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PhD Chat

Page history last edited by Emma Burnett 10 years, 2 months ago


This wiki takes its name from a Twitter hashtag. In November 2010, a group of UK based research students began to meet together on  Wednesday evenings for an hour using the medium of Twitter in order to share their experiences of the doctoral journey. News of the gatherings quickly spread, and the discussions began to encompass postgraduate researchers from around the globe together with a number of people who have completed their doctoral journeys and a number of academics who are involved in supporting postgraduate research. 


The Twitter discussions have continued each Wednesday evening, from 19.30 - 20.30 GMT or BST, according to the time of year. One of the hallmarks of #phdchat is that the discussions take a different theme each week, the theme often being selected by participants through a poll. Anybody can suggest a theme for discussion by via the Suggestions for future discussions page


#phdchatters come from a variety of disciplines, are at different stages in their doctoral journeys, and are based in different geographic locations around the globe. Discussions are open to all postgraduate researchers, those engaged in the doctoral journey, those considering starting the journey and those who have completed it.




Contributing to the wiki


This wiki is 'owned' by Liz Thackray, another early participant in the group, and it is available for all #phdchatters to develop. If you wish to contribute as a writer or editor, register using your academic address (or, if you are using an email address other than your academic one, please say who you are, where you are studying and what degree you are registered for).  Once your registration is accepted, you will be able to both add content and edit content. As a first step, please visit the contributors page and add your details. This helps us all to find colleagues with similar interests to our own.


Please note, you can be part of the #phdchat community, join in Twitter discussions and read the wiki without writing and editing rights.


Purpose of the wiki


The purpose of this wiki is to support the #phdchat community. This is achieved in a number of different ways:

  • pages in the wiki include an archive of some of the more recent themed Wednesday chats. These have been left in an unedited form, but there are many useful resources and ideas as suggested by participants in the discussion
  • other pages in the wiki focus on activities we have undertaken as a group, for example challenges we have given ourselves to explain our research in plain English or to write a brief cv
  • There are links to resources we have found useful
  • There is an opportunity to share conference presentations and articles relevant to our research - another method of dissemination.


As a group of postgraduate researchers, we value the professional nature of #phdchat and the opportunities it presents us with to learn and to develop our ideas. Many of us have had contact with each other beyond Twitter, using other online media or meeting face-to-face, thus building our professional networks. If you would like to contribute to the community by hosting a chat session on a Wednesday evening, please enter your name and topic in the hosting rota.


In addition to Twitter and the wiki, #phdchat also has a LinkedIn group, a Diigo group and a Facebook group. We use these for sharing resources and ideas and general socialising.


Comments (1)

Liz Thackray said

at 6:52 am on Aug 9, 2012

Hi Zakir

#phdchat is a community of graduate students based on Twitter, as described above.

The first thing you need to do is find out how to use Twitter - perhaps find another student at your own university, or ask your supervisor, to show you. Once you have worked that out, then you could do a search on Twitter using the hashtag #phdchat - again, it is easier for somebody to show you, rather than to try to describe. The search will show you some of the current messages members of the community are posting. Some are related directly to their research, but others are short conversations, supportive comments, etc, and others are requests for help finding resources, articles, etc.

Once a week, there is a focused discussion around a theme the community has chosen - yesterday it was dealing with procrastination. These discussions are archived on this wiki - you can access them from the list on the right of this page. These archives are largely unedited and reflect genuine conversations, so they do go off at tangents and connections are not always obvious as more than one conversation may be used simultaneously.

Once you have worked out how to use Twitter and have had a look at some messages, post a message using the hashtag to introduce yourself and say you are new to the community - you should find some folk respond - and you have become part of the community.

Hope that helps

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