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.
Stuck with all that literature? Here’s five simple ideas to make sense of it all.
A couple of weeks ago I shared some of the research I have been doing with my colleagues Associate Professor Hanna Suominen and Dr Will Grant about recruiter’s attitudes to PhD graduates. I recommend you read the previous post on anti-PhD attitudes before this one, but briefly: our research concerns recruiters, who are important gate […]
Confused about this ‘gap’ in the literature that you are meant to find? This post is by Associate Professor Martin Davies; Principal Fellow in Higher Education in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education and a Senior Learning Advisor working with HDRs and staff at Federation University. He has written six books, including Study Skills for […]
Have you ever wondered what happens after the examiners give you feedback on your dissertation? In the UK and many other countries, this feedback is given in an oral presentation called the Viva. The viva is becoming more common in Australia, but most people will still get a written report from the examiners. It is […]
Publishers often send me academic writing books to review. I happily look through every book, but if I think I can’t wholeheartedly recommend it, I just don’t write a review. I don’t want to crush a fellow author’s soul. The rejected titles sit sadly, in small piles of guilt, on the bottom of one of […]
This post is by Dr Amber Gwynne, a researcher, writer and academic editor from Brisbane, Australia. Amber currently teaches into the writing program at The University of Queensland and shares her enthusiasm for grammar via edX’s English grammar and style MOOC, Write101x. You can find her on Twitter (@AmberGwynne) or at http://www.ambergwynne.com. Caveat lector… or […]