October 9, 2019

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 genrecontinue reading.

September 11, 2019

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 ofcontinue reading.

July 3, 2019

Some new books on writing

There’s a LOT of books out there on how to do a thesis/dissertation (some of them written by me). I’ve managed to plough through a couple of new books on the subject recently and this post is a compilation of my reviews plus one reader review from Jasmine Jenson at the end. There’s still acontinue reading.

June 5, 2019

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 wellcontinue reading.

April 25, 2018

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 researchcontinue reading.

October 18, 2017

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 likecontinue reading.

May 14, 2017

New book!

Some writing projects just take a long time. In academia this is always true, but this particular project had a more painful birthing process than most… Nearly two years ago now, Chris McMaster approached me to help him get together a book on post graduate study in Australia, written by students themselves. The book wascontinue reading.

May 3, 2017

The professor is in

I have a large, ever growing, pile of books sent to me by publishers in the hope that I will review them. Smart publishers know that I have an interest in helping you make best use of your (probably limited) book buying budget. I’m even thought to have quite a lot of influence in thecontinue reading.

June 15, 2016

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 manycontinue reading.

February 10, 2016

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 remembercontinue reading.