A round-up of the UK’s REF2014 on social media. How do you measure research?

measuring researchEarlier this week, on 17th December 2014, the UK’s higher education community awaited the publication of results from the “Research Excellence Framework” (REF). Universities’ core funding is expected to depend on the REF, which assessed their research in the period 2008-2013. REF uses a star-based system, with the highest category, 4* meaning world-leading research, and 3* being internationally excellent. (Read more about what the REF is, on TheConversation.com)

The activity on Twitter began to heat up, with the hashtags #REF2014 and #REF, as well as the more humourous or wry #REFmyXmas and #REFmas hashtags. Continue reading


Four infographics with tips on academic writing

Since Piirus has just published an infographic on collaboration, we’re taking a look at a few infographics relating to the theme of academic writing, to tie in with this year’s AcWriMo.

Here is a brief selection of favourites from the Piirus blog editor.

1) Part of a series from North Carolina State University, this one starts with things to avoid, i.e. common reasons a paper is rejected: perhaps it is a good idea to keep these in mind when you begin. It also features a tip that I practice myself: once you start a project, keep it on your screen. Continue reading

How to be a productive researcher?

Research collaboration and researcher mobility are the key to success…

In the global research community the UK is a high achiever, with a recent report by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills ranking the UK first in the world in terms of research citation impact. So how has the UK bucked a trend “towards increasing outputs from broadly stable or decreasing inputs“? Success it seems is attributed to both global research collaboration and researcher mobility.
Continue reading

Online dating for researchers? A new way for researchers to match their research interests…

How Piirus and blogs can go hand in hand: “Find potential collaborators and then use blogs to speak to your audience.” Sally Allard, Senior Editor from the Arts Online Presence Program Team at Monash University, has written a blog post in which she suggests you can use blogs to speak to the audience of potential collaborators you find through Piirus. Continue reading

Piirus: Coming to a place near you

To celebrate the global launch of Piirus, we are heading on the road! As you may have seen, we have recently made some changes to the way that you login to Piirus, replacing Warwick and Monash usernames and passwords with an academic email address and a new password. These changes are intended to make Piirus as accessible as possible to future users and to prepare for our official global launch in May 2014. Continue reading

Love is in the air…and so too is collaboration!

A special Valentine’s Day message from the Piirus team

Today marks St. Valentine’s Day, the day on which we all traditionally show our affection for those we care about. But sometimes as a researcher it can feel so lonely working away on your research. Nobody seems to be working on your topic or methodology. Finding research partners is difficult; you’re toiling away until the early hours all alone. A perfect research soul-mate seems so far away… Continue reading