Book review: two new guides to academic life

The high degree of autonomy one gets as an academic is both a blessing and a curse. Making your way up what counts for a career ladder these days is tricky. It's hardly surprising that the academic career guide is an emerging book genre with strong sales. I've benefitted from the academic guide to life genre … Continue reading Book review: two new guides to academic life

Book review: The Scopus Diaries

This post is by Dr Abel Polese, a researcher, trainer, writer, manager and fundraiser dealing with development and capacity building in Europe and Asia. He is also interested in Science Excellence, Open Science and alternatives indicators to measure science performance. In this post, Abel shares the story behind his book “The SCOPUS Diaries and the (il)logics of … Continue reading Book review: The Scopus Diaries

New book! Becoming an academic

I have a new book out! Actually, that's not entirely accurate... My book 'How to be an Academic' has been re-published in the US by Johns Hopkins University press as 'Becoming an Academic: How to get through Grad School and Beyond', which means it is now easily available in Europe and the UK as well … Continue reading New book! Becoming an academic

Are the robots coming for our (research) jobs?

As a researcher, it can be tempting to ignore the current hysteria about automation. I've had a bit of a "not my circus, not my monkeys" attitude myself. Perhaps whole industries will disappear, our taxis will become self driving and our fast food outlets staffed by robots, but research work? I like to think research … Continue reading Are the robots coming for our (research) jobs?

How successful academics write

Helen Sword is, hands down, one of the best writers on academic writing working today. The difference between Sword and other people working the writing advice patch is that she uses an interesting range of research approaches to inform her work. A new book from Sword is a nerdishly exciting moment for research educators like … Continue reading How successful academics write

Critical thinking – the hardest doctoral skill of all?

I'm in the enviable position of having a blog with a wide readership (thank you) which means I get sent review copies by publishers. Everyone at work gets jealous when a book package arrives and I feel like a rock star. This is a good feeling. On the other hand, there are only so many … Continue reading Critical thinking – the hardest doctoral skill of all?

Will my children be damaged by my PhD?

Thesis Whisperer Jnr was eight months old when I started my Masters degree by research at RMIT and was seven years old when I graduated with my PhD from the University of Melbourne. In retrospect, the decision to go back to post graduate study with a very young child seems slightly insane, but I remember … Continue reading Will my children be damaged by my PhD?