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The Happy Thread

Hi Dx,

well, today the wheather is fantastic! Had an icecream on the riverbank, very enjoyable!:-)


Hi Beajay,

I had a quick look through all the replies and that I think that these provide very good advice. Perhaps the following my be useful:

1. Can you be registered with another university, either in the UK or even abroad? I have seen that the OU is mentioned, perhaps there are other institutions who would be keen to have you. Remember, you seem to do research in a niche area and it is likely that more publications will follow. As such you may well be attractive for various universities / reseachers. Often if you "just" e-mail to some of the key authors in your field and offer to work with them, they may well be interested. In this way you could bypass administrators, who may be restricted in providing university access.

2. I do not know this myself but can you get access to accounts like Athens / Scopus? I mean if you would contact "them" and explain your situation, would there be any chance that you get access / temporary access? Like using a new product sometimes one can try it for free for a month or so. Perhaps something to explore.

3. Although you mentioned that affiliation to a university is required in your field, I wanted to reiterate what others have said that many authors in various fields publish without having this connection.

Good luck:-)

If you only had a week to prepare for your viva...

Hi Keenbean,

I think it is mainly a confidence thing. I think it very important that you feel comfortable with your thesis and are happy to defend it. This means that, in my opinion, one should not do too much, especially if you only have a week for preparation. Last thing you want is being exhausted at the viva. Make sure you sleep a lot, do sport, try and rest a bit.

You will have just finished writing, so everything / details will be fresh in your mind. As such I would try to get an overview and concentrate on a few key questions, I think the ones that Bilbo brings forward are very good and worked well for me at my viva. I think having a short summarised thesis in your head would be good too.

So, "I can do it", key questions and overview / short summary.


Freaking out about viva!

Hi Sparkles,

I think that most people, just a few days before the viva, have similar feelings. I think it is only natural to have doubt and have feelings that the thesis may not be up to standard, that one has difficulties defending it etc.

Remember that you have spent several years researching your topic, even though it may not feel that way, you will know the thesis better than your examiners. You are the expert on it!

I think it may be best to think of the big picture and to try and focus on this. Be aware of potential weaknesses. Every thesis has weaknesses, that is not a problem. At the viva when asked about these, one can discuss and indicate that you are aware of them.

Remember, the vast majority of people on this forum have dreaded their viva, yet have done well and passed it. You will do fine!:-) Good luck!:-)

Wisdom tooth removed - time off?

Hi 4matt,

you have my sympathy. Although this may be seen as "minor operation" I can be very painful and you may feel quite drained. In my experience it can take about a week from operation to full recovery. As such I would request a week off from your employer, if you recover quicker you can always go back sooner.

Kind regards,


Paying to Publish in Journals

Hi Reishizuno,

I have seen this as well. Some established journals, like the British Medical Journal request a fee to be paid for publication. However, this should be paid by the institution, not by the individual authors. However, a great many other quality papers do not request any money. Several of the Open Access journals request a fee.

I would do the following:

1. Try to get your work published in quality journal that does not request money
2. Try the quality paper that requests a fee, yet only if your institution is prepared to pay this.
3. Avoid Open Access papers that request a fee, unless you are convinced of the quality / that it is really worth it

Good luck:-)

What would you do in this situation?

Hi Slowmo,

good question. At the moment you don not know exactly what is going on and in you mind there are all kind of potential reasons why your supervisors have not come back to you yet.

As you indicate it is important for you to be able to submit before the 15 th of July and you indicate that your supervisors are aware of that.

I think it would be good to communicate with them, either by e mail or by phone, mentioning exactly those things that are on your mind, that you feel worried that you have not heard, that it was planned to have a meeting early June, that you need to submit before the 15 th of July etc.

I think you have nothing to loose, as long as the mesage is given in a neutral way. Just do it, if you don't, you will later regret that you have not done anything and your supervisors may claim: "Why did you not contact us?":-)

I PASSED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Good show Pineapple!

Well done, congratulations and celebrations!


Last few days of viva prep

Dear Pineapple,

how did it go? :-)

Last few days of viva prep

Quote From Pineapple29:

Thanks everyone. Trying to stay positive!! Difficult though as my supervisors have just warned me to expect a particularly brutal viva on Friday :$ and a strong possibility of an MPhil if I'm not clear of my research objectives. Nice ay!

I submitted my thesis 9 months ago- all in all an agonisingly wait. I hate my life sometimes! My urge to quit is especially strong today (due to sups negativity today), so I'm mostly concentrating on my thesis strengths this morning, but I'll be reading and refreshing literature surrounding my thesis and continuing preparing answers to potential viva questions this afternoon.

Then tomorrow, it's a short trip to my uni and staying at a nearby hotel for Thursday night. Two more sleeps, then it's all over (well for viva anyway!)

I feel so deflated, tired with a strong sense of nausea. What will be will be.....

Hi Pineapple,

do not give up now! You can do it! I think you have done your preparation, you cannot change a lot on that anymore. I think it is important that you are fit on Friday, as such I would not do too much preparation anymore. Try get some rest!

As indicated you will do fine!

Been away for a while...

Hi Ev,

nice to see that you are back!

Sorry about the troubles in your personal life. Do not worry too much about your colleagues. At least good to read that you PhD is going well. Stay strong:-)

Seeking advice for a 55+ yr old prospective Phd student

Hi Senior,

welcome to the forum, nice to read that you, may I say as a mature student, want to do the PhD.

There are various international MBA programmes in the EU, taught in English, and I presume they may offer a PhD (or more likely a DBA) as well. You probably know these better than I do, schools like ESADE, IE, INSEAD, Erasmus etc. come to mind.

I do not know how this would work regarding residency, I think it depends on your nationality. If you are from the EU you can just start in any country in the EU, if not from the EU I think you probably need to contact the embassy of the country you want to go to and ask about visa etc.


English question

Hi Blue,

I think that you question makes it clear what you would like to be done. Even so, and I do not want to be impolite, your English comes across to me as somewhat odd. Again, no offence intended. I am not sure whether you are a native English speaker, I am not. As such I would feel uncomfortable giving you specific advice about this, perhaps you could ask a native speaker or someone on the forum could give you specific directions?

poster...do you really present it or hide behind it?

Hi Joanna,

I have never presented a poster, yet have been to several conferences and have had chat with authors of posters. I do not think it is something to be too worried about.

My experience, as the person reading a poster, is that often the author comes to you and says something like: "What do you think regarding the subject? Do you want me to provide some background information? Have you got any questions?" etc. Then, naturally, a conversation follows. As the person reading the stuff one does not have all the information, therefore it is helpful if the author can explain things. As such not a big deal and actually quite pleasant if the author is happy to explain things.

Sometimes no author comes forward, and I have never thought anything about that. I do not know whether the author may be secretly hiding and checking whether they want to talk to you or not. Again as the person reading it, I have never really thought more about it and then just went to the next poster or got myself a cup of coffee!:-)

What level to write at

Hi Hiccup,

that is a good question. Personally I really like it if people write clearly and down to earth. I hate the use of unnecessary "difficult terms" just to make it look more impressive. However, you also not want to write in an infantile way. Therefore I think it is best to compare with others in your field (for example in academic journals, theses etc.) regarding how things are written down.

I do not know anything about your field and would not know what a riparian corridor is, as such I would like to read a definition. I think that is nearly always useful, unless the term is so extremely obvious to your peers that I would be really silly to explain. Something like explaining what a "tree" or a "shop" is. However, regarding technical terms do not underestimate the various views that may exist, aand therefore the usefulness of providing a definition. Does that make sense?