This post is by Janet Clapton, Senior Information Specialist at the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) and actually someone I know in real life! She works in the same building as me (albeit for a different organisation) and we have lunch together regularly. At our last lunch we discussed ways in which I could avoid becoming professionally senile – a very real fear of mine. The discussion that we had led (in a rather roundabout way) to the creation of LwL – so she has a lot to answer for!
“We now have many and varied opportunities to keep up to date, but so little time. I’m convinced the answer is in efficient and tailored professional current awareness, and feeling enough benefits to persevere.
The approach has to work for you – for me, this meant carefully chosen e-alerts (who can resist reading an email?), culls of subscriptions I didn’t read (no guilt!), converting feeds from other sources (such Linked In groups, e.g. Commercial Legal and Scientific Information Group) and media (such as Twitter, e.g. @LISResearch), using tools such as Feed my Inbox and Tweetdeck. I don’t access my RSS feed reader very often, however when I do I can search within it for topics of research interest. Reading hard copies of professional literature sometimes fits into commuting time (when not sleeping).
Going to events has social benefits as well as finding out what’s going on and adding to your network. If activities are a burden, you’re not going to keep them up whereas tangible benefit from being well informed makes extra effort seem worthwhile”.
Janet isn’t on Twitter but she is on Linked In, although she describes herself as ‘not an enthusiastic user’. Her recent publications are:
Clapton, J. (2010) Choosing databases for social care topics. Poster at Health Libraries Group Conference, Salford, July 19-20 2010. (Soon to be uploaded at http://www.cilip.org.uk/get-involved/special-interest-groups/health/events/conferences/pages/conference-2010.aspx#posters )
Clapton, J. (2010). Bibliographic databases for social care searching. Report 34. SCIE: London. http://www.scie.org.uk/publications/reports/report34.asp
Clapton, J. (2010). Library and information science practitioners writing for publication: motivations, barriers and supports. Library and Information Research 34 (106)
Clapton, J. (2009). Establishing the context for your research project. Library and Information Research 33(104), http://www.lirg.org.uk/lir/ojs/index.php/lir/article/view/154