David R HoggPROFESSIONAL PROFILE
31 May 2016

Why an online profile?

Attending the recent Rethinking Remote conference in Inverness really got me thinking about collaboration and how we can do it more effectively.  There was so much international experience of remote healthcare even just in the lecture theatre: I wonder how we can learn and link more effectively as folk interested in improving rural healthcare.

One particular session – on building a support network to facilitate better research activity in rural areas – included a great session by Cheri Bethune and Sarah Lesperance from Newfoundland.  Lots of practicalities act as barriers to small-but-effective rural research.  The administration involved in obtaining ethics approval, managing funding etc. can be prohibitive especially to clinicians who can see the potential for smaller-scale research but who just don’t have the time to do it.  Discussion led to some great ideas and intentions about how this could be improved within Scotland.

I also asked about how to increase my awareness and involvement with educational activity, and for example, how to record journal papers and other activity.  I had started to look at tools like ResearchGate, Mendeley, Google Scholar and Academia.edu.  However they all seem to offer something slightly different, and yet the feeling was that it’s most effective to keep an online profile on all these, and update them all.

That seems like a lot of duplicated effort, even if it is a pragmatic way to engage.  Having developed a number of websites, I wondered if it’s possible to set up a ‘base page’ and link to that from other sites.  There are pros and cons to this, but my consideration of this led me to a WordPress theme called ‘Pulse‘.  It ticked all the boxes, I tried it out and it seems to be ideal for this sort of thing.  Top marks, and if you’re happy setting up your own WordPress platform then I’d recommend it so far, at least from a developer’s point of view.

Developing an online profile always feels like an egocentric thing to do.  However, the fact is that we all have some sort of online footprint that others can see, and it’s increasingly accepted that proactively managing this is a useful if not essential aspect of professionalism itself… as well as being able to share, inspire and engage with others who have similar interests.

I’m keen to know what others are using in terms of reference-collation and online academic profiling.  I’ll be interested to see if this site does work well to keep my interests recorded in one place.

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