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Major Corrections.. unjust and out of the PhD domain corrections
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Hi Syed, I'm sorry to hear the viva didn't go as you hoped.

I understand you're disappointed and irritated now, it would probably be good to give yourself a couple of days to get some distance before deciding what to do next.

May I ask: you seemed surprised about the corrections they asked. Didn't you discuss the revision points with the commission during/at the end of the viva? Revisions are usually points that are discussed during the viva, and more or less 'agreed on'. You can sense from the discussion in what direction the corrections will go, and if you don't agree you should try to explain why before the viva ends...

In any case, you should not take this disappointment as a reason to drop your PhD dream!! You're there, you've made it!! Now you have some revisions to do...that's all. You're almost at the end and you've done the largest part of the work, successfully!!!

Please don't let this discourage you. Revisions often seem larger than they are. Take a few days off, then go back and read the commission's remarks carefully and open-mindedly. Clarify what exactly the commission wants - and make a list of what you need to write/change/add to fulfill their request.

Stick to the strictly necessary, nothing more. Make a plan (A talk with your supervisor may help). You might be surprised of how quickly and smoothly the corrections can be dealt with!!

It doesn't matter if you find some of the points irrelevant. Discuss the point and its importance, then you can always argue why this is out of the scope of your research (I did that!). A thesis is meant to show how wide-ranging your reflections are. At times what seems like a huge correction can be dealt with with a short, well-thought paragraph and a few references...

Good luck with this very last bit of work you need to do...you'll be celebrating your PhD in no time!

Presenting findings of a study at a conference that you plan to publish as a Journal paper?
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Yes, it is ok and common to do.

Even if the conference publishes the proceeding, it is still ok. You have then to pay attention, however, to not commit plagiarism between the proceedings text and the article.

Proceedings are usually more like an extended abstract, thus they don't count as full publication. You have to be careful to not reuse the same words in the article (alias: write anew), and declare in the acknowledgements that part of the material has been previously published in the Conf XY proceedings.


Accountability Partners- Finishing your thesis on time.
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Hi Trinity,

well, congratulations on getting through your viva!!! It sounds as if the corrections you got aren't so substantial indeed, yes, I would also try to push a bit more now, and get it done by Summer time! :-)

I had my viva on Nov 14th, and it went fine. I got minor revisions, three months to get them done. On paper they looked much larger than they actually were...at the end I got all my revisions done within 1 and 1/2 days at the end of November, and got my pass letter on Dec 9th!! :-)

I look at my post above, written before the viva...at the end I did nothing of what I had planned to prepare. I didn't re-read any literature, didn't prepare any short statement for each chapter, and I even didn't read the thesis!! I just felt I knew my thesis inside out and couldn't force myself to go through the 320 pages again...

But of course, I only had 6 weeks between submission and viva, which helped a lot I think. And at the end the questions I got in the viva were absolute unexpected, alias, I could have not prepared myself for that anyway.

But I'm very happy it's over and I can now start using the Dr on my grant proposals, publications etc. :-) :-) :-) it's somehow really cool, after so much work!!

You'll get your title very soon as well, just don't give too much weight to the revisions, get them done one after the other. My advice is: stay focused on what is really necessary to change, and do nothing more than that! You'll be done in no time!!

Good luck!

Referencing a source for... an idea of using a source...?
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Hi Inkberry,

a footnote never hurts. If I understood correctly, I'd go for an even slimmer solution, something like "in the present paper/thesis, following C&D, A will be understood as X." Done.

A side point, if I may: you should actually avoid discussing other people's work 'polemically'. You should discuss it 'critically'. Which is probably what you meant... :-)

Good luck!

more stupid questions, help please
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Hi Satchi :-)

First of all, congratulations on getting your paper published!! Was it your first peer-reviewed article? If so then twice as much congratulations!!!! It's just a big relief and joy to see your 'baby' in its final form, isn't it? :-)

About the conferences: my advice would be first of all to think about what is good for you in this moment, independently from funding. Giving a conference paper requires some preparation time, we usually calculate internally a ca. 30-40hrs work plus the days of the conference.

Conferences are extremely important for academics [:-)] and therefore it is often so, that you can ask your school to cover the costs if you present something - depending on the kind of contract you have. Of course you have to discuss with your head of research which conferences you want to attend - i.e. you have to select and pick out the ones that can bring you the most in terms of network and visibility of your research (and weight the costs as well: 2 intercontinental conferences within a few months would be hard to get funded anywhere I guess..)

If the paper is about the research you published, it should not take too long to put together a presentation. However, I'd discuss it with your boss, not in terms of asking for money (!), rather in terms of planning your work schedule (network belongs to it) wisely and efficiently. :-)

Then, once the abstract is sent, you can of course also try to get some fund yourself. If you get it, your school will be double as happy when you go back and say - 'btw, I actually managed to get this scholarship/fund/award, so I only need so much more to cover the costs'...!

In any case: you can withdraw after the abstract is accepted. There may be lots of reasons why one cannot make it to the conference at the end, that's no problem - as long as it is the exception and not the rule.

Hope this help :-)

Writing up in year 2?
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It depends on your project, difficult to say like this, but as example, I did my PhD in 4 years part-time, and wrote 4 out of 9 chapters during the second year (my sup wanted me to have the 4 chapters ready for the upgrade exam).

And at the end I was very glad to have half of the thesis almost 'ready to go', and not to have to write everything. So, in principle, if you have done the work and have the data, I don't see a problem with writing up some chapters. This does not mean that you have then to finish this year! You just start writing up what you have so far, and then move on with your studies/exps.

Am I right in assuming that the first two chapters would be lit review and methodological considerations, and the third would present the first bunch of data you have?


Despair of Qualitative Student Evaluations
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Hi awsoci, I had a similar experience last year, and it was indeed very hard to accept and get over with, so you have all my sympathy!! I received very hard qualitative comments for two semesters in a raw, same module, different groups.

It's hard, frustrating, and I really felt I wanted to give up and move on with research reducing teaching to the least minimum...I'm still struggling to learn how to win the respect and interest of my students, so I don't have real solutions to offer.

However, some of the comments you got resonate with mine. And as bewildered said, me looking like a little girl really doesn't help!! What I did, was to go through the comments with some senior colleagues. It's painful, and I was so ashamed! But it helped. I realized they were not so shocked about the comments as I was. They helped me sort out the useful stuff, the points I could work on.

So for instance, comments on the media used: some loved it, some hated it. So I though about how to revise some bits and render the whole a bit more flexible, but at the end, the core will remain the same and studs will live with it.

On the other hand, I figured out that there was a relevance-barrier to overcome, linked to the way the material was presented, but also how the module was organized. So I decided to change the focus of the seminar to render it more relevant to students, and the school decided to restructure the module so that it would not collide with some end of Bachelor project. Now we're waiting for this semester's feedback...I so much hope comments will be a tiny bit more positive!!

This is to say, it may really help to talk with some senior colleagues, and for the rest, as our colleagues here said, try not to take it too seriously. And know that you're not alone in struggling with teaching and students' feedback :-)


stupid question(s) I need to ask
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I'm not sure what you mean by 'internal oral paper', but a publication implies a written product, and specifically, something produced *as* written product (not the written version of an oral presentation)

So no, oral papers, even conference papers, do no go under publications. (unless you have a proceeding coming out of the conference paper, but then indeed, what you write in the proceeding is very different in style and content from what your presented).

Writings like ebooks, magazine and newspaper articles, project outcomes with practical relevance (e.g., guideline booklets), this kind of stuff can go in that section :-)

does it help? and: no question is silly, as long as it is meant to bring clarity onto something :-)

Happy to know you're an academic, I'm one too! :-) :-) :-)

stupid question(s) I need to ask
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One more comment following IntoTheSpiral's remarks:

when we submit grant proposals to the national research council here, we have to prepare the publication list distinguishing between: peer-reviewed journal articles, books (also edited), book contributions, peer-reviewed conference proceedings, and then 'other, non-peer reviewed stuff'.

In the last category you can put conference papers where only the abstract was peer-reviewed, working papers, self-made ebooks, etc. I've been told that what research councils look for, are 'outreach' outcomes, like articles in non academic magazines that show active engagement in disseminating research content between non-academic audience (following the increasingly important idea that researchers should give something back to - and communicate with - society in general, and not only the academic community).

stupid question(s) I need to ask
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Ok, I'll have a go :-)

1) Yes, we do put it on the CV, and no, not under 'hobby' but rather under something like 'commissions and professional memberships'. There you have things like being a journal editor/reviewer, member of scientific committee in a conference, honor member of an important association in your research field, etc.

2) :-) Well, the Oxford Dictionary Online defines 'academic' as "A teacher or scholar in a university or other institute of higher education". Instinctively I'd say if you do research within the context of a university or HE institute then yes, you're an academic. If you do research in industry...mmmh....I'd rather say no. If you do research on your spare time and are not part of any HE institution...oh dear, I'd also say no? But I'll be happy to see what other say!

3) Again, my instinct talking: NO!!! I'm conservative on this, publication means ISBN or doi or something...a working paper (or thesis!) which is made public online I wouldn't say it's published. Although it's made public and you won't be able to 'publish' it anywhere else.. :-) does this make sense??

4) No idea.

Ok, that wasn't that helpful probably..curious about next entries.


getting ready for the viva makes me stressed!
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Hi Joanna,

my advice is: try not to overdo. As for Buffy, also my viva experience was very different from what I expected. I had no mock viva, and didn't prepare much of anything if I'm honest. Somehow just opening the thesis in the weeks prior the viva made me feel tired and unwilling, I could not make myself re-read the thesis, let alone prepare notes or read literature! So I did (almost) nothing.

The good message is: it wasn't necessary to do more. The viva was a one and a half relaxed discussion between peers. All questions are supposed to be about your thesis, and believe me, there is nobody around who knows your thesis better than you do!

So the feeling during the viva was 'so easy! is that all?' :-) The only thing I tried to prepare in the last days was a list of possible questions I would get, and I brain stormed in my head about possible answers. Well, it was useless. The questions I got were completely different!!

So: if it makes you feel better, than you can have the mock viva, re-read the thesis, prepare notes, etc. But if you feel like you don't want/can't prepare further, then don't. And do not worry, you know your work inside out already, and it is about your work that you'll discuss there. :-)

Here is a link from a colleague of mine with tips on viva preparation. I found her tips helped me a great deal to avoid unnecessary stress prior to and during the viva:

Stay relaxed and enjoy this moment: it'll be over much quicker than you think! :-) Best of luck!!!!


Confused about the methodology chapter and methods ...
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I had a mixed qualitative/quantitative methodology for my study. I also used the methodology chapter for epistemological questions, discussion of different possible methodological approaches, argument on why a certain method or set of methods have been chosen in the end and the broad methodological framework.

In the single chapters I then briefly linked back to the conclusions reached in the methodological chapter, and then described the actual analysis protocol in details. The commission was happy with that in the viva.

Ok not to submit?
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And maybe as a rule of thumb for the future, do not upload anything on the conference submission system until you're sure what you want to submit. It is usually better to work and polish the abstract offline, and upload and submit it only when you have the final version, approved by all authors.

As for now, Sara already gave good advice. Just explain and show your supervisor the email you sent to the conference.

I'm ready to submit - or am I - yes I am - but wait, am I?
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Congratulations!!!! :-)

And yes, it's a utterly odd feeling, the anxiety will fade out in the next days though :-)

I sympathize with the way you feel, for me it was much the same, and especially - as you say - I didn't know how to feel after submission, waiting for the viva, after the viva...it's somehow not clear WHEN you're supposed to really feel relieved, isn't it??

But you've achieved what is probably the biggest milestone: thesis submitted!!!! Go celebrate properly and enjoy this moment, before moving on with the usual ups and downs tomorrow :-)


I'm ready to submit - or am I - yes I am - but wait, am I?
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Submit! :-)

The feeling you have is absolutely normal, I was utterly scared when I finally submitted: 'what if I forgot/misinterpreted an important reference?' 'how many typos didn't I spotted yet?' 'did I miss some important discussion point?' etc etc etc

Just submit and move on! You've earned it, well done!