Signup date: 02 Feb 2021 at 2:29pm
Last login: 02 Feb 2021 at 5:17pm
Post count: 32
This supervisor probably isn't being deliberately obstructive. You say that they haven't read your paper, but is there any merit in their suggestions? For example perhaps your paper draft isn't as clear as you think. If they haven't understood your results, you may not be communicating your work as well as you'd hoped. After all, it's your idea and you've worked on it, but if it's something novel then your supervisor won't be as invested as you and doesn't know all the subtleties. Therefore you need to state your aims very clearly and also emphasise how different your work is to the original. I know it's frustrating, but is there any way you can use this to make the work stronger? You don't have to back down to pressure but your life will be a lot easier if you keep your supervisor on board. You can publish your paper independently, but they still have to sign off on your thesis some day.
I really hope this works out for you, but as others have said, a LOT of people do exactly the same thing and don't hand in their minor corrections. Their reasons range from serious adverse circumstances to simply losing interest. You may not realise this but many universities and departments get penalised every time a student doesn't complete their PhD. Your old supervisor might have lost funding or even been banned from taking on another student because you didn't finish. It doesn't matter that you completed your viva, many funders will still count this as a fail (most research council studentships automatically fail after a specific time, usually 5 years from the start date or less unless evidence is provided at the time, and sometimes less). Those failures severely impact the grants available to academics and the funding available to departments. It's all very well expecting compassion for struggling students, but if you just stopped going to your normal job one day, you wouldn't still expect to have a job if you suddenly showed up six or seven years later, would you? Or if you vanished on your partner one day, would you expect them to still welcome you back after that long? But for some reason the thought that some Universities might not be 100% supportive seems to fill some people with rage. The sad truth is your actions could have impacted your supervisor's career. Hopefully not, but I know someone who just lost their job because several different students didn't turn in minor corrections within five years. The supervisor got blamed for it even though every one of them just decided that academia was less important than their real life. I very much hope it works out for you but your University might have seen dozens of similar cases over the last decade and might not be as supportive as would be ideal.
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