Corrections - Wonky References?

posted
22-Mar-19, 15:44
edited about 15 seconds later
by paahb
Avatar for paahb
posted about 3 months ago
Hi all,

Essentially I passed my viva with minor corrections in December 2018- it all went well, and I was given three months to work on my corrections. One of my corrections, highlighted by my external- an expert in my field- was that I'd used a reference from a book that never made it to publication (I'd found the PDF of a single proof chapter about six pages deep on Google) and it needed to be referenced as such.

Unfortunately when I was doing my corrections, I found that I could no longer find the PDF- I did have a copy saved, but I had my laptop stolen on the train a few months ago so lost my copy. Because I couldn't find the reference, I omitted it from my thesis as it was only a small supporting point, however when I sent my corrected thesis off to my internal, they've said that "if I had a point from [reference], I can't just omit the reference, I have to acknowledge it". I've emailed them back saying that I've erased all references to the document from my thesis and that the hypotheses surrounding the reference are my own (because they are), however I'm worried: can they accuse me of just stealing ideas from this chapter as I can't provide a copy of it any more? Will they doubt it ever existed? Can they deny me my PhD because of this one bit of prior wonky referencing I've since omitted?

It's quite stressful as they're on research leave at the moment and are only checking their emails once a week, which is pushing me into a timeframe I'm not comfortable with- I handed in my corrections on my three month deadline, and now I've got further corrections; so does that make it officially late?

Any insights would be appreciated- I'm currently sitting in the bath eating haribo, deeply paranoid and paralyzed with fear that I've wasted five years of my life.
posted
01-Apr-19, 17:38
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 2 months ago
Hi! I'm not yet post viva, but lots of my friends are. I think you might be overthinking / worrying and this is gonna be fine. For peace of mind, can you not just google and find the ref or at least A ref that you can use to substantiate the minor point?
posted
02-Apr-19, 11:18
by rewt
Avatar for rewt
posted about 2 months ago
It is only 1 reference. In the grand scheme of things it is very minor and wont reject you just because of 1 reference.
posted
02-Apr-19, 14:00
by paahb
Avatar for paahb
posted about 2 months ago
Thanks for your feedback guys- overthinking it is exactly what I'm doing I think! The issue is that I can't find the reference I've misplaced-- I think the document must no longer be online because I've looked very thoroughly!

I have to admit, the timescale is worrying me more: I'm officially over my three-month deadline for these corrections and I can't find any university guidance on the issue. Do you only get one shot at corrections? I've been kept really abysmally informed of the whole process.
posted
02-Apr-19, 16:02
edited about 1 second later
by rewt
Avatar for rewt
posted about 2 months ago
If I had a paper that never made it to publication - I would try hide it.

I know at my uni there is usually a 1-2 week "grace period" were they don't care. Though you could ask your PhD rep or graduate school. They are usually quite informed.
posted
03-Apr-19, 09:53
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 2 months ago
Find any reference that makes roughly the same point?
posted
04-Apr-19, 09:01
edited about 14 seconds later
by paahb
Avatar for paahb
posted about 2 months ago
Thanks again for your responses- that's my plan, to just replace it with a similar reference that I *can* substantiate. I'm just waiting for them to tell me that this is an acceptable form of correction, as I'm loathe to do anything without their say so.

Hopefully they'll get back to me sooner rather than later--and hopefully won't tell me that I've missed a deadline because it's taken them weeks to respond to me :')
posted
04-Apr-19, 09:59
edited about 11 seconds later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 2 months ago
If you don't hear back, please just go ahead and do it and submit anyway. It sounds like you are really over thinking and over checking everything (I know what this is like - believe me). But at the end of the day, you need to show confidence about just going ahead and doing these minor things - otherwise you are just going to feel like you can't step a foot anywhere without checking first. Then again, perhaps I will feel like you too when it comes to making corrections and wanting to be certain it gets through! Thing is - they want to pass you - it's minor corrections - you aren't going to be failed on such a small point! Good luck with submitting it! :-)
posted
04-Apr-19, 13:49
edited about 28 seconds later
by paahb
Avatar for paahb
posted about 2 months ago
Thanks so much for your messages, I really appreciate it! I think it's difficult to realise that they want to pass me- it seems like they just can't be bothered with me at the moment! I emailed my supervisor for advice, and he is also ignoring me so I think it's just been the double-whammy that's getting to me. I appreciate that my examiner being on research leave means they're on a different time scale than when they're teaching but this just seems really thoughtless when there's a student trying to submit and finish- it's been almost three weeks of zero reply.

If I havent heard by Saturday I'm just going to forge ahead and email them a corrected version, with the reference replaced. Fingers crossed!
posted
07-Apr-19, 08:19
edited a moment later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 2 months ago
Your supervisor is ignoring you because you don't need their help any more at this stage. I would be very surprised if anyone redponded to your queries.
The others are correct. Just get on with the changes. You are absolutely overthinking things.

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