Overview of mak_2011

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Book reviews and conference reports

======= Date Modified 27 Jul 2012 16:17:00 =======
Hi everyone,

(Am coming back to this forum after a long time :$)

Marasp, I would like to note that in terms of an increasing order of difficulty in peer-reviewed publications, please note the following list:
A. Workshop proceedings.
B. Conferences
C. Academic Journals

In terms of reviewing time, the shortest time is for proceedings in conferences and workshops. And for most academic journals, time to get the first reviews (and even a reject) can range from couple of months to even close to an year.

Keeping this in mind, I propose that you should start with peer-reviewed workshop proceedings in your domain.

Some good places to learn about publishing in high quality venues are:

Hope this helps


Transferring Endnote to new laptop

Hi PamW,

Endnote library is always inside a single folder. I have found that all I needed to use it on another machine was to copy the entire folder simply. On the other machine, I simply install endnote and open this library.

Hope this helps.

LaTeX versus MS Word and referencing with Refworks

Quote From emmie:

I tried to use latex before but I found inserting tables quite cumbersome - does anyone know if there is a shortcut that I would be able to insert excel tables into latex and would anyone have any good links to a PhD formatted latex thesis? On a funny latex note when I did email my friend who introduced me to latex and put in the subject line "I love latex!!!!!" she automatically thought it was spam :p

Hi Emmie,

Have you tried Excel2Latex macro? I believe you can get it from here: http://www.ctan.org/tex-archive/support/excel2latex/

Hope this helps

A little something for the weekend...

Dear Dr. Delta,

Congratulations!!! Well done! I have not been around the forum for some days and came back to see this good news.



Can you disagree with the examiners position at Viva?

Hi Delta,

I agree with Sneaks and Cplusplusgal. There are basically 3 stages as far as it happens in our university:
A. Pre-viva report which is filled in before the viva in consultation with or independently of each other (by the examiners)
B. Viva where you can change their opinion positively swaying them away from a bad decision hopefully.
C. Announcement: This is after you come back and they have deliberated. In this case, there have probably already made up their minds so I hope you won't have to argue at this stage. Hopefully it will go ok. But please do carefully read all rules on what are the possibilities and how decisions can be made.

Kind regards


Thesis revisions - i cant extrospect!

Quote From sneaks:

I have this problem. I can only suggest telling your mum what your thsis is about and recording the conversation!

hahahaha excellent suggestion sneaks! Personally I don't think I would have succeeded in this, not because my mum won't get it but rather because she would not have that much time to listen to me with full attention. :-)

Good or Bad?

Hi Delta,

Hmmmm. IMHO to be frank, there are two sides to this coin. It is perhaps not that good in the sense that you may end up having to explain very basic stuff about your area. And on the other hand, it may be good though that once you have gotten past the first stage and maybe removed their misunderstandings, you can say practically anything and get away with it. On the whole, it is neither good nor bad. There are actually more chances of it turning out to be good than bad (or when both were experts or they think they are experts, in both case which could have been a bigger issue) Now that you know, you can prepare yourself for the possibilities.

As long as you are confident and well-prepared, I would say you will do just fine!

So, don't worry too much about them and focus on your preparation now! (up)

Best of wishes

Revise and resubmit: role of examiners after viva?

Dear Marasp,

Sorry to hear about the outcome. But don't worry about it. You can still make it. Meanwhile, normally it is the internal who handles the corrections (for minor) but for re-submission, I am assuming both will probably examine them (the re-submitted thesis). Also, it is upto the examiners whether or not they will work with you but if they want to be formal, they will probably force you to work and finish it all up and only make a decision when you submit. So, it is better to ensure you work with your sup on the corrections (in that case at least). Please examine the University rules and forms on this topic as they are the key to what will actually happen. Also, remember it may take you quite some getting used to, as rules can at times be subjective (at least from what I have seen in Scotland).

Anyways, best of luck. Don't worry about the outcome now. You still have a very good chance if you focus on all their wishes!

Hope this helps

LaTeX versus MS Word and referencing with Refworks

======= Date Modified 28 Nov 2011 07:30:29 =======

Quote From milo:

Thanks Mak_2011.

I'll have a look at this and see how it goes, how have you found using Latex? are you new to this approach or are you relatively familiar with it? I am still in 2 minds as to whether to keep going or return to Word. Anyone else have thoughts/experience of MS Word versus Latex?


Hey Milo,

Personally I would recommend that if you can switch to Latex asap, do it. I used latex previously off and on but my sup likes MS Word. So, he kind of forced me into Word. Now, it was actually too late for me when I realized what a huge mistake I had made! In my case my MS Word and Endnote had close to 300+ references and I was done with my first draft by the time I realized that I should have never used MS Word! To summarize, it was extremely painful to deal with tables, figures running out, contents not properly generated and it was terrible when in spite of all efforts, my examiners spotted ridiculous errors of missing references (of figures) due to MS Word's problems with handling long documents and how things get updated (and most times not updated!!) :-s
So, if you can move away from MS Word to Latex or even Lyx (which is sort of a nice compromise between Word and Latex), then please go ahead. You may have to learn it for two weeks or even a month, at first, but it will save you a lot of time and possibly embarrassment (as it happened in my case) later!

Hope this helps

Imminent Viva


Congratulations! Excellent news!

Viva date

Dear Catalinbond,

Don't worry too much about being away from uni. The uni and everything there can actually be a distraction. I don't know about others but right before my viva, the environment at the department started to look very strange (as in creepy!). (or maybe it was just me!) However, if you do have to travel there, if possible go and get a comfortable place a couple of days early on in London and relax a bit so you are not in tension during the viva.

Wishing you and everybody who is having a viva soon best of luck! (up) I shall be coming back and forth to check on you folks!


passed VIVA

Dr. Naturalme!

Congratulations!!!! Please take a break now! Worry about corrections few days later. It can be pretty rough after the viva and what you are feeling is perfectly normal. So, take a well-deserved break!
In my case they asked me for 6 months too but I ended up doing the corrections in 6 weeks or so. So, hopefully you will do fine too. Don't worry!

All the best (up)

LaTeX versus MS Word and referencing with Refworks

Dear Milo,

Though I cannot directly advice you on Latex and Refworks but I had similar experience with Latex and Endnote. What I did was to unformat my references in MS Word first. Then I had to play around with regular expressions (using e.g. Notepad++) to search and replace both the citations as well as to ensure the new bibtex files were properly formatted. In short, I guess there is no easy solution (at least not for endnote). You need to manually ensure that the citations are in the right format and exports everything. Later on, I used jabref to edit/correct the bibtex file.

Hope this helps

3 months corrections and feeling stressed and burnt out

Quote From cplusplusgirl:

. . .
Since receiving my corrections there was one item on there that didn't come up in the viva that the internal examiner has added (and I had to email him to clarify exactly what it was he wanted), which includes a whole lot of extra work that NO-ONE in my field does, or has needed for journal publication or other! I've spoken to colleagues about it and they do think it is a bit petty minded that he has requested it. I am so worried that he is p*ssed at me and trying to make my life difficult.

Sorry, needed to offload. Just feels like I've been waved a carrot infront of my face at the end of the viva, and now it's been taken away.

Ohhh. That is ok. I can relate to what you are saying! Looks like you are in a very similar situation as I had to face! Well, judging by your experience in publications (as you had mentioned), I am sure, technically, you will do just fine. But the only thing that I would advice other than what you have already been advised is, not to burn out:

Please (try to) keep your calm. Basically by being so annoying, the examiners probably expect you to loose it. But you need to win here and not let them win. So, please try to relax and don't worry. Do the corrections in chunks. Maybe do the easier one first and keep taking lot of breaks (I now realize that I ended up watching the maximum number of seasons of every show that I could find while doing my corrections, basically anything that would distract me from the painstaking corrections and edits. . . . :p)

For the part which you are mentioning here, don't try to do it all at once (unlike the other corrections). Do this one in short iterations because it can become very depressing and painful to do some ridiculous analysis which otherwise does not make sense. (I had to do something similar just because the internal did not understand what I was trying to do basically and my thesis size grew enormously just because I was giving extraordinary levels of details of things, which would have been fine as simple citations otherwise). Anyways remember this is the last part of the race and afterwards you will be done forever and you will feel like, as someone once told me, as follows:
"It will feel like gravity has reduced its effect in half on you when you submit the final corrected version of the thesis."

Trust me on this one. . . This (secret) :p Newton's law of corrected PhD thesis submission is universal and does work! :p

All the best then! (up)

3 months corrections and feeling stressed and burnt out

Dear C++girl,

I realize it must be very tough and things might not look rosy but you need to remember the examiners want to pass you! So, if you basically satisfy them on the main points, they probably will not be very picky choosy about the fine ones. In addition, one thing I would advise is to reconsider getting your supervisor's opinion and help. Remember you sup can unofficially get reviews/feedback on your next submission but you probably may not be able to get that (it depends on the examiners). In my case, the examiners wanted to get only the final version. So, I had to request (or rather force :-s my supervisor) to coordinate with the examiners before I submitted the final version. It was definitely not pleasant since he added more corrections etc. but in the end, I am happy since as they say, "All is well that ends well". And while the examiners can ask you for anything, as long as you can prove in the thesis otherwise and clearly mention it in the list of corrections letter (it is an optional letter but helped in my case), the examiners can actually be convinced otherwise. In my case, the internal was the main problem and really had some bias against me (at least that is how it felt). Still she was unable to finally do anything other than pass me (after the corrections). Her final words were "I don't agree with this but I understand what you are saying". :p

Anyways, best of luck.