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 some 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:

IT Services provides advice on file sharing and storage. Microsoft Teams and Groups facilitate file sharing with internal and external collaborators, but is not recommended for confidential data. 


There are a range of notepad apps that researchers use for sharing ideas for research or conferences notes.  If you simply need a 'to do' list (or set of lists) for your project, why not try the Microsoft Apps? Always check about the ownership of the data and security of the tools before using them.


Microsoft Teams and Cisco Jabber, supported by IT Services, enable webchat and conference calls amongst University staff and Doctoral Researchers.

Find out more:

To find out more, check out the latest advice on Research Support from IT Services

Q: How can I find external research collaborators?


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, check Twitter, and/or sign up for Conal - Conference Alerts. You could also use this service to promote your own events.


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, to make connections to other researchers and see their connections in turn. Twitter is also great for promoting your research and making connections.