Academic blogs are a great source of information for researchers, professors, students or anyone interested in keeping up-to-date with new advances in their fields of interest.
However, in the age of disinformation and fake news, when social media provides a platform for every person with an opinion, it’s important to choose your information sources carefully. Just because something is labeled as academic doesn’t mean it’s reliable.
This is perhaps most evident in the recent rise of fake or predatory conferences. To help you focus on the trustworthy blogs, we’ve provided a handy list of interesting, well-researched and well-written blogs to review and follow.
The 10 Best Academic Blogs
This blog is dedicated to helping PhD students complete their dissertations. It is highly valuable to any graduate student as they go through the process of conducting research and writing their final research projects. It is produced by Professor Inger Mewburn, director of research development at The Australian National University.
This blog is consistently relevant and fresh, posting new content every Wednesday. It has been in production for over 10 years and has more than 100,000 followers.
Follow Inger Mewburn on Twitter: @thesiswhisperer
This post addresses the common concern amongst academics around their ideas being stolen. It mentioned situations where a scientist is ready to defend their dissertation only to find out another researcher has published very similar work right before the thesis defense.
Mewburn examines the various interpretations of originality in reference to academic research, and provides tips on strategies researchers can take to avoid having their ideas stolen by another academic.
This blog offers advice and consulting services for new PhD graduates embarking on their academic job search, as well as valuable information and advice about various career paths. This blog is part of a larger website that provides courses, webinars and workshops for graduate students, and a partner podcast. It even has its own swag available for purchase.
The blog posts are a collaborative effort led and organized by Karen Kelsky, who holds a PhD in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Hawaii. Kelsky was previously a tenured professor at the University of Oregon and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. While Kelsky does author many of the blog posts, she also invites different academics to collaborate as guest contributors to the blog.
Follow Karen Kelsky on Twitter: @ProfessorIsIn
This is a guest post written by Dr. Yvette Martínez-Vu, who holds a Ph.D. in Theater and Performance Studies from UCLA and works as an academic coach and consultant. In this post, Martinez-Vu discusses why she decided to leave academia and the steps she took to set up her new business in another country.
Like many posts on The Professor is In blog, this article opens up dialogue about the wide variety of career paths available to academic researchers outside the traditional University and College environments.
This blog is written by Rashida Hakim, a senior Computer Science student at the California Institute of Technology, or Caltech. In this blog, Hakim shares “problems and ponderings in physics and math, with a sprinkling of computer science.” Hakim’s primary interest is in machine learning and artificial intelligence, and the algorithms behind both.
This is a great blog to follow for math or physics professors or students who are looking for new insights into challenges that other experts are having in their field.
Follow Rashida Hakim on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rashida-hakim
This article, written in collaboration with Akshay Yeluri, discusses the common protocols used to route data, and investigates an alternative that is ‘mathematically-optimal.’
This is a very interesting discussion of the hollow earth theory that uses projective geometry to ‘invert the world as we know it.’
Catherine Cronin’s self-titled blog is a must-read for anyone interested in diving into the many ways that higher education can be improved to better serve and support its students.
With a BSc in Mechanical Engineering, a MEng in Systems Engineering, and an MA in Women’s Studies, Cronin has over 30 years of experience in teaching, research and advocacy in the higher education space.
Follow Catherine Cronin on Twitter: @catherinecronin
This post is a contribution to a presentation at the Open Education Conference organized by the Association for Learning Technology in April 2022 in collaboration with Gabbi Witthaus. It discusses application of the Capabilities Approach to open education.Application of this approach to open education is one of many examples of how Cronin’s blog advocates for the betterment of higher education as a whole.
This blog, written by Professor Patrick Dunleavy at the London School of Economics (LSE) and hosted on Medium, is a well-laid out and easy to navigate collection of resources aimed at helping academics improve the way they write creatively about their research findings.
This is a helpful collection of information for any academic or researcher that struggles to clearly and creatively communicate their research, or simply wants to improve their written communications.
Follow Patrick Dunleavy on Twitter: @PJDunleavy
This article is the first in a series of posts called “The Foundations of Academic Organization.” It addresses what Dunleavy considers a common feeling that many academics have, and that is the concern that academia is simply “a self-perpetuating game, played for kudos by adults who never left school.”
The piece investigates two main questions in an effort to combat that feeling. These questions are:
- How did research in higher education come to be organized as it is now?
- What is the rationale for the way that things are currently set up?
This is an interesting piece for any academic who has struggled with whether or not they should cite their own previous work in their current research, and if so, then how much. It discusses how a great deal of academic research is conducted as an extension of a scientist's previous work, making it cumulative in nature. This concept is used as a rationale for self-citations, but the blog also dives into some of the common opinions as to why self-citations are problematic.
This blog is written by Pat Thomson, Professor of Education at The University of Nottingham. The articles focus largely on the author’s main area of focus, which is making schools more engaging and applicable to the lives of their students. There are a wide range of specific topics covered under this umbrella, ranging from how professors can refine their research topics to make them more pertinent to students, to ways researchers can improve their chances of being accepted to present at academic conferences.
Follow Pat Thomson on Twitter: @ThomsonPat
This is a very interesting discussion of the various reasons that journal articles are rejected by publications. It begins by stating that many articles submitted for publication are never even read – journal editors reject these pieces without reviewing them if they do not see them as a ‘good fit’ for that publication.
The second installment of this piece discusses the next most common reason that articles are rejected, and that is a lack of clearly defined focus and argument. Thompson goes on to outline the most common characteristics of a paper that does not have a clear focus, which offers helpful tips for researchers hoping to increase their chances of publication.
Dr. Nadine Muller’s self-titled blog focuses primarily on her work as a reader in Women’s & Gender Studies at Liverpool John Moores University. Her platform also plays host to a collaborative project organized by Muller called The New Academic. This project discusses the advantages researchers receive by being a part of academia, and the privilege demanded by such a role. The New Academic has attracted over 60 contributors across various fields.
Follow Nadine Muller on Twitter: @Nadine_Muller
This blog focuses on the traditional role that the widow has had in the Victoria era, and the role of humor in relation to women and death in that era. It goes on to examine how widows were often the subject of jokes. Muller argues that viewing the humor surrounding the role of the widow reveals some of the Victorian era’s most interesting contradictions of the ways the middle-class viewed womanhood, femininity, and female sexuality.
This blog is managed by Lisa Salsbury and written by three students; Travis Gray, Skylar Ryan Ting, and Lindsey Neale. Each are students at the University of Idaho who are majoring in English, Sociology and Political Science, respectively. In this blog, the three authors post about a variety of interesting topics that focus on gender-based issues related to trans-rights, LGTBQ+ history, sexuality, and pop culture. This blog is helpful and interesting for anyone teaching or studying gender issues or women’s studies.
This blog post, written by Travis Gray, discusses the Florida “Don’t Say Gay Bill” that limits the discussion of gender and sexuality in primary school settings. Gray lists the reasons why he finds this bill troubling, and notes that Disney has financially supported politicians who supported the bill. The post goes on to mention multiple examples of the inclusion of LGBTQ+ characters in mainstream children’s movies by studios like DreamWorks and Marvel, and provides thoughtful discourse on how important it is for members of the LGBTQ+ community to see themselves represented on screen.
The Research Whisperer dubs itself “Just like the Thesis Whisperer — but with more money.” Yes, they actually say this on their homepage. This blog is edited by Jonathan O’Donnell, a grant application advisor at the University of Melbourne and Tseen Khoo, a Research Education and Development Professor at the University of Melbourne. The intent of this blog is to help researchers in the early stages of their careers build their professional profiles and learn to request and secure funding for their research projects.
This post, written by Helen Kara, discusses the challenges she faced in navigating the balance of power between grant-givers and grant recipients, something that is relevant to academics at every stage of their careers. In her work with Deaf and Disabled People’s Organizations, Kara learned that these organizations have a hard time communicating their value to prospective funders. The post outlines her approach to successfully communicate this value through the use of a comic created by a disabled comic artist. The completed comic was presented to the Deaf and Disabled People’s Organization and presented at an academic conference in 2021.
Follow Helen Kara on Twitter: @DrHelenKara
Doctoral Writing SIG, or Doctoral Writing Special Interest Group, is a blog published by Dr. Clare Atchison from the University of South Australia, Dr. Cally Guerin from the Australian National University, and Associate Professor Susan Carter from the University of Auckland. The blog is a collaborative effort welcoming submissions from guest writers, with a focus on providing a forum for discussions and information sharing pertaining to doctoral writing and the associated challenges.
This piece, written by Ruth Albertyn from Stellenbosch University, recognises and discusses how to overcome the challenges that researchers in the early stages of their career face when going through the process of transforming their doctoral thesis into an article to submit to an academic journal.
Follow Doctoral Writing SIG on Twitter: @DocWritingSIG
People follow blogs for a variety of reasons. Maybe you’re looking for advice in your career search, maybe you’re looking for help refining your writing or hoping to stay up-to-date on emerging trends in your field, or maybe you just want something interesting to read when you put down your work for the night.
Whatever your motivation, we hope you find this list of popular academic blogs useful.