Connect with other researchers and develop yourself
Including professional networking sites and social media.
Professional and networking sites
Academia.edu allows you to follow the latest research in your field.
MethodSpace allows you to network, and share research, resources and debate.
ResearchGate is a professional network for scientists and researchers, providing opportunities for making connections, plus information on conferences and jobs.
Using social media to make connections
Social media (for example, blogging, micro-blogging, social citation tools) are becoming increasingly visible and valuable in the research world.
Blogs are increasingly being used to share ideas, both individually and collaboratively.
For more information on why blogging can be a positive academic activity, have a look at the University World News article Academic bloggers everywhere, or this blog post on the value of academic blogging. For a professor's point of view, try Why do I bother?, by Steve Wheeler from Plymouth University.
The Research Whisperer also has a blog post on how find researchers to collaborate with.
Twitter is the best known form of micro-blogging. If you are unsure about Twitter, try reading Dorothy Bishop's blog post A gentle introduction to Twitter for the apprehensive academic.
"Can anything of academic value ever be said in just 140 characters?" LSE have produced a helpful guide Using Twitter in university research, teaching and impact activities.
These services offer a means of storing and sharing citations, and facilitate academic networking. Citeulike and Mendeley are two of the best known resources of this type.
To use or not to use social media
For advice on the use of social media, read Social Media: a guide for researchers, produced by the Research Information Network.
Vitae have produced a Handbook of social media for researchers and supervisors and run social media events for researchers. More information from Vitae can be found via Digital Researcher.
There is also a useful JISC resource: Web2Practice: emergent technologies and innovative practice.
For more ideas about how social media technologies can help you, try this online guide to Web 2.0 for researchers, developed at Newcastle University for Arts and Humanities researchers, for some useful tips.