Why I've started a research blog

In this blog post I share my thinking behind why I decided to develop this website about my research.

Why I've started a research blog
Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters / Unsplash

What's the plan?

My aim for this website is to publish a weekly blog post on my research and for the website to hold a collection of my research outputs including software, data and methods.

What will the blog posts be about?

The blog posts will be about all aspects of my research including:

  • Descriptions of my latest papers, software, data and methods
  • How-to tutorials about Open Research techniques
  • Book and paper reviews which relate to my current research interests
  • Interim results and 'lessons learned' from my current funded research projects
  • And more...

Why do this?

Firstly, I think this will be useful for me to docment my thinking behind my research. Why did I choose to write a particular piece of software and why did I choose to structure it in a particular way? Why did a write a paper on a certain topic and how is this useful to others? What were the main points I learned from reading a book and how will this apply to my research going forward? What's the latest progress on a research project and what's the next steps?

In traditional research outputs such as journal papers it is often not possible to document these wider questions and inner thinking and doing so will, I believe, help me to frame and plan my future research efforts.

Secondly, I'm a big avocate of Open Research and I like to create and share useful research techniques and content with others. For example, I've recently learned how to use LaTeX and I think it is an excellent, reproducible way of writing research outputs. By writing a blog post about this I can share my experiences and maybe inspire others to give it a try.

Will anyone read it?

I can promote the blog posts on LinkedIn and Twitter and they may receive views that way. But more useful for me is that the blog posts will be act as resources that I can refer others to. So if someone asks me 'how does LaTeX work?' or 'how do you use LaTeX?' I can provide them with links to my blog posts which will describe how I use the software, my thoughts on why it is a good Open Research tool, the LaTeX templates that I use, and links to further resources that I have found useful.