Researching in Community

Yesterday, the library, lead by the research experts, held a session that focused on organizing one’s research. There were many helpful ideas and tips given[1].

One aspect that stuck out to me and was confirmed in conversation afterwards is the community aspect of helping each other in the scholarly endeavor. Three people presented and each approached their research organization in vastly different ways. Admittedly, each one stated that they are always refining and improving on their methods. There was also time for others to ask questions, clarify, and even offer some of their own thoughts.

A lot of producitivity tips and tricks exist out there. Some are more helpful than others[2]. Many try to provide a comprehensive systems saying this is the way you should do it. Everyone thinks and works in vastly different ways. What works for one person will not necessarily work for another. I think that sometimes we get caught up trying to find the perfect system out there for us and just follow that. This is fool’s gold because no one person works the same way. By entering into conversations with other aspiring and solidified scholars[3] about how they work and get things done we can build up and assist each other making each one a better academic.

So I guess the point of this post is find something that works for you and use that as a base. Don’t be afraid to modify it and try different things. Be in conversation with others to open up different ideas of how to research and write better. We are all in this together. Recognize that scholarship should be a community enterprise. Learn from others and share you insights with others as well. You never know who you will be helping out.

As a side note. One reason I did the Evernote for Academics series was to provide a helpful model in some of the ways that I work and that I’ve seen others work. From conversations with others I have heard that it has sparked their own way of doing research that is vastly different than models I proposed. This is great and I would like to see more of these conversations like the one that happened in the library occur throughout my time doing scholarship. We’re all in this together.


  1. If you are in Louisville when a workshop is offered I highly recommend that you attend, as I have attended several and always find them very helpful.  ↩

  2. Hopefully mine are helpful but I’ll let you be the judge of that  ↩

  3. This reminds me of Southern’s 1892 Club, which meets every Wednesday to enter into a conversation with another scholar. It generally ends with asking questions on one’s writing practice. This is another way that by freely sharing what has helped us sparks motivation and better ways to write for others.  ↩