The Blog

I’m a veteran blogger of many years and guises. This blog started off (2009) as a series of reflections on the challenges, issues and events shaping, defining and influencing modern academic librarianship.

Since Sept 2012 I changed direction – and so did the blog, so apologies if the earlier entries make less sense now.  The focus of this site is now on recording and sharing my experiences as a humanities PhD student.  It’s designed in part to provide an element of my open and reflexive practice, sharing my learning and research experiences over the three-four years I’ll be going through this strange process.  I also hope it chimes with the experiences of some of my fellow PhDs and make them feel like they’re not quite so alone in their travails!  Naturally I’d love to hear from anyone working in my area and I hope you find the posts engaging – if at times a bit lengthy (sorry, trainee-academic here!).  I’m not making any great claims as to the academic validity, nor readability of posts, but I hope you’ll find something of as much value within as I do when I sit down to think about my experiences.

Notably this site is recognised by The Guardian’s Higher Education Network as a valuable academic professional development blog with “with useful resources on personal and professional career development, academia and opinions” – so I must be doing something right!.

The (Research) Llama

I’m a PhD student in my third year at  Nottingham Trent University in the glorious East Midlands in Great Britain. I’m based in the College of Arts and Humanities  specialising in English, Communication and Media; with a smattering of political economics, free culture and Marxism thrown in for good measure.  Being a humanities student is somewhat of a refreshing shock to the system; having originally trained as a biomedical technologist and pharmaceutical researcher before my career evolved into being an information manager/librarian.  However, my burning desire to research further into aspects of open access and academic culture saw me shift directions in late 2012 to work on a doctorate in this area.

I’ve also been employed by the university since 2013 as a Lecturer in Media and Communications; teaching on two modules dealing with inter-personal and digital communication, political economics, journalism and public relations.  It feels great to be involved in the delivery of scholarship to eager (and sometimes less than eager) young minds, and it can make for a wonderfully eye opening experience to engage in debate with them.  Although the less said about the marking load the better, but at least its a break from the PhD work!

I dropped most of my professional extra-curricula roles when I took on the PhD; but during 2013-2014 I was also the School of Arts and Humanities research graduate student rep, working with the NTU Graduate School and College Research Degree Committees to represent the concerns, fears and desires of my fellow PGR students to the university and its officers.  I’m also currently an external examiner at Glyndŵr University on two undergraduate library and information management degrees, which is a wonderful opportunity to keep up my connections in this field as well as my new one.

I’ve published in various books and journals and spoken at numerous conferences over the years (which for some strange reason I seem to love doing).  I’ve written about such diverse elements as open access, edutainment, movie making, scripting, repositories, comic books, interlending, scifi and copyright.  In my spare time I’m a film maker, writer, small holder, chef, scratch-builder, voice artist (for hire!), comic book and scifi fan, LARPer and social media enthusiast.

The Personal Brand

  • Email me at: gareth.johnson2012 @ [delete_this] my.ntu.ac.uk, removing spaces and the bracketed text.
  • Follow me on:

The Distant Past

Until the middle of 2012 I was an academic repository manager at the University of Leicester, and prior to that worked at SHERPA (now the Centre for Research Communications) at the University of Nottingham on such projects as OpenDOAR, RoMEO, DRIVER and of course the Repositories Support Project.  I also used to be Chair of the UK Council of Research Repositories (UKCoRR) and also the Forum for Interlending and Document Supply (FIL).  If you know me from these adventures – do say “Hi”.

Terms and Conditions

All material on this blog is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.  Scrape it and try selling it, and I’ll get very hot under the collar. Be thee duly warned!


All opinions stated in the blog are mine, and have no legal, moral or ethical reflections upon organisations, of which I might be a member, point’s of view.  They’re solely mine; which probably means they’ll be more than a little half baked and left field; with just a hint of Devil’s Advocacy about them at times.

Thanks for visiting!


3 thoughts on “About

    1. I was planning…and indeed I’ve actually a whole special episode already in the can and 2/3rds editing – but life/work/research has been too demanding of late for me to do much filming. There will be *something* this season, but I think it might well be a longer form, whole season review!


  1. Shame, I used to love your videos, and I’m shocked that so many of them got so few views given that similar ideas (like Glove & Boots) have become so popular. Years ago I used to alternate between your videos and those of MrTARDISReviews, but then in he just kind of stopped (and now only manages to do “reaction videos”. Now that your series isn’t available either, I feel like part of my Doctor Who experience has gone.

    Still, I commend you for your perseverance over the years and wish you the best of luck in the future.


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