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Reflections on one year of blogging

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This week our blog celebrates its first birthday! In the last 12 months our posts have covered a range of topics, everything from sharing new research findings (e.g. how do crofters obtain information and support?), to thoughts about the research process itself (e.g. what do you do when participants don’t like your research plans?), the academic publishing system (e.g. what are the pros and cons of being a single author?), and ponderings about concepts (e.g. what is food security?).

Credit: Will Clayton, ""These posts have been written by SEGS members working across a range of disciplines, topics and roles – everyone from the leader of our group through to research assistants and PhD students. I hope that these diverse posts have given you some sense of the diversity of interests and ongoing research projects carried out by the group.

We have enjoyed the opportunity to share and develop some of our reflections and ideas, particularly those ideas which don’t always fit neatly into other formats we use to share our work, such as academic papers or research-briefings. We also now have a SEGS twitter account (@HuttonSEGS), and a blog email-subscribe function that makes it easier to learn about new posts (we blog about twice a month, so it shouldn’t overwhelm your inbox).

We know our blog is a bit different to some other academic blogs. For example, some other excellent blogs are single-authored e.g., targeted at specific audiences, such as other academics e.g., review outputs by others e.g. or focus on outputs or impact of research e.g. By contrast we have aimed to share a diversity of perspectives, and have aimed to write in an style that will be widely accessible. We hope this puts us in good company with blogs such as or –however, we don’t really know what our readers think about our approach.

By using Google Analytics, I can see that the blog has so far had about 2,750 visitors: many of those readers come from Scotland and elsewhere in the UK, but our readership spans every continent (except Antarctica –we’re still working on that!). It is really heartening that interest in our blog has been so widespread. However, beyond that, we don’t know much more about readers’ backgrounds.Map of blog page views by country, as reported by Google Analytics

So, I’d like to take this opportunity to ask our readers for some feedback about our blog. I’m interested to find out more about the types of blog posts you have enjoyed reading, or the way in which you’d like to see the blog develop in future. Since we are social scientists you might expect me to now direct you to a link for an online survey, but in the spirit of keeping things informal and personable please share your ideas using the comments function below, or you can email me directly at

Over to you and thanks for reading so far!

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog post are the views of the author(s), and not an official position of the institute or funder.



Happy blog birthday and congratulations Kerry and all for a fantastic job!

This blog definitely helps me understand the wide range of areas the SEGS group covers and what an amazing impact and reach this has. It is also great to see all the activity on the associated Twitter profile.

Having to read plenty of more formal papers, it is refreshing to read about your work more informally too. As little time is left for this other sort of reading, it might be silly but when I am browsing blogs elsewhere, a catchy short title and text entices me the most!

I don't know if this is possible but I find interview posts also interesting (maybe to some of your collaborators from other institutions or other departments?). It would also be great to be able to read short reviews of the group seminars (maybe jointly reviewed by months?), as I often feel I have missed out when I cannot attend one.

Best of luck for many successful years to come!

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Printed from /blog/segs/one-year-of-blogging on 28/02/24 04:44:56 PM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.