Signup date: 11 Sep 2016 at 6:57am
Last login: 13 May 2017 at 4:06am
Post count: 39
Definitely. My dad is an academic and supervises PhD students, and after 4 years still doesn't get why I won't pick up his calls during business hours...
My friends who are not PhD students definitely struggle with the idea that I'm really busy, e.g. going away for the weekend and I agree when someone says "I wish I didn't have to go back to work tomorrow"... "but you're not working tomorrow!".
I think I've finally trained my husband around this (lol), but we had a lot of fights earlier in the year while renovating our new home (sidenote: do NOT do that in the final year of your PhD!) and he would ask me run errands during working hours to buy things. I get it, it's a lot easier for me to take 'leave' from my work to go to the bathroom fittings store than someone who has a proper job and has to formally take leave, but that doesn't mean my time is less valuable or scarce... actually, this year, my time has been way more valuable and scarce! But yes, I think we're getting there, because last week when I was working from home and there was a little crisis at home that took 30mins to resolve, he apologised for it taking up my time, even though in this case it wasn't something he'd asked me to do.
How is everyone going this week?
My mood/mental state has been pretty good over the last couple of weeks, I've started working 2.5 days a week doing exactly the same role as I was in my final clinical placement, except getting paid! That has really lifted my spirits, not having to put in any extra effort but being able to contribute to our income rather than my husband supporting me fully as he has done since February when my scholarship ran out.
I'm still planning on submitting in 5 weeks (!) and it's starting to feel like that is going to be possible. My supervisor agrees that things are progressing well and after looking at my Discussion chapter once more, she's happy to hand it all over to me to finalise. So much of thesis stress has been around the stuff that's out of my control (When will my supervisor give me feedback? Will that paper get accepted? Will I get ethics approval?) but once when I'm only relying on myself, I know I can get it done!
That being said, this whole year has been such a rollercoaster so I'm sure I'll be back here posting about some crisis within the week, lol.
Today is not a good day. I was editing one of my papers (i.e. a results chapter for my thesis) and feeling like it was all a bit crap, and also feeling like my supervisor's advice on the approach is not sound, but I haven't had any success convincing her otherwise. I was trying to tell myself that probably everyone feels this way about their thesis at this stage, and that I'm not the right person to judge it as good/bad right now.
Then I got slammed with an email saying that another paper that is meant to be in my thesis was rejected by a pretty crappy domestic journal (its fourth rejection) with one reviewer and editor suggesting the whole paper is flawed and the data needs to be re-analysed from scratch. So even though I know that reviewers can be wrong, it just feels like objective proof that my research is rubbish.
I. Just. Want. To. Be. Done. I'm supposed to submit at the end of next month but it's feeling really impossible now. It was feeling hard enough just getting all the writing/editing done, I definitely don't feel like there is enough time to re-do a study - but what if my examiners have the same opinion of paper as all the people who have rejected it now?
Hey Hugh, that sounds really rough. It's really hard for students to speak up about these things given the power imbalance between student and supervisor. It sounds like their inaction is really holding you up, so I hope you can find a way to politely but firmly request that you get the feedback you were promised!
If it's any consolation, I'm pretty mad at my supervisors today too...
How is everyone going? For those who were submitting, did it all go okay?
I'm a bit distracted this week as it is my final week of clinical placement, after three years of being an intern!! Very exciting and will be great for thesis progress, but have had a lot of work to finish for that eating into thesis time. I also stupidly thought it would be fine to host my husband's 30th birthday party at home two days after I finish and invite my mum to stay with us so she can join, so I've had to set aside Friday to do all the housework I've been neglecting...
Hmmm, I'm not the best at stats, but I agree in principle that for a within-subjects, counterbalanced study you shouldn't be too worried about covariates.
Another option that I have used before but slipped my mind... you say you did run preliminary analyses to check whether there were any unexpected effects, but there weren't any. You could include a table showing this analysis in your response to reviewer's comments to justify your approach, and then add a sentence to your methods/results with something like:"[whatever test you used for your preliminary analysis] were conducted to test associations between [potential covariates] and the dependent variable (data not shown). No significant associations were found, so no covariates were included in the main analysis". Then,hopefully, the reviewers/editor are happy that you haven't outright rejected their suggestion but you keep your main analysis.
Good luck, like I said, you don't need to follow every single thing a reviewer says, and unless there are other bigger problems with the paper I'm sure it will be accepted whichever way you go!
I'm not sure what field you are in, but coming from a background of publishing in psychology and epidemiology, I don't think two weeks is a very long time to wait - I imagine the reviewer request is sitting in someone's inbox while they are on holiday/busy/away sick.
Journals vary a lot in their response time, and actually, in my experience some of the 'elite' journals are quicker because they have more submissions to churn through and potentially more staff to do the leg work. I've got a manuscript sitting with a pretty average domestic journal at the moment, and it has been slowww because the editorial team all have other jobs and just do this on the side.
What you describe is how I have always approached the decision to include or not include co-variates in the main analysis... in three different settings under different academics/supervisors. However, sometimes you do include a particular variable of interest even if it is not significant in the preliminary analysis, because it still may have an effect on your main variables. So, I don't think you're doing something clearly wrong, but without knowing the specifics of your study, the reviewers *could* have a point.
I would start by re-running the analysis according to the two ways that have been suggested. If you can find a way that doesn't change the actual pattern of results, you may as well just update the numbers in the results section and give them what they want.
If both approaches do change things a lot, I would consider the nature of the rest of the reviewer comments. If they are minor and it seems the paper has a good chance of getting accepted, I would (politely) justify why you are using your current approach. Definitely cite that paper which does the same - in fact you can probably find several that do. You can also mention the fact that there is discrepancy between two reviewer's suggestions, which highlights there is no clear correct approach you have missed.
There's no rule to say you have to adhere to all the reviewer's suggestions, and many papers have been accepted despite not adopting reviewer's suggestions. However, if you feel like the other comments are pretty major and you don't want to add another thing that might be the tipping point for an editor deciding to reject your paper, maybe you do need to consider doing what one of them says, or including some but not all the variables they want, or still saying no and being prepared to submit to another journal (if you feel very strongly and aren't desperate for publications!)
Hope this helps!
Hello fellow Aussie! Yep, similar thing at my uni, we need to notify ~two months out and give a presentation within the last three months.
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