Michael B. Duignan – the Olympic Researcher

Mike's research and teaching blog | @michaelbduignan |


January 2014

‘Becoming a Digital Scholar’ – 2014 programme launch!

25 January, 2014 – Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford Campus

'Becoming a Digital Scholar' (2014)

View the ‘Becoming a Digital Scholar’ programme Prezi here: 

Introduction to the programme (1  ½ hour) – Michael Duignan

Kicking off the ‘Becoming a Digital Scholar’ programme, for the first 60 minutes – we delve in to the nitty gritty of ‘why’. Why should the 21st Century PhD student, early-career or fully fledging academic even consider using digital tools and social media within their academic agenda. We explored how digital technology, is catalysing revolutionary changes in a wide range of industries – specifically including education, higher education and research, and what it means to be a truly open, networked and digital 21st century researcher (Weller, 2012). Opportunities, challenges are presented in ‘becoming digital’, alongside an exploration as to the types of social technology freely available to researchers – and in depth look as to how these opportunities can complement the more conventional, traditional routes of scholarly knowledge dissemination.


Workshop 1 – ‘Power of the blog’ (approx 1 ½ hours) – Michael Duignan

Blog’s have become in recent years one of the key tools of the digital academic (see Weller, 2012). Often as a source of research dissemination, space for teaching resources and as a tool for general reflection, blogs can provide a complete digital solution, where academic peers and public can gain a snapshot in to your academic profile, previous, current and future research activity. The workshop will run for approximately 1 ½ hours, and will introduce academics to the practicalities of the tool, functionality and will help you develop your own blog to take away by the end of the session.


Workshop 2 – “From pie charts to infographics. And back.” (approx 1 ½ hours) – Ricardo Carolas

The session aims at allowing participants to critically evaluate the way academic data may be presented.
We will start by looking at the work on visual communication pioneered by Otto Neurath (1936) and will try to understand how and when visualisation techniques may be appropriate to present academic data.
Scott Berinato (2013) has recently suggested that data visualisation should turn from being pretty to becoming pretty effective. Taking this notion on board, and by making use of a free online visualisation tool, participants will be made aware of the importance to conceptualising data into visual elements and how to turn pie charts into better visualisation tools.

Interested in joining the next ‘Becoming a Digital Scholar’ 2014 workshop? – email:

Thanks, Mike


British Library event – Doctoral Open Day: Digital Research (17 Jan, 2014)

Digital Research imageShare×

When: Fri 17 Jan 2014, 10.00 – 16.30

Where: Conference Centre, British Library

Price: £5

Book now for 17 Jan 2014

Over the last two decades the British Library has become a vast resource not only of physical objects, but of digital items. These data range from digitised text, sound, visual, and philatelic material, to born-digital collections of personal archives and web content. These data are transforming research, with new tools and computational techniques generating new discoveries and new understanding in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.

This event is a chance for PhD students to explore digital research methods and how they might be applied to the British Library’s digital collections. It’s a chance to experiment, learn about interesting research projects, and discuss the ways that using digital sources might affect your research. You’ll meet our expert staff and network with other researchers from across the UK.

The event is aimed at first year PhD students, or doctoral students who are new to digital research. Lunch and refreshments are included.

To make the most of your day, you may wish to get a free Reader Pass before the event.

A small number of £20 travel bursaries are available for students coming from outside Greater London. Email us to apply

Draft programme for the Digital Research Doctoral Open Day

Digital Scholarship 2014 – 10 simple social media tips in 10 winter’y weeks!

Digital Scholarship 2014 – 10 simple social media tips in 10 winter’y weeks!

Early this year (Jan – Feb 2014) I am going to plough plenty of energy  towards writing a number of short blogs aimed at developing digital literacy for PhD’s right through to senior academics. The idea is to create 10 very informal tips, every week on a specific theme that can be easily digested into the life of any academic – that will run alongside my ‘Becoming a Digital Scholar’ programme of physical workshops at Anglia Ruskin University in 2014.


Yep, you may be thinking, its not really my cup of tea. I haven’t got time. Academia does not need these non-traditional routes (e.g. Twitter, blogs, Flicker). But although the traditional routes of academia will not disappear anytime soon, the real-time opportunity to disseminate all the cool things are you research (and develop yourself as a global scholar) is becoming revolutionised by the advent of social and digital tools…!

Here is a snapshot of things i’ll be covering…

  • How ‘digital technology’ is changing the field of global academic scholarship
  • The complex options for being ‘social’
  • The power of the blog
  • Blurring the lines between personal and profession social networking – do’s and dont’s
  • Connecting your research data via ‘infographics’
  • Developing your online academic profile – tips and tools for networking!

The first one starts next Monday (13th Jan, 2014) and will be run for 10 winter’y weeks to get your digital literacy up to the top of the class!

Follow my blog for automatic updates, or just keep checking back here!! Hope to have you along…!

See you soon!
Mike – the Olympic Researcher

Seems like there is just an infinite of choices for ‘social networking’?

Baffled with all the many ‘social’ + ‘digital’ mechanisms out there for networking? You’ll probably be able to relate to this video!

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