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Thing 10: Exploring images online

In this blog post we have been asked to take a look at some common online image sharing platforms, namely; Flickr, Pinterest, and Instagram. 

Having never previously come across Flickr, I found it rather interesting; similarly to google images, its great to be able to find photos of any particular subject.  Searching 'Cast Iron' on Flickr, I could soon see many photos of Cast Iron cooking utensils, bridges and other structures; what I particularly like however is the location tag and photograph information section - as a very casual photographer my self (I have a digital camera, sometimes I try and shoot in manual...), its really helpful to be able to see the settings more experienced photographers have used to take a particular shot.

Regrettably, all the cast iron photos I saw were copyrighted with all rights reserved, none the less, I investigated 'The Commons' section of Flickr. Here, I found many more photos of cast iron structures and utensils, but a great deal of t…
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Thing 9: Exploring Wikipedia

This Thing is about exploring Wikipedia; many who are my age will have memories of losing marks in their coursework for referencing or even directly quoting a Wikipedia page on a particular subject, but its usefulness has not diminished.

Around 10 years ago, when I was finished my GCSE's, Wikipedia was known among my teachers as a generally useful but unreliable source of information about many things. In recent history this has changed slightly as the quality of articles has largely increased due to the sites increased popularity.

There are of course still some erroneous articles out there as pages can be edited by any one, but this is also one of its strengths; from academia, professionals can edit pages from a highly experienced point of view; from recent historical events, eye witnesses can testify to the truth of a situation, or add their own experience.

Overall, Wikipedia is a great source of introductory and sometimes very detailed information. One criticism of mine is that…

Thing 8: Creative commons licences

For this Thing we have been encouraged to research 'creative commons licences', denoted by (cc). These licences can take six main forms, but are all aimed at sharing work with less restriction than that given by the standard 'all rights reserved' (c).  If this symbol is shown with a creative work of any kind, it means that the work cannot be shared, modified or used for commercial gain without the express permission of the author.

The creative commons licence is rather different. It is designed to foster a culture of sharing creativity and nurturing collaboration. It does away with the prohibition of copying, using or even financially gaining from someone else work. But in order to offer some copyright safety, there are six major types of cc licence. Each specifies the ability or prohibition of being able to copy & publish, attribute, commercially gain from, modify & adapt, and change the licence of any creative works that you use. These are broken down really…

Thing 7: Reference management software - helpful or hindrance?

As the title suggest, this Thing is about the use of reference management software, and  I'll admit straight away that I've not really used any (other than the basic one integrated into Microsoft Word). Sadly, I don't have permissions on my work laptop to add any reference management software, so here I'll be discussing how I previously have, and currently do, sort out my references...

The basic referencing software  included in Microsoft Word is what I used throughout my undergraduate degree; it enables you at manually input citations, choose a referencing style (e.g. APA, Harvard, IEEE ...)  and then build a bibliography. Creating a reference in this tool isn't so bad when you only have a handful of references, but its a noticeably slow process when you're when you're trying to write a dissertation with a large amount of references. Fairly often, when merging documents (often at the last minute to make the 4pm Monday deadline), the references included in …

Thing 6: A short discussion about academic networking profiles

This Thing is about the use of academic networks such as ResearchGate, and Google Scholar. I've introduced my ResearchGate and accounts in a previous blog post (Thing 4), but should you wish to see them, here are the links:

ResearchGate profile & profile

I originally only made my accounts for the aforementioned networks because (I'll be honest...) we were asked to as part of a Research Methods course during my undergraduate degree. However, as a post-grad, I'm starting to understand their advantages. The ability to contact the authors of a particular paper, or view their most up to date research or academic activity, is really useful - and I've certainly benefited from numerous discussion threads on the sites where questions similar to those I'm having with my research, have been answered by very experienced researchers.

Sadly, I've no research to publish yet so I my pages are looking a bit thin, but in terms of exposur…

Thing 5: LinkedIn - a professional networking site

This thing is aimed at developing the our LinkedIn pages. Since my last post, I've actually spent quite some time sorting out my page, including adding a profile picture, banner, writing up-to-date descriptions of the work I'm involved in, and making some new connections!

I've found it really useful to make connections with companies I'm hoping to work with in my research, allowing me to see what the're currently up to.

I also modified my my URL, from: (followed by some crazy number...)


...much more appropriate for a business card.

Any way, that's it for this blog post. Many thanks for reading, here's a pretty cool photo of a red squirrel pretending to be a zombie! Photo by Demi-Felicia Vares on Unsplash

Thing 4: Our online presence

This post is about presenting ourselves online and in social media!

After searching my name in Google and Bing, I found that the most popular results are links to my Facebook,, LinkedIn and Research Gate page (in that order). After these, the results on Google are a two websites that mention my name; Pledge music, for supporting my second cousin Bex Pimenta in the release of her new EP, and Just Giving for taking part in a charity badminton tournament. On Bing, most pages are irrelevant; relating to people with a similar second name or first name. 
Overall this search has prompted me to update my Academia, LinkedIn and Research Gate pages. They still need a lot of work and since I've not published any research at the moment, they're pretty empty. Still, you can take a look at them if you'd like: Academia profileLinkedIn profile and Research Gate profile.

As part of the 23 Things program we're encouraged to join Twitter, if we haven't already. However…