Blogging on scientific research

I am writing this blog for several reasons. First of all because I just like writing. Secondly I would like to share knowledge with people working in hospitals, with logistical or healthcare operations experts and basically anyone else who is interested in my research, including my friends and family who occassionally inform how my research is progressing. Thirdly I would like to experiment with sharing knowledge resulting from scientific research to a wide audience. Writing journal papers is one way to share knowledge. It is certainly valuable and very informative, also for myself, because of the peer review that comes with submitting journal papers. However, to share knowledge with the field, I believe journal papers are not sufficient. Journal papers are tough to read sometimes, especially when you are not familiar with academic writing.

This blog experiment is also meant to see whether this could be a way to share thoughts and ideas on the research itself. A common issue with case study research is that n = 1 (or, in my case 4 or 5). This raises a question like: are the things I see universal for hospitals or do the results only say something about the one hospital I have seen? In my experience, this last argument is used a lot in hospitals. I see a lot of similarities, but they are not always that obvious or they need to be made explicit.

Furthermore, my own experience, interpretation and maybe even personality could influence the outcomes. It is valuable to look at reality through more than one pair of eyes and by sharing my observations, I could perhaps put conclusions based on this, to the test. This is all the more necessary because I am an ‘external PhD candidate’, meaning I do the research in my own time, besides working as a consultant. I would like to see it as volunteery work rather than a hobby. A hobby would be merely for having fun – which is the basic motivation for doing this besides a full time job -, but I would like to think that it serves (some parts of) society.

The thing is: how do I reach the right audience? And how do I get these to respond, in these times of information overload and having questionnaires about every daily service you use?

In my next blog I will present some data from the case study research, asking explicit questions about these data. I will send an email to all Operating Room staff I know to respond to these questions and post the blog in Linkedin interest groups. Let’s see if this generates some feedback.

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