Signup date: 14 May 2014 at 12:26am
Last login: 08 Jan 2016 at 9:57am
Post count: 145
People fail or drop out of PhD’s for numerous reasons, not necessarily for the 10 outlined in the article. Some of the points raised by the author could lead to failure, but I would have used the word ‘difficulty’ in the title rather than ‘failure’. But of course that wouldn’t catch the attention of readers in the same way.
Literature reviews in the higher impact factor journals are from invited academics. You may be able to get a review accepted in a lesser impact factor journal. Worth a try for the practice alone.
I've known many people who have published papers in decent journals based on their honours or Masters work. Others have generated a good publishing record prior to starting their PhD based on collaborative work in which they did most of the design, data collection, analysis and write up. Don't feel restricted or inadequate because you lack a PhD.
I had no problems with my 260 odd page thesis in Word. Just keep the size down as much as you can. Once they start going over 50 mb you may run into problems. I used EMF files for my graphs and PNG format for my images. Those formats gave good quality at a reduced size.
Unfortunately it doesn't end until you receive 'the letter' - after your thesis has been examined, corrections accepted and bound/electronic copies submitted. So be prepared for this to drag on a bit longer (3-12 months). At least the examination period is a time to take a mental breather and do some of the things you put off doing during the write up.
Other things to check for:
- Same terminology has been used throughout the thesis
- Where you have referred to section numbers, figures and tables in the text - make sure these are correct
- If submitting an electronic copy and converting to pdf, check all figures for any irregularities. Simply save the individual pages and insert into document
- If using Endnote, ensure all citations in the text are proper links and not plain text (I had a couple in my thesis that were normal text)
I find it disturbing to think how much rubbish is being published in those poor quality journals these days (and only increasing). It wasn't too long ago that the only real avenue for sub-par work was through conference papers. That link that Chickpea provided is superb.
It is preposterous for a thesis committee to allow a student to suffer for another 12 months to produce something that is likely to get the same response by the examiner. It is not fair to expect you to overhaul your thesis based on inadequate and non-constructive feedback. You should appeal as soon as it is apparent that this situation will not change.
You need to carefully consider all your options before you go down the R&R path - and potentially lose your sanity along the way.
Just out of interest, how much have academic 'clout' does your supervisor have at the university and in their chosen field?
I have done a PhD under the Australian system and had a similar experience to yours. I received minor corrections from the first examiner and an R&R from the second. Due to the disparity between the two examiner reports an adjudicator was appointed. Their view was that the first examiner was a bit too easy and the second too hard – with minor corrections (structural) the outcome. In the end, I spent more time addressing the comments of the first examiner, who was far more constructive. Most of what the second examiner wrote was defendable.
Given the disparity between your two examiners was greater than mine, you really need to take the option (which should exist at your university) of an adjudicator. Clearly the R&R examiner has not properly articulated what needs to be done – and this is a requirement of an R&R verdict. It’s likely that the adjudicator will come back with a much more favourable review.
BTW you have to love the traditional English academic system – one that seems to be based on a long-standing tradition of putting selected PhD students through absolute hell because they are deemed unworthy of joining their little ‘PhD gentleman’s club’…
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