Posts Tagged ‘References’

PhD Week 5: Done

November 5, 2010 1 comment

Another week has come and gone of my PhD and therefore it is time to update you all about the lab meeting and the wonders of my week. Time seems to be rushing by (5 weeks have come and gone and I still do not know what I will be doing as part of my PhD) and passing by slowly (it seems that I have accomplished quite a lot since I moved here..mainly related to settling here however rather than my PhD).

Earlier on in the week, I attended the Orientation for Researchers at DCU, which I have already blogged about. However, related to my actual research, this week I had to present to my supervisors the way I see my project developing. Therefore during the meeting I presented an outline of what I will be doing in the next 3 years or so. Although I was scared of actually doing this, I think it served a good purpose, because all my thoughts which were previously running through my head have been now put down on paper (OK a presentation) and discussed with my supervisors.

Overall I feel things went well. The supervisors seemed to be interested in what I had to say. They seemed to agree with what I said and the supervisor who asked for this also thanked me and said that now my project is clearer in his mind, which I suppose is a good thing.

Where do I go from here? I now need to select which pharmaceuticals I will be analysing for. The list of human derived pharmaceuticals is nearly there, in that I know what I really need to analyse for based on my literature review and others which I might analyse for but which are not so critical based on literature, but could make for interesting findings. However the veterinary pharmaceutical selection is still way off. There is very limited, if any, literature on the subject. During the next week I hope to however make some progress in this aspect. I plan to become more aggressive, and rather than sending emails to authorities will start calling personally and see how it goes from there.

Wish me luck! Below please find a comic strip from which is exactly how I feel…I already have over 200 references, which I should read, but are not really that organised. The list is always increasing and I do not think I will ever get to read them all. Will see.

The never ending wonders of references

The never ending wonders of references


A Rant

November 1, 2010 Leave a comment

I know this should be my PhD blog, where things should be more official, but today I need to rant. I ranted this morning with my sister, but the rant is still not fully out. I have now been on PhD adventure for the past month today. Most of the time has been spent reviewing literature. This is where my rant comes in. Some people who design/plan journals obviously do not really make use of them to read and review what is written. This is because they make it really hard for anyone to follow through.

What is wrong with in-text citations being (Fenech, 2010)? First there is the use of numbered in-text citations. Therefore to check who said something, you need to flip to the back (or else to the end of the pdf document), therefore losing where you are and your thought process. But anyways that is somewhat acceptable. Space is money in this industry (although most are nowadays accessed mainly online, so this is no longer such a critical issue I would imagine).

However the thing which riles me the most is where once you flip over to the end of the paper, you are only given the authors, year of publication, journal, volume and page number. The title is conveniently missing. This makes it really hard to figure out which paper this is, especially where multiple papers are written by the same team in the same year.

Oh well…breathe in and out and keep calm. All will be well 🙂


October 5, 2010 Leave a comment

Today I went into Uni, ready to work. The most important thing on my agenda was to understand how the Reference Management Software used at DCU functions. The software is called Refworks. I had never used it before. However I understand the need for having organised references. All the work done at the beginning pays off big time towards the end. I used the tutorial available online, since classes in the subject are still a way off from being organised. It was quite easy, as everything is explained step by step. I like the way Refworks is set up. It seems to be quite user-friendly and simple to import citations, and keeping the citations linked to pdf documents etc. It is also web-based and therefore it is easy to access it from any location.

I am however still not convinced in the ease of introducing in-text citations. Refworks comes up as a separate window, and not inbuilt into Microsoft Word. So each time you have to go out of the window, scroll through all the papers you have (could not find a search function), and cite it. I do not think it is that user-friendly, especially once you have loads of papers. I have experience using BibTex, and while it may not be that easy to import citation data (or at least I never used it, but I think there is a way to do it), it was much easier to input in-text citations.

Now that I know how to use Refworks, I hope to become more proficient in it, in order to start effectively searching for relevant articles and saving their details effectively.