Just joined this valuable forum as I'm currently going through an anxiety episode. Basically, I passed my viva with corrections five months ago- I was given a list of 6 corrections (4 minor/ 2 are more major or substantial). I don't need to resubmit and I don't need to sit another viva- I just have to send the corrections to my internal examiner who then approves the stuff and lets the uni know.
I did my corrections nearly 4 months ago and my internal only replied yesterday, and he apparently still expects even more revision (i.e. he wasn't entirely satisfied with my corrections). I was told post-viva that I won't need to do any additional fieldwork which is why I left the UK (I told them that) and am getting teaching and research experience overseas. Now I've received the revised draft and was shocked at the number of comments there.
I emailed my supervisor, who will also be shocked as he thought my revision looked great (in fact, he thinks my PhD is so good I must convert it into a book). I'm very worried I'll fail and not get the PhD- is that possible at this stage? Please help- many thanks.
how much time do you have to finish the corrections? It was quite rude of the internal to reply after 4 months! Hope you have enough time to apply the comments.
I would say that receiving comments is probably a good think as it will improve the quality of your work before you have it published. Don't panic, some academics are notorious sticklers, my second supervisor sent me 100 comments on a paper that has been already peer reviewed and accepted by the examiner!
So just keep going, you need to feel happy and in control of the process! You are almost there!
Hi Dr Jeckyll,
Initially I was given 3 months as they were minor, but my supervisor told me I can have up to 6 months (as 2 of the corrections are more substantial). Since there's been this delay from his part I'm assuming there's enough flexibility for me to address his comments (I'd rather bide my time and do a better job than send the revised version quickly only to get finicky comments again).
I spoke to my supervisor via phone today (I'm currently getting teaching and research experience overseas), and he's even angrier than I am as he thought my revisions were excellent and addressed the main issues. He believes this has nothing to do with my work but rather the examiner (who he knows) being extra finicky and picky. My supervisor has been EXTREMELY SUPPORTIVE, and for that I'm grateful.
The only thing is that I've got 2 major changes whereby I have to elaborate on policy implementation in a given country, and the examiners specifically said I don't need to do any more fieldwork, and given that I'm not in Europe it's hard for me to start doing fieldwork. Would it be possible to just explain that I've tried to email/get in touch with relevant people and I still cannot obtain access to the required data?
I feel for you on your paper as that's the position I'm in; but you don't think there's a chance they'll refuse to give me the PhD- makes no sense since I've already passed, don't have to resit and resubmit, only need to send revisions to the internal? My supervisor advised me to just work on it and no need to think about appeals/etc so prematurely.
Hi Incognito. It might be worth while looking to see what the graduate school handbook/PhD regulations etc. say. It is usual for the examiners to produce a written statement of the corrections required of a candidate. The norm is that if those requirements are met, the candidate passes. If the corrections are minor, the internal examiner is usually asked to approve them, as in your case. IMO it would be *very* unusual if the internal were allowed to add requirements to the corrections agreed with the external (that would be going against the result of the viva and would negate the examiners' joint decision). If that is what is happening, I would email and ask the advice of the graduate school. Good luck!
It seems that this is now more of a political issue than anything else (in other words, the internal is being extremely meticulous). I have already started doing each and every amendment he's asked for (including silly word changes and typos). 2 of the 4 (it was 6 but I finished two and 100% that these changes will be approved) are worrying me in the sense that they are more substantial. My supervisor told me to just be honest: if I cannot find the data they are asking for I should just say it (and my supervisor is confident I won't be able to get it as governments don't disclose that kind of info to anyone let alone a PhD candidate). The corrections were given to me in writing but he's added a few more typos and grammatical ones here and there- I will do them and if he THEN comes back with more issues I'll probably appeal with my supervisor's help. Do you think that's a good approach?
Oh dear ... politics! If the data you would ideally include is not accessible, then plainly it cannot be added and there is no alternative to saying it is unavailable. The only thing that could be done might be to include the absence of this particular evidence as a limitation of the thesis, thus acknowledging that if possible you would have used it and that it would have enhanced the data. Since the corrections were classed as minor it cannot realistically be argued that the thesis is indefensible without this additional data.
Sorry for the late response too busy working on the stuff...in shock at some of the finicky comments!! I concur- my supervisor says the idea that you passed the PhD with corrections means that the possibility of getting an MPhil or a failure is not an issue . I'm just focussing on doing exactly what the examiner wants- I'm documenting all the changes I made and why I made them. For the two points requiring inaccessible data I'll do that, and may even suggest that this could be the focus of future research (would that be a good thing to note)?? I just need to convince myself that given that I passed the viva with no need to resit or resubmit means failure in my case is not an option- what do u think?
Thanks for posting this Incognitio. Although my examiners have given me 3 months from Feb to complete these minor corrections, I'm also feeling very anxious about internal rejecting my minor corrections!
My minor corrections include correcting a few typos, proofreading references, rewording some sentences and rewriting my abstract. I've addressed almost all of the references issues and some smaller edits. I just need to rewrite my abstract.
I want to make extra sure I've covered each and every correction before submitting to my supervisors. Once my supervisors are happy with this draft, then I'll send my thesis to my internal examiner to approve these minor corrections.
Really hope my internal examiner approves these corrections relatively quickly. I simply can't go through another extremely stressful long wait!
Hi Incognito I think you query about the best course of action re. your two problematic corrections would be to consult your supervisor, who knows both your work and the implications of your decision. I would point out though that if you suggest someone else should use this data you might be asked why you didn't access it, if they can! Good luck. You'll get there!
Your corrections seem more minor than mine: I was given a list of a few corrections, all of which are minor (one of them, for example, is including the years the study looks at!) except for 2, which are more substantial, but I don't have to revise and resubmit, no need for another viva, and only the internal will approve (the external doesn't need to). My supervisor is very certain this is now a political issue about the 2 corrections and believes that it is not a reflection on the quality of my work or argument. I'm very lucky to have this supervisor (VERY LUCKY!) so he'll support me all the way- I've already started working and found four case studies that actually reinforce my findings so I'll include them and if I don't hear back from the officials about the data I'm missing I'll just say that and hope for the best- at this stage I'm not sure I'll get any response.
It's a wake-up call on politics in the world of academia, and I'm living it as we speak I suppose.
I think you'll be fine- rewording the abstract doesn't seem like a content issue- it's when content and data are involved that one must be concerned in my view, which is the situation I'm in...any advice? Pootie has been very helpful but like to hear other views.
In reading the new comments, has he asked for more than the original corrections that were detailed post-viva?
He can't change his mind post-viva as to what the corrections entail once what has been expected of you has been detailed.
I normally advise against rocking the boat and going along with what is wanted in order to get write-up / viva / corrections out of the way, however, there seems to be grounds to complain here if he has changed the goalposts so to speak.
Yes some of the comments proposed are new and just so trivial- even my supervisor is shocked and is saying that this is just pure politics now due to the argument I present. I have decided to do everything expected (except if I can't find data for the 2 points raised) and if the examiner then comes back with additional stuff then I'll consider what to do next with my supervisor. I'm glad my supervisor is strongly on my side and I haven't heard of cases where the PhD fails or an MPhil is granted at that stage- have you?! I've just been stressed because of all this and while I've found several case studies to back me up and provide further support, I've been more anxious than ever- any advice to help me get through this rough patch?
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