For postgraduate students embarking on the world of academic research, it can be daunting to sort through all the tools and apps and study helps out there.
For a week in January, the IT Learning Centre welcomed over 270 research students to a special event that aims to help with exactly that: the “Research Skills Toolkit”.
Each year, working together with colleagues from the Bodleian Libraries, we run a series of lively short workshops where research students can try out a range of tools and apps. Each workshop offers a carousel of hands-on tasks, so researchers get a taste of what’s available, and can think about what will work for them. Experienced librarians and IT Teachers are on hand to discuss how each tool could apply to the individual’s research, and to point out further learning resources.
“Students from all the Divisions attended the special event”, said Pamela Stanworth, one of the event organisers, “so we know this is an area where Oxford students welcome help and input”.
Participants told us that they like the interactive, carousel format and the chance to try tools out for themselves, each going at their own speed:
“extremely well executed and very dynamic”
“I liked how interactive it was and the fact there were people there to help you”
- What’s your h-index?
- Free powerful software for audio and image editing
- Neat ways to analyse your research data
- Tips for managing your thesis and bibliographies
- Understand journal impact factors and journal citation reports
The workshops are over for this year – but there are lots of resources available online, all year round. You can still explore the Research Skills Toolkit website at www.skillstoolkit.ox.ac.uk . You can look at the tasks that our students tried out, and read about scores of other tools and apps that support university research.