One of the biggest shifts I have noticed going from PhD student to Early Career Academic, is that I no longer feel immersed in my research area. New papers come out all the time, and although I found it hard to keep up during my PhD, it is so much more difficult now. It is important to stay across the literature for my own research and publications, and for my teaching, so this year I am making an effort to prioritise this.
Well, firstly I am making it a goal to read three articles a week. I am putting this into my diary, so that I remember and allocate time to read the articles.
I have also created a ‘Research Managed’ spreadsheet (yes this is a nod to Harry Potter). In this spreadsheet I put the article title, authors, year, and the journal it is published in.
I then put key takes out/important quotes from the paper.
Finally, I put ‘tags’ or keywords in a column.
In a separate sheet I have a list of all the tags. This means that if I need to find literature about a media analysis, I can look at the ‘tags sheet’, see that I have a ‘media analysis’ tag, then go back into the other sheet and control + F ‘media analysis’ to find all relevant articles.
I hope this helps!