Sunday, 13 April 2014

PhD report: the first three months.

Whoooosh! There goes March and nearly half of April. Blimey.

It has been over three months since I started my part-time PhD and since then I have spent most of my time completing my first paper and organising how I am going to approach my research. I’ve now sorted easy access to the Polacanthus specimen I am working on, and have started testing the methods I will be using to record the specimen in the hope this will make the early stages of research as problem-free as I can.

As for my lit review, I decided I was unhappy with the idea of building and annotated bibliography soley on the computer, so I am using a hybrid system. This means printing out the paper and taking notes on index cards that I will then type up into a word file. I’m trying to use Endnote but it seems so time-consuming and I need to spend more time with the user manual. It remains to be seen if I will use it in the long run. How practical this system is remains to be seen, although it is flexible enough to be changed if needed.

I will be starting the 3D work shortly, but have made no real inroads into learning Maya. As I already use a 3D package this is not a priority and can be addressed over time and will not affect my research; I can take my time with this. There are plenty of new technologies to explore for both doing research and methods of outreach and this will be (another) ongoing branch of my PhD research.

Did I say branch? Perhaps thread might be a better word, as the deeper I get into the work the more threads seem to appear, forming a web-like pattern of possible research routes and links. This is both exciting and daunting, as it would be all too easy to end up clambering around this web without direction and I want to avoid being ensnared by the Shelob of distraction.

Lots to do!

The web of research.