I only recommend things and people I genuinely think are awesome.
Here is the BIG LIST OF recommended BOOKS FOR RESEARCHERS as a google document that I add to continuously.
New books and products will appear as I discover them. If you have a book or product you think I should explore, you can contact me via my About page.
Disclaimer: if you buy books via the links I provide, Amazon gives me gift vouchers, which I use to buy books to review on the blog. It’s the academic gift that keeps on giving! Thesis Whisperer runs on a “not for loss” basis. I raise money to pay for operating costs, side projects and upgrades. There are a number of ways you can directly support my work, which I have outlined here.
Scrivener (not a paid endorsement)
Oh Scrivener. What would I do without you? Designed by a PhD student, this software is purpose built for the busy writer. Unlike MS Word, or other conventional word processing software, Scrivener treats your writing as a series of ‘chunks’ which can be moved around at will. Scrivener gave me a writing speed boost that made me at least four times faster. You can read my glowing review here.
Omnifocus2 (not a paid endorsement)
The mother, father and parent of no specific gender of all project management software. I have a saying: “If it’s in Omni, it happens”. If it’s not captured in Omni, it doesn’t – it’s that simple. Omnifocus is only available on Mac. I still believe there is nothing comparable on PC – sorry. Buy a Mac? You can read my review of Omnifocus here.
Timing (not a paid endorsement)
Another product only available on the Mac. Timing learns how you work, watches you and shows a real time dashboard your various activities. Why? So you can better estimate your time on projects going forward and meet your deadlines with ease. If you want a fitbit for your work-life, this is it people!
Downloadable worksheets and materials
The Thesis Whisperer blackline masters series are materials I use in my workshops with research students. These blackline masters are free to use under creative commons share a-like attribution license. Each blackline master listed below has text, which you can lift for your own purposes, and an attached PDF formatted for easy photocopying. You can see more of my teaching materials on the right side of the site under ‘learn with the Whisperer’. If you want me to visit your university and teach, go to my workshops and training page
There is some evidence that PhD students can struggle with mental health more than other student groups. Unfortunately it is relatively common to have low periods during your PhD, but it’s important to be able to distinguish between ‘the PhD blues’ and a developing mental health condition that is potentially serious and needs treatment. Here are some resources to help:
- If you are worried about how you feel, here’s a useful self assessment checklist for anxiety and depression. Please see someone if you think you need help.
- Need to talk someone immediately? Unsuicide offers a global directory of helplines you can call or text.
- More mental health resources and a hotline are available from Beyond Blue.
- The academic mental health collective enables PhD students to share stories of their experience of mental health issues.
- If you are feeling low, but not actually depressed, physical activity can help a lot. All the more reason to get up from your desk or away from the bench! Here is some research and suggestions:
- At our thesis bootcamps we have found that mindfulness exercises can help people refocus back on writing with less anxiety. Here’s a mindfulness tip sheet to get you started.
- Chronically academic is a network of scholars affected by disabilities and chronic illnesses.
Ethical Service Providers
There are a number of dodgy companies out there offering to write your thesis in, publish your work or do proof reading – don’t get sucked in. Below are some reputable providers:
- The Freelance Editors Network (Australia)
- Thesis bootcamps in the UK by Dr Peta Freestone
- Janene Carey – thesis editing services (Australia)
- Karin Hosking – editor: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Tricia Dearborn is my own editor and is highly recommended if you need a book done!
- Jo Van Every – academic life coach (Canada)
- Docs Finishing Early – USA
- Hillary Rettig – USA
- Professor is IN – USA
- Dissertation coach Noelle Sterne (Ph.D) USA (email@example.com)
- Yellow Giants Consulting (Melbourne)
- Qualitative Research support with Dr Kruikow
Did you know over 50% of PhD graduates go on to careers outside academia? I have a special interest in employability and helping people find jobs where they can use their research skills. Here is a small list of consultants and specialists you might find useful. I am working on a new app called PostAc to help you find jobs you might be interested in – stay tuned!
APR Interns is a program for Australian PhD students to get paid experience in industry
BlueFin Resources are an Australian based company that specialise in placing PhD graduates in science
Mexec Careers have a special interest in, and experience with PhD graduates in Australia
Amy Bohren – individual career coaching, Australian based (email firstname.lastname@example.org)
The resilient researcher offer individual coaching and workshops to Australian based graduates and PhD students
Dr Richard Huysmans provides Australian based workshops
Other Useful (or fun) places on the Internet
- Awful Library Books
- Journal of Universal Rejection
- Piled Higher and Deeper comic
- The most beautiful libraries in the world
- A List of Fallacious Arguments
- Altmetrics – other ways of measuring research impact
- How to make a cornell note taking template
- How to focus in the age of distraction
- Learning to work (pdf)
- Missed periods and other grammar scares
- Optomising your citations
- Presentation Zen
- Typography with Tex and Latex
- Manchester Academic Phrase Bank
- Manchester methods database
- Unsplash – free high quality photos for bloggers