I recently gave a quick presentation on quick tips and tools to boost research and productivity. I sent out an email to the Maastricht University work and social department faculty and asked them for their suggestions for tools and tips that they think their colleagues don’t know of that can help boost research and productivity. I got back quite a few replies, and most of the suggestions were generally well-known but there were a few surprises in there. I added those to my own list, grouped it into themes, and made some slides.
The presentation is available on SlideShare and embedded here:
Below is the list of tips and tools, grouped by topic. Do share in the comments below if you have other suggestions.
Increase visibility – How?
- Update your university profile page.
- Create a Google Scholar profile.
- Join ResearchGate, follow related others.
- Join Twitter.
- Even better – create your own website (it’s easier than you think) – WordPress.com / Wix.com
- Update your publications (for scholars)
- Update your news mentions (for laypersons)
- There are some who can create it for you – http://www.sciencesites.org/ (sometimes free)
Keeping up to date – Twitter
Why? finding & communicating with other scholars (see who I follow: https://twitter.com/mgto_org/following, e.g. the open-science/replication/stats people – Daniël Lakens @Eindhoven – @lakens, Brian Nosek – @BrianNosek, Uri Simonsohn – @uri_sohn)
A good way to find news about:
- Workshops (e.g., attended a few I heard of through Twitter)
- Working papers (e.g., started a collaboration after seeing a paper)
- Datasets (e.g., WVS, OSF-based)
- Grants (e.g., Small Grants in Behavioral Economics)
- Conference updates
- New tools and scripts
- Open positions (even some unofficial openings)
Keeping up to date – Blogs to follow
You might want to use an RSS reader – Been using the good olf Feeddemon since forever, but it’s no longer supported there are newer better services out there.
Following others’ research
- Google scholar with email updates
- Research Gate
- Journal email alerts
- Mailing lists
Workflow: Setup a research Wiki / diary
Why? (my example: http://wiki.mgto.org)
- Organize your research
- Easily share materials with others (code? ideas?)
- Easier to collaborate with others
How? Dokuwiki, takes 5 minutes to install on a webserver
Some simple article ideas
Ran out of ideas for projects? Students need a project? Low on funding? Here are some simple ideas either for you or to give your masters/PhD students
- Clear the lab’s file-drawer. (e.g., Oxytocin)
- Report your null findings.
- Short reviews (~3000 words) of your area at Frontiers, Current Opinion in Psychology, Social and Personality Psychology Compass, etc.
- A well-powered pre-registered replication.
- A Meta-Analysis (requires longer time, but does not require financial resources)
Storing data / pre-registration /replications
- Research projects: Open science framework
- Code: Github
- Easier pre-registration – As predicted (explained here)
- Tracking replication work: curatescience.org
- MTurk + Turk Prime
- Facebook advertising – can target hard to find populations.
- [And Qualtrics, ofcourse, for running surveys. Nothing else comes close.]
- Time to switch to R, use RStudio, and consider R Commander if you’re a newbie
- If you’re into dialog boxes, consider JASP (open source easy Bayesian stats) instead of SPSS
Before you submit your article
Simple powerful tools to proof your submissions:
- Check your stats – Statscheck
- Check your grammar – Grammarly
- Check your citations – Reciteworks
- Check your p-curve
Essential Chrome extensions
- Scihub bookmarklet
- Altmetrics it – keep track of media mentions
- Google Scholar Button
- EZ Proxy – has Maastricht University
Backup your work in real-time!
- I automatically sync to Mega-sync (50gb free)
- My old university gave all students and alumni 1-TB onedrive business account, where I store photos and large datasets.
- You only need one software for all syncs: use Odrive Syncs: GoogleDrive, Dropbox, OneDrive, S/FTP, Facebook, Instagram, etc. etc. (Tip: S/FTP means you can automatically backup your Wiki & website)
Storing confidential materials
Datasets with confidential information need to be safe.
Take charge of your email Academic email handling
- Forward all incoming emails from all academic accounts to one designated Google Mail account.
- We move between institutions / joint appointments / academic roles
- Better functionality (POP3/IMAP/mobile-sync, search,contacts, calendar, etc.)
Things to consider: Confidentiality (students).
Looking for an academic job?
The work psyc/OB job-market Excel. The OB folks have created an amazing view of the academic job market:
I wish we had something similar in psychology and other fields.
- The very simple Cite This For Me addon.
- People mentioned using Zotero or Mendeley.
- Others mentioned JabRef
Any others? comment below…