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Upcoming training

HDR candidates interested in publishing should also check out these upcoming workshops.


Get on the Fast Track

Impact is the current buzzword in research. As well as finding funding, doing research, and publishing their findings, hard-pressed researchers are now expected by governments and funders to demonstrate that their research has delivered a benefit to society.

While impact has traditionally been measured through metrics like the h-index, or by getting published in prestigious journals like Nature, evidence of real world impact is now what is wanted. For example:

— Is the research a "breakthrough"?
— Has it translated into changes to procedures, practices, protocols, policies?
— Has it resulted in new laws, new protections, new businesses?

Professor Mark Reed's Fast Track Impact aims to teach researchers how to devise and share strong impact stories. The site is brimming with "how tos", templates, podcasts, videos, and short pieces arranged by topic such as "I want more impact online", or "I want to influence policy". There is material to support grant-writing, and you can take some of the free online courses.

Because the site is written by academics, for academics, you can learn a lot in a short time. Any researcher wanting to build a solid profile will find something useful here, such as assessing whether your online presence is serving you well. Though the site is British, paid training is on offer for Australian researchers.

What's New

  • Skills for data-intensive science
    With the majority of research now data-driven, the need for specific digital and other skills in the research workforce is being recognised worldwide. A new OECD report outlines a strategy to develop the kind of workforce required to support data-driven research. You can download the full report, entitled Building digital workforce capacity and skills for data-intensive science. The scale to measure digital competence across five key areas will be useful for organisations and indviduals alike.

  • Skills for open, reproducible science
    Also just out of the blocks, and covering a similar area, is this recent report from the European Union. Digital skills for FAIR and Open Science: Report from the EOSC Executive Board Skills and Training Working Group sets out the working group's four priorities:
    1. Developing the next generation of FAIR and open science professionals
    2. Collaborating to enhance digital skills for FAIR and open science in Europe
    3. Building a trusted and long-lasting and trusted knowledge hub of learning and training resources and related tools
    4. Influencing national open science policy for skills by supporting strategic leaders

    Organisations can use the report to measure how they are faring, and what skills might still need to be developed.

Hot Topics

Researching Indigenous issues?

The Sensitive Data Community of Practice are hosting an online meeting at 11 am AEST on 17 March about the 2020 AIATSIS Code of Ethics for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research. This talk would be invaluable for anyone conducting research into Indigenous issues. More information, including how to register, is available at the event website.

CSIRO moving to 'open'

The CSIRO has now published an Open Access Position Statement. In part, the statement says: "CSIRO is committed to enabling Open Access to its research outputs (for research outputs to be distributed online, free of cost or other access impediments). This is consistent with the policy intent of the Australian Government's Open Access initiatives to increase access to publicly funded information." Find out what this means for researchers hoping to publish in CSIRO journals.

Nectar cloud forum for users

Users of the virtual Nectar Research Cloud are invited to a two-hour User Forum on 31 March, starting at 10.30 am AEDT. Users can share input and feedback on their cloud usage, and will be invited to comment on the future directions of the service and identify service improvements they would like to see. Forums like these foster skills transfer and help create a community space for cloud users to share experiences.

Top Tip

At almost any stage, HDR candidates will benefit from looking at theses written by other people in their field. Theses can provide a lot of information about layout, structure, language, literature reviews, and research methods. Use our Library guide to find theses.

What you might have missed on the blog

  • Getting help with publishing
    The Library is offering two upcoming workshops specifically for HDR candidates who want to publish:

    • Publishing during your PhD is a workshop for Early- and Mid-Candidature Higher Degree Researchers (HDRs). Offered each intake period, the first session on 31 March, 2021 runs from from 12 – 2 pm.

    • Navigating the Publishing Maze is a workshop for Early- and Late-Candidature HDRs who are ready to publish. Offered twice in 2021, the first session on 7 April runs 1 – 3 pm.

    • Find out more, including how to register for these events.

  • The Body in 3D images
    The library now provides access to the Visible Body, a set of 3-D images for use by students and in teaching. The collection includes 3D illustrations, MRI scans, cadaver images, and animations, including Physiology Animations, a video reference atlas with 3D animations showcasing core physiology and common conditions. Find out more.

  • Change the channel(opathy)
    In this latest of our Q&A series with researchers, Dr Linlin Ma, a molecular biologist and electrophysiologist working across the School of Environment and Science and GRIDD, talks about her research on the gating properties and functional features of interested ion channels in related pathological settings. Dr Ma in working on Parkinson's Disease, and believes that when choosing research, or a research career, "interest is the best teacher". Read the complete interview.
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