Digital Habits

What I have tried to gather here is a set of digital habits or ways of working. Some of these I use routinely, others are included because they are worth having a look at. This is very much a matter of my sharing some ideas with you and hopefully, you can make use of what I offer as a kicking off point for you. And, more importantly, I hope you will contribute ideas to these pages as your experience grows.

Working in any postgraduate course you will need to read a lot of material. It will come in many different forms but the main ones tend to be books, or sections of books and journal articles. There may also be reports, newspaper articles and pages on web sites that you may read and want to make use of in your writing tasks. This is the information you keep in the 2nd notebook. A key part of being able to make use of an article or a quote or a part of a document on a web page is being able to reference it1 accurately and consistently.

There are a number of options you have here. You can opt for a very low tech. solution and simply keep the reference in the appropriate format (we will use APA 6th) in a word processor file and copy and paste as you need to. There is not a lot of flexibility in working like this but I know a number of academics who use this method. It's not a good idea to hand write references. Copying and pasting is always safer and less prone to error.

As I suggested in the notes in Module 1, how you work with digital resources is a matter of choice. I think there are clear advantages in using some of the software and techniques I will describe but it is very much a matter of you deciding what to try and to see how useful it is for your purposes.

Broadly speaking there are three broad types of task that you need to think about:

There is more detail about these ideas at a site called the research kitchen. The kitchen was set up as a resource for research students in education. It came out of the ideas and way of working contained in the early version of this wiki.