Thing 17: Sharing Your Work

If you’ve done something involving critical thinking, creative work, or just something that you feel is well done, why not share it with others in the profession? Others gain the benefit of hearing your good ideas; and in the meantime, it’s an opportunity to generate the views of others in profession about your own work – so that you can make it even better.  
What do I have to share?
There are tools to share pretty much anything these days; we’ve already run a Thing about Collaborative tools, and of course you can always email friends and colleagues or participate on listservs. These are all valuable activities, no question.
There are ways to make your work as open as possible, however, so that there are no limits to the potential audience you might engage with your work. You might well have Powerpoint presentations, for example, that you would like to be open to as wide an audience as possible. If that’s the case, you could try to use Slideshare, for example. Once a standalone app, Slideshare is now branded as LinkedIn Slideshare, connected to the social network that has bought it up and which it is now connected with.
It’s very straightforward to use Slideshare, simply a matter of pressing Upload and then navigating to the document you want to share. Your presentation will be uploaded to a stable link that you can share across your social networks. Your audience will see your slides in an easy-to-use viewer that will nicely show off your work. You will need a LinkedIn account to be able to upload material to Slideshare at the moment, although the link where your presentation sits can be open to the public, i.e., your audience need not be on LinkedIn to see you work. 
If you would rather not sign up for LinkedIn to use Slideshare, there are free alternatives, including Authorstream.
Librarians as researchers and writers is an ongoing trend, and if you did have a piece of research that you wanted to share, you can join your research colleagues at ResearchGate, one of a few tools available for sharing your research work. It’s a place to upload and share your work, helping others to gain access to it, and offering a place to network with research peers. Of course, before uploading something published in a journal, don’t forget to check with your publisher’s expectations about what can be posted openly and what cannot. And, if you work for an institution with a publication repository, make sure not to leave them out of the loop!

OER Global logo, Jonathasmello / Wikimedia Commons
CC BY 3.0
If you are a teaching librarian, you might be interested in turning your lesson plans, learning activities, online modules, assessment activities or whatever else it is you are using for teaching materials into Open Educational Resources (OERs). There are a couple of good resource banks that you can contribute to. One is the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy Sandbox. A resource created after the publication of the recent Framework, the Sandbox is openly available to avail of the resources that have been posted there. If you want to contribute, you will need to open an account. The same is the case if you would like to contribute an OER to the UK-based Jisc Store.
Sounds interesting; but what if I'm not quite 'there' yet?

It is entirely possible, of course, that at the current juncture, you don’t yet have any work that you have put into a format that is available to share – like a Powerpoint presentation or published paper! Opportunities to get your ideas out to your colleagues are out there, and seem at any rate to be proliferating. No matter what sector you are working in, professional organisations will frequently put together conferences and seminars to attend, with lots of options in terms of different styles of presentations to deliver – with the trend towards shorter talks, like 10 minute lightning talks, or more casual show and tells. The WRSLAI’s winter and summer networking events are just two examples!
Of course the number of journals that one could submit a paper to is nearly endless. If submitting to a more academic journal seems overly daunting (and it probably seems pretty daunting to most of us!) consider dropping in a report to a more solidly practitioner-oriented publication like An Leabharlann. There are also collaborative blogs that publish a wide range of writing, like LibFocus. There are plenty of reasonably easy in’s to get your work, your thoughts and your experiences down on paper (so to speak!) and out circulating amongst your peers.

Your Task:
Option 1: If you have a Powerpoint Presentation or published paper of some kind that you can upload and share to Slideshare or ResearchGate or similar applications, give it a try! What do you think? Are you happy with the results?

Option 2: If you would like to have a presentation or publication to share, now’s the time to track down either a conference or forum or other gathering that you think you might be interested in presenting at; or some kind of publication that you think you might like to submit a piece of writing based on your work for. What is the focus of the gathering or publication? What is the audience? What looks appealing to you about the gathering / publication? And how does its focus relate to your own work?

Thing 17 was written by Kris Meen, Academic Skills and Marketing & Engagement Librarian, NUI Galway


The Calendar of Things