Developing your online identity as a researcher

Digital identity as a researcher is becoming increasingly important, at least if you want others to take note of the research that you have conducted. We all know now that you can’t simply publish in a journal, and expect lots of key people to automatically find out and take note. But how does one actually take charge of one’s own digital identity as a researcher?

Here in the Centre for Lifelong Learning at the University of Liverpool, two of us who are engaged in research have recently undertaken an informal project to review our own digital identities, and to support our colleagues and others in taking their own initiative in this area. Tunde Varga-Atkins is a Learning Technologist, with researcher interests around both learner experiences with technology and visual research methods. Peter Kahn is Director of Studies for the University’s fully-online EdD in Higher Education. His research interests centre on applying critical realist perspectives to the study of higher education.

There is certainly plenty of good advice out there, as with the short course at Imperial College London, Collaborating and building your online presence, or the 23 Things self-directed online course from the University of Oxford on using digital tools in academia. But it’s one thing that such resources exist; it’s quite another to take the course or read the material, and then act on it. This is especially true when one is trying to establish a digital identity that reflects the various roles one has to undertake, taking in both development and research. Rather than concentrating so much on these resources, we reviewed each other’s digital identity and also looked at the digital identity of several other researchers. Our emphasis was on understanding the actions that we ourselves, and others, have actually taken.

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Two more Senior Fellows at Liverpool

Dr Nick Greeves from the department of Chemistry and Ms Liz Crolley from the Management School have become Senior Fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA).

Senior Fellowship is awarded by the HEA to University teachers who demonstrate the knowledge, experience and professional values associated with excellent learning and teaching. In addition, Senior Fellows demonstrate substantial experience of co-ordination, support and mentoring of others.

Dr Greeves and Ms Crolley are each the first member of staff in their faculty to gain this recognition of their professional skills and expertise. There are now three Senior Fellows of the HEA at Liverpool, who will be actively engaged in promoting participation in continuing professional development in learning and teaching, as well as encouraging colleagues to apply for Fellowship of ULTRA, the University of Liverpool Teaching and Recognition and Accreditation Framework.

ULTRA is expected to achieve HEA accredited status soon, meaning that Liverpool University staff can apply for Fellowship through the internal scheme, and gain HEA fellowship at the same time. More information on ULTRA is available, or please contact Dr Janis McIntyre at Janis.mcintyre@liverpool.ac.uk

Janis McIntyre