Familiarising myself with examiners' work...?

11-Jul-17, 12:48
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 2 months ago
Hi everyone,

I'm preparing for my viva which is next Monday. I've read advice recommending that you should be familiar with your examiners' work, which makes sense.

However, I don't know exactly what that means in practical terms. I've referenced my examiners (both external by the way) several times in my thesis but I wouldn't say I know their work inside out. They're both pretty senior as well so I don't think I'll have time to read loads of article by both of them!

I'm also not sure how to translate what they've written about into potential questions they might ask. Maybe I'm over-thinking this? I just want to be prepared and not make a fool of myself.

I'm also 8 months pregnant so I feel like my brain is slowly turning to mush D:

Thanks for your help!
11-Jul-17, 16:02
edited about 12 seconds later
Avatar for chickpea
posted about 2 months ago
Hi Nesrine

From my own experience, one thing to watch out for (if it can be discerned from their published work at all) is whether they have a strong angle on any of the areas where your work overlaps with theirs. For example, my external was selected on the basis of having used similar methods to mine, but it turned out in the viva that she's now highly critical of these methods - something I couldn't have known. If there is anything in their writing that indicates a particular stance, though, I'd say it's worth paying attention to that.

Good luck, and try to get some relaxation before your viva if possible - I think that as long as you have a good handle on your own work, that is the main thing you can do in terms of preparation.
12-Jul-17, 10:09
edited about 15 seconds later
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 2 months ago
Hi chickpea,

Thanks a lot for this. I'll try to focus on where our work overlaps or where they have a strong POV rather than trying to skim read everything they've ever written...

It feels like I've forgotten everything in the three months since handing in my thesis but hopefully it'll all come back to me with the adrenaline rush!


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