Major corrections as R&R

P

Hi
I wrote about my issue several times and it had been three weeks now and I still burst into tears whenever I remember the outcome.

Today I recieved my official report which says ( revise and resubmit)

They told my at the end of the viva that it is major corrections but will be awareded revise and resubmit

In their report they mentioned that I rebutted their constructive feedback while in reality I only responded to their stupid comments and attack. They also mentioned I gave them difficult moments at the end of the examination meeting forgetting to mention that my viva was basically an attack and I am the victim here

Anyway, I am still angry now and I am hoping that I could calm down and don’t do anything reckless ( liking emailing the examiners and telling them that they do not deserve to be in academia)

My question is ( I already emailed thegraduate chair to explore if this nasty internal examiner can be replaced with another examiner)

I still have not mentioned anything about the video that was mistakingly sent to me by the examiners where she laughed loud when I ended the call and I was literally crying.

My questions is : I just want this degree and I really trying to avoid any sort of troubles but after reading their report. I feel literally a victim and I don’t really trust anyway at this department?

Shall I appeal based on the video that I have or shall I do the corrections and see how it goes.

One of the corrections is not really doable as it says” review more critically the literature review” ok I can try and rewrite it again but if he does not want to accept he would still say “ I can not find your voice in the literature “

Please advice what should I do and this thing had significantly affected my mental health and my wellbeing,
Phd is not only tough but also humiliating as you have to endure the attitude of these academics pass

P

Clarification in my university we have minor or Revise and resubmit

J

I'm sorry to hear of your viva outcome. In my opinion, just do the corrections and you'll have no reason not to be awarded your PhD. I wouldn't get enticed by going for "procedural irregularities" even if you allege they have behaved unprofessionally, besides it could take years for this process with no guarantee that you could prove this is why you've got R&R. Your PhD is to be awarded on your work, and now you have an opportunity to improve it. Just focus on that and you will be finished quicker.

If your university only has minor amendments or R&R as viva outcomes, then it just means you have some corrections to do. Don't try to catastrophise or imagine how the examiners will judge your changes negatively. Instead, make sure your corrections are good and thorough enough that they can't reject them.

Good luck.

E

Can you meet with your supervisor to go over the amendments? Not critically speaking enough in a lit review is quite common. All it means is to look at the evidence you’ve provided and add your own perspective. For example ‘whilst a novel contribution, the methodology is problematic/the study only represented younger adults. This study would have benefitted from exploring the views of different ages in order to represent XYZ better’.
You need to do the corrections. I know your viva went badly and you have a separate complaint, but part of achieving a PhD is the ability to take constructive criticism. If you disagree with feedback, you don’t argue, you reason it. I.e ‘whilst the method you’re suggesting is advantageous, I believe that these disadvantages xyz make it less suitable’. If you can concede, ‘that’s an excellent idea, if I were to do similar research with the knowledge I have now, I’d probably explore this method’.

I’ve said on your previous posts, you are seemingly going to war with absolutely everything to do with your PhD. You need to separate out the bad conduct of the viva from everything else. Persue the misconduct, but also examine your own responses. Very rarely do people pass without changes, and yours are not that bad. It’s not an MPhil or a fail.

There are plenty of people who have been in your position and still achieved their PhD. Yes, you have the right to get them investigated for the racism, but unless you can show it directly relates to your amendments you are going to have to do them. You need to put your effort in to them.

P

Thank you Em89
Your reply is so helpful. Unfortunately,
my supervisor has not contacted me since the Viva and I tried to conact her and she never replied but she was never helpful and I have never benefited from her at all as she used to till me that my work is ok without even bothering to read it.
Anyway, thank you for your helpful comments.
I was thinking of appealing and request a new viva and new examiners as I believe I have strong evidence that they were not fair.
Doing the corrections might seem an easier path but I am worried that they will still fail me even if I address their comments and by that time it will be too late to appeal. ( in my uni you have 4 weeks to raise an appeal after the formal descision)

Not really sure what to do but thanks alot for your reply

P

Quote From Phd20sb:

In their report they mentioned that I rebutted their constructive feedback while in reality I only responded to their stupid comments and attack. They also mentioned I gave them difficult moments at the end of the examination meeting forgetting to mention that my viva was basically an attack and I am the victim here

Anyway, I am still angry now and I am hoping that I could calm down and don’t do anything reckless ( liking emailing the examiners and telling them that they do not deserve to be in academia)


I understand that you have other complaints, but I'll just focus on the viva issue in this thread.

Can you give us some examples of instances in the viva where you felt attacked? And what was your response to each of these?

Getting defensive =/= reasoning out the comments the examiners make; the latter is the right thing to do in an academic discussion. If you could not do that, then I understand their concerns. The viva must be separated from other issues you may have made throughout your PhD, otherwise you're taking a bucket-load of resentment into an already stressful situation - this might explain why you interpret their comments as attacks and see yourself as a victim?

I'm glad that you acknowledge that insulting your examiners would do you no good.

Avatar for rewt

Quote From Phd20sb:
Clarification in my university we have minor or Revise and resubmit


That sounds like a stupid university rule but it is part of the rules. If it they are making you redo the viva, I doubt that your will pass as part of any complaint against them. You could possibly get a new examiner but from my limited experience, I have never seen someone appeal an R&R. It is sometimes better to just do the corrections and sit through another viva, they have at least told you what they are looking for this time.


Quote From Phd20sb:
One of the corrections is not really doable as it says” review more critically the literature review” ok I can try and rewrite it again but if he does not want to accept he would still say “ I can not find your voice in the literature “


Sorry to be rude but that is a completely valid correction. Also, I think that the more critical reviews have an inherently stronger voice. It isn't that big of rewrite if you have included all the relevant literature. Just go through the lit review, mentioning limitations of everyone else's work and praising the stuff your really like. Then occasionally point out contradictions between people and pick a side. You don't need to do super in-depth critical analysis of everything unless it is seminal to your work. As, as a reader, when a literature review lists/explains/discusses without any criticism , I don't know what to consider more/less relevant or what the research problem really is. So, if you already have the content adding some professional criticism is a really just a major edit. I understand you feel attacked but I would recommend talking through the corrections with someone to discuss how to fix each correction, as you may realise it is easier than you think.

P

No they told me congratulations you passed your oral examination with correction up to 12 months and they said that this is a positive thing as it takes the pressure off and that I can easily submit in half of that . But when I read the university regulation it said that they might ask me for a second viva


need to be sorry . On the contrary, I feel it is good to step away from my problem and see how other view it.

I totally do not mind making any corrections that will eventually going to improve my thesis. But from my point of view my literature is critical and hang together and as a non native speaker I am really proud of its level and some of the points they mentioned are already mentioned in the literature but they did not bother to read.

The fact that I have seen the back scenario and how external said of the record this is a “ so what situation “ and was willing to give me minor corrections but then the internal pushed for the r&r.

Also, the fact that their report was brief and they only focused on how inflexible I was made me worry alot that they would be unprofessional and biased in the second submission ( if they are fair then I would be happily doing the corrections and submit but I am 100% sure that they are biased and unfair)

P

I mean I am trying to be as practical as possible and I am very flexible and easygoing in general . If I had recieved similar outcomes from fair examiners then I would just do the corrections without even worrying about it.

I am worried from those examiners because I believe that they did not understand or might even have not read my whole thesis. They gave me a hell time during the viva and then send me a video of their discussion ( sterotyping and bias). In the video they said what corrections do we want to give. Instead of whats wrong with the thesis and then decided that I should ( expand the literature and compined the findings with the discussion). When delivering the outcome and the corrections, I expressed that expanding the literature is almost impossible as I had a systematic review and included materials up to 2020. When I recieved the report they changed expand the literature to review it on a more critical voice and then they wrote a long paragraph about how I argued with them at the end of the viva instead of accepting their constructive criticism.
I do not really mind doing all of the corrections but it is very clear they are really biased and unprofessional. In when I consulted the student union which is an independent party in the university they urged me to raise an appeal saying I have a strong case. I am only worried that raising an appeal would create a backlash and I would end up with internal examiner whose similar to this one and I really do not trust anyone in this department

E

If you push for another Viva, you might fail. Currently you only have to do your corrections, and as long as you can show you have done the corrections you will pass. I'm trying to word this as delicately as I can, and I'm only able to make assumptions based on your word son here, but you come across as very, very defensive. A viva may be a 'thesis defense' but it does not mean you defend it against everything. You have to concede that other people have read your work and found room for improvements. You've given a few examples of you amendments and I wonder if you are seeing them as more major than they are? for instance the comment about critically reflecting in your literature review, and on another post you wrote about integrating chapters; these are all very common corrections and not actually that major. You also highlighted that some of the corrections you think actually came from your supervisor because they wanted something done differently. If you've submitted something that your supervisor didn't agree with, it is always a risk; sometimes it pays off but it's not surprising to then get corrections on it.

If you do sit another viva I think you need to reflect on your own shortcomings, can you say for certain your attitude was entirely correct? Your examiners comments sound like they found you to be quite confrontational when challenged on aspects of your PhD. You cannot do this, you can defend your decisions without going to war with your examiners.

I really don't want to upset you further, and I can see you are still very angry and feeling hard done to in all of this, and as I was not there I cannot say whether this was justified or not, but I really want to see you pass this. I want to be able to log on and read you are officially Dr PhD20sb! My concern, as I've stated before, is that your anger and indignation at the outcome is going to interfere with this. Do the corrections, work with your supervisor and try to mend those bridges.

It's heartbreaking to feel like you've not done enough, and it does bruise your ego. If PhD's were awarded purely for hard work then everyone would get one with no corrections, but they are not. You really, really need to put your anger aside and work on your corrections, because form what you've written they don't sound that bad. Also, many Uni's have an option for minor (1 month), minor (3 months) and R&R, but R&R does not always mean another viva. If you've been told they are major corrections, you may not need another viva. Right now you have complained about your supervisor, your examiner, your corrections etc and it's taking away energy from your corrections.

You're asking for advice, so the advice is to do your corrections, reflect on your own short comings, pursue your complaints about the breach of protocol and racism, and get your doctorate.

E

OK, in terms of your literature review, go back through and look at the main studies your highlighted. Create a table of the following: Date conducted, sample used, methodology (study design, recruitment, analysis), limitations identified within journal. Then go through each point and add the strengths and limitations, so for example:
Date: 2010 (limitation, field has moved on a lot since then), sample: Young adults, aged 16-24, 78% female (not representative of males, age should have explored older age groups for more in depth findings), Methodology: cross sectional, purposive sampling, non-parametric mean comparisons (generalizability and reliability issues, risk of type II errors, no a priori power analysis)

then you use this to critically reflect on the study better. Then add your own voice, so 'this study could have been greatly improved by using a more inclusive sample wit equal representation of gender. The methodology makes replication for this study difficult to conduct, however overall this study was the first of it's kind and paved the way for further studies such as XY & Z'

Many literature reviews are very descriptive 'this is what was done and this is what was found and this is what it means' when you a PhD you need to be able to show that you can critically look at research.

In terms of integrating chapters, are they asking you to merge chapters or ensure a greater flow? A thesis should be a like a story (albeit a boring one) with a logical flow. One of the things I struggled with was ensuring that the end of one chapter set the scene for the next chapter, and the start of the next chapter related directly to the ending of the previous chapter. I then triangulated all my research within the concluding chapter and brought it all together. depending on your area of study you can use a theoretical framework to guide this

P

Quote From Em89:
OK, in terms of your literature review, go back through and look at the main studies your highlighted. Create a table of the following: Date conducted, sample used, methodology (study design, recruitment, analysis), limitations identified within journal. Then go through each point and add the strengths and limitations, so for example:
Date: 2010 (limitation, field has moved on a lot since then), sample: Young adults, aged 16-24, 78% female (not representative of males, age should have explored older age groups for more in depth findings), Methodology: cross sectional, purposive sampling, non-parametric mean comparisons (generalizability and reliability issues, risk of type II errors, no a priori power analysis)

then you use this to critically reflect on the study better. Then add your own voice, so 'this study could have been greatly improved by using a more inclusive sample wit equal representation of gender. The methodology makes replication for this study difficult to conduct, however overall this study was the first of it's kind and paved the way for further studies such as XY & Z'

Many literature reviews are very descriptive 'this is what was done and this is what was found and this is what it means' when you a PhD you need to be able to show that you can critically look at research.

In terms of integrating chapters, are they asking you to merge chapters or ensure a greater flow? A thesis should be a like a story (albeit a boring one) with a logical flow. One of the things I struggled with was ensuring that the end of one chapter set the scene for the next chapter, and the start of the next chapter related directly to the ending of the previous chapter. I then triangulated all my research within the concluding chapter and brought it all together. depending on your area of study you can use a theoretical framework to guide this


Thank you Em89 for your time and your reply is soooo helpful. Definitely I will consider all your suggestions

E

Hi. I agree with EM89. Focus to get things done. Major corrections is not a bad outcome. Also too much escalating can lead to worse outcome.

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