Saturday, 28 November 2009

Oh the odds and ends...

... of a PhD dissertation/thesis (if I were in the UK, it would be thesis, but readers in the US will be more familiar with dissertation, very confusing and I often don't know what to call it). Right now, I'm overwhelmed by the UK PhD skills audit, which is a requirement for UK postgraduate students. We are supposed to graduate without merely just the knowledge of our PhD topic and subject area, but also with a recognized list of transferable skills that can make us attractive candidates within and without the academic job market. Much of it is very useful, but some of it is a bit redundant if you have a B.Mus., an M.St., and an M.A. already under your belt (which I have). This morning, in order to complete the requirement of "self-awareness," I took four online information literacy surveys that measured my familiarity with research databases, search engines, and how to best use keywords in order to get the best search and information possible. I was relieved to know that I had "excellent ability" in these three areas.

One thing that I am not very good at is this business of conducting a literature review without becoming overwhelmed with data or following side topics that are fascinating to me. I'm signing up for an online short course about this, so I am grateful at least in part for this PhD skills audit.

I've changed my blog name again... hopefully this makes the most sense and is the most appealing.

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