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Unrelated examiners examining viva


Unrelated examiners examining viva

Viva here I mean the research proposal, sorry.

I attended this presentation where the presenter was defending his PhD research proposal. One of the panel members admitted that he's not in the field but he said that the candidate's proposal doesn't relate to candidate's field, he continued to say that the research is not a part of the field. In a gist, he was basically saying, the research is not suitable or maybe irrelevant to the field.

The heck?
How on earth would the examiner know that the research is even related to the field? He's not even in the field!?
The presenter just stood there feeling shock and didn't know what to do He was just all silent, really cripple-looking : /

I went home feeling a bit upset because I think it's unfair for the examiner to say things like that. If I'm not mistaken, his position is to check the structure of the proposal (whether it's written clearly, follow to procedures of the Uni, etc), not to say that the research is something-something.

Is the examiner correct doing this? Should I be worried?

Who pays for the paper registration and publication?

Well, I submitted a paper recently for publication, and according to the place of submission, the paper needs a payment for both registration and publication.

Who pays for the paper registration and publication actually? My supervisor or me? Both of our names are on the paper, and I'm designated as the 1st author.

How do you handle a large number of literature?

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Thanks everyone.

Quote From lysethia:

Hi Tt_dan,

Thought I'd add my experiences/opinion to the mix. Something I wish I'd realised sooner in my PhD is that the reading part is never "done". That is at no point did I ever stop looking for literature and reading it. I'd say the bulk of your reading will be done in your first year, and I certainly advocate writing as soon as you start reading. I also recommend some form of reference management. I use Mendeley as I like that you can search all your pdfs for words in the text, and words in your own reviews/tags. Don't worry that you have to keep reading more, though do make sure you're reading relevant work (you'll get better at identifying this as time goes on). Eventually you'll get to the point where you've read the majority of work which relates specifically to your area and it will just be a case of keeping on top of it.

Hope this helps.

Hello lysethia,

I realised that as well. Reading is a never ending activity but I wish by the end of the year, I could finish the bulk of the main literature and start doing the actual work. I just downloaded Mendeley; is it secure? (I have EndNotes but never gotten myself to use it properly lol) The program wants me to login using my email, and I'm a bit paranoid that this program might send all my work to the web :O

Thanks for the kind words; they are really helpful : )

Quote From DrJeckyll:


I managed to publish a paper out of my literature review. It took me 9 months to complete a first draft, and then I re-wrote it probably 15 times until it reached the press.

The most important advices I can give:
1. Be really focused on your topic and read only specific papers on it. It is fine to read a book to get the overall concept of a field you are not familiar with, but this is enough.
2. Keep detailed notes on every paper in a systematic way. First of all I categorise the papers on the sub-topics of my PhD. Say that my PhD is about penguin and polar bear feeding habits, then I will have two spreadsheets one for penguins and one for bears. On each excel spreadsheet I have columns: Author, Number of participants, Methods used, Statistical Analysis used and main results. In that way I can summarise and compare among studies and explain whether different methodologies might be responsible for observed outcomes, or which study is more accurate based on the population size.

Hope that helps. It takes long, but I think it is worth it. And I also started writing from day 1, even while creating these tables.

Hello DrJeckyll,

Hey, that's my main objective as well! To publish it. I was actually planning to do this within a few months; ha! didn't happen : / I just made a draft of the paper to 'see' how it would look like on a formal paper; 70% of it is full of errors and various typos lol.

Point no. 2 seems to be something that's inside my head but never put on paper; I think I will (no, I must) give it a try!

Quote From DocInsanity:

Tt_dan - I know the feeling! I think part of the problem is the immense curiosity probably most PhD students have. There's so much I'd like to read, and I really don't have the time.

Curiosity kills the cat lol, but we have to be curious or the Professors/panel members will! : p

How do you handle a large number of literature?

It seems infinite really, the more I read, the more I discover that I need to read some more. References after references link me to something else.


Please, any advice on how to manage this? : /

How do these people published soo many publications!? : (

'These people' I mean Assoc. Professors and perhaps, some Asst. Professors, not including Professors.

Did they publish every single day to get that number of publications!?

How am I going to catch up to them? :/ So many works have been published by them and they are not even full Professors yet :/

Difficult Uni admin staff that you have to deal with

So far, what's the worst admin staff that you have to deal with? Care to share some experience?

PhD to MPhil - not enough substantial work? what does it mean?

I've always heard that if you don't have a 'substantial' amount of work, you'd be downgraded to an MPhil, but what does 'don't have substantial amount of work' mean?
Can a 300-500 page thesis be downgraded to an MPhil? I know it's not about the quantity but more of the quality, but 300-500 page of thesis should have a considerable amount of novel discussion and output.

Tips on PhD Thesis

Quote From mrkdsmith:

======= Date Modified 02 Sep 2012 00:08:44 =======
Question 1: Despite officially being called your "supervisor' their opinion is not paramount.

Love this!

Question 2: how the thesis is layed out and the style of the writing is very different to written stuff at Masters level.

Mind elaborating?

Even with all the effort, how can a person fail a PhD?

I'm wondering to this day, how could it be? All that 3 years? How do examiners determine which one to pass and which one to fail?

Too critical for the literature review?

Quote From hazyjane:

Agreed. The old 'attack the issue, not the person' rule comes in handy. In your original wording, it comes across that you are criticising the author's shortcomings in having failed to do something. Consider instead:
"Though the study by X covered points Y and Z, the absence of empirical data weakens the argument." etc
This then gives you the scope to present your own work as building upon prior work and plugging a gap, rather than coming across as though previous work has been a bit shoddy (even if it has!)

I know the passive voice gets a kicking sometimes, but it can be handy for diplomacy!


Owh, regarding my initial OP, the examples were very bad examples lol! Usually I would use Modal Verbs (could, should, would, etc) to show my 'carefulness' whenever I say something on paper (you can never be too sure even if you have strong evidences to claim the person is wrong).

Any good books on effective critical writing that you could recommend? : )

Too critical for the literature review?

Thank you for the reply; yeah, being critical is important. If we don't be critical, then they will say our paper is weak :/

If I had it my way, I'd blast his paper to shreds lol. But I do have it my way; it is after all my paper and my analysis. But still I'm a bit worried : (

It's for both publication and a part of the thesis.

Too critical for the literature review?


I contacted this Prof. from a different Uni for his paper and he was very nice and sweet (from his email) to forward me his paper (which is not available online).

Now, I'm a bit worried to 'disagree' with him or I'm being overly critical and attacking :/


Although X has mentioned (so and so), the author has no empirical (something). The author has also not (something). X's method could not be found (something disadvantage/negative).

Would I make any enemies from this? lol :/

*reading back I sound (a bit) silly lol, but I just want some views on this :/

PhD regrets ...

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Writing journal articles, copying and pasting from thesis?

Isn't the point that when you made a finding, you could publish it (quickly)? The thesis just acknowledges what you've found?