University LibraryStaff and researchers

Research support

Collaborating and networking

Research is increasingly a collaborative process. Even if you view yourself as a lone scholar, you will be building on the work of others and discussions about your research will bring you new ideas and different leads. The frequently asked questions below will provide you with ideas about tools that can help you work effectively with others wherever they happen to be, as well as how you can find out about who those people might be in the first place.

Q: Which tools facilitate collaborative working?

Working in research groups, even if the researchers are on the same campus, can be challenging at times, but there are some useful technological solutions.

File sharing:

The University has an agreement with Microsoft One Drive to facilitate file sharing with internal and external collaborators, which is being rolled out during 2017 (Future Cloud Office Platform). Internal research groups can also set up Group Workspaces via IT Services to share files (File Storage and Sharing).

Notes:

There are a range of notepad apps that researchers use for sharing ideas for research or conferences notes, such as Evernote and Realtime Board.  If you simply need a 'to do' list (or set of lists) for your project, why not try Trello or Wunderlist?

Meetings:

Skype and Facetime apps allow face-to-face conversations and Cisco Jabber, supported by IT Services, enables webchat and conference calls amongst University staff and Doctoral Researchers (Cisco Jabber).

Find out more:

To find out more, the Library offers workshops on 'Collaboration tools' to help you create and communicate your research, so why not sign up for one of those via the Graduate School's Booking system on Learn?  They are aimed at Doctoral Researchers, but staff are welcome too.

Q: How can I find external research collaborators?

Conferences

Conferences are a great way to meet 'like minds' and build up networks of potential collaborators.  To find out about conferences in your research area, sign up for Conal - Conference Alerts. You could also use this service to promote your own events.

Networking

Services like SciVal (you will need to register for a SciVal account) can help you to identify which institutions and researchers across the world are publishing in your research areas. You can also use academic social networking sites, like ResearchGate and Academia.edu, to make connections to other researchers and see their connections in turn. You could also join Piirus, which is a free networking site established specifically to help researchers to connect and collaborate.