Do you feel you should collaborate more in your research or make more research connections? Did you participate in the recent #ecrchat on Twitter about Knowledge Exchange and Collaboration or wish you had? Are you undertaking a collaborative project and want to share your tips and hear others?
Collaborating with others drives research excellence and research citation impact has been attributed partly to international collaboration, so we thought we’d share some tips from our researchers on making research connections and research collaborations and would love to hear your tips for fellow researchers.
Throughout October, read our top tips and contribute your own on a different theme each week:
- Making research connections
- Building relationships
- Formalising collaborations
- Undertaking collaborative projects
- Presenting and publishing collaborative research
Making research connections
This week’s theme is making research connections. There are many ways you can do this, either face-to-face or virtual. Here’s our top 10:
- To make meaningful research connections, it helps to consider how your work connects with a broader disciplinary conversation – that way you don’t shut down potential research connections before they even start. Keep an open mind.
- Develop your elevator pitch so you can present your research in conversation to those outside your field. There are great tips here.
- Be respectful of others disciplines and maintain an interest in a wide range of subjects.
- Being a good interdisciplinary researcher involves building a network of contacts through meetings, at conferences and from peer recommendation so actively seek these opportunities by getting out to research-led events.
- Start building research connections in your own institution by finding collaborative spaces as well as private spaces to work- don’t just hide in your office.
- Attend events in your institution to make connections beyond your department
- Identifying potential research connections beyond your institution can be difficult if you have less opportunity to attend events so use citation databases to help find researchers who have published in the area you are interested in.
- But don’t depend on that as the only route – research is a continually moving area and it takes time for research to published so look for research connections more broadly. For example, use social media and get involved in Twitter conversations such as #ecrchat, find people in your field and beyond and follow them. Check out these blog posts for some great advice.
- Global research connections are increasingly important – a recent article demonstrates the rise of global research networks, with Asia becoming more predominant for collaborators and co-author sources. Think broadly in your global reach and use online to achieve this.
- Finally, maintain your profile on multiple academic networking sites, such as Piirus, Academia.edu and ResearchGate. It’s not enough to have just one profile in today’s networked research community and each serves a different purpose.
It’s all about making yourself visible, speaking to others and being open to new ideas and connections. Remember, don’t just think about what you might gain from a connection, but also what you can bring to it. Once you’ve made interesting initial connections, you can start building relationships – next week’s theme.
Share your research collaboration tips on Twitter #piirustips
Follow @piirus_com on Twitter or look out for the hashtag #piirustips. We’ll be tweeting tips daily. We also want to hear your tips for successful research collaborations, whether they are with other researchers in your department, other departments in your university or further afield. Please comment below to share your thoughts, or tweet your tips to fellow researchers using the hashtag #piirustips