Saturday, 14 June 2014

Call for contributors to A Book of Blogs – blurring the boundaries, using social media for social research

We've been thinking a lot at #NSMNSS about what types of activities the network should support next. One idea we've been ruminating on for a while is creating a volume of crowdsourced blogs on the impact social media are having on social science research methods. (We are also supporting the development of a new Sage Handbook of Social Media Research Methods which many network members will be contributing to but this is on a longer time-span and will be published in a more traditional way.)

We got the idea for this from David De Souza (@dds180) and his hugely successful HR book of blogs Humane, Resourced which topped the best seller nonfiction business charts last year. We want to try and replicate this success and believe it will be a great showcase for network members to share their experiences and views about social media research with a wider audience. The broad idea is to reach 100+ pages of content collected from a  multitude of contributors from across the social science world, in the UK and elsewhere. In the spirit of the network this will be a crowd sourced, digitally published volume.

Our best guess at the moment is approximately 50 contributors giving one blog each of 3 pages each = 150 pages of insight & personal   reflections.

The theme of the book is how are social media blurring the boundaries of conventional research methods and practice? You can write about your experiences of using social media for research, new tools or methods you've used/developed or more conceptually about the challenges or opportunities shifting methodologies present to us as researchers. Give us a case study or not... Tell us how using new approaches improved or complicated your project... how you present your ideas or reflections is up to you. We're also interested in how the research community is developing it's capacity for using these approaches so if you want to write about teaching social media methods hop on board too!
Once we can see the content coming in we'll try to organise the volume thematically.

The rules/guidelines/principles for anyone interested in contributing are below - See the following blogpost for detailed instructions on contributing - 
  • It must be your own work, if you use diagrams, images they must be free to use & respect copyright. 
  • You can contribute one or two blogs. No more. We're hoping to get to 50 blogs, more if more authors come forward.
  • It can be new material or an old favourite. Just be sure to write within the overall theme. If you've already published a blog on the #NSMNSS blog or other blogs then we're happy for you to review, revise and submit an old favourite
  • You don’t have to be a regular blogger, this could be your first or your hundredth blog
  • You can be as provocative as you like, but anything offensive won’t make the cut.  Also you don't have to be 'fan' of digital social research, we're interested in blogs questioning these approaches too.
  • You don't need to be an established 'name' we're interested in blogs from people at all stages of their research careers.
  • We want the book to be interdisciplinary so don't feel constrained or excluded if you come from a non-social science background or context. We're positively encouraging blogs which look at interdisciplinary work and welcome co-authored blogs
  • The book needs to be accessible so please write for a wide audience with varying levels of technical expertise and practical experience, if you are writing about complex methodologies or philosophy include links for less experienced readers to explore other resources on the subject
The book is being sponsored by the #NSMNSS network but it is a voluntary self funded project so there'll be no payment for contributions and editorial support will be limited.

We hope (and expect) that we don’t have a cut to make. We're assuming the average blog will be about 1000 words long – a bit longer or shorter is fine, but we won’t publish a paragraph or a long treatise – unless they are really good ;-) if we do have to make a cut we'll talk to potential contributors about a fair way of doing that.

We aren't planning on a protracted editing process but we will offer to review your draft blog for you and make suggestions, give constructive feedback. We're looking for volunteers to form an editorial support group to provide informal feedback, let us know if you're up for that.

The book will be self-published as a digital volume, and distributed electronically. We are planning to make a small charge for the final volume (we're thinking less than £5) any proceeds will go towards supporting #NSMNSS network events in the coming 12 months. The main focus and goal of the book is about is about sharing knowledge, showcasing some great work and not about making money. It’s about giving people a chance to express new ideas, share what they've learnt and challenge accepted orthodoxies of research practice. It’s about creating a volume of interesting perspectives from a new and developing field of social research.

How to join in? If you are interested please let us know in the comments section below or email nsmnss@natcen.ac.uk

Once you are signed up just get writing. We'll let you know more about the  process for collation in the next month, we'll collate blogs over the next eight weeks and publish within the next three months.

If something is worth doing it is worth doing quickly.

Hope to hear from you – and we're accepting proposals for titles too! Please share this widely and let your fellow researchers know, the more the merrier!

You can read more guidance for contributors here.

The #NSMNSS team

With special thanks to David for showing us the ropes and providing the initial inspiration. You can read David's blog here

34 comments:

  1. You can use this space to tell us you're interested in contributing:

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    1. Project sounds fabulous. Happy to contribute.

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  2. Fantastic idea, I'd be more than happy to contribute,

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    1. That's great Donna, get writing and we'll let you know how to send in your contribution in a couple of weeks.

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  3. Interesting, would like to explore a contribution I could make.

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    1. Hi Anand, you can drop us an email or DM us @nsmnss on Twitter and we can talk more, thanks.

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  4. Fantastic idea, happy to contribute!

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    1. Excellent welcome aboard Deborah, more info in the next few weeks on how to upload your contribution etc.

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  5. Pick me, pick me!

    drmelthomson.wordpress.com @dr_mel_thomson pozible.com/hips4hipsters (current, may fail) pozible.com/mightymaggots (previous success)

    Crowd funding medical research science....!

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    1. Great, get writing and we'll let you know how to submit in the next few weeks.

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    2. Hi Mel are you still interested? Do tweet us if you are.

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  6. This sounds great - I look forward to this coming out already.

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  7. Glad to hear you like the idea, we'll update progress here so do pop back.

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  8. Hello everyone, I would love to support the Book of Blogs with informal editorial support. Cheers, Sandy @Sandy_Research

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  9. What an interesting idea that could really help to expand our understanding of #NSMNSS. Let me know if you'd like another contribution; happy to assist.

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    1. If you;d like to contribute something email us to get a logion nsmnss@natcen.ac.uk

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  10. Yes, I'd love to contribute. I've been running my sociology/politics blog off and on for knocking on eight years. I think I have something to say about blogging as a dissemination tool, academic voice, reflective diary, etc.

    Cheers,
    Phil (@philbc3)

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  11. Great idea - very happy to contribute based on using social media to research the wine industry, the benefits of using social media in research generally and also around teaching social media research methods

    Sarah
    #quinton_digital
    www.sarahquinton.co.uk

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    1. Great drop us an email Sarah to get a login nsmnss@natcen.ac.uk

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  12. Sounds like a great idea...room for a physical educator?

    @DrAshCasey

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    1. Do srop us an email if you;re interested in contributing nsmnss@natcen.ac.uk

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  13. is it restricted to 'social research' - why not broaden out a bit? lots of transferable experience/knowledge

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    1. Hi there, we wanted it be a book to reflect the interests of our research network feel free to submit something you think would have transferable value, we are looking at blurring boundaries but it must relate to research methods and social media.

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  14. Great idea. Would love to contribute. I've been doing some work on using SM to study consumer behaviour. Would that be relevant?

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    1. Hi Ana, we're a very broad network of social scientists so market research is relevant if you have a methods/ practitioner viewpoint, it's not aiming to be a book looking at research findings but instead the experience of socme research.so if that fits go for it.

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    2. Yes, it would be about the experience of using SM to study consumers, not about the actual findings.

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  16. Would love to contribute, what is the timeline?

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  17. Hello. I've written a post on doing a digital doctorate - would that be of interest: http://younghealthparticipation.com/2014/04/04/the-digital-doctorate-one-postgraduate-researchers-virtual-journey/? Also blog about my research and on steering group for NIHR INVOLVE project on using SM to involve the public in health & social care research

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