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mkb91
Wednesday, 9 August 2017 at 2:19pm
Sunday, 15 October 2017 at 1:40pm
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Thread: PhD Thesis / Paper Results Conflict

posted
15-Oct-17, 13:54
edited about 27 seconds later
by mkb91
Avatar for mkb91
posted about 5 days ago
Hi,

So I have a situation that I'm sure must have existed for many before, but haven't found anything out about it. I submitted my PhD thesis 3 months ago now, and should have my viva before the end of this calendar year. Right after my thesis submission, we sent off a paper based on the same results, they liked it but had a couple of things they wanted us to do and add on review, as in new experiments.

Basically, one of these threw up a totally unexpected result that essentially destroys a fundamental tenet of the thesis! (As in, the thesis data is otherwise all perfectly valid, it just doesn't mean what we thought and is basically not very relevant to the biological system we studied any more). Pretty much, we believed we were adding a sugar at a defined site on an enzyme to mimic a biological system, had 3 chapters discussing study of this, but actually it was at a different site...so, erm, bit of a disaster! Should add, we did have some evidence previously to support our initial conclusions, it was just disproven by this extra experiment that we didn't do before because, well, we had no reason not to distrust the earlier evidence.

I don't care too much about the paper, I have no interest in going into academia / post-doc. But I'm worried about the PhD. I don't want to have to fail after 4.5 years! What's, in your opinion, the best course of action? Defend my thesis results in the viva, even though I know they aren't actually right? (This is my intuition - at the time, I had no reason to doubt them, it's not an actual error and science gets disproved all the time, just usually not this quickly I guess). Or somehow re-write it? But that would be a major, major re-write with many new experiments needed - I have a job, I'm not really willing or able to do that.

Thoughts welcome!

Thread: pre-viva serious formatting mistake

posted
15-Oct-17, 13:45
by mkb91
Avatar for mkb91
posted about 5 days ago
Thanks all (only just seen this since my email neglected to alert me to replies, my bad!). This is what I'd hoped, to be fair 2 months further on from submission it seems rather less important...

Thread: pre-viva serious formatting mistake

posted
09-Aug-17, 14:29
by mkb91
Avatar for mkb91
posted about 2 months ago
Hi,

I recently submitted my PhD thesis (chemistry), and am now waiting around for a viva - date to be finalised but in 3 months or so. I'm also now writing up a paper from my thesis, meaning I annoyingly have to re-open my thesis chapters that I'd really rather never see again just to copy images across to the paper and so on.

During this, to my horror, I found a pretty significant formatting error in my final chapter (6) - basically, all my text got pushed a line down when I did a final seemingly insignificant change to a figure, meaning that from about halfway through the chapter onwards, the figure captions have been pushed onto the page after the figure itself. I've no idea how I didn't notice this, but I didn't, and the (one-sided) printed thesis will have this error. It affects about 7 figures.

Obviously I'm massively annoyed and kind of worried about how examiners will react to this, as it's pretty sloppy - I was somewhat rushed during printing and was more checking that the pages were in order etc. Has anyone ever done something similarly stupid and if so (how) did it work out? All the other chapters, which are the first 300 pages or so, are fine. I'm more concerned that the figures might not make much sense if they fail to realise this error...the figure numbers referred to in the text end up on the wrong page.

Any advice / similar experiences appreciated!

Matt
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