Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The world of academics

You know when you take research classes at uni and they ask you to look at a published research paper and find all the flaws in it? I'm pretty sure I did that activity in research subjects as part of my psychology degree, and again when I studied librarianship.

Anyway, today I found myself doing a very similar thing at work, for real. I've become a 'research librarian' and what that meant today was that I joined a committee of academics (all of them with PhDs) and we looked over and discussed research proposals from other academics, looking quite closely at the proposed design, methodology, research instruments and so on.

I didn't participate much in this meeting, and actually felt a bit overwhelmed by it all (it was my first meeting with them!), but it was so interesting to see the research process from this angle, and to start to become aware of the some of the many steps involved in getting research from conception to published.

After the meeting, one of the other participants asked what I thought of it. I replied honestly and said it was all a bit over my head at this stage! It was the right thing to say because we ended up having a really good chat and I ended up feeling ok about the fact that it will take time to settle in to this role, to find my place in the team, and see just what I can contribute.