putting the search into research – starting the phd

Some excellent advice on searching for literature here by Professor Pat Thomson over at patthomson.net This is an excellent blog to follow for all doctoral researchers.!

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Getting through a doctorate requires a finely honed information practice. You have to become pretty good at summarising, synthesising and categorising ‘stuff’ – otherwise known as ‘the literatures’.  But you also have to keep track of what you’ve read, and you need to be able to find things again when you have to.  So scholarly information essentials such as reading and noting are underpinned by practical strategies; these  include recording, filing and retrieving the stuff.

But, you also need to be able to find the stuff in the first place. One of the information strategies developed through the doctorate is that of searching. You know, locating the stuff that is useful, and interesting (and these are not always the same thing).

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Now, when I say searching I don’t mean going to one of those big data bases and hauling out a big list. No, what I actually mean by searching is…

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Dog safety in primary school children

Tomorrow and Thursday I will be presenting a paper on dog safety in children at the 2017 BSAS Annual Conference (#BSAS2017). This paper is the result of research done with one of my recent final year undergraduates, Evie Nyari. The paper can be found here, and will be presented as a poster (click to download PDF version). It has been three years since I have been at BSAS, so I’m looking forward to it!

BSAS poster

https://doi.org/10.1017/S2040470017001479

RCVS Knowledge Summary

RCVSKnowledge

My first Knowledge Summary for Veterinary Evidence has just been published. It is on raw feeding and periodontal health in dogs, and is the result of joint work with Matthew  Armstrong from Natures Menu.

The paper can be found here: https://veterinaryevidence.org/index.php/ve/article/view/88/0

On to the next one!

 

Reporting research

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I have recently published a letter to the editor in Veterinary Record regarding the use of reporting guidelines in veterinary research papers:

http://veterinaryrecord.bmj.com/content/180/3/78.2.full

Hopefully this letter will lead to discussion regarding the use of reporting guidelines, and raise awareness of their importance to enabling evidence-based veterinary medicine research.

Develop subject and transferable skills

Contributor: Nieky van Veggel @Nieky_WUC, Biosciences.

Idea: In order to encourage development of both subject-related and transferable skills in their curriculum, this assessment asks the students in groups to analyse a new animal feed in the laboratory. Then they are required to design a package and a commercial advertising video for this product. The product design and video were presented by students, after which they were questioned on their work. With some out-of-the-box thinking, this idea could easily be adapted to other disciplines by choosing discipline-specific products.

Practitioner comments: “Students enjoyed the opportunity to be creative and demonstrate their understanding through product design. Some students went as far as to role-play their commercial video or create a 3D model a feed package.”

Credits: Tracey Coop (@TraceyCoop1) and Rosa Verwijs

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Is doctoral writing doing you harm?

DoctoralWriting SIG

By Claire Aitchison

Writing is a physical activity that subjects the body to specific routines and impositions – it wears on the body in particular ways. I recall the deformed fingers of my grandfather: he had callouses from holding a pen, the physical manifestation of a lifetime of writing. Writers these days wear different traces of their labouring.

It seems particularly pertinent to raise this question during AcWriMo – a month when all around the world doctoral students are busy pushing themselves to write, write, write. Writing is the business of doctoral scholarship, but not all doctoral students realise

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