Wormhole literature

I have a friend, let’s call her Jenny.

Jenny is about six months into her degree and just beginning to discover the true extent of the literature which might be relevant to her topic. By which I mean – she’s completely and utterly freaking out.

At the start of her journey Jenny read a few things her supervisor suggested and then went off exploring. She did all the right things. Her journey started with a meeting with the subject librarian who taught her how the databases in her area worked and how to use Google Scholar properly (not everything is in there, just so you know). She learned how keywords work and, most importantly in my view, how to do citation searches. Jenny trawled through the databases and discovered a vast amount of stuff which, although it was interesting, seemed only peripherally related to her topic.

She read the literature she found, discussed ideas with her supervisors and some of her peers, wrote a bit, then read some more. Her ideas about her thesis changed; becoming more sophisticated and thoughtful. As she read on she started to recognise the same names started appearing in the bibliographies. She started to see how people were linked together in skeins of thought. Being a social type of person she did a bit of academic networking and started to know, socially, some of the people who wrote those papers. This made her feel more confident. Comfortable even. Part of the community.

Until she downloaded THAT paper.

Loving the PhD life

The PhD can offer some distinct lifestyle benefits. In this post is by Cassandra Wardle. Cassandra is a PhD student in the Griffith University School of Environment, the HDR representative for Griffith University, and an intern at the Australian Academy of Science. You can find Cassandra on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/cassandrawardle/ Cassandra has lived through her fair […]

Buy some books

This is a list of books and software I use in my work with PhD students and my own academic life. I only recommend what I genuinely think is awesome. If you buy books I recommend, Amazon gives me gift vouchers, which I use to buy books to review on the blog. It’s the academic […]