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Knowing current work in field

Research Skills required by PhD students A3: Knowing current work in field...

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3 March 2010

A3: A knowledge of recent advances within one's field and in related areas

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By the time students complete a PhD, they should be able to answer ‘Yes’ to most of these questions.

  • Can you outline the  'hot' issues, topics and debates in your field?
  • Can you identify1-3 issues that you think will be 'hot' in the next 3 years and explain why?
  • Can you summarise how thinking in your field has changed and evolved over the past 10 years?
  • Can you identify the key strands of thinking, 'camps', or approaches - and can you identify the key researchers associated with them?
  • Can you name the key conferences in your area, and have you reviewed their proceedings?
  • Do you attend relevant conferences in your field?
  • Do you scan the latest issues of key journals in your domain on a regular basis?
  • Do you participate in a reading group, research group or other discussion forum in your area?
  • Do you attend research seminars regularly and discuss them with your peers and supervisors?
  • Are you on the mailing list for any relevant interest groups?

Evidence of this skill

These are examples of documents you can collect. Each implies a piece or work, which may be a good way for you to develop this skill.

  • Elements of the literature review component of your probation assessment.
  • A written, critical discussion (at publication standard) of a selection of key papers.
  • A record of attendance at relevant reading groups, seminars, or equivalent.
  • An annotated bibliography of papers read.
  • A 'map' of the key strands of thinking in your area, identifying the key researchers associated with them.

This cloud is based upon material produced by The Open University’s research school to support doctoral students.

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