after the viva is over…


Jonathan Downie is a conference interpreter, researcher and writer based in Edinburgh, Scotland. His PhD was at Herriot Watt University and examined stakeholder expectations of interpreters. He recently passed his viva. He tweets as @jonathanddownie.

It’s Friday morning and I should be wearing a party hat and letting off party poppers. The day before, I passed my viva (pending corrections) and got to have lunch with three of the finest minds in my field. Not bad for a day’s work. Yet why did I find myself spending most of the next day, slumped in front of my laptop, feeling absolutely flat. In fact, if it wasn’t for the duties and joys of being a dad of two (with one more on the way), I would have probably spent the day unshaven, in my pyjamas, watching youtube videos.

What on earth happened? How come achieving the goal I had been working for over…

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blogging helps academic writing

…it also helps academic writing community too #blogging


Why do academics blog? What do academic bloggers get from blogging?

Discussions about scholarly blogging most often centre on the need for we academics to write in ways that attract new audiences. If we write blogs, we are told, we can communicate our research more effectively. Blogs enhance impact, they are a medium for public engagement. The advocacy goes on… Blogs (and other social media) can point readers to our (real) academic publications, particularly if they are held on open repositories. Blogging it seems is a kind of essential add-on to the usual academic writing and academic publication that we do.

Of course, some people do argue – and I’m in this camp – that blogging is in and of itself academic writing and academic publication. It’s not an add-on. It’s now part and parcel of the academic writing landscape.  As such, it is of no less value than any…

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