This post is by Alyssa Bernstein, a PhD Candidate at the School of Law at the Queen’s University of Belfast. Alyssa also freelances as a writer, translator, and developer, and likes making things more efficient. This post outlines her writing process and has some interesting tips for people like me, who like to use technology to […]
We often talk about ‘searching the literature’ – but how do you actually do it? Literature searches are one of those skills that we assume students already have when they get into a PhD. As a consequence we rarely make time to explicitly teach the skills, so it’s probably not surprising that I meet many […]
In case you didn’t already know, this week is Open Access Week. To celebrate, this week’s post is by Belinda Thompson, a PhD Scholar in the Menzies Centre for Health Policy at the Australian National University. This post originally appeared on the Open Access Support Group blog and I’d like to thank Danny Kingsley for […]
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.
In her first guest post, Eloise Zoppos reflects on the problem of the literature review and looks to in an unexpected direction for some help.
Stuck with all that literature? Here’s five simple ideas to make sense of it all.
One of the delightful things about blogging is letters from readers; an endless source of delightful validation and sometimes, interesting problems to try to solve. This letter is a case in point. Dora, a reader from Croatia writes: The situation I find myself in is, I think, one that all researchers have found themselves in… […]
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 […]
Are we seeing a new moral panic brew around reading? When I was growing up, in the 70s and 80s, TV had been around for more than a generation, but the early 80s saw the glorious invention of the videotape machine. No longer at the mercy of the TV Networks and their schedules, my generation […]
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 […]