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Masters Discussion Forum

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This Category:   PostgraduateForum.com > Masters Dissertations


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Dissertation presentation


User: Virshininke - 20 September 2017 15:00

Hello, I have my masters degree research dissertation on friday and I am really stressing out. I am doing distance learning course so it will be done over Skype with my suppervirsor and another lecturer. What kind of questions should I get ready for? When I did my bachelours dissertation I was only asked 3 questions but I have a feeling it will not be as easy as that.

User: Daminu - 20 September 2017 15:12

Have you already submitted the thesis and did you receive any feedback? For me it was like this, I received feedback from my supervisor and then arranged a meeting before the defense , where we had a discussion and I somehow knew what questions he might ask.

They will ask you questions that are related to your thesis and they really just want to see that you critically conducted your research ..

I hope this helps.

User: Virshininke - 20 September 2017 15:22

I have not received any feedback. My supervisor only told me that she wants to write a paper on my dissertation.

User: Nad75 - 20 September 2017 16:08

Quote From Virshininke:
I have not received any feedback. My supervisor only told me that she wants to write a paper on my dissertation.

Wait, I've never heard of this practice. Your supervisor wants to write a paper, using your theory, data, and analysis from your dissertation? Are you comfortable with that? I feel like she's taking advantage of your work in some way.

(Sorry, I can't help you on the question part, mine was just a hand-in and written feedback.)

User: TreeofLife - 20 September 2017 17:55

Look up typical viva questions on here - it's going to be similar to that. Do you know the background, what methods did you do and why, the significance of your results and where your research will go next.

Maybe you should be writing the paper from your dissertation rather than your supervisor? If not, I think it's ok as long as you are first author on the paper, or on there somewhere if you are part of a larger project.

User: Virshininke - 21 September 2017 10:22

Quote From TreeofLife:
Look up typical viva questions on here - it's going to be similar to that. Do you know the background, what methods did you do and why, the significance of your results and where your research will go next.

Maybe you should be writing the paper from your dissertation rather than your supervisor? If not, I think it's ok as long as you are first author on the paper, or on there somewhere if you are part of a larger project.

I didn't plan do do anything academical after I finish my masters so in a way I didn't mind too much. However after reading what you guys had to say it now kind of feels like she is taking advantage from me, and she not mentioned using my name.

User: TreeofLife - 21 September 2017 11:22

She has to use your name, that shouldn't be in question. You contributed to the work.

User: Tudor_Queen - 21 September 2017 12:39

From what I know it is common practice for supervisors to write papers based on your data later once you've left the scene. I know people who have been shocked to see that their ex supervisor has published a paper based on their data.

It is also common for the student to write papers (with the supervisor named as co-author) - but when this doesn't happen during the longevity of the PhD or while the two are working together, the supervisor then has the right to do what they want with the data - as they are usually the "custodian" of the data.

If I were in this situation, I would say something like "I want to write up a paper (or papers) based on my dissertation, and am happy to have you as co-author. I take it this is what you meant?"

User: Nad75 - 21 September 2017 14:29

Quote From Tudor_Queen:
From what I know it is common practice for supervisors to write papers based on your data later once you've left the scene. I know people who have been shocked to see that their ex supervisor has published a paper based on their data.
....
If I were in this situation, I would say something like "I want to write up a paper (or papers) based on my dissertation, and am happy to have you as co-author. I take it this is what you meant?"

Good advice!

(Ah, I didn't know that first situation happens. I think I would feel definitely exploited somewhat if the supervisor didn't inform me, as it would limit the student's options for publishing something solo later on).

User: Tudor_Queen - 21 September 2017 14:59

Me too! Which is why I am making sure that I write up some papers from my PhD - during and after.

I actually first learnt about it happening from my own supervisor. She told me that HER ex-supervisor (a very famous person in the field) published HER data several years after she had completed her PhD. She said she couldn't believe her eyes when she saw her work published without her name! As far as I know - the two are on talking terms!

And then on a separate occasion - my supervisor told me that she had just received an angry email from a former Masters student who had seen a paper by my supervisor that was based on her Masters dissertation! My supervisor wrote back explaining to her - sorry - but I am the custodian of the data and this is how it works when you leave.

Crazy eh?

User: helebon - 26 September 2017 21:15

Ths is quite a worry that masters supervisors can basically steal the student's data. I am currently writing my masters thesis, due in very soon. Perhaps I should keep out some of the Key take-home messages from the thesis. As I am looking to change university and carry on the research at PhD level. I would like to publish something and if supervisors can do this, it puts me off having a supervisor altogether. Perhaps I could publish with no supervisor. There must be training in writing for academic publications.

User: pm133 - 26 September 2017 23:14

Quote From Tudor_Queen:
Me too! Which is why I am making sure that I write up some papers from my PhD - during and after.

I actually first learnt about it happening from my own supervisor. She told me that HER ex-supervisor (a very famous person in the field) published HER data several years after she had completed her PhD. She said she couldn't believe her eyes when she saw her work published without her name! As far as I know - the two are on talking terms!

And then on a separate occasion - my supervisor told me that she had just received an angry email from a former Masters student who had seen a paper by my supervisor that was based on her Masters dissertation! My supervisor wrote back explaining to her - sorry - but I am the custodian of the data and this is how it works when you leave.

Crazy eh?

It doesn't sound crazy at all. It sounds completely corrupt. That masters student should have been named on the paper.
Things like this dont surprise me anymore.

My supervisor has no access to my unpublished data so that could not happen in my case.

User: Nad75 - 27 September 2017 09:15

Quote From helebon:
Ths is quite a worry that masters supervisors can basically steal the student's data. I am currently writing my masters thesis, due in very soon. Perhaps I should keep out some of the Key take-home messages from the thesis. As I am looking to change university and carry on the research at PhD level. I would like to publish something and if supervisors can do this, it puts me off having a supervisor altogether. Perhaps I could publish with no supervisor. There must be training in writing for academic publications.

While I definitely understand that worry, I think we should keep in mind that the majority of supervisors do have our best interests, and you shouldn't feel the need to censor out some of your key messages. I'm guessing you're talking about implications of your analysis? If you give implications, then it's fair game for any one to explore further, it's like a 'gift-giving' tactic that is appreciated when there is a bit of brain freeze within the discipline, lol. It also highlights the importance of your own work, and that is why it is really a great idea to begin to fashion an article out of your thesis/dissertation as soon as you can, so if people use your implications as a jumping-off point the year after you submit, then you will be cited. Put your argument through blind peer-review and get it protected.

You can definitely publish without a supervisor, but they are in their position for good reasons. I would try to co-publish with their name second, as they know the process, the anticipated critique from the editors (which saves a lot of time), the counter-arguments, and know how to write effectively.




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