Updates from January, 2015 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Dr S Loretti 7:51 am on January 31, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    Taking notes for a better literature review 

    As you prepare to write a literature review for your thesis, you will read enormous amount of text. To make sure that you include in your literature review everything useful that you’ve read, it is important that you take notes. Notes will serve as a guide map to your confused and irritated brain!

    • keep a record of the keywords that lead you to useful articles.
    • keep highlighting or marking text that you believe to be probably useful.
    • Use spider diagrams or flow charts to join the dots! This particularly helpful when you need to draw a fresh inference in your research. Diagrams can also be used to study connections.
    • prepare a sheet where you enlist issues to be addressed in your research and against each issue mention whatever useful you read about it. Remember to mention authors and how they look at the issue. some authors may suggest and you may agree. Other times, you may disagree with what an author suggests. Whatever be the case, record it accordingly.
    • you can use a database like Microsoft one note or Evernote; or maybe a PDF markup manager. Reference managers like Zotero, Mendeley and Endnote will also help you organize all your reviewed papers in a systematic manner.
    • Academic phrase bank is a web source that helps you in phrasing your review better.
    • smita 12:06 pm on March 28, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      How to check the validation of review of literature? There is a plethora of information available. It becomes tedious to know which source is reliable for my research.

    • David 5:42 am on March 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      How to filter content to write concise literature review for my dissertation?

  • Dr S Loretti 12:03 pm on January 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    PhD scholarships : 5 places to focus 

    Here are 5 PhD scholarships to look out fr. They are from the around the world and have varying deadlines. Keep a track of each one if you’re aiming at a funded PhD.

    1. University of Otago, /new Zealand

    2. DFID (Department of International Development), United Kingdom

    3. Macquarie University, Australia

    4. Canadian universities, Canada

    5. University of Southern Queensland, Australia

    Check the eligibility conditions on the official website of each university. Most universities entertain foreign students but may limit the eligibility to nationals of certain specific countries. Most of them are available every year, so if you miss out the deadline this year you can probably aim atfor the next year.

  • davidm34 9:57 am on January 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    PhD stress? Sit down and relax! 

    Everybody makes mistakes. Things go wrong at times. After all we are all humans!
    Sometimes the mistake is obvious and you recognize it easily. But sometimes, the solution is not so apparent. What do you do then? give up? repeat the same steps?


    Focus all your attention and think! This can be particularly difficult under stress and you may be tempted to waste your time away, but this is what you need to do. Slow down, spend some time with the problem and get back in action.


    Don’t rush for the solution that just came to your mind. This solution may only be one of the possibilities. There may be a good 2nd option, or a third! Immediately getting into action with the first possible solution may not be such a good idea however tempting it may seem.

    Happy researching fellow members!

    • Nathaniel 5:22 am on January 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      David, I am really stuck. I prepared my proposal and got it accepted from my supervisor. I mentioned i will collect primary data through a survey. Now i am not able to carry out that survey with HR managers since I am not getting access to such people. What do i do?? Seems like I’m back to square one!

      • davidm34 6:49 am on February 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Nathaniel, don’t worry. You are not the only one encountering this issue. It is not uncommon to face such hurdles. Important is that you resolve it and don’t treat it as a roadblock.
        Prepare an alternative strategy that suits the proposed research objectives and make sure that the plan is well thought and workable. With a concrete plan in hand, see your supervisor. Explain to your supervisor about all the efforts you made to carry on as planned and why certain things could not work out. I am sure your supervisor is rational and understands how things work.
        Don’t panic and get down to work!

  • Dr S Loretti 9:34 am on January 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    The nerve wracking process of defending you thesis! Try these tips. 

    After you’re done with writing your research comes the dreaded moment of having to defend it. As tricky as it seems, this last segment of your PhD will definitely test your potential. Here are some tips to help you through this task-
    1. Know the format: The format for defending your thesis varies from country to country. You may be required to have a one on one interview or give a presentation to a panel. Whatever the format is, you should be prepared accordingly.
    2. The presentation: Prepare a well studied presentation and practice it to perfection. Know the material thoroughly, note the time taken and refine it. Practice in front of peers and friends to gain confidence and feedback.
    3. The questions: You are required to know a lot about your research and the topic, but not necessarily everything. Its okay of you don’t know the answer to some question. Just acknowledge and mention what you think about it. If you do know the answer, explain it calmly. Take time to breathe and focus on what you are saying.
    4. Its okay to be nervous: Even your examiners expect you to be nervous! Happens with just about everyone. Talking really fast is something that generally happens when we are nervous. So take care to slow down and breathe deep!
    And remember, its all going to be OKAY! A nervous performance and minor goof ups cannot undermine a well researched thesis. Hard work will never go unappreciated.

    • Siemen 5:27 pm on March 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      can you suggest how to respond to a question, the answer to which i don’t know at all? what should be my way to express ?

  • robert591 4:58 am on January 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    choosing a statistical tool for my research 

    Hello members,
    I am preparing my PhD proposal as of now. I have already got my topic approved from my guide. I am studying the effect of factors like HR practices, training and development, compensation satisfaction, stress and organizational commitment on employee turnover intention. I am not sure as to which statistical tool should I use for analysis and results. I will be using primary data obtained through a questionnaire survey. Any suggestions?

    • Jamie 7:33 am on January 31, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Hey Robert
      choosing the right statistical tool is very important since the conclusions of your research will depend largely on this choice.
      i conducted a similar study, the only difference being that i studied for the impact on organizational performance. Turnover intention is a good angle to study.
      You can use Karl Pearson’s coefficient of correlation and accompany it with a graph analysis. The impact can be rightly studied by computing the degree of correlation.
      All the best Robert.

  • Dr S Loretti 4:42 am on January 28, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    5 mistakes PhD students make and ways to avoid them 

    When you initially start your PhD, you might have a certain mindset. Not all students make mistakes, but if you are doing one of the following, you’re probably going in the wrong direction.

    1. Starting with writing right away!
    Before you actually get down to writing your research, it is better that you perform some writing exercises. after all, writing a research is no cake walk! To start with, write a journal paper or blog away your thoughts.
    2. Seminars are boring?
    Don’t be too busy to attend seminars. There are experienced academicians and professionals out there whose advice comes in handy at most instances. Take time out to listen to these people.
    3. Not making your way to the library
    Now this is a terrible one!PhD demands you to read and explore. There is no better place than a library to start your research. Also, following blogs and forums will also do you good. Check out academic blogs where researchers share their experiences and insights.
    4.Not following procedures
    Believe it or not, procedures and policies are there to help you! complete all mandatory requirements and paperwork and leave nothing unattended.
    5. Keeping away from technology?
    If you think technology is not capable of lending you a hand in your PhD, you are seriously mistaken! Scholarly technology is more like a savior for PhD students. Use social bookmarking sites and software like evernote, mendeley, or a writing software like Scrivener. Social media is also a good research tool if you use it wisely.

    Write to us if you have any issues or wish to discuss your experiences!

    • kelley 5:47 pm on March 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      i agree that technology is a helpful tool. Moreover it saves a lot of time which otherwise you would have to devote by just sitting and reading the printed material. Now you have an access to a number of sources. its easy to manage things well. software like SPSS are quite helpful in giving you a flawless data analysis for obtaining results. But you cannot totally depend on technology. your own efforts always count.

    • David 5:44 am on March 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      i think blog writing is one of the best ways to improve your writing. Follow some good bloggers to get an inspiration for crisp writing. blogging is both formal an informal means of presenting your views to public. you can accumulate a number of ideas which can help you manage your content well.

  • kristinemorry 10:23 am on January 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    Choosing between qualitative and quantitative research design 

    A research design is basically how you conduct your research and find answers to the identified questions.

    A research design should primarily suit your research objectives. Nothing but your research questions and the expected answers can determine your choice of research design.

    The following explanation will give you a clarification on what each method implies :-

    Quantitative research design: the research design aims to define variables or depict relationships between variables in quantifiable or numeric terms. Relationships may be expressed with statistics like correlation, mean, standard deviation, etc. depending upon the aim, quantitative research can assume three forms:

    • Descriptive research: numerically describe a phenomenon

    • Correlational research: numerically express the relationship among variables

    • Experimental research: manipulate variables to test cause and effect.

    • Qualitative research design: This is a systematic subjective approach to describe phenomena and give them meaning. It aims to analyse and convey how a phenomenon of interest is understood, interpreted, produced or constituted. It employs analytical methods that are sensitive to context, complexity and detail.
    Qualitative method entails analysis of case studies, perceptions, narratives and the like.

    I hope this helps fellow researchers in understanding the basic difference between the two designs. you can alternatively use a combination of both.

    I will be happy to entertain other confusions in this context!

    • Nigel 3:57 am on January 28, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      can you please guide me as to how i can collect data for a quantitative research? my field of study is economics and i am studying multi-factor productivity.

  • Dr S Loretti 10:59 am on January 18, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    Is the peer review process flawed? 

    This has been the hot grossing topic of the research community. I have been reading numerous articles and opinions by authors worldwide embossing on the flaws cropping in the peer review process. Did the traditional widely-used process had loopholes since inception or has it lost its significance with the emerging number of researches?

    Actually the issue of concern is the growing percentage of paper rejection by many leading journals. With the rapidly growing number of submissions, the journal editors and peers are bound to reject quality studies to focus on relevancy and the journal scope. I too believe that many quality articles are not getting the deserved acknowledgement but at the same time it is also true that these rejections are paving way for fresh publishing grounds and enhanced researches.

    What would you have to say about this? Do share your suggestions.

    • edward99 6:03 am on January 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      though i believe peer review is an essential element of paper publishing, as a researcher it gets frustrating at times when a good quality paper gets rejected. i am really not questioning the importance of the process but yes, the process needs to be efficient. rejection may not necessarily facilitate enhanced research. what if it demotivates researchers?

    • Zac 12:36 pm on January 21, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I completely go with what Edward said- rejection does demotivates the author. Facing a rejection from a journal after putting in immense hard work, time and money seems like a big Failure in Life. Every quality work deserves a better platform to showcase itself.

    • Jonna 4:20 am on January 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      In my suggestion, peer review process is not flawed, it is just facing the drawbacks of being a traditional system. Like everything in the world, peer review too needs a change with the dynamic environment. It was, and to some extend it still is a perfect system to eliminate inappropriate or irrelevant studies. The only difference to contemporary scenario is the growing percentage of researches being held and the even more increasing rate of quality studies.

      With what we are dealing today, I think the process should be fine-tuned with inclusion of multiple quality check criteria and test variables that can be called the Measures of Quality. And with that, the only most-preferred and running measure, being the Citation count, should be significantly given less importance. There is always a chance of improvement and i believe this would incorporate very soon.

    • steve 5:15 am on January 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      i agree with Jonna. However traditional, this system does maintain quality of journals. But i do believe that the system needs to change in certain ways.Researches are putting in a lot of hardwork and that should definitely be given credit. Journals must incorporate additional quality check measures and ensure that the system is justified and fair.

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