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Posts Tagged ‘review’

Productive Holidays

January 6, 2012 1 comment

My Christmas holidays here in Malta are nearly over, and next Monday I am back to Ireland and back to work. However I find that saying back to work is a bit of a misnomer, as I have been quite productive, if I must say so myself, during these holidays. I find that being home, although I do get to go around and relax quite a bit, I still manage to get quite a lot of work done.

First up were the corrections for the paper I had submitted back in June. In six months I heard nary a comment from them, and then the day after I arrived home my supervisor emailed the comments from the reviewers. They have me major revisions, but the comments were mainly quite useful. Since I only had 1 month in which to do the changes, out of which I am in Malta for 3 weeks, I had to get down to business. I had them down in a couple of days and am now awaiting comments from my supervisors about the changes. It was my first experience of getting such comments back (my supervisors do not criticise as much, as opposed to many other supervisors I hear about) but I think they polished my manuscript to no end. Here’s to now hoping for the manuscript to be accepted.

Apart from the manuscript changes, I also had to prepare a graphical abstract (a new thing for the journal), a presentation for the School of Biotechnology Research Day, which will be held later on this month and 2 abstracts for 2 separate conferences to be held later on this year, and whose deadline is around the end of January.

Now I have a weekend of relaxation (unless my supervisors send the changes) and then next Monday afternoon, it is back to actual work. But then again…what is actual work? I do not feel as if working during my holidays detracted from my having fun (I generally worked for an hour or two in the morning, and not even each day) and relaxing.

I hope you all had good holidays and managed to relax well. Yesterday (or so) a very apt PHD Comic was posted, which I am reproducing here. Which of the different activities people do over winter break did you do?

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 🙂

PhD Week 1: Done

October 8, 2010 1 comment

My first week of my PhD research is now over. I now have a (slightly) better idea of what I will be doing over the next couple of years and am settling in. I have finalised most of the admin work involved and I look forward to next week, when I can start getting into a routine of work, where I can focus on my PhD more than getting papers signed and forms filled.

This week I had my first lab meeting. The lab meeting is held every week between the students and the supervisors of the Environmental Biotechnology lab. We get to present (and discuss) the results and work carried out the week before, and plan for the coming week. This week, being my first week, my presentation consisted of describing what my project is about. This was mainly so that the other members of the research group could understand what I will be talking about in the coming weeks and years. It did not go as good as I hoped it would, since I was quite a bit stressed out. However it was not horrible, and the other students said that it seemed as if I knew what I was talking about, which I guess is a good thing.

I have now started my literature search, where I have started searching for papers and documents on the subject, and inputting them in Refworks. I have already saved around 100 different papers on the general area I will be following. However this was based solely on a quick search and the title of the paper. In the coming week I hope to start reading the papers in greater detail and making note of what is relevant or not to my general project. In this process I will undoubtedly increase the list of references, and will also remove some of those I downloaded which are not useful.

As part of my project I have two main themes: pharmaceuticals and nitrates in water. I will be trying to split my time on the two areas each week, so that I do not get too bored doing the same thing. I also hope to start doing some work on the HPLC soon, and will get training in the coming weeks. I will not start any lab work related to my project. However based on the experiences of the other research students, it makes sense to start using the equipment slowly and passing standards. So that when the project is ready to start, I would have most issues sorted. Will see how it goes.