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Tuesday, 13 December 2016

YAY Media AS / Alamy Stock Photo (Source: Nature Index)

This article was published in Nature Index on 8th of December 2016. Researcher Adrian Barnett who is a statistician in Queensland University described about how he benefitted by making is grant open access.

This was an unusual step for Dr. Barnett after a many time failure of his grant application. He made his application openly accessible for the public. He compares about how the closed application process often miss the opportunities of potential collaboration. As every scientist it is important to find out the answers of unfolded scientific questions. Open accessing the application allows the scientist to put forward a commitment to answer those specific questions. (Read More)


Follow Dr. Adrian Barnett over twitter @aidybarnett

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

The article was posted in Science Magazine on 27th June 2016 by David Oppenheimer

Credit: tirc83/iStockphoto, Source: Science Mag

Participating in an undergraduate summer research experience is a crucial early step in your scientific training. This is in no small part due to the personal and professional development you gain from the exposure to in-depth, experiential learning. And in addition to learning new research skills, communicating your results, and making a discovery to solve a problem or answer a question, you have the opportunity to earn a recommendation letter to support future applications for graduate school and graduate fellowships.

However, if you are early in your undergraduate career, you may not need that letter until a few years after your summer research experience. Sure, you could come back to your mentor after that time and request a recommendation, but that approach has some major disadvantages. Most importantly, the more time that passes between when you leave the lab and when you ask for a recommendation letter, the fewer the specific details about your strengths and successes your mentor is likely to remember—and it’s those specific details that can turn a strong letter into an epic one. (Read More)

Follow Science Magazine on Twitter @newsfromscience
The article was posted in Nature dot com by Dalmeet singh Chawla on 5th July 2016

Courtesy Nature


Men cite their own papers 56% more than women on average, according to an analysis of 1.5 million studies published between 1779 and 2011.

The analysis looked at papers across disciplines in the digital library JSTOR and found that men’s self-citation rate had risen to 70% more than women’s over the past two decades, despite an increase of women in academia in recent years. Around 10% of a given paper’s references are likely to be self-citations by the paper’s authors regardless of their gender.

What the analysis1, posted on arXiv on 5 July, cannot clarify is whether this trend is a by-product of the under-representation of women in senior academic positions or some separate effect. (Read More)

Follow Nature dot com on Twitter @naturenews

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

The article was posted on 23rd August, 2015 in 'Finish your thesis with Dora' blog by Dr. Dora Farkas.

The sweet and tart scent of home-made strawberry jam filled the air in the kitchen of the small rustic cottage.

Nearly 60 jars of fresh strawberry jams decorated with red laced covers lined the dining table and Silvi’s family was looking ahead to a profitable day at the farmer’s market.

Yet, Silvi never felt so miserable in her life.

Silvi’s grandmother, the farm owner, asked Silvi to help her crush, cook, and can strawberries – just a month before her dissertation was due.

Silvi spent her weekend helping her grandmother and she had to make up for the missing days by working extra hours the following week.

She gave up her workouts and several hours of sleep to get back on schedule, because she felt bad saying “No” to her grandmother’s request to prepare strawberry jam for their local farmer’s market.

Do you ever feel guilty denying a favor from someone you care about, even when you are busy writing your dissertation, because you fear that you will hurt their feelings?

Or, do you try to write for 12 hours straight and then feel so much back pain that you have to take off a day to recover?

No one teaches you how to write a dissertation.

After I received approval from my thesis committee to start writing, I found out that had less than a month before the deadline.

I soon realized that in order to graduate that semester, I would have to manage my time better and break several counterproductive work habits, that had made other graduate students’ lives miserable during the dissertation writing phase.

You might recognize some of these habits in your own workflow.

If you do, I assure you that you are not alone, and I have included practical remedies that can help you to reduce the harmful effects of these habits on your dissertation. (Read More)

Follow Dr. Dora Farkas in Twitter @dorafarkasphd
This article was posted on 3rd June 2016 at Dr. Msaifur Rehman's Word Press blog

This is very simple rule “if you do not plan, you actually plan to fail”. I have observed that the management is the most common knowledge that we apply in our daily lives. We consciously or sub-consciously plan and execute our routine tasks. However, we can learn and apply better planning and management tools these days. PhD is the solo target objective of PhD scholars, thus, it need better planning and management. Today’s PhD scholars will be university faculty members tomorrow. In a time of extreme and continuously increasing competition, the rules of Quality apply to your PhD studies. Two most common features of a quality PhD could be well in time and standard (a parameter of number and quality of publications) degree.

Higher Education Commission (HEC) has adopted revised criteria for faculty appointment in universities. At the moment, HEC is using two parallel criteria (http://www.hec.gov.pk/InsideHEC/Divisions/QALI/QADivision/Documents/Engineering,%20IT,%20and%20Computing%20discplines_July_2013.pdf ); 1st one based on total years of experience and 2nd one based on post PhD experience.  Fresh PhDs can be appointed as Assistant Professors without any experience. However to be Associate Professor, one needs to possess either 10 years of total experience with 10 publications in at least HEC recognized journals or 5 years of post PhD experience. Similarly to be a Professor, one needs to possess either 15 years of total experience with 15 publications in at least HEC recognized journals or 10 years of post PhD experience.

However HEC has intended to revise its criteria from 2020 where to be an Associate Professor, one needs to possess either 10 years of total experience (out of which at least 4 years should be post PhD) with 10 publications in at least HEC recognized journals or 5 years of post PhD experience. Similarly to be a Professor, one needs to possess either 15 years of total experience (out of which at least 8 years should be post PhD) with 15 publications in at least HEC recognized journals or 10 years of post PhD experience. In this revised scenario, the pre PhD experience will become less valuable. Only those PhD scholars will get great benefit of timely vertical promotion who will finish their PhDs as early as possible. So, if you want to complete your PhD degree, you need to properly plan and execute your tasks during PhD time flow. (Read More)

Contact Dr. Msaifur Rehman at through his Wordpress Blog

Saturday, 25 June 2016

A PhD candidate shares the lessons he’s learned preparing his dissertation and publishing research along the way - It was published in ELSEVIER Blog. Posted on 25th June 2015 by Aijaz A. Shaikh

Aijaz A. Shaikh gives a presentation at the Jyväskylä University School of Business and Economics in Finland. (Courtesy: Elsevier)
Over the last three years, I have been progressing steadily through my doctoral studies program. I have found the path to success is never very simple or straight-forward. In fact, pursuing a doctoral qualification requires absolute devotion, consistency, organization and, above all, a systematic approach that advances or contributes to new knowledge. I have drafted my own how-to handout to convey a set of secrets that, if followed properly, might increase your chances of surviving your doctoral studies.

To put it simply, these practical secrets are aimed at reducing fear and discomfort, helping you complete your course work on time, and guiding you to produce a set of good scientific publications that will secure funding and ensure a productive future career path. These suggestions might also be applicable to you if you’re working on a master’s thesis.

Before I present my suggestions, it is important to reinforce to newly admitted and aspiring doctoral candidates that doctoral study plays a significant role in improving scientific research. Another important point is that the primary responsibility for the management of a doctoral dissertation project lies with the student. The supervisor should be considered a facilitator, motivator or guide. Nevertheless, the supervisor (or your research advisor) is a person with whom you need to interact regularly for four or five crucial years of your life and who will have a critical influence on your research design, output and almost everything you do. (Read More)




A blog post by James Hayton in his own blog - JamesHaytonPhD dot com. It was published in September 15, 2015

James Hayton Lecturing at the University of Edinburgh, February 2013
Source (James Hayton PhD)
By far, the most common cause of PhD failure (or extreme difficulty) I have seen is isolation and a lack of feedback from other academics.

Often, this is because a student is working remotely, but the problem can be compounded by the student thinking, “I can’t contact my supervisor until I have something to show.”

This is understandable—nobody wants to send an email saying they’ve achieved nothing in the last three months—but the more time passes, the harder it becomes.

An example

Let’s say, for whatever reason, you are unable to work for a whole month, you have two options with regards to what you tell your supervisor. You can just tell them you have fallen behind, or you can say nothing and wait until you’ve caught up with where you should be. The second option means you can avoid a potentially awkward conversation, but it also places you under a much higher burden of expectation.

Another month passes, but you haven’t yet caught up with where you should have been after that first month (perhaps because you under-estimated how long that piece of work would take). It’s now been two months, so you want to produce even more before you say anything. (Read More)

Follow James Hayton on Twitter at @jameshaytonphd