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Week 9

4 Apr

The End!

Welcome to the final week of 25 Research Things @ Huddersfield!

25th Thing – Reflection

Yes, you’re nearly there! A bit of a different exercise this week as there’s nothing for you to discover, but we want to learn from you. Spend some time writing your blog to summarise what you think you have learnt during the 25 Research Things programme. Tell us what you have enjoyed most and what least and what you think you might carry on using, if anything. Will any of the Things be useful in your research and work? Let us know.

Is there another Thing that you’ve heard about and would have liked us to include?


If you’ve made it this far, then we’d like you to take another survey so we can see how much you’ve learnt over the course of the programme.

Something fun

This is a tool which was introduced to us by a ‘Thinger’ from our first round of the course. It analyses your blog to tell you, among other things, how happy you are! Give it a go…


Well done for making it all the way to the end!!!

(Graduation Cap Cupcake by clevercupcakes)


Week 8

28 Mar

Normal service is resumed

We’re back! Hope you enjoyed the ‘Easter’ break? You’re on the home straight now with just 3 ‘Things’ to go – 2 this week and the final ‘Thing’ next week!


23rd Thing – You Tube

YouTube is probably the biggest and most well known of the online video sites. We are sure we probably don’t need to explain any more about YouTube, but just in case, read the entry in Wikipedia.

You’ll find everything from vintage Top of the Pops to extreme ironing. For a bizarre sock puppet take on library information literacy search for “Randy Weasel” or check out what we missed out in 25 Things:

So what has this got to do with research?

There are more and more research orientated videos out there, for example, take a look at this PhD presentation:

Huddersfield’s own Rob Lycett has a poetry workshop & installation video on YouTube:

Step 1:
Go to YouTube and do some searching to see what is out there.

Step 2:
Blog about what you have found. Try placing the video inside your blog by copying and pasting the code in the embed box, you’ll find this below and to the right of the actual video clip.

Note: Videos, like music downloads are bandwidth hogs. It is recommended that you complete this exercise on the University network unless you have broadband at home.


24th Thing – Podcasts

“Podcast” is a former word of the month in the Oxford Advanced Learners’ Dictionary.

Podcasts take many forms, from short 1-10 minute commentaries to much longer in person interviews or panel group discussions. There’s a podcast out there for just about every interest area and the best part about this technology is that you don’t have to have an iPod or a MP3 player to access them. Since podcasts use the MP3 file format, a popular compressed format for audio files, you really just need a PC (or portal device) with headphones or a speaker.

(Apple Ipod Generations by Brendan Wilkinson)

iTunes, the free downloadable application created by Apple, is the directory finding service most associated with podcasts, but if you don’t have iTunes installed there are still plenty of options.

Some popular podcast sites that do not require software to download are:

Take a look at some of the podcast directories out there and see if you can find a podcast that interests you. Add the RSS feed for your podcast to your blog. Create a blog post about the process; is there anything useful out there?

Week 6

7 Mar


17th Thing – Flickr

Photo sharing websites have been around since the 1990s, but it took a small startup site called Flickr to catapult the idea of “sharing” into a full blown online community. Flickr has become the fastest growing photo sharing site on the web and it was one of the first websites to use keyword “tags” to create associations and connections between photos and users of the site. To date, over 5 billion images have been uploaded to the Flickr site!

[ “Old and New Huddersfield” by nualabugeye ]

For this Thing, you’ll take a good look at Flickr and discover what this site has to offer. Find out how tags work, what groups are, and all the cool things that people are using Flickr for.

Take a few minutes to explore these links…

Take a good look around Flickr and look for an interesting image that you want to blog about.


It might be a picture of somewhere you’ve gone on holiday or maybe a photograph taken near where you live. Be sure to include either a link to the image or, if you create a Flickr account, you can use Flickr’s blogging tool to add the image in your post.

When looking at images on Flickr, check to see if the image has a list of tags — these are keywords or labels which help you find images. For example, here are all the images that have been tagged with the word huddersfield.


Optional extra

Another option you have for including images in your post is to use the WordPress photo upload tool.

So go ahead, explore the site and have some Flickr photo fun and if you’re interested in looking at some photo hosting sites, then why not check out this story on the Wired website.

Another optional extra

If you’re feeling really keen, take a look at this website, which allows you to spell out words using photos of letters that are on Flickr. Fun!


18th Thing – Upload a Photograph to Flickr

Flickr currently has over 3 billion images, so we’re sure they won’t mind if you add a few more!

Step 1:
Create a Free account in Flickr (you will be able to use your Yahoo account, created in Week 1) and use a digital camera or mobile phone to capture a few pictures of something interesting. Upload these to your Flickr account and tag at least one of the images “25researchthings” and mark it public.


Step 2:
Next, create a post in your blog about your photo and experience. Be sure to include the image in your post. Once you have a Flickr account, you have two options for doing this: through Flickr’s blogging tool or using the WordPress photo upload feature.

If you don’t have access to a digital camera, then browse through some of the pictures from The Commons, download one of them, and then upload the picture to Flickr. The Commons is a collection of copyright free images from museum and library image archives.


Photo Etiquette

A quick word about photo posting etiquette! When posting identifiable photos of other people (especially children) is it advisable to get the person’s permission before posting their photo in a publicly accessible place like Flickr. Never upload pictures that weren’t taken by you (unless you have the photographer’s consent or the image is in the Public Domain) and always give credit when you include photos taken by someone else in your blog. For further information about UK photography rights, see this blog post which includes a guide written by Linda Macpherson (lecturer in law at Heriot Watt University).


Traditional copyright is very restrictive and limits what you can do with someone else’s creation. A number of alternative licensing models have appeared in recent years which allow you to share your photographs more freely.

Last week we looked at the Creative Commons (CC) license . Use the Advanced Search tool on Flickr to locate a photograph that has been released under a CC license. Think about what benefits a photographer might get from using the CC license.


19th Thing – Mashups

[ “Mash and Gravy” by chotda ]

One of the benefits you might have thought of is that using a CC license allows other people to play around with the image and perhaps combine it with other stuff — this is sometimes referred to as a “mashup”.

Like many Web 2.0 sites, Flickr has encouraged other people to build their own online applications using images found on the site. Through the use of APIs (application programming interfaces), many people have created third party tools and mashups that use Flickr images. Here are just a sampling of a few…

  • Mappr – allows you to take Flickr images and paste them on a map
  • Flickr Color Pickr – lets you find public photos in Flickr that match a specific colour
  • Montagr – create a photo mosaic from photos found on Flickr
  • Multicolr Search Lab – find images which match multiple colours
  • retrievr – find an image by drawing it!

Step 1:
Discover more mashups, web applications, and Flickr tools.


Step 2:
Explore some of the fun Flickr mashups and 3rd party tools that are out there. Then create a blog post about one that intrigues you.

20th Thing – Online Image Generators

[ image created using Spell with Flickr ]

And now for a bit of fun 🙂

These are websites that allow you to manipulate images easily. To get you started, here are a few sample sites:

Often adding the image you created to your blog is as simple as copying and pasting code that the page provides. If not, you may just need to right click on the image and then save it to your hard drive before using the blog image button to add it to your post. If you’re having difficulty getting your image added to a post in your blog, ask a colleague for help or email the team.

Have a play around with some of the image generators we’ve linked to and maybe see if you can find some more via Google.


Week 5

28 Feb

Sharing content you’ve created

14th Thing – SlideShare and Prezi

SlideShare, launched in 2006, does for PowerPoint presentations what YouTube did for videos. The site, which gets an estimated 12 million unique visitors per month, allows you to share PowerPoint, PDF, Keynote and OpenOffice presentations.

As well as being able to annotate and add audio, comments and tags (like we saw in week 3) to your uploaded presentations, you can easily embed the slides into a WordPress blog post, just like this…

Adding your presentations to a site like SlideShare allows others to easily find them and is a great way of forging new contacts.

Prezi, which officially launched in 2009, provides a different approach to developing a presentating – rather than using multiple individual slides, you use a single canvas. Prezi allows you to zoom around the canvas from item to item.

To get an idea of how Prezi looks, view this presentation by Adam Somlai-Fischer: “Why should you move beyond slides?”. Once the page has loaded, use the large arrow to move forward through the presentation. You might like to see if you can figure out how to make the presentation play automatically.

To learn a bit more about Prezi, read this blog post by Ned Potter (University of Leeds): “Prezi For The Win? Ten Top Tips To Make a Good One

Step 1:
Search SlideShare and Prezi and looks for some presentations relevant to your interests of areas of research. If you find a particularly useful presentation, write a short blog post about it.

Step 2:
Do you prefer the more traditional style of PowerPoint presentations or do you like the more dynamic Prezi style?


15th Thing – Google Documents

So, what happens if you are working on a collaboration with colleagues from different universities, or even the commercial sector? If you have a document you are all contributing to, how do you know which version 2.1 is the correct one! Where do you store the master copy?

Google Docs may be just the thing for you!

Google Docs is a tool that allows you to share work online. This could be documents, spreadsheets, presentations and/or drawings, which you can upload from your PC or create from scratch within the tool. The video below will show you the benefits of using Google Docs:

Step 1:
Using the username and password for your Google account (the one you created in Week 1) log on to Google Docs.

Step 2:
Click on the ‘Create New’ button beneath the Google Docs logo and then decide whether you’re going to create a document, spreadsheet, presentation or drawing.

Step 3:
Depending on your choice, you’ll now be in a word-processing, spreadsheet, presentation or drawing area. Enter text or data as appropriate and use the formatting toolbar to format your work. N.B. Detailed support pages are available from Google.

Step 4:
When you have finished creating your masterpiece, click on ‘File’ and then ‘Save’.

Step 5:
Now share your work with another 25 Thinger. Click on the ‘Share’ button in the top right hand corner of the screen and then select ‘Sharing settings’. Enter the e-mail address of the person you would like to share this item with in the ‘Add people’ box and decide whether you’re going to allow them to edit or simply view it. This person will then receive an e-mail containing a direct link to the item.

After coming up with the idea for 25 Research Things @ Huddersfield on Twitter, we used Google Docs to plan, write and share the original outlines of this course!


16th Thing – Creative Commons

Next week we are going to look at images, but before we do, ever wondered about who owns the copyright of images on Flickr etc.?

Ever wondered what the Creative Commons licence is on this blog?

Creative Commons has released several copyright-licenses which allow creators on content to communicate which rights they reserve, and which rights they waive for the benefit of recipients or other creators.

Visit to the Creative Commons pages to learn more about sharing, remixing, and using creative works.

Step 1:
Visit the Creative Commons pages and assign your Blog a CC licence. You can download the logo, type of licence and link to appear in the blog.

You will also find Creative Commons licences appearing as an alternative to ‘copyright transfer’ for academic journal publishing. Open access publishers such as Biomed Central and journals in the Directory of Open Access Journals use Creative Commons licences to allow authors to share and remix their work. The University Repository also gives you the option to assign a Creative Commons licence to your work.

Step 2:
Blog about your thoughts on using a Creative Commons for you research? Who should own the copyright to your research? Would your research benefit from a Creative Commons licence, rather than a publishers “copyright transfer agreement”?


25 Jan

Hello, and welcome to 25 Research Things 2011!

[ Flickr photo by Felicia Wichrowski ]
Over the next nine weeks, this online learning course will give you a friendly introduction to web 2.0. You’ll have a chance to experiment with tools and techniques, from blogs to Twitter to social bookmarking. Each week we’ll give you two or three ‘things’ to look at, and a few simple tasks to help you get started using them. We’ll ask you to reflect on how you could use each ‘thing’ to enhance your work as a researcher.
The first week of ‘things’ will be posted on Monday 31 January, so don’t forget to check back then to get started.
If you want to know a bit more about the background of the 25 Things idea, visit this website. We think Huddersfield and the Research Information Network are the first to run a ‘things’ course purely for researchers, so we are breaking new ground!
If you’ve got any questions, you can contact us on

Stop Press!!

We’ve saved the best news until last! If you stick with us through the whole 25 Things, we’ll enter all University of Huddersfield ‘thingers’ into a free draw to win an Amazon Kindle e-book reader courtesy of the Research Information Network, so now you have no excuse!

We’re looking forward to starting this journey with you and don’t forget we’ll be there right through the course to chat!

The 25 Research Things Team

Ellen Collins (Research Information Network)
Dave Pattern (Huddersfield)
Graham Stone (Huddersfield)