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  • Writer's picturealicjapawluczuk

PhD research dissemination: how do you choose the right conference?

During my recent supervision meeting, I got asked about my publications plan for 2018/2019. I've learned, there are two things that I should be considering: 1) event's reputation and ranking; 2) my personal interests. My question to you is: are you really able to connect these two things, and how do you find these events?

It's Saturday morning and I've decided to spend some time researching conferences that might interest me in 2018 and 2018. My doctoral research project is cross-disciplinary and covers four main areas: digital culture, digital co-creation, youth studies and social impact evalautuon. Whilst this should give you a clear indication of what conferences I should be attending, I'm really not sure this is so clear after all...

(Yes, I'm 1.5 yrs into my PhD and I realise that I should have known this by now... :))

Confusion 1: If your doctoral research project is cross- disciplinary, how do you know which conference would be the best to share your work?

Firstly, my work also covers areas such as HCI, communication, community development and community participation. To make things even more complicated, I source literature from scholars examining the notion of co-creation in business, innovation, digital technologies, community education and design. Whilst, all of these areas are super important in the context of how I define digital youth culture co-creation, I am not sure that my doctoral research project would be of interest to scholars from any of these disciplines. At the same time, I realise that it is impossible to find a conference that would cover all of my interests ( although Transmedia Literacy conference in Barcelona seem to be ticking all the boxes).

Thus, my questions are : how do you decide to pick one conference over another? And what if you can't find an event that would fit your interests?

Confusion 2: How do you search for conferences and conferences' rankings?

Then, there is the conference ranking list. Here, I've been advised to use and primarily focus on these listed as A. After a quick search, I have identified several events that clearly link to my interests - in particular, which in this year's call for submission emphasise the notion of collaborative and social computing. However, is dedicated primarily to computing related research. I'm based at the Centre for Social Informatics at the School of Computing, but I'm certain that my work can be presented in other areas too.

Here, my question is : how do you find the best conferences in your area?

Confusion 3: How do you keep the right balance between your interests and REFimpact?

My work is has always involved working with local communities and ensuring that social change can be implemented event with the smallest digital interventions. I'm interested in local digital inclusion projects, digital youth initiatives and their impact. I also want to make sure that my research results can be fed back to the researched communities. Although this might sound like a wishful thinking, but (in the spirit of Participation Action Research) I really want my research to have a direct impact on the people that I work with. That is why, I am keen to attend events that are focused on digital youth inclusion (I blog about these here: Internet Youth Governanace Seminar, #NotWithoutMe, Scotland Tackling Digital Exclusion: The Latest Evidence, the Scottish Digital Youth Network).

However, I also realise that my role as an academic is to reach international audiences. I'd like to be able to present my work at international conference, as this would help me to position my research in a wider context and learn about similar work elsewhere. Although, I have an idea of how to balance thes two, I'd still like to ask a question:

How do you keep the right balance between your interests and REFimpact? How do you ensure that your work truly benefits the local communities and provides a wider international value?

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