Working with figshare

figsharekgI recently added 27 items to figshare, which is an excellent repository for storing your research outputs.

Outputs can include figures, datasets, media, papers, posters, presentations and filesets.

A lovely thing about this set up, is that figshare attaches a DOI (digital object identifier) to each item. This helps to make all the items capable of citation, and easy to share. Because each item has its own DOI, you can also “altmetric it”, using the Altmetric Bookmarklet. This can reveal whether the item has been shared on social media and online citation managers.

I think it is possible to use figshare for blog posts too. For example, you could save a blog post as a PDF file, upload it to figshare as a “paper”, and tag it as “blog”, together with other relevant tags. It is true that you can already cite a blog post with reference to its URL, but I’m wondering if attaching the post to a DOI might prove to be a more durable form of referencing for research purposes? See C. Titus Brown’s blog post (and the comments attached to it) for an interesting discussion about this last point.

I will be adding more materials to my figshare profile.

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PleagleTrainer tries Pinterest

I was inspired by a post from the Social Media Research Collective blog to try out Pinterest. Click the image below to see my efforts from 1 hour’s work:

PleagleTrainer on Pinterest I’ve just collated some of my own work so far, so this is only a bit of self-curation. But in doing this I can easily understand how Pinterest could be a useful research and data sharing tool. I commend the Social Media Collective’s blog post to you, it shares excellent insights about using this tool.

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#alta2014 presentation: PLT Practitioners: Soldiers for Vocationalism, or Double Agents?

alta2014Feel free to view my ALTA 2014 Prezi.

This presentation extends on some previous work around my PhD research.
I question ways in which social structures are inscribed into legal education practices, and conversely, whether practices can modify those structures. I argue PLT practitioners are not simply soldiers for a “vocationalist” strategy. Instead, I re-imagine PLT practitioners as “double agents” or “resistance fighters”, lamplighters in a still emergent professional trajectory. It is a trajectory catalysed by the 1970s introduction of institutional PLT; just a baby really, in the context of English common law.

In Bourdieu’s terms it is possible, by revisiting past struggles in Australian legal education, to conceptualise institutional PLT as the product of judicial, professional, and academic struggles to produce a vocationalised, non-academic, and critique-free sub-field within the juridical field. Those struggles succeeded, to some extent, in the extra-individual dimension of structures, regulation, and institutions, to collectively inculcate preferred dispositions within individuals about legal education and professional identity.

That account, however, ignores the potential for agency and alterity – the ways in which individuals might appropriate, in Certeau’s terms, the resources of the legal field to explore new professional trajectories. For some, these trajectories involve struggles to enrich, and add texture to, legal education. Drawing on interviews with PLT practitioners, I identify multi-vocal and multi-perspectival themes, including notions of social justice, equality, professional ethics, personal improvement, and indeed, interest in scholarship of teaching and learning.

It is in this sense I re-imagine PLT practitioners as “double agents”, operating betwixt and between dominant domains in law. In my view, PLT practitioners can participate in conceptualising and developing emergent approaches in legal education, and to theorise “practice” as lawyers and educators. Scholarship of teaching and learning has its part to play in this. It provides a means, as lawyers and as educators, to discover information, to reflect, critique, communicate, and conceptualise, insights about “practice” and practices.

I hope to publish an article based on the presentation later this year.

 

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What I’m talking about at #ALTA2014 next week

alta2014Next week, at #ALTA2014, I will talk about how PLT is “enclosed” by discursive operations that constrain scholarly activities of PLT practitioners around their teaching and learning work. I suspect this constraint impedes theory and practice about “practice”, in legal professional education and training.

I question ways in which social structures are inscribed into legal education practices, and conversely, whether practices can modify those structures. I argue PLT practitioners are not simply soldiers for a “vocationalist” strategy. Instead, I re-imagine PLT practitioners as “double agents” or “resistance fighters”, lamplighters in a still emergent professional trajectory. It is a trajectory catalysed by the 1970s introduction of institutional PLT; just a baby really, in the context of English common law.

In Bourdieu’s terms it is possible, by revisiting past struggles in Australian legal education, to conceptualise institutional PLT as the product of judicial, professional, and academic struggles to produce a vocationalised, non-academic, and critique-free sub-field within the juridical field. Those struggles succeeded, to some extent, in the extra-individual dimension of structures, regulation, and institutions, to collectively inculcate preferred dispositions within individuals about legal education and professional identity.

That account, however, ignores the potential for agency and alterity – the ways in which individuals might appropriate, in Certeau’s terms, the resources of the legal field to explore new professional trajectories. For some, these trajectories involve struggles to enrich, and add texture to, legal education. Drawing on interviews with PLT practitioners, I identify multi-vocal and multi-perspectival themes, including notions of social justice, equality, professional ethics, personal improvement, and indeed, interest in scholarship of teaching and learning.

It is in this sense I re-imagine PLT practitioners as “double agents”, operating betwixt and between dominant domains in law. In my view, PLT practitioners can participate in conceptualising and developing emergent approaches in legal education, and to theorise “practice” as lawyers and educators. Scholarship of teaching and learning has its part to play in this. It provides a means, as lawyers and as educators, to discover information, to reflect, critique, communicate, and conceptualise, insights about “practice” and practices.

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Qualitative Data Analysis Strategies, in Concept Maps

I’m presenting a peer-to-peer session today on some NVivo techniques, and in the course of my preparations rediscovered these concept maps I made when reading Corbin, JM & Strauss, AL 2008, Basics of qualitative research: Techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory, 3rd edn, Sage Publications, Inc, Thousand Oaks, California.

I’ve “SlideShared” the maps and posted them here, because I think they’re quite useful when thinking about qualitative data analysis.

Let me know what you think?

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Using Scrivener with NVivo

Scrivener is a very lovely app for drafting lengthy or complex documents. I’ll be honest – I love it. Regular followers of this blog will know that I also work with NVivo, computer-aided qualitative data analysis software.

I’ve made a short presentation about using Scrivener and NVivo together:

Let me know what you think.

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Retreat! Writing and Reflection by the Surf Coast

Warrnambool This week I am spending four days in retreat at Deakin University’s Warrnambool City Centre with 20 other PhD candidates and academics, led by Professor Trevor Gale. The group, known as “The Warrnambool Collective”, meets at least annually to focus on writing and research around “practice”. Most, not all, who attend are affiliated with Arts and Education. Each day begins at 9.00 a.m. with a “shut up and write” session that runs until we break for lunch at 1.00 p.m. After lunch there are streamed and plenary sessions, presentations, and discussions until 5.00 p.m. I am very fortunate to be included in this event (prompted by my thesis supervisor, Dr Julianne Lynch), and this year is my second visit to the retreat.

As a full-time PhD candidate, I’ve spent much of the last two years researching and writing alone. Indeed, over the last 15 years I’ve engaged in study of some sort, and I’ve become accustomed to the solitary nature of the work, with brief intense interactions at conferences or seminars. One of the things striking for me about the retreat is how the solidarity of quiet collective writing, the awareness of minds and bodies around you engaged in constructing and reflecting on texts, comforts, succours and encourages me. I am reminded that I am not alone, that I’m part of a larger quest. By itself, this activity is a powerful product of the retreat.

The afternoon sessions include presentations by PhD candidates about their work (at different stages of candidature), provide multi-perspectival insights about how individuals grapple with, and resolve, theoretical and methodological issues. The senior academics are supportive and constructively critical, with a focus on problem-solving and knowledge-sharing. Chaired discussions on topics as simple as “how do you keep up with the literature?”, “how do we conceptualise “practice””, lift the lid on privately-held innovative practices and ideas that are sometimes startling in their simplicity, but substantially effective. The chance mention of a theorist, an article, a concept can catalyse fresh insights, fresh directions.

It is, as Trevor remarked on Day 1, an enormous privilege to have time, funding and personnel allocated to the retreat. And it pays off, with a review of the previous year’s event noting manifold conference papers, journal articles or book chapters commenced, advanced or completed during the retreat. As far as I am aware few, if any, retreats like this exists for those engaged in practical legal training or professional legal education in Australia.* I think this is a great pity. We need reflective and creative spaces within the field, not just “professional development” activities.

Sincere thanks to Deakin University and all involved for making this event possible.


* If you’re involved with such an event, invite me!

 

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Bibliometrics, #legaled and PLT

This is a quick aside regarding some research I’m doing at the moment. I am analysing 10 articles concerning PLT and scholarship of teaching and learning (“SoTL”), using bibliometrics. This includes looking at the citation counts for the articles, and for the items cited in the articles, together with the bibliometric tools supplied by Google Scholar, Web of Knowledge (Journal Citation Report), and Scopus (SCImago).

It would not be news to law school academics that legal education journals, and many law journals, do not rank highly in these bibliometric tools, if at all. The citation counts for articles engaging with SoTL in PLT are nearly non-existent (although it takes time for services like Google Scholar to pick these up). I’m interested in promoting SoTL in PLT, so I’m thinking about strategies to achieve this.

It seems that conventional bibliometric tools are not a lot of help when measuring impact, quality and engagement for these articles. I’m hoping my institution will connect to an altmetrics database so I can explore alternative tools. Because the articles are not appearing in the conventional databases, I’ve had to manually search for citations, journal rankings, etc – very tedious, but generative.

I find it interesting how publishing in or citing articles from interdisciplinary publications can improve citation counts for an articles. Those articles that tap into areas like psychology, ICT, or management/organisational studies appear more likely to be cited and shared.

I’m also interested how “mediatizing” scholarship and research through social media, SlideShare, YouTube, Prezi, etc can expedite dissemination – more on this later.

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Cheryl Reynolds’ simple explanation of Bourdieu’s field theory

Those familiar with my work likely know that I like a good visualisation. This is one reason why I like Cheryl Reynolds’ 2 minute explainer re Bourdieu’s field theory. I draw on Bourdieu’s sociological tools for my thesis. Do have a look at Cheryl’s YouTube video, it is nicely done.

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