August was taken up with conferences and time off with the family, so I decided to skip the usual monthly round up post and merge it with September’s. And, then, September flashed through, as well, with back to school matters, and dealing with various cold viruses and man-flu in the house.
Here are the highlights.
The problem of doing research on things relating to online and digital technology is that there is always new work being done and published. So, every now and then, I need to spend some time looking at what has been written in this field, and then reflect how it impacts on work that I am doing. That is what I did this September, when I decided to spend one day reading recent work about issues of information quality in the online environment because of my work on digital footprints… but, then, found so many papers, that I have now spent two days skimming through articles, and still have work to look at.
Most of the papers only reinforce what I already knew, and are valuable in the sense that they provide a recent take on the problem, or additional examples, or an application in a particularly interesting and/or relevant context for my work. But other papers bring new angles on the topic, and force me to rethink things that I have written, or the research frameworks that I am working with. And this is what happened this month, when I came across a body of work looking at information generated during crowdsourcing initiates.
I will not lie. This process generates some anxiety. Just when you think that you are about to cross the finish line with a particular paper… the finish line moves. Which makes it even more important to be able to focus on certain pieces of work, and move them quickly.
Interestingly, I had a very similar discussion with a PhD student, who is (understandably) feeling frustrated that he thought he had ‘closed’ his literature review chapter, only to find out that he will need to go back to it, and update it.
On another front, I have been trying to find papers looking at the development and workings of algorithms (from a non-technical perspective). So, if you come across anything relevant, let me know. It is not work about how algorithms are being used here and there – I have literature on that, already. Rather, it is about where those algorithms came from and the process by which they developed.
I am also working on a bid for a (very) small pot of money for the sentiment analysis work.
With all the travelling and family time, I did not get any substantive writing done. It was more about tidying up projects. For instance, I made the final set of revisions on the wearables paper, resubmitted it… and it has now been accepted and entered production stage. Yay.
I also worked on the report for the participants of the large research project on the digitalisation of SMEs. I ended up spending lots of time on the images and charts… the kind of stuff that we tend to under-estimate when we plan our writing time.
The last two months also saw the publication of the book ‘The Growing Business Handbook‘, for which Sarah, Tribi and I contributed a piece entitled “What makes a digital innovator?”. And Sarah and I also published a short piece on the LSE’s Impact of Social Sciences blog, about our work on research collaboration between universities and industry, where we outlined ‘Five practical principles to make it work’.
No teaching in August or September… but lots of teaching related work, such as:
- Marking and internal moderation for three modules
- Reports and other paperwork related to modules (e.g., grading reports)
- Preparing an assignment brief for students that need to resit a module
- Setting up an MBA module that would start at the beginning of October
- External examiner work
- Meetings with PhD students – in two cases, preparing for registration; in one case, working on the final manuscript.
- And lots and lots of work with the masters students working on their dissertations (12 of them!): reading, providing feedback, meetings, signing documents, and so on.
Conference season means opportunity to present your work and discuss it with your peers, but also means lots and lots of opportunities to learn from them. And I sure learned a lot at the AOM conference – I attended sessions on methodology (e.g., content analysis), pedagogy (e.g., use of storytelling in teaching) and professional development (e.g., international careers), as well as numerous presentations on exciting new research.
Over to you – what were the highlights of the last two months, for you?