Since I had done a little "research on research" :-) I was asked to give a presentation for our institute's gathering the other week. I used the title "the road to my first publication" since I had mainly looked into the writing side.
Some of my points:
- It takes a lot of focussed work, more than we probably realize or are organized for at the moment. Looking at myself, I can't really make the time to write my article on the IMLVG project, let alone start new research on my own.
- It is fun however to learn new skills while taking the little steps.
- There is a lot of tooling out there to use. I showed the following:
- Finding literature: databases, catalogues, etc. These take some time to learn. Despite the librarian's disapproval I find Google Scholar very useful (investigate the different functions and options!) I also discussed some search techniques.
- Managing references: I use RefWorks since it's the RuG standard, but would prefer to use Papers if I can get my hands on an iPad.
- Reading and annotating: I prefer to read electronically, but taking notes is bothersome. I replaced the bloated Adobe Acrobat with a lightweight PDF annotation tool, but still....
- Keeping a journal: I am very pleased with the discovery of Microsoft OneNote, an largely neglected application in the MS Office-suite.
- Writing: academic writing is a speciality on it's own. I stumbled upon a course at the Hanze, but it mainly showed me that there's a lot of work to do in that area as well.
And now we have won an Interreg grant for a large international project. Will this mean I have to change track again?