“How To Write and Publish A Scientific Paper”

October 12, 2014

“A scientific experiment, no matter how spectacular the results, is not completed until the results are published. In fact, the cornerstone of the philosophy of science is based on the fundamental assumption that original research must be published; only thus can new scientific knowledge be authenticated and then added to the existing database that we call scientific knowledge.” Continue reading…

Live Smarter, Live Digitally: 2014 Edition

September 7, 2014

Last year, I outlined a number of digital services and apps that I use as part of Living Digitally, of which I still use several on a regular basis. However, new services and apps have become part of my digital habits, and I therefore decided to write an updated 2014 edition of the post from last year.

As mentioned in last year’s post, there is a vast and ever-increasing number of digital services available and plenty of possibilities for using these to live smarter, and with this 2014 edition I hope to inspire you to expand your own ways of living digitally. Continue reading…

Making the Most of Ph.D. Supervisor Meetings

August 15, 2014

Supervisors are – or ought to be! – an important part of a Ph.D. project, and having meetings with them should be a resource for you as a Ph.D. student. Supervisor meetings are a time and place for you to display the progress in your research and to discuss this as well as your most recent data and the problems and challenges you face in your work – and to have your supervisors’ undivided attention for all of this.

These meetings are therefore, somewhat depending on how busy your supervisors are otherwise, a unique opportunity for you to make use of your supervisors’ (research) experience. However, efficient use of the meetings requires preparation and planning, and in this post I share tips on how to prepare for and make the most of your supervisor meetings. Continue reading…

Why Academics Procrastinate and Tips to Contain It

June 29, 2014

Procrastination is the act of deliberately postponing or delaying something that needs to get done, and with our electronic devices constantly bombarding us with news, notifications, e-mails and messages, it is easier than ever before to procrastinate.

In this post, I share thoughts on why I – and other academics – procrastinate. Procrastination is certainly not only present in academia, and I don’t believe that academics procrastinate more than others. But there are some special circumstances in the way academics work, which make us prone to procrastination, and I believe it is important to be aware of this – to be able to deal with it. I also share tips on how to contain procrastination, and most of these are general and can be useful for non-academics as well. Continue reading…

My Tips for Attending Academic Conferences

May 25, 2014

An important aspect of research is to attend conferences, as these are events that allow researchers to stay up to date on the recent progress in their field, meet and network with peers and present own research.

Conferences thus come with opportunities for bringing home new knowledge and ideas as well as new relations and potential collaborators, and as someone new in research, Ph.D. students have to learn how to get the most out of traveling away for conferences.

I recently attended my first two larger conferences (SPIE Photonics Europe 2014 in Brussels and META’14 in Singapore), and I decided to summarize what worked well and what didn’t work so well in preparing, attending and evaluating the conferences – to be able to make even more of conferences I’ll be going to in the future. And since I believe some of these experiences might be of interest to fellow Ph.D. students and other researchers, I decided to share them in this blog post. Continue reading…

My Ph.D. Halfway Checklist

March 29, 2014

A Ph.D. project is at the same time a job and an education towards being a researcher. The first part, the job, is covered by doing research for and with senior researchers and thus contribute to their work and research. The second part, the education, is covered via guidance and supervision from senior researchers, by doing your own small research projects, by communicating your research, both orally and in written, by collaborating with other researchers, by attending conferences and a lot more. All the points forming the educational part of a Ph.D. are important to get exposed to during the Ph.D. project, to get experience with different aspects of research.

Halfway through my Ph.D. project is quickly approaching, and this made me think about the progress I have made on the various points listed above. Also, it inspired me to consider the steps I have taken to conduct my research, organize my work and push my Ph.D. project forward.

In this post, I share my Ph.D. halfway checklist that outlines some of the most important aspects of a Ph.D. project – which are important to get an overview of to be able to plan the rest of the project, and so that changes can be made if something doesn’t work as desired. Continue reading…

My Way of Living the Ph.D. Student Life

February 20, 2014

Working as a Ph.D. student is a little bit different from many other types of work. On the one hand, Ph.D. students to a large extent have the freedom to organize and plan their own work and time, and on the other hand they are responsible for pushing a research project forward, for conceptualizing and synthesizing new ideas and for analyzing results and data. Succeeding with all of this requires a flexible mindset, perseverance and a lot of hard work.

However, a Ph.D. project takes several years, and to be able to continue to learn and develop the project, it is important to do other things, to have hobbies, to see friends, to travel and a lot more.

In this post, I share some of the things that I do and that constitute my way of living the Ph.D. student life. Most of it is not directly related to my Ph.D. project and my research, but indirectly helps in my work, and I hope that present and future Ph.D. students will find it inspirational. Continue reading…

The Elephant Memory: Evernote as Online Media Archive

February 10, 2014

In 2012, I signed up for an Evernote account when I first heard of the service, but for a long period I didn’t use it a lot as I didn’t really get what all the Evernote fuss was about.

As detailed previously, I prefer to use Simplenote for my Ph.D. work log due to its simpler and more minimalistic interface compared to Evernote, but for all other types of notes, overviews and lists I have started using Evernote increasingly more. Especially, I have come to realize that Evernote is a great tool for structuring and archiving online media content of all kinds, and in this post I tell about how I use Evernote for this purpose. Continue reading…

Context and Structure in Your Work: Tagging References, Documents and Notes

January 18, 2014

For the first little more than a year of my Ph.D. project, I have been gathering a lot of background material, references, documents and notes, all of which is collected and stored digitally; this is structured with My Digital Workflow.

As everything is handled digitally, I don’t have stacks of papers and binders with different colors to organize my material, but instead have folders in my Dropbox, file naming conventions, notebooks and stacks in Evernote etc. to stay organized. These systems allow me to easily locate files and documents in Dropbox and notes in Evernote and therefore constitute an important part of organizing my digital material.

But folders and stacks don’t always provide the ideal overview and context. Continue reading…

“It’s a PhD, not a Nobel Prize”

January 4, 2014

“A PhD is a stepping stone into a research career. All you need to do is to demonstrate your capacity for independent, critical thinking. That’s all you need to do. A PhD is three years of solid work, not a Nobel Prize.” Continue reading…