391. Resources for PhD students: information your supervisors may not tell you
Over the years I’ve written quite a few Pannell Discussions (and some other things) that are intended to be useful to postgraduate research students. Here I’ve pulled together a collection of these resources to make it easy to see what is available. They cover skills you need to master other than doing the research itself. Some bits are targeted at applied economists, but most of the material is not discipline-specific.
I’ve got plans to add a few more pieces of this type to the list when I get time (e.g., how to respond to reviewer comments), so check back here later for more suggestions and advice.
Writing efficiently and correctly
Using an efficient process for writing – gives a detailed step-by-step example of how I write something (a Pannell Discussion).
How to cite references properly – it’s pretty common for people to do a poor job of citing references in their academic writing. Here’s how to avoid that.
On the need for clarity when describing changes in percentage terms – one of my pet gripes is when people are ambiguous about percentages.
Microsoft Word tips – it is well worth investing some time to develop your Word skills.
Here are a few tips about grammar rules that I find people sometimes get wrong:
Grammer tip: split infinitives are not a problem
I recommend that you install Grammarly and use it to check the grammar in all your writing. It’s free.
Publishing in and reviewing for journals
Prose, psychopaths and persistence: Personal perspectives on publishing – this is a paper I published back in 2002. Some aspects of the publication process have changed (journals now use online systems, not snail mail for submissions and reviews; turnaround times are, on average, much faster now), but there is much in the paper that is still relevant.
More on the need for persistence when publishing
Reviewing journal articles – how to conduct a review for a journal. This is also really valuable for authors to understand.
My poem about journal referees
Seminar and conference presentation
PowerPoint tips – so many people do terrible slides. It’s easy to avoid.
Answering questions – after a seminar or conference presentation.
Computer modelling and statistics
How to do a good sensitivity analysis – essential for pretty much any applied economic analysis.
The cult of the asterisk – on the need to not apply statistical criteria too mechanistically.
Communicating with non-researchers
Connecting research with policy
Communicating economics to policy makers
Engaging with policy: tips for researchers
On making submissions to government inquiries
Other resources you could explore
Alderson, D., Clarke, L., Schillereff, D., Shuttleworth, E. (2023). Navigating the academic ladder as an early career researcher in earth and environmental sciences, Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 48(2), 475-486. Here
Almeida-Souza L., Baets J. (2012). PhD survival guide. Some brief advice for PhD students, EMBO Reports 13(3), 189-192. Here
Bellemare, Marc F. (2022). Doing Economics: What You Should Have Learned in Grad School – But Didn’t, MIT Press. Here
Creedy, John. (2007). A PhD thesis without tears, The Australian Economic Review 40(4), 463-470. Here
Jenkins T. (2020). A PhD is just the beginning. Neuronal Signaling 42(4), 60-61. Here
Paltridge, B., Starfield, S. (2019). Thesis and Dissertation Writing in a Second Language: A Handbook for Students and their Supervisors, Second Edition, 236 pp. Here
Tan, W.C.(2022). Speaking the language of defence: narratives of doctoral examiners on the PhD viva, Qualitative Research Journal 22(4), 478-488. Here
3 thoughts on “391. Resources for PhD students: information your supervisors may not tell you”
Your articles are extremely helpful for my PhD journey. Thank you very much!
This made me re-read your 2002 paper on Prose, Psycopaths and Persistence. Like veryone I have had a similar experience with high variability in the views of referees of particular papers. It makes me wonder what some editors think that there role is…..to just pass on the reviews or mediate when reviews are so different. In a different field (marine ecology) I received two reviews of a paper that were complete opposites in their view of the quality of work provided in the paper. I thought the very negetive review was so far off the mark that, rather than attempt a rewite to accomodate the views of the negetive review, I wrote immediately to editor (while I was furious) and provided some pretty well thought out reasons why the negetive reviewer was completely wrong and why the paper should be accepted subject to my response to the less critical review. To my amazement the editor agreed!! NOt a tactic to be used all the time but it should be employed when a reviewer makes outrageous comments.
Thanks Alistar. Yes, I have done the same thing, but I agree that it’s something to be used sparingly. Only when you are on extremely solid ground. I’ve done it twice. Once the editor accepted my arguments, and once he didn’t.