A7 - Developing experienced researchers’ use of technology: examining some critical issues

Day 1 at 15:20 - Experienced researchers often have established ways of engaging with their research activities, which work for them. However, rapid technological advances are ubiquitous in the 21st century, and offer overwhelming amounts of information and novel ways of synthesising it. This can create technological overload distracting from the research itself; but it is not a factor researchers can ignore.

Various collaborative efforts such as the Seven Pillars of Information Literacy - Research Lens (contributions from Society of College, National and University Libraries, Researcher Development Framework, and Research Information Network) are there to prepare researchers for the technology era. It focuses on various stages of dealing with information. But how does this translate in practice? How are these skills development and support systems implemented for researchers?
Day Day 1
Session A
Start time 15:20

Research Staff

Code A7
Presenters Shailesh Appukuttan - Technical Development Manager, University of Huddersfield

Comprehensive training on a tool becomes less useful by the time 1) researchers want to apply it in their research and 2) a new version of the tool comes out, which means they have to upgrade and/or retrain. This raises many questions to be addressed in the workshop. Is it practical for institutions to keep-up with this evolving landscape through training?  Is it a matter of researchers’ conceptions of technology use, or not being realistic about training needs? Are the rigour and quality of research compromised due to time for and access to the latest technologies? Is this an issue in the internationalisation of research, and associated competition and career development of researchers?

This workshop will examine the emerging findings from a study of technology use in research activities by 26 experienced social and educational researchers from 8 Universities in the UK. Participants will be encouraged to compare the findings with their own experiences and discuss how far they reflect an international perspective.

Workshop topics covered:

In terms of researchers’ activities, the topics covered will include:

  • Critical phases and activities in the researcher’s role
  • Relevance and expectations of technology use in academic research
  • Benefits, challenges, and drawbacks of technology use
  • Developing and supporting technical skills and meeting related technical needs
  • Strategies for choosing and using relevant technology
  • Whether or not choice of technology and related skills influence the research

Themes covered:

  • New approaches to enabling researchers to reach their potential and make powerful career choices
  • Working with PIs and supervisors to transform everyday conversations into those that further professional development and embed training and development in the research environment

Workshop outcomes:

In terms of technology use for research, participants will be able to: 

  • explore a range of experience and conceptions of researchers’ use of technology and reflect on these in light of their own experiences
  • gain insight into strengths and weaknesses of using technology
  • identify and discuss key strategic challenges in researcher development related to technology use and its impact
  • explore alternative approaches and develop recommendations for researcher development and support activities
  • gain an insight into the latest research findings and consider implications for their own institutions


80 minutes - Introduction using audio/video responses (reconstructed); critical group discussions; feedback and reflection