the discussion, prompted by questions from the session chair and the audience. These ranged from the specifics of self-issue machines in local public libraries to the future training needs of library staff. There was enthusiastic feedback on the event, and it was a pleasure for me to have been invited to take part with the other experts on the stage in the reference library.