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Research management

How to... guides for researchers

Whatever your discipline, managing the day-to-day aspects of your research is a challenge. Get practical advice, tips and strategies to help secure the resources and develop the skills you need to manage your research project more effectively.

How to...use Twitter for academic research

Twitter has, slightly unfairly, gained a reputation for being lightweight: divorce spats, daily life minutiae, too-much-detail etc. Yet not withstanding, some tweets contain important information, and Twitter is used widely in most professions. For academics who engage with social media, it has become a valuable tool to help build both their network and their reputation, as well as to provide data. This article will examine ways in which Twitter can be used as a research aid, to network and to promote oneself and one

How to... use search engines effectively

The perfect search engine does not exist. Not only is information increasing exponentially, but search behaviour is becoming ever more demanding. So, at the point when theoretical perfection is achieved, another layer of information becomes available, and people find new ways to search. This is good news for the developers of search engines, but for the rest of us, it's as difficult to keep abreast of developments in search engines as it is those in Web 2.0 applications. This article is an attempt to summarize some recent trends.

How to... use digital tools for research

Over the last ten years there has been an explosion of digital tools which can store, search and retrieve information. Digital technology offers the potential to hold and structure data in a more systematic way, combining and integrating data sets so that it is possible to cut through information overload, yielding greater understanding about ourselves, and the possibility for more targeted, relevant and cost-effective policymaking.

How to develop research with impact

All researchers want their research to have impact – on other scholars, and on the world at large. Impact is also important for achieving tenure, promotion, merit rises, grants – and all the other enticing apples on the research tree. But what is impact, and how is it – and should it – be measured? This article explores these questions, along with criticisms of, and alternatives to, the most "accepted" ways of measuring research impact.

How to... use social software tools for research

Researchers are using increasingly sophisticated tools to enable them to work more easily and productively; and it is gradually being realized that an appropriate electronic infrastructure, which can store data, facilitate collaboration and generally support research processes, is as important to researchers as it is to good libraries. This infrastructure is often referred to as a virtual research environment, or VRE. This article looks at some examples of VREs and other research tools, and trends in their use.

How to... find the right statistics resources

This section will point you in the direction of books and websites on statistics. Note that these resources are not reviewed in the formal sense in that we do not attempt to make a qualitative judgement. We indicate the provenance (which should itself give you an idea of their quality) and coverage of websites, and, in the case of books, give bibliographic details and brief descriptions of their approach.

How to... write a grant application

Because each proposal is unique, there is no one correct way to write one. What follows is a series of pointers, which should be read in conjunction with the particular advice given by the body from whom you are seeking funds.

How to... select a funding body

Applying for research funding is an increasingly complex, time-consuming and competitive business. For those who have entered academic life because they want to extend the frontiers of knowledge, it must be an irksome task.

How to... prepare a proposal for a research degree

These pages look at how to prepare a proposal for a research degree, probably but not exclusively a PhD. PhD proposals have particular requirements which differ from those pertaining to other research situations, and they provide both a way of ensuring that the university matches the student's needs, and also a guidance document which will give shape and substance to the ensuing research.

How to... give a research presentation

Giving a presentation about your research is a very important skill for an academic. You will need to do it when defending your PhD, when outlining your current research at a job interview, when doing a presentation on your research at a conference, and when describing the research which you are hoping that a potential funder will provide funds for you. In these pages we'll focus on the elements of a good presentation about your research for a job interview, conference or to influence a potential funder.

How to... collaborate effectively

This guide aims to give you some hints and tips for collaborating on research and development projects. It doesn't deal with how to find partners in the first place – we assume you have got that far. It's about the nuts and bolts of the collaborating process.

How to... conduct research ethically

Ethical issues are assuming increasing importance in research, with most research proposals – even at undergraduate level – needing to be subject to their university's ethics committee and follow a particular code. This guide looks at what constitutes ethics in the context of management and social research, before exploring the various issues that come up throughout the research, from gaining access to an organization to disseminating the results.

How to... design a research study

You have chosen your research topic and refined your research question. Still very much at the planning stage, you must now decide which research techniques to employ. Here we detail the most common – what are they, how are they used and which are most suitable for your particular study?

How to... find ideas for your research

With advice for undergraduate dissertations, PhD and post-PhD research, a well-focused research project with a strong rationale should pass the "so what" test at all stages, including when you are seeking to publish...

How to... manage the research process

Overwhelmed by your research? You can make the process easier by applying the techniques of project management. Here we look at the particular characteristics of research which make it different from other projects, up-front planning and ongoing monitoring, and working with partners and funding bodies.