Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: April 12, 2019

"Plagiarism: Getting in trouble for something you didn't do."This week’s quote – “Plagiarism: Getting in trouble for something you didn’t do.” – comes from an unknown source, but as often seems to be the case, the articles in our collection from around the web seem to have kindly fallen in line with this academic pun.

While our collection doesn’t have anything to do with the true definition of plagiarism, it does have a lot to do with the concept of getting in trouble for something you didn’t do. Specifically, problems or challenges may arise if you don’t check an index properly, if you don’t adequately prepare for a thesis proposal defense, if you don’t accept the dissertation publication requirement, if you don’t follow a traditional research path, if you don’t include your PhD on your CV (or if you do as the article discusses), if you linger in between identities during a career transition, if you don’t properly market yourself for a job, or if you don’t plan your approach attending a large conference.

As you approach your writing efforts this week, challenge yourself to not only look at accomplishing the things on your to-do list, but also examine the things that never made it there – the things that you aren’t doing that may be making your efforts more difficult than they need to be. Happy writing!

How to check an index

There are three key points to consider: what the index does for the book, what the index does for the book’s readers, and whether the index is a good index by the standards of other indexes. These can be converted into three questions.

Preparing the thesis proposal defense

In my program, we have four major milestones towards graduation: the qualifying exam, which is based on a critique of a peer-reviewed publication; the thesis proposal defense; the data defense; and finally, the dissertation defense. At the end of this month, I’ll check #2 off of my list. The defense requires the preparation of a report and delivery of a presentation detailing what I plan to do for the last two years of my PhD. Since defenses are often set up similarly, I’ve compiled a roundup of my own tips on how to prepare.

The dissertation publication requirement: It’s time for reexamination

Please note that my argument here is not against publishing dissertations online; rather, it is for giving dissertation authors – the doctoral students themselves – a say in the disposition of their work.  As long as the author is given the choice of whether or not to submit for publication, the practice may be a legitimate path for open access scholarship.

What does it mean to be a citizen scientist?

April 13 is Citizen Science Day. To learn more about this area of research practice I interviewed citizen scientists Jim Salmons and Timlynn Babitsky. I’m sharing the interview in two parts. First we’ll explore and define what it means to be a citizen scientist. In the next post, we’ll learn about Jim and Timlynn’s research.

Should you leave your PhD off your CV?

Recruiters are much more interested in your experience than your education and will not see the PhD as a reason to put you on a short list. While some recruiters see the PhD as clear evidence you are intelligent and dedicated, they might still actively exclude you from a short list on the grounds that the last PhD they hired did not turn out well.

Lingering between identities

“[T]he in-between identities phase of a career transition is about bringing possibilities to life, proving they are feasible…learning whether they are appealing in practice or only in theory.”

Being seen

The short list below are the key things that researchers do when they are on the market for a new role. Many of them are common to all job-seekers but there are a few particular researcher inflections. If you already do these things, then you can feel assured that a strong basic strategy is in place. None of these things guarantees a job, of course, but having them in place means that you’re not missing out on opportunities or making potential employers work to find out about you and the fab things you have done/are doing.

Going to a huge conference

I always have two questions about conferences this big. One. Is a conference this monstrous worth going to? And a related point – Two. How does anyone make their way through this kind of event?